Cheek Implant - Infection or Not?

Dear doctors, I had cheek implants and buccal fat removal on 4th april 2011. The swellings on the lower cheeks are almost completely gone. Nevertheless I am still slightly swollen alongside the nose just where the nasolabial folds are located. 3 weeks after surgery I had this foul drainage inside my mouth for 3 days which are gone now. For 1 week I took Keflex and now I am on clindamycin since a week. My surgeon was kind of helpless as I have no typical symptoms of infection.What do you think?

Doctor Answers 4

Cheek implant infections are uncommon

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Infections of facial implants are uncommon, but need to be treated seriously when they occur.  Foul drainage inside the mouth is not expected after an cheek implant procedure and could be symptom of infection.

Typical symptoms of infection include:

  • Fever (usually over 101 F)
  • Purulent/foul smelling drainage around the incision or implant site.
  • Redness around the incision or implant site.
  • Pain or tenderness around the incision or implant site.
  • Swelling around the incision or implant site.

It sounds like your symptoms are improving, but I would certainly recommend you continue your antibiotics as prescribed and remain in close contact with your surgeon.  You should certainly notify him/her of any changes in your condition, or any new or worsening symptoms.  Best Wishes, MKB

Roanoke Facial Plastic Surgeon

Infection of implant

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Any artificial substance that gets infected needs to be removed unless the infection can be contained early. Removal of cheek implant is not as easy as placing them in . The determining factor is the type (silicone vs medpor) Also the implants tend to erode into the cheekbones and cause asymmetry. There will be sagging but some of that may contract due to your age and hopefully good skin quality.

Foul taste in mouth is most likely infection near cheek implants

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The foul taste, in your mouth, after the Cheek Implants should be considered an infection until proven otherwise IMHO.  That fact that things improved with antibiotics is another thing pointing to an infection.  Follow up with your surgeon until everything has resolved.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Cheek implant infection

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Typically, foul drainage in the mouth after a cheek implant is usually the sign of an infection. That being said it sounds as if your surgeon is treating you appropriately and often antibiotics will take care of the process. The swelling may be normal and I would continue to follow closely with your surgeon and hopefully no additional treatment will be necessary.

Scott Trimas, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 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.