Please take time to read these instructions thoroughly. We have found that faithful adherence to these guidelines will give you the smoothest recovery and optimum results. If a question does arise, first refer to these instructions and if you are still uncertain, call the office at 706.235.5570.
Before Your Surgery
1. Please discontinue all aspirin and similar drugs 2 weeks prior to surgery. You can download and print the list here – please read it carefully. Also discontinue taking Vitamin E 2 weeks prior to surgery. You may use Tylenol for pain prior to surgery. If this is unacceptable, please contact our office.
2. Make an appointment for your first post surgery check up for 5-7 days after surgery.
3. Start taking your antibiotic the day before surgery. Do not take your antibiotic the morning of surgery, unless directed otherwise. If you are susceptible to or have recurring yeast infections, please notify the office so that an appropriate medication may be prescribed or recommended.
4. Remember: Nothing to eat or drink after midnight the evening before surgery – this includes water – if you are to have general anesthesia or IV sedation.
5. Be sure your face is scrubbed thoroughly with an anti-bacterial soap prior to surgery.
After Your Surgery
1. Restart your antibiotic medication. Take the antibiotic with a light meal the evening of your surgery. Take the antibiotic as directed until it is all gone. If you do not feel like eating, try a few crackers and a soda.
2. Keep an ice pack on your cheek or chin area for 12-24 hours after surgery. Your recovery room nurse will show you exactly how to do this. The ice pack helps keep swelling, bruising and oozing to a minimum. Pad the ice pack with gauze or a cloth if it gets too cold.
3. It is important to rest and sleep with your head propped up 30 to 45 degrees in a reclining chair or with 3 pillows for 3-5 days. This also helps reduce swelling, bruising and oozing.
4. Cheek implants are done through an incision in your mouth. A small amount of oozing is expected to drain out of your mouth. The chin implants are done through a small incision under your chin. A small amount of oozing through the dressing in this area is quite normal.
5. Your diet instructions for either a cheek or chin implant are restricted to a soft diet with little or no chewing required for approximately 10 days to help prevent the shifting or displacement of the cheek or chin implant. Rinse your mouth very thoroughly after each meal and after brushing your teeth. Brushing your teeth may be done very carefully in the area near the sutures.
6. For the first 10 days after surgery, avoid straining and bending over to lift things (remember to bend your knees to pick things up). This helps to prevent swelling, bruising and bleeding.
7. You should not lift anything heavier than 20 pounds for about 10 days after the surgery – this helps to prevent bleeding.
1. Try to avoid banging your cheeks or chin after surgery. Beware of young children (1-3 years), they are most likely to injure your new cheeks or chin by “bumping into them with their heads or grabbing your nose.” Your cheek or chin implants will take 4-5 weeks to become quite sturdy and 3 months or more to obtain their maximum healing into position. You must be careful, particularly during the first 4-6 weeks, not to dislodge the implant.
2. Walking and light exercise is permitted 48 hours after surgery. No strenuous exercise workouts or straining are permitted for 2 weeks after surgery. No contact sports, water skiing, etc., are permitted for 2 months after surgery.
Surgical Site Wound Care
The wound care for cheek implants is quite simple. The incision inside of your mouth is about 1/2″ behind your canine or eye tooth. It is usually less than 1/2″ in length. The sutures used to close this will dissolve on their own in about 5-10 days. The evening of surgery, we recommend avoiding tooth brushing, since it may cause bleeding. The following day you can brush your teeth with your toothbrush, but we prefer that you use baking soda or a mild toothpaste on your toothbrush to avoid irritating the incisions for approximately 10 days. Please do not eat any foods with seeds, bran or roughage for the next 3-4 days, as these may become entrapped in the wound.
The wound care of your chin implant incision under your chin is quite simple. You may be instructed to wash it with full-strength hydrogen peroxide and a Q-tip once in the morning and again at bedtime, and put a thin coating of polysporin ointment over the incision for approximately 10 to 14 days. If you have steri-strips over the chin implant incision, no wound care is necessary with the exception of general washing with soap and water lightly over the tapes. The steri-strips will be removed in 5-7 days in our office. If you have tape on your skin around the chin, this tape will be removed during your office visit, usually in 5-7 days.
Keeping your appointments after surgery is very important to the final outcome of your chin or cheek implants. We need to follow your progress closely. If your implant becomes dislodged or malpositioned, it can often be shifted back into position with minimal effort, if it is done within 2 to 3 hours on the day of its displacement. If you have external sutures or bolus holding an implant in place, this will be removed on the 5th post-op day. Do not remove this yourself, as the sutures may become trapped under the skin.
Conditions to Expect After Cheek or Chin Implant Surgery
Please be a Patient Patient!
1. Swelling and bruising of the face and eye area are most common with cheek implants. Chin implants cause swelling of the chin area. Most of the swelling will be gone in 2 weeks. Your cheek or chin will take up to one year following surgery to achieve its final appearance.
2. Your cheek or chin may be tender and stiff for one to four months following surgery. You may notice speech pattern changes following a chin implant, and this may persist for up to 4 months.
3. Nothing will heal symmetrically. Bruises are rarely symmetrical. One eye, cheek, or side of your chin may swell worse than the other, or one side of your face may stay swollen longer. Be patient – this is all part of the healing process. Be sure to keep your post-operative appointments, since we can tell you what is normal and treat as needed.
Things to Avoid
1. Do not eat food that requires considerable chewing, such as rare meat or fruit with seeds.
2. Remember – you are not to dislodge your chin or cheek implant with excess pressure on them, avoid strenuous exercise, and avoid small children’s heads as they move unexpectedly.
Learn more about cheek, chin and facial implants here.