Do Facial Implants Develop Granulomas or Get Encapsulated?

Q: Dr. Eppley, Hello. I really appreciate your write-ups about various plastic-surgery topics. For curiosity, have you posted or published anything regarding the risk of facial implants causing foreign-body granulomas or getting encapsulated? I read you text stating that the risk of infection is low, but what about granulomas? I am interested in infraorbital implants. Thank you.

A: The reason that I have never written about granulomas and facial implants is that they do not occur….or at least I have never seen one.

All implants, including facial implants, become encapsulated which is a natural response to their presence. Rather than natural encapsulation I believe you are referring to capsular contracture, an abnormal thickening of the capsule that distorts its shape and creates a form feel to it. While this pathology is very relevant in breast and buttock implants in which a round shape and soft feel of the  implant are desirable external feature, it is not an issue in facial implants in which a firm feel is the end goal and their firm non-round shapes  are not prone to capsular distortions.

Dr. Barry Eppley

World-Renowned Plastic Surgeon