Hip Implants

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am a plastic surgeon who has a patient that wants to do hip implants. I just want to confirm that you put them under vastus lateralis fascia, over muscle, like calf implants. Any tips as this is new to me? A Canadian plastic surgeon describes placing them under TFL muscle. This seems risky to me.

A: The options for placement of hip implants are limited and are really subcutaneous in location for most patients in my experience. If you look carefully where most people want them it is higher that the upper extent of the vastus lateralis muscle. It is either over the trochanteric depression or even slightly behind and above it.  In theory the TFL is more anatomic to the hip augmentation region but placing them under it runs a real risk of chronic pain not to mention the limited augmentative effect that will result from the tight fascia over it. Using an incisional approach high and behind the augmentative site also avoids any risk of running into the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve.

While it is always nice to have an implant deeper in the tissues, the hip region doesn’t provide any good and safe options to employ that concept. The other important implant feature of the hip region is that it needs to be of composed of an ultrasoft silicone polymer. (solid but feels like an ultra cohesive breast implant) For this reason I have them all custom made to get the dimensions needed and the right implant feel. It also makes them easier to insert with a smaller incision.

I hope this is helpful,

Dr. Barry Eppley
Indianapolis, Indiana