Facial implants are used to restore balance, heighten contours or produce prominence in certain parts of the face. Implants can correct a recessed chin, undefined jaw or flat cheeks.
In some cases, patients choose this surgery for cosmetic reasons; others use it after major trauma to restore the face’s natural features.
This surgery can help you overcome self-consciousness because of the shape of your chin, jaw, or facial contour. Almost any part of your face can be changed or augmented with implants, but most people use it on their cheekbones, chins, and jaws.
Facial implants involve the placement of synthetic materials under the subcutaneous tissue and onto the underlying bone. Many types of materials are used and advances in materials sciences create new possibilities every year. With the many injectable fillers that are available today, the use of implants has lessened. However, they are a time tested, permanent technique that is perfect for some patients.
These are the most commonly performed facial implants.
- Facial implant. Your surgeon can improve the contours of your face, restore proportion and jaw line or cheekbone profiles and offset imbalance caused by heredity or injuries.
- Paranasal implant. This surgical procedure permanently fills in depressed furrows along the side of the nose. These implants are inserted through an incision inside the mouth.
- Chin implant. Used to augment the projection of the chin, these are inserted either through an incision under the chin or inside the lower lip. This is the most common type of facial implant we use.
- Cheek implant. Used to increase volume and projection of the cheekbone, these implants are placed through incisions inside the upper lip or externally through the lower eyelid.
The Initial Consultation
At your initial consultation, Dr Heffelfinger or Dr Krein in Philadelphia will interview you to get a thorough understanding of your medical history. Candidates must be in good health, have no active diseases or serious, pre-existing medical conditions, and must have realistic expectations of the outcome of the surgery.
He will then talk to you about your goals and the changes you seek with the facial implant procedure. Some patients are better candidates for this surgery and will realize better results. Your doctor will discuss all these variables so you understand what your outcome might be.
In addition to discussing this surgery, your doctor may point out other options that might benefit you. He will show you before and after pictures of patients that have had this type of surgery, so that you may better understand the results you can expect.
At the end of the consultation with the doctors at Jefferson Facial Plastics, you will fully understand the surgical procedure, the surgical facility, anesthesia options, and the cosmetic benefits you might expect.
Your surgery may be performed in an office-based facility, a freestanding surgical center or a hospital outpatient facility. Rarely, your surgeon may recommend hospital admission.
Some facial implant surgery will only require a local anesthetic supplemented with a sedative. In many cases, however, your surgeon will recommend a general anesthetic.
As noted above, facial implant surgery consists of the placement of synthetic materials in areas where you choose to increase contours or augment size or shape.
Incisions will be made either internally or externally to allow the placement of these materials. In all cases, your surgeon seeks to make incisions in the least visible places, whenever possible. Either removable or dissolving sutures will be used to close incisions.
Your surgeon will give you instructions and do’s and don’ts to follow during your recovery period. He will likely recommend dietary as well as activity restrictions.
Patients vary; consequently so will your doctor’s instructions. You can expect that your ability to move your mouth and lips will be diminished temporarily. Sutures used to close the incisions inside your mouth should dissolve within about 10 days.
Follow your doctor’s post-operative appointment schedule and call him if you should have any questions or concerns during your recovery.
Allow 30-60 days before you see the final cosmetic changes from your surgery. Many times, patients remark that friends don’t even know they’ve had surgery but remark that they look younger and more refreshed.