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Trust your face to a specialist... a facial plastic surgeon

Good bone structure is a vital component of facial attractiveness. Bold facial contours, characterized by prominent cheekbones, a strong chin, and a sharp, well-defined jawline, are considered hallmarks of beauty today. No wonder one of the most interesting developments in facial plastic surgery involves the use of implants to improve facial contours.

Implants are used to create a pleasing contour that nature forgot, rejuvenate an aging face, or reconstruct facial injuries.

Types of surgical implants
Modern implants were designed by means of three-dimensional computer technology to enable surgeons to enhance the skeletal structure of the face. The implants may take the place of bone or soft tissue.

Most surgical implants are made of synthetic materials that mimic the feel of natural body tissues. They typically can remain in the body indefinitely without harm. Implants come in many shapes and sizes for use in different parts of the face.

Assessing the problem
To determine whether an implant is needed, facial plastic surgeons evaluate the entire face, not just individual features. In a harmonious face, the three focal points-the nose, the cheek bones, and the chin-are in balance, and a change in one area may affect the appearance of the others. The surgeon takes these relationships into account, and may recommend an implant in combination with another procedure to give the best results.

Uses of implants
For instance, a chin implant often is done at the same time as nasal surgery to balance the effect. Often, the implant makes it possible to remove less nasal tissue and still achieve a nice result.

Cheek and midfacial implants improve the definition of the face and provide a framework for supporting facial tissues that sag with age. As soft tissue of the face slips downward, irregularities in the underlying bone become more noticeable. The cheekbones may become too prominent, and sunken areas may appear beneath them. Some patients develop deep vertical folds in the midface. A facelift alone often is not sufficient to solve these problems.

If this is the case, the surgeon may recommend that facial implants be placed over the cheekbone or in the area below it to improve cheek definition and fill hollows in the midface. Implants also may be used to fill grooves below the eye or along the jaw, to rebuild the nasal bridge, and to replace bone and soft tissue lost to injury or disease.

Your facial plastic surgeon can help you determine which type of implant is best for you.

Continued

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