Cheek Augmentation Surgery - Cheek Implants

Cheek augmentation surgery (Cheek implant surgery) is a cosmetic procedure that involves placing implants in the cheeks in order to create a more balanced appearance.  The procedure is most commonly sought by those who have experienced facial trauma, those who were born with certain facial defects and those who have experienced bone resorption due to aging, which has caused their face to appear gaunt.

Understanding Cheek Augmentation Surgery

The procedure followed for cheek augmentation surgery depends upon the desired outcome as well as the current condition of the patient's cheeks structure.  After the proper implants are selected and the exact placement is determined, however, the surgeon makes an incision either right above or below the cheekbone.  The exact location of the incision may be near the gums, on the outer cheek, at the top of the upper lip or right below the eyelid.

The implant is then placed inside and may be repositioned several times throughout the operation in order to create the desired outcome.  Once the positioning is determined, a small titanium screw may be used to attach it to the bone in order to keep it in place.  In most cases, cheek implant surgery takes about two hours to complete.  If the augmentation is used to correct damage following an accident, however, bone grafts may be needed to correct damaged bones.  In this case, the procedure may take much longer to complete.

Risks Associated with Cheek Implant Surgery

There are several potential risks associated with cheek implant surgery, including:

  • Bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Infection
  • Scarring
  • Swelling

Some of the potential complications that are specifically associated with cheek implant surgery include:

  • Asymmetrical appearance of the face and cheeks
  • Capsular contracture, which is a rare complication characterized by the tightening of scar tissue around the implant and requires additional surgeries to correct
  • Change of sensitivity in the cheek area, though this usually returns to normal within a few months
  • Feeling unhappy with the results
  • Implant rejection, which occurs when the immune system reacts negatively to the implant
  • Shifting of the implant, which may require subsequent surgeries to correct

Although it is normal to experience some soreness following cheek implant surgery, it is important to notify the surgeon if any other complications arise or if the pain is excessive. 

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