All About Facial Implants

Written by Cameron Craven, MD, FACS, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon on September 15, 2015 2 Comments

facial implants

When most people think of implants, breast implants or butt implants is usually top-of-mind. However there are a variety of specialized implants to enhance the look of the face. Today’s facial implants feature solid composite materials that are designed to look natural and be compatible with normal human tissues.

Facial implants make it possible to change the overall physical structure of your face. Implant-based procedures starkly contrast skin-tightening surgeries like facelift or brow lifts, which only manipulate the skin. Facial implants are the only way to correct structural based issues like small chins, weak jaws and asymmetrical facial contours.

While virtually any area of the face can be augmented through implants, the most popular areas for facial implants include the cheeks, jaw line, and chin.

Chin implants

Chin implants make it possible to increase the size and shape of the chin, correcting symmetry issues where the chin is out of proportion with an individual’s midface or forehead. Chin implants also allow for the correction of a recessed chin, an issue where the chin blends into the neck of an individual of normal weight giving the appearance of a double-chin.

Chin implants are often composed of Gortex, Silastic (solid silicone) or Medpore. Silicone-based versions are currently the most commonly used as they are very effective and safe.

Jaw implants

Jaw implants are used to make the jaw area more prominent, increasing the volume of the lower third of the face. Similar to a recessed chin, a weak jaw does not properly define and distance the face from the neck.

Jaw implants are typically composed of silicone or elastomer, which allows for a natural look and feel. Jaw implant procedures usually take about two hours and are performed under general anesthesia. During the procedure incisions are made inside the mouth along the outer sides of the mandible. The surgeon then places and adjusts the implant before closing the incision with dissolvable stiches.

Cheek implants

Cheek implants add instant volume to the cheekbones in order to correct hollowness or flatness in the area. This volume corrects facial asymmetries and results in a plumper and younger facial aesthetic.

During cheek implant surgery, an incision will be made under the lower eyelid or inside the mouth on the inner surface of the upper lip. The surgeon will create a pocket for the implant to fit into, and then insert the implant through the incision. A bandage may be applied to reduce swelling and to help maintain implant positioning.

Injectable Implants

Injectable fillers are often referred to as another type of facial implant. There is a growing trend in the use of injectable fillers over solid implants. They are very versatile and can be used to augment the soft tissue or skeletal structures of almost any part of the face. They are generally not permanent and many can even be removed with another simple injection if the patient is not satisfied with the appearance. These types of “implants” are also special in that they generally do not move around like solid implants can.

Ultimately the exact type and size of facial implant used will depend on the surgeon’s preference, patient’s medical history, and desired results.

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Cameron Craven, MD, FACS

Cameron Craven MD, FACS is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Dr. Craven specializes in the full spectrum of cosmetic surgery including breast augmentation, liposuction and body contouring, facial rejuvenation, laser surgery, eyelid surgery, and rhinoplasty, as well as reconstructive surgery for skin cancers.

2 Responses to “All About Facial Implants”

  1. Avatar Kevin says:

    Thank you for this info. Im current researching facial reconstruction so this was helpful. Unfortunately I live in California.

  2. Avatar Kenneth says:

    While I have aged, I have noticed my jaw and neck start sagging. It is really annoying to see even when I try and stay active. I would really like to learn more about lifts and implants to help combat this. This could be really good to do on my cheeks and jaw.

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