Q: Dr. Eppley, I am a 27 year old female who underwent facial slimming surgery. It’s a long, complicated story but a few years ago, I went to South Korea to just get a sliding genioplasty because I’ve always had a weak chin and I was told they were the best in the world for that sort of thing so I spent all my savings to fly there and get it done. They did that successfully. However, I am not sure if something got lost in translation before surgery or what happened, but without my permission, they also lowered my cheekbones (they actually shaved and broke the bones and I now have screws in my face) and cut a part of my jawbone. Now I have sagging skin, weak cheekbones, and jowls due to this. This whole thing has been a nightmare and I desperately need help. I am not sure what surgeries I need. I miss my high cheekbones and I hate the sagging skin and jowls. I would do anything to fix this mistake as it’s been really hard on me. Thanks
A: What you had was the classic Asian surgery of facial slimming including cheekbone reduction, jaw angle reduction (amputation) and a sliding genioplasty. This is a very common surgery in many Asian patients to try and change a wide face into a more narrow one. While it can be appropriate for some Caucasian patients, it is far less commonly needed. I suspect nothing got lost in translation. That was just what they were going to do and your aesthetic desires were secondary or irrelevant.
That being said your facial issues are loss of soft tissue support of the cheeks and jaw angles. Re-establishing the jaw angles is fairly straightforward using vertical lengthening jw angle implants. Whether they would be standard or custom implants is matter of debate. For the cheeks it is a bit more of a complex decision. The cheekbones would be refractured and brought back out or cheek implants could be placed to create the augmentation and re-establish cheek support.
Dr. Barry Eppley