Custom Jawline Implant Recovery

Q: Dr. Eppley, I know it is still early my custom jawline implant recovery process and I will wait for more of the swelling to subside in the next couple months but I am concerned that the implant may be too wide for my face. Potentially, I think the size of my masseter muscle and the size of the implant may have been too aggressive, combined. You can see in the picture that it actually the widest part of my head now. I know it is a bit pre-mature and I will wait and see if the result changes, but is there a process where you could potentially modify the current implant and make it smaller if need be? Thank you.

A: Thank you for the very early followup and I certainly appreciate your concerns. I have seen and heard it from just about every patient whether it is from a custom jawline implant or just isolated jaw angle implants. When one looks like Quagmire  (American Dad), it is very understandable that one thinks the implant may be too wide. (big) And while that may eventually be proven to be true in your ultimate aesthetic judgment, I can offer you the following insightful commentary.

At less than 10 days from surgery, you have not even had 50% of the swelling to go down. The swelling over the jaw angles is always the largest because the thickest of the masseter muscles allows for a large amount of swelling to develop that is very facially distorting. This is very evident in the classic very round appearance to the back of the lower jaw. There is considerable swelling to go down at this point and most people don’t start to feel better about the result until about 3 weeks from surgery. (when about two-thirds of the swelling has gone down) At this point the face starts to assume a more normal shape, albeit still bigger than the implant has actually created, as the final swelling and tissue wrapping down and around the implant has yet to occur.

I would highly doubt that you will see that the implant is too wide by 2 months or so after surgery. But in the advent that you feel that it is, the current implant can be  modified to be smaller. (less wide)

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana