Treatment guide

Cheekbone Reduction

In some people the cheekbones (or zygomatic bones) can be out of proportion, being either too high or too wide for the overall shape of their face. In these cases, cheekbone reductions can be carried out. Bone can be removed from and the contours of the cheek can be reshaped into a more attractive form.

The content has been reviewed for quality and accuracy to the best of our knowledge by Qunomedical and its Medical Board of Experts.

JuliaJuliaPatient Manager
Still unsure? We'll find the right doctor together!
+44 1466 455033
★★★★★Gael D., Germany:
“Qunomedical helped me so much! Thank you!“
★★★★★Gael D., Germany:
“Qunomedical helped me so much! Thank you!“



  • People who feel that their cheekbones are too wide.

  • People who have been in accidents that caused some form of facial disfiguration.

  • People who have "sunken" parts of their cheeks or general issues with the contours of their face.


  • Following surgery, patients should be able to leave the hospital within 24 hours and resume normal activities within three to four days.

  • Full healing takes 4-6 months.


Surgery takes between 1-2 hours, and patients can be out of the hospital on the same day, although in some cases overnight stays will be advised.


Studies have found 96% patient satisfaction with the results of reduction surgery.


  • Moderate post-operative pain is common, and infections are possible.

  • Temporary changes to skin sensation are normal, but sensation may be affected on a long-term basis.

  • Problems may arise regarding facial asymmetry, tightness around the mouth and weakened cheekbones. This may result in the need for further corrective surgery.

What Is a Cheekbone Reduction Surgery?

Cheekbone reductions involve reshaping the contours of an individual's cheek to create a more aesthetically pleasing result. Specifically, the procedure reduces the width between the peaks of the cheekbones, altering the proportions of the face to improve the patient's appearance. In the process, care must be taken to remove only sufficient bone to achieve the right contours and to avoid damaging the infraorbital nerve, which supplies sensation for the sides of the face.

How Do Cheekbone Reductions Work?

Cheekbone reduction is a surgical process requiring a short inpatient stay and usually involving a general anaesthetic. The process will generally be as follows:

  • Firstly, anyone undergoing cheekbone reduction surgery, a.k.a. a zygoma reduction plasty, must be thoroughly assessed to ensure they are able to withstand surgery and are psychologically stable. Prior to surgery, physicians will recommend abstaining from alcohol and many medications to properly prepare for the reduction procedure itself.

  • Before surgery, a separate appointment will be scheduled in which doctors will take X-ray images of the cheek area. This provides important data about the shape and measurements of the bones to be reshaped (the maxilla and mandibular bones).

  • Most reductions involve what are known as "intraoral procedures" - which means procedures inside the mouth. During this procedure, an incision will be made in the gum lining, enabling surgeons to gain access to the cheekbones. However, it may also be necessary to make an exterior incision just below the hairline.

  • At this point, it is also generally necessary to weaken the zygomatic bone by creating fractures at both ends. This allows surgeons to apply pressure on the bone, producing the shape required.

  • The exact form of reshaping depends on the facial contours involved but will usually entail using a surgical saw to cut through the zygomatic arch (part of the cheekbone).

  • After this is done, surgeons will be able to rotate and fold the bone. This has the effect of reducing the width of the face as seen from the front, without losing the general contours of the face as a whole. Rotation may not be needed in cases of high cheekbones, where downward pressure may be applied instead.

  • In any case, titanium screws are then needed to apply the pressure to reshape the bones until they are firmly set in the correct position. Any incisions are then closed and dressed, and the recovery period begins.

Are There Different Types of Cheekbone Reduction?

There are a couple of different zygomatic reduction procedures. Which is used depends on whether the patient suffers from excessively wide or high cheekbones.The most common form of reduction procedure is known as an L-shaped osteotomy. This procedure aims to reduce the width of an individual's cheekbones and takes the form described above, meaning it involves incisions, fractures and surgical reshaping.

Alternatively, a very similar procedure is used to reshape excessively high cheekbones. In this case, it is more common for incisions to be made externally as well as inside the mouth, and cheekbones will be manipulated downwards into the correct position. It may also be necessary to remove small amounts of bone tissue to ensure the correct proportions.

What Should I Expect?

Following a cheekbone reduction operation, you can expect to experience a few symptoms in the period immediately after the procedure. This often involves swelling inside the mouth, numbness in the cheek area, haematoma and mild to moderate pain. These symptoms are normal and tend to ease off within a few days.

You will be able to return home within 24 hours of surgery and resume a normal diet and social life within a week. However, total healing of the internal fractures and any external scarring will take a period of six months. Cheekbones may also be permanently weaker following reduction surgery.

The final shape of your facial contours will be apparent within a few weeks of surgery. At this point, expect to make follow-up appointments with your cosmetic surgeon to assess how the procedure went and whether any further attention is required. In some instances, reduction surgery can lead to asymmetry, scarring and nerve damage, and experts will want to detect any problems as soon as possible.

Further surgery is rare but may be required in a minority of cases. Additionally, some patients report the need for botox or other cosmetic procedures, in order to deal with sagging in the cheek area. However, this is not the experience of most cheekbone reduction patients.

How Do I Get Started?

Prior to the surgery, you will need to have an initial consultation with your surgeon. We at Qunomedical will liaise with the clinic on your behalf. At this point, you will be required to provide us with pictures of your face, a list of medications you regularly take and whether you have any allergies. This information is sent to the surgeon who will then proceed to prepare a suggested treatment plan for you and your health manager will then forward you the plan. If you have any more questions or queries, feel free to reach out to them anytime.

If you choose to go ahead with the treatment, the surgeon will then elucidate the steps of the procedure and will also give you extensive advice on preparations prior to and post the surgery.

Qunomedical will be there with you, every step of the way!


Patient manager


Your personal Patient Manager

Let's talk

Still unsure? Feeling overwhelmed? Talking to a real person can give you the guidance and reassurance needed. You don’t have to do it alone. Let’s find the right doctor together.