Added by Klaudia Grabowska on 06.04.2022

Cheek implants - one of the cheek augmentation methods

Cheek augmentation (cheek implants plastic surgery) is a middle face modification and a type of face reshape surgery. In general, cheeks are usually omitted in face surgeries as upper and lower parts of the face are much more prone to wrinkles and imperfections. However, cheek enhancement is a surgery worth mentioning – it can provide great effects which totally change the face look. Such a cheek augmentation cosmetic surgery can be performed in 2 ways, either with fillers or with cheekbone implants. In this article, we will focus solely on cheek implants surgery.

What are cheek implants?

Cosmetic surgery cheek implants uses silicone implants to reshape cheekbone, create more youthful look and make more angular and fuller cheeks and face look. Cheek implant surgery can also create more masculine or more feminine facial features depending on the expectations. The procedure of cheek implant is performed since the 50s and has greatly developed since then. Nowadays, there are various cheek implant shapes and cheek implant sizes, thanks to which it is possible to perfectly fit an implant to individual facial features. Finally, cheek implants cosmetic plastic surgery can be combined with other procedures, e.g. facelift, rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery or brow lift, thanks to which the results are even more spectacular.

Cheek implants surgery is a reshaping cheekbones with silicone implants.

Reasons to have cheek implants

There are various reasons why people decide to get cheek implants. The most universal reason is a so-called standard of beauty around the world or the beauty standard – it sets some criteria for attractiveness, aesthetics and allure. Many people in the modern world strive for this perfection – yet, this reason should be always well-considered and discussed with a specialist.

The more down-to-earth and much better reasons for cheek implants are:

  • saggy cheeks;
  • thin cheeks;
  • flat cheeks;
  • ageing.

So, if you wonder how to look younger, how to look better and what to do to define / contour your face, maybe cheek implants can help here. At the end, we need to note that cheek implants are also effective in treating face deformities caused by some trauma or accidents – then, their role is to restore the face parts, not just to improve the attractiveness.

What procedures cheek implants combine with?

girl with white bars on her cheeck

Cheek implants surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that can be combined with other plastic surgeries.

Cheek implants surgery is usually a quick, minimally invasive procedure, thanks to which it can be combined with some other plastic surgeries. The main combination includes cheek implants and other facial procedures, as a result of which the facial changes are much more astonishing and eye-catching. So, the popular procedures that can be combined with cheek implants include facelift (both full and mini facelift), browlift, chin reduction / chin augmentation and eyelid surgery.

It is also possible to combine cheek implants with totally different plastic surgeries when people want to address a few problems during one surgery. So, sometimes patients opt for liposuction of e.g. tummy or thighs, fat transfer, or breast surgery (e.g. breast lift or breast reduction) at the same time as getting cheek implants.

If people want to combine cheek augmentation with any other procedure, they can always request for it, but the final decision about combining the surgeries is on a plastic surgeon only. The main criteria here are a patient’s safety and balancing the potential risks. If the requested combination is regarded as safe and “doable” for a surgeon, it is OK to get the procedures done together.

Types of cheek implants surgery

Cheek bone implants can be requested by both men and women. Different implant shapes are chosen for men (they are called male cheek implants or cheek implant men) and for women (female cheek implants) – they vary in their prominency and shape because male cheek implant aims at making a more masculine look, while female cheek implant aims at making a more feminine, contoured face look. All cheek bone implants are silicone implants – it is a medical material, well tolerated by the body and minimally risky.

There is also an official division of cheek implants. There are three main types of cheek implants that are available. They are:

  • malar implants;
  • submalar implants;
  • combined malar and submalar implants.

The role of malar implants is to correct the cheekbone deficiency. These implants are placed directly to the cheek bones. The results of placing a malar implant include a higher-arched bones, well-defined face profile and cheeks augmentation. Submalar implants, on the other hand, are placed below the most prominent cheekbone portion. Submalar cheek implants correct a cheekbone deficiency and flatness. As a result, the cheeks get fuller, more youthful and well-shaped. Combined malar and submalar implant address both the cheekbone and the fleshy portion below it.

girl with glitter on her face

Malar and submalar implants are the main types of cheek implants.

 

Cheek implants alternatives

girl looking to the mirror

Dermal fillers and fat transfer could be a good alternative for cheeck implants.

There are some other ways of augmenting and enhancing the cheeks than cheek implants.

The most popular method are dermal fillers. It is a non-invasive, relatively cheap and totally safe method providing immediate effects. The results of cheek augmentation filler can last from 6 to 24 months, which means that in order to maintain the results, people need to get cheek enhancement fillers regularly.

As for the fillers substance, a very effective filler is the one containing hyaluronic acid, so if there are various filler types offered, the hyaluronic acid fillers should be definitely considered. The effects of cheek implants vs fillers can be comparable, so if people look for a cheaper or non-surgical alternative to cheek implants, cheek enhancement with fillers is the best choice.

Another alternative to cheek implants is cheek fat transfer. Fat grafting is a surgical procedure, where the fat is extracted from one body part (e.g. tummy, hips, thighs) and injected into cheeks. Fat transfer to cheek can be done under either local or general anaesthesia.

As for the fat injection cheeks effects, it adds much volume to the face and shapes the cheeks. Naturally, some amount of cheek fat graft is absorbed after the procedure, so a surgeon always injects more fat than is actually needed. The effects of fat transfer to cheeks usually remain for 18-24 months.

Cheek implants candidate

The good candidate for cheek implants is a person who:

  • is in good physical condition and good health;
  • apart from staying healthy, candidates should keep stable weight;
  • also their face skin needs to be relatively strong (it may be impossible to put implants to thin cheeks) and flexible;
  • patients should also check whether they do not have problems with ears or hearing and bones, as these conditions often make the surgery impossible;
  • has realistic expectations towards the procedure and its effects – being emotionally ready for this surgery is a prerequisite for being qualified for it; setting realistic expectations helps understand the idea of the surgery and prevent dissatisfaction when the look is still not “perfect”;
  • suffers from ageing – when patients have deepening nasolabial folds, sagging jowls, saggy cheek skin, flat cheeks or hollowed-out cheeks, they can greatly benefit from cheek implants;
  • has weak and non-defined cheeks – implants can make cheeks fuller, shaped and contoured;
  • do not smoke – smoking disturbs healing and greatly increases the surgery risks; some plastic surgeons refuse to perform the surgery when patients admit they are not able to quit smoking.
young man in glasses and stripped blouse

The best candidate for cheek implants is a healty non-smoker with aging skin.

Cheek implants contradictions

There are some contraindications to cheek implants which make it impossible to perform this surgery at the given time. They include poor health and some health conditions, e.g. active infections, uncontrolled chronic diseases (e.g. cardiac problems, hypertension), or bleeding disorders causing wound healing problems. In fact, any health problems that can get intensified or complicated after applying anaesthesia may disqualify patients from getting the surgery.

What’s more, active smoking may be also a reason for not doing the surgery. A smoker is much more prone to develop post-op complications and side effects than non-smokers. Patients should totally stop to smoke for at least 4 weeks before and after cheek implants, otherwise they might not get qualified for the procedure.  Other contraindications may include bad skin condition (too thin skin) or having unrealistic expectations.

girl looking in to mirror

Having unrealistic expectations would be a contraindication to cheek implants surgery.

Before cheek implants

There are some tips and guidelines for patients before cheek implant surgery. Every patient needs to follow them to minimise the risk during and after the surgery. The most important pre reoperative instructions and tips are listed below.

TIME


INSTRUCTIONS


4 weeks before surgery


  • stop smoking (it is the final time to quit smoke);

  • take care of hydration, drink at last 2,5 litres of water a day regularly;

  • follow a healthy diet (it will help your body to heal after the surgery and will speed the recovery);


2 weeks before surgery


  • stop taking certain medications, e.g. taking Aspirin, Alleve, ibuprofen or other NSAIDs is forbidden;

  • any supplements or herbs cannot be taken from that time; also diet pills are not allowed;

  • patients should be careful about Vitamin E intake, too much of this vitamin can trigger the post-op complications;

1 week before surgery


  • fill in the necessary medical history form;

  • do required medical tests, full physical exam, gather medical history documents;

  • do the shopping (including healthy groceries, special cosmetics, prescribed meds, painkillers);

  • do not take any medications without a plastic surgeon’s permission from this stage;

  • check your skin quality (usually the final facial skin quality assessment can be done by a plastic surgeon);

  • do the final check of the treatment plan, costs, dates, hospital admission, etc;

  • any infection, cold, cough should be reported to the surgeon;

  • organise a work / family / social life - patients will need 1-2 weeks of rest post-op;

  • do not drink alcohol from this stage;

The day of surgery


  • take photographs of your cheeks, so that you can compare your look before and after the surgery;

  • do not eat or drink anything;

  • do not put any make up, lotions or perfumes on the skin, hair and face of course, just wash the face with antibacterial soap a night before the surgery;

  • do not take any medications without a plastic surgeon’s permission from this stage;

  • do not wear contact lenses;

  • wear comfortable loose clothes, no jewellery or any valuables;

  • remember to bring all documents (including patient medical history) to the hospital;

  • try to relax and think positive!;

Cheek implants procedure

Cheek implant surgery, if performed separately, can take about 35-50 minutes. On the consultation before the surgery (usually on the same day or a day before), a surgeon and a patient fit various implants sizes and shapes and choose the best one which can guarantee the requested changes and results. The chosen implants are soaked in the antibiotic substance before the surgery.

The surgery starts with applying the anaesthesia. It is possible to use both local anaesthesia and general anaesthesia. The choice is made before the surgery and depends on a patient’s condition, health, age, and complexity of the surgery. When the anaesthesia starts working, a surgeon makes an incision. The incision lines go through either the lower eyelids or the upper lips. When the surgical incision lines are made, a surgeon creates a pocket / tunnel, through which an implant is inserted. After implant placement, a surgeon holds the implant in place using the muscles, metal screws and stitches. Finally, the surgical wound and incisions are closed with surgical stitches. Usually, dissolvable sutures are used, which means that they naturally dissolve on its own.

The surgery may look slightly differently when it is combined with other facial surgeries. Then it is longer and general anaesthesia must be applied. Also, when cheek implants are combined with facelift, they are inserted through the incisions made for facelift.

man before surgery

Cheek implant surgery, if performed separately, can take about 35-50 minutes.

Cheek implants recovery and aftercare

The post-op recovery after cheek implants performed under general anaesthesia lasts about 2 weeks only, which is really short comparing to other plastic surgeries. The first 48 hours is the time when patients should get rest and avoid any physical activity.

The post-operative instructions and aftercare instructions include the following:

  • wear compression garment or bandage as recommended by the surgeon;
  • keep sterile gauze dressings to avoid infections;
  • some patients have surgery drains, if you have drains, make sure you know how to keep their hygiene;
  • take all medications and antibiotics as prescribed, also take pain killers in case of acute pain and discomfort;
  • maintain the good mouth hygiene, it is a post-surgical must-do, especially if the incisions go through this area;
  • start increasing the physical activity level no sooner than a week after the surgery, contact sports can be implemented after 6-8 weeks;
  • swelling and bruising in the operated area can continue for 1-2 weeks, after that time, it should gradually disappear;
  • take care of your physical and mental health – avoid stress, have a positive attitude, get nutrition, follow a healthy post-operative diet (liquid diet is not necessary);
  • keep the recommended sleeping position (sleep on the back only during the recovery so that there’s no pressure on the cheeks);
  • if there are any worrying symptoms during the healing process that disturb the smooth recovery, contact the plastic surgeon and report all the concerns.
smiling surgeon in mask, gloves and cap

Follow all the medical post-op care guidelines is crucial for receiving the best cheeck implants result.

 

Regarding the cheek implants plastic surgery aftercare and surgical wound healing, patients need to follow all the medical post-op care guidelines. It is normal that patients feel soreness for the first few days. Also, there may be numbness in the cheek areas – it is caused by the skin which is stretching to accommodate the inserted cheek implants. After a few days it should all be getting back to normal. However, patients should remember that even if they feel perfectly OK after a few days, the recovery and healing is still not over, and they should not ignore any recommendations given by the surgeon.

Cheek implants pros and cons

Listing the pros and cons of cheek implants is very helpful for those who are not sure about their decision and need to weigh advantages and disadvantages in order to see whether the surgery is in fact a good decision. So, below we describe the most important pros and cons of cheek implants.

Pros

The pros of cheek implants include the following:

  • fast results – the effects are immediate and thanks to the short recovery, the final visual results come really fast;
  • the surgery is reversible, which means that when patients feel they do not want the implants any more, they can be removed;
  • the results are permanent;
  • cheek implants make an attractive face shape and generally make an attractive face;
  • thanks to the fast result, patients can enjoy the improved confidence and psychological well being just after the surgery;
  • patients get youthful look, young appearance and aesthetic appearance of the face;
  • there’s only minimal scarring;
  • cheek implants are the minimally invasive surgery, thanks to the modern techniques, it is minimally invasive surgical procedure.

Cons

As for the cons of cheek implants, they include:

  • there may be post-surgical complications;
  • sometimes, there are poor aesthetic results, not satisfying effects;
  • patients may experience silicone implants side effects.

Most of the cheek implants disadvantages are connected with the post-op side effects and complications. We elaborate on this aspect in the next section.

Cheek implants side effects, complications and risks

A patient must always be aware of the plastic surgery risks and complications. Realizing potential surgery risks helps patients make a mature, well-considered decision about the surgery. The cheek implants plastic surgery risks and dangers and potential post-surgical complications include:

  • infection of the operated sites (of the open wounds or the healing wounds);
  • anesthesia risks;
  • thick scarring or visible scarring (yet visible scars in cheek implants are very rare);
  • silicone implants side effects (implants are a “foreign body” which is inserted and sometimes the body may defend itself against it causing some allergic reactions or cheek implant infection);
  • cheeks asymmetry caused by e.g. implant displacement;
  • hematoma;
  • blood clots;
  • lumpiness;
  • fluid accumulation;
  • fat necrosis;
  • inflammation;
  • long-term skin numbness (short-term skin numbness after surgery is normal, yet it should last only for a few days);
  • slow wound healing;
  • bleeding;
  • long-term cheek implants swelling (any swelling that lasts over 2 weeks should be checked by the doctor).

Finally, we need to note that the serious plastic surgery risks and cheek implant complications happen very rarely. Usually, side effects that patients experience are not serious and can be well-controlled by a patient or a doctor. It is just important to report any cheek implants complications to the surgeon because in the vast majority of cases, a quick reaction allows for a fast overcoming the problem.

girl touching her cheek

Any cheek implants complications should be reported to to the surgeon.

Cheek implants cost

A cheek implant cost is defined by a variety of factors. The most important one is the material cost. To perform the surgery, a surgeon needs silicone implants, so the cost of cheek implant is the main component of the total procedure price. Usually, the cost of implants is set by the manufacturers and is fixed regardless of the clinic or region. Various manufacturers may set different cheek implants cost options, hence it is particularly important to check whether the chosen implants are certified and approved by the international authorities.

Other cheek implants UK cost components include:

  • a surgeon’s fee;
  • anaesthesia used;
  • hospitalization and medical care;
  • medical test or x-rays;
  • medications.

These elements of cheek implants cost UK vary between the clinics and may greatly influence the final cost of the surgery. To give an example, a world-class experienced surgeon may require two or three times higher fee than an average plastic surgeon, so obviously the surgery cost is much higher then. Or in some clinics, the medical tests or medications are not included in the cost at all (it is paid extra), so the cost of the surgery seems to be lower than in the clinics which include these aspects into the final cost. So, to make a reliable price comparison, patients should also note what is included in the price given by the clinic. Taking into consideration the above, how much do cheek implants cost UK?

GB flag

The cost of cheek implants UK is 5500 GBP on average.

Cheek implants UK

The cost of cheek implants UK is 5500 GBP on average. The prices may vary around the country – in big cities the costs tend to be relatively high, e.g. cheek implants London can cost roughly 6000 GBP, while in small towns, the costs may be lower, yet the quality can also be lower then. So, finally, it up to a patient whether to look for the cheapest surgery or for a good-quality guarantee. It is always a hard and individual decision.

Of course, there are some great small clinics and skilled young surgeons who can offer top-quality cheek implants, it is just important to do the deep research. Finally, there’s good news for all patients who still seek for the best quality of the surgery, but cannot afford to pay the offered prices – these are cheek implants abroad. It is a very popular trend which makes it possible to pay twice less for the surgery and opt for the best surgeons in a given country.

Cheek implants abroad

Getting plastic surgery abroad is really popular and easy. The main reason for medical travels are the plastic surgery abroad prices, which are amazingly low. Patients coming from the UK, Ireland, the USA, Germany, Iceland, Sweden, Norway or Canada can pay 2 or 3 times less for cheek implants than in a home country when they decide to come for the surgery to e.g. Poland, Turkey, Lithuania, Mexico, Thailand or Czech Republic.

Such a low cost of the surgery makes it possible for patients to choose the best cheek implant specialist and the best private clinic. Most of medical tourists admit that the best cheek implant surgeon in their home country is totally unattainable due to the high cost.

What are the other advantages of getting cheek implants abroad?

Medical tourism has become a flourishing business, in which companies and clinics compete and in order to survive, they need to offer the best standard, top quality, renowned surgeons and low prices of course. It all works to patients’ advantage. What’s more, many companies and clinics offer plastic surgery abroad packages dedicated to medical tourists – they cover the accommodation, airport pick up, local transfers, flights, or even local trips and dedicated medical travel insurance. As a result, the trips are well-organised, safe, comfortable and easy.

Cheek implants Poland

Poland is a very popular destination for medical tourists, especially those coming from the European countries. Plastic surgery Poland is known for its great quality and low cost – plastic surgeons there are world-renowned specialists regarded as one of the most skilled and well-educated in the world, also the private hospitals and clinics pride themselves on the top quality and highest standard of the services. Plastic surgery in Poland prices are often twice as cheap as in the UK, Germany or Scandinavian countries – the average cost of cheek implants in Poland is 1450 GBP (which is 3 times less than in the UK).

The reasons why Poland is a great destination for getting cheek implants include:

  • the affordable prices;
  • top quality of the surgery and medical care;
  • great plastic surgeons;
  • safety (it concerns the health care regulations as well as county geopolitical situation);
  • accessibility – hundred of flights with European cities, also there are direct intercontinental flights;
  • all inclusive packages – including the medical and touristic aspect of the trip;
  • medical insurance dedicated solely to medical tourists;
  • great touristic value of Poland – it’s a great place for a city break or holidays.
night Warsaw

Plastic surgery in Poland prices are often twice as cheap as in the UK

 

Cheek implants Turkey

Turkey is another country that deserves to be mentioned – this country is well-known on a medical tourism map. In general, Turkey is particularly famous for excellent hair transplant and dentistry, however plastic surgery Turkey is also a great choice. Every year, Turkey is visited by thousands of medical tourists from European, American and Asian countries.

Plastic surgery Turkey prices are said to be one of the lowest in the whole world, the cost of cheek implants there can be as low as 1100 GBP. What’s interesting, plastic surgery Turkey (Istanbul) prices usually include full all inclusive package with the accommodation in a luxury hotel, private airport pick up and local transportation. As for the quality of medical care, there are very good clinics that follow all the international health care standards, there are also great plastic surgeons. We just advise patients to always verify the clinic, and it’s standard before making the final decision.

Finally, Turkey is a perfect destination from the purely touristic pint of view. It is a country located on the edge of Europe and Asia – hence, it is a mixture of cultures and traditions. Thanks to its climate, it’s a great place to spend summer or winter holidays, it has hundreds of popular holiday resorts. So, combining cheek implants with short holidays in Turkey is a perfect idea.

Istanbul

Plastic surgery Turkey prices are said to be one of the lowest in the world.

Cheek implants reviews

Checking cheek implants reviews is an important stage in the process of choosing a surgeon and a clinic. Nowadays, there are so many sources of opinions, websites where patients share their thoughts and social media that it would be unwise not to check them.

It is especially important when patients choose to go abroad for the surgery, then the opinions are very helpful and informative. There’s no better recommendation as for the clinic or surgeon than positive feedback from satisfied patients. On the other hand, negative reviews should also make patients reconsider their choice and double-check the clinic credibility.

Before and after cheek implants

Cheek implant before and after photos are another way of checking the clinic and especially plastic surgeon. Each patient should look for cheek implants before and after pics to see what results can be achieved thanks to the surgery and to verify the surgeons’ skills.

Usually, clinics have no problem with sharing cheek implants before and after pictures, such cheek implants photos can be also available on surgeons’ websites. It is a great form of marketing and advertising, so hospitals want to boast about spectacular cheek implant before after images.

Summary

Cheek implants are a facial modification, in which cheeks are resized, reshaped and filled. As a result, the whole face gets new contours, profile and facial features. This surgery can also treat some asymmetry problems or trauma effects.

Usually, cheek implants are not covered by the NHS, meaning that patients need to pay the full cost of the surgery. The price for this procedure in the UK may be too high, hence we advise patients to consider getting cheek implants abroad. Such countries as Poland and Turkey offer much cheaper cost for medical services, still maintaining the top quality and highest standards. If you are interested in cheek implants abroad, contact Clinic Hunter – we offer free help in organising medical trip and finding the best clinic in a requested country.

smiling girl

Contact Clinic Hunter – we offer free help in organising medical trip and finding the best clinic in a requested country!

Sources

“Cheek Augmentation Cost.” American Society of Plastic Surgeons, https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/cheek

Keyhan, Seied Omid, et al. Integrated Procedures in Facial Cosmetic Surgery. Springer International Publishing, 2021.

Khan, Aayesha, and Laxmeesh Mike Nayak. “Aesthetic Cheek Implants.” Midfacial Rejuvenation, 2011, pp. 105–115., https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-1007-2_9.

Mendelsohn, Jon, et al. Your Complete Guide to Facial Cosmetic Surgery. Addicus Books, 2004.

Niamtu, Joe. “Essentials of Cheek and Midface Implants.” Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, vol. 68, no. 6, 2010, pp. 1420–1429., https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joms.2009.12.004.

Patel, Sagar, and Russell Kridel. “Cheek and Chin Implants to Enhance Facelift Results.” Facial Plastic Surgery, vol. 33, no. 03, 2017, pp. 279–284., https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0037-1598055.

Schatz, C.J., and D.T. Ginat. “Imaging of Cosmetic Facial Implants and Grafts.” American Journal of Neuroradiology, vol. 34, no. 9, 2012, pp. 1674–1681., https://doi.org/10.3174/ajnr.a3214.

Klaudia Grabowska

Klaudia started to work for Clinic Hunter many years ago, just after graduating from the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin in Poland and since that time, this job has become her biggest passion and inspiration.

She has gained necessary expertise and experience by serving patients from all over the world (mainly the UK, Scandinavian countries, and the USA), taking an active part in numerous live and video trainings with clinics in Poland, Hungary and Turkey, participating in international medical tourism conferences and events, and completing internal Clinic Hunter courses. Now, Klaudia is an accomplished patient advisor specialising in such fields as dentistry, plastic and bariatric surgery and hair loss treatment. Her main idea is helping people nad making their lives better, that is why this job brings her so much satisfaction and joy.

In private, Klaudia is a bike-tour lover. She travelled to over 25 countries and many of them she visited by bike. However, now she spends every spare moment with her little son.

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