Malar augmentation is a procedure used to help balance and redefine the contours of the mid-face region. Cheek implants may be positioned in order to create more prominent and striking cheekbones. For the patient that is experiencing aging changes that have contributed to a flattened, hollow appearance of the cheekbones, “submalar implants” are used in facial rejuvenation. As we age, the natural fat pads of the face start to descend below the cheekbones. A lower lid eyelift will usually help in repositioning those fat pads but sometimes, a malar augmentation is required to balance the face to regain its more youthful appearance. The results of cheek augmentation can be very dramatic or a subtle lift of a mature, sagging mid-face.
Cheek augmentation is performed by Dr. Hand in our accredited Marin County outpatient surgical facility. The insertion of cheek implants is often combined with other facial rejuvenation procedures such as facelift or eyelid lift. General anesthesia is recommended. When the procedure is done alone, most often the implant will be inserted via small incision above the upper gums. A pocket is created under the skin but above the cheekbone. Dr. Hand will utilize different sizers to ascertain the correct size and projection that will enhance and redefine the face. The implant is sutured in place and will be unmovable after a few weeks.
During simultaneous facial procedures, the implants are usually inserted through another surgical site such as a lower eyelid incision occurring during a lower lid blepharoplasty or a facelift incision occurring in front of the ear.
Recuperation and Healing
Most patients will be able to return to normal activities within several days unless concurrent procedures have also been performed. The majority of swelling and bruising resolves within a week. Discomfort is usually minimal and easily controlled by oral medications. Careful consideration not to dislodge the implant is given for 2 weeks.
In addition to cheek augmentation, Dr. Hand may suggest other procedures to rejuvenate the face such as facelift, rhinoplasty, eyelid lift or chin implant based on the facial anatomy and desired results.