Should I Have My Facial Implants Removed?

Q: Dr. Eppley ,Earlier this year, a close friend of mine died from a brain tumor. She was adamant in her belief until the end that it was due to extensive dental work, including several titanium screws.  

I’ve read the article by Zhou, “The unfavorable role of titanium particles released from dental implants”,  along with others and I’m wondering if I should have the cheek, chin and jaw implants Dr. previously placed by another surgeon removed?

I am concerned with the release of nanoparticles as well as the Medpor material in the body.  And since I have very noticeable masseter muscle dehiscence, I wonder if I should just remove the jaw implants for aesthetic reasons coupled with these health considerations.

I spoke to a prior patient of yours, who spoke highly of you and your skill, and he convinced me to see you for the removal of the cheek implants.  He told me that you weren’t able to remove the jaw implants that another surgeon placed (this was after 4 years of being placed and mentioned there were issues with the screws and bone overgrowth, making it impossible to remove).  I’ve had my implants in just a little over a year, and I’m wondering if I were to plan for their removal, would there be a way to see beforehand whether you would be able to remove them or if you would have issues similar to your patient’s.

I’m also wondering about the cheek implant removal and the midface suspension that would be required.  When I spoke to another surgeon he said that he would suspend the cheek with screws after implant removal. Is this what you would do?  As stated earlier, I’m seriously considering moving all foreign objects out of my body so if there’s a way to suspend the cheek without screws, that would be ideal.  Please let me know.

Thank you again for your time and thorough explanations in our video chat.  I’m looking forward to your response.  Thank you, Dr. Eppley.

A: While one debate about the science of your implant concerns one can not debate about your emotional feelings about them. Thus I would agree that all of your implants should be removed. That is clearly the only way you are going to feel comfortable moving forward.

Any implant(s) can be removed. Win’s situation was different in that he was seeking a replacement for which the trauma of removing the jawline implant was not worth the risks for the modest aesthetic improvement to be gained with a new jawline implant design.

While there are benefits in some cheek tissue resuspension with cheek implant removal and screws are a convenient way to do so that would not make much sense given the premise of the surgery. Drill holes and suspending the tissues to the bone would be the non-implant method to do so.

Dr. Barry Eppley

World-Renowned Plastic Surgeon