Q: Dr. Eppley, I contacted you six months ago about cheek implants. I had gotten cheek implants placed, removed, and then a cheek lift. I promised a six month update. Wow, what a difference six months post op can make. My desire for to have implants reinserted (in this present moment) has vanished along with all of the swelling that previously existed. Swelling can play serious tricks on the mind, and it’s unfortunate that many people don’t realize this. I had mentioned that I wished I had waited the full 6 months to see the cheek implant result, and that still rings true, but not much can be done about that now. I’m sure as a plastic surgeon you must go batty trying to help people understand what is just swelling and to wait out the full six months before judging the final result.
Anyway, things are great for now, but moving forward, if several years from now I am interested in getting implants reinserted, I will definitely keep you in mind. Thank you very much for your help regarding my cheek implant issue.
A: One of the hardest things for facial reshaping patients to understand is the time it takes for all swelling to subside, soft tissue contraction to occur and one to psychologically adjust to the new facial look. The patience it takes to go through these phases is highly variable and some patients are more tolerant if it than others. There definitely is a tendency for some patients to want to reverse their result in the early phases of healing for the comfort of what they used to look like.
Cheek implants are no different in this regard and the tendency is to think they are too big early after surgery. When months later had they waited it out it may be just fine…or in some cases not enough of a cheek augmentation effect.
Dr. Barry Eppley