The decision to have facial implant surgery is extremely personal and youíll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable. Your cosmetic surgeon and/or staff will explain in detail the risks associated with surgery. You will be asked to sign an informed consent form to ensure that you fully understand the procedure you will undergo, the alternatives available and the most likely risks and potential complications.
Facial implants can reconstruct, augment or rejuvenate the face. Its reconstructive properties are used to correct birth defects but their commonest use as an augmentative and rejuvenative material is to restore facial harmony in people who have less than normal projection of facial features.
Facial implants are specially manufactured solid, biocompatible materials available in a wide range of styles and sizes designed to enhance or augment the physical structure of the face. The precise type and size of implants best suited for you; requires an evaluation of your goals, the features you wish to correct and your surgeon‘s judgment.
Nose implants can be straight or ‘L‘ shaped. They augment and straighten the dorsal bridge of the nose, elevate the tip and make it more prominent.
Chin implants can increase the size and projection of a chin that does not project in proportion with the forehead and mid-face. A small or recessed chin can also be described as one that seems to disappear into the neck of an individual of normal weight, rather than appearing as a distinct facial feature. They are available only for central projection, also with side extensions to give a broader look to the chin. Even they come with a central dimple for that cute look preffered by many males. A cosmetic plastic surgeon may recommend a chin implant to a person having cosmetic nose surgery i.e. rhinoplasty done. The purpose here is to provide facial proportion, as the size of the chin may influence how the nose looks.
Jaw implants mainly used in males; increase the width of the lower third of the face. Much like the chin, a weak jaw can be thought of as one that is not well-defined and distinct from the neck, or one that slopes rather than angles from the ear to the chin. In some cases, implant augmentation of both the chin and jaw can correct the facial imbalance.
Cheek implants increase the projection of the cheekbones. They add volume to areas which may be recessed or flat and make the cheeks look larger, higher or fuller.
If symmetry among facial features is part of your goal, facial implants may be recommended to augment more than one facial region. It is important to remember that all of our faces are asymmetric to some degree and your results may not be completely symmetric. The goal is to create balance and proportion. Your procedure may be performed alone, or as a complement to other facial contouring procedures such as nose or ear surgery.
What to expect during your consultation
The success and safety of facial implant procedure depends very much on your complete candidness during the consultation. Youíll be asked a number of questions about your health, desires and lifestyle.
Be prepared to discuss:
Why you want the surgery, your expectations and desired outcome
- Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments
- Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs
Your surgeon may also:
- Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
- Take photographs for medical record
- Discuss different options and recommend a course of treatment
Discuss likely outcomes of facial implant surgery and any risks or potential complications
Terminology to know
Biocompatible materials: Synthetic or natural materials used as implants and designed to function along with living tissues.
Local anesthesia: A drug injected directly to the site of an incision during an operation to relieve pain.
Intravenous sedation: Sleeping agents administered by injection into a vein to help you relax while operating under local anesthesia.
General anesthesia: A method of anesthesia using intravenous drugs and/or gases used during an operation to relieve pain and alter consciousness.
Intraoral incisions: Surgical incisions made inside the mouth.
External incisions: Surgical incisions made on the visible surface of the skin which usually leave a fine line scar.
Be sure to ask questions
It‘s very important to ask your cosmetic surgeon questions about your procedure. It is natural to feel some anxiety, whether due to excitement for your anticipated new look or a bit of preoperative stress. Don‘t be shy about discussing these feelings with your cosmetic surgeon.
Things to consider before having facial implants
Before you opt for facial implants, there are some important issues to keep in mind:
- Some facial implants are made from silicone. Concerns have been raised about the safety of silicone implants. Currently, there is no clear scientific evidence that silicone is a harmful substance.
- Think about the financial cost. Cosmetic surgery does not usually qualify for rebates from Mediclaim, Medicare or private health insurance.
- Smokers are at increased risk of complications. If you are serious about undergoing cosmetic surgery, you should try to quit smoking.