Third Quarter 2008, Volume 22, Number 4

Implants advance and provide enhancements


Reflection and realism ensure benefits beyond the obvious

Changing the focal point of your face — your nose

Ask the Surgeon / Health Tip / What’s New

Implants advance and provide enhancements

Facial implants can be a fantastic option to fight against the aging process, provide structure where genetics did not, and restore appearance due to disease or trauma. Technology and technique have advanced this field to new heights of precision and optimal results. Implants come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. If you are interested in augmenting your lips, cheeks, or chin with a permanent solution, implants may be the right choice for you.

Lip enhancement
Increase the fullness of your lips through a synthetic implant such as Gore-Tex, SoftForm, or soft ePTFE. The results are immediate and permanent. The implant does not shrink or get absorbed into the body. They stay in place because scar tissue forms on either end of the implant. Although the procedure is more invasive than a filler injectable, there is still very little down time. Lip augmentation through implants is a safe, effective treatment to enhance thin or flattened lips. You can see the final results in five to seven days.

Cheek implants
Cheek implants can reposition sagging skin upward and outward, fill hollow areas and depressions, and return the youthful fullness to your midface. Well-defined cheekbones are a sign of youth and beauty in our society. Midface implants can improve the contour of the cheeks, create balance, and bolster self-esteem. Your facial plastic surgeon will evaluate and decide which implant may be right for you; implants are made of silicone, expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE), or polyethylene.

This procedure is performed under local anesthesia with sedation. A tiny incision is made inside of the mouth in the crease above the upper lip. A pocket is created over the bone by gently stretching the tissue. The sterile implant is placed into the pocket. Supportive tissue forms around the implant after a few weeks; once healed, it will feel like your normal underlying bone structure. There will be swelling for the one to two days after surgery. Most people resume work and normal activities within a few days; however, there will be some restrictions (e.g., avoid high contact sports).

Chin implants and augmentation
Chin augmentation is often performed to improve a receding chin, to redefine the jawline, or to reconstruct deformity due to traumatic injury or previous jaw surgery. Have a friend take a picture of your profile. This will help you see how your nose and chin are proportioned. Your nose may appear larger or more projected due to a weak chin; an implant can bring your profile back into balance.

Your nose can appear more prominent than it actually is because of other facial features. The face on the left, showing normal jaw structure, presents a pleasing appearance. The nose in the center appears more prominent because of a receding chin. And the nose on the right seems to project even more because of a long sloping forehead and weak chin. Don’t be surprised if your surgeon suggests a chin implant.

The procedure is performed under local anesthesia with sedation. An incision is made underneath the chin or inside the mouth, where the gum and lower lip meet. A pocket is created and the sterile implant is inserted in front of the bone. Recovery will include a few days of swelling; your facial plastic surgeon will instruct you about any restrictions to your activities after surgery. Most people return to a normal schedule after a week.Implants are an excellent option if you are looking for a younger appearance and refinement of your profile. Make a consultation appoint with your facial plastic surgeon today. !