When Should I Consider Revisional Surgery For My Facial Implants?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I had extensive surgery involving a large number of facial implants and forehead augmentation and back of the head skull reshaping two weeks ago. While I knew there would be a lot of facial swelling, I think much of the swelling is gone now and I am concerned about some of the areas that have been augmented, particularly the forehead and cheeks. Both areas seem too big or prominent although each day they seem a little different. At what time would you consider revisional surgery?

A: With any single facial implant and certainly with multiple implants, you are far from having all swelling gone or are looking at the final result. I set the minimum time of three months before I would pass judgment on the result. This is not only to let all facial swelling resolve but it also takes time to adjust to one’s new look. This is a hard psychological time for patients to go through but it is very important to not rush to judgment on a ‘moving target’. It is good to remember over the next few months, these skull and facial shapes will change, go up and down, one day look good and the next day uncertain, until the final evolution appears months later. This is a lot to endure and watch evolve. How you feel today might be different next week. It also doesn’t help, and is not unfortunately therapeutic, when all you have to see and talk to about these issues is yourself. That is a good way to lose perspective not only on facial surgery in particular but on life in general. One of my tasks as a plastic surgeon for my patients is to not let them lose perspective and make premature decisions and judgments. I can never tell anyone what they should like, but I can guide them as when their surgical results are finalized.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana