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Facial Implants - Cheek Implants


                               Facial cheek or malar implants on

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Cheek implants can be beneficial with giving the face a fuller more round appearance.  Plump, prominent and well defined cheekbones are one of the most striking signs of  beauty and youth.  Because of heredity, some people will never have natural well developed cheekbones that are not in balance with their other facial features. 

For people who did get blessed with well defined cheekbones when they were younger - tend to lose this definition as the cheek soft tissues or fat pads start to sag or droop with the aging process.  The fat pads which give cheeks shape gradually flatten with age.  There are many people who try to combat the aging process with cheek implants, as they can eliminate the sunken in appearance that can occur as we get older.  Fortunately, today there are many options to create or recreate this cheek definition with either malar cheek implants or repositioning of the fallen cheek tissues with a rhytidectomy or face lift.




There are three shapes to malar or cheek implants:


Malar implants are the most common shape.  These implants are placed directly on the cheekbones. The end result is more projection to the cheekbone area and adding more contour to the facial profile.


Submalar implants are intended to augment the mid-face area, and are not put directly on the cheekbones.  Patients who exhibit a gaunt or sunken appearance would benefit from these malar implants.


Combined implants incorporates both the malar and the submalar combination.  These are extended implants that will help fill out or augment both the mid-face and also the cheekbones.



                                     Cheek Implants come in a variety of different styles and sizes

                                    Cheek implants come in a variety of different styles and sizes


                                               Anatomical Cheek or Malar Implants 

                                                               Anatomical Cheek / Malar Implants




Other techniques for enhancement of the cheeks include:

  • Orthognathic Surgery - cutting of the cheekbone and repositioning it as a complete unit

  • Bone grafts - which include adding bone from your skull to the surface of the cheekbone.

  • Fat / Dermal Grafting - Addition soft tissue from other areas of the body

  • Face Lift - repositioning the fallen cheek tissues

  • Facial Fillers - Injections of facial dermal fillers to the cheek to add volume (temporary)


Injections of facial or dermal fillers to the cheekbone area to create more prominent facial contours is much less expensive and less invasive method.  The disadvantages of this procedure is that unfortunately, because most dermal fillers are temporary they will be absorbed eventually within a few months.  Hyaluronic acid fillers such as Juvederm or Restylane are commonly used.  Autologous fat grafting is also considered an option and can be more permanent, but eventually like all the dermal fillers, this too will be reabsorbed after a period of time.

A surgical procedure for reconstructive surgery for birth defects or a traumatic injury in the malar or cheekbone area is called a zygomatic osteotomy.  The cheekbone (zygoma) is separated by bone cuts near the orbital rim and maxilla. The orbital bone is the socket of the skull in which the eye and the eyelids, lacrimal glands and the extra-ocular muscles are situated.  The bone is moved outward and a solid material (such as hydroxylapatite) is put into place to hold the new position of the cheekbone (zygoma).





An incision is made in the upper mouth near the top of the gum line. The surgeon then slides the malar implants into place.  The intra-oral method carries a higher risk of infection since the mouth contains so much more bacteria, however; there is no visible scar left behind.

Another approach includes creating an external incision near the eye area.  The disadvantages to this method is that it will leave behind a visible scar.

Cheek implant surgery is performed under either twilight sedation or general anesthesia and can take anywhere from one to two hours to complete.


                                            Incision site and placement for cheek or malar implants

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