What Is Involved In Getting Cheek Implants?

Q : I am interested in cheek implants but am not looking for a drastic change, just enhancement. I want to look better but have people not be able to tell what is different. I have a few questions. What is the recovery time from work and  physical activity (running and cross training/weight lifting)? Are the implants inserted from the mouth and fixed to the jaw? Do cheek implants inhibit ability to smile? Approximately what  % of patients are happy with the cheek implant procedure?

A: Cheek implants are done as a simple 1 hour outpatient procedure. They are inserted through the mouth and secured to the bone with a screw. There are no restrictions of any kind after surgery. While you will have some cheek swelling (but no bruising), there is nothing you can do from an activity standpoint that will hurt the implant or their position on the bone. One can eat and drink right after surgery. Pain is very minimal although usually there will be some temporary numbness of the cheek skin and a little bit of the upper lip. Cheek implants will not change your ability to smile or how your smile will look. Initially, your smile will feel a little stiff but that is due to the swelling. The vast majority of patients who receive cheek implants are happy but I also feel that it is the one facial implant that undergoes higher revision rates than all others due to inexperience in placing them, size and position selection, and style of implant used. It is a simple procedure to do but there is definitely an artistic flair to doing them well.

 Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana