The Basics of Cheek Augmentation Procedures

by Amber Smith - Date: 2007-06-18 - Word Count: 622 Share This!

Cheek augmentation allows the surgeon to enhance the features of the face by placing implants in the cheek area. Some patients choose cheek augmentation to fill in drawn, sunken or aged cheeks. Others have the procedure for a purely cosmetic reason - to get the popular high cheekbone look.

Types of Cheek Augmentation Procedures

Depending on the desired look, the surgeon can place implants laterally (on the sides of your face), frontally, or both. While having both types of implants placed can have its benefits, this type of procedure will also slightly lengthen your recovery time.

Cheek Augmentation Materials

There are five common types of materials used in cheek augmentation procedures: hydroxyapatite, silastic, Gore-Tex, polyethylene, and cadaver bone. Hydroxyapatite resembles coral's porous nature and is chemically similar to hard tissue and bone. Silastic is a type of silicone which is flexible while being stable. Polyethylene is a coral-like plastic material. Gore-Tex is a popular choice among many surgeons since the body will not reject it. Cadaver bone is sterilized bone from a donor; this is often the least popular option since it can result in painful bone grafts.

All of these materials have their pros and cons. You should give your surgeon a detailed record of your history and your desires so that he can best determine which material to employ.

How It Works

After having your consultation, the surgeon will decide your plan of action. Cheek augmentation is an outpatient procedure that lasts between 45 minutes and an hour. Along with the surgeon, you will decide whether general or local anesthetic is used. If you have any allergies or have had serious reactions to anesthesia in the past, be sure to let him know immediately.

At this time, the surgeon will also determine what incisions will be used. While this might change during the procedure, his decision now should tell you what possible complications you could face.

Incisions can be made in one of three spots: the conjunctiva (or inner surface of the eye), inside the mouth or in the crease lines outside the eye. Many surgeons prefer to cut inside the mouth so that no scars are visible.


Full recovery from a cheek enhancement procedure ranges from one to two months. However, you should be able to return to your normal routine within a week. A small, usually unnoticeable amount of swelling may remain for up to five months.

Before your procedure, your surgeon will give you a prescription for antibiotics that you should begin taking diligently. Make sure you take the full round of medicine. The doctor will also prescribe some type of pain medication. During the first few days of your recovery, monitor your temperature closely. If you have a fever that may be the sign of an infection; call your doctor immediately.

After surgery, you must carefully care for your incisions and sutures. They should not become moist, and you should avoid the use of all lotions and creams until the site is fully healed. If your surgeon made incisions in your mouth, you will need to stay on a liquid diet until your surgeon releases you, and you must rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash, such as Listerine, several times each day.

Bruising and swelling after the procedure may result in a temporary numbness until the swelling dissipates; if the numbness continues, contact your doctor. Cold compresses will help keep the swelling down. You should also be sure to stay in an elevated position for the first week. Remember to have plenty of pillows around so that you can sit up to read a book or watch television.

Although you can't be involved in strenuous exercise for several weeks, you should still be up and moving during your recovery. Staying too still while recovering can result in blood clots.

Related Tags: cosmetic surgery, cosmetic plastic surgery, cosmetic surgery financing, cosmetic laser surgery, cosmetic surgery cost, cosmetic surgery procedure

Final Words

Unlike cosmetic laser surgery , such as laser hair removal , cheek augmentation procedures have a longer recovery time; however, they can enhance your look for a lifetime. As you consider this form of cosmetic surgery , decide on your desired look, find a licensed surgeon and prepare to enjoy your beautiful new look.

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