The Surge of Faux Dimples: Exploring the Details of Dimpleplasty Surgery

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The Surge of Faux Dimples: Exploring the Details of Dimpleplasty Surgery featured image
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If you weren’t blessed by those adorable cheek indentations that give celebrities like Mario Lopez, Jennifer Garner and Miranda Kerr an eternally youthful smile, you can now have them made in just under an hour. Dimpleplasty is a simple outpatient procedure that takes about 30 minutes and is gaining popularity as more and more patients are undergoing cosmetic procedures to get the features they’ve always wanted.

Image/ Dr. Peter Chang

Approximately 20-30 percent of people worldwide are born with dimples, rendering them relatively rare. While dimples are classified as a dominant genetic trait, their inheritance pattern can be unpredictable and influenced by multiple genes. Most individuals are born with dimples, however some may develop them later in life.

What does dimpleplasty surgery entail?

Sugar Land, TX, plastic surgeon Peter Chang, MD, says he is now performing four times as many dimpleplasty procedures as he used to just a few years ago. “Everyone in Hollywood has them and everyone wants them,” adds Dr. Chang. “I make a tiny incision inside the patient’s cheek, remove a small piece of cheek muscle and attach the reaming muscle to the underside of the skin, which leaves a permanent indentation, creating the dimple. It requires local anesthetic, takes about 30 minutes with just a little bit of swelling after.”

Image/ Dr. Peter Chang: Patient Rafael Gonzalez before and after the dimple creation procedure. 

For Dr. Chang’s patient, 50-year-old Rafael Gonzalez, it took some time to decide to undergo a dimpleplasty, but it’s a decision he says he doesn’t regret. “I had considering it for about a year before I had the procedure,” says Gonzalez. “I had recently become single and I really wanted to give the effects of having a smile. Now, I can give just a small smile and the dimples make it look like I’m really smiling.”

Gonzalez admits he wasn’t prepared for how one small tweak could make a huge difference. “I knew it would have an effect, but I had no idea. I definitely get a lot more compliments and attention now. Every single woman says the same thing, it’s the first thing they compliment me on, they love the dimples.”

Image/ Dr. Peter Chang

The procedure can cost anywhere from $2,000–$5,000 and prices vary depending on your geographical location and the experience and training of your surgeon. “It was only about $2,000 and it was a no-brainer. It took less than an hour and I had very minimal swelling afterward,” says Gonzalez. “It’s made a drastic difference in my life, and I always tell people it’s the best $2,000 I’ve ever spent.” 

Are dimpleplasty surgery results permanent?

Dimpleplasty, or dimple creation surgery, typically leads to permanent results, with the presence of a permanent dimple about 90 percent of the time says Dr. Chang. However, in some cases, the results may fade or entirely disappear over time.

Beverly Hills, CA facial plastic surgeon Kimberly J. Lee, MD says it can also be done to create a dimple on the chin, however it’s a little more difficult to perform. “Yes, it can be done but it is much less desirable than dimples on the cheek,” Dr. Lee explains. “The chin is also harder to access.”

Can dimpleplasty surgery cause facial nerve damage?

Serious complications like facial nerve damage are rare but cannot be completely dismissed. The facial nerve runs through the face, and any surgical procedure carries some risk of nerve damage. However, skilled and experienced surgeons take precautions to minimize this risk. “The main technique to create cheek dimples is creating scar tissue between the cheek skin and a facial muscle called ‘Buccinator,’” says Beverly Hills, CA facial plastic surgeon Babak Azizzadeh, MD. “This muscle is critical in our facial expression and the ‘buccal’ branch of the facial nerve travels on top of it. The risk of nerve damage as a result certainly exists albeit likely low if an expert surgeon performs the procedure.”

While the risk of facial paralysis is generally low, any surgery involving the face carries some inherent risks. Skilled surgeons aim to avoid complications that could lead to facial paralysis, but it’s crucial to choose a qualified professional to perform the procedure.

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