Q: Dr. Eppley, I am 26 years old and have a very flat midface. I would like to do something that will give my midface more projection but I don’t know what is the best thing to do. I read that some doctors use implants while other recommend injectable fillers. I have been through orthodontics to correct my crossbite and it is now perfect. But my face is still pushed in and unattractive with deep nasolabial folds. What do you recommend?
A: By description and as evidenced by your orthodontic treatment, you likely have some amount of natural midface retrusion with a corrected Class III malocclusion. This would indicate a more panfacial or significant midface deficiency of which injectable fillers would be a poor treatment choice. It would take a fair amount of filler volume to achieve a visible improvement not to mention the need for repeated treatments, provided a good aesthetic change could be achieved. There are a variety of facial implant options which can provide both improved midface projection and a permanent result. Malar, submalar, paranasal, premaxillary and infraorbital rim implants are all potential options for augmentation depending upon the amount and location of the midface retrusion. Most patients do well with combined malar and paranasal implants. However the malar deficicency usually has an infraorbital component as well. Similarly, the nasal base deficiency may include a more extensive premaxillary retrusion and not just the lateral pyriform aperture areas. A good eye is needed to determine the type of implant styles that would best treat any patient’s specific concave facial shape.
Dr. Barry Eppley
Q : I’m interested in having paranasal implants and I noticed that you have experience in using these implants. Could you please tell me how exactly these implants effect the nose and the upper lip? Does this implant usually widen the alar base of the nose? Does it lift the tip of the nose, which is common in LeFort I osteotomies? Is the upper lip lifted by these implants or is the upper lip seemingly becoming smaller, because of the new relation between the new volume around the nose and the volume of the upper lip? How does it usually effect the nasolabial angle and how does the upper lip change in the profile view? Are there slightly different ways to place the paranasal implants, for example to place the implants closer together towards the spina nasalis anterior or a little bit more apart from each other? I talked to another plastic surgeon and he said they had the same effects on the nose as the LeFort 1 advancement, but I´m not sure if this is correct, because the position of the spina nasalis anterior is usually changed by performing a LeFort I osteotomy. However, by placing the paranasal implants the position of the spina nasalis anterior stays the same. Also the upper teeth stay in the same position and I wonder what effect this might have on the upper lip.
A: Paranasal implants are placed at the base of the ala along the perimeter of the pyriform aperture. They help fill out the paranasal area but will not create the same effect as LeFort I osteotomy. To do so they have to be combined with a premaxillary implant which sits in front of the anterior nasal spine. They have no significant effect on the size, shape, or position of the upper lip or the nasolabial angle.
For central midface deficiency they can help ‘pull the face forward’ when used in conjunction with cheek implants. They add fullness to the nasal base but will not change nasal tip projection. Over the years, the greatest use of them in my Indianapolis plastic surgery practice is in unilateral cleft lip and palate to help build out the upper alveolar and nasal base deficiency.
Dr. Barry Eppley