Custom Jawline Implant

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in your assessment of my jawline issues. and what you would recommend for surgical improvement. I have a weak jaw but a fairly good bite. Had orthodontics as a teenager and they never recommended any surgery. The other issue which may be helpful is that I have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and wear a mouth piece at night to push my chin forward. I am tall and thin so I do not fit the ‘typical’ body type for many OSA patients. I have attached pictures for your review. I have been to several plastic surgery consults but each one suggests a chin implant. While that might be somewhat helpful it just seems that it is an inadequate solution for my problem.

A: Thank you for sending your pictures. My assessment is that you have an overall short lower third of our face as evidenced by a horizontal and vertical deficiency of your entire jawline. (mandible) Besides the visually apparent facial third discrepancy, the fact that you have OSA and require the use of nighttime CPAP speaks to the potential contribution of a short jaw as a contributing factor.

The optional treatment for this type of jaw deficiency is a custom jawline implant that can augment smoothly the entire jawline in a wraparound fashion from jaw angle to jaw angle including the chin with tridimensional changes including increased vertical, horizontal and some width changes. (see attached predictive imaging) Having significant OSA, however, throws a variable into such a plan however as it would provide no functional improvement in your airway….and that seems like a shame given its potential lifelong occurrence.

A variation on the custom jawline implant would be to combine a sliding genioplasty to bring the chin down and forward (carrying the anterior attachment of the tongue muscles with it and potentially offering some OSA symptom improvement) combined with a pre made custom implant that would augment the rest of the jaw. This would be the only way to have a completely smooth transition from the posterior edges of the sliding genioplasty osteotomy line to the body and angle of the jaw behind it from an augmentative standpoint. Like the total custom wraparound jawline implant it would need to be made from a 3D CT scan from which the osteotomy and implant design would be done.

The ‘simplest’ option would be to just have a sliding genioplasty with standard off-the-shelf vertical lengthening jaw angle implants.  While offering aesthetic and functional jawline improvement, it would not create a perfectly smooth jawline from front to back.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana

Dr. Barry L. Eppley
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Board Certified Plastic Surgeon