Cheek Augmentation (Malarplasty) Surgery
Prominent, full and high or “chiseled” cheeks are aesthetically pleasing because they help to keep our face in balance and give us a healthy and youthful look. Not everyone has strong cheekbones with adequate underlying soft tissue, which can lend to a face looking out of proportion and making a nose and/or chin look larger than actuality. A flawed and inadequate cheek structure may give the appearance of heaviness in the lower face and an aged look of the under eye area. Cheek Augmentation Surgery works to reverse asymmetry in the face, restoring and or creating a youthful and proportionately pleasing face. It can give balance to an otherwise less defined face or further augment an already existent cheek structure.
Cheek Augmentation and Cheek Implant Surgery has become increasingly popular among both young and older patients. The number of cheek augmentation procedures using injectable fillers has increased at a rapid rate over the past 10 years. Many fillers such as Sculptra®™, Juvéderm®™, Voluma, and also fat injections have been targeted for use in the mid cheek and malar areas.
Augmentation with injectable fillers offers a two-fold benefit. First, the filler elevates the malar cheekbone and adds volume to the mid cheek area for a more contoured look. This result can be equated to Angelina Jolie’s look. The second benefit to augmenting this area with injectable fillers is that there is evidence that filling the malar cheek area helps to elevate the underlying soft tissues of the upper ace. This increased elevation in the upper face in turn pulls up and elevates the lower jowls, flattens out any nasolabial folds and also smooths out the tear trough area eliminating lower eyelid puffiness.
The Cheek Implant Procedure reproduces the effects of injectable fillers, but the result is permanent. One does not have to repeat the procedure to maintain the result, as patients do with injectable fillers usually every 4 to 8 months. The implant procedure is performed under Local Sedation and takes approximately 45 minutes.
There are several implant materials that can be used in this augmentation procedure, which include Silicone, Medpor and Gore-Tex. The most commonly used implant material is Silicone. Why? Silicone has been used worldwide for years and is proven to be safe. Silicone Implants are used in chins, jaws, breasts, cheeks and noses.
What is Cheek Augmentation Surgery?
Dr. Atul’s Cheek Augmentation Surgery uses synthetic or biological materials to augment, or make the malar and submalar structure of the face more prominent and aesthetically pleasing. Dr. Slupchynskyj’s preferred technique involves an oral approach where the incision is made inside the mouth, versus in the hairline or intra-ocular (through the lower eyelid). There are no visible scars in this case and oral incisions heal much quicker.
Benefits of the Silicone for Cheek Augmentation Surgery
A Silicone Implant can be easily removed. Why is this important? If a patient changes his/her mind for any reason about having augmentation, or wants a larger or smaller implant, the Silicone Implant can be easily removed without trauma to the surrounding tissue. This is not the case with Medpor or Gore-Tex Implants, which are both difficult to remove due to tissue ingrowth. This means that the patient’s own tissue grows into the implant. If a Gore-Tex or Medpor Implant needs to be removed, traumatic dissection of the tissue surrounding the implant would need to be performed. With a Silicone Implant, there is no tissue ingrowth. The patient’s tissue forms a capsule around the implant only. A Silicone Implant is more versatile to be modified, reshaped, contoured – in other words, customized – to fit each specific patient’s needs.
When is the Implant Size Chosen?
Prior to any Cheek Augmentation procedure patients consult with Dr. Atul to discuss their objectives and desired result. Many individuals bring photos of other people or celebrities as examples. Dr. Atul and the patient examine which implant size and shape would achieve what the patient is looking for; however, it is only during the surgery that the truly correct size and shape can be selected by Dr. Atul. Sizer implants are first placed in the cheek pocket at which time, Dr. Atul can see if the particular size discussed during the pre-operative phase will achieve the desired result. The patient’s underlying soft tissue anatomy and bony structures must be taken into account and this can only be done during the surgery.
What is the Cheek Augmentation Procedure Technique?
The procedure is performed intra-orally and starts with creating two pockets where the implants will sit. An incision is made above the upper gum line, dissecting down to the bone and elevating the periosteum over the malar bone, extending out just beneath the orbital rim and dissecting onto the zygomatic arch in order to make an adequate pocket where the implant will sit. Once the pockets are created, Dr. Atul uses “sizer implants” to see which implant size and shape fit best considering the patient’s bony and soft tissue anatomy. The “sizer implant” is not the actual implant to be used but is again, one that allows Dr. S to directly visualize which size and shape will best suit the patient prior to inserting the actual implant. It is important to know that implants are always sterile at the time of insertion, as well as all instruments in the operating room. Patients are also given post-operative instructions and antibiotics to help prevent infection. One of the biggest misconceptions about implants is that the larger the implant, the higher the cheekbone. A patient may request the largest implant during a preoperative consultation, when in fact, a small implant will deliver the results they are seeking. The size of the patient’s face, facial structure, and underlying anatomy all come into play when selecting implant size and shape and a surgeon can only understand all factors once the anatomy can be directly visualized. The same size cheek implant will not look the same on everyone, nor achieve the same result!