Can I Fly Over From Europe For My Chin Surgery?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have a couple of questions about doing a genioplasty to reduce the length of my chin. First of all a vertical shortening of the chin would require an intra-oral approach, correct? Or could it be done via submental approach? Where would you rank this procedure in terms of potential risks and permanent negative outcomes? Als, how is it with European patients? Have you had people fly over from Europe before? And if so, how is the process concerning consultation, surgery and post-surgery follow-up? Is it possible to fly over for a consultation followed by surgery on the same, or one of the next few days? Or is an online consultation enough for you to assess the patient? Maybe an x-ray exam. is required for a procedure like the one I'm heavily contemplating?

A: In answer to your questions:

1) A vertical chin reduction osteotomy needs to be performed intraorally. The only risk of this procedure, besides have we achieved the aesthetic goal, is some temporary lip and chin numbness from the mental nerve which will be exposed in doing the procedure. While some permanent sensory loss is possible, that is not something that patients have reported to me.

2) We have many far away patients from all over the world so we are very familiar with how to manage them. As we are now doing, all of the details of diagnosis and treatment planning can be done by e-mail. My assistant will arrange for a Skype consultation as it is always good to talk, if possible, face-to-face from afar although this is not absolutely necessary. Surgery is arranged and then the patient arrives the day before and then we can meet in person at that time. Surgery is performed the next day and you should be able to return home within 48 hours. There are no sutures to remove and no real physical restrictions after surgery. Follow-up is done just as we are doing now by e-mail. From a chin osteotomy, expect some significant swelling for a few weeks after surgery but usually no bruising.

3) The only preoperative test that I would need is a lateral cephalometric x-ray so I can take measurements and see how much chin bone can be safely removed/reduced.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana