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Fairbanks Plastic Surgery: The Professional Artist of Plastic Surgery

FACIAL IMPLANTS: Cheek implants and chin implants provide your surgeon the ability to create subtle changes in facial contour to enhance a given patient’s appearence. Facial implants can be biologic, such as tissue taken from the patient themselves (cartilage or bone), or implants can be produced commercially. For the cheeks and chin, solid silicone works well and have a long success record. When it comes to implants in the nose, however, living biologic material is preferable. Custom implants created for traumatic loss of a portion of the skull (cranioplasty) can be made from a variety of materials.

FACIAL BEAUTY: The main points of beauty of the face are the nose, the cheeks, and the chin. It is the relationship between these prominences which historically has defined facial beauty. This must be balanced with soft tissue structures such as the forehead, the lips, the eyes and the neck. It is this balance in contour that artists and sculptors have been aware of for centuries. Ideal facial proportions were worked out in classical Greek times. Famous Greek sculptors such as Phidias, Praxitiles, Myron, Polycliltis, and others followed rules of anatomic design in order to create their sculptured masterpieces in marble, which are timeless, and continue to be admired today. It is important that Plastic Surgeons have the same artistic skills when it comes to sculpturing the human face.

       Before                       After

THE OPERATIONS: Changing the shape of any part of the face requires knowledge of the anatomy and being able to apply that knoqwledge to obtain the best result possible for the patient. For example, cheek implants are generally placed through an incision in the hollow area behind the upper lip where the lip meets the upper jaw. This is called the upper lip sulcus. Once an incision is made, the surgeon must create a pocket by dissecting directly on bone, so as to keep all the soft tissue over the implant. Using special soft tissue elevators, the dissection is angled toward the cheek bone prominence. Once the highest point is reached, an elevator with greater curvature is introduced to extend the dissection aroung the cheek bone (Zygoma). This must be a meticulous and exacting dissection. The nerve of sensation to the upper lip is close by, and this must be protected. A non-reactive implant of silicone which has been chosen by your surgeon for size, is next carefully inserted. The implant has a concave back, so it can conform to the cheek bone. Exltra care must be taken to assure equal placement of the right and left sides. Once properly placed, the wounds are closed, and the patient will be on antibiotics for a number of days to prevent an infection.

Placement of a chin implant is a more simple operation. It can be performed either through the mouth (lower lip sulcus) or through the skin immediately below the chin through a scar that no one sees. If performed through the oral route, there may be temporary muscle weakness to the lower lip. Again, care must be taken to avoid nerve damage, this time to the sensory nerve of the lower lip. In both cases accurate placement of the implant is essential, and the surgeon’s artistic judgement must be relied on for size determination. Prevention of infection is paramount; if an inferction were to occur, the implant must be removed in order to resolve it. Displacement of the implant can best be prevented by avoiding trauma or pressure on the area of operation. For example sleeping on the side of one’s face after surgery can displace a cheek implant. Once three weeks has gone by the implant will be fixed in position by scar tissue. Knowing the potential risks is important in order to prevent them.

RESULTS: Cheek implants and chin implants are an effective resource to Plastic Surgeons who seek to help patients concerned about contour improvments to their face. The results can be enormously satisfying to the patient accentuating their existing beauty in a subtle but powerful way. For the patient who is considering changing their facial contour for the enhancement of appearence, consultation with a board certified Plastic Surgery specialist is essential. During your consultation, you will become knowledgable about the procedure best suited for you, the alternatives, and the pros and cons of each.

For additional information, and to view examples, call the office at (801) 268-8838 for a consultation or fill out our online contact form. Your surgeons at Fairbanks Plastic Surgery have extensive experience in the area of facial implant surgery.