Getting Cheeky: Do You Need Cheek Filler or Facial Plastic Surgery?

Woman is excited about the results of her cheek filler.

Fuller, firmer, more lifted cheeks are one of the most sought-after features in the world of facial plastic surgery. People from Phoenix, Chandler, and across Arizona visit my Scottsdale practice in search of plumper cheeks that reflect the youthfulness they feel inside. Fortunately, more options exist than ever for achieving spectacular results, including treatments that don’t require a single incision. But which option is the best?

In this blog post, I’ll compare the pros and cons of both surgical and nonsurgical approaches to cheek augmentation to help you decide which route may be right for you.

What are my options for filling in flat cheeks?

Fortunately, there are lots of different options for addressing this common concern. The most popular include:

  • Dermal fillers: JUVEDERM VOLUMA® is especially effective for plumping up cheeks.
  • Fat transfer: This approach adds volume using injections of fat harvested from your own body.
  • Facelift: A surgical facelift lifts the structures of the mid- and lower face, creating more lifted cheeks.
  • Cheek augmentation: Adding silicone cheek implants creates long-lasting fullness.

In this post, we’ll look primarily at how fillers compare to a facelift. Learn more about how fillers compare to cheek implants in this previous blog post.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of injectable fillers?

Are injectable fillers the best approach for you? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.


  • Reduced recovery time: After filler injections, you can return to your normal routine right away. You may have some swelling and minor bruising, both of which usually resolve in about a week.
  • Natural-looking results: Filler placement is precise and fully customizable, so you can be sure your results are tailored specifically to you.
  • Cost-effective initially: Filler treatments cost less than surgery, making them a more affordable option. Pricing varies depending on the amount of filler injected, but most treatments cost around $1,500.


  • Temporary results: VOLUMA lasts up to 2 years, gradually dissolving over that time. You’ll need to come back for touch-up treatments every 1 to 2 years to maintain your results. However, this makes it a great choice for anyone who is new to cheek augmentation and wants to give it a try without committing to long-lasting results.
  • Costs add up: Because cheek fillers require repeated treatments over the years, you may end up paying more than you would have paid for a single surgical procedure with longer-lasting results. This is especially true if you’re looking to add significant volume rather than more moderate enhancements.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of facial plastic surgery?

Why might you choose surgery over less invasive fillers? Here’s what this approach has to offer.


  • Long-lasting results: In contrast with the 2 or so years of results fillers create, surgical results last much longer. Facelift surgery has been known to “turn back the clock” by up to a decade.
  • Deeper and more structural corrections: Surgery addresses the deeper structures of the face, whereas filler only adds volume just beneath the skin.


  • Longer recovery time: It takes about 2 weeks to recover from a facelift and head back to work. Recovery time may be a bit longer for those with more physically demanding jobs.
  • Greater initial cost: A facelift costs around $15,000, though this varies depending on the specifics of your procedure. However, considering the lifespan of your results, a facelift often turns out to be a more cost-effective option compared to fillers.

To see examples of the results you can expect after a facelift, please visit our before-and-after photo gallery.

Which approach is right for me?

Ultimately, the best way to determine the right approach for you is to consult personally with a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in facial plastic surgery. Your surgeon will closely assess your individual anatomy, concerns, and goals to recommend the best treatment plan for you.

If you would like to learn more about your options for getting plump, contoured cheeks with facial plastic surgery, please contact us online or call (480) 214-9955.

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