Custom Cheek Implants

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in custom cheek implants. I have sent in a picture of the design I want and where I want it to cover over my cheeks. I appreciate your comments that you think the design is too big and I understahd what you’re saying. But given the cheek implants I currently in place now, and it is a strength that works for a look of health, that is a strength I would hope to keep. Is it that you object to the look of it, the safety of it, or simply that is has not been customary in your practice?

A: I never professionally care what shape or size the custom implant design that a patient wants.  Custom cheek implants would be no different. What I care about with custom facial implants and what I look at carefully in the planning are only two things. First, can I safely make the implants fit into the tissues and close the incisional entrance. Secondly will the implants be too big and the patient will then have a 100% probability of needing a revision to downsize it. Having performed more computer designed custom skull and facial implants that probably any surgeon in the world, of almost every conceivable shape and size, I have a acute awareness of what will work and what will turn into a problem. I am merely trying to guide you in avoiding the latter. The single greatest error when patients provide their design layouts is that they have no understanding of the powerful effect of a custom implant that covers a large surface area over that of what a traditional implant shape does. Custom cheek implants are very powerful in the size you are envisioning and it would be very easy to make them too big, particularly in a more lean face like yours.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana