What is cheek augmentation?

Cheek augmentation is a plastic surgery procedure that seeks to improve the overall appearance of the chin. The most common cheek augmentation technique is to insert implants into the cheeks in order to give the cheeks more volume and increase cheekbone definition.

Why cheek implants?

Due to factors like gravity and aging, our skin loses its elasticity and starts to droop and sag. This can result in a loss of volume and your face begins to look sunken and gaunt. Genetic factors could also cause someone to have flatter, less defined cheeks, making them look older prematurely.

What are the benefits of cheek augmentation

There are a variety of benefits to getting cheek implants, including:

  • Higher, more defined cheek bones
  • More contoured facial structure
  • Better overall facial proportions
  • Added volume
  • Biocompatible materials
  • Correction of facial imbalances
  • Permanent enhancements

Different types of cheek implants

Chin implants are usually made from medical grade silicone. A composite material that will naturally fuse with the cheekbones may be used sometimes.

Depending on the patient’s conditions and expectations, cheek implants usually have 3 main shapes:

Submalar implants

Submalar implants are not placed on your cheekbones, but just below the most prominent part of your cheekbone. In general, these have a different effect and aim to add volume to the face, addressing the sunken appearance usually caused by aging.

Malar implants

“Malar” is the medical term referring to the area in and around your cheekbones. Malar implants are implants that are placed on your cheekbones. This lifts your cheekbones and makes them more prominent and sharper.

Combined implants

Combined implants are when both malar and submalar implants are combined and inserted in one single procedure. This procedure makes full use of both benefits and works to overall reinvent the look of the face.

Fat can also be harvested from the abdomen and then injected to the cheek to improve volume. This usually a minimally invasive procedure and can be done under local anaesthesia with or without sedation. As with all fat grafting procedures, approximately 30 – 50% of the grafted fat will be resorbed by the body.

The experience of getting cheek implants at The Clifford Surgery

A thorough consultation with our surgeon will first be conducted so that results of what to expect can be aligned.
You have the choice to undergo this surgery under either local or general anaesthesia.
The cheek implants will be inserted from an incision from within the mouth or through the upper eyelid. The insertion point will largely depend on the patient’s preferences as well as the surgeon’s recommendation and preference. The surgeon will then make sure that the implants are positioned correctly, before sewing the incisions shut with biocompatible absorbable sutures. These sutures will naturally be reabsorbed into the body over time.
This entire procedure takes around 30 to 90 minutes to complete.

Possible risks and complications

As with all plastic surgery procedures, cheek implants have some potential risks and complications.

Most, if not all of these can be avoided with good surgery technique. Be sure to consult a experienced, skilled and reputable plastic surgeon for your cheek implants.

Excessive bleeding
Damage of nerves, leading to altered vision and other senses
Inflammation and infection
Damage of facial muscles, permanently altering facial expressions
Facial asymmetry


Are there other cheek augmentation procedures other than cheek implants?

Yes, there are other options to improve the appearance of your cheeks, such as cheek fillers as well as fat grafting. Go to our fat grafting page and our cheek fillers page to learn more about these procedures.

How long does the procedure take?

Cheek augmentation procedures usually takes about 30 to 90 min to complete, depending on the complexity of the operation.

Is the procedure painful?

During a cheek implant surgery, you will be under general anaesthesia. This ensures that the surgery will be pain free and you can have peace of mind while you sleep.

Is there any downtime?

Cheek implants are generally a safe procedure and complications are rare. As cheek implants are an invasive surgical procedure, they come with a certain degree of potential risk of complications. These complications might include:

  • Heavy bleeding
  • Nerve damage
  • Swelling of the infection site
  • Infection
  • Damage to facial muscles
  • Asymmetry

After a cheek implant, patients usually have to wear a special type of dressing called a compression dressing for a few days following the surgery. You are allowed to resume your daily activities after a week and swelling should heal completely after two full weeks.

It is important to follow the aftercare procedures as well as to go to a surgeon with ample experience with the surgery in order to avoid these. Going to an experienced, skilled surgeon will largely mitigate the probability of any complications happening.

What should I take note of before the procedure?

It is important to discuss your needs and expectations honestly with your surgeon so that the final result will be desirable. It will also help the surgeon understand what you want and for him to recommend the best type of implants for you.

It is also important to be precise about what medication or health supplementation you are currently taking. Your surgeon might recommend that you cease consumption of certain medicines before and after the surgery. For smokers, it is recommended that you cease smoking for at least 1 ½ months before the surgery in order to avoid any potential complications.

What should I take note of after the procedure?

Make sure to follow the post care procedures your doctor recommends closely. It is important to wear the compression bandage that will be provided to you for at least 3 days post-surgery. Take note that the swelling will take up to 2-3 weeks to fully subside.

You can go back to your usual daily life after one week, but avoid intense exercise or strenuous activity for at least 2-3 weeks.

For cheek implants where incisions were made through the mouth, avoid eating spicy foods or foods that could irritate the inside of your mouth until you are fully healed.

At The Clifford Surgery, our doctors are highly experienced in aesthetic procedures. Visit us for a consultation and they will assess your situation, before recommending the most suitable course of treatment catered for you.