Named Among the Best Plastic Surgeons in Boston
Facial implants have evolved for use in both aesthetic and reconstructive surgery.
Implants can be used to restore absent or damaged anatomy, or enhance an area of deficiency or underprojection. The cheeks, chin, and jaw are the most common areas for facial implants for aesthetic cases, while, the cranium and temples may require implants in reconstruction. Over the years implants have been made of a number of materials including silicone, titanium, porous polyethylene, polyetheretherketone, amongst others. Placed through well concealed incisions, implants can dramatically improve facial projection and balance.
The indications for facial implants are broad. Some patients may have developmental or acquired asymmetries or deficiencies.
For example children who have had radiation in childhood may have underdeveloped facial bones. Patients with Morphea, Romberg disease or Linear Scleroderma have significant and asymmetric facial deficiencies of both bone and soft tissues.
Patients who have had surgery or traumatic injuries may benefit from an implant to restore orbital anatomy, or correct temporal hollowing. What we learned from the reconstructive world can similarly be applied to the aesthetic realm. The most common areas for aesthetic implant surgery are the cheek bones, the chin, and the mandibular angles. Implants can dramatically improve facial proportions and balance. The use of an implant can, in some situations, be faster and easier and more reliable than moving the bones themselves.
Facial implants are a powerful tool to correct or improve facial asymmetries or imbalance. They can be highly customized and are made with precision. An infinite range of prefabricated and custom implants can be selected, and the volume changes can be very predictable.
Here are some examples of how facial implants can be helpful:
Some of the most common types of implants are listed below. For patients with typical anatomy, “off the shelf” implants that come in a range of shapes and sizes are usually used. For patients with particularly unusual anatomy patients specific implants (PSI) can be fabricated from a patient ‘s CT scan data.
Patients with developmental or acquired asymmetries, or those seeking to add volume for aesthetic reasons may be appropriate candidates for facial implants. Many patients in this category could consider an implant or the use of their own tissues (bone, cartilage, or fat) to accomplish the same goal. There are pros and cons to the use of an implant versus use of your own tissues.
One nice thing is that there is no donor site, and the shape changes can be precise and customized. . But on the flip side it does mean implantation of a foreign material, and those attendant risks. As with all elective procedures, we believe you should be nicotine and smoke free to minimize the risks of complications. During your consultation with Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan, we will discuss what you hope to achieve and the best course of action to safely achieve your desired results.
Facial implants can have a profoundly beneficial effect on facial harmony or symmetry. Effects can be seen immediately after surgery, though the swelling takes weeks to resolve, and the soft tissues may take some time to settle and adapt. . Facial implants are designed to last a lifetime, but rarely implants may need to be removed, if there has been migration, infection, or other problems. We often use porous polyethylene implants which are nonreactive, and allow for blood vessels to grow into them. This reduces the risk of infection, which is always of concern when implanting a foreign body.
The use of implants circumvents the need for making large bony movements, and is therefore less painful than operations that move the bone itself. The implants are typically placed through incisions within the mouth or beneath the chin, or within the hairline. Most patients do not experience significant pain. Patients typically go home the same day. Swelling however is common, and if incisions within the mouth are used we will likely restrict your diet to liquid-only for a couple of days. We recommend avoiding contact sports for 4-6 weeks.
If you would like to learn more about facial implant surgery, please contact us to set up your consultation with Dr. Taylor or Dr. Sullivan. While one doctor will be your primary surgeon, they usually operate together as a team to optimize your care and safety. When we meet in person we can analyze your particular situation to help determine whether an implant or use of your own tissues might be preferable. As plastic surgeons with additional craniofacial fellowship training, we feel comfortable with a wide array of approaches.
We are open to hearing your particular preference and concerns, and hope to guide you openly and honestly. Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan have been named among the best board-certified plastic surgeons in Boston by Boston Magazine each year since they began practicing in the area.
Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan trained at some of the finest medical institutions in the world, including Harvard Medical School, where they now teach medical students and residents. They strive to provide honest and informative consultations and perform surgery with precision, compassion, and an emphasis on safety. Excellence with compassion is the motto of Mount Auburn Hospital, which we aspire to achieve each and every day.
Call Today 617.492.0620
To schedule a private consultation with Dr. Taylor or Dr. Sullivan, please call the office or request an appointment using our form. We welcome your visit and your questions.
300 Mount Auburn St. Ste 304, Cambridge, MA 02138