Do Custom Hip Implants Need To Be Replaced?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am a naturally broad shouldered female with narrow hips. I am interested in a hip augmentation procedure to widen the width of my hips in proportion to my shoulders. I likely do not have enough donor fat to have a fat transfer to the hips, so I am primarily interested in hip implants.

A few questions:

Does you always use custom implants shaped for the hip region?

Do synthetic hip implants need to be replaced after some years?

Can hip implants be felt when touching the hips?

Is there a danger of hip implants migrating, given that the area is above a joint?

A:In answer to your hip implant questions:

1) Since there are no standard hip implants available, all must be made custom.

2) Like all body implants, other than breast implants, they are solid, do not degrade or breakdown, and thus never need replacing due to device failure.

3) How palpable they are depends on how much soft tissue cover you have.

4) Hip implants do not migrate once well healed. There are no joint issues as these implants are placed on of of the TFL fascia which is well away from the hip joint.

5) When considering hip implants I would read the following statement based on my extensive hip implant surgery experience:

   ‘Hip implants have a fairly high rate of complications so patients have to be selected very carefully to try and lower those risks. There are two major risk factors, 1) thin patients with little subcutaneous fat (inadequate

    soft tissue cover) and 2) implants that are too big. (too thick for the tissues to adequately support them) Both of these hip implant considerations are judgment issues with no absolutes. Before a patient should

    consider hip implants they should exhaust every other method of hip augmentation and to be aware that it is a procedure that is in a state of evolution and is far from a perfected surgery’

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana