Will Cheek Implants Improve Nasal Breathing?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in silicone cheek implants (with screws) not only for appearance but also in the hopes that it will help my breathing obstruction on my right side of my nose which is alleviated by the skin stretching that would be enacted by the cheek implant (see last photo). I am interested in the implant being purely in the Zygomatic Arch. Is this something that is possible? My submalar space is already full enough I don’t want it to be more full. 

A: Thank you for your inquiry. What it appears you are seeking is a custom design cheek implants that covers the high malar area and goes back along the zygomatic arch. You did not mention the infraorbital area, which is deficient with your negative orbital vector relationship, so I will assume for now that is not part of the implant design. That can certainly be done and is a common custom implant design in my experience. While it can provide the aesthetic benefits you are seeking, I would not go as far as to say it would provide a functional breathing benefit as the finger maneuver to lift the cheek tissues creates a more powerful effect that what almost an implant on the bone can do.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana