Cheekbone Reduction

Q: Dr. Eppley, I had cheekbone reduction surgery three years ago and I was left with these gaps/non unions. Of course, the gaps need to be closed and the bones repositioned and plates need to be used to hold the bones together. I have heard that I need to do this ASAP because the bones become dead. Right now I cannot afford surgery and I am saving money for a reconstructive surgery in the next year or so. How would you fix the problem and is it true that the bones become dead?  How urgent it is?  My face is sagging too.

A: It is certainly not true that the zygoma/zygomatic arch would become ‘dead’ if it is not reattached to bone segments urgently after the cheekbone reduction  surgery. The bone does not become dead per se, it remains alive but it will lose some bone mass/volume since it is no longer performing a supportive function.

But the for the sake of argument let us make the assumption that the bone did die if it is not reattached. At three years after the surgery this would have already happened and fixing it now would be an irrelevant issue. Therefore I don’t see the urgency to undergo ‘urgent’ zygomatic reconstruction at this point.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana