Popularised in the media, dimples are considered an attractive facial feature for many people. If you were born without dimples, you can now have natural and permanent scar-free cheek dimples created using surgery – for that extra touch of cuteness to your smile.
Natural dimples occur on both sides of the face, and are generally present only when the face is animated, often to an unnaturally exaggerated degree. They are caused by a defect in the muscle of the cheek (buccinator muscle) and an inherited split in the zygomaticus major facial muscle that normally raises the upper lip. When a portion of this muscle is adherent to the overlying cheek skin, dimples may form. Muscle contraction during smiling causes the overlying skin to indent.
WHAT IS DIMPLEPLASTY?
Dimpleplasty (or dimple surgery) is a minor surgical procedure carried out under local anaesthesia (LA) to create dimples on your cheeks.
WHO IS THE TREATMENT SUITABLE FOR?
Anyone wanting to create dimples in their cheeks.
Where are the dimples placed?
The usual location for cheek dimples is at the intersection of a horizontal line extended from the corner of the mouth and a vertical line extending from the outer corner of the eye. See the diagrams below for an illustration of this point. However, dimples may be created at other areas per your preferences.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE PROCEDURE?
Dimple surgery is considered a minor surgical procedure, with the treatment usually taking around twenty minutes for both sides. It is performed under local anaesthetic.
The appropriate place is marked on your skin according to your choice. Local anaesthetic is then injected into the area. An incision is made inside your cheek and a dissolvable stitch is passed through your cheek skin and tied against the muscle inside your mouth to create the dimple. This stitch takes around 6‐12 weeks to dissolve but should leave a permanent dimple in the area due to scarring of the skin against the muscle. Further dissolving stitches are placed along the wound inside your mouth which will take around 5‐10 days to dissolve.
Your surgery will be carried out by board certified plastic surgeon
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS OR RISKS?
You will have minor swelling of the face and bruising which should fully disappear within two weeks. As the stitch dissolves, the dimple will become less pronounced and look more natural. Occasionally the dimple can disappear over time, but the procedure can be easily repeated.
WHAT RESULTS CAN I TYPICALLY EXPECT?
The results of dimple surgery are usually permanent. Typically the new dimple will flatten within the first few days after surgery, then over the next few weeks you will notice the newly created dimple looks more natural. Bear in mind that your dimple/s will still appear even if your face is at rest. You can expect to see the finished result within three months. Results of dimple surgery vary and it is not possible to predict exactly the depth, size and shape of your dimples after the procedure.
How will I look when I leave the office after dimpleplasty?
During the initial period following the dimple procedure, the dimples are present even in repose or at rest. Over several weeks, the dimples become less evident while at rest, and deepen with smiling.
BEFORE YOUR PROCEDURE
It is important that you stop smoking at least four weeks before your surgery and for four weeks afterwards.
soon after the procedure, you might experience mild swelling. You can apply cold packs to reduce swelling, but it will usually go away on its own within a few days.The local anaesthetic will provide a degree of postoperative pain relief, but you will need to take regular painkillers (paracetamol, ibuprofen) for up to one week. The pain should start to reduce after a few days. You will usually not need any time off work. Your surgeon will likely want to see you a couple of weeks after the procedure to assess the results.
Are there complications?
Complications from a dimpleplasty are relatively rare. However, the possible risks may be serious if they do occur. Some of the possible complications include:
bleeding at the site of surgery
facial nerve damage
redness and swelling
If you experience excessive bleeding or oozing at the site of the procedure, see your doctor right away. You could have an infection. The earlier the infection is treated, the less likely it will spread to the bloodstream and cause further complications.
Scarring is a rare but certainly undesirable side effect of a dimpleplasty. There’s also a chance that you won’t like the results once they’re done. It’s difficult to reverse the effects of this type of surgery, however.
Before opting for this type of surgery, you’ll need to accept that the outcome is permanent, whether you like the results or not. This seemingly simple surgery still requires a lot of thoughtful consideration before you choose to do it.