Cheek Implant Shifted After Facelift?

After a facelift in '97, my surgeon said he noticed that I had bone resorption around one cheek implant. Since, it has shifted down and now the contours on one side of my face are noticeably different from the other. I would like to put it back in place, but do both need to be removed and replaced? The original surgeon is no longer practicing. I'm in the Seattle area, so is there a surgeon in the area who understands my dilemma and can offer a consult?

Doctor Answers 6

Cheek implant shifted after a face lift

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You can remove them and reposition them. You can also screw them into the bone to get them to stay put. The other option is adding fat to shape your face and you might be able to avoid opening up and redoing the cheek implant in the first place.

Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

Cheek implant shifted

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If only one implant appears shifted you should be able to leave the other one alone and only address the one that is out of place. This may require fixing the implant in place with a screw in order to ensure that it doesn't shift over time.

Thomas A. Lamperti, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Shifting of Facial Implants

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Nowadays cheek implants are commonly fixed with screws to prevent this happening. The problem with your situation is that the bone may have eroded due to the pressure of the implants and that, due to shifting, the erosion may be asymmetrical

The Rolls Royce treatment is a computerized modeling of your present bone structure from a fine-cut CT scan of your head; and the manufacture of implants which will exactly conform to your bony contour while giving symmetrical projection.

An simpler alternative is to have a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon replace the implants with ones made of Medpore and carve them during the operation to make them match. Screw fixation is advised.

Simple removal will leave you with very flat cheekbones! 

J. Brian Boyd, MD
Rolling Hills Estates Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Facelift - Cheek Implant Shifted After Facelift?

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This is one of the potential issues with facial implants - shifting over time.  You can have both procedures done simultaneously but you have to consider the potential implant of (1) replacing an implant that is okay and (2) putting in a new implant when one has already shifted.  Newer implants have what is effectively a "non-glide" surface (ie it grips a bit) and using one of those may help it stay in position better.  You should therefore see a few different surgeons in your area before you make a decision on proceeding.

I hope that this helps and good luck,

Dr. E

Cheek Implant Shifting after Facelift

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  If the cheek implants have caused bone resorption, you may want to have them both removed and consider facial fat grafting.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA


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It is important for you have a experienced surgeon who understands these type of situation perform an implant exchange. It is possible you may require a customized cheek implant to correct the area that you’d like to treat. It may also be possible to simply do an implant exchange. An experienced surgeon should be able to contour the implant appropriately to give you the appearance you desire. I would advise you to meet with cosmetic surgeons who are experienced with the placement cheek implants and make your decision after you feel comfortable.

Amiya Prasad, MD
New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 80 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.