Malar Augmentation

By Dr. Leow Aik Ming


Malar augmentation or cheek augmentation provides volume and contour to the cheek that lacks of definition. Strong and prominent cheekbones are often part of an aesthetic and well balanced face. They help highlight the midface, promote youthful appearance and beauty. Flat cheek areas are usually a result of an underlying deficient bone structure. It is important to appreciate the differences between female and male cheekbone structures and what makes them look aesthetically better. Males are usually having a higher cheekbone, whereas females have a lower and more anterior cheek fullness according to the definition of aesthetic beauty.

The main objective in malar augmentation is to create an ideal facial profile and restore facial harmony that suits individual needs and ethnicity. Depending upon the requirements, malar augmentation can be done either as a single procedure or in combination with several surgical cosmetic procedures such as facelift or chin augmentation. There are various types and shapes of cheek implant that can be used to augment the deficient cheek areas. These implants can be inserted via incision made intraoral or through the lower eyelid. Other methods of cheek augmentation include autologous fat grafting or filler injection.


  • Individual who has positive outlook, realistic expectations and specific goals in mind for improvement of facial appearance
  • Individual with weak cheek structure, a narrow or flat face
  • Individual who has lost cheek volume or contour due to the effects of disease or aging

The risks and safety information on cheek augmentation

It is important for patients to understand that every surgical procedure has its own complications and down time. However, if a patient is assessed properly before the surgery and postoperative care is given adequately, these risks can be eliminated or reduced. The risks involved in cheek augmentation may vary depending upon the nature of the surgical procedure. In general, some of the risks involved are:

  • Bleeding,
  • Blood clot,
  • Infection,
  • Bruises and swelling,
  • Poor wound healing,
  • Persistent pain,
  • Scarring,
  • Injury to the surrounding nerves, blood vessels, muscles or bones,
  • Changes in the skin sensation,
  • Skin or bony contour irregularity,
  • Problems associated with implants,
  • Asymmetry,
  • Anaesthesia risks,
  • Possibility of revision surgery.

Postoperative expectations

During the initial healing phase, patient may experience pain, numbness, bruises and swelling around the cheeks. Occasionally, patient may experience tightness during mouth opening. These symptoms are transient; usually last about 3-4 weeks. Intraoral sutures do not have to be removed but if there are any sutures on the lower eyelid, they are usually removed about 7-10 days after the surgery. Oral antibiotics and analgesics will be prescribed to reduce the risk of infection and postoperative pain respectively.

Postoperative care

  • Follow the postoperative instructions given carefully
  • Head elevation especially when sleeping for 1-2 weeks
  • Take the prescribed medications as instructed
  • Regular application of ointments and cold compression around operated areas
  • Regular mouthwash or gargle after every meal if there is any intraoral wound
  • Avoid strenuous physical activities for 3-4 weeks
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