Should Cheek Bone Reduction Use Plates And Screws?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I did not know i could have cheekbone reduction in the U.S.. I had it done in Asia where my friend had that done too. I am of Asian descent and I have wide prominent cheekbones. I had the cheekbone reduction procedure without plates and screws and now I am afraid of non union of the bones, misalignment and dislocation of the fragments of the zygomatic arch. I hear a clicking sound. My surgeon in Korea says it’s normal and will disappear, but I wanted a second opinion from you. 

if you don’t use fixation how you make sure the bones stay in place how you prevent sagging and scleral show after the cheekbone is collapsed. Once you push the zygoma arches in and there are gaps and dents, does new bone is created in years to fill in those gaps or do they remain depressed?

A:  Cheek bone reduction surgery can be compared directly to have a facial fracture…albeit a surgically controlled one. The best way to ensure that the bones stay in the desired position and heal is to use some form of bone fixation. (plates and screws) The clicking you hear is the bone segments that are unstable and are moving with their edges rubbing together.

Since the zygomatic arches are not functionally loaded bones, like the lower jaw for example, one can argue that it is not critical that they are stabilized. They will eventually go on to heal even if it is by fibrous rather than bony union. When it comes to cheek bone reduction, however, the position of the bone is just as important as whether it heals. Sagging or dropping of the bone is associated with soft tissue sag and even potentially lower eyelid sag. This is why some form of bone fixation should be done.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana