Cheek Implant (Malar Augmentation)

Throughout the ages, many cultures, including our modern western civilization, have considered prominent or high cheekbones a sign of physical beauty. Until recently, the only way to create an illusion of high cheekbones was through the skillful application of cosmetics.

Malar augmentation, or cheek implant, can give women the high cheekbones they desire. Though cheek implants are still an option for some people, this procedure has been replaced with fillers for most people. Fillers have no downtime, and much lower cost, and much lower risk of infection, rejection and implant movement. Dr. Kayem can discuss the best option for you.

If you are a good candidate for a cheek implant, this surgery can give definition to a face that has a flat contour or undefined definition. While the best candidate for malar augmentation has a long, narrow face or round face with flat cheeks, it can also benefit those with asymmetries or congenital defects. This surgery can be performed in conjunction with other facial surgeries.

Before Surgery

Prior to surgery, a complete medical history is taken to evaluate the general health of the patient. A careful examination is also conducted. The physician describes to the patient the type of anesthesia to be used, the procedure, what results might realistically be expected, and possible risks and complications. Photographs may be taken before and after surgery to evaluate the amount of improvement. Preoperative instructions may include the elimination of certain drugs containing aspirin in order to minimize the possibility of excess bleeding. Antibiotics may be prescribed for a few days prior to surgery to prevent infection. To ensure your comfort level, prior to surgery the areas to be worked on are carefully marked.

The Procedure

Malar augmentation can be performed under general anesthesia with the patient asleep or under local anesthesia in which the area is numbed and the patient remains awake. Premedication may be administered to relax the patient.

The face is thoroughly cleansed with an antiseptic cleansing agent after which an incision is made either inside the mouth or immediately below the lower eyelids. If the internal approach is used, which is the most frequently used procedure, the incision is made between the upper gums and the cheek. The soft tissue is elevated, creating a pocket over the cheekbone. An implant, usually triangular in shape, is then inserted. The implant is made of a pliable synthetic material that comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. Tiny sutures are used to close the incisions. If you have chosen the external approach, a very fine incision is made directly beneath the lower eyelash, within the natural crease of the eyelid, which helps further hide and eliminate the incision. The inplant is positioned in the cheek area through this incision.

Following Surgery

Sutures are removed within a week of the completion of the procedure. Pain connected with the surgery is minimal to moderate and is controlled with oral medication. Antibiotics may be prescribed to prevent infection. Some temporary swelling and bruising of the face are to be expected; however, keeping the head slightly elevated when reclining and applying cold compresses may help reduce swelling. Chewing may be difficult for about two weeks, and tightness or numbness around the treated area may occur for a period of time. Brushing teeth may also be difficult for several days.