Is Infection Common With Temporal Implants?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have been reading a lot about temporal implants. My temples have gotten deflated in the last few years and the sides of my skull are already narrow. During research, I am reading that doctors claim that temple implants usually show a “groove” on the side of the face with aging – therefore, they are noticeable in negative way. Is this true? Also, I read that infections are very common with these implants (especially skull). Finally, I have read that revisions are needed in a high % of patients. Is this true?

A: In answer to your temporal implants questions:

1) Today’s temporal implants are designed to be applied under the temporalis fascia in top of the muscle, thus implant edging is not seen. You are likely referring to what can happen when temporal implants are placed right under the skin…over time their outlines become apparent. This is why this historic pocket location is a poor choice.

2) Temporal implants, like all skull implants, have very low infection rates. So low that I have yet to see one.

3) Like all implants placed anywhere in the body, revisional surgery may be needed for size, position or asymmetry issues. But it is no greater for temporal implants than any other skull, face for body implant.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana