Who would best Represent an Ideal Candidate for Cheek Implants?
The first requirement is good physical and mental health, without any active diseases or any other pre-existing medical conditions. Many women want to reposition sagging skin upward and outward to fill hollows and depressions. People who most commonly have cheek implants have underdeveloped cheek bone structure or have lost soft tissue and the natural padding of healthy fat – due to normal aging – that normally occurs in the face.
When the tissues and fat dissipate, the skin sags and appears flattened or sunk and may cause folds and wrinkles around the mouth. Many physicians liken the implant to scaffolding because it holds up the collapsed tissues. Dr. Pippin needs to take your medical history and wants to know if you’ve had cosmetic procedures or dental problems in the past.
Where do I begin?
Begin by researching the surgeon you want to use and the procedure you desire. It’s important that prospective patients research and understand different aspects of plastic surgery before going ahead with the procedure.
How are Cheek Implants Performed?
Dr. Pippin makes a small incision near where the implant will be placed. The incision is made either in the crease under your lower eyelashes or inside the mouth where your gums and lips meet. Then, Dr. Pippin creates a pocket in the facial tissue. The implant is inserted and sometimes stitched to more solid internal facial features that lie deeper in the skull. Then, the incision is closed, often with one stitched.
The procedure usually takes 45 minutes to an hour and a half. It is commonly performed alone or in combination with forehead, eyelid, facelift, nasal or chin surgery. Sometimes, cheek implants are designed for reconstructive or rejuvenation. When the most common implant, silicone rubber, is used, supportive tissue eventually forms around the implant after a few weeks. Once fully healed, the implant feels like your normal underlying bone structure.
What Are the Risks and Limitations of Cheek Implants?
Chewing is limited immediately following surgery while a soft food diet is required for several days. The recovering patient should avoid any rough contact, blows or pressure to the cheek or strenuous activity.
You should also have someone else drive you home on the day of the procedure. If you live alone, you should have somebody stay with you at least the first night once you’re home. Make sure to wear a loose blouse or shirt that does not have to be pulled over your face. If you are a smoker, your surgeon may ask you to quit smoking for a time before and after the surgery. Be sure to ask Dr. Pippin if you may eat or drink the night before the surgery.
As with any other surgical procedure, infection may occur. If an infection persists, the implant may have to be moved and replaced later on. Shifting of the implant is another possibility. Should the implant become slightly misaligned, a second procedure may be necessary to reposition it.