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What Are Facial Implants?

Facial implants bring balance and better proportion to the structural appearance of your face by enhancing certain features of your face, including your cheeks or jaw line. The surgery may be done for cosmetic reasons, or due to a prior surgery on your face.

Constructed of solid materials that are compatible with human tissues, the precise type and size of facial implants best suited for you will be determined following your evaluation, where your goals, the features you wish to correct and your surgeon’s judgment will be discussed.

If a small chin, weak jaw or lack of facial contour bothers you and makes you feel self-conscious, plastic surgery with facial implants may benefit you.

The cheek or malar area, chin and jaw are the most common sites for facial implants.

Chin implants

Chin implants can increase the size and projection of a chin that is not in proportion with the forehead and mid-face. The implant is inserted into a pocket in front of the jawbone. The incision is made either along the lower lip inside the mouth or just below the chin area. The procedure takes 30 minutes to an hour.

For individuals of normal weight, a small or recessed chin is often described as seeming to disappear into the neck, rather than appearing as a distinct facial feature.

Cheek implants

Cheek implants increase the projection of the cheekbone by adding volume to areas that may be recessed or flat. The implants are inserted beginning with an incision inside the mouth or along the lower eyelid into which the implant is inserted. The procedure takes about an hour.

Am I Good Candidate for Facial Implants?

Facial implant surgery is best performed on people whose head and skull have reached physical maturity, which generally occurs in late adolescence.

Before choosing to have facial implant surgery, it is important to think through and discuss your goals and desired outcomes with your surgeon. In addition to being in good health and a non-smoker, good candidates typically:

  • Know what they want to change about their appearance.
  • Have reasonable expectations.
  • Know if they plan to get other surgeries or cosmetic procedures done.


Procedure Overview

Facial implant surgery is usually done on an outpatient basis (meaning no overnight stay) in a hospital, your surgeon’s office, or a surgical center. Your particular case will determine how and where yours will be done.

The length of the surgery depends on which part of your face is involved. Generally, though, surgery lasts between one and two hours.

Results & Recovery

After the surgery, the results will be visible almost immediately. Bruising and swelling is normal, and can last at least two days. It may take several months for swelling to fully dissipate. Your surgeon will inform you concerning what to watch for as far as excessive or abnormal swelling or bruising.

Bandages or dressings may be applied to keep the surgical site clean during your facial implants recovery, as well as to support the position of the implant during initial healing once your procedure is finished.

Your surgeon will provide you with specific instructions about how to care for the surgical site, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection. Also your surgeon will discuss with you specific concerns to look for at the surgical site, or in your general health and when to have a follow up visit.

What are the Risks?

As with any surgery, there are risks of certain side effects and complications. Potential risks to consider include:

Implant shifting. Because you are having an implant inserted, there is a risk of it shifting out of place. If this happens, you may need another surgery.

Infection. If you do develop an infection, your surgeon will give you antibiotics.

Contact your doctor immediately if you develop a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or more, experience abnormal pain or swelling, or have abnormal discharge from the incision site.