The cheek is the zone between the bottom of the lower eyelids and the upper jaw line. A full cheek is referred to as “high cheek bones” and is associated with beauty and youth, whilst a flatter cheek produces a hollower looking face.
With aging, the soft tissues over the cheek descend into the face, and this creates hollows under the eyes.
Some people have very flat cheek bones, and this creates a hollow looking face or bulging appearance of the eyes.
Surgery to the cheek is in 2 groups:
- Lifting the cheek
- Increasing cheek volume
- Combined lifting and volume increase
There is no one best type of surgery, and any approach must be individualised to the face.
This refers to lifting the skin, fat and muscle of the cheek to reduce the hollow that appears below the lower eyelid. Surgery proceeds from a small incision below the outer corner of the eye through which the tissues are lifted. Great care is taken NOT to remove too much skin, which causes the eyelid to droop permanently.
Cheek volume augmentation
This is a procedure where a filler or surgery is used to improve cheek volume.
Fillers are a great first step due to simplicity and minimal down time. Because the cheek tissue is soft and mobile, care must be taken to place the filler in the appropriate position to ensure it doesn’t move. Injectable fillers are carried out in office with small amounts of local anaesthesia. This works well for subtle improvements to cheek volume. Cheek fillers require top-up every 12 months or so.
When the cheek is particularly flat, as occurs with underdeveloped cheek bones, surgical implants provide a greater increase in volume and a permanent result. The one-off cost for surgery is offset by the lack of need for regular fillers.