Can My Custom Cheek Implants Be Modified or Replaced Later If I Want To Go Bigger?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I just had a few brief questions regarding facial implant surgery. Last year I had custom CT-designed facial implant surgery with another surgeon to place custom cheek and chin implants, which mostly went well. However, even though I like the general design/aesthetic look of the cheek implants, I think they are just a bit small and don’t provide enough projection for my face.

Therefore, I was just wondering if it would be possible for to obtain a copy of the actual cheek implant design file, keep the general design the same, and just change only the dimensions of the implants by adding 2-3 mm of additional projection. 

Would a complete revision need to be performed, or could a second set of implants be manufactured and placed on top of my current implants as an “onlay” layer of sorts?

A: That can be done but you want to just make new ones and replace them. Placing one implant on top of another is never as good as having one solid single piece implant….and the surgery is really the same from an access standpoint. So there is no advantage to an onlay approach as opposed to just a complete replacement.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana