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May 26, 2007 4:21 PM   Subscribe

Silicone cheekbone/jaw implants: advice or experiences about shaping a new skull?

After fairly extensive upper and lower jaw surgery in my early teens to correct the effects of serious TMJ syndrome, I lost what elusive bone structure I had to begin with. The result is that my face is strangely balanced, with a smallish chin (I had a subtle implant as part of the surgery - they did a good job, but it wasn't enough to balance the rest of my face), total lack of jaw definition, and slightly saggy and puffy cheeks that, along with genetic dark circles, make me look constantly tired. I love my facial features, I just don't have the bone structure to support them. I'm female, young (just out of college), and generally happy with myself and my body in other respects; this is just something that I know can be changed, and I can see that if I don't do anything the effects are going to cause me to look older than I am over the next few decades. So I'm wondering: have you had experience with facial implants, and if so, are you happy with the results? Is there any semi-scientific way of predicting the outcome? Any big disadvantages? What sort of recovery times did you need? Is the result very obvious, or will a dramatic new haircut reduce the shock to acquaintances? I've had the chin implant, and was happy with that, but because it was part of a larger surgery I don't feel like it was really a good predictor.
posted by anonymous to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (6 answers total)
I haven't had or known anyone with that type of surgery, but on one of those plastic surgery shows there was a woman with cheek implants that had started shifting up and were irritating her eyeball. I suppose that's one possible disadvantage, but probably very rare.
posted by koshka at 5:12 PM on May 26, 2007

loosely-related ancdote:
my friend has cheekbone implants to counteract facial wasting from HIV drugs. they are noticeable and look a little weird- i think most people wouldn't know why, but they'd notice he had sort of weird chipmunk cheekbones. however, the weird cheeks are better than the flattened cheeks he had before- the overall effect is that he looks healthier and better-fed, so i'd say the overall result was positive.

in his case, his face was THIN and flattened/saggy looking, so the problem he was trying to counter was sort of the opposite problem to yours. this could also be why his cheekbone implants look weird- the skin around the implants is empty of fat, so the bulge of the implant is kind of noticeable (kind of like seeing ribs beside breast implants on skinny pornstars).

thinking about it, putting implants into a puffy face might make your face look quite a bit bigger (the implants would have to protrude enough to bypass the puffy parts)- would that be ok with you? maybe liposuction under your cheekbones and jaw would be a better option?

either way, i bet it's way worse in your head than it is in real life, these things tend to bug us more than they bug others. good luck!
posted by twistofrhyme at 5:12 PM on May 26, 2007

What about the coral implants, the kind your bones grow into? A lot less likely to migrate that way.
posted by adipocere at 5:33 PM on May 26, 2007

What's TMJ please?
posted by A189Nut at 2:27 AM on May 27, 2007

What's TMJ please?

posted by alms at 10:59 AM on May 27, 2007

You can check Awful Plastic Surgery for ill-advised cheek implants on celebrities, which also, I think, gives a good idea of how this power could be used for good instead of evil. (Check the right-hand listing about halfway down the page.)

Yeah, celebrities aren't normal people, but the nice thing about using them for examples is that you're already a bit familiar with how they look.

A really good plastic surgeon should be recommending restrained suggestions for a young woman. If they try to upsell you, run. Do a lot of research. Maybe get recs from your original jaw surgeon?

/generally not a fan of cosmetic surgery. Fixing the effects of other illnesses, though, gets a big ol' pass. Go for it.
posted by desuetude at 12:13 PM on May 28, 2007

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