Almost any part of the face can be cosmetically enhanced by facial implants. Many young people seek facial implants because they add definition and character to their face, while older people are combining implant surgery with other facial surgery to complete the look they desire. For instance, a chin implant may enhance the effect of a facelift by strengthening the definition of the jawline or cheek implants may add definition to the upper face in combination with a browlift or facelift surgery.
The two most common substances used are Silicone and Polyethylene (Medpor).
Silicone implants come in a variety of shapes and sizes to match almost all anatomical areas suitable for augmentation. Silicone is also easy to shape if an implant needs an adjustment. One advantage of silicone implants is the ease with which they can be inserted, but because they do not allow tissue ingrowth, they can “float” and may not feel like they have become a part of the body. Medpor is a porous substance that allows the tissue to grow into it. This allows it to fix firmly and the implant then feels like a natural extension of the person’s own bone. This makes it the preferred implant of many surgeons.
Chin implants are popular with men who are trying to achieve a stronger, more masculine look. Women usually opt for this type of surgery to balance their facial features. Implants can increase the protrusion of the chin from the profile view and they can also strengthen the appearance of the chin from the front-on view. I use Medpor implants exclusively for chin augmentation because it fixes firmly to the underlying bone and makes the implant virtually indistinguishable from the patient’s own jawbone. To fix the implant to the face, an incision is made inside the mouth, eliminating external facial scars.
Cheek implants, along with chin implants, are the most popular way of improving definition of facial features. High cheekbones are seen to be attractive and desirable and improved cheekbone prominence is highly sought after. Cheek implants, perhaps more than any other implant, can produce subtle or dramatic changes in facial appearance, depending on the size of the implant. Cheek implants are inserted through an incision inside the mouth and are placed over the cheekbone. Again, no external incisions are needed and there are no resultant skin scars.
The lips are perhaps the most sensuous of the facial features. No wonder then that full lips are considered attractive and even desirable. Some people ask for improved definition of the lip border, while others prefer to have a fuller, more luscious lip. Either way, the lip gets more definition and balance.
Permanent lip augmentation is popular and is commonly undertaken by people who have tried injections and liked the lip fullness this achieves. There are a number of different ways of permanent lip augmentation but I prefer to use dermafat grafts. This method is safe, predictable and gives good, long-lasting results after a minor day-surgery procedure. Its advantage is that it uses the patient’s own tissue.
I use nasal implants to improve the definition and height of the nasal bridge since they give more height to a nose that appears to be flat or sunken. This procedure is particularly popular with Oriental patients who sometimes seek correction of the flatness across the bridge of the nose or who want more definition in the main body of the nose.