The cheeks are a focal point of youth. A youthful look has a full, high cheek. It is not coincident that make up is used to artificially create shadows below the cheek to accentuate this area.
With time the fullness of the cheek begins to descend creating jowls and prominent folds and creases around the mouth. Not only is this seen in the early signs of aging, but with more advanced aging the condition worsens. For other patients their anatomy never had much of a cheekbone. This is often seen with eyes that appear to slightly bulge out and a flat mid face.
For correction of the cheek it really depends on the appearance of the cheeks. For those with minor volume loss but good bony structure, fillers may be an excellent option. These can be customized for the age to create a natural look, but they are only temporary. If the biggest problem is descent of the skin and dropping of the cheek volume, a face lift may be the more appropriate treatment. For those patients looking for a more permanent option, and more importantly those who lack a good bony structure, this is where implants become effective.
There are many different cheek implant options depending on what needs to be corrected. As far as the surgical approach, there are two ways to place the implants. Once option is to make an incision below the eyelid. The drawback with this method is that it does leave a scar which can be noticeable. The other option is to make an incision through the mouth. The nice part about this approach is that it avoids any external incisions. The drawback is that there is a slightly higher risk for infection since you cannot sterilize the mouth. However, with appropriate post operative oral care, this risk is acceptably low.
The benefit of a cheek implant over fillers is that it is permanent with less down time compared to a traditional facelift. Implants can also be used for conditions that lead to facial wasting. More importantly, in those patients with trauma to the face affecting only one side, permanent implants are an excellent option. For those patients with congenital bony deficiencies, this traditionally is the most effective option to create a youthful appearance. All of these methods can be discussed with Dr. Guy at the time of consultation.