Cheek Implants

Malar augmentation uses implants, usually made of synthetic material, to make cheek bones more prominent and give better definition to the face.

ABOUT CHEEK IMPLANTS

In some people the mid face area is not as fully developed as desirable. This under-development can lead to a number of problems including:

  • a downward slant to the eyelids with a lower position of the lid margin
  • eyes that are more rounded than normal
  • lower lid eye bags that develop earlier than usual
  • an overall flatter, poorly defined appearance to the face
  • an early appearance of lines leading from the nose to the corners of the mouth (naso-lablial folds)

Occasionally the problem is more extensive, involving the upper jawbone and affecting the way the jaws fit together. These situations require more extensive intervention. However, in most cases dental occlusion is good and a cosmetic approach can improve the definition of the cheek area while providing better support for the lower lids.

This approach, called Malar Augmentation, most often relies on synthetic implants, but can also use bone harvested from the patient’s skull to augment the existing bony structure on the face.

YOUR CHEEK IMPLANTS CONSULTATION

During your cheek implants consultation your surgeon will take a general medical history and ask about any previous surgery or sinus infections. He will also want to discuss your goals for the procedure and how much increased prominence over the cheek, around the lower eyelid and in the mid cheek area you desire.

He will determine whether your facial structure makes you a good candidate for malar augmentation surgery, and he’ll explain why trying to over-emphasise the cheekbones usually results in an artificial and unsatisfactory appearance. In general, the aim of the procedure is to retain a natural facial shape but enhance the definition.

You’ll also discuss the wide variety of cheek implants available and decide what type, design and size are appropriate for you. The implants most commonly used by our practice are semi-rigid ones, which, once implanted, feel as natural as the bones of your face.

YOUR CHEEK IMPLANTS OPERATION – WHAT TO EXPECT

Although, Malar Augmentation is usually performed under a general anaesthetic, it can be done as a day case. Incisions are made on the inside of the mouth so there are no external scars. The implants are then fixed in position and the wounds closed.

A more limited Malar Augmentation can be accomplished using fat transfer. It is also possible to correct a significant asymmetry between the two cheekbones by using implants complemented by fat transfer.

AFTER YOUR CHEEK IMPLANT SURGERY

For the first four or five days after your procedure you will need a soft diet to protect the wounds inside your mouth. You should also be aware that:

  • For your safety, you will need someone to drive you home and stay with you the first night after your procedure.
  • If you experience discomfort this can be eased by taking a mild analgesic such as Paracetamol. Aspirin must be avoided as it can promote bleeding.
  • Usually you’ll have your first check-up visit one week after your operation. At that visit the surgeon will inspect the wounds inside your mouth to ensure that healing is progressing well.
  • You should avoid returning to exercise for two to three weeks after the operation, as it can trigger swelling in your face.
  • After your surgery, it is possible to brush your teeth with a gentle toothbrush from day one, and it is advisable to use antiseptic mouthwash four times a day for a least for the first week.
  • The operation is usually not associated with this significant bruising but swelling can be moderate to significant. Gently massaging your cheeks can help relieve the swelling.
  • It is also important to sleep with a couple of pillows for the first two weeks to accelerate your recovery.