Q: Dr. Eppley, I want your advise on getting suitable cheek implants. I currently have a Medpor midface contour implant. They were placed six months ago. My implants were placed unmodified. Although I have achieved a decent level of midface augmentation, I feel the implant is too large, surface area wise. It is too close to my eyes and is also too low and close to the top of my teeth. I also have visible edges on both the left and right side near my eyes.I did previously have a Lefort 1 osteotomy for my bad bite in the past but the central part of my face wasn’t really improved. What I was looking for in cheek implants was something to improve my midface. The current implants have alleviated midface flatness but I do still feel I look at bit gaunt but less so. However they are just too big, so looking for opinion of porex alternatives which might be appropriate. I was looking at either RZ 5m, or the 4mm extended malar, basically something to emulate the middle third or so of my current implant. I have attached pictures for you to see my face and what my current implants have done.
A: What you are showing is the problems with stock midfacial/cheek implants which are now, by your own illustrations, demonstrating that their shape is not adequate in multiple dimensions. This leaves you with three implant options:
1) Modify your existing indwelling implants by tapering the bothersome edges and adding/removing the areas to create better convexity.
2) Remove and replace your existing implants with new implants that would likely need a combination of infraorbital rim and cheek implants. The medpor RZ4 or the 4mm extended malar are reasonable options but they will need intraoperative modifications.
3) Remove your existing implants and replace with custom-made implants that are designed off of your own skull model.
While all of these are possible, they each have their own advanatages and disadvantages. Modifiying what you have in, while seemingly simple and easy, will not likely make a significant or the desired changes that you want. (but it is always worth a try) Replacing them with new stock implants I suspect will put you in the same position you are now, better in some areas but inadequate in others. There simply are not stock implants that can fully meet your aesthetic goals. Custom-designed cheek/midface implants are the most likely to really meet all of your aesthetic midfacial goals as all of the planning and adjustments of them are thought out before surgery. The only downside is the increased cost to do so.
Dr. Barry Eppley