Are large cheeks caused by overly developed cheekbones, too much fat or a little bit of both?
For South Korean women, full upper cheeks are highly desirable. In some individuals, the sides of the cheekbones (zygomatic arches) can appear to be very strongly projected, creating shadowing underneath the cheekbones and an angular appearance.
This effect is more pronounced when there is an over abundance of upper cheek fat on top of the zygoma bone, causing the face to appear box shaped. Moreover, the face can appear too top heavy if high cheekbones are accompanied by a lack of volume in the submalar (beneath the cheekbone) area.
Luckily, the various methods of cheekbone reduction available are highly successful at improving these problems. However, it is very important to identify the cause of an over projected zygoma before embarking on surgery.
Anatomy of the upper cheek
When considering the potential impact of cheekbone reduction, the portion of bone known as the zygoma – which includes the sides of the eye socket known as the infraorbital rim – needs to be taken into account. The soft tissue thickness of the upper cheek, the lower facial contour and underlying jaw issues must also be examined.
If you have prominent eyes, minimizing the size of the cheekbones will worsen their appearance. Cheekbone reduction is therefore not advisable in such cases, as this is indicative of a mid face deficiency which would be better served with cheek augmentation instead.
Methods of cheekbone reduction
In order to reduce the size of the upper cheeks, there are several methods available to improve the contour of a boxy face, ranging from fairly minor to invasive.
1. Reshaping of the malar bones involves the reduction of the zygomatic portion of the malar bone to soften prominent cheekbones that are wide laterally.
Also known as a reduction malarplasty or malar reduction surgery, cheekbone reduction Korea style is pre-planned with the assistance of x-ray, conebeam and CT scan technologies. These show where the nerves, muscle, fat and bone lie underneath the skin, and ultimately help maxillofacial surgeons avoid injuring vital structures during the surgery.
Cheekbone reduction surgery is an invasive procedure, although the surgery itself is performed through discreet incisions which usually heal undetectably. An endoscopic approach coupled with FDA-approved lasers minimize the trauma and recovery times associated with reduction malar osteotomies. The various surgical methods and incisions relating to cheekbone reduction are discussed in greater detail here.
Surgical cheekbone reduction for men can also be desirable in certain circumstances, particularly if the mid face is out of balance with the jaw line.
2. Liposuction of the cheeks entails the removal upper cheek fat using micro cannulas or laser assisted technology to reduce the adipose (fat) layer overlying the zygoma arch.
The Accusculpt Korea cheekbone reduction method is ideal for this purpose, as the machine has been specially designed for recontouring the face and neck rather than the body. This facial liposuction device selectively targets fat cells, which can help to improve facial symmetry and minimize the size of heavy cheeks or protruding zygoma fat. The heat energy emitted by the Accusculpt laser is lower than the heat output of laser liposuction machines for the body and this energy is more confined to the area that’s being treated. This allows the superficial fat layers of the face to be sculpted very precisely and safely, without risking injury to facial nerves or too much ‘spread’ of the Accusculpt’s heat to the surrounding areas of facial fat.
For more dramatic results, the procedure can be performed after a zygoma cheekbone reduction procedure.
3. Fillers to the submalar triangle can bring the mid face into balance and soften the appearance of protruding upper cheekbones.
Sometimes, cheekbones look disproportionally large when the lower cheeks are too narrow in comparison to the mid face. In order to achieve better facial balance, fillers or fat grafting can be very helpful in the submalar area, which – in thin patients – often presents itself as a shadow or depression extending diagonally from the high point of the zygomatic arch to the corners of the mouth. Adding volume to the sides of the face can make the mid face appear less wide, acting to ‘blend in’ large cheeks with the surrounding soft tissue.
CT scans and MRI technology can assess whether prominent cheekbones are due to excess bone, an overabundance of fat, or a lack of volume in the submalar triangle.
Cheekbone reduction surgery cost
Depending on whether you’re interested in bone surgery, liposuction or fat grafting to the lower face to balance the upper malar eminences, cheekbone reduction surgery costs will vary.