It has long been the rule that “strong cheekbones” are a sign of beauty and youth. The April issue of Harper’s Bazaar discusses how the cheeks loose volume with age. In fact, I am often asked to recreate and replenish this area of the face.
The loss of volume in the cheek area is followed by the descent of the skin downward, making the nasolabial folds and jowls deeper. It is with this in mind that I often make this one of the most important areas in the face to fill. Volume restoration in this area is extremely rejuvenating. I usually use a combination of the dermal fillers, Radiesse and Perlane, to sculpt the cheeks. Radiesse is made from calcium and Perlane is made from hyaluronic acid, a sugar normally found in our bodies. By restoring volume in the cheeks or midface, you diminish the nasolabial folds, decrease the downturn of the mouth and reduce the hollow of the eye without actually touching any of these areas.
I usually perform the cheek augmentation in the office with topical anesthesia. The procedure takes about ten to fifteen minutes and patients can return to work the same day. The results last about ten months.
Alternatively, the cheeks can also be volumized in a more permanent fashion. This is done with a procedure called fat transfer. I obtain the fat through a tiny incision inside the belly button. A small canula is used to aspirate the fat, in much the same way liposuction is performed. The fat is then separated from the body fluids and then placed in the cheeks using a very small needle. I usually recommend this procedure if the patient is undergoing surgery for another procedure, as it makes it more cost effective.