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Hollow Cheeks: More Than Meets The Eye

Posted: 6:00 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019

By Anita Mandal, M.D.
Question: I’m 67 and my cheeks look sunken in, making me look tired and sad. I’m interested in fillers, but how do I find a plastic surgeon who won’t make my cheeks look overdone or too puffy?

Answer: One of the keys to looking natural from filler treatments is finding a surgeon who is not only skilled and experienced with surgery but also with fillers. It often surprises patients to learn that not all plastic surgeons have the talent to create natural results with injectable fillers. It’s equally important to seek a plastic surgeon who specializes in fillers and one with whom you share the same aesthetic. It often surprises patients to learn that not all plastic surgeons have the talent to create natural results with injectable fillers.

A skilled injector understands that there is more to the cheeks than merely taking a needle and filling in the area that looks hollow to the eye. An expert injector is familiar with the various parts of the cheek and knows which specific cheeks subunitscontribute to the hollowing.

The cheek alone consists of various aesthetic subunits. These include the malar and submalar subunits as well as the preauricular and zygomatic units, to name a few. A total of 6 to 7 subunits exist in the cheek itself. The benefit of being familiar with the various cheek zones lies in being able to properly identify the specific cheek units that should be treated.

Each patient with hollowing in the cheeks is different and requires treatment in different cheek zones, depending on the type of cheek aging one experiences.

The injector’s expertise lies in recognizing which particular cheek zones are responsible for the hollowing. It is these same cheek zones that should be treated. Of equal importance is knowing which specific cheek subunits one should avoid treating. This balance between treatment vs. non-treatment zones within the cheek area is key to not only producing effective results, but also essential for giving natural looking cheeks in proportion with the rest of the face. Choice of filler can range from temporary fillers to Bellafill, The 5-Year Filler. Regardless of filler used, the cheek is a relatively large area requiring much more filler than, for instance ,the smile lines. One should be realistic and expect to spend more for cheek treatments compared to other facial areas.

A systematic approach to cheek volumization following a thorough consultation with a Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon who not only understands the complex facial anatomy but also has extensive experience with and knowledge of the many different types of fillers and their varied uses can optimize your facial rejuvenation results.


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