In the age of the 'selfie', reports from the American Society of Facial Plastic Surgery (ASPS) and the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) state that social media outlets have actually increased the demand for facial implants and for plastic surgery. But are facial implants a new trend? According to board certified plastic surgeon Dr. John Bradford Fisher who practices in Yorba Linda, California, facial implants have been around since the days of President Ronald Reagan. www.bodybyfisher.com.
When Dr. Fisher was Chief of Plastic Surgery at the United States Navy National Medical Center, he was required to reconstruct facial injuries, correct facial disfigurement and serve the needs of those who interacted with the President at that time, Ronald Reagan.
"President Ronald Reagan came from an acting background where 'good looks' were important," said Dr. Fisher in a recent interview. "I had the dual responsibility of correcting both the ravages of war and keeping high-ranking naval personnel looking 'fit for duty'. Fisher, then Lt. Commander Fisher, developed the first use of facial implants that he carved from blocks of silicone. The results provided dramatic enhancement of the facial foundation.
Close to that time Implantech, a leading implant manufacturer, began working on facial implant design and succeeded in designing anatomical shapes for the mid-face and chin, gaining FDA clearance to market these with the 3D Accuscan product back in 1992. www.implantech.com.
Today, Dr. Fisher uses this experience to give patients a 'Presidential' preview of what can be achieved with facial implants.
"Today's patients want to look younger. To look as they did in their twenties," said Dr. Fisher. "Many of them have bone loss and need more definition in their face. Simply tightening the skin is often not enough."
But how does a doctor demonstrate how a patient will look with more definition? How can one show a patient how they will look with facial implants? While various 3-D programs are available, Dr. Fisher says nothing is more real, or more convincing, than actually proving it. He regularly uses a saline injection test to simulate a chin implant, cheek implants, a mandibular implant (jaw) and to demonstrate mid-face projection.
"My patients love it," said Dr. Fisher. "They want to look younger, correct diminished features or simply obtain a brighter look. This injection technique helps them test the result before surgery."
According to national statistics facial implant procedures are on the rise. The news media has reported that the social media, Skype and Google chat trends has contributed to this growth because people are now seeing how they look on camera and sometimes they are not happy with what they see. Dr. Fisher says that many doctors agree that the key to the 'fountain of youth' begins with replacement of lost facial volume and facial implants might just be the answer.