The face does not consist of soft tissue and skin alone, rather it is the skull that determines the shape of our appearance. A regular skeleton is the precondition for good looks. Developmental disorders, genetic defects, an accident or tooth problems may cause facial deformities. This is particularly noticeable in the midface and the jaw. In these cases, surgical intervention is used to improve facial contours. The best material for this purpose is own bone material. To obtain it, is a complicated and painful process. Own bone is only used when substance is lost through an accident or as a result of cancer. For face contouring purposes, synthetic implants are the materials of choice.
Frequently asked questions about facial implants:
Where in the face are implants used?
The main area of application is the midface, on the cheek bones and under the rim of the eye socket, but also on the lower jaw, in the chin point and below the jaw line.
What material are the implants made of?
Silicon plastics and porous polyethylen (PE) are the most commonly used synthetic materials.
- Silicone implants have a slippery surface and can be easily placed and removed through small incisions. However, over time they cause bone degradation and, due to their slippery surface, they can easily slip causing asymmetries. They need to be anchored well.
- Porous PE (Medpor) is a plastic with many tiny holes which render the surface textured and resistant to slippage. That, on the other hand, makes them more difficult to place and remove. Once inside the body, the pores stimulate tissue growth which penetrates into the material. That reduces the risk of slippage considerably. Porous PE also does not cause bone degradation.
Under what circumstances are face implants used?
They are used to balance and beautify the face. Cheek implants enhance the face and emphasise its oval shape. In people with a flat midface, implants under the eyes enhance the face contours. A receding chin becomes more expressive, and implants in the lower jaw create a stronger, more defined, more “male” jaw line.
How are the implants inserted?
Midface implants and implants on the cheek bones are inserted through incisions in the lower eyelid or in the mouth, and chin implants through incisions under the chin or in the mouth. Implants are usually fixed on bones with screws.
What to do and what not to do before treatment?
Three weeks before an invasive / surgical treatment patient must stop smoking and taking aspirin. In the last week, patients must stop taking any anticoagulant (“blood-thinning”) medicine.
The following substances are also prohibited:
- pain killers such as Apranax, Voltaren and Vermidon (alternative brand names are Minoset and Novalgin)
- multivitamin tablets containing ginseng, ginkgo biloba and coenzyme Q,
- green tea, herbal products containing linseed, sour cherry stalks, tomato seeds
- all diet products.
Does the procedure require anaesthesia?
If no other surgical intervention is planned, the implants are placed under local anaesthesia or sedation. The procedure is performed in a clinic.
How long does the insertion of implants take?
The procedure takes 30-60 minutes.
Is the procedure painful?
After placement, no pain is expected that cannot be controlled with simple pain medication.
What happens after the operation?
In the insertion area, light swelling and bruising, and temporary numbness as well as a weakening of facial expressions may occur. Swelling and bruising begin to dissolve from the third day onward. After 3 weeks, the side effects of the treatment have almost completely disappeared.
What are possible complications?
In rare cases, chin implants may cause permanent numbness in the lower lip. Implants inserted through the mouth may cause infections which may necessitate a removal of the implants. Silicone implants may slip and cause asymmetries in the long term. Silicon may also induce degradation of the adjacent bones. Medpor implants are more slip proof.