Can Cheek and Paranasal Implants Be Placed Under Local Anesthesia?

Q: I have read that paranasal implants can be done in local anesthesia. Is this right? Is local anesthesia possible also with malar implants which are placed right next to paranasal implants? Does not the lifting of the periosteum from the bone hurt in spite of the local anesthesia? Thank you very much for your information.

A:  Cheek and paranasal implants are placed from an incision inside the upper lip. Besides the mucosal incision, muscles and the periosteum covering the maxillary and zygomatic bone must be lifted up and a pocket made to place the implants. Given the proximity of the paranasal area to the upper lip compared to the cheek area, it would be ‘easier’ to position paranasal implants under local anesthesia as opposed to cheek implants where greater dissection is needed and the feeling in this area has more contributing nerve endings. You are correct in that it is the periosteum that is the most sensitive part of the surgical dissection. I also prefer to us screw fixation for the implants that I place in the midface which can cause more discomfort from the bone drilling.

 While just about any surgery can be done under local anesthesia, I am not sure if I was a patient that I would ever do it that way. (particularly cheek implants) Unless there is some compelling medical reason why IV or general anesthesia could not be used, it would be more comfortable and slightly less costly to use some form of anesthesia for this type of facial implant surgery.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana