When it comes to aesthetic medicine, you have options. Sometimes, too many of them! It can be challenging to figure out exactly which option is best for you, since there may be more than one way to reach your goals. While it might seem like any of your options will produce the same results, the truth is that there are differences—some subtle, some obvious. If you’re looking at your options for creating a more attractive cheek contour, you may be wondering about what the differences are between the two main options: cheek implants or fillers. Let’s take a look at how these treatments are different from each other—and how those differences can help you make the right decision for your needs.

Cheek Augmentation: Two Different Goals

There are two main reasons patients seek cheek implants or fillers. The first has to do with bone structure. Some patients are simply dissatisfied with the underlying structures of their cheeks. These are often younger patients who want permanent projection in the cheekbones. Augmenting the cheeks can improve the overall balance of the face and fix a“baby face” look. Increasing cheekbone height makes the face more angular. Cheek augmentation with an implant creates a natural cheekbone projection that many people find very attractive.

The second reason patients seek cheek augmentation is because they are beginning to notice volume loss in the cheek area. This is a common symptom of aging. As we get older, the subcutaneous fat in the face begins to disappear, causing a hollow appearance. This compounds the effects of collagen loss that also occur during aging, resulting in sagging skin, a hollow appearance, and a tired, aged look. Restoring that volume, even temporarily, helps patients to look and feel more youthful.

Cheek Implants vs. Fillers

Although there are other great options for cheek augmentation and rejuvenation, two of the most popular are cheek implants and soft tissue fillers made of hyaluronic acid. Juvederm Voluma XC is formulated specifically for the cheek area, and is one of the longest-lasting soft tissue fillers on the market. Both treatments have their pros and cons for cheek augmentation, but they are recommended for different reasons.

Cheek implants are permanent additions to the underlying facial structure. Typically made out of silicone (although there are implants made from other materials available), they are placed surgically. Implants change the contours and appearance of the face, creating permanent augmentation. This can enhance facial balance or create a “high cheekbone” look in patients who are dissatisfied with their facial aesthetics.

Juvederm Voluma XC, on the other hand, is a temporary treatment that addresses the effects of aging, not the facial structures. Fillers can instantly improve facial volume loss, and require only a simple injection session. Results can last up to two years. They do not change the structure of the face, but they can rejuvenate and restore youth to the cheek area without surgery. Patients love that there is very little downtime involved with Juvederm Voluma XC. Because of this, the treatment fits well into even the busiest schedules.

Which is Right for You? Cheek Implants or Fillers?

Now that you know the differences between the two treatments, it should be easier to identify which option is best for your needs. Here’s a quick checklist:

Good candidates for cheek implants are:

  • Younger patients
  • People who want permanent changes made to their facial structures
  • Those who do not want to repeat the procedure
  • Patients who are prepared to undergo surgery and recovery
  • Those whose cheek augmentation goals are for facial balance and aesthetics, rather than anti-aging
  • Patients who are healthy enough for surgery

Candidates for Juvederm Voluma XC or another filler are:

  • Dissatisfied with signs of age-related volume loss in the cheeks
  • Patients who don’t want surgery or don’t have time for downtime
  • Those who want to restore lost volume in their cheeks, not add more volume
  • People who are prepared to undergo maintenance procedures for ongoing augmentation
  • Patients who have medical conditions that make surgery inadvisable

Still Unsure? Talk To Your Surgeon

Every situation is different. If you’re still unsure about which treatment is right for you, that’s perfectly fine! In fact, it’s best to keep an open mind when you first consult with a facial plastic surgeon about your goals. Your surgeon will be able to evaluate your case and give you custom recommendations about your treatment. An expert will have the experience to help you decide between cheek implants or fillers based on your goals, health, and lifestyle.

If you’d like expert advice on your options, Dr. Edward Buckingham can help you feel confident and secure in your choices. Dr. Buckingham is a double board-certified plastic surgeon with decades of experience in facial surgery and non-invasive treatments. His goal is achieving a natural result that meets and exceeds patient expectations. For more information, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Buckingham at Buckingham Center in Austin, TX, call 512.401.2500 today!

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