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.
Implants can bring better balance to the features of a younger patient. For instance, a teenager may want their nose reshaped and a chin implant may bring their face into better proportion. The more mature patient may choose to have an implant placed in conjunction with another cosmetic procedure. For example, during a facelift, a chin implant as well as an implant placed over the cheekbones may help restore a more youthful appearance or accentuate the results of a neck lift.
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.
A facial implant can shift slightly out of alignment and a second operation may be necessary to replace it in its proper position. Infection can occur with any operation, but is rare in the placement of silicone implants. 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.
Most implants are made of solid silicone. Silicone is a product developed from Silica (Sand), and is in the glass family, the second most common element on earth. Since your body does not react to glass, it is used in the medical field for many products from finger joints to heart valves and catheters. There is no evidence that this is a harmful material in any current scientific findings.
PLANNING YOUR SURGERY
At your consultation it will be helpful to provide photos of people who have facial features similar to those you would like to have.
In preparing for your surgery, be sure to find out if you’ll be able to drive home afterward or will require transportation. You may be instructed to take oral antibiotics after the procedure to help guard against infection.
WHERE YOUR SURGERY WILL BE PERFORMED
Some implant operations may take place in an office-based facility under local anesthesia or at an outpatient facility under general anesthesia. If another cosmetic procedure is performed simultaneously with the facial implant surgery, you may need to stay overnight at the outpatient facility.
TYPES OF ANESTHESIA
In the office, facial implant surgery may require only local anesthesia combined with a sedative. More frequently, general anesthesia may be recommended at an outpatient facility depending on the placement of the implant and if any other procedures are performed at the same time.
Surgery on the chin can either be an augmentation or reduction. Chin reduction requires an incision placed in the mouth with removal of some of the chin prominence under general anesthesia.
Insertion of a chin implant may take anywhere form 30 minutes to an hour. The implant is inserted into a pocket over the front of the mandible. The small incision to create the pocket and insert the implant can be placed inside the mouth (along the lower lip) or, more commonly in the skin just under the chin area. This is a common procedure with a rhinoplasty.
Sutures in the skin will be removed in five to seven days or, if an intraoral incision is used, the sutures will dissolve.
RECOVERING FROM CHIN SURGERY
You may experience some discomfort and swelling in the affected area for several days. It’s normal to experience some temporary difficulty with smiling and talking. Small bruises may be visible around the chin and neck. Be sure to keep ice packs on your chin for the first 48 hours.
An incision is usually made inside your mouth, a pocket is then formed over your cheekbone and an implant is inserted. The severity and duration of side effects may vary, especially if other cosmetic procedures are performed at the same time.
RECOVERING FROM CHEEK SURGERY
There will be dietary restrictions as well as limitations in your activities. The post-operative instructions may vary, especially if another procedure was performed along with your implant surgery. You should be aware that it’s normal to experience some temporary difficulty with smiling and talking due to swelling. Small bruises may be visible around the chin and neck. Stitches used to close the incisions inside your mouth will dissolve within about 10 days. Be sure to keep ice packs on your cheeks for the first 48 hours.
Enlargement of the upper and/or the lower lip with a soft silicone lip implant, measured to fit your lip anatomy, is a procedure that can be safely accomplished in the office under local anesthesia. If the resulting look is not what you want, the implants can be easily removed in the office procedure.
RECOVERING FROM LIP SURGERY
It is important to use ice packs on your lips for any lip surgery in order to control swelling. The stitches in the corners of the mouth dissolve in about a week. As with all incisions, they take time to develop any strength, so be careful opening your mouth widely and cut your food up into small pieces.
GETTING BACK TO NORMAL
Remember, with facial surgery, you may feel and look better in a short period of time. However, it is not advisable to participate in certain activities for several weeks, especially activity that may result in the face being jarred or bumped or raise your blood pressure.
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 the 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.