Chin Wing Surgery

Q: Dr. Eppley, In the past you have spoken about the “chin wing” surgery procedure and conveyed you are not a big fan of it

On some surgery forums however, it has come out in the wash that the procedure being described by European surgeons to treat problems of jaw width is not the “chin wing” as is traditionally described in the literature but rather would be more aptly described as a “side wing” where instead of making a cut and sliding forward, the focus is on widening the mandible and then fixing in place I believe.

Have you heard of anything like this and what is your opinion on such an approach? Its my understanding the augmentation of such an approach is very limited at what can be achieved in one operation, but can also be enhanced by widening the chin at the same time.

A: My opinion about any bone procedure that tries to augment the entire jawline is that it conceptually flawed. It is simply not possible to move the jawline around, regardless of the dimensions, to have a profound jawline augmentation effect. It simply will not be effective for most patients. I certainly understand the appeal of using our own bone. But when the aesthetic result can not be achieved, and bony stepoffs result, the use of one’s own bone becomes an irrelevant advantage. When one compares what any bone procedure can do versus a custom jawline implant…there is no comparison.

But it also depends now what type of jawline augmentation one wants to achieve. For some limited improvement, like chin advancement and widening, such bone procedures are useful. Just not for an entire jawline effect.

The conclusion is I am a big fan of what works and not a big fan of procedures that don’t.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana