What Is Causing Pain From My Temple Implants?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I got temple implants and they are causing me so much pain whenever anything touches the side of my head. Could it be pressing a nerve? Will I have saggy skin if I remove them? It was silicone  temple implants and I can feel a bump on one side (the side which hurts). It is like maybe the implant has shifted in to a strange position because it isn’t painful or bumpy on the other side. Is it quite easy to remove?

Also I notice it made my cheek look fuller and less hollow. Is that because they rest inside the zygoma arch? And therefore my previous hollow cheeks are not as hollow anymore? Does that happen as a result? I miss my sculpted cheeks. 

A: I am sorry to hear of your problems after temporal implants. Having done a lot of temple implants, these are symptoms that I have never seen nor can I imagine why they are occurring. In my experience, I place silicone temporal implants under the fascia so they sit on top of the temporalis muscle belly. They have never caused any pain or muscle dysfunction by doing so. I would have to know more about your temple implants (material, location of the implant and the incision used to place them) to see if I can determine if there is some explanation. But rest assured that if you removed them, there would be no loose or saggy temple skin.

The good news is that silicone temple implants are easy to remove. You did not tell me whether they are above or below the fascia but you probably don’t know that detail. (that would be in the doctor’s operative note) The difference between the two sides suggests that they indeed are in different positions. (maybe one is below the fascia and the other above it)

With subfascial temple implant placement (the proper temple implant location), there should be no change in the appearance of your cheeks. Sitting under the fascia and not really inside the zygomatic arches (they sit above it), they would not cause any change in cheek contour. Only if they are sitting above the fascia would a change in cheek appearance occur as they would make the cheek look fuller up top. It would be helpful to see pictures of your face and these implants to better answer this question.

It is unclear based on your problems as to whether our temple implants should be removed or placed into their proper position if they are indeed above the temporalis fascia.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana