Custom Facial Implants

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have a question about custom facial implants. Is there a standard “ideal” facial structure dimension the digital system will use? Will you send me an image of the implant and how it will fit my chin? I would have a scan sent to you. Most custom facial implants are ready in 3 weeks? Is this correct?  Thank you!

A: Even though custom facial implants are designed on the computer, the computer does not have any innate knowledge as to what looks best for any patient. It is up to the surgeon to create the dimensions of the implant, the computer software does not do that. It merely makes the implant by the dimensions that the surgeon provides. This is a common misconception by many patients. What the computer software will do is make the implant have a perfect fit, be smooth on its outer surface, adjust for any bony asymmetries  and make for a smooth edge transition from implant to the bone. But no software yet can create for the patient some ideal design that will produce the best aesthetic change for the patient.

Custom facial implants usually takes about three weeks from getting the 3D CT scan to having the implant sterilized and ready for implantation. We usually arrange for an actual surgery time once we start the implant design so the surgery process runs expeditiously.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana