How much does it really take to recover from dimpleplasty?

Doctor Answers 3

While there is some healing involved, you can return to work the day after a dimpleplasty because there is no external incision

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Thank you for your question. You submitted a question without a photo, asking how long it takes to recover from dimpleplasty.

I can give you some guidance on how I speak to my patients about this procedure. A little background: I’m a Board-certified cosmetic surgeon and Fellowship-trained oculofacial plastic and reconstructive surgeon. I have been in practice in Manhattan and Long Island for over 20 years. Dimpleplasty is an area of focus in our practice to the point where we’ve been recognized by media outlets as an authority in creating dimple, which is a curious development in my practice. People do come from around the world for me to create dimples for them. I’ll explain to you a bit of how I approach dimpleplasty, and what I tell my patients. The timing of this question is interesting because this past week, I’ve done about seven dimple procedures, which is higher than what is typical. The popularity of getting dimples seems to be growing.

The concept is very important to understand, and there are different ways to do this procedure. The concept of cheek dimples starts with the natural opening with people born with dimples in the buccinator muscle. When they smile, there’s this nice dimpling of the cheek which many people find desirable. When we create something like this surgically, we’re creating a connection from that muscle through the inside of the mouth, between the muscle and skin of the cheek. When the muscle contracts when smiling, the cheek pulls in and you get this nice dimple shape.

I explain to my patients the way I do the procedure, initially you are going to have a dimple in the skin present all the time. You’re going to always have this indentation for the next couple of months. For the dimple to hold so when the person smiles it occurs more naturally where the skin indents, you have to make it relatively strong and aggressive to make sure that connection forms. Most people who I have done this for have no issue with this as having a dimple even when they’re not smiling doesn’t interfere with their social or professional life, which I find pretty interesting.

I tell my patients since we’re working in the inside of the mouth, you have to take basic precautions about keeping the mouth clean and avoiding hot liquids after the procedure. Generally speaking, we have patients go back to work the next day after dimple the procedure because there’s no external incision. Everything is done in the inside of the mouth, so there are no stitches or anything on the outside, just the obvious indentation of the dimple.

With healing, what happens over several months is the dimple tends to soften a little so it only occurs when smiling. There can be a subtle indentation there, which you see this in people who have natural dimples, particularly if they’re naturally lean.

In terms of work, be prepared to have the dimple present even when not smiling, so consider this  adjustment for work, life, and whether people would notice around you. In a perfect situation, maybe give yourself a few days, otherwise, like many of our patients, you can go back the next day.

There are different ways to do this procedure, so the doctor you choose will guide with what generally works for them. This is how I basically advise my patients in my practice. I hope that was helpful, I wish you the best of luck and thank you for your question.

New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Dimpleplasty recovery

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You may have some swelling and bruising which will take up tp 4-5 days to go. You will have a static dimple, which means that it shows even if you are not smiling. But over 6-8 weeks, this dimple becomes dynamic and will only show while smiling.

Rajat Gupta, MD
India Plastic Surgeon

Dimpleplasty recovery

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Hey Perla and thanks for your question!

As far as the recovery from dimpleplasty. I've had many patients return to work a few days later. There is still a bit of swelling and discomfort as well as pronounced dimples. 

I don't want my patients doing any heavy lifting or vigorous activity for 2 weeks after surgery. 

Dimpleplasty is a great surgery that actually gets better with time! 

Good Luck!

Dr. Robb

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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.