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73custom 09-13-2009 01:16 PM

Cheek Implant Help: 3.5 months post op

I had cheek implants done 3.5 months ago. I had an infection on the right side that lasted about a month. I am very depressed about the results and maybe I can get some questions answered.

I had lots of swelling form the infection on the right side. Presently, the right side is way larger than the left side, giving an unnatural appearance. I am repeatedly told that everyone's face is different on both sides which I understand. However, this is way out of proportion. The previously infected right side is much fuller and sticks out a lot more. The surgeon said it is a fine job and it looks fine and may be bigger due to the infection. He was not very reassuring.

I am wondering if anyone had to deal with infection and had similar results. I am a thin male and do not have much fat on my face so I do not see how the right side will even out with the left side. Again, it sticks out much further. I get a lot of long odd looks at work and this procedure was not very transparent - although if the two sides matched more it would have been OK.

Could I have swelling on the right side due to the infection that will balance out eventually? The two sides do not look close to me and it is quite stressful. I am a performing artist and see video and photos of myself on stage a lot and am really down about the way things turned out. I am a Father of four and am very depressed and feel bad about being such a downer around my family.

Since I am very thin I can't imagine what would be so swollen (even with the infection causing issues) so that my right side juts out so much more than the left. Does anyone have any thoughts or advice - I could use some. Regards, 73custom

la_angel 09-13-2009 10:49 PM

Did the surgeon use the same size implants in each cheek? If so, and your face is symmetrical within reason (as long as you aren't a facial trauma victim that had his malar/submalar previously broken) it's almost certainly just swelling. Doctors always downplay the swelling and the truth of the matter is that it will last probably around 9 months with this operation so if you are only 3 1/2 months post-op you are definitely going to be very swollen still (even though doctors like to pretend swelling only lasts few weeks it is so no true) and I would give it another 2 to 2 1/2 months at least to judge. The fact that the other side that wasn't infected looks okay is a good sign too that its just swelling. How long did it take to resolve the infection? It sounds like that would be only 8 or 10 weeks ago that it first became infected right?

73custom 09-14-2009 05:38 AM

Thanks for the reply la_angel. I got the procedure done June 1rst and had the infection resolved about a month later at the beginning to first week of July 09. One side is acceptable so I saw that as a good sign too. I am thinking of having the implants removed over the Holiday vacation from work in December. That would give me 2 weeks before I go back to work. Of course I would like to see improvement that would make not want to go through the removal. I am very confused as my doctor told me everything was OK looking but it really doesn't look like it. I could wait many more months to see but the next opportunity for removal would be June again of 2010. I am torn between accepting it was a mistake and removing this December or waiting until June 2010 and looking unnatural for that time. I would think I would see some improvement on the right side that was infected but it does not seem to be getting smaller. Thanks again for the reply - I am in bad shape...

versace 09-15-2009 05:34 PM

It sounds to me as if everything is typical for a cheek implant recovery. If you are satisfied with one side and assuming the surgeon used the same size on the other and as la_angel pointed out that your face is symmetrical according to average standards, I believe the swelling on the larger side will subside. It's important to note that with cheek implants the swelling will feel hard as if it feels like the implant. Please keep in mind this is normal and fortunately it is most likely a degree of swelling you are feeling instead.

73custom 09-15-2009 06:27 PM

Well thanks for the help - I am feeling a little better but I am sort of afraid too large implants were used. I have had a couple people not recognize me at first etc. Oh well - I may remove them and call it quits. It is just way too much of a change for me and I think they would have to reduce quite a bit for me to be really happy with improved confidence and all. I should have done way more homework before jumping into this but I was really down and thought this would help ha ha! I am in a world of confusion now but I saw this forum had level heads and good advice so thanks!

la_angel 09-18-2009 12:03 AM

Hey sorry for the late reply I was out of town for a couple days.

By any chance do you know what size the surgeon used? From what I know it seems that smaller are always the better way to go. With cheek it's one of those things where less is more.:)

73custom 10-09-2009 05:00 PM

Well sorry as well to reply late here. I am post -op just today from removal. I liked reading experiences from others so I'll follow up here when I feel a little better from being put under and all.

robyne00 10-09-2009 06:56 PM

It's a shame it didn't work out as you planned, but hopefully now you will be back to your old self. Well, actually I guess now you are! Keep us updated and best of luck!!! :D

73custom 10-11-2009 07:18 AM

Well 2 days later - one side of my face ballooned up like crazy and one didn't. I guess it could have been both sides so I shouldn't complain. Does anyone have tips to reduce swelling? It is now about 48 hours later. One side of my face is at max swelling for sure! Does anyone know how long it will take for the swelling to subside to a tolerable level? Thanks! :)

la_angel 10-12-2009 09:27 PM

Wow so you got them out? I was hoping you wouldn't :( Are you going to put smaller ones back in down the road?

For swelling there's not a whole lot that helps. As far as natural remedies pineapple was recommended by my surgeon. It contains bromelain which is substance that helps reduce swelling supposedly. But you can't buy cans or cartons of pineapple juice because those are pasteurized and the heat kills it. Do get the benefits either take bromelain supplements or eat raw fresh pineapple and a lot of it!

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