Cheek Augmentation Surgery: What to Expect

Sure, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and true beauty comes from within. But there’s a reason supermodels and celebrities succeed in their industries — it’s the shape of their face. You might be inclined to think it’s the eyes, the lips, or the hair, but it turns out that beauty may boil down to a math equation.

Scientists at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, researched the most aesthetically desirable midface position to help plastic surgeons achieve the ideal balance in facial features. The research revealed a formula called WIZDOM — width of the interzygomatic distance of the midface.

One of the key measurements is the distance between your pupils and your cheekbones, with the goal being 13.1mm. If your cheekbones don’t measure up, Dr. Michael R. Macdonald at Aesthetic Surgery Center in San Francisco, California, can help you achieve that perfect V with cheek augmentation.

About cheek augmentation

When you’re looking to make a change to your face, you have many options. There’s a wide range of aesthetic treatments for different issues: Botox for deep lines, dermal fillers for lost volume, microneedling for textural problems, and lasers for tightening, to name a few.

But when you want a permanent lift that doesn’t fade away, surgical cheek augmentation is the way to go. Dr. Macdonald makes a small incision inside your mouth at your gum line, so you never see a facial scar. He inserts a Gortex or Silastic implant over your natural cheekbones and closes the incision with dissolving sutures. The whole procedure takes about an hour.

If you decide on cheek augmentation, here’s what you need to know.

Expect a meaningful consultation

Before scheduling your cheek augmentation surgery, Dr. Macdonald talks with you about your aesthetic goals. He makes sure you understand exactly what’s possible and what’s not, so you can manage your expectations.

During this conversation, you and Dr. Macdonald discuss the various sizes and shapes of implants that can give you your desired look. But the final decision is made during surgery, when Dr. Macdonald can see exactly how the implants look once they’re in position.

Your consultation is also the time when Dr. Macdonald evaluates your health history and any current conditions that might prevent you from having a safe surgery or healing well afterward.

Expect a surgical procedure

Unlike noninvasive and minimally invasive cosmetic options that can address some of your facial issues, cheek augmentation is surgery, so you need to approach it with that in mind.

This procedure requires general anesthesia, so make sure you don’t eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery, and make arrangements for someone to drive you home when you’re out of recovery.

Expect some down time

Recovery from cheek augmentation takes about 5-7 days for the initial healing and the majority of the post-op restrictions. While some issues may linger beyond that, most clear up within that time frame. Here’s what the week after your cheek augmentation surgery might look like:

First night

You’re likely to have some minor swelling and bruising immediately following your surgery. To ease this, sleep with your head elevated slightly — about 30 degrees — propped up with a couple of pillows. Ice packs can also decrease inflammation and pain.

Take all medications prescribed by Dr. Macdonald for the duration of the recommended dosage.

Day one

Take care not to do anything too strenuous, especially activities that send blood rushing to your face, like bending or stooping. Consume only liquids the first day after your surgery, but don’t drink with a straw. Use ice if swelling is still present.

Don’t bathe in a shower or bathtub; take a sponge bathe instead, carefully washing around the tape over your cheeks for the next five days. Also, brush your teeth very gently and avoid the stitches along your gum line.

Day two and beyond

Switch to soft foods for the next couple of days, and avoid foods that are very sticky or chewy. Continue to sponge bathe and brush your teeth carefully for the next week.

You can reintroduce a regular diet after the fifth day, and you can begin moving around more, such as walking for exercise, but continue to avoid all strenuous workouts for at least three weeks. Avoid swimming for six weeks.

Expect results

Dr. Macdonald is renowned for his artistic and skillful work, so you can expect amazing results that last a lifetime. Your newly sculpted and lifted cheeks alter the way you and others see yourself, whether you’ve chosen the perfect V-shape or the perfect “you” shape.

If you’re intrigued by the idea of cheek augmentation, give us a call or request an appointment online to learn more.

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