Volume loss and increased skin laxity are normal parts of the aging process that can affect the definition of the face, especially your cheeks and your jawline. If your chin lacks definition or your cheeks have lost their natural contours, facial implants can help you add volume to create a more balanced and youthful appearance. In Boca Raton, FL, and the surrounding areas, Daniel Man, M.D., a Florida-based board-certified plastic surgeon, offers cheek and chin augmentation to patients interested in a more defined facial structure.
What Are Facial Implants?
Facial implants are natural or artificial inserts that are added to the face to increase definition. Cheek implants are typically made of a silicone rubber material that is compatible with human tissue and can be removed since it does not bind with living tissue. They can also be made from other materials such as hydroxyapatite, a material that integrates with human bone tissue to become affixed in the body. Chin augmentation procedures often use bone grafts and other firm tissue substitutes that can be implanted on the bone of the chin to achieve the patient’s desired results.
Benefits of Facial Implants
A chin implant procedure, also called chin augmentation, strengthens weak facial structure by creating a stronger and better-defined jawline. Chin augmentation also provide additional benefits, including:
- More balanced facial appearance
- Improved self-esteem
- Better-defined side profile
- Stronger jawline
In addition to smoothing facial skin, re-contouring facial structure and creating a more youthful appearance, cheek implants offer the following benefits:
- Subtle but noticeable changes
- Youthful mid-face volume
- No risk of the body absorbing the implants
- Long-lasting results
- Increased positive self-image
What Are the Different Types of Facial Implant Procedures?
When performing cheek augmentation using implants, incisions are typically made in the mouth at the top of the lip and gums or through the lower eyelids. The implants are then inserted into small pockets formed in the cheek tissue and the incisions are sutured together.
When performed with other facial surgery procedures, such as a facelift, the implants are placed into the pockets inside the cheeks through the incisions used for the primary procedure. Cheek augmentation takes about 60 to 90 minutes to perform and is usually done under a light or twilight anesthesia.
Depending on the type of chin augmentation performed, the procedure may be completed under local or general anesthesia with IV sedation to keep the patient comfortable. A chin augmentation procedure that uses bone grafts to reshape the chin takes the longest and requires general anesthesia and/or IV sedation to ensure patient comfort. With this procedure, small incisions are usually made under the chin and inside the mouth. The chin is then reshaped and implants are added to increase the size or projection of the chin. All incisions are closed with tiny sutures, and any scarring will be hidden inside the mouth and in the natural crease underneath the chin.
Natural and artificial facial implants can successfully augment the shape of the face with long-lasting results, but using fat grafts taken from elsewhere in the body is also a popular option for chin and cheek enhancement. During a fat transfer procedure, fat is harvested from other areas of the body where extra fat deposits commonly accumulate, such as the buttocks, midsection or thighs.
Once the donor fat has been harvested from the patient, it is processed and turned into a safe, biocompatible injectable. The processed fat is then injected using micro-needles into the areas of the chin or cheeks that need filling out and shaping. Fat transfer procedures have the added benefit of combining the benefits of body contouring alongside facial augmentation. For patients interested in a less invasive procedure that is entirely natural, fat transfer is the solution.
The shape of the chin and cheeks can also be refined and shaped using popular fillers, such as Voluma, Restylane, Restylane Lyft, Hylaform, Sculptra and Radiesse. These fillers are injected using tiny needles under a simple local anesthetic, have little to no downtime, and may be combined with other facial procedures for an overall appearance that fits the patient’s ideal look. The most common injectable fillers for facial augmentation include Radiesse and Sculptra, both of which contain hyaluronic acid (HA), a naturally-occurring substance in the body that boosts production of collagen and elastin to add volume to the face.
While the results from injectable fillers are not as long-lasting as using facial implants, treatment can be adjusted and repeated as needed to ensure patients love the way they look for years to come.
Am I a Good Candidate for Facial Implants?
If your face lacks definition or you have lost your facial contours due to aging or weight loss, you may be a good candidate for facial implants. Additionally, if you are unhappy with the natural shape of your face due to genetics, then you may be able to achieve your dream facial contours using a facial augmentation procedure. Good candidates for a procedure should be healthy enough for surgery and have realistic expectations about their results. Good candidates should also be prepared to spend time away from work and other normal activities while they recover, depending on the extent of their procedure.
Dr. Man will determine if you are a good candidate for facial implants during an in-person consultation. He will also help you decide whether implants, fat grafts or dermal fillers are best for your needs after evaluating your face and your concerns.
Preparing for Your Procedure
To prepare our patients for chin or cheek augmentation, we provide them with detailed instructions to follow before and after their procedures. Smokers are asked to quit smoking at least two weeks before and after the date of their surgery. We also ask that patients have a clean face when coming in for their cheek enhancement treatments. Depending on the anesthesia used during the procedure, patients may need to have a friend or family member drive them home. Dr. Man will work with you to ensure you feel well-informed and prepared on the day of your procedure.
Recovering from Facial Implants
After surgical facial augmentation, the chin or cheeks will feel numb and sore for several weeks. Swelling and bruising may be present but will subside in a few weeks, at which point the results start to become visible. To prevent any damage to their results, patients will need to be careful to avoid any injury or trauma to the face during their recovery.
For cheek implantation, patients typically need to rest for five to seven days and may be required to wear a support brace at night while sleeping. The support brace must be worn for several weeks to ensure the implants do not shift until the cheeks have completely healed. For chin implantation, recovery tends to take a bit longer. In addition to normal side effects, patients may also experience some bloody drainage from the mouth for the first couple of days if incisions were made inside the mouth.
Non-dissolvable stitches are typically removed after 10 days. Dissolvable sutures placed inside the mouth will disappear in about 10 days. Most patients return to work in one to two weeks but will need to wait at least a few weeks before resuming exercise or strenuous activities. Visible swelling will diminish in 10 to 14 days, although residual swelling may last for several months. Most patients make a complete recovery from their procedure in about two weeks.
If fat grafts or fillers are used instead of facial implants, patients will experience some minor swelling and bruising around the injection sites that heals within a few days. Minor symptoms such as swelling, bruising and discomfort will also be present at the fat donor sites. Most patients take a couple of days off from their normal routines after facial injections to allow time for swelling and bruising to subside. Depending on the type of dermal fillers used, results can last between six months and two years before a maintenance appointment is necessary. The results from facial fat transfer procedures tend to last three to five years on average.
How Much Do Facial Implants Cost?
The cost of facial implants is different among each patient depending on the type of procedure performed, the extent of the procedure and whether it is combined with other facial surgeries. During a consultation, Dr. Man will go over the costs associated with the procedure, as well as payment and financing options.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
If you are interested in a stronger, more defined chin or youthfully full cheeks, then facial implants may be the solution. Daniel Man, M.D., a Florida-based board-certified plastic surgeon, regularly performs cheek and chin augmentation on patients living in and around Boca Raton, FL. Call us today at 561-395-5508 to schedule your consultation and learn more about all of our facial implant options.