One of the most noticeable aspects of youth is that the face looks full and the curves of the cheeks are ripe and natural. With age, sagging begins in the cheeks and the droop is immediately noticeable in the cheek and neck area. To address this sagging, cheek contouring is used along with implants to retain the youthful volume and curves.
Cheek contouring is also called cheek augmentation. It is usually performed in conjunction with necklift and facelift to improve the overall appearance of the face. Some of the other procedures that are suggested to patients along with this one are chin treatment.
The process of cheek contouring is first explained to the patient. The procedure:
The surgery enhances the volume of the mid-face and cheek area. For this, suitable sized implants are chosen. These are called malar, sub-malar or extended malar implants. Once suitable implants are found, incisions are made from inside the mouth. These may be done near the cheekbone-area. This is called the apple of the face, and the incisions are kept hidden inside the structure of the cheekbone. The incision put in is called the intra-oral Keen incision.
The flesh on the cheekbone is gently separated from the jaw structure and the implant is then attached with the help of tiny screws near the bone. The implant is secured to the cheekbone and this prevents the tissue from moving freely. The incision is then closed off and the incisions will not be visible from the outside. During the healing period, some bruising and inflammation may be observed in the mid-face area. Sutures used to close the incision are absorbable and need not be taken out post recovery.
The first one week post implantation is the most difficult period of the surgery. During this time, some patients report some swelling and a delicate feeling in the mid-face area. After two weeks, the patient can continue her normal activities, and can appear in public as well.