Can I Have Smartlipo If I Have A Chin Implant?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I’m interested in having Smart Lipo to remove some fat on my chin.  However, I have a chin implant that I got 16 years ago. One doctor told me that the risk of infection would be higher and the heat from the laser could move or melt the implant.  He advised me to get another opinion and to ask the doctor before I make the appointment because some doctors’ immediate answer may be no.  Can you please tell me about the risks and whether this is a good idea or not. Thanks very much.

A: My question to you  is what you mean by ‘chin liposuction’. Do you mean having liposuction on the chin pad proper (which is highly unusual and associated with risks of irregularities) or do you mean liposuction under the chin area, formally known as the submental region?

Either way, I would see no negative effect of the laser probe on a chin implant. The location of a chin implant is deep and against the bone and is beneath the fat layer of the chin. There is also the mentalis muscle which exists between the chin fat pad and the implant. In addition, the melting temperature of polymerized silicone is quite high (over 350 degrees F) and the heat generated by a fiberoptic laser probe does not create or should not create field temperatures higher than 145 degrees F. In addition, inadvertent touching of the end of the laser probe to the implant (which should not happen based on the previous description of where the implant is located) will still not cause it to melt.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana