Not everyone is fortunate enough to be born with prominent cheekbones that enhance their facial appearance. If you find yourself among this group, you may be considering cheek implants to give your cheekbones some added prominence as a way of improving your overall facial appearance.
Your plastic surgeon will let you know what to expect during your procedure, as well as what to do when you return home. You’ll also need some information on how a typical cheek implant recovery unfolds so that you know what to expect from the time that you leave surgery to the time you return home and eventually achieve the results that you are hoping for.
|Activity||Days after cheek implant surgery|
|Liquid-based diet; soups, shakes, juices||24-48 hours after surgery|
|Return to a desk job||48 hours after surgery|
|Sutures dissolve (on their own)||5-7 days|
|Full recovery||7-10 days|
|60-80% of welling subsides||2 weeks|
|90% of swelling subsides||2 months|
|Sleep face up||6-8 weeks|
Recovery Length Varies
How long it takes a given patient to recover from cheek implant surgery varies, depending upon factors like the surgical technique used by the plastic surgeon, cheek implant size, and whether the procedure was performed in combination with another procedure.
In general, cheek implant recovery is faster and more comfortable when compared to other procedures, like a full, conventional facelift.
The First 24 Hours After Your Surgery
Your plastic surgeon may perform your procedure using general or local anesthesia. It can take several hours to begin recovering from the effects of general anesthesia so that you can safely return home.
It is normal to experience some degree of numbness around the area of the implants, which is much like how you’d feel after undergoing a dental procedure. As the anesthesia fades away, sensation will gradually return. At this time, your incision sites will begin feeling sore and tight due to natural inflammation.
After your cheek implants have been surgically placed, your plastic surgeon will place bandages or gauze dressings over your incisions to promote healing. They may also fit you with a compression garment that should help reduce swelling and provide support for your cheeks while they are healing.
Patients whose implants are placed using an incision within their mouths may be put on a liquid diet or provided with special mouth rinses. Your plastic surgeon may recommend that you elevate your head to minimize any early swelling.
One Day Later
Your plastic surgeon will likely prescribe pain medications to ensure your comfort while you are healing and recovering at home. Within a day after your cheek augmentation surgery, you should be able to resume light activities, including taking short walks.
One to Two Weeks Later
Cheek implant patients normally have healed enough within the first week to resume normal activities and work. If your plastic surgeon placed your implants externally, your sutures can be removed in about 10 days.
Up to Six Weeks
After your cheek augmentation, the nerves in the area of the incisions will gradually return to normal function, although you may notice some unusual sensation for a few days. Most of your inflammation and swelling should have resolved within about six weeks.
A few months after your cheek implant surgery, all of your swelling will have gone down. This will be an exciting time, as the lack of swelling will allow your new and improved cheeks to be fully visible, giving you a dramatic boost in your confidence and self-esteem.