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I Hate my Cheek Implants. What are my Options?

Published onOctober 7, 2011

Even if there is nothing wrong with the implants―they haven’t drifted, caused complications, or caused pain―if you are unhappy with your appearance, that is reason enough to seek an adjustment. A surgeon who doesn’t listen to your concerns about your appearance can be incredibly frustrating. If your original surgeon isn’t listening to your concerns, it’s time to choose a surgeon who will!

Removing old implants

Since the 1990s, implants have evolved to a more anatomic shape. Most implant-related issues are the result of oversized implants or implants that have settled in less than ideal fashion. Ill-fitting implants may require surgical removal, replacement, or both. Implant placement can be associated with motor nerve damage to the muscles of facial expression or can compromise the appearance of the lower eyelid. Sometimes post-surgical changes associated eyelid surgery may need to be revised at the same time the cheek implant is removed. As many of these situations have unique characteristics, Dr. Steinsapir prefers hand-carving a custom ePTFE implant to replace the old implant.

Revising the Submalar Implant

A submalar implant, which sits low on the cheek is a newer type of cheek implant. While this submalar volume positioned at a low level may have appeared complementary at the time of the surgery, some find that this implant begins to look objectionable as the face ages. Occasionally this problem is made worse because the original surgeon chose the wrong size of implant, or because the implant may not have settled correctly after surgery. In these circumstances, the best approach is to remove the original implant, and then replace the volume deficiency with a hand-carved custom orbital rim implant in conjunction with a vertical midface lift.

Other methods have also been described to address midface deficits. Cheek implants represent a classic approach to midface deficiencies. The implant is notched to accommodate the inferior orbital neurovascular bundle. More recently, a porous polyethylene implant has been introduced on the market to accomplish the same augmentation. However, these techniques provided only a modest improvement in the nasojugal groove and importantly it removes volume from the lower eyelid.

Choosing a physician

Because your current surgeon is not addressing your discontent to your satisfaction, it may be best for you to find a new surgeon to perform the adjustments to your cheek implants. When looking for a physician, make sure to choose someone who listens to your concerns and someone who is willing to work with you to find a solution that works with your face, your situation, and helps you to find a satisfactory conclusion.

About Dr. Steinsapir

Dr. Steinsapir is a much sought after oculofacial cosmetic surgeon. He is an innovator in minimally invasive cosmetic procedures and has invented new methods for treating with BOTOX, Fillers and cutting edge facial surgery. He specializes in high precision eyelid surgery and is a leader in correcting prior facial and eyelid surgery. He attended medical school at the UCLA and completed ophthalmology residency at The University of Chicago. He is multiple fellowship trained including three years of fellowship training in oculofacial plastic surgery at UCLA, and a two year cosmetic surgery fellowship in Rancho Mirage. He is widely published and lectures to other surgeons nationally and internationally. He is an associate clinical professor of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA. His private practice is located in West Los Angeles, immediately serving the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills communities. Additionally, individuals from all over the country and the world regularly come to Los Angeles for this expert care Please contact us today to learn more about how Dr. Steinsapir can help you attain your aesthetic goals.

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