Face Implant Options
Often, potential cosmetic surgery patients worry about having a “weak chin,” lack of prominent cheekbones or an inadequate jaw line. Facial implants are used to enhance these and other features. Implants make cheekbones, chin, and/or jaw more substantial and can be used on their own or together to develop a more contoured profile and appealing facial shape. They can also be used to contribute to a more youthful look, to beautify features in an already young face, or in reconstructive surgery following a disfiguring accident or illness.
Face Implant Procedure
No matter where you have a facial implant placed, the procedure that your cosmetic surgeon will use will essentially be the same. First, an existing facial crease will typically be used as the site for a small incision. Your doctor will create a pocket in the facial tissue where the implant can be situated. The implant is placed and your physician then closes the area. Typically general anesthesia is used during the procedure and often the procedure is accompanied by other cosmetic enhancements, such as a facelift.
Today’s facial implants can be either permanent or semi-permanent; they are made out of both natural and synthetic materials. Several years back, silicone and bone grafts were the two alternatives available, but today’s technology has led to a variety of choices:
Silicone. Used in the earliest stages of implant technology, silicone can be produced to different specifications of strength and flexibility, and can be secured with screws. Scar tissue builds up around the implant, but these implants do not meld with the natural tissue.
Expanded Polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE). The same substance used in GorTex clothing, this porous material integrates with the patient’s own tissue to secure it in place.
Polyethylene. Much like ePTFE, but less flexible.
Hydroxyapatite (H.A.). Extracted from coral, Hydroxyapatite implants so closely imitate the chemical composition of human bone that the body completely accepts them.
Bone grafts. This technique requires bone take from the patient or another organic source.
Implants may also not be the first choice for you. In many cases, injectable fillers such as Perlane or fat transplants to give your face an appropriate curvature.
Facial implants can be used independently or coupled with other procedures to bring about more complete and satisfying results. To learn more, schedule a face implant consultation with a local plastic surgeon today.
For more information on facial implants, try looking in the Facial Procedures Articles.