Overview of Facial Implants
A medium for the surgical sculptor for:
- Improvement in facial contour
- Improvement of facial proportions
Correction of defects:
- Traumatic defects
- Congenital defects
- Biologic implants/grafts
- Synthetic implants
Areas typically treated:
- Skull contour defects
Often a customized procedure
Facial implants have provided the plastic surgeon with the ability to make subtle changes in facial contour and enhance a person’s appearance for years. The most common types of implants are: chin augmentation implants, cheek augmentation implants and nose implants. Implants have also been used in the ear.
Facial implants can be biologic,—the patient’s own tissue such as cartilage. Other implant materials, such as some of the ones used in our chin implants are produced commercially. The non-biological implants are best suited to the chin and cheek bones, whereas biologic implants/grafts are mandatory for the nose and the ear. Experience has shown that the overlying skin is too thin in the nose and the ear to support non-biologic tissue. Synthetic nose and ear implants are discouraged because of the higher rate of complication. Our cheek and chin implants are made with only the best materials to ensure longevity.
There are some facial implants that are not considered cosmetic. These are used in corrective plastic surgery procedures to correct the traumatic loss or congenital defect in the skull or facial skeleton. These implants are generally custom-made specifically for the operation.
Candidates for Facial Implants
Typically the candidates for Facial Implants include:
- Concern with facial proportions
- Goals for improvement of facial contours
- Flat cheeks
- Small or weak chin
- Diminished or irregular nasal contour
- Other facial contour defects
- Ear deformity
- Good physical health
- Positive outlook
- Realistic expectations
Details of Facial Implant Surgery
Each surgery is customized to the area to be treated. This section provides an overview of important concepts with various facial implants.
Major points-of-beauty of the face are the nose, cheeks, and chin. Chin implants are the most common procedure we perform. Sculptors and artistic plastic surgeons study the balance between these structures. In the case of cosmetic surgery, the surgical sculptor applies this knowledge to bring out the beauty their patients are seeking.
Artists will follow the rules of anatomic design and proportion to achieve their sculpted masterpieces. The surgical sculptor—plastic surgeon—must consider the artistic aspects of a patient’s face when planning to change any of the points of beauty.
For facial implant surgery the preferred material, when using a synthetic implant, is silicone. The body does not reject silicone or become allergic to it when placed appropriately. When applied to bony prominences, silicone can easily be sculpted into natural shapes and will conform to the underlying structures. Polyethylene and hydroxyapatite are two of the other materials commonly used.
The biologic implants are known as grafts. They are transplanted from one part of the body to another. An autologous graft comes from the same person. Properly processed allograft comes from another person but is not rejected. Examples of these types of implants or grafts include bone or cartilage added to the nose in a Rhinoplasty, and bone used to repair a cleft palate known as an alveolar bone graft. Another wonderful example is the cartilage used to recreate an ear for someone who is born without an ear (microtia), or someone who lost an ear due to trauma. Fat is another graft that is successfully used to enhance the face.
Custom implants are used where there has been a traumatic or congenital deformity, which requires a rigid implant that feels like bone.
Recovery After Facial Implant Surgery
Since there are many types of facial implants including chin implants, cheek implants and more, the recovery will vary according to the procedure and the individual. In general, rest and relaxation are strongly recommended so that the individual may heal well with less bruising and swelling. Patients notice improvement each day as the swelling goes down. Dressing changes are typically done within the first week after surgery. Typically the patient can shower within 3 to 7 days, depending on the procedure. Instructions are given to help understand how to care for the incision sites and activity limitations. By 6 weeks the patient is able to resume all activities to include aggressive exercise.
What Can I Expect?
The results from a facial implant will likely seem dramatic to the patient, yet subtle to others. Results will vary with each patient depending on the individual procedure. These procedures can help with a positive outlook on life.
Will My Facial Implant Surgery Results Last?
The facial implant procedures performed at Fairbanks Plastic Surgery Surgery has results that are long-lasting. As compared to their preoperative photographs, patients feel that their appearance is improved and pleasing.
So, you’ve been considering a change in facial contour or proportions to improve your appearance. You may have considered improvement of the defect to trauma or a congenital deformity. Look forward to an improvement in your appearance and make an appointment at Fairbanks Plastic Surgery for a consultation, at which time the principles of the procedure are explained and all your questions are answered.
Call Fairbanks Plastic Surgery at 801-951-8099 today to schedule your consultation for your Facial Implants.
Dr. Grant A. Fairbanks is a skilled artist and sculptor, and has extensive experience in performing chin implant surgery, cheek implant surgery, nasal implants, and other facial implant surgery. Please contact us and schedule a consultation if you feel facial implant surgery might be right for you.