Are Custom Wrap Around Jaw Implants Reversible?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have a question regarding wrap around jaw implants. I’m one who always likes to play things safe and I ideally only do procedures that are reversible. With regard to wrap around jaw implants, are they completely reversible? Google searches have not yielded much results for me. While many sites claim such procedures are reversible, I’ve only seen some say that the soft tissue changes, as well as possibly bone changes, after implants may cause permanent changes even if the implants are removed. Is this accurate? And if so, does getting the implant removed early on (day after a couple of months) mitigate it? Of course I would not get implants with the intention of removing them, but I recognize that no result is perfectly predictable, so I’d like to play it safe. 

Thank you.

A: In answer to your questions about custom jawline implants:

1) All such implants are completely reversible, meaning the implant can be removed. But I don’t think that is what you meant by reversible.

2) I believe you are referring to whether you face would completely return to normal shape if the implant were subsequently removed. The answer to that question would depend on how big the implant was and how long it had been in place. While I suspect that for the most part the tissues would shrink back down and return to normal or very close to it, the ‘safest’ answer is don’t have the surgery. That is the most assured method of having he identical face shape you have now.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana