Do You Perform Hip Implants?

Q: Hi, I am interested in information about hip implants. I have struggled throughout my adolescent and adult life with severe insecurities and embarrassment concerning my boyish figure. I have taken to fashioning shorts with layers of thick fabrics sewn into them to make myself feel better and more properly fit into clothing however, this method is flawed in many ways and the results are still less than desirable. I would very much like to have access to a permanent solution that allows for activities like swimming. I did see on your site that you have performed the procedure at least once and was wondering if I could get some information on it and if possible, before/after photos? Thank you very much!

A:  Hip Implants are the rarest of all the body implants performed. They are so infrequently done that few plastic surgeons have ever done them, no specific style of hip implants is currently available, and there is no FDA-approved implant for this procedure. Any hip implants that have ever been done use implant styles for other body parts. It is not clear as to the best surgical technique for the procedure since so few have ever been done.

All of that being said, the placement of an implant into the hip area can be done. But this would involve a significant scar over the hip area and the placement of an implant in a very palpable area. While I have done one such procedure for the purposes of traumatic reconstruction, doing it bilaterally for purely cosmetic reasons must be very carefully considered. This is not like a breast or a buttock implant in that it ends up being placed in a subcutaneous rather than a submuscular position. This makes the risks of palpability, infection and migration much higher.

Before I would consider an actual hip implant, I would give more serious thought to injectable fat grafting. This would be far safer and has none of the potential complications of a synthetic implant in this more risky area. While the biggest problems with fat injections are survival of the injectate, that would be a better risk to take.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana