Plastic Surgery | Dr. Enrique Etxeberria, Plastic Surgery in Bilbao


Plastic Surgery - Cheeks - Cheeks


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The cheeks can be reshaped using cosmetic surgery. The cheeks can be enlarged, eliminating the unhealthy and flat appearance of factions that the lack of prominence in the zygomatic region can cause. This disorder can be congenital, although with age losing height on the zygomatic bones (cheekbones) is normal – with the subsequent sagging of the cheek tissue. A cheek enlargement is a simple surgical procedure which lasts approximately 1 hour, and can be performed under local anaesthetic.

Equally, there are medical-aesthetic alternatives for re-shaping the cheeks (without surgery) such as the re-shaping of same using LIPOSTRUCTURE (patient’s own fat) or through the injection of synthetic materials.


An aesthetic evaluation of the face must be made vis-à-vis the three-dimensional relation between each of its different zones. This is why its bone structure acquires great importance, with the cheeks and the chin being of particular note. Under-developed cheekbones give the face a flat and aged appearance, but if they are excessive, they may lead to an aggressive and inelegant appearance. On the other hand, an insufficient chin distorts the facial plane and the outline of the mouth and also shortens the depth of the neck. Although a chin that is too pronounced can also be quite un-aesthetic, particularly in women. In these cases, surgery can be a good cosmetic solution and is sometimes combined with other facial aesthetic-surgical procedures, such as a Face Lift or Rhinoplasty.


Like in all other facial operations, the condition of the skin is important to the success of the intervention.

A full medical check-up will be undertaken in order to evaluate your state of health.


The intervention can be performed under local anaesthetic. When performed in combination with other surgical procedures, it will depend on the anaesthetic required for same.


A cheek enlargement can be performed using a solid silicone prosthesis, the insertion of which does not leave visible scars as the insertion is endo-oral. Another option is to perform this procedure using the same incisions as a blepharoplasty, if undertaken simultaneously. It can also be performed using lipoinjection, in other words the infiltration of fat extracted from the patient his or herself through liposuction and treated for the purposes of separating out the adipocytes. There are also synthetic filler materials that can be useful in some cases.


It generally only requires a few hours of hospitalization, unless it is a procedure combined with other operations that require more time.


After the implant the area must be kept meticulously disinfected, particularly if the implant insertion was endo-oral. The oedema may persist some time, but can be improved with lymphatic drainage massage.


Like with any cosmetic surgery intervention, success depends on its correct indication, and where this is the case, the cheek implants can help to harmonise facial features, achieving an essential balance for the beauty of the face.


What are the risks of these operations and treatments?
On the one hand, there are the risks common to every operation: those derived from the use of anaesthesia, haemorrhages and infections. In the specific case of implants (silicone prostheses and infiltration of synthetic materials), the specific risk is asymmetry between both cheeks through the implants being inserted in slightly different positions.

In what cases or circumstances are these operations specifically contraindicated?
These interventions are contraindicated in patients who suffer from an illness that may interfere with the surgical or anaesthetic process.

At what age can the intervention be performed?
The ossification process of the bones in the face finalises between the ages of 15 and 17. The specialist must evaluate whether it is possible to perform the intervention.

What medications should be avoided prior to and after the operation?
As with all operations, the patient must abstain from ingesting aspirins or other anti-coagulants for the 3 weeks prior to the intervention. In any event, the preparation includes specific instructions and a review of the medications used.

Is any medication usually prescribed after the operation?
The usual medication prescribed after any intervention: antibiotics to prevent infection and, rarely, analgesics to alleviate pain.

What type of discomfort does the operation cause?
It is an intervention that barely causes any discomfort.

Can glasses or contact lenses be used after a cheek implant?
Yes, immediately.

How long before make-up can be used?
The day after the intervention.

How long must I wait before sunbathing or being exposed to UV rays?
It is advisable to wait for one month.

When can I start to go back to pool, the gym and practice sport?
After 2 weeks, but you must practice each exercise with moderation and progressively.

When can I resume my work and social life?
The following day, but if you have undergone the implantation of a prosthesis or lipostructure, you must bear in mind that the affected area will be slightly swollen for some 10 days.