Q: Dr. Eppley, I had chin implant replacement done 3 months ago. I had a Medpor chin implant replaced by a silicone square chin implant as I wanted more squareness to my chin and wanted it wider. Today is officially 3 months after surgery and it’s been frustrating for me. Two sides of my chin where the previous wing were removed are still presenting irregularity and swelling. When I touch it it feels kinda soft and tissue like. I’m not sure it’s the capsule or scar tissue still remaining there. It makes the two side of chin still look like swollen and the jawline is not straight at all. But it is definitey improved since the first month after surgery .I’m just really anxious about it everyday now and I’m wondering when will it fully healed? I have searched online and some people says steroid injection can be done. Should I do that? I’m pretty sure the implant placement itself is fine but the capsule or scar tissue is making it look bad. I hope you can help me
A: Full and complete healing after any facial skeletal surgery can take up to 6 to 12 months after surgery to see and feel the final result. This can certainly be true for revisional chin implant surgery where one iimplant (that is well scarred in) is replaced by another chin implant. The important question is whether the fullness that you see is do to scar tissue/healing or that the implant is simply too wide/big. If it feels soft and tissue like then I would say there is still healing going on and more time would be the appropriate answer. I would not advise steroids as that is an uncontrolled drug treatment that can have adverse soft tissue effects (atrophy and indentations) and thus it can create just as many problems as it may solve. The only injectable treatment to consider is 5-FU injections which can help settle scar tissue but has no soft tissue atrophy effects. Otherwise, if the sides of the chin feel hard, then this is an implant issue where it may be too big or wide
The steps to take now are either 5-FU injections and/or continue to give it more time. At the minimum I would give it at least six months from the last surgery before contemplating anything invasive.
Dr. Barry Eppley