Options for Sunken Cheeks

By Dr. James White

Hollowed, sunken cheeks are often the hallmarks of aging, causing many to appear haggard, unhealthy and aged beyond their years. This condition is caused by fat and collagen loss either sparked by aging or weight loss and can be problematic for some patients as they approach their forties. Thanks to recent advances in aesthetics, a range of cosmetic surgical and non-surgical solutions now exist.

Dermal Fillers

Man made dermal fillers like Radiesse, Perlane or Juvederm can provide temporary and subtle volume to the cheek region. Artistic placement of these injections can reverse the hands of time. Volume and lift are gained by strategically placed fillers. The results of such dermal fillers can last up to twelve months and in some cases, even longer. Minimal downtime and small bruises can be anticipated with this approach.

Fat Fillers

Fat transfer is a minimal invasive option in the place of man made fillers. Fat is harvested from the abdominal wall by liposuction techniques. The fat is washed and processed to remove oil and nonviable particles. The fat is then injected into strategic places in the face. Artistic placement of these injections can reverse the hands of time adding to facial volume. Fat transfer results can last up to 4 years or longer. Unfortunately, some of the fat may not survive transplant. Overfill of the processed fat is necessary to anticipate loss. This procedure carries some downtime; approximately 1 week out of the public eye.

Cheek Implants

For those looking for a more permanent and dramatic results, a surgical cheek augmentation may be ideal. During a cheek augmentation, incisions are made through the inside of the mouth. Then, solid, silicone implants are placed through the incision and secured over the cheek bone with sutures or surgical screws.

Cheek implants not only provide permanent volume to the cheek bones, but can also tighten sagging cheeks. The cost of cheek implant surgery typically starts around $3000. Patients will need to reserve one to two weeks for recovery as discomfort and swelling may be present.

Some dermal fillers work by stimulating collagen growth in aged tissue ultimately creating a fuller, more youthful appearance. While there is essentially no downtime involved with filler injections, swelling and bruising may be present for up to a week following the treatment. Depending on the patient’s needs, cheek augmentation with dermal fillers can cost anywhere from $600 to $1200. Fat transfer ranges from $1,200 to 2,000. With man made dermal fillers, one can usually get three syringes of fillers for the cost. With fat transfer, one can get from 20-25 syringes for the same cost.

While gaunt cheeks may be inevitable and genetic for many, it is not untreatable. Facial fillers placed in the face with an artistic approach can dramatically rejuvenate a face. If you are interested in exploring your options regarding cheek augmentation by fillers, fat transfer or implants, call our Board Certified Surgeons at 423-648-4011.

For a complimentary consultation call 423-648-4011.