Risk of Infection After Facial Implant?

Could you give me some figures on the prevalence of infections after a facial(chin/cheek/jaw) implant. 1 out of …? How many get an infection? Based on your own experience. And how many of these cannot be treated/healed with antibiotics, but must instead remove their implants? Is it easier to get an infection around a silicone implant than porex implant? Thanks in advance.

Doctor Answers 6

The Incidence And Management Of Facial Implant Infections

The incidence of infection of any facial implant always exists and is often quoted as being around 1%. My experience has been that it is higher than that, probably closer to 2% to 3%%. There are several factors that do increase the risk of infection including an intraoral placement, the simultaneous insertion of multiple implants at the same time and the use of porous implant materials. Once an implant gets infected, the initial approach is the use of oral antibiotics but this will rarely be successful because the implant is colonized and has a slime layer on it. The implant will need to be removed to solve almost all infection problems. The question is not whether the infected implant will need to be removed but whether its replacement can be immediately done or should be delayed.

Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Risk of infection after facial implant

The risk of infection after silastic implants is extremely rare.  We do place patients on antibiotics before, during, and after the procedure.  Any type of implant with porous holes is much more susceptible to infection and will need to be removed immediately upon becoming infected.  Silicone facial implants are very well tolerated by patients.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

The risk of infection of many synthetic facial implants is less than 5%.

Great question. My experience is mainly with ePTFE (GoreTex) nasal implants and silastic (rubberized silicone) chin implants. In either situation, I advise my patients that there is a low likelihood of infection, less than 5% of procedures. If infection occurs, antibiotics may remedy the situation. But if infection becomes recurrent, The nasal or chin implant may need to be removed. In my experience, silastic implants may be easier to remove than ePTFE. Hope this helps.

Dr. Joseph

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 421 reviews

Facial implants and infections


  Infections are a concern that we take seriously with every surgery.  The incidence of infection depends on the location and surgical approach.  For example, placing a chin implant from inside of the mouth would have a greater risk then the same implant placed from an incision under then chin.  However, implant infections should be relatively low, usually around 1-5%.  Generally speaking, it is more common to have concerns with asymmetry, improper size or patient dissatisfaction then it is to have an infection.

  There are many difference between silicone and porex, texture, size, extrusion, ect.  I would not use the risk of infection to base the decision of which implant to use.

Hope this helps.


Christopher Kolstad, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Facial implants and infection

I only have used silicone implants. Considering all the necessary precauions are observed, the incidence of infection should be around 2-3 per cent. Infected implants have to be removed. Administration of antibiotics before, during and after surgery is a good idea and reduces the chances of infection, at least in my experiences. 

Fereydoon S. Mahjouri, MD
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Infected facial implants

It's good that you are looking at the surgery realistically. It is always possible to get an infection during any surgery. You can lessen your risk by making sure you have a well experienced and board certified plastic surgeon and that the surgery is performed in a licensed and accredited facility. I have been doing facial implants for almost thirty years and have had three infectiions. I personally never leave in any type of infected implant. It is removed and replaced several months later.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 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.