Chin Reduction Options?

Q: Dr. Eppley, We are interested in chin reduction for our daughter. She is now 17 years of age. Through her orthodontist we have been told that she wiuld need a chin reduction. We have been to visit a plastic surgeon in our local area who is willing to operate on her but we would like to find someone with your level of expertise. We would like to what your thoughts are on what type of chin reduction surgery should be done. I have attached some pictures of her for your assessment.  Many thanks.

A: That you for sending your daughter’s pictures which is extremely helpful. She has an unusual excessive chin problem as it is very horizontally protrusive but also vertically short. This creates a prominent chin ‘knob’ deformity. While I don’t know what the bone looks like underneath (it would be helpful to see a lateral cephalometric x-rays from her orthodontist who undoubtably has one) her excessive chin problem is both a bone and soft tissue issue. Both have to be addressed to produce a satisfactory chin reduction result, removing soft tissue alone will not work. While the bone may be horizontally excessive, her chin is also vertically short. Her entire lower face is actually vertically short compared to the rest of her face. Ideally you would want to convert the excessive horizontal bone to increased vertical chin height. This would stretch out some of the horizontally excessive soft tissue which is just following where the bone is. Then any excessive soft tissue could be removed. While this may be the ideal approach, it would entail two stages to do so. The other approach would be a one-stage submental chin reduction with removal of excessive horizontal bone which would then allow some of the excessive soft tissue chin pad to be removed and tucked under. This would still leave the chin vertically short but would offer significant improvement in a single surgery.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana