We often talk about “filler” as an all-encompassing treatment, no matter what part of the face we’re talking about. However, the prep and recovery needs of a cheek filler patient may be different than those of a lip enhancement patient. Here, we outline the top tips doctors say cheek filler patients should consider before their first meeting with the syringe.
Study Your Facial Movements
Step 1? “Look in the mirror,” says Scottsdale, AZ facial plastic surgeon Kelly V. Bomer, MD. “It is important to study your cheeks in the mirror and obtain photos of yourself before filler in the resting and smiling positions. Filler in the cheeks can dramatically change the contour at rest and smiling. It is valuable to view before-and-after photos of patients with cheek filler augmentation at rest and smiling from the injector that you will be utilizing so you have an understanding of the type of shape the injector makes and how it accommodates natural movement.”
The Domino Effect
Bloomfield Hills, MI dermatologist Linda C. Honet, MD notes that any existing concerns on other parts of the face may become less prominent once correction of the cheeks have been restored. “Cheek filler can affect and improve many issues that are ‘downstream’, like the nasolabial folds, jowls, tear troughs and skin laxity, to name a few.”
Dr. Honet recommends having cheek filler done first before any other filler treatments. “If your expert injector advises to have the filler placed in the cheeks first, respect this advice and do so. Cheek filler will allow for an overall more natural and global rejuvenation that is subtle, beautiful and noticeable and allow for more natural placement of other fillers in rest of the face.”
Some bruising and swelling are expected the first few weeks after treatment, so it’s important to be patient as skin will need time to heal. To help speed up the process, doctors say to stop taking anything that can exacerbate bruising, including alcohol immediately before or after your procedure. “Avoid taking supplements, OTC medicines, or eating or drinking anything that may thin your blood for a few days before your appointment so that you minimize bruising,” adds Dr. Honet. Also, avoid any dental procedures for a few days after as any bacteria that can enter the bloodstream and result in nodules.
Start with an HA
Dr. Bomer notes that it is best to choose a hyaluronic acid filler which can be dissolved after injections if needed. “It is best to choose a hyaluronic acid filler which can be modified if necessary. It’s best to be sure you like the style and results of your treatment before deciding on a longer-lasting filler.”
Dr. Honet adds that you should ask your injector to start slow: “For instance, even if I recommend three to four syringes, I am happy to start with two at a time. My goal is always to treat to complete. It just may take a few more weeks to get there.”