Will My Face Ever Go back To Normal After Cheek Implant Removal?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have a question about cheek implant removal.I had cheek implants done a little more than  two years ago. They were placed in a way too medial cheek close to my nose next to the paranasal area. They were very big…XXL. I’m 25 years old and I had them yanked out seven months ago. Even though the implants are out I now have this extra volume, edema, or scar tissue like augmentation that looks horrible. iImassage it everyday hoping that it will help to make it go down.

Is there anyway I can ever go back to my original look where I was flat cheeked in that area? Is massaging helping or can i use steroid injections? It looks quite awful because most good looking people rarely ever have volume in this area and its more of a characteristic of old people where cheek soft tissue has moved middle and downwards. 

I understand the risk of steroid injections but at this point i feel like its my only option. I’m quite desperate and don’t want this extra augmentation here to be with me for my whole life since its unsightly.

A: While you can certainly do steroid injections, I would not be optimistic that it will work the way you want it to. Steroids work by breaking down scar tissue. While there is some scar tissue present no doubt, much of the ‘extra’ tissue mass is stretched out normal tissue. Like removing large breast implants, the original breast tissues are stretched out and will never return to normal. The same issue applies with large cheek implants. Whether strategies such as cheek tissue repositioning (moving it laterally and reattaching to the bone would be helpful, I could say without seeing pictures of the problem.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana