Facial Implants: Rearranging Your Face

August 22, 2010

"I hate my face." Most mothers have heard that cry from their teenage daughters at one point or another and many adult women and men feel exactly the same way. Perhaps it's a small face that never quite grew into its nose, or ears that are "so big I look like Dumbo." Maybe the eyelids look like curtains over the eyes and the skin around the neck is loose. Today, with the help of plastic surgery, most of what people would consider to be facial flaws can be corrected with facial implants.

Changing The Way Your Face Is Shaped

Facial implants are used by plastic surgeons to improve and enhance facial contours. Sunken cheeks can be filled out and made youthful looking and a chin that sits very far back can be reconstructed to look more balanced. Most of the time the results give the person a better feeling about themselves and an increased sense of confidence.

Facial implants often yield good results, however, there are times when the implant shifts out of alignment and a second operation is necessary to realign it. As with any surgery, there is a risk of infection which can usually be treated effectively with antibiotics. If, for some reason the infection does not clear up around the implant, it may have to be removed and replaced later. If there are concerns or questions that come up, be sure to discuss them with the plastic surgeon.

Chin Implants for a Receding Chin

A chin implant is usually done in the case of a receding chin, one that is far back rather than pointing forward. The surgery to insert a chin implant may take from 30 minutes up to an hour to complete. The procedure involves the selection of the proper size and shape implant chosen by the doctor that will look best, and that implant is placed into a pocket in front of the jawbone. A small incision is made inside the mouth, along the lower lip, or in the skin just under the chin area and the implant is slipped into place through the incision. Frequently the chin is taped to reduce swelling and discomfort after the surgery. Stitches inside the mouth dissolve on their own. If the stitches are outside, on the chin, they will be removed within a week of the surgery. The healing process can look like you collided with a wall - swelling, black and blue marks on the chin and neck, difficulty smiling and talking - but it all goes away in a short time.

Plumping Up Sunken Cheeks

Sunken cheeks make a face look old or ill. When the cheeks are filled out, the face looks more youthful and soft. Cheek implants take about 30 to 45 minutes to complete. When cheek implants are part of a face lift or coupled with other facial surgeries, they can be inserted through an incision made for the other work. Otherwise, the cut is made inside the lower eyelid or inside the upper lip. A pocket is created and the implant is inserted. A dressing is applied after the surgery to help lessen the swelling and discomfort. If there was another procedure done at the same time, then bruising and marking may be different from having the procedure done by itself. If the implants were inserted through the lip, then movement in the mouth and lips will be difficult for several days. Stitches will often dissolve in about ten days.

It will take some time for all of the swelling to abate and to get used to the new look. Be patient and kind to yourself throughout the process. The likelihood of people not recognizing you is small. Rather, they'll probably just notice that you look great and wonder what's different about you.

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