Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in jaw angle implants and cheek implants. I’m 31 years old and I’ve always felt my cheeks and jawline have been a bit “soft” and chubby despite me being rather skinny, so I was hoping you could give me your opinion. I’ve attached a couple images to the post but I’ve also uploaded a file here which includes multiple angles of my face: I wanted to discuss whether surgery might be appropriate on the following areas, given I’m not at all overweight and I don’t think I could address them via weight loss:
1) You can see there is some fat under my chin towards the back of my neck in the first picture when the camera is tilted upwards (I’m 6’1″ tall so it’s fairly visible in everyday life).
2) You can see from the side views that my jawline is quite “soft” and not well defined in general, particularly towards the back.
3) What I assume is the jowl area (labelled in red on one of the images) also seems quite “chubby” and both hangs down below my jawline and makes my lower face wider and less defined than it would otherwise be. There’s also a pre-jowl “hole” in my jawline in the 3/4 view that may or may not be connected with this.
4) My cheek area as a whole just seems quite flat and undefined when seen from the front. There doesn’t seem to be much shape there, it’s kinda just a large empty space.
I’ve had a chin implant in the past (Implantech Anatomical Chin sized large) and I’m generally content with the new position of my chin, but I was told I had an underdeveloped jaw and I assume that is contributing to these issues. However, as the surgery to fix that issue is such a major undertaking I was hoping it would be possible to address these issues via other methods.
I’m curious as to whether these issues are caused by excess fat or by skeletal deficiency? Would liposuction be a good idea? Are cheek implants a possibility to give my cheeks a bit more structure?
I had cheek implants placed roughly 18 months ago, but I had them removed again 6 months ago as I felt they made my face too wide (and a little feminine), particularly when I was smiling. However, we never really discussed the different areas of the cheek that could be enhanced via an implant before the surgery, so I’m unsure if I was unsuitable for implants in general or if the type of implant was simply poorly chosen.
Thanks for your time and apologies for the long email!
A: Thank you for your inquiry and sending your pictures. For our jawline, I think the fundamental problem is that of skeletal deficiency. By your own admission you had a naturally shorter and underdeveloped jawline that ideally should be treated by orthognathic surgery. But, understandably, you do not want to purse that amount of effort. The chin implant has now provided adequate anterior jawline projection but the rest of the jawline behind it remains deficient and actually now has become more apparent with the chin being corrected. Your jaw angles are high and deficient. This creates a relative soft tissue excess/looseness. While liposuction can be done around the jaw angles and along the jawline, it is not really going to reshape these areas. This is an issue of volume deficiency particularly at the jaw angles. Either preformed or custom jaw angle implants are what you really need to complete the total jawline augmentation effect.
Since you have had cheek implants that were not successful, any reconsideration of them should be done more thoughtfully. I would need to see before and after pictures of your initial cheek implant results and to know exactly what style and size of cheek implants that were used. It is certainly true that a cheek implant is not just a cheek implant. There are different styles of cheek implants and, in my experience, most of the available cheek implant styles are not really made for men. (just like most chin implants do not really work well for most women)
Dr. Barry Eppley