Will Cheek Implants Give a Better Facial Structure?

I am 31 and I feel like I need a facelift already. My face is very flat and I look like I am starting to get jowls. Is it because I don't have enough structure to hold my skin up? Do I need cheek implants?

Doctor Answers 9

Cheek Implants vs. Fat Grafting

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A wide variety of facial implants are currently available for the enhancement of the skeletal elements of facial aesthetics. The most commonly used facial implants are used to enhance the profile of the chin and the cheeks. Facial implants very widely not only in shape and style, but also in terms of the materials from which they are fabricated.
My preference is to use structural fat grafting, as much as possible, to enhance facial features. In many cases, the need for a solid implant can be eliminated by the careful and meticulous grafting of a patient's own fat. While the incidence of complications with facial implants is not high, certain problems may develop which require implant removal including infection and implant migration. Bone resorption (bone loss) has also been reported below solid facial implants. Neither of these problems are an issue with structural fat grafting.
The only setting in which I currently use a solid facial implant is for chin implant augmentation. Some patients with a 'weak' chin profile can be adequately improved by structural fat grafting alone. However, when the chin protrusion needs to be enhanced by a half centimeter or more, a chin implant is absolutely required. I prefer to use a soft, flexible, anatomic chin implant that conservatively enhances the anterior projection of the chin in profile. The chin implant is placed through an incision hidden underneath the chin, an area where many people already have a scar from a fall in childhood.
Moderate enhancement of chin projection in appropriate patients can dramatically enhance the profile, in a manner that is completely natural-appearing. It is remarkable how increasing chin prominence in some patients will reduce the apparent prominence of the nose, and restore an overall sense of harmony and balance to facial features.
For enhancement of the cheek bone area, I rely exclusively on structural fat grafting. Careful and meticulous fat grafting not only avoids some of the potential complications of solid cheek implants, but it also allows more precise 'customization' of the aesthetic improvement that can be obtained for each individual patient. It is also my opinion that structural fat grafting produces a more natural-appearing enhancement of the cheek area than what is generally achieved through the placement of solid implants over the cheekbone.
be sure to view many, many before and after photos and speak to former patients before selecting your plastic surgeon. Voluma is another option for creatiung fullness to the cheeks. The reults can last up to two years.

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Facial Definition

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Volume enhancement in the mid-face would improve facial contour and definition. This can be achieved with fillers or cheek implants. I prefer the latter because the implants provide a more permanent result. Although I cannot be certain with the picture submitted, your chin looks a little wide and may also lack projection. A profile view would be helpful. You have a high hairline with a long forehead. Consider a hairline lowering procedure, which would improve facial proportions.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Judging from the photographs you may benefit from volumization of your midface

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Kristen when I observe your photograph and read your concerns I tend to agree with your opinion about midface/check volumization. Physical examination is very important to evaluate the structure support of your face and you may benefit from non invasive fillers to invasive cheek implants. The goal would be to raise the fullness of your face to the malar/side of cheeks area.

Amir Moradi, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Consider Fat Injections or Cheek Implants

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Hi Kristen,

Thanks for submitting a photo makes it a little easier to offer some perspective (a side view and physical exam would be most helpful).
I see what you are saying about the early jowls - but they really are early and 31 is young for a facelift. A"mini-lift" might be an option but I think you would be better served at this point with either fat injections to the cheek or cheek implants.
There are several benefits and downsides to either approach and these are best discussed in person with the Surgeon of your choice.
The goals are the samE though - your mid face or cheek area is flat and lacks anterior projection / definition. Fat or an implant can provide this and since you are young your skin should have enough good tone to it that the early jowls we are seeing would also be improved. You are correct in your idea that your face lacks "structure".
Good Luck,
Dr. Kamran Jafri

Kamran Jafri, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon


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It looks like you could benefit from fillers. This would add volume in your cheeks and other areas to give you a fuller appearance.  

Cheek implants for better facial structure

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A flat appearance of the cheeks is an indication to have cheek implants. This is a cheek augmentation, used to give better cheek structure. At 31 years of age, there is no need for a facelift, and there is no jowling present. Cheek implants are placed through a gingival incision above the upper teeth and can always be removed if necessary.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Cheek and Face Lift for Younger Patient

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You have several options to help rejuvenate your face by adding volume. Consider starting with non-surgical options first, then advancing to cosmetic surgery as necessary.

Injectable fillers or fat injections are the initial treatment for facial rejuvenation for younger patients. Some injectable fillers, such as Sculptra, are placed deep to the skin to add volume. Autologous fat grafting is another method to add volume. Fat is obtained from your abdomen via liposuction. Fat may be used to augment early jowling, nasolabial folds, and cheek areas.

Cheek augmentation with silicone implants is a great permanent solution for facial rejuvenation in the right patient. Cheek implants add volume and increase facial projection and width. Lastly, cheek lift or midface lift is another option to reposition sagging tissue.

Only after a comprehensive evaluation can a plastic surgeon determine the most appropriate option for you. Best of luck.

Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Cheek implants

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Cheek implants are an excellent way to restore upper facial width and projection.  Another way to do this is micro fat grafting.  In your case I would agree that it's volume you need, not a facelift.  In addition fillers in a nasolabial folds and the corners of the mouth will add improvement.

Cheek Implants, Cheek Augmentation, Cheek Enhancement

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Absolutely. I have shaped faces, making them more attractive with Cheek Implants for over 20 years....you just need the proper size and shaped Cheek Implant.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

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.