Can You Answer These Questions About A Chin Osteotomy?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I need to have my chin brought forward as it is very weak. I know that the bone hs to be moved given how short it is. I want to have this surgery but I have a lot of questions. I am hoping you can answer them for me. Will I need to put braces or get some teeth removed to do this? How long will I have to stay in the hospital and how long will it take me to recover completely? In case I meet with an accident in the future and hit the chin, what would be the consequences? In case I meet with an accident in just a few weeks/months after the surgery and hit the chin, what would be the consequences? What are the risks of this surgery? In case the results are not what I desire, what kind of measures do you use to fix it? Any long term side effects? How painful will it be, and for how long can the pain last. Are there any breathing problems? How different is this from a complete jaw surgery? Are there any visible scars after the surgery? If yes, where exactly on the face? Thank you in advance for taking your time to answer my many questions.

A: If one is having the whole jaw advanced, braces are needed. I have not seen your bite nor do I know if you have any interest in changing it. If so, then presurgical orthodontics are needed. However, I am assuming that this is a chin osteotomy advancement and not the whole jaw so the answer would be that no braces are needed. All the remaining answers are based on a chin osteotomy procedure. This is an outpatient procedure and is done in a surgery center not a hospital. The chin bone will heal normally and will be no different than your normal chin bone is now once full healed. The chin would not move after the surgery since plates and screws are holding it together as it heals. The biggest risk of surgery is some temporary numbness of the lip and chin. If the look is not adequate or the chin not advanced far enough, the bone can always be readjusted or an implant placed to augment it further. I have never seen this so it is unlikely. There is no risk of breathing problems from chin surgery. Most patients report that the chin area is sore and mildly uncomforatble but not  severe pain. In a chin osteotomy, only the deficient chin bone is moved and does not involve movement of the rest of the jaw and the teeth. Everything is done inside the mouth. There are no external scars.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis Indiana