What Can Be Done For Cheek Implants That Have Shifted After Twenty Years?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I had cheek implants in 1991…through the years they have shifted upward….more on the right, the right also is sore when applied pressure on it. I’m interested in having a revision.

A: All facial implants when placed ultimately form a layer of scar around them known as a capsule. This capsule not only envelopes the implant to separate it from the rest of the body but also serves to anchor or maintain the implant in its location. It is interesting as to why, years later, that the capsule somehow changes and allows the implant to change location even if it is only slightly. This is not unique to facial implants as it is seen in some breast implants as well as they bottom out or move too far to the side over time in some patients. What this indicates is that the interaction between implants and the body’s tissues is not just a static one. This is why I feel it is important to screw all facial implants into place when possible so implant micromotion and sliding around is not possible.

The question with your current indwelling cheek implants is whether they should be merely repositioned and secured with screws or replaced with new ones. That would depend on how you feel they look now and whether you have had any significant facial tissue sagging over them over their twenty years of implantation. Seeing some pictures of your face would be very helpful.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana