Cheek Implants Infected - Should They be Removed?

my cheek implant was infected 3 days ago...i had a fever, but now i dont have a fever anymore. my cheek really blew up the second day, but it has gone down quite a bit now... im on antibiotics.

Dont infected implants have to get removed eventually anyways? am i just wasting my money buying antibiotics by delaying the inevitable?

Doctor Answers (13)

Cheek implant infection and removal

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Although the insertion of cheek implants is usually straightforward it can relatively rarely by complicated with infection. There is a natural flora of microbes that live in your mouth, and the nature of inserting cheek implants through the mouth and thereby hiding incisions means there is a small risk of infection with every cheek implant. An infected cheek implant will typically result in symptoms including fever, swelling, discomfort and pain. With an early infection, antibiotics can be effective in curing the infection without further treatment and without removal of the implant. Some surgeons have described washing of the implant with antibiotics in conjunction with oral antibiotics as an effective method of treating an early infection. However in the relatively uncommon situation of an apparent cheek implant which has become infected, if the implant is not improving with antibiotics, the treatment will require removal of the implant, allowing a period of time for the infection to resolve, followed by re-insertion of a new implant 3-months later. Dr. De Silva utilises silicone cheek implants which are relatively straight forward to insert and remove, however other types of implant (including Medpor) can be challenging to remove as the body can heal with the implant making it difficult to remove.


London Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Cheek implants and infection

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If you had cheek implants placed and developed swelling and fever, this may well have been an infection and antibiotics should be the first course of action.  If the swelling is going down and the fever has subsided, I would suggest you complete your antibiotic course.  You may not have to remove the implants.  If the fever and swelling return then removal probably would be the best option.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Infected cheek implants

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A course of antibiotics and conservative therapy is always the first approach to an infected implant.  Depending on the amount of infection, it potentially can clear with just the antibiotics.  Because implants are avascular, there could be persistent seeding of bacterial cells despite initial successful control of on infection with antibiotics.  If the infection is recurrent or recalcitrant, then removal of the implant is necessary.

Thomas T. Le, MD
Baltimore Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

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Removal Of Infected Cheek Implants

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Removal may be necessary, but drainage with antibiotic therapy may solve your problem. If this is successful, it certainly will be easier than removal followed by another operation to replace the implants. I agree with your surgeon's approach to treat this complication.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

You may save your cheek implants

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Not all infected cheek implants are lost.   Antibiotics, drainage and irrigation can save some of them.   Hang in there and hopefully you will be one of the lucky ones.

Good Luck!   Dr Grant Stevens      

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Infected cheek implant.

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Antibiotics and drainage with a rubber drain may lead to healing without removal of the implant. I would try that first.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Cheek implants - infected

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In general an infected implant will likely end up needing to be removed.  However, it's reasonable for you to get antibiotics to try to eradicate the infection.  I would keep in close contact with your plastic surgeon and visit him/her regularly.  I'm sure he/she is diligently monitoring your implant and your infection.  If you have any questions, I'm sure he/she would be happy to take the time to answer them.

Dr. Cat Begovic M.D.

Catherine Huang-Begovic, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Remove chronically infected cheek implants

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If the implants were made of silicone rubber (silastic) and they were recently done and the infection is subsiding with antibiotics, you have a good chance of not needing removal. If they continue to be a problem, removal is relatively simple. Continue to see your surgeon.

Sheldon S. Kabaker, MD
Oakland Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Cheek Implants Infected - Should They be Removed?

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First you must be sure they are infected. Swelling, pain and  reddness, fever, purulent discharge from the incision site are all signs of infection and the implant must be removed. Can be replaced approximately 3-6 months later.

Mohsen Tavoussi, MD, DO
Huntington Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Cheek Implants Infected - Should They be Removed?

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For a text book answer it would be favoring removal. I also recommend removal, but you might be oner of the few who when treated with antibiotics can retain the cheek implants. Discuss with your surgeon. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.