Lower Lip Asymmetry after Chin Implant

Q: Dr. Eppley, I had a jaw angle reduction along with chin implant surgery two weeks ago. My lower lip is crooked when I’m smiling or trying to pull down my lower lip. The muscle under left side seems to be stronger than the right side. I don’t know if it is the trauma to marginal mandibular nerve or improper bone attachment of mentalis muscle. How can I fix this?

A: I will assume you have addressed this issue with your surgeon and have received guidance. That being said your description could be some weakness of the marginal mandibular branch of the facial nerve which controls the depressor action of the lower lip. The recovery of function of this monofascicular motor nerve branch is one of time only. There is no way to expedite axonal recovery within the nerve. It must do so on its own over a course of weeks or months. In most cases the nerve does recover by three months or so after surgery if not sooner.

While there may be some mentalis muscle tightness after intraoral chin implant placement, it does not usually present as lower lip asymmetry with movement.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana