Will Tear Trough Implants Cause Any Nerve Injury?
Q: Dr. Eppley, When placing a tear trough implant through the eyelid with internal scar and no stitches, are the tissues peeled off the bone as they are with cheek implant placement? I had cheek implants in and removed quickly which left me with mid face sagging and worse eye bags than before, minimal, but the tissues adhered a few millimetres lower than before the operation. Is this a risk with tear trough placement and or removal?, or is a mid face lift usually performed in conjunction with a tear trough implant? Which nerve functions are at risk with this implant?
A: A standard preformed tear trough implant can be placed through a transconjunctival (inside the eyelid) approach. Like all facial implants, it is necessary to make a pocket for the implant which is usually subperiosteal although is can be placed preperiosteal as well. Given the very thin nature of eyelid tissue over the orbital rim, it is best to placed it as deep under the tissues as possible. I would consider the tissue pocket locations between the orbital rim and cheek bones as different as well as the size of the implants that are placed. Cheek implants are placed from below with wide subperiosteal underming and dissection, releasing much of the midface tissues on the bone to place a moderately large implant. Thus it would not be surprising that removal of a cheek implant places one at risk for a subsequent midface sag of some degree. Conversely, the tissue pocket for a tear trough implant is much smaller and is over the medial orbital rim where the detachment of tissues will not cause a midface sag like that of the cheek area.
Dr. Barry Eppley