Facial dimples are small hollows on the cheek and become prominent when an individual smiles. Cheek dimples are considered to be beautiful in Oriental and Arab societies, and is also a symbol of good luck in Chinese culture. Dimples accentuate the aesthetic value of the smile, and are associated with overall attractiveness and sociability. Interestingly, a Singapore plastic surgeon was the first in the world to publish the surgical technique of dimple creation.
Dimples are an inherited trait and are caused by fibrous attachments of the skin to the underlying zygomaticus major muscle. Individuals without dimples lack these attachments.
Dimple creation is an ambulatory procedure performed under local anesthesia, with optional intravenous sedation if requested.
Individuals who have sufficient cheek soft tissue may undergo dimple creation surgery.
This surgery creates dimples that are shallow and vaguely visible at rest and are accentuated when smiling. It is performed through incisions within the oral cavity and there are no external scars. The dimples are prominent in the immediate postoperative period and the final result is normally visible and natural after resolution of swelling.
Individuals are advised to stop herbal supplements and traditional medicine and start special medications 7 days prior to surgery to minimize bruising and swelling.
Preoperative markings are performed in the upright position to mark the proposed site of dimples. Local anesthesia is infused inside the mouth for optimal intra- and post- operative analgesia. A small incision is made, and one or two stitches used to artificially create attachments between the deep layer of the skin and the underlying cheek muscle. The wounds are then closed with self-dissolving stitches.
Minor swelling and bruising is expected after surgery, and will mostly resolve by the 7th postoperative day. Stitch removal is not required as they are self-dissolving. Most individuals are able to return to work within the first few days postoperatively.
Vigorous massage of the cheek area around the dimple creation site is not advised for the first 3 weeks postoperatively.