I have had silicone cheek implant with submalar extension. What is involved in removal and will my face sag?

I have had cheek implants for 6-7 years now. They are becoming more and more uncomfortable and sometimes painful. What will happen if I have these removed ? Will I sag? Where are the "pockets" located? Will the area be noticeable? I have had silicone cheek implant with sub malar extension. What is involved in removal and will my face sag? I'm 53 years old. Seeing that they are painful would insurance cover removal ?

Doctor Answers 4

Silicone cheek implant removal

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Dear Villapark,

Cheek implants can be removed under local anesthesia or under IV sedation depending on the patient's tolerance. A small incision will be made just underneath your upper lip where it meets your gum. It should not be painful. Since it has been few years, there will be small pockets, but with time these should collapse. You may also have a ring of calcium deposit or scar tissue surrounding the implant. These should gradually go away. Your face will be flatter than when you had the implants in your cheeks. After few months, you might want to consider having fillers to the area for more volume.

Virginia Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Cheek implants

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It is unusual for them to be painful. If they have been in that long and they are removed, your cheek may sag. Something can usually be done to help this depending on each person's situation. Insurance usually will not cover it unless there is an infection or medical reason.

Edward J. Domanskis, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Definitely will sag

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Like taking feathers out of a pillow, your cheeks will definitely SAG when the implants are removed. They need to be removed through an incision, much the same as their insertion. Do you have any cheek numbness? What about your upper teeth? 

Robert Reiffel, MD
White Plains Plastic Surgeon

I have had silicone cheek implant with submalar extension. What is involved in removal and will my face sag?

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You didn't mention the exact size of the implant, and that would be helpful.  At 25, the tissue may shrink back fairly quickly.  At 50, you may have a bit of sagging and may warrant a short scar incision facelift, as well as, some type of cheek volumizer (Perlane/Voluma/Juvederm Ultra) to give you back your cheeks.  It is hard to give you exact advice without seeing you or seeing photos of you.

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