Why Do My Cheek Implants Not Look Symmetrical After A Healed Infection?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I had all my stiches break open (only left side) 1 week after my cheek implant surgery so my left cheek got infected. I was in pain with swelling. The Dr .chose to do revisional surgery in his office where he took the implant out, sterilized it and flushed my cheek out with a liquid then put it back in and stitched it up again. I was on two antibiotics and right away the pain stopped and some swelling came down. My problem is that at 4 months out I noticed my cheeks were not matching up! From the top were the malar implant was put is fine but the bottom looks swollen on that problematic left side. The right side is thin and slender but the left looks like a ball especially when I smile. I talked to the Dr and all he offered was some lipo and acted like I always had that there. I know my face and it was never there before. My question is what test would you recomended to figure out why the tissue on one side of my face different from the other. The tissue is soft and squishy not hard. I’m worried this still has something to do with it being infected.

A: The two possibilitues are that this is excessive scar tissue that would commonly form after an infection. I doubt that it is an infection now since you know what that feels like. The other possibility is that the implant on the infected/revised left side is sitting lower or in a different position than that on the uncomplicated right side. I would suspect it is the latter and not the former. The definitive answer would be to get a 3D CT scan which would show the exact location and symmetry between the two cheek implants.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana