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Non-Surgical Cheek Augmentation

As we age, the youthful, roundness of our cheeks flattens.  Volume loss in this area is related to changes in the fatty tissues of the lower eyelid and cheek.  In addition, gravity exerts a constant effect on the facial soft tissues, eventually dragging down the remaining cheek fat.  The overall effect is a transition from a heart-shaped face of youth to a more pyramid-shaped face of middle age.

Many patients seek a change to the shape or volume of their lower eyelid and upper cheek area (also known as the zygoma and malar fat pad), alone or in combination with other aesthetic procedures.  In most cases, the desired procedure is cheek augmentation (enlargement), which is often performed by placement of facial implants or fat grafting.  Some patients, however, do not have the time or the desire to undergo a surgical procedure.  For these patients, a great alternative is non-surgical cheek augmentation.  Making the cheek fuller or giving it more shape and definition can be achieved with soft tissue fillers, such as Radiesse®, Voluma®, or Perlane®.  This treatment is done in a single session in the comfort of our office.  In addition, patients who have a deep depression or hollowness in the area just below the eyes (sometimes called the “tear trough” region) can also benefit from fillers placed here. Dr. Ransom uses micro-cannulas to reduce bruising and to make the injections in the sensitive tissues around the eyes more comfortable.  Fillers used in this area are generally the thinner HAs, such as Restylane® or Belotero®.

Dr. Ransom performs non-surgical cheek augmentation using two filler materials.  The most common is Radiesse®, which is made of biocompatible calcium hydroxyapatite – a natural component of bone.  This filler is relatively firm and is placed deep along the bone of the upper cheek.  Radiesse® lasts between 12 and 18 months in this area for most patients.  Another great option is Voluma®, the newest of the soft tissue fillers.  Voluma® is made from highly cross-linked hyaluronic acid (HA), another naturally-occurring component of cartilage and connective tissue.  Voluma® lasts longer than any other HA filler – up to 2 years!  Finally, for patients who are just trying out cheek enhancement, shorter-lasting HA fillers are available.  This would include Perlane®, which last between 6 and 12 months, depending on the individual patient’s unique facial structure and metabolism.

As with any injectable treatment, Dr. Ransom strives to provide the most comfortable experience possible.  This includes use of topical numbing creams, including numbing medicine mixed in with all types of injectable fillers, and providing icepacks after treatment.

Who is a candidate?

Anyone who desires increased projection or fullness in the upper cheek area may be a candidate for non-surgical cheek augmentation.  Cheek augmentation may be performed as a stand-alone procedure, or combined with other aesthetic treatments such as filler injections to the lower eyelid hollows.  The key to any facial enhancement is identifying your aesthetic goals and the most appropriate and comfortable way to achieve them – while still looking natural.  Dr. Ransom will work closely with you throughout this process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What happens to the fillers over time?

A: Soft tissue fillers are slowly broken down by the body over time.  The duration of effect is dependent on the type of filler used, and, for HA fillers, the degree of crosslinking in the material.  Dr. Ransom prefers to use longer-lasting and thicker fillers for non-surgical cheek augmentation.  This gives a more reliable effect and is safe because the injections are placed deeply along the bone.

Q: If I decide later that I no longer like the non-surgical cheek augmentation, what can be done?

A: This depends on the type of filler used.  HA fillers like Voluma® and Perlane® can be dissolved with small doses of an enzyme called hyaluronidase.  For Raidesse®, the body slowly dissolves the filler material over time.  There is not an enzyme to dissolve this product, but other techniques can be used to speed up the process.

Q: If I decide that I want a more permanent solution, what are my options?

A: If you have undergone a non-surgical cheek augmentation and like the results, but don’t want to have repeated treatments, there are more permanent options.  The most common choice would be placement of cheek implants (see our dedicated procedure page).  These are made of a silicone-based plastic (Silastic) come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with a full range to fit your needs.  Placement involves a short surgical procedure with minimal downtime.  For patients who do not wish to have implants, fat grafting is a great option.  In this procedure, fat cells are taken from the abdomen (around the belly button) and then injected into the upper cheek and eyelid area.  This gives a natural fullness to the area and helps restore the youthful, rounded cheeks.

5.0

Based on 19 reviews

Christina G.
I had several nasal/sinus issues including a severely deviated septum and a dorsal hump, which I wasn't crazy about. Dr Ransom did both the medical and aesthetic parts of my surgery and he did a wonderful job! While I did have some swelling, I didn't experience much bruising at all. I loved that he left the natural look of my nose just making small corrections. My breathing has GREATLY improved. His office staff was super helpful in scheduling and making sure payment and everything was very clear. I am very, very, very pleased with my results!!
Tk I.
I had a terrible surf accident in Bali and needed to get 50 stitches to repair what the reef did to my face. I had emergency cosmetic surgery in Bali the day of the accident. Immediately when i got back to the states i was introduced to Dr Ransom through some mutual friends. I was searching for the best cosmetic surgeon in San Francisco to help in my recovery. He and his team have been amazing! he helped establish a plan for my post-op wound care/treatment and administered some initial laser treatments. Dr Ransom and his team are extremely knowledgeable and very patient / helpful. I am very grateful for their help and support. I am finally looking normal again!
Joey B.
I had three issues with my nose - which inhibited my breathing: 1- broken nose, 2 - narrow nostrils that collapsed when I inhaled through my nose, 3 - deviated septum. When I was living in New York, I went to see a doctor about my breathing issues, and he said my skin was too thin and there was likely nothing he could do to rectify the problem. Dr. Ransom was recommended by an ENT I saw through One Medical. As soon as he saw him, he said he could easily fix my nose, and remove the bump that had formed from the trauma. His confidence and strong sense of self immediately put me at ease, and I had little doubt that he could accomplish exactly what he promised. He showed me a modified picture of my nose , and really liked what he proposed. The end result very closely matched what he promised. Not only can I now breath much more easily through my nose, it looks much better. He managed to make it look like an improved version of itself, however I still look like me, and unless I tell anyone I had it done, it's not overly noticeable, which I prefer. I'm pretty vain and very critical, and I can say that Dr. Ransom is great, and comes highly recommended.
Edward T.
Doctor Evan Ransom took my surgery on relatively short order and did a wonderful job. He is very talented and has a nice friendly professional support staff. I can not thank him enough, he was calm, caring, professional and interested in the follow results of his work . He seemed to bring a certain artistry to the profession.
Lisa C.
Dr. Ransom is a talented physician. He is knowledgeable, professional and goes the extra mile to make you feel comfortable during your treatments. He has been blessed with an artistic eye which brings wonderful results. I highly recommend Dr. Ransom and would refer all of my friends and family members to choose him as their physician.
Cheryl H.
Dr Ransom is very kind, honest, and conscience doctor. I was referred by my best friend, she is also Doctor Ransom patient. She has so much good things said about Doctor Ransom. So I had a face lift done by Doctor Ransom on July 2015. He did a wonderful job on my face and I have a lot of compliments on my face. So if anyone want to get their face done. I would highly recommended Doctor Ransom to you. I give Doctor Ransom a five stars.
Jill P.
I have currently been getting botox regularly with Dr. Ransom and he does a fantastic job. My previous doctor's office moved to another location where it was no longer convenient. I didn't realize what I was missing until I went to Dr. Ransom. I felt really comfortable, but most important he did a terrific job blowing my previous doctor out of the park. (Sometimes it's good switch it up a bit to make sure you are getting the best treatment.) On top of that, Dee the office manager is an incredible asset to the office. She personalizes your visit and relationship with the office to an extent I have never experienced before. I even get follow up calls to see how I am doing after a treatment. I highly recommend Dr. Ransom for his great work, and his team's impeccable customer service.
Arielle C.
Dr. Ransom and Dee are the BEST! Whether it's aesthetic or reconstructive, I'd trust him over and over again with my face.