Cheek implants are an excellent way to both improve and enhance the contours of the face. There is more than one type of implant that can be utilized to plump up cheeks and not all are made from the same kind of materials. Let's take a look at some of the reasons for getting cheek implants.
At the most basic level, cheek implants can improve a person's facial appearance and increase their self-esteem if it needs a boost. Cheek implants allow a face to become more proportional and balanced looking. On older patients cheek implants give a face a fuller look, especially if the face is looking drawn, aged or sunken in. Sometimes younger women who have flat cheekbones opt for cheek implants to give them that sought after high cheekbone look of fashion models. Fullness and lift are the most important reasons for making the decision to go under the knife and have cheek implants put in. Cheek implants (also known as cheek augmentation) can be implanted frontally, laterally or in some cases, both. The initial consultation a patient has with her surgeon should determine what is necessary according to her desired look.
Cheek implants can be made out of one of five different kinds of materials. The choices are silastic, hydroxyapatite, polyethylene, gore-tex and cadaver bone. Silastic is a type of plastic that is both solid and flexible. Hydroxyapatite is a ceramic material that looks a lot like coral from the sea. Polyethylene also looks like coral obtained from the sea although it is made of plastic. Gore-tex may sound familiar because it is the same type of material that is used to manufacture raincoats. The last, cadaver bone is self-explanatory. It is bone that is taken from human donors who have passed away.
Cheek implants can be done in more than one way and as previously mentioned, the needs of the patient must be the deciding factor in which method the surgeon settles on. What takes place for cheek implant surgery is for a "pocket" to be created over top of the tissue of the cheek(s), which will enable the implant to fit in it properly. Cheek implants can be either porous or solid, and that depends on the individual patient as well.
Cheek implant surgery is most often done on an outpatient basis and is conducted under either general or local anesthetic. Patients can generally choose which they prefer to have. Briefly what occurs during surgery is the incision for the implant is placed in one of three places- the conjunctiva (or inner surface of the eye), inside the mouth or in the crease lines outside the eye. Having the surgeon make the incision in the mouth is preferable as the scars are not visible whatsoever. The stitches used when the incision is made in the mouth absorb into the skin easily and therefore do not need to be removed. However if the incision is in one of the other areas of the face, then the stitches should be ready to be taken out approximately five days after surgery. Cheek implant surgery takes an average of 45 to 60 minutes to perform.
There are always risks for cosmetic surgery procedures. Some risks are always a concern with every operation undertaken while others are considered unique to a specific operation. For the former the risks are obvious ones- bruising, bleeding, infection, numbness, scarring and swelling. For the latter, the risks involved are the chance that the cheek implant could suddenly shift position in the face and/or the concern that the patient won't be happy with their new facial features after it is done. If a facial cheek implant does shift position then a second operation is often required to put it back into proper alignment. Infection is more likely to occur in this case.
Before making the decision to have cheek augmentation it is important to ask several questions of your plastic surgeon. These questions, in no specific order, are number one; would you be able to correct the asymmetry of my face? Second, which material would you recommend to use for my cheek implant and why? Third, where in my face would you make the incisions? Fourth, in regards to the implant material would the one you recommend using be in any way associated with erosion? The fifth question would be how much would my cheek implant(s) cost? The next question would be if it became necessary to take out the cheek implant how involved a process would it be? Finally, who would pay for the removal of the cheek implant