From Plunged to Plumped:  Mid-face Lift v. Cheek Filler

There’s something to be said of youthful, plump, “chubby cheeks!”  Saggy-looking cheeks in need of a lift?  See if instant “plumpification” with dermal fillers or if opting for a more invasive approach is your best bet.

If you’re looking to revitalize and volumize sunken, sagging cheeks due to aging, sun damage, or weight loss, a surgical face lift or nonsurgical cheek filler injections may be the answer you’ve been looking for.  A mid-face lift is an invasive, surgical procedure that seeks to lift, tighten, ad firm the skin and the underlying tissues of the cheek area for a younger-looking, firmer appearance.  While facelifts offer a more permanent effect to your aging woes, they’re not for everyone and not everyone is a candidate.  Cheek fillers, on the other hand, offer a more “ala carte” option that focuses on instantly “plumping,” filling, and firming the entire cheek area, imparting a more sculpted, defined cheek area. 

What Causes Cheeks to Start Sagging?

It seems one day you’re up and the next?  Well, you know where this is going.  But why exactly do the structures surrounding our once-bouncy, spry cheeks begin to take a noticeable plunge overtime?  Several factors can contribute to cheek laxity:

  • Loss of skin-supporting collagen and depletion of elastin fibers caused by aging or glycation
  • Sun damage
  • Dramatic weight loss/weight fluctuations
  • Hormonal fluctuations
  • Genetics
  • Bone loss
  • Fat wasting

Things are Looking Up:  The Mid-face Lift

Designed to treat more advanced cheek laxity, a mid-face lift, or simply “cheek lift,” elevates the internal fat pad in the cheek area (also known as the malar pad), providing youthful firmness and “plump” to the cheeks and resulting in a visibly rejuvenated and refreshed look.  Results of a cheek lift are permanent, and recovery is quicker than a traditional, full facelift.  (SOURCE:  Most patients can expect to enjoy final results within six months following surgery.  Typically, an incision is placed behind the hairline in the temple region, as well as inside the mouth where the soft tissues of the cheek are surgically lifted off the underlying bone.  The entire cheek pad is then elevated and suspended to a fixation device called an endontine. 

While most mid-face lifts are recommended to those over 45 years of age due to the invasiveness and permanence of the procedure, younger patients can be cleared for the popular plastic surgery trend if they meet certain criteria, including having had previous filler injections to the area. 

Benefits of a Mid-face Lift or “Cheek Lift”

The benefits of undergoing a cheek lift to address signs of sagging in the cheek area are plentiful, such as:

  • Results are permanent – say bye to nonsurgical cosmetic upkeep with regular filler injections or skin tightening devices
  • Less downtime than a full facelift/traditional face lift as only the mid-face is being addressed
  • More noticeable, palpable results than cheek filler injections
  • Incisions are inconspicuously placed for flawless-looking results

Take Your Best Shot:  Giving Cheeks a Lift Using Dermal Fillers

Younger patients (those under 45 years of age) who’ve noticed the first signs of time ravaging their formerly collagen-laden cheeks can opt for a less invasive approach than the mid-face lift counterpart.  Nonsurgical, minimally invasive dermal filler injections, such as Juvederm®, Restalyne®, or Radiesse®, can be used to instantly sculpt, lift, fill, and firm the entire cheek area. These widely popular, multi-purpose, hyaluronic acid and gel -based injectables are used to add volume to cheeks, jawline, facial folds, and to plump-up a deflating, aging pout.  Dermal fillers are also used to fill deep creases and crinkles in the complexion.  It’s no wonder millions of men and women seek out the syringe to win the war on wrinkles.  The beauty of dermal fillers is they’re completely temporary, lasting from 6 months to 2 years in most cases.  So, if a patient is unhappy with the results or changes their mind, their original appearance will return once the filler is dissolved and reabsorbed by the body.

Dermal fillers are fast and virtuously fuss-free.  After a numbing agent is applied, the filler is strategically injected around and above the cheekbones, fiving the entire mid face a fuller, more defined look.  The Radiesse® brand filler is one of the best filler options for the cheekbone area, as Juvederm® is most touted for its pout-perfecting prowess.  Fillers are a viable option for those who’ve noticed the early signs of cheek laxity and is a wonderful way to begin addressing those slight changes as they appear without the cutting, cost, downtime, and more drastic effects of mid-face lifts.  The entire procedure is performed in-office in less than 30 minutes.  No one will ever know you had “work” done, but they’ll be sending you curious glances, as well as inquiring about your new, unmistakable glow.

Benefits of Cheek Fillers

Besides the preferred, no-commitment aspect of cosmetic injectables, fillers offer a bevy of cheek-beautifying benefits, including:

  • No downtime/recovery, save for slight bruising or redness at the injection site (which usually subsides within a few hours to a day)
  • Nonsurgical – no cutting, no scarring, no scalpels
  • Results can last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, depending on the patient and type of filler used
  • Enhances facial symmetry
  • Defines/enhances cheekbones
  • Increases youthful volume
  • Smooths fine lines and fills unwanted, deep wrinkles
  • Immediate to near-immediate results – get instant “plumpification!”
  • Cost-effective/less expensive than a mid-face lift
  • Low risk of complications
  • Provides subtle, natural-looking results


If you’ve been noticing some sagging creepy up in the cheek area, it may be time to turn the other cheek and learn how either a mid-face lift/cheek lift or dermal filler injections can help you achieve a more lifted, youthful look to your cheekbones.  Fill out the form on our Contact Page or call our office directly to speak with any one of Dr. J’s talented team members who can help answer any questions you may have or to set-up an appointment with Dr. J.  We look forward to helping you reach your beauty goals using innovative, customized, cosmetic solutions coupled with signature, surgically artistic techniques.

And we will end with the most popular question that we get: how much does it cost to have plastic surgery in Beverly Hills? What is the cost of a non-invasive procedure in Beverly Hills? How much does liposuction cost in Beverly Hills? The cost of plastic surgery in Beverly Hills depends on the type of procedure you have, where you are having it, and who is doing it. Call now to schedule a consultation with Dr. Jalalabadi, where he will be happy to answer all your questions and help guide you to the right procedure for your needs.