Everyone wants the perfect face. And while not all of us can be born with it, thanks to clinics like The Esthetic Clinics and skilled plastic surgeons like Dr. Debraj Shome, we can all have the perfect contours on the face through procedures such as cheek augmentation.
This is a procedure done to improve the symmetry of the face and create a younger, and more aesthetically pleasing look. There are different types of cheek augmentations and each uses different techniques. With a professional’s recommendation, patients can choose the one that best suits their goals.
Types of Cheek Augmentation
There are various types of cheek augmentation that patients can choose to undergo, depending on their needs, goals, and preferences. Here are some of the options;
- Dermal Fillers
For a long time, many people from India have been getting dermal fillers for both cosmetic and medical purposes for a more aesthetically pleasing facial appearance. These are non-surgical, injectable treatments that help add volume to the face or define the contour a little bit more.
One of the most common types of dermal fillers is hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers, such as Juvederm and Restylane. The reason why HA fillers are popular is because they are made from a naturally occurring substance in the body, which makes them a safer and more effective option.
For this same reason, dermal fillers have become a popular non-surgical option for cheek augmentation. The results are usually instant and can last anywhere from 6 up to 12 months, depending on the type of fillers an individual gets as well as how well they take care of themselves, including attending follow-up appointments and procedures with their doctor.
Typically, the hyaluronic acid (HA) filler gets injected into the cheeks, to add volume and contours to the area, and improve the appearance of sagging skin or sunken cheeks. These fillers also stimulate the production of collagen (a protein produced by the body that is responsible to keep the skin firm and supple) in the skin, which can lead to further improvement in skin quality and elasticity over time.
The Procedure for Dermal Filler Cheek Augmentation
The dermal filler procedure is fast and patients can go home on the same day right after the treatment. It usually is carried out in a cheek augmentation clinic, in the doctor’s office, and only takes a couple of minutes.
Before the doctor starts with the injections, he first cleans the area of treatment and applies a topical anesthetic or numbing cream to minimize discomfort during the procedure. Once the treatment site is ready, he then injects the fillers into the cheeks using a fine needle.
To achieve the desired results, he takes the process slowly, as he carefully controls the amount and placement of the fillers. He then massages the area of the injection to ensure the filler is evenly distributed.
After the procedure is done, patients can return to their normal activities immediately. They /may however experience some minor symptoms and side effects such as swelling and/ or bruising. This is usually easily manageable with cold compresses and goes away soon enough.
Benefits of Dermal Filler Cheek Augmentation
Dermal filler cheek augmentation offers multiple benefits over most of its other alternatives. For starters, it is a non-surgical procedure, which also means that it is less invasive, making it safer and more effective.
The treatment can be customized to fit a patient’s specific goals and can be done in the doctor’s office. The procedure is also quick and patients can immediately see the difference once it is done.
Risks and Potential Complications of Dermal Filler Cheek Augmentation
Any cosmetic or medical procedure such as dermal fillers comes with some risks just as they come with multiple benefits. Some of the complications that may be associated with dermal fillers are;
- Allergic reactions or sensitivity to the filler material
- Infection at the injection site
- Uneven or lumpy results
- Bruising or swelling that lasts longer than a few days
- Migration or displacement of the filler material
- Rarely, patients may also experience temporary blindness or nerve damage
Before getting a dermal filler cheek augmentation, patients are advised to seek an experienced plastic surgeon or dermatologist such as Dr. Debraj Shome, who can advise them accordingly and help them achieve their goals.
- Fat Transfer
Another type of cheek augmentation is fat transfer, also known as fat grafting. Just like the name suggests, this procedure involves the removal of fat from one area of the body (usually the abdomen or thighs) and to the cheeks.
Fat transfer may be more invasive than dermal fillers but the fact that it uses the patient’s own tissue helps minimize the risk of rejection and/ or allergic reactions. It also has long-lasting results, with some patients have reported a permanent improvement.
How Fat Transfer Works for Cheek Augmentation
During this procedure, the surgeon first examines the patient’s body and they agree on where to transfer the fat from. Usually, this will be from the buttocks, abdomen, or thighs. He will then use the liposuction technique to extract fat from this area, purify and prepare it for injection.
The last step is the injection itself. Using a needle or cannula, the practitioner injects the fat carefully into the cheeks, to achieve a natural-looking contour.
The Procedure for Fat Transfer Cheek Augmentation
Before starting treatment, the doctor administers general or local anesthesia with sedation to make the process more comfortable for the patient. It takes about 2 to 3 hours to complete the procedure, after which the patient can be discharged.
While the process doesn’t always have severe complications, patients might experience mild discomfort, swelling, and bruising, which usually subside within a few weeks. To manage these symptoms, the surgeon can prescribe pain medication.
Benefits of Fat Transfer Cheek Augmentation
There are many reasons why most people prefer fat transfer over alternative options for cheek augmentations. One of the reasons is that the procedure is considered more of a natural solution as it uses the patient’s own tissue. Because of this reason, the risk of rejection or allergic reactions is minimal, making it safer.
The results of fat transfer are also generally long-lasting, if not permanent as it has been reported in most cases.
Another benefit is that it can be combined with other cosmetic procedures to achieve the goal of the patient that wouldn’t otherwise be possible with fat transfer alone. For example, to achieve a more comprehensive facial rejuvenation, the surgeon might recommend fat transfer combined with a brow lift or facelift.
Risks and Potential Complications of Fat Transfer Cheek Augmentation
Fat transfer for cheek augmentation is generally a safe procedure performed in reputable clinics like The Esthetic Clinics by skilled and professional plastic surgeons and dermatologists. However, as with any other similar procedure, it comes with risks and complications such as;
- Infection at the site of the incision or injection
- Scarring at the site of the incision or injection
- Uneven or lumpy results
- Discomfort, pain, and/ or swelling during recovery
- Absorption of the transferred fat over time
These complications usually occur for a couple of days, weeks, and months after the surgery and can be treated by prescribed medication or home remedies like cold compressions to minimize pain and swelling.
Patients can also prevent or at least reduce these complications simply by following the surgeon’s instructions before, during, and after the surgery. They may be asked to avoid heavy exercises and strenuous activities, quit some habits like smoking and drinking alcohol, and take light walks.
- Cheek Implants
Patients looking for dramatic, long-lasting results for cheek augmentation may find cheek implants a more suitable option. This treatment involves a surgical procedure to insert implants into the cheeks to attain a certain look.
The implants are made of synthetic materials such as silicone, porous polyethylene, or another biocompatible material, and are implanted directly under the skin and muscle of the cheekbones. The longer recovery time for cheek implants is worth the waiting, as the effects are also long-lasting.
Cheek implants can impact the shape, volume, and contours of the face, and create a fuller, more defined appearance.
How Cheek Implants Work for Cheek Augmentation
During the procedure, the surgeon makes small incisions inside the mouth or the natural creases of the face through which the implant will be inserted. He then carefully positions the implants to achieve the desired goal, before closing the incisions with sutures and surgical glue.
The Procedure for Cheek Implant Surgery
The procedure is pretty straightforward and is performed under general anesthesia. It is also relatively fast, taking about 1 to 2 hours to complete.
Some side effects patients might experience after the surgery include swelling, bruising, and discomfort. These can be managed with pain medication and ice compressions. If the symptoms are severe and persistent, it is important to seek professional help.
While some patients also find it difficult to eat or talk for a couple of days after the procedure, others experience temporary numbness and/ or tingling in the cheeks.
Benefits of Cheek Implants for Cheek Augmentation
Cheek implants have multiple benefits. One of the primary advantages of taking this procedure is that they offer a permanent solution to cheek augmentation, while its alternatives like dermal fillers and fat transfer require regular touch-ups.
Patients don’t need to worry about having to replace the implants unless they no longer like them and want a change or they become damaged. It also provides more significant results, which can help to create a more balanced and proportionate facial appearance.
Risks and Potential Complications of Cheek Implants for Cheek Augmentation
Cheek implants are not all smooth and problem-free. It has some risks of complications that can occur along the way too. These include;
- Infection at the site of the incision
- Bleeding or hematoma formation
- Nerve damage or numbness
- Implant shifting or displacement
- Unsatisfactory results or asymmetry
Benefits of Cheek Augmentation
To enjoy the maximum benefits of cheek augmentation, patients are urged to find the best hospital with the best professionals. One such trusted name in India is Dr. Debraj Shome. He has an extensive experience in the field and can provide the best procedure recommendation.
Here are some of these benefits;
Enhanced Facial Contour: Cheek augmentation is mainly done to enhance facial contour by creating a more defined and balanced facial structure. It helps add volume to the cheeks, creating a more attractive look.
Improved Self-Confidence: Many people are self-conscious about their physical looks, especially their faces. Constantly worrying about the shape or size of their cheeks can derail their confidence and esteem. Cheek augmentation can help address these concerns, and provide individuals with a more confident outlook.
Reversal of Aging Signs: Our cheeks lose volume and sag as years go by and we continue to age. This can result in a tired and aged appearance, which cheek augmentation can sort out. This procedure can reverse these signs of aging by restoring a more youthful and refreshed appearance to the face.
Customizable Results: One of the best things about cheek augmentation is that it can be tailored to the specific needs and goals of individual patients. It can be done for a variety of purposes, based on a patient’s goals. For example, it can be customized to add volume to certain areas of the cheeks, create a more defined contour, or address specific aesthetic concerns. It all depends on individual preferences and goals.
Minimally Invasive: Some types of cheek augmentation like dermal fillers and fat transfer, are minimally invasive and require little time for recovery. This makes it a convenient and accessible option for individuals with busy lifestyles.
Risks of Cheek Augmentation
As with many cosmetic procedures, there are risks associated with cheek augmentation. These risks include;
Infection: Infection is a common risk associated with surgeries. Anytime the skin is punctured or cut, it makes way for germs and bacteria to get into the body, which may result in severe infection. Some symptoms of infections include redness, swelling, and tenderness at the site of the treatment.
Hematoma: Hematoma is a collection of blood outside of a blood vessel that can form at the site of the incision. When a blood vessel is damaged during a procedure, there is a risk of hematoma. This is usually painful and may require extreme measures to be treated such as surgery to drain.
Allergic Reaction: Allergic reactions can occur in individuals who have allergies to some materials used in cheek augmentation. Symptoms of allergic reactions include swelling, redness, and discomfort at the site of the injection. If the symptoms are severe, patients should seek immediate medical attention.
Nerve Damage: Cheek augmentation can damage nerves in the face, which may result in numbness or weakness in the treated or the surrounding areas. While nerve damage is a rare complication, it can be serious and may require surgery to correct it.
Implant Shifting or Displacement: Over time, cheek implants can move to a displaced position, causing asymmetry or an unnatural appearance. This may occur if the implant is not placed properly, is not secured in place, or has been on for the longest time.
Unsatisfactory Results: Some patients may not be happy with the result of their cheek augmentation after the procedure. This can occur if the volume or shape of the cheeks does not meet their expectations and goals, or if the results are not symmetrical. Additional surgery may be required to sort this issue out.
Overcorrection or under correction: Cheek augmentation can result in too much volume or too little volume. Overcorrection can result in an unnatural appearance, while under-correction may not achieve the desired result. If this happens, additional surgery may be done to make the necessary adjustments.
What to Expect During and After Cheek Augmentation
Cheek augmentation procedures mostly depend on the method chosen. For example, doctors can perform dermal filler injections in their office, and only take a couple of minutes to complete while with fat transfer and cheek implant surgery, general anesthesia is required and patients may need an overnight hospital stay.
Here is a breakdown of the cheek augmentation procedure;
Before the Procedure:
Consultation: A professional plastic surgeon like Dr. Debraj Shome always holds a consultation, maybe multiple consultation sessions with their patients before the procedure. The patients talk about their goals while the surgeon examines their face and recommend the most appropriate method for achieving the desired goal.
Medical History: The surgeon will also review the patient’s medical history to ensure that they are a good candidate for the procedure. Prior to the procedure, patients may be asked to stop taking certain medications, such as blood thinners, to minimize the risk of bleeding.
Pre-Operative Instructions: The surgeon will also give a set of pre-operative instructions to make the procedure smooth.
During the Procedure:
Anesthesia: Local anesthesia, sometimes with sedation, is administered to perform cheek augmentation procedures, to numb the area of the treatment. In some cases, general anesthesia may be used.
Incisions: This depends on the procedure chosen. For fat transfers and cheek implants, the doctor will need to make small incisions either inside the mouth or on the outside of the cheeks.
Implant Placement or Filler Injection: After incisions, the next step is implant placement. If the patient is getting dermal fillers then this is when the practitioner injects the filler into the cheeks, sculpting them into the desired shape.
Closing Incisions: Once the implants or fillers are in place, the surgeon will use sutures to close the incisions (other methods may be used too)
After the Procedure:
Recovery Room: Immediately after the procedure, the patients remain in the recovery room to be monitored until they can be discharged.
Swelling and Bruising: There may be symptoms such as swelling and bruising soon after the procedure. Patients can apply ice packs to the treated areas to help reduce swelling and bruising.
Pain Management: Besides swelling and bruising, patients can experience some discomfort after the procedure. This can be managed with over-the-counter pain medications or medications prescribed by the surgeon.
Follow-Up Visits: Follow-up appointments with the surgeon are important to ensure the patient is recovering as expected and to detect any complications early.
Restrictions: The surgeon will issue instructions for post-operative care, including restrictions on physical activity and recommendations for diet and nutrition.