When most people (and many surgeons) think of midface augmentation, the use of cheek implants comes to mind. While cheek implants certainly do augment one area of the midface, they only cover one specific of the midface…the upper and outer corner of it.
Most of the midface lies between the cheeks and consists of the maxilla (upper jaw) and nasal base bones. From a bone standpoint midface augmentation is usually perceived as either a Lefort I or maxillary advancement (low midface) or a LeFort III osteotomy for a total midface advancement.
But the midface can be augmented with implants just as effectively, or even more effectively, as moving the bone and way beyond what simple cheek implants can do. The use of a custom midface implant from a 3D CT scan can cover the entire midface from the pyriform aperture up to the cheeks. Such an implant can be inserted completely through an intraoral approach.
A custom midface implant is designed to increase central facial projection. It is an effective approach for patients with flat or concave facial profiles or for patients with negative orbital vectors. The point of maximum projection can be altered to either a low maxillary-anterior nasal spine point or higher up along the cheeks and infraorbital rims.
The typical ranges of increased midface projection for these custom implants is between 3mm to 7mms in most cases. Because it covers a broad surface area (the entire midface), its effect is greater than one would initially think.
Dr. Barry Eppley