Facial implant surgery is a cosmetic procedure that changes a person’s facial contours or brings better balance to their features. The surgery can also add shape to a face marred by trauma or a major disease (such as cancer). The implants can be made from human tissue or synthetic materials like silicone or polythene.
Oculofacial plastic and cosmetic surgeon Dr. Dustin Heringer at Arizona Ocular & Facial Plastic Surgery offers facial implant surgery to his patients at the Scottsdale, Arizona, office. His technical prowess and artistic eye combine to give you the facial contours you’ve been looking for. Who can benefit from implants? Anyone who wants to augment or balance their features. Here’s how it works.
What are facial implants, and where can I get them placed?
At Arizona Ocular & Facial Plastic Surgery, we use facial implants made of biocompatible silicone to boost facial volume and increase your features’ definition. We offer two types:
1. Cheek implants
Cheek implants boost volume in the mid-face, which is helpful if your cheeks have hollowed out due to aging. With the implants in place, your cheekbones become more defined, and your skin adheres more closely to the new contours of your face. We often place cheek implants when a patient is coming in for a facelift, rhinoplasty (nose job), or blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) because they help balance the other features.
2. Chin implants
If you feel your chin is weak, sloping, or undefined, an implant can add definition while also improving your self-confidence. Like cheek implants, we often place chin implants along with rhinoplasty because the size and shape of the chin can affect how the nose appears.
Am I a good candidate for facial implant surgery?
What makes you a good candidate for facial implant surgery? First, your face (especially your cheeks and chin) should have lost some youthful volume, which implants can restore. Second, if you’ve suffered an injury that damaged your facial symmetry, facial implants can help you regain it. And third, if you’re unhappy with your bone structure, facial implants can give you the contours you’re looking for.
Facial implants come in a range of shapes and sizes. During your initial consultation with Dr. Heringer, he examines your facial structure before making recommendations about which implant he feels will work best to meet your aesthetic goals.
A good candidate must have one more key quality — you must be a nonsmoker. Smoking is not only bad for your overall health, but it also dries out your skin and delays healing. If you’re a current smoker, you’ll need to quit before the procedure is done.
The surgical procedure
For your procedure, Dr. Heringer chooses between a local anesthetic and sedation or a general anesthetic, whichever will work better for you.
Cheek implant surgery
Cheek implant surgery on its own usually takes about 30-45 minutes. Dr. Heringer:
- Makes an incision either inside your upper lip or through your lower eyelid
- Forms a pocket in the cheek
- Inserts the implant into the pocket; held in place by cheek muscles, stitches, or metal screws
- Closes the incisions with sutures, which usually dissolve within about 10 days
When the doctor places the implants as part of another cosmetic procedure, he may place them through the incisions made for those other procedures.
Chin implant surgery
For chin implants, Dr. Heringer:
- Makes an incision on the underside of the chin or inside the mouth at the lower lip
- Puts the implant into position in a pocket over the chin bone
- Closes the incision with dissolvable sutures
Because the implant is made of silicone, there’s no need to cut or move the bone as you would if using a human tissue graft.
What’s recovery like, and when can I see my results?
Facial implants are an outpatient procedure, meaning you go home the same day as your surgery. Dr. Heringer gives you specific aftercare instructions, which you must follow to ensure no problems arise.
Recovery from this type of surgery is typically short. Chin implants produce some swelling that subsides in about a week. With cheek implants, swelling may last up to two weeks. You can typically return to your normal activities once you’ve followed up with the doctor.
Results are subtle but significant. You should expect to see some improvement as the swelling goes down, but it may take a month or two for the full effect to become apparent.
If you’re unhappy with the hollows in your cheeks or a weak chin or feel your facial proportions are off-kilter, facial implant surgery may be right for you. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Heringer, give us a call at our Scottsdale location or book online with us today.