Because well-defined facial features are a mark of physical beauty, enhancing the chin and cheeks can provide a more elegant and attractive appearance. Facial implants create remarkable changes by adding balance and definition to underdeveloped features.
Manufactured from a variety of materials, facial implants are available to augment the cheeks, chin and jaw. They are placed in a precise pocket located just above the bone, (in order to minimize any chance of shifting over time). The implants are not visible beneath the skin and the materials are non-toxic. Many materials have been used safely in reconstructive procedures for several decades. There is an assortment of shapes and sizes available. This variety allows Dr. Wall to select an implant that is tailored to meet the needs of each individual patient.
During your initial evaluation, photographs will be obtained from a number of vantage points, to assist in explaining features unique to your anatomy. Dr. Wall will review available options, explain possible risks, and answer your questions. There will be an opportunity to discuss both your hopes and your concerns for the operation. As with all aesthetic procedures, communication is the key to ensuring that you will be pleased with your results.
Chin Implants (Mentoplasty)
Augmentation surgery is indicated if the chin implant will enhance facial balance and harmony. Typically, chin implants are recommended for the face that lacks proper proportion. For example, the chin may be too narrow. In other instances, the chin appears to be "short" when we view a patient's profile. Dr. Wall will take measurements during the initial consultation and pre-operative visits. Then, he will use your photographs to illustrate how these numbers correspond to chin features (e.g., "strong" chin). This allows him to determine which implant size is optimally suited to your face. You will have an opportunity to see and to touch actual implants during your office visit.
Though facial implant surgery may require only local anesthetic, general anesthesia is usually recommended to optimize your comfort. In most cases, implant surgery is performed on an "out-patient" basis. Occasionally, an overnight stay may be necessary if more than one procedure is performed. The surgery requires about an hour. During the procedure, the implant is inserted into a pocket created along the surface of the bone (mandible). Incisions are made within the mouth, or in a crease located beneath the chin. The chin is bandaged after the surgery to minimize swelling. If an intra-oral incision is used, dissolving sutures will be employed (they last about 5 to 7 days). If an external approach is used, very fine stitches are placed in the skin. These stitches are removed after 4 to 5 days. During the recovery period, you will be instructed to maintain good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth and by using an antiseptic mouthwash. Some patients find that a soft diet causes less stretching around the incision sites and minimizes post-operative discomfort. Swelling and bruising may be visible around the chin and neck for about a week.
Cheek Implants (Malar Augmentation)
Cheek bones are one of the most important features of the face. Prominent cheek bones lend a dramatic quality to the face. Flat cheek bones accentuate the "sagging" that occurs with age, and detract from the appearance of the eyes. A younger individual may desire a cheek implant in order to add definition to the cheek areas. Other patients seek to correct the "chipmunk cheeks" (that never seem to go away despite dieting or exercise). Older patients may wish to have cheek implants to improve the contour of the mid-face or to elevate drooping tissues.
Cheek implant surgery requires approximately an hour. Sometimes, the implants are inserted at the same time as another cosmetic procedure. In this case, they may be inserted through the common incisions. Alternately, an incision is made inside your upper lip (about an inch above the gum line). A precise pocket is formed and the implant is placed securely on or below the cheekbone.
After your surgery, the movement of your mouth and lips will be limited for a few days. Swelling, bruising and tenderness last about a week. The sutures used to close the incision will dissolve in about 10 days.