Can The Soft Tissue Sagging Be Corrected After Facial Implant Removal?

Q: I had a botched chin and jaw implant procedures from an inexperienced surgeon who had never done the procedures before and things didn’t turn out well. I have had both the chin implant and the jaw implant taken out. That was about a year ago. Now there is significant scar tissue and also sagging along the jaw implant lines (but not so much on the chin). Could I send photos to you? Could you be able to fix my problem and me go back to the normal chin and jaw I had before? I have read much of your material on the web and would be very grateful if you could deal with my problem and fix it to the best of your abilities.

A: Facial implants expand the contours of the implanted bone site at the expense of soft tissue stretching as well. When implants are removed, the overlying soft tissue may or may not shrink back down to its former position. The larger and bigger the implant, the less likely the soft tissue will have any recoil. This is also affected by how long the implants have been in place.

In the jaw, chin implants typically pose the greatest problem with ptosis or soft tissue sagging after removal. Jaw angle implants usually cause less of a problem because most are of the lateral augmentation design and don’t disrupt the attachment of the pteryomasseteric muscle sling at the inferior border of the jaw. This is more of a potential concern in inferolateral augmentation jaw angle implant styles.

Correction of soft tissue problems as you describe may require muscle repair back to the bone or it may be improved by overlying soft tissue suspension. I would need to see some pictures of your issues and what type of implants were initially placed.   

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana