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Plastic Surgery and Cheek Fillers: Enhancing Facial Contours

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Full, high cheekbones have long been associated with youth and beauty. But when time takes its toll, some turn to plastic surgery and injectables like cheek fillers to regain a youthful appearance. These minimally invasive procedures promise to lift sagging skin, erase lines and wrinkles, and restore lost volume in the cheeks and midface area. With plump, smooth cheeks increasingly viewed as a sign of vitality, it’s no wonder that facelifts and fillers are growing more popular.

But not all options are equal when it comes to safely enhancing the cheeks and achieving natural-looking results. In this article, we’ll explore plastic surgery and injectable options for cheek augmentation and help you determine which route is right for you. From surgical facelifts to dermal fillers, we’ll provide an in-depth look at today’s most popular solutions for aging cheeks.

Understanding Cheek Fillers

cheek filler treatment

Cheek fillers are injectable treatments used to add volume to the midface region. As we age, we gradually lose collagen, fat, and bone structure in areas like the cheeks. This leads to a sunken, hollowed appearance with sagging skin and wrinkles around the nose and mouth. Dermal fillers can effectively restore this lost volume and smooth wrinkles by “filling in” facial tissue.

Types of Cheek Fillers

There are different types of cheek fillers available today:

Filler TypeDescription
Hyaluronic acid (HA)This is a natural substance found in the body that helps keep skin plump and hydrated. HA fillers are typically soft and gel-like, and the results are temporary, lasting 6 to 12 months or longer before the body gradually and naturally absorbs the particles. Examples of FDA-approved HA fillers include Juvéderm and Restylane.
Calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA)This is a mineral-like compound found naturally in human bones. It's often used to enhance fullness of the cheeks and other facial contours, and the results can last up to a year when used for contouring and 3 years when used to fill wrinkles. The most popular brand for CaHA is Radiesse.
Poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA)This is a substance that helps the body create its own collagen, and it's usually used to smooth deep wrinkles on the face. Two or three sessions are usually required, and the results can last up to 2 years.
Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA)This is a permanent soft tissue filler that is used to smooth deep wrinkles around the mouth. The body can't absorb this type of filler, so it doesn't require reinjection. However, it generally isn't recommended as a first-time facial filler treatment.
Autologous fatThis is a procedure where fat is removed from one part of the body and injected into the cheek, temple, lips, or forehead. The effects might be permanent, but achieving the desired results usually requires more than one session as well as overfilling the site because the body reabsorbs some of the fat.

Benefits of Cheek Fillers

When performed by an expert injector, cheek fillers offer many appealing benefits:

Fuller, lifted cheeks

Eliminate a sunken, hollow look for a plump, youthful appearance. Fillers replace lost volume in the midface for naturally defined cheekbones.

Smoothed wrinkles and folds

Fillers can reduce the appearance of nasolabial folds, smile lines, and other wrinkles around the nose and mouth. Results can be similar to a surgical face or eye lift without the incisions.

Quick, convenient treatment

Filler injections take less than 30 minutes in an office visit. Downtime is minimal, so you can resume normal activities right away.

Natural-looking results

Well-placed fillers won’t look obvious or overdone. The goal is to restore a refreshed yet natural facial contour.

Avoid general anesthesia risks

Fillers only require a local numbing injection. More complex surgeries often require general anesthesia, which carries more risks.

Non-surgical alternative

Fillers act as a “liquid facelift” without cutting or reshaping the face surgically. Results last 1-2 years on average.

Lower cost

Single syringe fillers start under $1,000, notably less than a surgical facelift. Fillers are an affordable, low-risk way to refresh one’s appearance.

The Cheek Filler Procedure

Cheek filler injections are performed right in your plastic surgeon’s office. Here’s a quick rundown of what to expect:

  1. Numbing: The surgeon will first apply lidocaine cream or give lidocaine injections to numb the area thoroughly. This prevents any discomfort during the procedure.
  2. Injections: Using a very fine needle, the filler solution is precisely injected into the cheek area. The surgeon will massage the area to evenly distribute the filler. More syringes may be used based on the desired result.
  3. Check for symmetry: Once complete, the surgeon will have you sit up to observe the result. Further touch-up injections can refine the shape and symmetry. Ice may be applied to minimize swelling.
  4. Follow-up appointment: Within 2 weeks, you’ll have a follow-up visit to check your results and have any additional injections if needed.

Many patients immediately return to regular activities after their appointment. You may experience some mild swelling, redness, or tenderness for a few days. Bruising around the injection sites can also occur. Your surgeon will provide detailed post-procedure care instructions.

Within two weeks, most swelling dissipates, so you can fully enjoy your refreshed facial contour. Results typically last 6 to 12 months with hyaluronic acid fillers before a touch-up is needed.

Facial Surgery Procedures

For facial rejuvenation, cheek fillers avoid the complexities, risks, and recovery of surgery. However, surgical options like eyelid surgery, facelifts, or other procedures may better address some aging concerns. Your doctor can help you select the right treatment plan.

Here’s an overview of how common plastic surgery procedures compare:

FaceliftA facelift (rhytidectomy) surgically tightens and lifts the loose skin of the face and neck. Incisions are made around the ears and hairline to reshape sagging facial contours. This remains the gold standard for a dramatic anti-aging result, but it requires weeks of recovery.
BlepharoplastyThe eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) removes loose skin and fatty deposits of the upper and lower eyelids. While it reduces hooding and bags under the eyes, it doesn’t address volume loss in the cheeks. Combining eyelid surgery with cheek fillers creates an optimal rejuvenated look.
Brow or forehead liftA brow lift (forehead lift) smooths lines across the forehead and can slightly lift drooping brows. It has little effect on sagging cheeks, so cheek fillers better restore a youthful midface. However, both treatments can be combined for a complete result.
Facial implantsThis surgical option is used to rejuvenate, augment, or reconstruct the contours of the face. Implants are available in many sizes and styles to ensure they provide the aesthetic you hope for. Having facial implants can make the jaw, chin, or cheek more symmetrical and correct any deficiencies. The process is quite quick, and the results are permanent.

Facial plastic surgery and injectable fillers can work hand-in-hand to refresh one’s appearance. In a thorough consultation, your doctor will assess your unique goals and recommend the right solutions. For many patients, cheek fillers offer a fast, effective option for midface rejuvenation without surgery.

Choosing Your Provider

One of the most important aspects of any cosmetic treatment is choosing the right provider. With injectables like cheek fillers, significant skill and experience are required to ensure natural, symmetrical results.

Always look for a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist. Confirm that the doctor has specialized training in facial anatomy and significant expertise in administering injectables. Be sure to look at before & after photos and online reviews. Reputable, established providers will have consistently positive feedback about their work.

It’s advisable to avoid “cheap” injectable deals at med spas or offered by inexperienced providers. The products or injection technique could be subpar, increasing your risk of uneven results, allergic reaction, or other complications.

When you visit a prospective doctor’s office, there should be a relationship built on trust and transparency. The right provider will make you feel completely comfortable, and will answer all your questions thoroughly.

Considerations and Precautions

Before deciding on cheek fillers, be sure to:

  • Disclose your full medical history, including any blood or clotting disorders. Certain conditions may preclude you from injectables.
  • Tell your doctor about any medications you take, especially blood thinners. Certain drugs may need to be temporarily stopped before procedures.
  • Realize that fillers cannot lift sagging skin. Skin laxity may still remain, so combining fillers with surgery can optimize results.
  • Accept that regular touch-ups are needed. Fillers don’t stop the aging process, so maintenance injections maintain your refreshed look.
  • Know that results vary based on the chosen filler and the skill of your injector. Don’t choose a provider based on price alone.
  • Note any upcoming special events. Fillers may cause temporary swelling or bruising that could impact weddings, vacations, etc. Schedule accordingly.


Facial plastic surgery, once limited to complex surgical procedures, now offers more options than ever thanks to advanced dermal fillers. Cheek fillers represent one of the most sought-after treatments for restoring a youthful contour and plumpness to the midface. Their minimally-invasive approach and relatively affordable cost make them an attractive alternative to surgery for many patients.

If you’re interested in rejuvenating your midface with cheek fillers, consult an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist. 

Get in Touch with Dr. Lanna

cheek filler treatment

Dr. Lanna comes highly recommended for facial rejuvenation treatments including cheek augmentation. With over 15 years of experience, Dr. Lanna's artistic eye, expertise, and personalized approach consistently achieves outstanding outcomes for patients seeking facial balancing and a refreshed, youthful appearance.

To schedule your private consultation, book online or call (929) 565-7539. Discover why patients travel from across the globe for Dr. Lanna’s meticulous cheek filler injections and cutting-edge aesthetic treatments

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