About Facial Implants
Facial Implants, also known as chin implants or cheek implants.
Available in a wide range of styles and sizes, implants are used to restore contour and proportion your face. They can be used to augment your jaw-line and chin and provide the sculpted cheekbones that you desire or to supplement the tear trough area. A patient may choose to get the surgery for cosmetic purposes, or they might require it due to a prior surgery on the face. The three types of facial implants that are most commonly done are lower jaw, cheek, and chin implants.
The cost of facial implants will vary depending on which cosmetic surgeon the patient decides to go with. The geographic location that the patient is in may affect the cost of the procedure as well.
How is it performed?
The procedure for placing facial implants follows a similar pattern for areas of the face. Your surgeon will mark your face to indicate the location of underlying structures and where to place the implants. Your surgeon will make a small incision near where the implant is to be placed and create a small pocket in the facial tissue in which to hold it. Next, the implant is gently inserted using a sterilized clamp before the incision is closed with sutures and bandaged or taped. Cheek implants are placed beneath the eye to create a more sculpted look. Chin implants may help give better balance to your profile.
What are my options?
Facial implants for chin, jaw, cheek and tear trough are available in solid silicone rubber. Standard 4mm commercial shells are suitable to produce a natural look for most patients, although some patients opt for a more subtle effect using a 3mm shell. A more dramatic effect can be achieved by using a 5 or 6mm shell. Custom-designed implants can also be created, but are more time-consuming and expensive.
What will my facial implants incisions and scars be like?
All incisions are made very close to where the implant will be placed:
- On the underside of the chin or inside the mouth at the gum/lip junction for chin implants.
- Inside the mouth or through a lower eyelid or brow lift incision for cheek implants.
- Around the eyes (transconjunctival or blepharoplasty incisions) or inside the mouth for tear trough implants.
What result can I expect?
Facial implants are permanent, but it is possible for them to fracture as a result of facial trauma and occasionally normal activity. On occasion they can become infected, but these are these problems after facial implant surgery are very rare. Most patients can expect a lifetime of improvement after facial implant surgery.
- Corrects facial asymmetry and deficiencies especially in the chin, cheek or jaw.
- Does not require procedures on other parts of the body (such as fat grafting).
- Infection is possible which could lead to implant removal.
- Contour abnormalities can occur if implants shift or become malpositioned.
- Damage to facial nerves and musculature is possible.
How will I look and feel immediately following facial implants?
You will experience some swelling or bruising with moderate discomfort for a day or two after surgery. You could apply a cold compress to the operative site to reduce any swelling, bruising and pain and may be kept on a liquid-only diet for one or two days. It is highly likely that you are mobile the day of your surgery, but your activities will be somewhat restricted.
It is essential you follow all patient care instructions given to you by your physician. This will usually include information about which compression garments to wear, how to take care of your drains, how to take any antibiotics or painkillers, if prescribed and the level of activity that is safe for you to undertake. Your surgeon will also provide detailed instructions about the normal symptoms and how to spot any signs of complications. It is important to realize everyone’s body is different and so the amount of time it takes to recover varies between individuals.
The first two weeks
You should be able to return to work and other normal activities within a week. You should recline in a face-up position at a 45-degree angle for at least one week. Stitches are removed in five to ten days, sutures placed inside the mouth will dissolve in a similar period of time. You may be restricted to a soft diet for up to ten days.
After four to six weeks vigorous physical activity can be resumed.
Limits & Risks
Fortunately, significant complications from facial implants are infrequent. Your specific risks for facial implants will be discussed during your consultation. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk.
Some potential complications of all surgeries are:
- Adverse reaction to anaesthesia
- Hematoma or seroma (an accumulation of blood or fluid under the skin that may require removal)
- Infection in the wounds and bleeding
- Changes in sensation, loss of feeling
- Scarring or keloid scarring
- Allergic reactions to drugs
- Damage to underlying tissue structures
- Unsatisfactory results that may require revision surgery.
- Blood clots can form in your legs or lungs
Other risks specific to facial implants are outlined below:
- Abnormalities can occur if implants shift or move.
- Extrusion of implants is a rare complication, but is sometimes caused by trauma or infection.
You can reduce the risk you face by carefully following the advice of your plastic surgeon before and after your cosmetic surgery procedure.