As they age, some people find that their face takes on a hollowed or sunken appearance. Fortunately, this can easily be corrected using dermal fillers or fat grafting. (While surgical cheek implants are also available, they are seldom used because dermal fillers and fat grafting provide a much more natural-looking result with far fewer complications.) Regardless of the technique used, fuller cheeks improve the appearance of the face and make patients look younger and healthier.
What Kind of Filler Is Used?
Voluma, part of the Juvederm family of dermal fillers, is FDA approved for restoring volume to the cheek area. Juvederm Voluma is an injectable gel that adds volume to the cheek area, resulting in a smoother contour and more youthful appearance. Voluma last up to two years, making it a long-lasting, non-surgical solution for sunken cheeks. There is no downtime and the injections usually take less than an hour. Voluma can be injected by a trained nurse practitioner/nurse injector or by a plastic surgeon.
Cheek Enhancement Using Fat Grafting:
For those patients interested in something more permanent, fat can be added to the face to increase the projection and fullness of the cheeks. This is a surgical procedure and should only be performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon.
Fat grafting to augment the cheeks is usually done in the office under local anesthesia and oral sedation. During the procedure, fat is carefully harvested from other areas of the patient’s body (usually the hips, thighs or stomach) using liposuction. The fat is then purified using a special process. The purified fat cells are then injected into the cheek area. Once those cells are established, they are permanent. These fat cells will respond to changes in weight like any other fat cells in the body. They will increase if the patient gains weight and decrease if the patient loses weight.
Recovery from fat grafting is usually fairly quick. Your surgeon will give you detailed aftercare instructions. Patients may experience some bruising or swelling at the harvest site, but it is usually minimal. Patients should be careful to sleep on their backs while healing, so as not to put pressure on the cheeks (and the transferred fat) when sleeping.
If you have questions about cheek augmentations using Voluma, or questions about dermal fillers in general, schedule a free consultation with one of our highly trained nurse practitioners or nurse injectors at The Skin Care at Gulf Coast Plastic Surgery. If you are interested in learning more about fat grafting to the cheeks or other areas of the body, contact Gulf Coast Plastic Surgery to discuss your options for Dr. Jocelyn Leveque or Dr. Peter Butler.