Cheek Implant Caused Nerve Tingling for 3 Years

Cheek implant cause nerve tingling for 3 years? My doctor says to leave it if it isn't "killing me. Can this be swelling/scar tissue?

Could an injection of steroid help? it bothers me all day everyday. It is the nerve between my cheek and nose, right by the nostril. Feels like I have cotton stuffed way up in my gums. I am afraid to go back in, my doctor said he can't determine the problem without going back in, and this may result in infection and/or other complications? Can this even be fixed?

Doctor Answers 2

Cheek Implant Impingement On Infraorbital Nerve

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With this persistent feeling and its location, it is very likely that the cheek implant is impinging or touching your infraorbital nerve. Those are exactly the symptoms that develop when the infraorbital nerve has some form of compression on it. It would be very simple to explore the site and determine if this is the problem and then solve it by trimming off that part of the implant. I would also secure the remaining part of the implant to the bone so it does not slide back onto the nerve which it can easily do inside the implant capsule. This is a far easier operation and recovery than the original cheek implat procedure. Because it is such an easy potential fix, I would encourage you to explore that option.

Tingling after Cheek Implant.

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The issues isn't the risk of complication because I've replaced Cheek Implants done elsewhere for 20 years.  The real issue is that the Cheek Implant is almost surely impinging on the infra-orbital nerve.  Fixing the Cheek implant to the bone requires at least 2 screws (the implant can still spin with 1 point fixation) that can cause dimpling of the implant.  The least invasive way to deal with the issue is to lift the tissues up over the front portion of the implant alone and trim that section of the Cheek Implant that's in contact with the nerve.  This should alleviate the tingling/numbness and should leave the rest of the implant pocket intact so the implant won't move.

I have, over more than 20 years of placing Cheek Implants seen variations in the position of thios nerve...and in a handful of patients the nerve exits to low and lateral for cheek implants to be used.  It might be best to go through an incision in the lower eyelid to access this section of the Cheek Implant thus avoiding lifting the cheek tissues completely.

My only concern, if a significant portion, of the Cheek Implant needs to be trimmed, is that the cheek shape will change and be different from the opposite cheek.

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.