Anyone who would like to alter their underlying facial structure and change their appearance or profile may be a candidate for facial implant plastic surgery. Facial implants are most often made of solid cured pieces of silicone rubber or other inert substances. They are now engineered on computers for optimal fit and benefit. They are used to change the appearance of the underlying support structures of the face (bone or cartilage).
About the Procedure
The exact procedure Dr. Kress will use depends on such factors as implant type and your existing anatomical structure. Frequently the implants are inserted under local anesthesia as an outpatient. They are generally placed through incisions inside the mouth or in inconspicuous locations outside the mouth. They are minimally invasive and may require some form of stabilization during recovery. Types of implants include:
Chin: Dozens of different types, performed to compliment nasal surgery approximately 25% of the time.
Malar: These are cheek implants that can help balance your profile.
Sub-Malar: Used to augment the hollow area just below the cheek prominence.
Mandibular Angle: Implants for the corner of the jaw.
Tear-Trough: Fills in the groove extending from the middle corner of the eye down the cheek.
Nasal: Used in conjunction with nose reshaping, these are not safe with many skin types.
Several other implant types are available, including custom implants and combinations.
Patient recovery time varies depending upon the type of implant, the location, and several other factors. There may be discomfort which is controlled with medications and a 10 to 14 day period of swelling and bruising. If external stitches are used they generally require removal in about 7 days.
Facial implant plastic surgery is capable of not only turning back the clock but of altering the underlying support structures creating a new look, which is more than just age reversal. Results can range from subtle improvements in facial balance to very dramatic alterations of the entire appearance.
Facial Implants FAQs
Are implants ever made from materials other than silicone?
There are many other materials that have come and gone over the past twenty years. Silicone is the most common implant material, but there are other implants made out of Teflon or Gore-Tex. Natural substances, such as donor rib or bone, can also be carved and reshaped to create implants that can change the shape of the facial skeleton.
What if I don’t like my implants after they’re done?
All of the implants can easily be removed, but we feel strongly that since facial implants are appearance-altering, psychologically most people require a period of about three months to adjust to anything this dramatic. We usually have an agreement with my patients that we won’t do anything to alter the implant for a full three months to allow them, and their families, to adjust to this new appearance. We have had patients who were very unhappy in the few weeks immediately following the surgery, but who, by the end of three months, were absolutely delighted with their facial implants.
I have a wide nose. Is there an implant that can give a little more height to my nose?
Yes. There is a silicone implant that does this job, but for reasons that are not fully appreciated, Caucasian noses usually don’t tolerate this well and do much better with natural cartilage or a bone graft. African American or Asian noses, conversely, tolerate the silicone nasal implant quite well.
I was involved in a motor vehicle accident and now my face is more hollow on the left side. If I wanted to correct this, how could it be done?
Aided by sophisticated computer technology, there is a company in California that, by utilizing special x-rays, can design and manufacture an implant that will exactly correct the lingering imperfections from the accident.
I was talking to a surgeon about my nose, and he starts talking about my chin. Is he just trying to run up the charges?
No. It is the responsibility of a good Plastic Surgeon to point out the relationship between the nose and the chin. The relationship is so strong in fact, that it is actually sometimes easier to reduce the visual appearance of the nose by increasing the size of a very short chin. We will sometimes refuse to perform the nose surgery unless we are allowed to do something to the chin if I feel a patient’s results will not be satisfactory. By increasing the jaw in proportion to decreasing the nose, the rest of the face can be brought into proper balance.