Cheek Augmentation Surgery by Jan Stanek at Surgical Aesthetics

Facial implants can enhance your appearance and bolster your self-esteem. Plastic surgeons will frequently use such implants to bring better balance to the features of a younger patient. The more mature patient may choose to have an implant placed in conjunction with another cosmetic procedure. For example, during a facelift, a patient may wish to have implants placed over the cheekbones to help restore a more youthful appearance. Implants may also be selected to fill out a face that appears "sunken" or tired.

As with all elective surgery, good health and realistic expectations are prerequisites. It is also important to understand all aspects of the surgery. The result can be greater facial harmony and an increase in self-confidence.

Your consultation can help you decide on the type of surgery that addresses your concerns. Your surgeon can also provide information on new medical techniques for cheek surgery and offer recommendations about supplementary surgery and alternatives that can ensure the greatest improvement.

Cheek Augmentation: The Operation

Cheek implant surgery usually takes about 30 to 45 minutes. When cheek implants are being placed in conjunction with another cosmetic procedure, such as a facelift, forehead lift or eyelid surgery, the implants may be inserted through the incisions made for those procedures. Otherwise, an incision will be made either inside your upper lip or your lower eyelid. A pocket is then formed and an implant is inserted.

Cheek Augmentation: After the Surgery

Immediately after the surgery, the surgeon usually applies a dressing that will remain in place for two to three days. You will experience some tenderness. Post-operative discomfort can be controlled with prescribed medications. Swelling is sometimes significant immediately following surgery, usually peaking 24 to 48 hours afterward. Chewing will probably be limited immediately after cheek surgery and a liquid and soft food diet may be required for a few days after surgery. Most patients feel a stretched, tight sensation after the surgery, but this usually subsides in a week. You should be aware that your ability to move your mouth and lips may be diminished temporarily and sensation may be impaired. Stitches used to close the incisions inside your mouth usually dissolve within about 10 days.

Mouth hygiene is important. Avoid brushing your upper teeth and use a gargle frequently.

Although most of the significant swelling will subside over a period of several days, prolonged mild swelling may prevent your final facial contour from becoming apparent for several months. Normal activity can be resumed after approximately ten days. Remember, with any facial surgery, you may feel and look better in a short period of time. However, it may not be advisable to participate in certain activities - especially activity that may result in the face being jarred or bumped - for several weeks.

Cheek Augmentation: Possible Complications

Facial implants can produce some remarkable changes. Problems rarely occur, but you need to be informed about such possibilities. Infection can occur as with any operation. If infection were to occur around a facial implant and did not clear up after treatment with antibiotics, the implant might have to be temporarily removed and replaced at a later time. Other, less-frequent risks may be associated with certain implants. A facial implant can shift slightly out of alignment and a second operation may be necessary to replace it in its proper position. Some of the implant materials are made of a solid silicone. Currently, there is no scientific evidence that this is a harmful substance.

When you discuss your surgery with your plastic surgeon, be certain that you clearly express your expectations. Your plastic surgeon will help you determine what it is possible to achieve. It may be helpful to provide your surgeon with photos of people who have facial features similar to those you would like to have.

You may be surprised to find that most people won't recognize that you've had cheek implant surgery - only that you look better!

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