What Are Facial Implants?
At West End Plastic Surgery in Washington, D.C. we offer facial implants to strengthen the jawline or enhance the chin. Dr. Paul Ruff, and Dr. Justin Cohen use jaw and chin facial implants to our patients attain symmetry and balance among their facial features. Our board-certified plastic surgeons can also surgically correct the chin by moving the chin bone forward or by reducing its prominence.
During your consultation 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.
Who Is A 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. Your surgeon 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.
What To Expect During Your Consultation
Prior to scheduling your surgery, you will meet for a consultation 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 as well as the size, shape, and position of your implant.
Your surgeon 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
What Types Of Facial Implants Are Offered At West End Plastic Surgery?
Facial Implant Procedure
Your facial implant surgery will be performed in our state-of-the-art surgical suite or at one of the area hospitals where our board-certified plastic surgeons operate. 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
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.
Jaw Implant Surgery
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 your surgeon.
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.
Recovery After Facial Implant 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 surgeon 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.
Resuming Your Normal Routine After Facial Surgery
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:
|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|
Possible Side Effects & Risks of Facial Implants
After your procedure, 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.
During your pre-surgery consultation with your plastic surgeon, your individual risks will be assessed. 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:
- Permanent numbness
- Nerve irritation
- Implant shifting
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.
Read What Our Patients Have to Say!
“As a recent patient of Dr. Cohen, I found West End Plastic Surgery to be a fantastic practice with a dedicated staff of professionals. Specifically, in my recent experience as a chin-implant patient of Dr. Cohen, I found him to be professional, courteous, responsive, and most importantly: a skilled practitioner who demonstrates passion for his craft." - Austin L