If you're considering facial surgery...
Plastic surgeons use facial implants to improve and enhance
facial contours. Frequently, these implants will help provide
a more harmonious balance to your face and features so that
you feel better about the way you look.
There are many implants available, manufactured
from a variety of materials. They may help strengthen a jawline
or bring the chin or cheekbones into balance with the rest
of the face.
This brochure describes some of the facial
implants currently available as well as the techniques for
their use. It will familiarize you with these procedures but
cannot provide all the details which may be relevant to your
If you feel that one or more of the procedures
described in this brochure may be of benefit, be sure to ask
your plastic surgeon for more information.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A FACIAL IMPLANT
Facial implants can enhance your appearance and bolster your
self esteem. If you are looking for improvement, not perfection,
in your appearance and are realistic in your expectations,
you may find that a facial implant is the right choice for
Plastic surgeons will frequently use such implants
to bring better balance to the features of a younger patient.
For instance, a teenage girl may want her nose reshaped or
her chin brought forward so that these traits are better proportioned.
The more mature patient may choose to have an implant placed
in conjunction with another cosmetic procedure. For example,
during a facelift, a patient may wish to have implants placed
over the cheekbones to help restore a more youthful appearance.
Implants may also be selected to fill out a face that appears
"sunken" or tired.
ALL SURGERY CARRIES SOME UNCERTAINTY
Facial implants can produce some remarkable changes. Problems
rarely occur, but you need to be informed about such possibilities.
This brochure will touch upon a few, but is not intended to
provide a detailed or complete inventory of potential risks.
A facial implant can shift slightly out of
alignment and a second operation my be necessary to replace
it in its proper position. Infection can occur with any operation.
If infection were to occur around a facial implant and did
not clear up after treatment with antibiotics, the implant
might have to be temporarily removed and replaced at a later
time. Other, less-frequent risks may be associated with certain
implants. Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon for a description
of the risks associated with the procedure in which you are
Some of the implant materials are made of a
solid silicone. Currently, there is no scientific evidence
that this is a harmful substance. Your plastic surgeon will
be happy to discuss any current scientific findings concerning
the type of implant you're considering.
PLANNING YOUR SURGERY
When you discuss your surgery with your plastic surgeon, be
certain that you clearly express your expectations. Your plastic
surgeon will help you determine what it is possible to achieve.
It may be helpful to provide your surgeon with photos of people
who have facial features similar to those you would like to
Be sure you understand the details of the proposed
surgery, including the cost and what to expect during your
If the surgery will entail an incision inside
your mouth, it is important that you inform your physician
if you smoke or if you have any dental or gum problems. Your
plastic surgeon will advise you on these matters.
In preparing for your surgery, be sure to find
out if you'll be able to drive home afterward or will require
transportation. You should also ask if you'll need to refrain
from eating or drinking the night before your surgery, and
if you should stop taking any medications, including aspirin
and similar drugs. You may be instructed to take oral antibiotics
both before and after the procedure to help guard against
Your plastic surgeon will provide information
about these important matters during your pre-operative consultation.
WHERE YOUR SURGERY WILL BE PERFORMED
Your operation may take place in an office-based facility,
a freestanding surgical center or a hospital outpatient facility.
Sometimes, your plastic surgeon may require that you stay
overnight. Your doctor will make such a recommendation based
on your overall medical condition and whether another cosmetic
procedure was performed simultaneously with the facial implant
TYPES OF ANESTHESIA
In some cases, facial implant surgery may require only local
anesthesia combined with a sedative. However, more frequently,
a general anesthesia may be recommended.
Cheek implant surgery usually takes about 30 to 45 minutes.
When cheek implants are being placed in conjunction with another
cosmetic procedure, such as a facelift, forehead lift or eyelid
surgery, the implants may be inserted through the incisions
made for those procedures. Otherwise, an incision will be
made either inside your upper lip or your lower eyelid. A
pocket is then formed and an implant is inserted.
After surgery, a dressing will be applied to
minimize discomfort and swelling. The severity and duration
of such side effects may vary, especially if another cosmetic
procedure was performed at the same time.
RECOVERING FROM CHEEK SURGERY
Your plastic surgeon will provide you with instructions about
post-operative care. There will be dietary restrictions as
well as limitations to your activities. Again, these instructions
will vary, especially if another procedure was performed along
with your implant surgery. However, you should be aware that
your ability to move your mouth and lips may be diminished
temporarily. Stitches used to close the incisions inside your
mouth usually dissolve within about 10 days.
GETTING BACK TO NORMAL
Remember, with any facial surgery, you may feel and look better
in a short period of time. However, it may not be advisable
to participate in certain activities -- especially activity
that may result in the face being jarred or bumped -- for
several weeks. It's best to check with your plastic surgeon
about such matters.
YOUR NEW LOOK
You may not be able to accurately evaluate your appearance
for weeks, or perhaps even months. Give yourself plenty of
time to get used to your new look.
You may be surprised to find that most people
won't recognize that you've had facial implant surgery --
only that you look better.
Back to Procedures
Information provided by American
Society of Plastic Surgeons.