Risks of Hydroxyapatite Cranial Implant?

I have asked before that, I am seeking forehead augmentation for my receded and very flat forehead. I have read that hydroxyapatite is an option. Then I searched and found a good example of an hydroxyapatite cranial implant. I'm guessing this is pretty rare?

Does anyone know the approximate cost to get such an implant? Is it mostly safe and successful? I'm not as worried about rejection and migration as I've read that it is very close to the bone in terms of composition. I just want to know any other potential risks. Thanks!

Doctor Answers 5

Hydroxyapatite cranial implant not recommended

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It is not a good idea to undergo hydroxyapatite reconstruction of the forehead for purely cosmetic reasons because of the chance of infection with this type of material. We have seen multiple complications from this material and do not recommend having these performed.

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Risks of cranial implant for forehead augmentation

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Yes, this is exceptionally rare. HA is generally used to fill smaller defects. The area you describe is quite extensive. While rejection is not likely, infection is. It is most likely you will require a custom implant which could easily run 10,000 and does not include the cost of surgery.

Risks vary and include infection, hematoma, mechanical failure with fracture, resorption,cicatricial alopecia, sensory or motor nerve damage, ulceration, wound breakdown, implant exposure/extrusion, hypertophic scar formation, contour irregularity, asymmetry, need for subsequent secondary surgical or revisionay procedures, central nervous system injury or dural tear.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

The risks of hydroxyapatite would be primarily of irregularity

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I would need to see a photo of the forehead and why this would be necessary. The gain should outweigh the risks as listed by other surgeons above.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

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Brow contouring using hydroxyapatite can leave irregularities

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I think I answered this already. Hydroxyapatite is used to fill in bony defects. It can leave irregularities and I probably wouldn't use it for strictly aesthetic reasons.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Hydroxyapatite Cranial Cosmetic Surgery

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The risks you will be undertaking will be those associated with all operations involving the scalp as are done under general anesthesia AND those involving an implant placement; a very small risk of death, bleeding, infection, ugly scarring loss of hair in the region of the incision / scar, areas of numbness which could be temporary or permanent if any sensory nerves have to cut to reach the site of the implant, unsatisfactory result which may require further treatment or revision procedures among others.

As you and I communicated, I would suggest you consult with several Plastic surgeons who specialize in craniofacial surgery to get all your questions answered and to see if you would benefit from what they can deliver.

Good Luck.

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

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.