Your operation may take place in an office-based facility, a freestanding surgical center, or a hospital outpatient facility. Sometimes, your plastic surgeon may require that you stay overnight. Your doctor will make such a recommendation based on your overall medical condition and whether another cosmetic procedure was performed simultaneously with the facial implant surgery. In some cases, facial implant surgery may require only local anesthesia combined with a sedative. However, more frequently, a general anesthesia may be recommended.
Chin Implant Surgery
Insertion of a chin implant may take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. During the procedure, the surgeon selects the proper size and shape implant to enhance your appearance and inserts it into a pocket over the front of the jawbone. The small incision to create the pocket and insert the implant is placed inside the mouth (along the lower lip) or in the skin just under the chin area.
Usually, the chin is taped after surgery to minimize swelling and discomfort. Sutures in the skin will be removed in 5 to 7 days. If an intra-oral incision is used, the sutures will dissolve.
Cheek Implant Surgery
Cheek implant surgery usually takes about 30 to 45 minutes. When cheek implants are being placed in conjunction with another cosmetic procedure, such as a brow lift, facelift, or eyelid surgery, the implants may be inserted through the incisions made for those procedures. Otherwise, an incision will be made inside the upper lip or lower eyelid. A pocket is then formed and an implant is inserted.
Jaw Implant Surgery
Insertion of a jaw implant usually takes about 1 to 2 hours. Internal incisions are made on either side of the lower lip to provide access for creating a pocket into which the lower-jaw implant can be inserted. Dissolving sutures are used to close the incisions.
Most people experience some discomfort, swelling, and bruising in the affected areas for several days after their facial implant surgery. It's normal to experience some temporary difficulty moving your mouth and lips. Your plastic surgeon will instruct you about the dental hygiene, eating, and any restrictions to your activities after surgery. These instructions will vary, especially if another procedure was performed along with your implant surgery. Stitches used to close any incisions inside your mouth usually dissolve within about 10 days.
Remember, with any facial surgery, you may feel and look better in a short period of time. However, it may not be advisable to participate in certain activities – especially those that may result in the face being jarred or bumped – for several weeks. It's best to check with your plastic surgeon about such matters.
Potential Risks or Complications
Facial implants can produce some remarkable changes. Problems rarely occur, but you need to be informed about such possibilities. A facial implant can shift slightly out of alignment and a second operation may be necessary to move it back in place. Infection can occur with any operation. If infection were to occur around a facial implant and did not clear up after treatment with antibiotics, the implant might have to be temporarily removed and replaced at a later time. Other, less frequent risks may be associated with certain implants. Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon for a description of the risks associated with the procedure in which you are interested.