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What Is the Best Procedure for Hollowed Cheeks?

Round, plump cheeks are often considered to be one of the most desirable facial features. This is because they symbolize health and youth. During your teenage and young adult years, your cheek fullness is maintained by your body’s high levels of collagen.

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Collagen is the protein responsible for providing the skin with elasticity, strength, and structure. Unfortunately, your collagen production starts to diminish as you reach adulthood, and before you know it, the effects become noticeable.

For your cheeks to appear round and full, there must be an adequate amount of subcutaneous fat, and the surrounding muscle structure and skin must be firm and taut. When aging sets in, the skin and tissues supporting the cheeks start to sag. This causes the remaining cheek fat to fall and settle near the jawline.

Hollowed cheeks are the result of this. Fortunately, many different treatment options can restore plump, healthy, natural-looking cheeks.


The facelift has always been the go-to treatment for the loss of fullness in the midface. A facelift removes excess skin and tightens underlying tissues to reduce signs of aging. This technique restores a lifted and rounded appearance to the cheek region.

During a vertical facelift, the subcutaneous fat is lifted along with the muscles and deep tissues in an upward direction, restoring the cheeks to their proper elevation on the face. Since some volume loss in the cheeks is experienced naturally, Dr. Calabria incorporates fat grafting into every facelift. A stem cell enhanced facelift takes fat that is harvested from your lower abdomen and puts it through a series of processes that separate the regenerative stem cells. The stem cells are then inserted into the cheek region where they will promote cell growth. This allows for lasting, natural-looking fullness.

Fat Grafting

While fat grafting is often combined with a facelift, the procedure can be done as a standalone treatment for certain patients. Fat grafting can benefit patients who experience facial volume loss but still retain skin elasticity. This technique is only minimally invasive, and for patients who do not need skin tightening, can be quite rewarding.


Injectables are a non-invasive way to restore facial volume in the malar (cheek) region without the need for surgery. Soft tissue fillers like Restylane®, JUVÉDERM® Ultra Plus, and RADIESSE® restore volume and hydration to the cheeks through a series of injections. While facial fillers only offer temporary results, they are ideal for younger patients who are in good health and retain skin elasticity.

Facial Implants

Many patients are pleased with the look of dermal fillers but may unhappy about their temporary nature. For patients interested in a more permanent solution to volume loss, cheek implants permanently augment and enhance facial contours. Incisions are made, and implants are inserted through the mouth to ensure that there are no visible scars or telltale signs of cosmetic surgery. Cheek implants offer natural-looking improvement to hollowed cheeks.


If you are unhappy with your sunken cheeks, contact Dr. Calabria by calling (760) 836–0077 or by filling out his online contact form.