Cheek Implants Surgery Procedure Cost Price Overview

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Cheek implants are a permanent cosmetic procedure that adds volume to your cheeks. It creates a more youthful, symmetrical appearance to your face. Cheek implant surgery is generally quick, uses local anesthesia and has minimal risks. Talk to your healthcare provider or a plastic surgeon to find out if you’re a good candidate for this procedure.

What are cheek implants?

Cheek implants are solid pieces of an artificial material that are surgically added to your existing cheek line. Cheek implants enhance the definition and fullness of your cheeks. A plastic surgeon inserts cheek implants above or at your cheekbone.

Cheek implants are commonly made of medical-grade silicone or porous polyethylene (Medpor®). These are synthetic materials that have been around for decades. The procedure provides a permanent solution for flat or less defined cheeks.

What are the types of cheek implants?

Cheek implants come in three types:

  • Submalar implants: Submalar refers to the beginning of your cheekbones, beneath your eyes. Your plastic surgeon places these implants above your cheekbones to improve a sunken appearance.
  • Malar implants: A malar implant — inserted below the submalar — creates an angular, more defined bone structure. This cheek implant is common among people in their 20s and 30s.
  • Combination: You can opt to have both a submalar and malar implant during one procedure to give your face definition and volume.

Why do people get cheek implants?

You may choose to get cheek implants to:

  • Change your facial structure or appearance caused by a condition present at birth (congenital).
  • Create a symmetrical or more proportional face.
  • Improve the definition of your cheeks.
  • Look younger.
  • Restore your cheeks’ appearance after an accident, injury or trauma.

How common are cheek implants?

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there were over 108,000 malar cheek implant procedures performed in the United States in 2020.

Who is a candidate for cheek implants?

A plastic surgeon will ask you about your medical history and your goals to see if cheek implants are right for you.

People who are typically good candidates for cheek implants:

  • Are physically healthy.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Have realistic expectations of the procedure.

You may not be a good candidate for cheek implants if you:

  • Have overweight (a body mass index, or BMI, over 25) or obesity (a BMI over 30).
  • Have diabetes mellitus.
  • Have a blood or bone disorder or a condition that affects hearing.
  • Have very thin skin.
  • Regularly smoke or are unable to quit before the procedure. (Your healthcare provider can provide you with resources to help you quit.)
Do men get cheek implants?

Yes, anyone can get cheek implants if they’re a good candidate for the procedure. Cheek implants are more common among women or people assigned female at birth (AFAB). But men, or people assigned male at birth (AMAB), also choose to get cheek implants.

Procedure Details

How should I prepare for a cheek implant procedure?

Before a cheek implant procedure, you’ll meet with a plastic surgeon. They’ll discuss your goals and your medical history. They may also take pictures of your cheeks to compare the results before and after cheek implant surgery. If you have any questions about the procedure, this is a great time to ask them. Your surgeon will also go over any possible side effects and walk you through which type of surgery is best to meet your goals.

Follow any instructions from your plastic surgeon so you’re ready on the day of your surgery. You may need to:

  • Adjust any medications you’re taking (don’t stop any medications without guidance from your surgeon).
  • Avoid taking anti-inflammatory medications or herbal supplements that increase bleeding.
  • Quit smoking.

What happens during a cheek implant procedure?

On the day of your surgery, you’ll receive general anesthesia. You’ll be asleep for the entire procedure.

During the procedure, your surgeon will:

  • Make a cut (incision) inside your mouth or under your eyelid. The location depends on the type of cheek implant.
  • Fit the implant into place on your cheek. They’ll secure the implant to your cheekbone.
  • Close the incision with stitches.

How long does a cheek implant procedure take?

Cheek implant surgery typically takes up to an hour.

What happens after a cheek implant procedure?

Cheek implant surgery is typically an outpatient procedure, so you go home the same day. You’ll stay in the recovery area for a few hours and then be discharged home.

It’s normal to feel soreness or tightness in your cheeks after your procedure.

Your surgeon will give you specific instructions for incision care. For example, if the procedure involved an incision inside of your mouth, you might have to stick to a liquid diet for up to a week or use a special rinse. You’ll also want to avoid sleeping on your face for a few weeks after surgery.

Your surgeon will schedule a follow-up appointment to make sure you’re healing as you should.

Risks / Benefits

What are the benefits of cheek implants?

The benefits of cheek implants include:

  • Changing your appearance.
  • Creating a fuller or more prominent cheekbone.
  • Balancing your facial structure (symmetry).
  • Minimal recovery time.
  • A permanent (but removable) solution.

Are cheek implants safe?

Cheek implants are a safe procedure. But as with any cosmetic procedure, cheek implant surgery also has potential risks. It’s important to find a plastic surgeon who has extensive experience performing cheek implants to reduce your risk of complications.

What are the risks or complications of cheek implants?

Your plastic surgeon will talk to you about the potential risks or complications of cheek implants, which may include:

  • Bleeding.
  • Infection.
  • Numbness.
  • Pain that doesn’t go away (chronic pain).
  • Shifting of the implant (migration), which can cause lumpiness or an asymmetrical look.

Do cheek implants cause a scar?

Scarring is minimal after a cheek implant because the incisions are usually inside of your mouth.

Recovery and Outlook

What is the recovery time after cheek implants?

While everyone’s recovery is different, it generally takes several weeks to a month for redness and swelling to disappear. You should see the results of your cheek implants once the swelling goes away.

How long do cheek implants last?

Cheek implants are permanent, but the surgery is reversible. You can have the implants removed at any time.

When can I go back to my regular activities after cheek implants?

You can usually return to work and your regular activities within a week of having cheek implant surgery. Your healthcare provider might suggest waiting several weeks before performing any strenuous activities, such as strength training or lifting heavy items.

When to Call the Doctor

When should I call my healthcare provider?

Call your surgeon immediately if you experience:

  • Bleeding.
  • Excessive swelling.
  • Fever.
  • Other uncomfortable symptoms.

If you experience these symptoms after cheek implant surgery, seek immediate medical attention:

  • Chest pain.
  • Irregular or abnormal heartbeat (arrhythmia).
  • Shortness of breath (dyspnea).

Additional Common Questions

Are cheek implants better than fillers?

Cheek fillers, a type of dermal filler, are injections that add volume to your cheeks or accentuate your cheekbones. Cheek fillers may be a better option for you depending on your goals. People with certain health conditions, such as blood disorders, may not be good candidates for surgery and may prefer fillers.

If you’re considering cheek implants vs. fillers, keep in mind that dermal fillers are temporary. The changes to your cheeks depend on which filler your healthcare provider uses and how much of it they use. Generally, the effects of cheek fillers can last anywhere from six months to several years. Cheek implants are permanent.

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