If I Have Cheek Implants Can I Have Injectable Fillers Done Safely?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I had cheek implants placed over 25 years I have lost weight and would like to know if facial fillers can be used close to the implant. Is there and increased chance of infection? Thank You

A: Cheek implants that have been in place for 25 years had to have been some of the first cheek implants every put in, usually of a small ovoid shape that were positioned on the anterior end of the cheekbone. This location creates that ‘apple cheek’ look that is very appropriate for many women. While the bony augmentation has remained stable, over the years the soft tissue around the implants has undoubtably changed becoming thinner and developing some malar sag. Thus the impetus for injectable fillers to recreate some lost cheek highlights due to aging. Generally it should be no problem to place injectable fillers in the tissues overlying such ‘old’ cheek implants. Having removed several cheek implants of a similar age, the scar capsule that surrounds them can be incredibly tough and even partially calcified. It would be probably be unlikely that a needle could even penetrate the capsule should it inadvertently come into contact with it. This is also a good use of the microcannula method of injectable filler placement which has a blunt tip and would have zero chance of breaking through the cheek implant capsule and inadvertently injecting into the implant itself.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana