Full, defined cheeks are a sign of youth and beauty, but over time the face loses fat in certain areas causing the cheeks to become flat and saggy and giving way to a sunken-in look that ages our faces. Although some are born with naturally high cheekbones, achieving the look of sculpted cheeks can be accomplished through both nonsurgical and surgical treatments that focus on restoring plumpness, volume and definition. To restore volume to the mid face and recreate youthful contours, Dr. Gantous may suggest facial implants, fillers or fat grafting.
When placing cheek implants, small incisions are made inside the mouth over the cheek bone to form pockets for the implant. The cheek implant is then inserted into the pocket and positioned directly on or below the cheekbone. If cheek augmentation is occurring at the same time as another facial plastic surgery procedure, the cheek implants are inserted through the same incisions for that particular procedure (for example, with certain types of lower lid lifts or with a face lift). Then, the pockets are sutured shut. The result is a youthful, more defined facial contour. The procedure to place cheek implants takes less than one hour and is performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia. However, if surgery is combined with other procedures, patients may stay at the hospital overnight.
Recovery From Cheek Augmentation
For approximately one week after cheek augmentation surgery, patients may experience very limited movement of the mouth and lips as well as swelling. Sutures will dissolve after 10 days. Most patients are fine to return to normal activities after 10 to 15 days.
Fat Grafting And Transfer
Using your own fat (taken from another part of the body, like the hips, belly or bottom), your surgeon can give you fuller, plumper cheeks. Fat transfer is probably a popular option for long-term cheek fullness. Even though it is a minimally invasive procedure, it requires liposuction to harvest the fat and a series of injections to transfer the fat so it is best done under general anesthesia. The recovery will take one to two weeks.
Fillers And Injectables
In reality, the easiest and most natural way to restore the volume lost with age or to provide definition to the mid face and cheeks is the use of fillers. While there are a variety of injectables available, different ones produce varying effects and not all of them last the same amount of time. Some of the newer fillers that are available for volume replacement produce excellent results that last 12 to 18 months and can be easily maintained with touch ups every 9 to 12 months for long lasting improvement. These treatments are office-based and require no down time or recovery.
Chin augmentation surgery using implants, also known as mentoplasty, is an effective procedure that adds more definition to the jaw and lower face by altering the size and shape of the chin. Chin implants vary in shape and size and can be customized according to the specific goals of the patient for natural-looking results. Mentoplasty is often combined with other cosmetic procedures such as rhinoplasty to improve the balance between the facial features, a face lift to improve the jaw line or lip augmentation using dermal fillers for maximum aesthetic effect.
Placing Chin Implants
When placing chin implants, an incision is made either inside the mouth or in a crease under the chin to create a pocket for the implant. The implant is then inserted into the pocket, positioned in front of the jawbone and sutured or screwed into place. The entire procedure takes approximately one hour or less and is usually performed on an outpatient basis under general or local anaesthesia.
Recovery from Chin Implant Surgery
After the chin implant procedure, patients experience mild bruising and swelling on the lower face and neck for approximately one week. The chin will be taped after surgery to help minimize any swelling; patients may find it difficult to smile or talk during this time. Patients will be given instructions about eating and dental hygiene after chin implants are placed. Sutures usually dissolve in approximately 10 days.
An alternative to implants when considering chin augmentation is a sliding genioplasty. In this procedure, Dr. Gantous will cut and then advance a piece of the chin bone and screw it into its new position. This is done through an incision inside the mouth and it is a very good alternative for those who do not wish to have an implant. The recovery is very similar to that of a chin implant but there is usually a bit more swelling and bruising.
Some people have chins that are too big or bulky for their faces and this throws off the balance of the facial features. Dr. Gantous can offer his patients a reduction mentoplasty where the chin bone is reduced in size and contoured to the desired shape.