Cheek Rejuvenation: Cheek Lift vs.Volume Augmentation
During the aging process, you may experience volume loss and/or sagging in the cheek area. As the cheeks begin to droop, the eyes may appear sunken and a relaxed fold of skin and fat may deepen between the nose and cheek (the nasolabial fold). This can make the face appear tired.
A cheek lift, also known as a midface lift, can restore fullness to the check and lower eye area, softening and rejuvenating your appearance. During this facial plastic surgery procedure, the facial plastic surgeon makes an incision above the ears at the hairline and also possibly inside the mouth. The skin is tightened so that the cheek soft tissue is lifted to the cheekbone area.
An alternative to cheek lift is use of fat or filler to add volume or build up the deficient area. A small amount of the patient’s own fat can be harvested from the abdomen and then injected into the cheeks, providing a more youthful appearance. Fat harvest and injection is usually done under mild sedation in the operating room. The effect of this treatment can last up to 5 years.
If an off-the-shelf filler is used, this treatment can be done in the clinic and usually takes less than an hour. Examples of such fillers include Juvederm, Restylane, and Sculptra. The effects of off-the-shelf filler treatment can last up to 2 years.
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Patients typically have mild to moderate bruising and swelling after facial injections – slightly more so after fat injections. If abdominal fat has been harvested, there can be bruising and swelling over the harvest site for a few days. Pain is mild to moderate. Most patients report facial tightness and some have mild discomfort with chewy food for a day or two. It is best to avoid strenuous activity and heavy lifting for 1-2 days after filler injections, and some patients can return to work the next day. Patients who have fat harvest and injection typically take a few days off from work.