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Author: Vanessa Ngan, Staff Writer, 2002.
Solid silicone (dimethylsiloxane) implants have been use in facial cosmetic surgery since the 1950's.
Unlike liquid-filled silicone breast implants, solid silicone implants do not leach into the body and have been used for many years in medical procedures such as joint prostheses and heart valve replacement.
Silicone is a synthetic polymer that when used in medical implants comes in the form of fluid, gels and rubbers. When manufactured into products for facial implants they are solid compounds, yet flexible and very durable. They are manufactured in varying degrees of hardness.
There are many manufacturers of silicone implants, some of the popular ones include:
Silicone facial implants are used to augment soft tissue areas, not the underlying facial bony structure. The silicone implant is chemically inert and the body treats it as a foreign object. Once inserted, scar tissue forms around the implant. Thus most people tolerate silicone implants very well.
Facial augmentation with silicone implants has been used for the following corrections:
The procedure is carried out at a doctor's rooms. The length of time will depend on what corrections are being made.
Silicone implants are considered to be permanent. However, as the body ages and thinning of the skin occurs, the implant may start to show through and you may be able to feel it. In addition, there is always the possibility of infection even years after implantation. Because silicone implants do not integrate with the skin tissue and they are encapsulated within scar tissue, their removal is relatively easy compared with other implant types.
Silicone implants are usually well tolerated. Some discomfort may occur directly after the implantation. There may be some swelling, aching, and numbness but these usually resolve after a week or so.
The following complications may rarely occur:
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