Dimples are often considered attractive, but would you have surgery to create one?
A natural dimple is usually formed when there is a small defect in the cheek musculature (most often the buccinator muscle). The skin overlying this small defect is stuck down to the underlying connective tissue and creates a dimple in the skin with facial animation (smiling, smirking, etc). (photo credit)
Back in June, British plastic surgeons reported an increase in requests for dimples just like the singer Cheryl Cole's.
There’s an article in recent Aesthetic Surgery Journal (full reference below) which discusses the surgical technique. The goal is to create a scar (basically) or adhesion between the skin and the underlying muscle in the cheek area agreed upon by the patient and surgeon. Ideally, the dimple is not noted in repose (or with the face neutral and not smiling).
The procedure is most often done using local anesthesia. Post-procedure care involves good oral hygiene. It is recommended not to overly animate the face (ie smiling to broadly trying to check out the new dimples) for a few weeks so the suture placed can create the adhesion desired.
As with every surgery patients (and their surgeons) should remember there are possible complications. Risks include infection, poor dimple location, dimple visible at rest, may not be able to reverse the effect.
Cost ranges I found suggest the procedure to create dimples costs anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000.
Improved Surgical Access for Facial Dimple Creation; Thomas, M., Menon, H., and D’Silva, J.; Aesthetic Surgery Journal November/December 2010 30: 798-801
Barry Eppley, M.D.: Cheek Dimple Creation Surgery
Gal Aharonov, M.D.: Dimple Surgery or Dimple Creation Surgery