Is My Cheek Implant Infected?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I had cheek and paranasal implants placed in another state 4 days ago before flying back (1 hour flight). I think I have developed a slight cold, and have a slight runny nose while coughing up some phlegm too. My biggest worry right now is that there is some ‘squishiness’ when I press on my left cheek. Are there signs of a cheek implant infection, and what can be done for it?

Anyway, I’m still taking my antibiotics as prescribed, and there are no other symptoms (no redness, excessive swelling or fever). I’m hoping that I don’t have to get these implants removed, which is why I’m seeking your counsel with regards to what I can do.

Thanks for any help rendered!

A: I would not consider this squishness to be a sign of cheek implant infection. Most likely it is due to the positioning of the implant and/or a little fluid around it since it is so early after surgery. Many cheek implants are placed partially off the bone and/or are not screwed into position. This will allow the implant to ‘float’ around for awhile until scar tissue settles and secures it down. Further healing will also allow any fluid around the implant to be resorbed.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana