I am a 39 year old male and have lost a lot of volume in my cheeks and have deep nasolabial lines. Would a cheek implant soften the nasolabial lines or have no effect? Also, I do contact sports, is there a chance of the implants shifting if contacted hard? thanks
Cheek Implants and Nasolabial Folds
Doctor Answers (7)
Cheek lift vs cheek implants
The situation you describe is consistent with the unfortunate aging process. As we grow older, the soft tissue of the cheek sags downward with the force of gravity. Because of tethering of the skin to the deep structures of the face at the nasolabial area, the drooping tissue forms a fold and shadow at the nasolabial crease.
Increasing volume in the cheek area can help this a bit, and alternatively fillers placed to the crease can bulk it up and reduce shadowing. Unfortunately, while both of these procedures improve the symptom of the shadows at the nasolabial fold, neither looks natural or mimics the look of youth.
Literally yesterday I saw two sisters who both came in for Restylane in their nasolabial creases. Both had previously had this procedure performed by another surgeon, and complained of a firm ridge at their nasolabial area. I explained that further injection of foreign body to this area is certainly possible and popular these days, but did not tend to look youthful or natural. I instead showed them how, when a lifting of the soft tissue of the cheek back to its proper position over the natural cheekbone is performed, the entire mid-face is rejuvenated, and the shadows of the Nasolabial fold are improved in a natural appearing manner. Both women decided against further injectables and are planning on getting this more natural appearing, more permanent solution.
I would suggest discussing with your plastic surgeon a cheek lift performed through a lower eyelid incision- this is frequently combined with eyelid surgery and this may be an option for you as well.
Cheek implants to soften nasolabial folds
A small cheek implant placed in the submalar area can have a slight softening effect in the upper portion of the nasal labial lines. The nasal labial lines are best treated with either fascia grafts harvested from behind the ear (done at the same time as a facelift) or a simple injection of Restylane type fillers in the nasal labial folds.
Nasolabial Fold and Cheek Augmentation
Cheek implants will add volume to the upper portion of your cheeks, but will do little to improve the nasolabial folds. I don't recommend implants for patients when there is significant risk of facial trauma, such as those who participate in martial arts. Other alternatives include the use of fillers such as the hyaluronic acids Radiesse,or fat. A cheek lift may also help depending your appearance and the severity of the loss of volume.
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Yes a cheek implant can not only augment your cheeks but can also help with the prominence of the nasolabial fold. An alternative approach is to perform fat transfer to your cheeks. This will produce a similar result to the implant but will use your own tissue. It typically loks more natural, especially as you age.
Loss of volume in face best replaced with fat grafting, and filler for nasolabial folds
With out seeing your face, it is difficult to make a final recommendation but if you have just lost volume in your face and there is no sagging the fat grafting is the best way to restore volume and is long lasting. A deep nasolabial fold can be filled and expanded by many different fillers but the one that does it best and is the longest lasting is Artifile.
Cheek implants for laugh lines
Cheek implants will have little effect on the Nasolabial folds. Implants will give you volume to the middle third of your face and can create an excellent aesthetic result but don't expect your laugh lines to resolve. The implants can move if contacted hard enough but it would really require a lot of force. They should not move (once they are healed) from incidental contact.
Cheek implants lift the nasolabial folds
Cheek implants work well at enhancement of the cheeks and lift the Nasolabial folds. One way to preview what a cheek implant would look like for you is to try a filler first. Radiesse, Juvederm Ultra Plus, Sculptra and Perlane can all be used to fill in this area and give you an idea of what an implant might do for your Nasolabial folds.
Certainly the implant is different than the fillers and can become mispositioned if contacted hard before it heals in to position as well as require some additional filler to obtain an optimal result. I hope this helps. Best wishes.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.