In both men and women, fuller, “cherubim-looking” cheeks have always been associated with youth. Unfortunately, not everyone was granted full and high cheekbones at birth except, perhaps certain runway models. (Unless they also visited VISAGE Clinic already!)
Several years ago, cheek implants became popular here in Toronto. But they were later partially eclipsed by the arrival of our hyaluronic fillers such as Restylane® and JUVÉDERM®. The newer, longer-lasting JUVÉDERM products, VOLBELLA, VOLIFT, and VOLUMA, have also put a pause on the need for permanent cheek implants.
However, cheek implants are now making a comeback as male and female patients alike are looking for permanent solutions. We have many models and sizes of cheek implants, depending on the specific area of the cheeks to be augmented (anterior front cheeks, outer cheek bone, or both) and whether you are a man or woman.
Cheek implants are inserted via two intraoral upper gum incisions, and the implants are positioned and fixed to the bone itself, in the cheek area. In most cases, I use a very small screw in order to prevent migration. All stitches are internal and dissolving.
Cost varies slightly, depending on the types of implant chosen as well as the estimated time in surgery. Because they are already undergoing general anesthesia, many patients choose to add other procedures such as a chin implant, neck liposuction, buccal fat pad removal, or upper lid surgery.
Recovery involves mild swelling and the occasional bruising. Postoperative tenderness is minimal.
Complications are very rare but can include asymmetry, displacement or rotation, visibility or palpability of the implants, capsular contracture, infection, sensory nerve injury, masseter muscle injury, wound healing problems, and hematoma (bleeding and bruising).
I always suggest that my patients first try augmenting their cheeks with fillers so I understand the “look” they are looking for. In doing so, patients participate in creating the final result as the effects of fillers are immediate. This first augmentation with fillers will guide me with recommending the correct model and size of cheek implants for my patients.
Dr. Marc DuPéré