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Facial Implants

Facial implants are surgically placed in certain areas of the face to strengthen the jawline or enhance the chin. Dr. Paul G. Ruff IV uses jaw and chin facial implants to help Washington, D.C. patients attain symmetry and balance among their facial features. Our board-certified surgeon can also surgically correct the chin by moving the chin bone forward or by reducing its prominence. Working with your plastic surgeon at West End Plastic Surgery, you can decide which procedure is right for you and be assured of a safe and pleasing outcome.

If you would like to find out more about facial implants or other cosmetic surgery procedures for the face, request a consultation online to meet with Dr. Ruff or call our office at (202) 785-4187 to schedule an appointment.

Paul G. Ruff IV,
M.D. F.A.C.S.

Personalized, compassionate patient care is the foundation of West End Plastic Surgery's philosophy. Our board-certified surgeon, Dr. Paul G. Ruff IV embraces innovative techniques to ensure our patients get the best treatments available.

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Are You A Good Candidate for Facial Implants?

If you are in good health and have realistic expectations about your facial implant surgery, you are a good candidate for this procedure. It is also important that you understand and feel you can manage the limitations that occur with certain types of facial implant surgery. These limitations include being unable to freely move your mouth or lips for several weeks after surgery and maintaining a restricted diet. Dr. Ruff and his staff at West End Plastic Surgery will discuss which facial implant procedure is right for you, outline the limitations of the procedure, and make sure you achieve the results you desire.

Meeting With Your Doctor

Prior to scheduling your surgery, you will meet at length with our staff and your doctor at West End Plastic Surgery. You will have your facial structure evaluated and will discuss in detail how you want your face to look after your facial implant procedure. With the guidance of the staff, you will decide which type of facial implant is right for you and the size, shape, and position of your implant.

Your doctor and staff at West End Plastic Surgery will:

  • Review the various facial implant options with you
  • Clearly discuss the potential risks of the procedure
  • Outline in detail how the surgery is performed and what you can expect before, during, and after the procedure
  • Provide detailed cost and payment information
  • Discuss with you the current FDA regulations governing the use of implants
  • Answer all your questions

You will be asked to provide:

  • Details about your medical history
  • A list of all medications you take including over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, vitamins, and herbal supplements
  • Information regarding your tobacco and alcohol use

How The Procedure Is Performed

Your facial implant surgery will be performed in our state-of-the-art surgical suite or at one of the area hospitals where Dr. Ruff operates. The surgery can be performed using either general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation depending on what you and your doctor prefer. With general anesthesia, you will be completely asleep throughout the procedure. With local anesthesia, you will be lightly sedated and your face will be numbed. You will be awake, but will be relaxed and will feel no discomfort. The type of anesthesia to be used, the length of your procedure, and the placement of your incisions will be discussed with you at your initial consultation.

Chin implant surgery usually takes between 30 minutes and one hour to complete. An incision is placed under the chin, and, by gently stretching this tissue, your doctor creates a space where an implant can be inserted. The implant is made of synthetic material that feels much like natural tissue normally found in the chin, and it is available in a wide variety of sizes and shapes. This allows custom fitting of the implant and an individualized approach to each patient's face. After implantation, fine sutures are used to secure the implant and close the skin.

For jaw implant surgery, the incisions are made inside the mouth on either side of the lower lip. These incisions provide access and allow your doctor to form a pocket to hold your implant. Dissolvable sutures are normally used to hold your implant in place and to close the incisions. The entire procedure generally takes from 1 to 2 hours to complete.

Facial implants are made of a variety of materials. Occasionally, fat deposits are used instead of solid implants. The type of implant to be used will be discussed during your initial meeting with Dr. Ruff.

What To Expect After Your Surgery

Activity When
Shower or Bath The Day After Surgery
Back to Work One Week After Surgery
Driving As Soon as You Feel Comfortable
Stitches Removed Five to Seven Days After Surgery
Strenuous Activity Three to Four Weeks After Surgery

Immediately After Your Surgery

In most cases, you will be ready to go home shortly after your facial implant procedure. Because you may be a bit sleepy after the anesthesia and will experience soreness in the area of your incision, it is important for someone to drive you home after surgery. If a hospital stay was required, you will go home the day after your surgery. You may want to have someone stay with you for the first few days you are at home. Your ability to open and move your mouth will be limited and you may be on a restricted diet for the first few weeks after your surgery. Most of the discomfort you experience can be controlled with prescribed pain medication.

The First 24 to 48 Hours After Your Surgery

During the first 24 to 48 hours after your facial implant procedure, you may feel tired from the anesthesia and sore from the surgery. The doctor will prescribe pain medication to alleviate much of the discomfort. Your comfort level will improve rapidly after the first 2 days.

There will be swelling and bruising in the area of your surgery. Swelling will be particularly pronounced after jaw implant surgery. In most cases, the bruising and swelling will subside within several days. However, with jaw implant surgery, the swelling will usually peak 24 to 48 hours after the procedure and your jaw may remain mildly swollen for several months after the surgery. Some patients may experience a stretched, tight sensation after the surgery, but this usually subsides in a week. Your ability to freely open and move your mouth and lips will be restricted, and you may experience some difficulty with smiling and talking.

Your doctor will provide you with specific post-surgery instructions. These instructions will include dietary restrictions, oral hygiene guidelines, and specific restrictions on your activities. Your first postoperative visit is scheduled within 2 to 3 days after surgery, with follow-up visits scheduled at 1 week, 2 weeks, and 1 month.

The First Two Weeks After Surgery

You will notice a marked improvement in your comfort level during the first week after your surgery, and you can most likely return to work within a week of your procedure.

Any bruising or swelling you experience will usually disappear in about a week, except for the swelling that accompanies jaw implant surgery.

  • Stitches, if not dissolvable, will be removed 5 to 7 days after surgery.
  • The dissolvable stitches used inside your mouth usually dissolve within about 10 days.
  • Avoid heavy lifting and straining for at least 2 weeks, and avoid contact sports for at least 8 weeks to avoid jarring or displacement of the implants.

Resuming Your Normal Routine

Everyone heals at different rates, and you are the best judge of when you are ready for certain activities, but the following are general guidelines:

  • You can shower or bathe the day after your procedure, being sure to handle the area of your surgery carefully.
  • You can most likely return to work or school within a week of your procedure.
  • You can resume driving as soon as you feel comfortable doing so, usually within a week.
  • Strenuous exercise can begin about 4 weeks after surgery. Our patients are encouraged to plan an exercise program and discuss it with the staff prior to resuming exercise.

Things To Be Aware Of After Your Surgery

The skin in the area of the surgery may appear shiny due to swelling. Within a few weeks, the swelling will disappear and the skin will return to a normal appearance.

There will be significant swelling in the case of jaw implant surgery. Though this swelling peaks within 24 to 48 hours, mild swelling may be present for several months and may prevent your final facial contour from becoming apparent until the swelling goes away.

What Are Possible Side Effects or Risks?

During your pre-surgery consultation with Dr. Ruff, your individual risks will be assessed, and it will be determined whether you are a good candidate for facial implant surgery.

As with any surgery, you can help reduce the risks associated with your facial implant procedure by closely following the instructions provided to you by our staff at West End Plastic Surgery. We will be with you every step of the way to ensure a safe and pleasing outcome.

Most likely risks include the following:

  • Infection
  • Permanent numbness
  • Nerve irritation
  • Implant shifting
  • Asymmetry

How Long Will the Results of Your Facial Implants Last?

The results are permanent if silicone implants are used. If fat deposits are used, the procedure may need to be repeated periodically. It is important to keep in mind that the skin and muscles in your face and neck will continue to change as a result of aging and gravity.

Questions You May Have

Are there other procedures that could be done along with facial implants to enhance the overall appearance of my face?

There are several surgical procedures that can help enhance the face and neck and provide a more youthful appearance. These include:

Will my insurance coverage pay for my facial implants?

Facial implant surgery is considered a cosmetic treatment and, therefore, is not covered by your insurance. You are responsible for the full payment for your procedure. Cost and payment information will be discussed in detail with you during your initial consultation.

Are there alternatives to facial implants?

Fillers such as collagen, hyaluronic acid base, hydroxygratite base may provide localized, temporary improvement. Transfer of one's own fat from another area of the body may also improve facial contour and form. This approach usually requires one to three procedures to achieve the desired result.

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West End Plastic Surgery 2440 M Street Northwest #200
Washington, District of Columbia 20037 (202) 785-4187 Monday–Friday: 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Get Directions
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