Cheek implants are a well recognized form of facial augmentation that has been used for decades. By placing an implant on the cheekbones a permanent midfacial augmentation effect can be achieved. But cheek implants are not just one style or size fits all. There are over a half dozen styles of cheek implants designed to augment different parts of the cheek bone in various ways. These are most commonly seen as malar, submalar and shell (combined malar and submalar) style cheek implants.
But all forms of cheek implants augment the largest bony area of the cheek, the zygomatic body. No implant style extends more posteriorly across the thinner and more curved zygomatic arch. The zygomatic arch adds lateral projection to the midface as evidenced by its bowed convex shape. For those patients seeking a wider or a stronger arch cheek look, as often seen on male and female model faces, augmentation of the zygomatic arch is needed.
There are no standard preformed zygomatic arch cheek implants. They have to be individually made for each patient either through computer design or hand carving the implant shape from a solid block of silicone material. Zygomatic arch implants can be used in conjunction with standard cheek implants (as seen in this picture) or a combined cheek-arch implant can be custom made from the patient’s 3D CT scan.
For male or female patients seeking a high cheek augmentation look, or that ‘model cheek look’, a zygomatic arch component needs to be part of the cheek augmentation. Zygomatic arch implants can be done alone add facial width if sufficient anterior cheekbone projection already exists.
Dr. Barry Eppley