Deltoid Implant

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in getting a deltoid implant. I am a 22 years old son and had a nerve injury from high school football that atrophied my left shoulder and deltoid muscle. I would like to explore an implant that could give back some muscle bulk and maybe a more natural look back. I am very sensitive to the appearance of my shoulder now. Although I have insurance, I’m certain a cosmetic surgery would not be covered. Could you give me an idea of the cost, how quickly I could get an appointment for surgery, the recovery time, and the physical therapy needs. (if any)

A: I will have my assistant pass along the cost of deltoid implant augmentation surgery. Presumably because you are young and thin, injectable fat grafting is probably not an option due to low body weight. Thus a deltoid implant implant offers the most reliable method of long-term shoulder augmentation. The only question in that regard is whether this is best done by a standard or custom made deltoid implant. I would need to see pictures of his shoulder from different angles to make a better assessment in that regard. Recovery from a one-sided deltoid implant is fairly rapid since the muscle is atrophied. There is no need for postoperative physical therapy.

Dr. Barry Eppley
Indianapolis, Indiana