Cheek Augmentation


For centuries, high cheekbones have been a common characteristic of faces considered to be “beautiful.”  Dr. Velargo utilizes three techniques to augment the cheek.

One way is non-surgically with fillers such as Juvederm, which are injected over the cheek bone to augment the area and very subtly lift midfacial tissue below.

Another way is a mid-face lift, which is included in a Facelift operation.  The mid-face lift will bring the tissues that used to reside over the cheek bones back into their original position thus creating a “natural” cheek augmentation.  It is rare that Dr. Velargo would need to perform cheek augmentation with an implant during a facelift because the degree of soft tissue cheek augmentation that Dr. Velargo gets from the mid-face lift is sufficient for natural results.

Lastly, cheek augmentation can be accomplished with medical grade implants.  Dr. Velargo analyzes the face and attempts to select the appropriate implant for each patient and for each cheek. Rarely are the two sides of the face symmetrical prior to surgery, but Dr. Velargo will do everything in his power to bring symmetry to the face.

Cheek augmentations, via any of the above techniques, are a common way to provide better balance for patients seeking improved facial harmony.


For details on Facelift, including the mid-face lift, which “naturally” augments the cheek area, please see the Facelift page.

During cheek augmentation with a medical grade implant, the underdeveloped or flattened cheeks are built up directly on the facial bones. The incisions are usually made inside the mouth and under the upper lip in order to avoid scars on the face. These incisions are closed with absorbable sutures, which dissolve within 5-7 days.


Following cheek augmentation with a medical grade implant, the cheek areas are swollen initially and some bruising may occur, but the swelling subsides in a few weeks. Most patients may return to work or resume “normal” activities within a few days after surgery. Patients are urged to avoid injury to the cheek region for 4-6 weeks. After that time it is unlikely that the implant(s) could be disturbed unless a severe blow should be received.

Swelling, bruising, and soreness are to be expected after a cheek augmentation, but post-operative instructions and recommended medications will be given to ease any discomfort.  You must be willing to accept temporary swelling and lumpiness, which occur following cheek augmentation.  Though usually visually disconcerting, most people feel it is a negligible inconvenience to pay for the physical and psychological improvement they generally experience.

Frequent application of cool compresses for the first 72 hours helps to speed the healing process along, as well as application of topical Arnica Montana for any visible bruising.

Patients are advised to sleep with the head of bed elevated or in a recliner for 2-4 weeks post-op.  This helps to minimize swelling.

Parts of the face and lips will feel weak or “numb” after the cheek augmentation operation.  This is to be expected and is usually temporary.  It may take several weeks or months for this to subside.

As a rule, 80% of swelling is generally gone in 2 weeks, and 90% of swelling is generally gone by 2 months. So, do not try to evaluate the results of your surgery too soon.

A cheek augmentation can correct:

  • Flat or low lying cheek bones
  • Sagging tissue in the mid face
  • Reduced facial volume

Surgical cheek augmentations with medical grade implants will last for the life of the implant.  However, while a cheek augmentation turns back the clock of the aging process in the mid-face, it does not stop the ticking.  The soft tissue in the cheek will continue to sag as the patient ages, but the implant will remain in place.  This means that the patient should expect some minor volume changes over time, which can be easily touched-up if needed.

Most cheek augmentations are considered cosmetic procedures. Therefore, insurance companies do not generally cover the cost of surgery.  However, in some cases associated with bone or tissue loss in the cheek area, insurance companies may help defray some of the costs of surgery.

Contact the New Orleans Center for Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery today to find out more about expert cheek augmentation surgery.