Are customised cheek implants an all around more expensive surgery than off-the-shelf cheek implants?

Being as I'm spending over 4K in dermal fillers every year to maintain the fullness I like in the 1) malar, and 2) Inferior orbital rim/teartroughs close to the sides of nose area, I'm now cautiously considering silicone cheek implants. Do standard cheek implants offer correction to more than one area of the midface? Am I correct in assuming they will cost significantly more than standard cheek implants + surgery? What is the typical difference in price?

Doctor Answers 8

Silicone facial implants

Dear Ladyduck,

Thank you for your question.  Standard cheek implants, in their more advanced form, can cover more than one area of the midface.  There are malar, sub-malar, and combined implants for these regions and reasons.  There are also specific tear trough implants that have also been designed.  Patients can also have custom implants made specifically for them.  These implants will cost approximately 2-3 times the amount of standard implants as they are based off of a CT scan and created specifically for you.  Given the investment that you are continually placing, your consideration of silicone implants is with good merit.  Additionally, given the finances that you are investing annually, you may also consider custom implants as these will take into account subtle variations of the facial skeleton that are not uniform between left and right sides. I hope this helps you to find the best answer for you.

Be healthy and be well,

James M. Ridgway, M.D., FACS

Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 92 reviews

Custom Tear-Trough and Cheek Implants


Tear-Trough Implants are my specialty.  The "off the shelf" tear-trough implants do not provide any augmentation to what people traditionally thing of as the cheek.  In fact, the standard implants only go about 2/3 of the way to the outside corner of the eye.  Implanttech makes a combined sub-malar/tear trough implant that offers some additional filling but it is more below the cheek and it isn't a lot.  I have taken two approaches to patients like you.  One is to simultaneously do a cheek implant and tear-trough implant.  The two implants will overlap, which is tricky, but it does work.  The other, of course, is to use custom implants.  Custom implants are very nice.  They are pricey and bring the total cost of the procedure up to nearly $10,000.  However, the perfect fit is wonderful.  In my hands, I do this procedure entirely through the backside of the lower eyelid.  There are therefore no scars anywhere that anyone could see.  My experience with custom implants is that they do not bruise very much either.

Best of Luck,

Dr. A

Austin, Texas

Louis W. Apostolakis, MD
Austin Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Custom Cheek Implants

Only custom designed cheek implants can be made to go along the infraorbital rim and/or back along the zygomatic arch. No standard cheek implants has this design. They can be made to however the patient wants to augment the midface area. Custom cheek implant costs will be higher as they are designed from a 3D CT scan of the patient which entails additional engineering and manufacturing costs. While they are more expensive they are roughly twice the cost of getting standard cheek implants. In addition, getting standard cheek implants that do not create the desired effect will, in the end, be more expensive than having a custom design initially if the need for revisional surgery arises. 

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Customized cheek implants are much more expensive than off-the-shelf cheek implants

Cheek implants are composed of silastic, and can be custom carved when necessary to match patient's unique anatomy. It's extremely rare to ever have to use a  formal customized cheek implant. A custom  cheek implants is very expensive since a  three dimentional CAT scan of the face required.  In addition, it takes a lot of customized work to manufacture it. Off-the-shelf Cheek implants are manufactured in a large variety of sizes and shapes, and are usually placed through an intra-oral approach under a brief general anesthesia as an outpatient surgical procedure. For more information, diagrams of the implants themselves, and many before-and-after examples, please see the link and the video below

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 143 reviews

Cheek augmentation with implants vs fat grafts

Generally, custom made implants are 5-10 times more expensive because of CT scan, complex 3D printing etc. In most cases when it comes to facial contouring this is not necessary considering diversity of cheek implants available on the market.

However, before making decision about cheek implants you should discuss benefits of fat grafting of the cheek and periorbital area. It is procedure that provides long lasting (3+ years) very natural results if done by an expert plastic surgeon.

You should have a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon with good reputation in facial fat grafting and discuss your options. Good luck.

Zoran Potparic, MD
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Cheek augmentation with Implants

It's not necessary to have customized implants. Cheek implants come in various sizes that can be easily adjusted in volume and shape. The plus side to fillers are they can give you the look of an implant with little downtime.  Cost will always vary with practitioners. I recommend getting a formal evaluation with a cosmetic dermatologist to discuss your desired results and options. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 191 reviews

Are Customized Cheek Implant More Expensive?

Customized cheek implants are more expensive but it is extremely unlikely that they will be necessary. There is a tremendous selection of implants available and these can be modified intra-operatively to meet the needs of each patient.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Spending over 4K in dermal fillers every year to maintain the fullness I like.

 Hi, non smiling photos of your face from the front and side would help with the evaluation. I have performed many facial shaping procedures using dermal fillers, facial implants (cheek, chin), liposuction and/or facelifts for over 30 years. Following the beauty principles outlined in my book on face and body beauty, women look the most feminine, youthful and attractive with heart shaped faces. Heart shaped faces have cheeks that are full and round in the front. Cheek augmentation with a dermal filler or using cheek implants for a permanent enhancement will create full, round cheeks that will feminize the entire face.

Think of facial beauty as something that "must" address all layers of the face including the skeletal structure of the cheeks and chin, the overlying SMAS muscle, amount and position of subcutaneous fat and finally the degree of skin laxity. It's an "urban myth" that pulling tissues over flat cheeks and a weak chin can create a beautiful or handsome face. Similarly, dermal fillers or facial implants alone can't lift and remove excess skin from the face and neck. Natural looking beauty is created by the aesthetic vision of what tissue layers need to be adjusted by what technique and amount.

 I have performed many Cheek Augmentations, using cheek implants, for over 30 years and in all but the most serious facial trauma cases, custom cheek implants are not necessary nor do they offer any aesthetic advantage to the proper placement of properly sized and shaped "stock" cheek implants.  You should seek out an experienced Cheek Implant surgeon with the proper aesthetic judgement as mentioned above.  For women, the cheek implants cover the area beginning about 4 mm's below the lower eye socket, the malar and sub-malar areas.

Hope this helps.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 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.