Cheek fillers are most suitable for patients who would want to restore the volume and youthfulness to their face.
Why should I consider cheek fillers?
As we age, our face starts to lose volume in different areas. For some patients, the ‘baby fats’ on the cheeks tend to disappear more prominently. This makes one look older and more haggard. At the same time, when you lose the fullness of the mid face, it can also make your face look squarer.
Mid cheek fillers can replenish this lost volume effectively, giving one a more youthful and feminine look.
For some patients, the area beside the nose bridge can also seem sunken due to the lose of volume. This area is what we call the medial cheek. Medial cheek fillers, usually in conjunction with undereye fillers, can naturally fill up and restore years to one’s face.
Our ‘cheek bone’ or the lateral cheek, gives a lifted and more youthful appearance to our face. Similarly, a loss of volume around this area will result in a droopy looking face and a more aged appearance. Cheek fillers can also be done around the lateral cheek bone area to plump it up and giving the face an overall more lifted appearance.
What can I expect?
Fuller cheeks, replenishing of facial volume loss, and a more youthful look. In addition, for patients with deep smile lines, cheek fillers help lift up the cheeks and slightly reduce smile lines as well.
How much cheek filler is needed usually?
The amount of filler depends on the amount of volume loss one has.
Typically, mid cheek/apple cheeks usually use 1.5-2.5ml (1.5-2.5 syringes) in total.
For medial or lateral cheeks (cheek bone), 1-1.5ml (1-1.5 syringes) should be sufficient for most patients.
Choice of cheek fillers
Not all fillers are made equal – it takes a professional to understand their intended uses, and experience to know which would be more suitable for which area. Place a filler wrongly and you may end up looking weird!
Juvederm Voluma is an excellent choice for mid cheek/apple cheek fillers. They last longer, provide more volume replacement than most fillers, and absorbs water over time, leaving the cheeks full and plump.
Restylane Volyme is also a good choice of filler for the cheeks. Like Juvederm Voluma, it is also designed to be soft enough to be natural and without lumpiness, but also able to provide more volume replacement than most fillers.
Radiesse & Ellanse
Radiesse and Ellanse are also suitable fillers for the cheeks – However, as they are non-hyaluronic acid fillers, they can feel slightly harder than hyaluronic acid fillers. A plus point for both Radiesse and Ellanse though, they do have some collagen-stimulating properties that can help plump up facial tissue in the long run.
Fillers for medial cheek / cheek bone definition
For medial cheek fillers, we would use a filler that is lighter and softer, as the skin there is thinner without as much tissue compared to the mid cheek. A filler like Restylane Refyne or Juvederm Ultra XC would be suitable for the medial cheek.
For better cheek bone definition and filling of the lateral cheek – Restylane Lyft would be the most ideal filler, as it gives the lift and definition without collapsing over time. It also does not absorb water over time as we do not want a rounded protruding lateral cheek/face.
Frequently Asked Questions about Fillers
How long do fillers last?
Fillers typically last for 12 months. Different type of fillers are designed for different areas of the face and have different longevity due to the filler material.
Does it completely dissolve away?
Most fillers will dissolve away and gets broken down by the body into water. However, there are cases that we have seen before with fillers that last much longer that it was intended to. For these cases, the filler had to be dissolved by injecting a dissolver call hyalase which breaks down the filler into water.
Is it painful?
Most filler injections are not painful with numbing cream applied. There are some areas which are more sensitive, such as the lips, and can be more uncomfortable.
The skill and hands of a doctor also directly contributes to the amount of discomfort. An experienced and gentle doctor can mean much lesser discomfort during the procedure.
What are the side effects?
Like all medical procedures, there are always potential side effects during injectable procedures.
The more common side effects associated with injections are bruising and swelling. Bruising and swelling happens when a larger blood vessel under the skin gets injured during an injection. If present, bruising and swelling typically goes away after 4-7 days.
The most serious side effect associated with filler injections is vessel occlusion. Vessel occlusion is when the filler is directly injected into an important blood vessel and blocks blood flow, potentially resulting in skin necrosis and even blindness.
Some patients have heard about fillers causing blindness, in particular nose fillers. In actual fact, fillers performed at any part of the face can potentially lead to blindness. Blindness happens when the filler material travels up the blood vessel and blocks the blood flow to the optic nerve in the eye. Blindness is more often associated with nose fillers due to the blood vessels supplying the eye being close to the nose. Skin necrosis, which is the dying of skin cells, happens when the blood vessels supplying the area of skin affected gets occluded and blocked.
The risks of skin necrosis and blindness can be greatly reduced with a clear knowledge of the blood vessels in the face. Therefore, it is very important to go to an experienced doctor for filler injections. More than 90% of filler complications happen at illegal salons or beauty parlours which are not authorised to perform such procedures.
How doctors reduce the risk of vessel occlusion?
- Use the appropriate equipment and filler for each area. The type of needle and needle size makes a difference in reducing the risk of vessel damage and occlusion.
- Specific techniques such as performing a drawback to ensure that the needle is not in a vessel, slow precise injections, and the depth of injections all help ensure that the filler is not being injected into a vessel.
- Most importantly, a good knowledge of the facial anatomy will allow the doctor to identify the areas where the major blood vessels are. Knowing which area to avoid and which areas are generally safe helps to greatly reduce the risk of injecting the filler into a vessel.
What should I avoid after fillers?
Avoid strenuous exercise and alcohol for at least 24 hours. Avoid any facial massage for at least 2 weeks.