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Cheek Surgery

1) What exactly is cheek surgery (Augmentation & Reduction)?

Cheek surgery is a cosmetic surgical procedure that is intended to emphasize a patient’s cheeks by filling them out, or by reducing the cheekbones.

There are two kinds of elective plastic surgeries, which can be carried out on the cheek. These surgeries are Cheek Augmentation – commonly known as “cheek implants” – and cheek and/or cheekbone reduction surgery, also known as Buccal Fat Removal.


2) What type of cheek surgery is suitable for me?

There are two different types of cheek surgery that can be performed:

Cheek implants (Augmentation)

The cheekbones are reshaped through the placement of an implant into the cheeks. Facial implants are designed to augment, reconstruct, or rejuvenate your facial contours. Most typically, Malar implants are used for cheek augmentation. These are placed directly over the cheekbones to improve the facial contours.

Cheek reduction

Cheek reduction can be achieved through the removal of fat or bone from the cheeks. Buccal Fat Reduction is a surgical procedure that involves removing excess fat from the cheeks to achieve a slimmer, more youthful appearance. Cheekbone reduction is a surgical procedure where bone is removed from the face. Cheek reduction involves removing the overall proportion of the fatty part of the cheeks located underneath the cheek bones. The reduction of the excess fat beneath the cheekbones results in a slimmer overall facial appearance, and often adds to the definition in the cheekbones.


3) Am I a good candidate for cheek surgery?

Some commonly desired outcomes for candidates considering cheek surgery are:

  • Correcting flat cheeks and sagging due to the effects of aging
  • Restoring cheek plumpness, volume and definition
  • Improving a lack of facial contour and fullness
  • Enhancing the definition and fullness of your cheeks
  • Improving facial proportions
  • Restoring contour and proportion to your facial structures
  • Reducing round or overly enlarged or ‘chubby’ cheeks
  • Correcting over-full or prominent cheeks
  • Correcting facial asymmetry or deformities resulting from injury or congenital conditions

4) Do you qualify for cheek surgery?

Adult candidates – whether male or female – are able to have elective cheek surgery once puberty has been passed. Candidates commonly decide to undergo cheek surgery due to concerns that the face is too flat or small. In this case, cheek implants can be very helpful in correcting the issue. Likewise, candidates with concerns about weak cheek definition – either genetically or from age – can benefit greatly from cheek implants.

Ideal candidates for cheek surgery should demonstrate good physical and mental health. Smokers are encouraged to quit several weeks before the procedure to avoid slow healing and potential post-procedure problems. It is also recommended that drinking alcohol is kept to a minimum before and after surgery, in order to avoid complications during surgery and reduce recovery time.

Once a candidate’s suitability for cheek surgery has been determined, Dr. Zacharia will provide consultation to explain the proposed surgery and the variables that may affect the procedure.


5) How much does cheek surgery cost?

The cost of cheek surgery varies, depending on the patient and complexity of the procedure performed. The cost will be inclusive of fees for the physician, anaesthetic, hospital fees, and, if applicable, charges for an overnight stay.

Generally, any surgery performed purely for cosmetic reasons will not be covered by health insurance. In some cases, wherein the procedure is deemed medically necessary – such as the correction of birth defects or damage resulting from trauma – cosmetic procedures may be covered. Patients are encouraged to speak directly to their health service provider to determine the specifics of their policy and confirm insurance coverage.

Book a consultation, request a quote online, or contact the staff at Dr. Zacharia’s rooms today on (02) 9192 1600.


6) How do I prepare for cheek surgery?

During the initial consultation, Dr. Zacharia will discuss the procedure with the patient in detail; outlining possible risks and limitations, the financial costs involved, the patient’s expectations and goals, and the recovery process. He will also conduct a medical examination and assist in preparing the patient both physically and mentally for cheek surgery.

Dr. Zacharia will then provide the patient with an easy-to-read information packet that explains all the required information to be aware of prior to undergoing cheek surgery.


7) Anaesthesia procedure

Cheek surgery is most often performed using general anaesthesia. Dr. Zacharia and his anaesthetist will assist each patient to make the decision regarding which type of anaesthesia is most suitable.


8) About the procedure

Cheek implants (Augmentation)
Cheek implants come in different types, shapes and sizes. Silicone implants do not integrate with your natural tissue and can be removed later. Others, like hydroxyapatite implants, integrate with your bone tissue and are permanent.

Often a cheekbone implant is done together with other facial surgery; in these cases, the implants can be inserted through the incisions already made for the other procedure. If just a cheek implant is required, small incisions are made to insert the implants; these are most often inside the mouth or the lower eyelids. Small spaces are created between the cheek tissue and the cheekbone and the implants are inserted.

Cheek reduction (Buccal Fat Removal)
Patients who feel that their cheeks are too round – giving the appearance of a “chubby” face – can benefit from having fat removed from the cheeks. This fat is known as Buccal Fat. The procedure to remove this fat does not require you to stay overnight in the hospital. Your physician will make incisions inside the mouth, between the cheeks and gums of the upper jaw. He will put pressure on the outside of the cheek, exposing the Buccal Fat through the incisions. The desired amount of fat is then removed, before the incisions are closed with sutures. Incisions are held closed with stitches for approximately ten days. If the incisions were made in the mouth, the stiches will automatically dissolve.


9) What can I expect after surgery?

Patients may feel some discomfort immediately after surgery, which can generally be controlled with pain medication. Total recovery times vary by individual, but each patient will have a post-op appointment scheduled for approximately seven days after surgery.


10) What are the risks and complications involved in cheek surgery?

No surgery is risk free, and as with all procedures there are numbers of potential risks and complications to consider when undergoing cheek surgery. Understanding those risks prior to having surgery is essential.

The likelihood that complications will occur during cheek surgery or the recovery process is very small. This is not intended to be a complete list of possible complications, but rather an overview of the most common risks associated with this kind of surgery:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Scar tissue
  • Erosion of bone by the implant
  • Numbness of the lip
  • Poor movement of the lip
  • Temporary change in speech and asymmetry of the face

As a result of having cheek augmentation, it is possible but extremely rare that scar tissue can grow around the implant and squeeze it, causing it to constrict. This can also cause the implant to change shape, resulting in severe asymmetry of the face and can even cause severe pain. This usually results in the implant having to be removed.

During the initial consultation, Dr. Zacharia will answer any questions and provide detailed information regarding all possible complications involved with the surgery.


11) How long is the recovery time after surgery?

After the procedure, it is normal to feel pain while chewing, and to experience swelling and overall soreness around the cheek area. This will last anywhere from a few days up to a week. Patients may walk around and do light activities the day after the operation.

Swelling can continue to subside over the next few months. In case of cheek reduction, it will take up to four months before the results are visible.


12) How long will I be off work/school?

Patients can expect to return to work a week after surgery, depending on whether any potential risks or complications arise.


13) Will I have visible scars after cheek surgery?

Any time an incision is made in the skin, scarring will form during the healing process. Successful incision healing is dependent on several factors, including:

  • Surgical technique
  • Prevention of infection
  • Reduction of tension
  • Patient nutrition
  • Avoiding smoking (both before or after surgery)

Dr. Zacharia will make every effort to make any scars as inconspicuous as possible. Scarring that results from this kind of surgery are usually small and barely visible. This is dependant on the individual patient, as healing time varies from person to person. On average, patients should see results within two weeks.


14) When will I see the final results?

Swelling associated with cheek surgery typically takes up to one month to dissipate completely, with final result visible up to three months after the procedure.

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