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   particular needs.

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 you.

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 and Risk

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   interested.

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   have.

Be sure you understand the details of the proposed surgery, including the   cost and what to expect during your recovery.

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 infection.

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   surgery.

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.

Chin Surgery

Insertion of a chin implant may take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.   During the procedure, the surgeon selects the proper size and shape implant to   enhance your appearance and inserts it into a pocket over the front of the   jawbone. The small incision to create the pocket and insert the implant is   placed inside the mouth (along the lower lip) or in the skin just under the chin   area.

Usually, the chin is taped after surgery to minimize swelling and discomfort.   Sutures in the skin will be removed in five to seven days. If an intra-oral   incision is used, the sutures will dissolve.

Recovering from Chin Surgery

You will experience some discomfort and swelling in the affected area for   several days. It’s normal to experience some temporary difficulty with smiling   and talking. Black and blue marks may be visible around the chin and neck. Your   plastic surgeon will instruct you about dental hygiene, eating and any   restrictions to your activities after surgery.

Cheek Surgery

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.

Lower-Jaw Surgery

Insertion of a jaw implant usually takes about one to two hours. Internal   incisions are made on either side of the lower lip to provide access for   creating a pocket into which the lower-jaw implant can be inserted. Dissolving   sutures are used to close the incisions.

Recovering from Jaw Surgery

Swelling is sometimes significant immediately following surgery, usually   peaking 24 to 48 hours afterward. Although most of the significant swelling will   subside over a period of several days, prolonged mild swelling may prevent your   final facial contour from becoming apparent for several months.

During the healing phase, your activities and diet will be restricted. Your ability to smile, talk or move your mouth in any way may be limited for several   days to weeks following surgery. Your plastic surgeon will instruct you about   dental and oral hygiene during your recovery.

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.

More information about facial implants