Cheek implant

Purpose:

To make the cheeks look larger, higher or fuller.

The procedure:

Cheek implants involve surgery and the treatment can take up to two hours per implant, depending on the treatment. The surgeon makes a small cut inside the mouth or under the lower eyelash before inserting the implant. The implant is held in place by the cheek muscles, stitches or metal screws.

There are several different materials used for cheek implants, including:

The results:

Most people find that the shape or definition of their cheeks has changed. Implant results will be semi-permanent if human tissue is used because the tissue will age, or permanent in the case of synthetic implants such as silicone or polythene.

The risks:

General risks associated with surgery - see Considering cosmetic surgery?

Risks can include infection, blood loss, fluid collection, movement of the implant or scarring. You may also experience difficulty talking or smiling for several weeks afterwards.

If the implant is infected or moves, the implant may have to be removed, which is not always a straightforward procedure. See your doctor immediately if you think this has happened to you.

Cheek implants may also alter the symmetry of your face.

Before you start:

Most people choose to have cheek implants because they think their cheeks look flat or sunken - but this may be due to the structure and proportions of your face rather than your cheek muscles. Before considering a cheek implant, talk to your doctor about whether there are any alternatives.

Also see:

Dermal fillers
Fat implant/ fat transfer

Procedure information is copyright Department of Health (http://www.dh.gov.uk. Reproduced under the terms of the Click-Use Licence.