Can Cheek Implants Be Removed Under Local Anesthesia?

Q: Dr. Eppley,I had cheek implants done 6 months ago, but they have unfortunately have become infected with a low-grade infection. My surgeon has advised that I get them removed, and has given me the option of either local or general anesthesia. I’m trying to save on this if possible, but I have a few concerns about going the local anesthesia route. Anyway, here are my questions:

1) Is it safe to get them removed via local? Is this something that you’ve done for your patients?

2) More importantly, how comfortable is it? Will it be a very painful experience, or just some mild discomfort at worst?

A: In answer to your questions:

1) The use of local anesthesia to remove your cheek implants is certainly safe. Fortunately I have never had a cheek implant infection so I have never had to do it. But if I did and that is the way the patient wanted to remove them, I would. Are your cheek implants silicone or Medpor. Are they screwed in? That would affect the question of whether local anesthesia is a good option or not.

2) With good local infiltration and infraorbital nerve blocks, it should be able to be done comfortably. But that would depend on the skill and experience of the surgeon in doing the local anesthetic injections.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana