Kate is a thirty two year-old financial analyst. Ever since she was quite young, her face has been relatively flat, concave shaped from the sides and lacks a defined cheekbone. There is some excess facial fat in the front and below the cheeks. The chin is quite weak. All these combined, they create an elongated, oval shaped face. The weak chin creates an imbalance making her nose appear larger than usual. She totally does not like her cheeks, chin, and jaw. She has always wanted to get something done but does not know what. Most people associate beauty with heart-shaped faces with high cheekbones, and full and round cheeks. Unfortunately, some individuals, like Kate, are born with weak or undefined cheeks. This makes them appear older than they actually are. Also, as we age, a massive loss in the cheeks causes the skin and muscle to drop downwards, developing into prominent jowls and facial folds. These hollow cheeks can be a source of stress to many like Kate. However, with the advancement in the cheek implant surgery, individuals with undefined cheeks do not need to endure all the stress. Cheek augmentation can rectify the undefined cheeks, giving them a more pleasing appearance. What is a cheek implant? If you have been wondering what to do with your undefined cheeks, this is the article to read. In this article, you will learn more about cheek implants, their benefits, their average costs and possible side effects caused. First though, let’s understand what a cheek implant is. Cheek implants, also known as malar implants, are performed to permanently accentuate the cheekbones. Cheek implants add body and contour to undefined cheeks. Individuals who have a narrow or flat face, weak cheek structure, or who have lost cheek contour because of aging can benefit from the aesthetic enhancement that cheek augmentation can provide. Customized cheek implants offer balance and proportion to the face. Also, the materials used for implants (silicone, hydroxyapatite) are safe and biocompatible. Hydroxyapatite implants eventually integrate with the underlying bone to become part of the facial structure. Cheek implanting is a comparatively cheap surgical procedure which can dramatically improve the aesthetics of the face. The results of the procedure are controllable and can range from a slight augmentation to a more marked enhancement. There are very low postoperative risks. Megan Denise Fox, the American actress, and model is among the many celebrities that are rumored to have had cheek implants. Types of Cheek Implants Implants come in a range of sizes, shapes, and materials (solid and semi-solid) to match different facial structures. There are numerous types of implants available and the choice depends on your specific anatomy. The common type of implant used is called Medpor (porous polyethylene), but silicone, Gortex and hydroxyapatite (coral) can also be used. Medpor is preferred by most surgeons because it is stable and has predictable results. How much does a Cheek Implant Cost? The total cost of a cheek implant surgery depends on the following factors: The skill and repute of the surgeon performing the procedureThe type of facility where the surgery is performed: ambulatory, office-based or hospital.The geographic region where the surgery is taking place.Anesthesia used.Preoperative medical tests undertaken. Considering the above factors, cheek implants cost can range from $2,400 to $5,000. However, the cost of cheek implants may be greatly reduced if the surgery is done together with another facial plastic surgery procedure. Do cheek implants have side effects? The answer is yes. As with any surgical procedure, small sensory nerves to the skin surface may be cut when the incision is made or when skin is undermined. Portions of your face will feel numb or have less than full feeling. The sensibility in these areas gradually returns, usually within 2 to 3 months as the nerve endings spontaneously heal. During the healing process the skin of the face may become hypersensitive for a period of time. It is recommended that before one decides to go for a cheek implant, she or he should consider several factors such as: The surgeon performing the procedureDisclosure of health conditions and substance use. Failure to follow the recommended preoperative conditions might lead to side effects. These can either be pre-surgery or post-surgery complications. Possible Pre-surgery Cheek Implants Complications: Cheek implants require surgery and anesthesia. There is the risk of an adverse reaction to the anesthesia used in the cheek surgery procedure. A connection exists between anesthesia complications and the use of tobacco, antidepressants, and various other substances. For this reason, the disclosure of any substance use to the surgeon prior to surgery is very important. Possible Post-surgery Cheek Implants Complications: Contour malformations may arise if the implants are not properly positioned.Sometimes a minor deformity may persist following surgery. No one’s face is flawlessly symmetrical; some post-operative asymmetry may be a result of asymmetry already present.Misplacements of cheek implants may result in shifting during the healing period causing asymmetry. In some extreme cases, these may require a second procedure to realign the implant.Some diminished sensibility may last indefinitely.Bleeding is unusual but can occur after cheek augmentation. It occurs in about 1 to 2% of patients and is more common in men.Injury to the nerve that gives feeling to the cheek, upper lip and side of the nose may occur. It occurs in less than 1% of cases. If it occurs, there will be a partial or permanent loss of feeling to that side of the face.Infection is also rare but may occur; prevention is the key and antibiotics will be provided after surgery. If you are unhappy with the results, you can go for revision or corrective surgery. Also, if you are considering cheek implants and you would like to reduce the chance of post-surgical complications, it is recommended to be careful when choosing a plastic surgeon. In addition, you should be aware that all scars are permanent and their height, width, and final color are unpredictable. Conclusion Although implants can be placed in smokers, they may have a higher rate of complications. Cheek implant beneficiaries should maintain good oral hygiene. Also, patients should be realistic. Cheek implants will never make fundamental changes to the shape of your face; a full and round face will turn into a chiseled look. In addition, cheek implants are not the only method of enhancing and plumping cheeks, there are other surgical and non-surgical methods such as dermal fillers which offer a less invasive technique of acquiring fuller cheeks. Lastly, it should always be noted, that before you make a move to have the cheek implant, first consult with a board-certified facial plastic surgeon or dermatologist. She or he will be able to consider your facial anatomy, budget, goals, and preferences, and will suggest an option or range of options that are suitable.