Facial implant materials

MaterialProperties and UsesImaging Appearance
Silicone rubber (Silastic)Rubber elastomer, well-tolerated and easily customizable, soft pliable consistency; indications: chin, lateral jaw, cheek, and nose augmentationCT: variable attenuation, usually denser than soft tissue, but less dense than bone and best discerned using bone windows;
MRI: very low signal intensity on T1- and T2-weighted sequences
Expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (Gore-Tex)Biocompatible, long-lasting but can be removed surgically; indications: lower face lift, nasal and forehead augmentationCT: higher attenuation relative to soft tissues, but less dense than bone;
MRI: hypointense to fat on T1- and T2-weighted sequences
Polytetrafluoroethylene (Teflon)ObsoleteImaging features similar to those of Gore-Tex
Porous polyethylene (Medpor)Inert and biocompatible, low complication rate, permanent; indications: lower face and nasal augmentation; also used for orbital and auricular reconstruction; fibrovascular ingrowth can render removal difficultCT: attenuation between fat and water;
MRI: hypointense to fat on T1- and T2-weighted sequences; enhancement may occur due to fibrovascular ingrowth
HydroxylapatiteInert and biocompatible; blocks of hydroxylapatite can allow fibrovascular ingrowth and bony incorporationCT: hyperdense, hyperattenuation similar to that of bone; the implant can become incorporated into and inseparable from the adjacent bone;
MRI: low signal on T1 and T2; enhancement may occur due to fibrovascular ingrowth
BoneOccasionally used for rhinoplasty, cheek, and chin augmentation; harvest sites include iliac crest, cranium, turbinates, ribCT: same as normal bone elsewhere; cortex and trabecular can be identified unless resorption has occurred
MRI: high T1 and T2 marrow signal and low-signal cortex are often discernible; in the early postoperative period, marrow edema within the graft may appear as low T1 and high T2 signal
CartilageOften used in rhinoplasty and sometimes chin augmentation; harvest sites include nasal septum, conchal cartilage, and costal cartilage; can be part of osteochondral grafts; can be diced and wrapped in Surgicel (Turkish Delight)CT: soft-tissue density; may form a rim of calcification or ossification;
MRI: usually low T2 and high T2 signal