Cheek Augmentation

Latest update: April 19, 2024
Medically reviewed by: Jordan Frey MD


Cheek augmentation creates a contoured and youthful appearance by adding volume to the cheeks. Also used as a reconstructive procedure, it can correct asymmetrical faces caused by cancer or a facial fracture. Surgeons often combine it with other facial procedures. These can include chin augmentation and a brow or a facelift.

There are surgical and non-surgical options for cheek augmentation.

Implants and fat transfer are more invasive techniques. Non-surgical approaches include the use of injectable dermal fillers.

Cheek implants are a permanent option. This procedure is usually performed with a solid silicone, customized to fit each patient's cheek. There are various techniques of implant placement, and they differ according to the result the patient is seeking. Malar implants are placed beneath the eye, at the very top of the cheekbone. This area is where the cheeks lose volume due to natural aging,  creating a sunken appearance. Submalar implants are inserted in the middle of the cheek. This technique is most popular among patients in their 20s and 30s looking for sharper contours. Professionals can also combine these two types to create a very voluminous look. Surgeons make incisions during the implant procedure either inside the mouth, at the hairline or under the eyelid. After placing the implant, they suture the site and cover it with surgical dressing. Patients need to wear a compression garment to ease swelling and add support for the cheek. Patients with in-mouth incisions will have to opt for a liquid diet and rinse their mouth regularly to avoid  infections. Healing will take 4-6 weeks and patients should minimize strenuous activities until then. 

During fat transfer, surgeons extract excess fat from other parts of the body using liposuction. This fat is then processed and injected back into the cheeks. During this treatment, surgeons create incisions at the site where fat is being harvested. They also make small incisions in the cheek, where the fat will be injected. Results of fat transfer can be unpredictable as some fat cells may not survive over time.

Dermal fillers are generally Hyaluronic Acid-based solutions. This type of cheek enhancement only requires topical numbing before being performed. In this case, results are temporary and only last a few months. This treatment can be done in the clinic. Cheek implants and fat transfer are usually performed in hospitals or surgical centers under local or general anesthetic.
Operation Time
depends on treatment
Inpatient Period
Number of Appointments
depends on treatment
Recovery Period
depends on treatment

The Perfect Cheek Augmentation

Dr. Caroline Vera demonstrates the procedure by which she will give her patient more of a medial cheek. She marks lines on the patient's face to illustrate how she decides where to add the filler. She defines the problem that the patient is looking to fix and talks about the dangers involved. She carries out the procedure and explains the process.

Add Volume to Your Cheeks in 15 Minutes! Non-Surgical Cheek Augmentation at Barrett Plastic Surgery

Dr. Daniel Barrett, a plastic surgeon at Barrett Plastic Surgery, demonstrates cheek augmentation using fillers. He opts for Radiesse, containing calcium hydroxyapatite, and explains why he believes this is ideal for the patient. He considers the impact of age and continues to explain the procedure while he performs it.