Could A Medpor Chin Implant Removal Be Causing Pain and Swelling Years Later?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I stumbled upon an article on this site regarding removal of Medpor chin implants and I have some questions. I had a Medpor chin implant made nearly 20 years ago, but very shortly after it was done, I changed my mind and decided to get rid of it again. I only had it for three weeks or so before it was removed/explanted. 

Since then I’ve been struggling with severe autoimmune issues and I’ve always felt that there is still something left inside my chin. Something remaining there and every now and then the chin gets a little inflamed. 

I went back to the doctor who performed the surgery and he claims that Medpor always comes out in one piece and never breaks off and that all I can possibly have left inside my chin is some kind of harmless body tissue. 

Is it possible that he is wrong about this? 

Would my body really produce so much tissue in such a short period of time? And shouldn’t that tissue be gone by now then if there’s no implant left to create it? And does Medpor break off easily even if it’s only been inside for a few weeks? 

I would really, really appreciate an answer to this. Thank you so much. 

A: While I obviously have no knowledge of your chin implant and the details of its removal surgery, the easiest time to remove a Medpor chin implant is within the first few weeks after surgery before any significant tissue ingrowth has occurred. Thus it is more likely than not that the implant was removed in its entirety. But that is a general statement based on my surgical experience with the material and not a definitive answer to your specific case in which I had no participation.

While all surgery produces scar, such scar tissue after twenty years would have been completely absorbed.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana