Facial implants are used to enhance certain features of your face, including your cheeks or your jaw line. The surgery may be elective, or needed as the result of prior surgery on the face.
A candidate for this procedure must be in good physical and mental health and should not expect perfection because facial implants will not make a person look like someone else but they will enhance your current features.
During pre-operative consultation, the patient and surgeon will decide together whether it will be used a local anesthesia with an oral sedative to help the patient relax or general anesthesia (patient will be put to sleep).
In most cases, facial implant surgery is completed on an outpatient basis in a hospital, surgeon's office or a surgical center. Also, a surgeon will instruct a patient on which foods and medications to avoid before and after facial implant surgery and if a patient is a smoker, the surgeon may ask him/her to quit smoking for a certain period before and after the surgery.
- Before surgery, the patient must establish a home recovery area, which should include: plenty of ice, freezer bags, ointments or creams as recommended by the surgeon for any external incision sites, clean gauze, soft foods, such as protein shakes, pudding, Jell-O, ice cream, mouthwash (tooth brushing may be restricted based on surgeon's recommendations).
- On the day of the surgery, the patient must wear a loose blouse or shirt that does not have to be pulled over the face.
The length of surgery will depend on which part of patient’s face is affected, but it commonly lasts between one to two hours.
Face implants can be placed in:
- Lower jaw – The implant is placed inside of the lower lip, incision site will be secured with sutures that will dissolve in about one week. The procedure takes one to two hours.
- Cheek – The implant is placed internally through upper lip or externally via lower eyelid and the sutures will vary depending on whether they're internal or external. The procedure takes about an hour.
- Chin – The implant is placed internally to the lower lip, or under the chin. The sutures will vary depending on whether they're internal or external. The procedure takes 30 minutes to an hour.
After surgery, the patient will experience bruising and swelling, which can last at least two days. Because the patient is having an implant inserted into his/her body, there is a risk of the facial implant shifting. If this happens, the patient may have to undergo a follow-up operation.