Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in facial plate removal as part of other cosmetic facial work being done. But I have four titanium plates in the left side of my face from a previous facial trauma. Can I have those facial plates removed at the same time as the cosmetic work as well.
A: Indwelling metal facial plates can be removed during any upcoming facial procedure. The only question is where these plates are located, what access would be needed for their removal and would the trauma of trying to remove them be worse than just leaving them alone. One never knows if the plates have bony overgrowth on them and whether the screw heads that have been used to place them have been stripped. (making them difficult for a screwdriver to get a good purchase on them) With four plates I can going to assume that the metal hardware is likely around the cheek and orbital area.
In most cases in which patients have no symptoms from their indwelling facial plates, facial plate removal is more for self-relief or are being removed because of surgical convenience. For these reasons I needs to think carefully as to whether the trauma induced by facial plate removal makes it worthwhile.
Dr. Barry Eppley