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Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

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Cheek & Midfacial Augmentation

Adding volume to the cheek areas or middle of the face below the eyes can have profound effects on the beauty as well as the youthful appearance of the face. At the Johns Hopkins Center for Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, our physicians approach cheek augmentation in several different ways. These include injectable fillersfacial implants and face lifting techniques.

Is Cheek Augmentation for You?

The goal of cheek augmentation, which can be performed in the office under local anesthesia, is to subtly shape the angles of the face, or add volume where it has been lost because of aging. Important factors to discuss with your surgeon include:

  • Skin type
  • Ethnic background
  • Individual healing rate
  • Age

Making the Decision for Cheek Augmentation Surgery

What you should expect:

  • During the preliminary consultation, your surgeon will take a thorough medical history, as well as assess the your mental and emotional attitudes toward the surgery. Because a realistic attitude is crucial to the success of the surgery, the surgical procedure and realistic expectations will be discussed.
  • Photographs will be taken so the surgeon can study your face and cheeks.
  •  Individual risks will also be examined, especially those related to medical situations such as high blood pressure, a tendency to scar, smoking, and any deficiency in blood clotting.
  • After the decision to proceed with cheek surgery is made jointly by you and your surgeon, the surgeon will discuss the technique indicated, type of anesthesia recommended, the surgical facility, any additional surgery needed, possible complications and the cost of the procedure.

Understanding Cheek Augmentation Surgery

Following are general descriptions of some of the techniques that are used by our surgeons for cheek augmentation. Remember each patient’s individual needs and features are considered before your surgery. 

Injectable Fillers

Autologous fat transfers are injections of one's own fat and have positive effects. This is a relatively simple procedure performed in the operating room with the assistance of anesthesia, or in some cases under local anesthesia in the clinic.

In many patients this procedure provides very long lasting volume augmentation. It is somewhat variable in this regard, and may require repeat procedures to produce the desired long term effect.

There are also commercial injectable fillers, which provide a safe augmentation in various areas of the face. These last anywhere from several months to a year or more, depending upon the filler chosen and the location of injection. These are done either in a clinic in a simple, quick procedure, or in the operating room when additional procedures are being performed.

Facial Implants

Facial implants are solid implants typically made of medical silicon which have a very long safety track record. There are several types to choose from, depending upon where one wants to provide augmentation to the face. The results are permanent, although they can be removed if desired. These procedures are done in the operating room, and may be placed alone, or performed in conjunction with other procedures.


There are several variations of the facelift, and many of these do elevate the malar fat pad (cheek fat) in a manner which augments the cheek.

What to Expect After Cheek Augmentation Surgery

Note:  These are general guidelines. Please ask your doctor to fully explain what your expectation should be post surgery.

  • Immediately after surgery, the surgeon usually applies a dressing that will remain in place for two to three days. You will experience some tenderness. Post-operative discomfort can be controlled with prescribed medications.
  • Most patients feel a stretched, tight sensation after the surgery, but this usually subsides in a week.
  • After approximately six weeks, most swelling will be gone, and you can enjoy the results of your procedure. Rigorous activity may be prohibited for the first few weeks after surgery. Normal activity can be resumed after approximately ten days.

Follow-up Care

Follow-up care is vital for this procedure to monitor healing. Obviously, anything unusual should be reported to your surgeon immediately. It is essential that you keep your follow-up appointments with your surgeon.

Request an Appointment

To request an appointment or to get more information about the Johns Hopkins Center for Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, please call 877-546-4530.

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