Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in hip implant augmentation and have some questions for you.
1. Knowing that I do not have enough fat for the Brazilian style fat injections, what are the relevant considerations when selecting either synthetic injections or the silicone implants? (Everything I have read suggests that the synthetic injections are likely to be more dangerous, provide less certain results, are of limited life, and more expensive, but would like to have a first hand professional assessment.)
2. Going on the assumption that you recommend the silicone hip implants, is the 2″ addition to each hip achievable?
3. Would a silicone implant move with the body and look reasonably natural in all positions and further how would such an implant feel?
4. Are your silicone hip implants customized for your client and how specifically are they crafted?
5. How secure are these implants after insertion, are they held by a muscle like a butt implant?
6. Do you have pictures showing the before and after of this specific procedure without accompanying injections?
7. What would the normal life of such an implant be?
8. From your website the procedure is listed at around $5500-6500, does this still seem reasonable in light of the details provided and are there any other fees that she should be aware of?
9. Given that a Silicone butt implant is already in place would there be any issues with adding a hip implant or in customizing the shape to work with the butt implant?
10. As noted, the butt implant took place Sept 29, 2017. How long would it be advisable to wait before undergoing a hip implant surgery?
11. What will recovery look like generally? Specifically, she will be coming via a 4 hr flight, how long must she plan to stay in Indiana after the surgery before being able to fly back. (Additionally, how many follow up visits will be required, particularly if after the flight is allowed?)
12. On some sites this surgery is connected with the need to wear some sort of structured garment during the healing phase, is such a shaping garment required for your procedure, and if so how long must it be worn.
13. How long is it generally recommended before returning to work following the procedure?
14. Probably aligned to the flight question, but how long before she will be able to drive?
15. How long before more restrictive clothing like jeans may be worn?
16. Reviews and other information about your practice seem very positive, but just as a point of clarification, where your site lists “board certified in the specialties of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery” does this mean board certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery?
17. Will you personally be performing the procedure?
A: In answer to your hip implant questions:
1 The concept of using synthetic materials and injecting it into body areas for augmentation is a fundamentally dangerous one. While it may be successful for some people without complications, some patients will suffer foreign-body reactions which will be both difficult to treat and will end up in various amounts of tissue destruction. In essence such injections are not truly reversible. Conversely hip implants are completely reversible without ill effects on one’s health for either medical or aesthetic reasons.
2 The amount of hip augmentation achievable by implants depends on numerous factors include the thickness of the soft tissues and their ability to safely stretch and accommodate the implants. Probably 2” or a 5 cm thick implant is too much particularly in a thin person.
3 Hip implants are ultrasoft and very flexible so they do not interfere with movement and feel about as natural as an implant can feel. (no implant can ever feel perfectly natural since it is an implant not natural fat tissue)
4 All hip implants are custom made based on measurements taken on the patient for surface area coverage. (aka implant footplate)
5 All implants, regardless of body location, are held in place by the initial tissue pocket made and the scar capsule that ensues.
6 Patient pictures are confidential and are only released by the permission of the patient.
7 All implants last a lifetime as they are made of a non-biodegradable material.
8 The cost of the procedure will be forwarded to you by my assistant.
9 With a buttock implant in place, it is importantly that the two implant pockets do not connect. If the buttock implants is intramuscular this is not a concern. But if the buttock implant is subfascial, the design of the hip implants must take its location into consideration.
10 Three months should separate the placement of buttock and hip implant surgeries.
11 Most patients can fly home in 3 to 5 days after surgery but such travel is really based on how the patient’s comfort. There are no specific followup visits scheduled unless there are urgent issues. All followups are done on a virtual basis.
12 A compressive garment is helpful in the first few weeks after surgery to help the implant pocket heal around the implant.
13 Depending on how physical one’s work is, one should able to return in two to three weeks after the procedure.
14 Driving after hip implants surgery is based on one’s comfort.
15 Jeans can be worn as soon as one is comfortable in doing so.
16 My board certification is by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery is not a board certification recognized by the American Medical Association.
17 I am the only one available to perform the surgery under my name.
Dr. Barry Eppley