Well defined facial features help give balance to the face enhancing both the profile and frontal appearance. Some individuals may benefit from higher or fuller cheekbones or a more prominent chin.
The analysis begins with evaluating the entire facial contour including the bony framework as well as the overlying skin, muscle and fat compartments. Equally important is the relationship of the chin and cheeks to the nose, the size and shape of the lips and even the position of the eyes. Only after meticulous analysis of these structures can recommendations be made regarding changes in the shape or size of the cheeks or chin.
As with all elective surgery, good health and realistic expectations are prerequisites. After a thorough evaluation, the various sizes, shapes and composition of the available implants can be discussed. Fortunately, many newer biomaterials are available that offer many benefits and reduce the risks previously associated with older style implants. Implants with a porous or textured surface allow surrounding tissue to stabilize the implant to maintain position and contour improvement. A myriad of shapes and sizes of implants are available to provide the appropriate enhancement based on pre-operative analysis and planning.
Cheek implants are placed through an incision under the upper lip. The incision heals rapidly similar to a dental procedure. As with chin implants, the shape of the cheek implants are carefully chosen to achieve the desired fullness and prominence of the cheek complex. After discussion and analysis, one may choose to selectively fill the area below the eyes, if only this area is deficient, or choose an extended implant that will make the cheeks fuller and even fill the area below the cheek prominence.
Chin implants are generally placed through a small incision just behind and under the chin. The incision heals rapidly and is well hidden under the chin. Alternatively, the implant may be placed from inside the lower lip. Occasionally, if excess fat is present under the chin, liposuction can be performed at the same time as the chin implant placement to improve the contour of the neck while creating a more prominent chin. Implants can be chosen to create a narrower or fuller chin and some are even designed to soften and improve jowls along the edge of the jaw.
After surgery, an elastic compressive dressing is placed over the operated area to decrease and prevent excessive swelling. Ice is applied for the first 48 hours. Post operative discomfort is well controlled with prescribed medications. A moderate amount of swelling will persist for several days after the surgery and this will gradually subside over the following 3-6 weeks.
When properly planned and executed, enhancement of the facial contour with cheek and chin implants can be dramatic. The presence of “high cheek bones” or a “strong chin” can create improved facial harmony and further enhance other facial features.