What are facial implants?
Facial implants are designed to augment or enhance the physical structure of your face. They are designed from human tissue compatible solid materials that are inserted under the skin.
Much like breast implants, there are different types and sizes to suit both your existing facial structure and your goals, and your surgeon will be able to advise you which are right for your desired facial changes.
Types of facial implant
There are multiple types of facial implant available. Here is a brief look at what they are and how they can improve your appearance.
Some people suffer from particularly small or recessed chins that seem almost invisible against the neck. Chin implants can help to increase the size and proportion of a chin that seems small against the rest of the facial markers, in particular the forehead and mid-face.
Always wanted high and defined cheekbones? Cheek implants can add volume to flat areas, which often makes the patient appear more youthful too.
A narrow jaw can also cause facial imbalance, particularly if it is not well defined. We have all heard the expression ‘a chiselled jaw’ and facial implants can increase the width of the lower third of your face, creating this desirable feature.
Before your Surgery
There are a number of ways you can prepare for your facial implants.
Stop smoking. Smoking is not good for your general health and can slow down healing after your procedure.
Avoid any medication containing aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for at least two weeks before your surgery as they increase the risk of bleeding.
If you plan on going home the day of your surgery you should arrange for someone to stay with you overnight for at least the first night.
If you are having your procedure under a general anaesthetic you will be required to have a pre-op medical in the two weeks before your surgery.
Most facial implants are carried out under a general anaesthetic. However if you and your surgeon opt for a local anaesthetic instead, you would need to spend the night in the care of your medical facility while you start the healing the process.
The actual procedures will of course vary depending on which type of implant you have chosen. However here are the basic guidelines for the main types of facial implant surgery.
Chin implants are typically inserted either via an incision inside the mouth, or externally underneath the chin itself. When possible, internal incisions are often closed with absorbable/dissolvable sutures. Alternatively regular sutures will be used and removed 1-2 weeks post-surgery.
Cheek implants are usually placed via an incision in the patient’s mouth. However, if multiple procedures are taking place (which is sometimes the case), then malar implants may also be inserted via incisions in the hairline or lower eyelid. The area to be augmented may also define which entry point your surgeon decides to use.
Jaw implants are almost always inserted internally; along the crease where your cheek and gums meet. Again, absorbable/dissolvable sutures will be used if possible or alternatively regular sutures will be used and removed 1-2 weeks post-surgery.
As with any surgery, there is a small risk of complications during facial implants. These risks include but are not limited to:
Bleeding, hematoma, bruising
Changes in skin sensation due to nerve injury
Excessive scar tissue formation
Skin contour irregularities
Skin discoloration and swelling
Firmness around the implants
Shifting of implants
Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
Recovery rates from facial implants will vary from person to person. However typically you can expect any bandages to be removed within 48 hours of the procedure, stitches to be removed within a week or two, and you should refrain from saunas, massages and strenuous activities for at least two to three weeks.
In the case of internal incisions, you will be at an increased risk of infection. Therefore ensuring good oral hygiene according to your surgeon’s instructions is vital. You may also find that you are limited to soft foods for a number of days post-surgery.
Whilst the results of your facial implants may be visible immediately, it is normal to experience swelling, bruising and some pain in the days after your procedure. Regular over the counter pain relief should ease your discomfort. Swelling can sometimes take months to completely subside.
Your surgeon will also make scheduled appointments with you to check how you are healing and to ensure your procedure has been a success.If you have any questions or concerns during your recovery, contact Dr. Metzinger’s office who will be happy to assist you.