Can I Get Facial Implants At 18 Years Of Age?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am very interested in getting standard mandibular widening jaw implants and custom cheek implants (For the male model look). After extensive research on these procedures, you seem to be the best surgeon to perform this so I plan on seeing you in the near future! I have a few questions I would appreciate if you could answer for me. 

1) Right now I am 18 years old, and I was wondering what age I would be eligible for this procedure. If it makes a difference I had a hand scan 3 months ago, and it showed my growth plates are fused so I believe I am done growing but correct me if I’m wrong. 

2) I heard that you make computerized imaging of what the post-op could look like is this true? If this is true would I be able to see some computerized post-op images of previous patients to get an idea of how I’ll look compared to my computerized image? (I know with privacy policies that might not be possible) 

3) If in the future I decided to remove the implants how would that work? My understanding is that there would just be some loose skin, and if that’s the case would I be able to fix that with a facelift or a less invasive procedure? 

4) Since our facial structures naturally fade as we age due to bone loss how would that affect the implants over time? 

5) I added some photos of my face and I believe that I would benefit better from mandibular widening jaw implants rather than lateral. I also believe that custom implants would help me achieve the male model look, but based on my face is it possible standard cheek implants could too? I understand these photos aren’t enough to come to a conclusion on what would work for my case, but I would appreciate your thoughts!

A: Thank you for your inquiry and sending your pictures. In answer to your questions:

1) At 18 years of age you can have such surgery anytime as ongoing facial growth at this point is negligible.

2) Computer imaging is always done in any of form of facial reshaping…whose purpose is to determine what type of changes you are seeking. They help establish the aesthetic target. They are NOT done to show you what you will look like exactly…no one can accurately predict any such facial changes.

3) Such facial implants are always reversible. Whether you would have a minor amount of loose skin or not with implant removal can not be known but never enough to warrant any surgical skin tightening procedures.

4) Bone-based implants support the effects of facial aging better than if there were not there.

5) I think you are seeking the differences between standard widening (lateral) vs vertical lengthening jaw angle implants. (that is illustrated in the attached imaging)

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana