Dimple creation surgery, or dimpleplasty, can be performed quite simply and safely when performed by a trained specialist in this type of surgery. In our Atherton office, San Francisco Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon Umang Mehta, MD is able to complete this 20-30 minute procedure very comfortably for patients, entirely under local anesthesia. Dr. Mehta is a world-renowned expert at this procedure and taught his technique to other surgeons at the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) International meeting in San Francisco in September 2011. His unique technique yields extremely natural-appearing results with little downtime.


Dimples occur naturally due to a defect in the muscle of the cheek (typically the buccinator muscle). The under surface of the skin is therefore attached to the deeper soft tissue of the cheek which causes an indentation with smiling or other facial expressions. Many people are born with one dimple on each side of the face. Others, however, may have one dimple or none at all.


Dimples can improve the overall aesthetic of your smile and, in many cultures, are associated with good luck. Many celebrities, such as Mario Lopez and Cheryl Cole, are well-known for their dimples.

The Consultation

The initial consultation appointment with Dr. Mehta takes approximately a half hour. The procedure can be completed on the same day as your initial consultation if you are coming from out of town. We have many patients from around the U.S., Canada, and abroad we would be delighted to help you figure out lodging arrangements.


The most important first step in the consultation is to decide on the location of the dimples. For most patients, this location is near a point on the cheek represented by the intersection of an imaginary line dropped from the outer edge of the eye, at the level of the corner of the mouth. This can certainly be modified however, based on your personal preference. The dimples can be customized in terms of size, shape, and depth. For example, some patients want deeper dimples that are more vertical in shape whereas others may prefer superficial indentations that are more circular.


Dr. Mehta will also perform a complete review of your medical and surgical history, including any existing health problems, medications, and allergies. Dr. Mehta will carefully examine the inside and outside of your cheek to analyze your unique anatomy.


Dr Mehta will ask you to stop taking OTC medications such as aspirin, Motrin, Advil, ibuprofen, Aleve, or other NSAIDs at least 7 days prior to your procedure, as these thin the blood. Additionally, herbal supplements such as arnica montana may be taken immediately after surgery to minimize bruising and hasten recovery.


The Procedure


The first step is to mark out the dimple locations, based on the photos created our computer imaging process. Dr. Mehta then injects a small amount of local anesthesia in the inside of the cheek to numb the cheek from the inside. The rest of the surgery is painless and comfortable. The entire procedure is done from the inside of the cheek, with no external incisions required.

The surgery is performed by making a small incision inside the cheek and carefully removing a tiny piece of the cheek muscle, just a few millimeters in size. Absorbable fixation sutures are used to stitch the cheek skin and secure it to the inside soft tissue of the cheek. The inside of the cheek is then closed with two or three absorbable stitches, which dissolve over the next few days. Because the surgery is done under local anesthesia, you can go home right away after the procedure is completed.



You will experience moderate swelling (but generally no bruising) for a few days following dimpleplasty. You should be able to resume your normal daily activities on the morning following surgery. You can begin eating soft foods a few hours following the surgery. Dr. Mehta will prescribe pain medication, just in case you need it, though most patients do just fine with Tylenol. Patients typically return to work or school 5-7 days following the procedure. You will take an antibiotic to reduce the risk of infection as well.


There is an initial period of time during which the dimple is present at all times, after which time the dimple should be present only when you smile. This period will last for a few weeks following your dimple creation surgery.


Risks of Surgery


Dimple Surgery is a safe procedure but like any surgical procedure there are a few risks, the first being bleeding. By avoiding the medications discussed previously, this risk of bleeding during or after dimple creation is quite low. Infection is possible, though the risk is minimized with antibiotics prescribed after surgery. Weakness of one of the facial muscles due to nerve injury can take place but is extremely uncommon and typically resolves after a few weeks. Another possibility is that you may not like the result, in which case the dimple can be deepened, made more superficial or reversed. Lastly, the absorbable stitch creating the dimpling of the skin can break prior to the healing process being completed, in which case the procedure may need to be repeated.


To obtain more information about dimple creation surgery, inquire about the cost, or schedule your consultation, feel free to call our office or contact us.