The surgical procedure used to create dimples is, in itself, a fairly simple one and is commonly done on an outpatient basis. The procedure involves simulating the natural way a dimple is formed, by forming a connection between the skin and the cheek muscle, such that when the muscle contracts, it pulls the skin inwards to form a dimple.
So how exactly is a dimple surgically created?
A punch biopsy instrument is placed against the buccal mucosa (inner cheek) and circular motions are made to cut through the mucosa, submucosal fat, and cheek muscle. A circular core composed of these tissues is removed, leaving the skin intact, which will create a shallow cylindrical-shaped defect under the skin.
This ‘defect’ then is closed by placing an absorbable suture through the cheek muscle on one side of the defect, then through the dermis layer of the skin and finally through the cheek muscle on the othe side of the defect. A surgical knot is tied, which in turn will result in dimpling of the skin even without smiling.
The skin will, however, flatten out in a week or two when the suture is absorbed. The internal scarring which takes place will connect the muscle to the skin, creating a dimple when one smiles.
The surgery can be performed on any kind of cheek, be it chubby or not. It would be easier if the cheeks are not too chubby. If someone wants dimples that are very prominent, a bigger punch biopsy will be used to be able to remove a bigger core of soft tissue.
Usually performed under local anaesthetic, the surgery takes about 30 minutes, and normal activities can be resumed straight after the procedure. You walk in without a dimple and leave with your desired facial indents.
There is usually minimal swelling after, and the after care steps are just as simple and uncomplicated as the procedure. The after care usually involves regular mouth rinsing with Betadine oral antiseptic solution or Bactidol (chlorhexidine) solution, and antibiotic intake.