Is Cheek Implant Asymmetry Normal?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I had cheek implants and fat grafting 3 weeks ago. The left implant is sitting too close to the lower eyelid and the end of the implant can be seen and felt at the end of the eye.  I have numbness in the upper lip and teeth. Is this normal? Implant was silicone and attached with screws.

A: Cheek implant asymmetry is not a rare problem. As the swelling subsides, usually about the three week time period after surgery, the position and symmetry of the implants becomes apparent. The most common form of cheek implant asymmetry is that one of the implants is sitting too high as evidenced by the lateral wing of the implant being palpable close to the corner of the eye. While it is something that you can tell now, the question is whether it is an aesthetic issue that ultimately you will want improved. If it is not seen or causes a visible lump, then it is an issue that most patients can live with. If the end of the implant is visible, you likely will wanted it adjusted for better symmetry. Intraoral placement of cheek implants almost always cause some temporary numbness of the infraorbital nerve with decreased feeling of the upper lip and teeth. This is a temporary issue, which is expected, and should resolve over the next month or so.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana