How Much Input Can I Have In The Designing Of My Facial Implants?

Q: Dr. Eppley, if a patient seeks to duplicate a jawline of an existing person via the use of custom implants, assuming their current structure and soft tissue allow for that look, how closely do you work with the patient to design the implant? What sort of process do you use to make the implant provide a look as close to the desired person as possible?

A: When it comes to designing custom facial implants, I have done it from numerous different approaches. Many patients do not want to participate in the details of their implant design, but some patients do. I do not profess to have an exclusive skill or knowledge in how to predict how any implant shape and size may affect the way the face will look once it is implanted, so I am always open to input. I have even done a few cases where I let the patients completely design their own implants out of clay, only providing input as to details that may make a certain design or size difficult to surgically place. Obviously I have tremendous experience in seeing how different implant shapes and sizes affect the face. But I appreciate that a patient providing input about their implants does empower and invest them in the process. On the flip side of that investment also comes partial responsibility in the outcome of the facial implant procedure, particularly if the results are less than desired.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana