Facial Implants

Achieving facial harmony by implantation of synthetic materials to the face is now easily achievable by surgery that can oftentimes be performed without creating a visible scar.  This type of surgery can help patients who are born with facial deformities, patients who have suffered from trauma resulting in changes to the bones of the face, and those who simply desire a more aesthetic facial appearance due to aging changes. When looking at someone’s face, we see the skin, which is merely a “tarp” reflecting the underlying bony structure of the facial skeleton.  As we age, our facial bones change with a predictable pattern.  Thus, an aged facial skeleton will result in the overlying skin appearing aged.  Addressing this aging process requires rejuvenating the underlying bony skeleton, which can result in positive changes to the overlying skin.  

Understanding the Surgery

Facial implant surgery can usually be done without creating a visible scar.  In some cases of chin implantation, an external incision under the chin is necessary but hides well.  Your facial plastic surgeon may elect to perform the surgery under local or general anesthesia based on your preference and what the surgeon feels is appropriate.  Augmentation of many regions of the face is possible, including the periorbital region, the cheek, the chin, and along the jawline.  For placement of an implant along the tear trough or cheek, an incision can be made inside the eyelid to prevent a visible scar.  Alternatively, an incision can also be made through the skin of the lower eyelid within a pre-existing wrinkle line.  Oftentimes, your surgeon may be able to combine your implant surgery with a lower-lid blepharoplasty to further rejuvenate the lower-eyelid region.  

Similarly, an incision can also be made inside the mouth for augmentation of the cheek and malar regions.  This can help add volume to your cheek, thereby restoring youthfulness.  For placement of a chin implant, your facial plastic surgeon may use an incision inside your mouth, or under the chin, where the scar will hide nicely.  The incision is usually quite small and heals imperceptibly.  Chin implants are often used in conjunction with a rhinoplasty to help restore harmony to the face, particularly on profile view.

What to Expect After Surgery

You will likely be discharged on the same day of surgery.  Your surgeon will provide you appropriate pain medication and may prescribe antibiotics.  Many surgeons will place a dressing over the implant site to hold pressure on the area.  You will be able to resume normal activity 4 weeks following surgery.

Medical content written by the AAFPRS Multimedia Committee
Medical content reviewed/approved by Dr. Samuel M. Lam and Dr. Albert J. Fox