Facial implants, which generally refer to implants for the cheeks, chin and jaw, are an excellent way to improve facial contour, proportions and projection, as well as restore youthful volume to the face.
Although facial implants are most frequently used for permanent chin augmentation, cheek augmentation and jaw augmentation, they may also be used to augment other areas of the face. FDA-approved facial implants are made of soft, biocompatible plastic materials and come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Are facial implants right for you?
Chin and jaw implants are recommended for patients with a weak chin or jaw line who desire increased projection and definition, while cheek implants are ideal for patients who wish to accentuate cheekbone structure or plump sunken cheeks that have lost volume due to aging or weight loss.
During your consultation, Dr. Weston will talk with you about your options and may recommend that you try a temporary injectable filler, such as Restylane or JUVEDERM®, before seeking permanent correction with facial implants. Injectable fillers that provide longer-lasting results, such as Sculptra and Radiesse, may also be recommended as facial implant alternatives for jaw, chin or cheek augmentation.
What to expect during facial implant surgery
Once you have decided to pursue facial implant surgery, Dr. Weston will determine whether you need general anesthesia or local anesthesia with IV sedation and show you where your incisions will be located.
- Cheek implants are typically placed through a small incision under the lower eyelid or inside the mouth on the upper lip.
- Chin implants usually require a small incision under the chin or inside the mouth on the lower lip.
- Jaw implants are also placed through small incisions inside the lower lip.
Your unique needs will also dictate whether implant fixation with sutures or screws will be necessary to provide additional assurance that your facial implants do not move or migrate.
From start to finish, facial implant surgery may take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to perform.
Facial implant surgery recovery
After facial implant surgery, you will be unable to drive due to the effects of anesthesia and will need a ride home. Be sure to keep your head elevated and apply cold compresses to the surgical site for the first few days after surgery to minimize swelling and bruising. Additionally, remember to keep your incisions clean and dry.
Within one week, you should feel able to return to normal daily activities, depending on the limitations you experience while using the pain medication prescribed for post-operative pain management. Strenuous exercise or activity should be avoided for at least three weeks after surgery.
Although your facial implant results will be immediately visible, you may experience swelling for up to three to five months after surgery. After about one month, your final results will be nearly apparent.
Dr. Weston will schedule post-operative appointments with you to check your progress and ensure you do not experience any complications, such as infection. It is imperative that you keep these appointments in addition to following all post-operative instructions given to you after surgery, as this will ensure optimal results are achieved.