The appearance of your face is determined by three basic components: your skin, soft tissues and your underlying facial bones. Your facial skeleton determines whether your face is narrow, long, square, angulated, round, or wide and bone deficiencies are revealed in the surface of your skin. Prominent malar bones, or high cheekbones, have always been and are currently a sign of youthfulness. Strong malar features add structural support to your overlying tissues counteract the descent of soft tissues in your cheek and midface areas. Cheek augmentation will eliminate the sunken appearance under your eyes or mid-facial area and enhance or restore facial proportions by correcting the point of maximal projection known as the zygomatic arch. In a narrow face, cheek implants will make the face wider by placing the implants further apart. If a patient’s face is too wide and flat, by shortening the distance between implants the face will appear more narrow and angular. The choice of your cheek implant and procedure will be discussed and chosen during your individual consultation with Dr. V.
There are three variables of a cheek augmentation including:
- Implant shape and projection
- Implant volume
- Implant position
Another area that causes significant imbalance to the overall appearance of your face is your chin. The chin is the most important characteristic of your lower face and together with your nose determines facial symmetry. A small or short chin can cause your neck to look less defined and create an illusion of having a larger nose while a prominent or long chin can make your upper face look sunken and your nose too small. The most reliable means for assessing your chin position in relation to your chin line is with a ‘chin meridian’. This is a digital photo taken from the side of your face that transposes the line of your profile to help determine the ideal positioning of your chin and the point of optimal lower facial balance. If your chin falls behind this line, it usually means that you have Microgenia or a receding chin in the horizontal direction. Even small changes in the size of your chin can result in a very noticeable improvement in the overall balance of your face.
During your chin plant procedure, Dr. V will select the proper size and shape before inserting the soft, biocompatible implant into a pocket over the front of your jawbone. Some bruising and swelling is to be expected but these symptoms typically resolve within one week. Results can be dramatic with this type of procedure and chin augmentation is a relatively simple adjustment resulting in a high degree of patient satisfaction and speedy recovery.
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The Face Implant Procedure
Facial implants are tailored to each individual and may be small, moderate, or large in scale. Chin and cheek implants are manufactured using a variety of materials such as high-strength silicone, nylon mesh, high-density polyethylene, hydroxyapatite compounds, and other substances. At The Virginia Institute, implant size, material, and shape are tailored to your facial form and desired outcome and the technique used to insert your facial implant will depend on the area where the implant will be positioned. Both types of implants can be performed through either an intra-oral (through the mouth) or trans-cutaneous (through the skin) incision. Typically, an intra-oral incision is preferred because this method leaves no visible scarring. During your procedure, the implants are placed within a small cavity on top of the bone known as periosteal positioning. Within two weeks, your implants will have settled into a stable position and they will provide enhanced contours non-distinguishable from your adjacent facial bones.
Each procedure normally takes under an hour and facial implants are often used in combination with other procedures. In some cases, Dr. V may require that you stay overnight and such a decision will be based on your overall medical condition. With some patients, facial implant surgery may require only local anesthesia combined with a sedative however a general anesthesia may also be recommended.
Contact The Virginia Institute of Surgical Arts by clicking here or calling 703-327-8200.