Steven J. LauKaitis, MD, FACS Bryan S. Sires, MD, FACS
Henry Lee, MD
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OVERVIEW for Cheek Lift
The aging cheek is an important factor in the development of bags under the lower eyelid. With age the cheek fat that softens the transition between the lower eyelid and cheek loses volume. This loss of fat causes the underlying anatomy of the lower eyelid and cheek (orbital fat and orbitomalar ligament) to be more visible, and appears both puffy and baggy. Often a deep depression between the eyelid and cheek forms (the tear trough). In addition to this loss of fat in the high cheeks the entire cheek drops down the face and contributes to jowling and heaviness along the jaw, rounding out the face.
A cheek lift is to lift up the cheek, from its fallen location, to a higher position. This can vastly improve the appearance of the lower eyelid and can help the jowling and heaviness around the jaw. The cheek lift can be performed through an incision in the lower eyelid but the most powerful lift requires an incision inside the mouth (between the gums and the cheek) and in the hairline of the temple (just above the ear). Both of these incisions (in the mouth and in the temple) leave scars that can be completely hidden. Surgery may be combined with other procedures (upper eyelid blepharoplasty, lower eyelid blepharoplasty, etc.)
Surgery can safely be performed under intravenous sedation. Swelling and numbness is typical and may take several weeks to resolve.