Know All About Cheekbone Surgery


How To Reduce Cheek Fat?

People with uneven facial contour, hollowness of cheekbone or excessive outward bulging of cheeks . So, cheekbone surgery can be performed to make your face look even and balanced. People can suffer from facial injuries which might dislocate the cheekbone either fully or partially. To cure such injuries a surgery is needed. People with a flat and very wide face may also be looking for a solution to change the contour of the face. The extra cheekbone can be shaved off, leaving behind a well sculpted facial appearance.

What Is Cheekbone Surgery?

Cheekbone surgery is a treatment usually undertaken by patients who require a modification of their facial features. Another reason could be to repair the damages or defects that resulted from injuries or some medical conditions.

The changes in the cheekbone can be achieved either through cheekbone augmentation or through the surgical reduction procedure. The patient’s facial structure and cosmetic needs are analysed and a procedure is chosen out of these two. Both the procedures are conducted under the dose of general anesthesia along with IV sedation. 
People with different facial structures and varying elasticity of skin, from teens to adults undergo this procedure every year. People may also get it done multiple times to achieve the desired level of perfection.

It is also called instant cheeks, cheek lift, cheek reduction and augmentation.

Who Are The Ideal Candidates For Cheekbone Surgery?

People who are not happy with their facial features, have too much fat on their cheeks, or want high cheeks.

Cheekbones also support the eyeballs. Any damage to the cheekbones might also affect the eyes. Thus, this procedure can be performed for people who suffer from cheekbone injuries. The patient’s eyes can be saved without any damage to them.

People with high buccal fat are ideal for this procedure. For these people, removal of fat from their cheeks during the surgery does not cause problems when their skin starts shrinking due to ageing.

What Are The Different Types Of Cheekbone Surgery?

Cheekbone lift can be achieved in one of the following ways:

Injectible Fillers: Hollow or underdeveloped cheekbones can be lifted using injectable fillers. Fillers come in both temporary and permanent variants. Most people choose temporary fillers at first. The effect of these fillers lasts up to 2 years after which the treatment can be repeated or the patient may opt for permanent ones.

Lipofilling: You may refer to this kind of operation as a transplantation of patient’s own fat. Surgeons gather fat from the hips, or tummy, and transplant it to provide more volume and structure to the cheeks or the face in general. This is a permanent solution and the patient can be discharged right after the procedure.

Implants/Prosthesis: Cheekbone implants come in different shapes and sizes. The surgeon will use the implant based on the patient’s expectations and his/her structure. These are inserted through an incision in the mouth under local anesthesia or intravenous sedation. These implants are permanent and feel almost natural on touch as well as appearance.

Cheekbone Reduction: Conducted under the effect of general anesthesia, cheekbone reduction procedure involves adjustment of both the body of zygoma (frontal cheekbone) and the zygoma arch (lateral part of cheekbone). Incisions are made in the mucus membrane inside the mouth and in front of the ear for both these parts respectively. The extra amount of bone is cut with a saw and both the zygoma and the arch are moved inwards. There are fixed with screws and plates and incisions are sealed with dissolvable sutures.

What To Do Before A Cheekbone Surgery?

  • Before the surgery, the surgeon conducts a few tests to check is the patient is eligible for the procedure or not. The doctor takes the blood samples, checks BMI and bone density.

  • Patients are generally instructed to give up smoking and drinking alcohol a few weeks before the surgery. Consumption of alcohol or smoking might cause irregularity in blood flow by constricting vessels, which can lead to complications during the surgery. It can also prolong the recovery time.

  • It is made sure that the patient is not suffering from any diseases related to blood or immune system. These diseases increase the risk of complications and slow down the healing process.

What Is The Post Procedure Care For Cheekbone Surgery?

  • The patient might need to stay in the hospital for one night following the surgery or he/she might be discharged the same day. Generally, X-rays of the modified cheekbone, eye tests, etc. are conducted after the surgery to ensure everything is well.

  • As the procedure is performed under general anesthesia, its effect may last for a few hours after the surgery. Thus, the patient should arrange for someone to drive him/her to the residence. The patient should not drive any vehicle or sign any legal documents for the first 24 hours after the surgery.

  • Painkillers are prescribed to curb pain after the surgery. Antibiotics can be suggested in case an infection develops, which is rarely observed. Swelling and bruises fully heal by the second week of the recovery stage.

  • You may resume your job and most of your regular day-to-day activities after 2-3 days of surgery. However, you should avoid strenuous activities like exercises, swimming until you recover completely.

  • The patient should not spend much time under direct sunlight as it can darken the scars in the initial stages of healing. 

What Is The Post-operative Diet For Cheekbone Surgery?

The patient is instructed to have liquid diet only for 2-3 days following the procedure to prevent much movement of your facial bones.

For about a week after the treatment, the patient should only consume soft food items as chewing hard foods might be difficult or cause pain.

The patient should not smoke until he/she fully recovers from the surgery as smoking affects the immune system and might lead to infection at the surgery site.

Consuming alcohol is also not permissible as it might cause thinning of blood, thereby affecting the healing process or causing bleeding or blood clotting problems.

What Are The Realistic Expectations From A Cheekbone Surgery?

  • Every person has a unique facial profile. Your surgeon would advise you on which procedure and technique might suit you best. It is important to realise that the procedure will enhance your features and not perfect them.

  • After the surgery, bruising, numbness and swelling are common, which will subside in 1-2 weeks.

  • The results are permanent, but it can take 6 months before the final result can be seen.

  • A second treatment might be necessary to achieve the desired results, as fat cells do not always grow evenly.  

  • With any procedure, complications may occur, which include bleeding and infections to the filler, but these are temporary and common. 

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Cheekbone Surgery?

  • Pros

  • Cons

  • Flat and sagging cheeks due to ageing can be corrected. Cheek plumpness, volume and definition are restored.

  • Deformities of the cheek due to trauma can be treated to benefit the patient, according to the shape of his/her preference.

  • Prominent cheeks, round/chubby cheeks, and facial asymmetry from birth can be corrected.

  • Facial contour, proportions, balance of face and facial structures are improved.

  • Biodegradable fillers are broken down by the body over time which means that their effect slowly disappears, causing no harm. Their result lasts for upto 2 years, after which the treatment can be repeated.

  • Immediate results are seen with injectable synthetic fillers.

  • Certain complications and minor side effects are expected and are manageable. 

  • The desired cheekbone definition may not suit one’s face. It is important that you discuss your options and various approaches thoroughly before opting for a procedure.

  • Women should have softer and more rounded cheekbones which provide volume, but aren’t angular. The surgeon can shift the cheek lower than intended or overlap the side of the eye region. This might result in wider cheekbones, which are not very feminizing. 

  • Men need angular cheekbones that add more height. These help to balance facial ruggedness and a strong jawline. Preferably, they should be done in conjunction with chin and jaw angle augmentation. Sometimes, inexperienced surgeons may provide a feminine look to cheek.

Who Should Avoid Undergoing Cheekbone Surgery?

People unsuitable for undergoing this procedure are:

  • Chronic smokers and alcoholics: These habits delay recovery, and it is recommended that the patient stops smoking and drinking for at least a few weeks to a few months before and after the procedure.

  • Those with chronic/systemic illnesses like heart diseases, diabetes, etc. As with any surgery, these conditions increase the risk of complications as well as impair healing.

  • Unhealthy weight: Thin people with considerable of fat and high BMI are unsuitable candidates.

  • People who may have an allergy with the fillers or implants used. 

  • In general, the procedure is only meant for those aged 18 and above.

What Are The Alternatives To A Cheekbone Surgery?

Dermal Fillers - Although a majority of patients opt for permanent cheek implants, there are many who go for soft tissue fillers such as Voluma. These fillers are injectable and the procedure takes approximately 15 minutes. Moreover, the cost of fillers is very low and there is no associated recovery period. These fillers can have a life of upto 2 years or more after which you have to get a repeat process.

Fat injections - This is another option if the patient does not want to go for implants. This is a very small and simple surgical procedure. This solution is permanent, whereas fillers are temporary. Fat grafts injected sometimes fail to gain their own blood supply from the surrounding blood vessels in the cheeks. 
Blood supply is needed for the transplanted fat cells to remain active and therefore persist for long.Thus, lack of blood leads to breakdown of the grafts.

Buccal fat removal - In this procedure, the extra fat deposited in the lower part of your face is removed using surgical techniques. This makes your face look more chiseled and attractive. Your cheekbones appear higher than before. This procedure is also permanent. The recovery period may last from a few weeks to months depending upon the amount of fat removed and the facial area treated.

Does Cheekbone Surgery Lead To Scarring?

Scarring is counted as one of the common results that might occur after the surgery. Modification of the cheekbone requires the surgeon to make cuts on your face which might leave scars. These scars fade on their own after some time. In 5-6 months they might even completely vanish. Till the scars do not fully go away, patients can use make up techniques or their hair to hide them temporarily.  

What Are The Temporary Side Effects Of Cheekbone Surgery?

  • Your top lip may feel numb for a while after the operation, but this loss of sensation disappears in a few days. 

  • After treatment, your face will be swollen and may be bruised. It might take upto a few weeks before the final results are visible.  

  • There is always a risk of infection, which is treatable with antibiotics.

  • Asymmetry can happen due to improper placement of a cheek implant can result in shifting, hence choose an experienced surgeon.

  • A correlation exists between anesthesia complications and the use of tobacco, antidepressants, and various other substances, which might also result in excessive bleeding. For this reason, disclosure of any substance use to the surgeon prior to surgery is very important.

How To Choose A Surgeon For A Cheekbone Surgery?  

Facial-contouring surgery requires in depth understanding of facial bone structure, muscles, nerves, and tissues of areas near the bones. 

In addition to the doctor’s certification and credibility, be sure to find out how many years the doctor has been practicing facial/plastic surgery. Also enquire about how much experience he/she has with the particular procedures that you're interested in having done. 

Make sure your surgery will be performed in an accredited surgical facility. This will give you the comfort of knowing that you will still be receiving high-quality personalized care, and that facility is equipped to handle any emergency that might arise.
Your choice of surgeon plays an important role in preventing any facial asymmetry or nerve loss after the procedure. Choosing a well-experienced, licensed medical professional to perform your procedure is equally important. This can easily be judged by their work experience, the validity of their license with the respective medical council of the destination, and their patient satisfaction rates.

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