Hip and Thigh Implants

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in hip and thigh implants. I have the following questions:

  1. My one hip is a bit flat, would it be possible to have a small hip implant on one side as well and a larger hip implant on the side that needs more volume?
  2. Do you see any issues with putting a thigh implant on my thigh where I have a skin graft?  I touch the skin and seems it would stretch. I wanted to get your thoughts on that.
  3. After the procedure, when can I start:

          a.- Walking a bit (around the room)

          b.- Walking normally without pain

          c.- Doing exercises in the gym

          d.- Lift weight?

4. How many check-ups do I need after the procedure? I live out of town, I would like to start planning how long I should plan to be in Indianapolis.

5. Are implants going to be positioned under the muscle or over?

6. Can muscles still grow with exercise having an implant in there? Would this affect the shape of the area?

7. How long does it take to get custom implants?

8. Should I meet with you in person to take measurements and finalize everything before scheduling the procedure?

Thanks much!

A: In answer to your hip and thigh implants questions:

1) Since the hip implants are custom designed, they can be made to any reasonable dimension on either side of the hips even if they are different.

2) I do not envision any issue with placing a thigh implant around/under the skin graft site.

3) Your recovery would, of course, be a progressive one but you need to begin walking and moving around immediately. Back to unlimited exercise is going to take up to 6 weeks after surgery.

4) You should be able to go home within a few days after the procedure. Followups would be done in a virtual fashion.

5) In the hip area implants are placed one top of the TFL fascia. (above the muscle) In the thigh area, if possible, they are placed under the muscle.

6) Muscle hypertrophy through exercise is still possible even with an implant in place.

7) Most custom can be made, sterilized and shipped for surgery in about three weeks.

8) The method that I use to design custom hip and thigh implants is to mark the patient where their desired areas of augmentation are, make a paper template and then determine what their surface projection and contour would be. Sometimes a silicone moulage model is made. In many cases the patient can do the former paper template method and we can discuss vis Skype to work out the details. But certainly seeing you in person would be ideal but is not always completely necessary based on the complexity of the implant shapes needed.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana