Facial implants are synthetic materials that are inserted into the face in order to change contours more permanently and dramatically than can be achieved with injections. Facial implants can alter a person’s appearance in a way that can be quite different from the changes created by a facelift or related procedure, largely by appearing to alter the bone structures that determine a person’s physical identity.
Implants can be small, flexible, and inserted through tiny incisions using a large-bore needle or may be larger and constructed of more rigid materials like solid silicone.
Types of Implants
Complications after implant insertion
are related to the presence of the foreign body or to technical factors, such as poor positioning or improper choice of implant size or shape. Implants can also shift into undesirable positions. Eyelid problems and chin numbness can result from surgery in these areas. Implants can become infected or over time cause deformity if the scar around the implant distorts adjacent normal tissues. Any of these complications can result in the need for further surgery and temporary or permanent removal of the implant. Synthetic implants are more likely to cause problems than are autografts. However, autografts can be absorbed or change shape, especially in the presence of infection.
The bottom line:
Cosmetic surgeons have long used fillers and implants to fine-tune the results of major operations, and these products can also be used alone to correct lesser contour irregularities. Temporary fillers are popular, mainly because poor results are self- correcting and because permanent fillers can be extremely difficult if not impossible to remove without creating a new deformity. However, the cumulative costs of multiple temporary treatments can be significant. Permanent implants present more surgical risks, and large implants can substantially alter a person’s appearance. Inject- able fillers are increasingly used by the unqualified and unscrupulous. Unapproved and nonmedical-grade substances injected into the body can cause complications ranging from painful lumps, serious infections, or hepatitis to death from improper injection into a blood vessel.