A latina model in a white bikini with her arms behind her head in a mustard gold room

Cheek Surgery

Cheek Reduction Surgery in LA, SF and Orange County

Cheek procedures are among some of the less known facial plastic surgeries out there. However, reshaping the cheek (or malar) region can go a long way in rejuvenating a person’s appearance or achieving their goal look. While some may be uncomfortable with very prominent or wide cheekbones, others are unhappy with a narrow or gaunt look. Our board-certified plastic surgeons in Los Angeles offer both cheek augmentation and reduction to help our patients get the look that they want.


Cheek augmentation can be used to increase the projection of a person’s cheekbone by adding volume to areas which may be recessed or flat. If you have seen before and after photos of cheek augmentation and have liked the results, then you may think of undergoing this plastic surgery procedure.

There are several cheek augmentation techniques available—both surgical and non-surgical. We will carefully examine your facial structure and factor in your expectations to determine if either surgical or nonsurgical treatment is recommended. Additionally, if a treatable cause is present it should be identified.

Surgical Cheek Augmentation

Surgical cheek augmentation is intended to emphasize the cheeks on a person’s face. To augment the cheeks, we may perform facial fat grafting to increase the volume of the cheek.  This autologous fat transfer is considered a more permanent option for cheek augmentation. This method takes donor fat cells from other areas of your body and injects them into the cheek to increase their size. The obvious upside to this procedure is that you gain the cheeks that you want while losing a bit of stubborn fat elsewhere.  Cheek augmentation is commonly combined with other procedures, such as a facelift surgery or chin augmentation to maintain harmony throughout all of your facial features.

Non-Surgical Cheek Augmentation

Nonsurgical methods of cheek augmentation involve administering injections to the cheekbones.  This offers a less invasive and less expensive solution. Dermal fillers, such as Restylane or Juvéderm, can be used to augment the cheek area with hyaluronic acid. These fillers can be injected into the cheek area to add or restore facial volume. The downside of filler injection is that you will need to have the procedure repeated every 1-2 years depending on the type of filler used. Many people prefer the non-surgical approach because of the lack of downtime necessary during the recovery period.

If symmetry among facial features is part of your goal, we may also recommend facial implants to augment other areas of your face as well. It’s important to remember that  everyone’s face is asymmetric to some degree, so your results may not be completely symmetrical. The goal of these procedures is to create balance and proportion.

Malar vs. Submalar Cheek Implants

The area for cheek volume improvement can be of two types: malar or submalar. They are given these names based on the area of the face where they are placed. The malar area is located in the upper cheek region. If the cheekbones are strongly expressed and high, the face often has a desirable outlook with high and attractive cheekbones. The submalar area is located slightly lower, and can oftentimes be affected by sagging skin as you get older.

Get Your Cheek Augmentation Consultation Today

Give us a call today to schedule your Cheek Reduction Surgery consultation with one of our plastic surgeons at Wave Plastic Surgery.


While well-defined, prominent cheekbones are considered aesthetically pleasing, some people, especially those with East Asian backgrounds, are prone to have excessively prominent cheekbones that do not look proportional or balanced with the rest of their facial features.

Through cheek reduction surgery, patients can expect to enjoy an enhanced appearance, more defined features and more defined cheeks, as well as a more narrow face shape.

Cheekbone or malar reduction is a procedure used to reshape overly prominent cheekbones. Because the cheekbone is a complex, three dimensional structure, surgical planning involves an in depth consultation, and photographs, x-rays, CT scanning and occasionally 3-dimensional modeling are used to assist operative planning. The procedure takes place under general anesthesia to protect the area. The cheekbone complex is approached through multiple, hidden incisions in the mouth and temporal region.

Once exposed, the cheekbone is cut to allow reshaping. The new position is maintained with titanium plates. The incisions are closed with absorbable sutures. After a brief stay in the recovery room, patients are discharged home. Swelling can be substantial at first but dissipates by two weeks, after which most patients can return to work. The final result will be apparent several months after surgery after all the swelling has resolved.

The buccal fat is a naturally occurring pocket of fat in the submalar area. The fat in this area has a very distinct appearance, and its function is unknown. There are no known deficits from its removal. The amount of buccal fat varies with each individual patient. The procedure may be performed alone, or in conjunction with facelift

During the cheek reduction surgery, the patient is administered local anesthesia, the surgeon makes incisions, harvests the fat through liposuction or other means, then closes the incisions. This surgery can be as short as an hour.

Get Your Cheek Reduction Consultation Today

Whether you’re looking to increase the size of your cheeks or just the opposite, our plastic surgeons are trained to provide you with the treatments that you need to achieve your goal look. Give us a call today to schedule your cheek augmentation or reduction consultation.

Buccal Fat Removal

The layer of fat around the cheek area is called buccal fat.  This feature can be hereditary or can develop over time, causing a rounded, chubby or ‘chipmunk’ appearance. Reducing buccal fat through a cheek reduction surgery will give the face a more contoured, shapely aesthetic.  Wave’s expert Plastic Surgeons can help you achieve a more balanced, refined look.

Many patients desire a slimmer, more refined shape to their lower face. Men prefer a more chiseled, masculine jawline, while women want a more delicate, angular lower face. This can often be achieved through buccal fat excision. The goal of buccal fact excision is to reduce the fullness in the cheeks. Although younger individuals often have more roundness in cheek hollows and it is seen as a sign of youth, some patients feel that this makes their face appear too full.

The buccal fat is a naturally occurring pocket of fat in the submalar area. The fat in this area has a very distinct appearance, and its function is unknown. There are no known deficits from its removal. The amount of buccal fat varies with each individual patient. The procedure may be performed alone, or in conjunction with facelift


The reduction of buccal fat pad is usually performed under local anesthesia with intravenous sedation. The typical approach for removing the buccal fat pad is through a minimal incision along the bite line, near the second molars. The underlying tissues are then dissected to expose the main body of the buccal fat. Once visualized, the fat in gently teased out while gentle pressure is applied externally. The fat is then cauterized at the base and removed the incisions are sutured. Typically the procedure takes about 30 minutes to complete, after which the patient is then discharged home.


Patients typically have minor discomfort as the intraoral incisions heal for a few days. Swelling can typically last for a couple of weeks. Self absorbing sutures are used The final results can take up to 3 months to manifest.

Subscribe to Receive Exclusive Email Specials