Jawline Implant Infection

Q: Dr. Eppley, I had a custom jawline implant placed last year. I’m currently dealing with a bout of bacterial acute tonsillitis for which I’m taking antibiotics for. Yesterday I noticed my right side of my face, notably the upper part of the mandible, below the ramus, is feeling tender and a bit swollen. This could just be swollen glands, as other glands around my neck are swollen too due to infection, but I wonder if there’s a chance the bacteria from my tonsilitis could lead to an infection of my implant as well? Have you ever seen this before? Anything in particular I should watch out for or do?

A: While it is theoretically possible that a facial implant could become inoculated by any distant or contiguous infection in the body, this is not something I have seen. If infection of the jawline implant was present it would have swelling with at the angle and further forward along the body of the jaw to the chin.

Most what you have are swollen lymph nodes in the neck which are the filters of infection from upstream. As long as you are on antibiotics until the tonsillar infection is resolved, I would think you will be fine.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana