Everywhere I look of late I seem to be greeted with celebs sporting some seriously stellar cheekbones. I'm jealous. And I'm also not so certain that they looked like that a few years ago, but whatevs, we'll never know if they've had 'work' or have just employed a friggin' fabulous makeup artist. If it's the latter, I want their digits, but if designer cheeks are the Next Big Thing, I want to know more about them, so I called Dr. Kourosh Tavakoli, a Sydney-based Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon to talk cheeky fillers and implants. Keep reading . . .
Have you noticed a growth in the number of people asking for cheek implants?
The rate of women and men wanting cheek enhancement has definitely risen. In my experience in Sydney, women are still more comfortable with an injection augmentation rather than the implant.
So there are two types of procedures used to get fuller cheeks, right?
Yes. One is an injection of dermal fillers that involves an office procedure under a topical application of local anaesthetic cream. This costs approximately $1,200 and you'll need maintenance every 12 months. Then there is cheek implant surgery (approx $9,000) which entails a light general anaesthesia, incision inside the mouth and needs to be performed in an accredited day surgery or hospital.
What are the pros and cons of each type?
Fillers: They are simple to perform and require no anaesthesia or surgery. The complications are extremely rare, but the down side is that the injections need repeating every 12 months and they can only produce moderate augmentations.
Implants: These are permanent (with maintenance required in 7-10 years) but require surgery which means there is the risk of bleeding and infection. In some cases implant migration can also occur.
What advice would you give to those thinking about having either procedure?
Always try dermal injections first, if you're happy with the look of them, then proceed with cheek implants.
If you're considering have plastic surgery, always do your research. Under Australian law any doctor can perform cosmetic surgery without having undergone formal surgical training. Look for the letters FRACS (plastic surgery) after a doctor's name. This indicates a full fellowship of the College in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.