How Can I Improve My Lower Lip Incompetence After Chin Implant Removal?

Q: Dr. Eppley, My lower lip sags since I had a silicone chin implant removed over 5 years ago. I only had it in for 9 months. Since then I have trouble making my lips meet and my mouth is usually gaping open. I went to a maxillofacial surgeon a couple years ago who said he thought it was caused by scar tissue in my mouth from where the implant was removed and there was nothing that could be done. Could it also be caused by my mentalis muscle?

A: Thank you for your inquiry and detailing your concerns. Chin soft tissue sag and/or lower lip incompetence is not uncommon after a chin implant is removed albeit for just a few weeks or nine months after implantation. Once the soft tissues are surgically elevated off of the bone and then the soft tissue support is removed (implant) this can happen. The key question is whether intraoral soft tissue suspension can be effective. It can be but it is more effective if some type of soft tissue support is placed underneath it such as a very thin small piece of material (e.g., medpor sheet) to which the soft tissue pad can stick to so that it doesn’t exclusively rely on the muscle suspension for uplifted success.

Dr. Barry Eppley
Indianapolis, Indiana