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  • KATIE MARTIN, PA-C

Cheek Filler - Lift, Define & Restore


Cheek filler has quickly become one of my favorite treatments due to the ability to improve many areas of the face at once. I call it the "biggest bang for your buck" when it comes to improving the look of an aging face with filler.


So, let's start by talking about the anatomy of a face over time.


With the "help" of age, gravity, genetics and sun damage, a couple of processes contribute to the overall aging of the face. Over time, bones of the face begin to recede, fat pads begin to fall and the skin loses some of its elasticity. Now, before you become depressed over these facts, we now have non-surgical options to help!



The Triangle of Youth inverts over time due to the effects of genetics, sun damage, aging and gravity.

With these factors, the "triangle of youth" begins to be turned upside down.

By adding filler to the cheeks, it can restore some of the volume lost over time. It replaces and also gives more structure to the midface. In turn, this takes some weight off of the lower face and can often improve the look of the nasolabial folds and marionette lines (aka the smile lines.)


Side note: The marionette and nasolabial folds are sometimes hard to treat without making someone look too full in the lower face. When this is the main concern for my patient, I will look at the midface first. In other words, I like to treat the "problem" rather than the "symptom."


Who could use cheek filler?


Anyone who has lost volume in their cheeks over time. Or, sometimes genetically you may have flattened cheeks. In this case, even younger patients could use a little cheek filler. I've also heard cheek filler be called "the contour you can't wash off."


Which fillers work best in this area?

Restylane Lyft is an amazing product for midface augmentation.

The fillers that work best in this area are the two that give the most structure and lift. I typically use either Restylane Lyft or Voluma. The filler is placed directly on the periosteum (on the bone) and needs to be the most robust and weight-bearing of the fillers.


What do I do before and after my treatment?


Typically, cheek filler doesn't bruise as much as the lower face, like lips. However, I would plan on some swelling (mostly on the sides of the cheeks.) There's always a chance of bruising. Some of my best tips for decreasing your risk of bruising include stopping blood thinners a week prior (if you can), decrease alcohol consumption for a week, stop Vitamin E and fish oils and begin Arnica tablets 2 days before treatment.


After treatment, expect to be a little sore and tender around the cheek area. Swelling should resolve in a few days and bruising will improve over the next 5-7 days. Makeup is allowed about 6 hours after your treatment. Try your best to sleep on your back to not put undue pressure on your face.


The effects of the filler are immediate. You'll be able to see the improvement prior to even leaving the office!


Amelia Clark, PA-C performing a cheek filler treatment.

What should I expect during the treatment?


When you come in for your cheek filler treatment, you can expect to discuss the treatment, sign paperwork and answer medical questions. After that, medical photos are taken. Then

numbing cream will be applied for 10-15 minutes prior to the treatment.


I like to warn my patients that the worst part of cheek filler is often the sound. Sometimes there's a bit of a crunching sound, especially close to the ear. Rest assured, that's not anything bad, that's just the needle going through the layers of the skin. After treatment, the area will be massaged and ice applied.




Patient injected with Restylane Lyft (one syringe) split between both sides of the face and some in the smile lines. Photo posted with patient's permission.

How much filler will I need?


Overall, the amount needed is based on the natural flattening and desired outcome. Typically, between 1-3 syringes of filler will be sufficient. I am a conservative provider and typically start with 1 syringe split between the sides of the face.


My overall goal is to provide a natural, refreshed result.


Patient injected with Restylane Lyft (one syringe) split between both sides of the face and some in the smile lines. Photo posted with patient's permission.






Cheek filler can be a wonderful refresher for the overall look of the face. It offers a subtle, non-surgical augmentation that changes the reflection of light and restores a more youthful balance.



For more information and to set up your complimentary consultation please call or text 442.444.0129.







Watch as Katie Martin, PA-C injects Restylane Lyft for the cheeks.

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