What are Facial Implants?
Facial implants are performed to improve facial features by enhancing a certain area of the face. Facial implants are made from materials that are compatible with human tissues. The type and size of the implant depends upon your facial evaluation, your goals and the area of the face that requires correction or enhancement. It could be your small cheekbone, a weak jaw or unassuming chin; all these can be improved with facial implants.
The cheek, chin and jaw are the most common sites that people go for facial implants. In this procedure, synthetic materials are placed under the subcutaneous tissue and over the underlying bone. Facial proportion, asymmetric contours and imbalance are corrected and improved through surgery by a maxillofacial or plastic surgeon. The facial implant may be carried out to repair the features damaged by an injury, enhance a feature, or to correct the lack of symmetry found due to a hereditary trait.
Types of facial implants
Facial implants can be of various types; however, there are three types of facial implants that are more popular. They are:
- Chin implants: Some individuals have a small or sunken chin that seems to fuse with the neck instead of being seen as a distinct facial feature, even when they are not overweight. Chin implants help correct the projection or increase the size of a chin that is not proportional to the forehead or mid-level of the face.
- Cheek implants and augmentation: Aesthetically, high cheekbones are supposed to lend more appeal to the face. Sports and entertainment celebrities don’t hesitate to go under the knife for cheek implants to increase the projection of the cheekbones. Cheek implants also help add mass to cheek areas that may be sunken or flat. In some cases, cheekbones are excessively high which can be corrected through a surgery.
- Jaw implants: A well-defined jaw adds more appeal to the face. Also, in some cases when the jaw is not well-defined, jaw implants helps to restore balance to the face. Usually, if a jaw lacks definition, it is not angular as it’s supposed to be from the ear to the chin. A jaw implant increases the visual appeal of the face and is quite popular.
Facial Implant Procedure
Let’s see how a facial implant procedure is done so that you are aware of what to expect and how to prepare before you visit your cosmetic surgeon in India. Following steps are taken before a facial implant:
- Anesthesia: For your comfort, your doctor may administer intravenous sedation or general anesthesia based on the type and duration of the facial implant procedure.
- Cheek Implant Procedure: Depending on the specific area of the cheek that needs to be augmented, the implant will be placed on the cheekbone accordingly. Generally, cheek implants are positioned through a surgical incision in the mouth. Sometimes incisions are made within the hairline or the lower eyelid to place the implant as per the end-result desired.
- Chin Implants: Mostly for chin implants, incisions are made inside the mouth, along the lines that join your gums and lower lip. In some cases, incisions are made just beneath the chin.
- Jaw implants: For cosmetic surgeries on the jaw, incisions are made inside the mouth to place the implants. Generally, the implant is placed along the jawline at the adjoining area where the inside of your gums and cheek meet.
Here are a few things you need to follow before you go for a facial implant surgery. Your plastic surgeon will advise you accordingly.
- Get your medical evaluation and lab testing done
- Take new medications or make adjustments in your current medications
- Completely refrain from anti-inflammatory and anticoagulants drugs such as aspirin to avoid excess bleeding
- Avoid any herbal supplements and smoking
Before you and your doctor decide on your facial implant, the following things need to be discussed during the consultation:
- The objectives and the goals of your surgery
- Any previous surgery that you may have taken
- Drug allergies, medical conditions or any other treatment you may be undergoing
- Any supplements, medications that you are using
- Your lifestyle, including tobacco, alcohol and drug use
Next, your cosmetic surgeon will do the following to evaluate you as a patient:
- Assess your general health condition, risk factors and pre-existing diseases
- Take pictures of your face before the surgery
- Discuss surgery and implant options
- Diagnose your problem and recommend the right remedy
- Discuss and reveal the likely outcomes of the facial implant surgery
- Inform you about potential risks and complications
It’s always a good idea to come prepared to ask questions and get them cleared with your doctor before the surgery. Prepare a list of questions to ask your plastic surgeon before you visit him. It’s important that you understand all the facets of your facial implant surgery. Stress and anxiety about the surgical procedure and the excitement to get a new look is normal, but don’t forget the important things in the process.
Once your procedure is finished, your doctor will apply bandages or dressings to keep the surgical area clean and to provide support to the implant during the healing process. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on taking care of the surgical site; how to protect it from infections; and when to call/ visit the doctor if there are any concerns. Your maxillofacial surgeon will also advise on the medications, steps to aid and accelerate healing, and other dos and don’ts.
Facial implants risks and safety
Facial implants are relatively safe but there is a degree of risks involved with all types of surgeries and implants. Going for a facial implant surgery is a personal decision and you have to accept the risks and potential complications before you move ahead. Your doctor will also ask you to sign a consent form to indicate that you clearly understand the procedure and are fully aware of the risks and complications.
So, what are the risks? Risks and complications of a facial implant surgery may involve the following:
- Unwanted scarring
- Slow or poor healing of surgery
- Anesthesia risks (usual with all types of surgeries)
- Displacement of implant
- Hardness, firmness in and around the implant
- Changes in skin sensation and contours
- Discoloration of the skin or swelling and increased sensitivity
- Damage to muscles, nerves and blood vessels
- Allergies to topical preparations, injections, tapes, glues and suture
- Continual pain in the surgery area
- Repeat surgeries