Although facial implants are most frequently used for permanent chin, cheek and jaw augmentation, they may also be used to enhance other areas of the face. FDA-approved facial implants are made of soft, bio compatible plastic materials and come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Facial implants are performed to enhance or balance facial features by improving a particular area of the face using a sculpted prosthesis. Medications are usually administered for your comfort during the surgical procedures, and the options generally include intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. There are three areas of the face that are most commonly augmented using facial implants: the cheeks, the chin and the jaw. In addition, forehead and nose implants can also be performed.
Facial implants are suitable for men and women at least 18 years of age. To be approved for a facial implant procedure, whether for the chin, cheeks or jaw, you must be healthy, and have never been diagnosed with a condition that could interfere with the recovery process. If you happen to be a smoker you will be advised to stop smoking for several weeks prior to your procedure as a chemical in tobacco is known to delay the reduction of bruising and swelling and interfere with healing. You should speak with your doctor to determine if facial implants are suitable for you, and to discuss all of your treatment options.
Facial implants, commonly made from silicone rubber and other synthetic composites, are formed by the doctor to meet the specific size and shape of the area to be augmented, and are designed to allow your own tissue to grow into the implant. A cheek implant is positioned on the cheekbone and is often placed through incisions made in the mouth. Alternative sites of incision may be recommended when performed with other procedures, including through the lower eyelid, or within the hairline. With a chin implant, the incision is commonly in the mouth, along the creases that join the gums and the lower lip, or an alternative is under the chin. Jaw implants are usually placed through incisions made in the mouth, along the jawline where the cheek and gums meet. Incisions are closed with dissolvable sutures, or removable stitches. Forehead implants create a more youthful appearance by lifting the forehead skin and eliminate forehead wrinkles. Nose implants can widen the nose bridge or the projection of the nose tip. A facial implant procedure is usually performed on an outpatient basis, and your doctor will use either a local or general anesthesia, depending on the specific procedure being performed. An IV will be started by a member of the surgical team, and an anesthesiologist will start the anesthesia. Before, during, and after the procedure, your vital signs, and other critical body functions will be monitored. Following the procedure, you will remain in the recovery room until you are wide awake, your vital signs are stable, and your breathing is normal. You still may feel drowsy from the anesthesia, so arranging a ride home would be a good idea. You’ll likely experience some swelling, discomfort or bruising, but those should subside within a few weeks, and your doctor may prescribe a short-term pain medication. Most people can return to normal activities within a week, however, recovery is a gradual process, and varies depending on your age, general health, as well as other factors.
Jane Weston, M.D. is a board certified, plastic and reconstructive surgeon, specializing in facial reconstructive surgery. Dr. Weston takes great pride in providing a sense of well-being and confidence in all who seek her expertise, in a more than welcoming and comfortable environment. Book an appointment by calling the office, or through the website. We serve patients from Menlo Park CA, Redwood City CA, Palo Alto CA, Woodside CA, Belmont CA, and Mountain View CA.
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. Rest assured that Dr. Weston is committed to helping you achieve your precise aesthetic goals in the least invasive way possible, but will advise you to consider surgical treatment if it fits your situation best.
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:
Depending on where your incision is located, the sutures used to closed your incisions may be either internal (dissolvable) or external (require removal). 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.
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 to prevent infection and encourage healthy healing.
Within one week, you should feel able to return to normal daily activities, depending on the limitations of your pain medication prescribed for post-operative pain management. Strenuous exercise or activity should be avoided for at least three weeks after surgery.
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.
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 outcome will be nearly apparent and those results should last for many years.
Facial implants are a permanent way to enhance your features and create a more beautiful facial profile. To learn more about your implant options, contact Jane Weston, MD at (650) 457-6291.