Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in deltoid implants. I was involved in a car accident many years ago which resulted in nerve damage to my left shoulder and caused complete atrophy to my deltoid muscles. I’ve been told that muscle replacement isn’t an option. I was told about the possibility of implants to surround the shoulder to at least give a more natural appearance. I would like more info as to if this is a possibility for me and an estimated cost.
A: Loss of deltoid muscle mass after nerve damage is very common. Since muscle transplants are not an option for the shoulder area, shoulder augmentation can only be done by either fat injections or deltoid implants. Fat injections are always an option for soft tissue augmentation although how much fat will survive and persist is always their potential downside. Deltoids implants made from a very soft solid silicone material offers assured volume retention but comes with uncommon but potential risk of infection.
The one issue with deltoid implants in cases of shoulder atrophy is how well the existing size of available implants may match the defect. Fortunately silicone body implants are very shapeable during surgery so they usually can be adapted to just about any size soft tissue defect.
The cost of a single one-sided deltoid implant would be in the range of $4,000.
Dr. Barry Eppley