Expanded PTFE Facial Implants

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in cheek augmentation for my right flatter asymmetric side. I understand that the silicone facial implants has silica in it. As a result, silica gel extrusion will become more and more serious over time, the tissue compatibility is not very good, and serious complications may occur. Expanded PTFE, is an implant material that can replace human tissue. It is very close to being real, the compatibility is also good, and it is very easy to carve and shape. But I do not know whether it can have a long-term, permanent presence in the body. If possible, this may be the best choice for my cheek augmentation as the zygomatic osteotomy is very traumatic. Between the two, I would choose expanded PTFE facial implant.

A: You have several facial implant material misconceptions. Facial implants are made out of a solid silicone material, not a gel so there is no extrusion or tissue compatibility issues. They are not like breast implants which can fail and need to be replaced.

Expanded PTFE facial implants are another good biomaterial but they are not replaced by human tissue. There advantage is that they acquire some tissue adhesion to their surfaces due to the micro fibrillar structure.

While either implant material would have successful outcome for your right cheek augmentation, I would opt for the expanded PTFE since this appears to what you feel most emotionally comfortable using.

Dr. Barry Eppley
Indianapolis, Indiana