Is There An Injectable Method For Creating Permanent Facial Implants?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have been getting a variety of injectable fillers for chin and cheek augmentation over the past few years as I don’t have the time for surgery to get real implants. And I am not sure I want synthetic implants anyway. Is there something else that can be injected that would be permanent but would create the same volumizing effects. If there was that would great.

A: There is a real need that has developed in aesthetic facial enhancement for an intermediary procedure between temporary injectable fillers and permanent facial implants for augmentation of the three classic highlights of the face, chin, cheeks and jaw angles. The emergence and phenomenal spread of injectable filler use has created the need for this ‘in-between’ step as more and more doctors are pushing the envelope using temporary fillers as a means of facial skeletal augmentation. (even if they are not putting them all the way down to the bone) As a result, patients now seek injectable therapy for what was once exclusively a surgical solution.

The one material that shows the greatest promise as an injectable facial enhancement method are the so-called bone cements. All  bone cements are liquid and powders that go through a putty phase and then set into a hard bone-like implant. They are composed of differing forms of hydroxyapatite and calcium preparations so they are perfectly natural and 100% biocompatible. Some are now available that can be injected down to the bone level after they are mixed and then set up in just a few minutes. They can be molded while they are setting to get the desired shape, albeit blindly. So an injectable cement combines the benefits of permanency with the avoidance of a surgical incision, bigger operation and recovery and a mass of implanted synthetic material. One of these very promising bone cements is OsteoVation. A tricalcium phosphate mixture, it fulfills all of the requisite handling and insertion properties to be an injectable permanent facial implant.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana