In 2013, the AAFPRS reported popularity of Facial symmetry and balance play a big role in how young or old you look.
Balance and symmetry also play a role when it comes to how satisfied you are with your appearance.
For example, you might think that your nose is too large, but really it might be that your chin is very small.
Just as people come in all shapes and sizes, facial implants come in a wide variety, too. Materials commonly used for a facial implant include Gore-Tex, silicone, and polyethylene. Each type is bio-compatible, meaning that the body won’t reject it.
Silicone is the material that has been in use the longest. It’s a naturally occurring rubber-like substance that doesn’t break down or disintegrate. Although it’s a solid material, it is soft and flexible and will shape itself to match the facial area, whether it’s used in the cheeks or chin.
When silicone implants are used, the body forms a capsule around the implant, meaning that a surgeon often doesn’t have to secure the implant in place with a screw.
Gore-Tex is a brand name material that’s been used for implants since the 1990s. It’s very different from silicone. For one thing, the material is porous, so your own tissue is able to grow into it, which holds it securely in position.
A drawback of the porousness of the material is that it can be difficult for the surgeon to remove if you decide that you no longer want the implant.
Polyethylene implants are typically more rigid than silicone or Gore-Tex. Like Gore-Tex, though, the material is porous, so your body tissue can grow into it.
Since no two people are the same, the implants can be customized, no matter what material they are made from. The surgeon can trim the implant to the right size for your face or adjust its shape to better suit your features.
Facial implants can be used in a number of areas. For example, patients seeking rhinoplasty to make their nose larger or wider might get an implant in the nose.
Implants are also used to make a chin more prominent or to correct a weak chin, and in the cheek area to restore volume loss that occurs as people age.
Cheek implants can enhance the cheekbones and can help you look younger. An implant can be placed in the jaw area to make it more prominent and to separate the jaw from the neck.
The process of inserting the implants typically takes less than two hours. You might be under general anesthesia or receive sedation during the surgery. The location of the incision for the implant is very important.
Dr. Schwartz makes the incisions inside the mouth so that they aren’t visible after you’ve healed. The incisions might be just inside the lower lip for a chin implant or near the upper lip or lower eyelid for cheek implants.
Once the incision is made, the surgeon slips the implant into it. He then positions the implant so that it is in the right position and is even. After the implant is in the right spot, the incision is sewn up.
If you decide that an implant is right for you, you can expect about a week for recovery following the surgery. Usually, stitches are taken out between five and seven days after the procedure. You can go back to work after the stitches are removed.
Right after the surgery, the area where the implants were added might feel stiff. You might notice that it’s difficult to move that area, for example. Some pain is possible after the procedure, too. Talk to your surgeon about pain-reliever options after the surgery if necessary. Your surgeon will also let you know if you need to avoid eating certain foods or drinking certain beverages while the incisions on the inside of the mouth heal.
If your nose looks too big for your face or your cheeks are starting to sag, an implant in the chin or cheek area might be what you need to improve the appearance of your face.
To learn more about your implant options, contact Dr. Michael Schwartz, a double board certified facial plastic surgeon and ENT specialist.
You can schedule an appointment at his practice in West Palm Beach, Florida, by calling 561-228-5888.