As you age, you may experience volume loss or sagging in your cheek area. As your cheeks begin to droop, your eyes may appear sunken and a relaxed fold of skin and fat may deepen between your nose and cheek. This can make your face appear tired. A cheek lift, also known as a midface lift, can restore fullness to your cheek and lower eye area, softening and rejuvenating your appearance.

During this procedure, the surgeon makes an incision above your ears at the hairline and possibly inside your mouth. The skin is tightened so that the cheek soft tissue is lifted to the cheekbone area.

An alternative to cheek lift is the use of fat or filler to add volume or build up the deficient area. A small amount of your own fat can be harvested from your abdomen and then injected into your 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 Juvèderm, Restylane and Sculptra. The effects of off-the-shelf filler treatment can last up to 2 years.

Cheek Lift: Postoperative Instructions

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.