Elevated cheekbones coupled with a full, symmetrical face have always helped to provide the cornerstone of an aesthetically pleasing look. These features have often defined the classic notion of beauty in society.
As we age, these symbols of youth and vitality may diminish, leaving an aged, gaunt quality with sagging skin and a hollowed appearance.
Facial implants, otherwise referred to as cheek implants or malar augmentations, are normally used in an outpatient procedure aimed at improving a client’s worn-down look, thus helping to restore that younger, rejuvenated midface presentation.
The facial implants used in this procedure are made of solid or semi-solid silicone and are designed to reduce hollowness under the cheekbones while enhancing the midfacial contour. They vary in shape and location depending on preference and extent of the procedure. Malar, submalar, or a combination of the two tends to be the variations available.
The most common shape is the facial implant simply known as the malar, which is positioned directly on the cheekbones. Submalar implants are designed for insertion under the cheekbones to add volume to the midface region. This implant is ideal when combating a sunken quality created over time as fat and soft tissue dissipate with age. It’s important to discuss the appropriate shape and material with Dr. ChiChi Berhane.
The procedure begins with placing the patient under general anesthesia to eliminate any discomfort during surgery. After this, incisions are made in the upper mouth near the top of the gum line, where the facial implants are carefully slid into place.
Opting for an intraoral incision (through the mouth) is typically preferred, as it hides the incision. However, some patients prefer an external incision underneath the eye. The downside of an intraoral incision is that warm, moist areas, like inside the mouth, contain high levels of bacteria. As a result, the risk of infection is greater than external options. In the end, the decision is best made by a qualified medical professional following an evaluation.
The entire procedure takes about an hour and a half to complete, and some additional time is required to allow for the anesthesia to wear off. Most patients are allowed to return home the same day, but on some occasions, it may be advisable to stay overnight.
Recovery time is relatively quick compared to most surgical procedures, though it varies from patient to patient. It’s not uncommon to return to work after only a few days, although it’s advised to avoid all strenuous activity for at least two weeks afterwards. Many patients report feeling fatigued a couple of days after the procedure. As with all surgeries, mild bruising and swelling are to be expected.
Dr. Berhane may also prescribe pain medication to help alleviate discomfort in the days that follow. Follow-up visits with the surgeon are important in order to check on the progress of the healing process. A full recovery should only take about two weeks. Afterwards, you should be able to return to life as usual – but with elegant augmented cheekbones. Contact us today for a consultation.