How Easy Are Medpor Chin Implants To Remove?

Q: Dr. Eppley, approximately six weeks ago I had a medium chin implant and super petite malar implants placed by anoral surgeon. All of the implants were Medpor material. In my initial consultation the doctor told me that such implants were completely reversible if I did not like them, or if something happened to the implant. In addition, he told me that they were of a silicone type material. Two weeks after surgery when I was expressing that I didn’t think I like the chin implant he told me that it was Medpor of which my understanding is it is more difficult to remove. Now I am six weeks after surgery, and while I think the chin implant has improved slightly, I still do not think I will end up with the result I wanted. I think the chin is too big. The doctor keeps telling me it looks great do not worry about it. I went to see another surgeon, (a facial plastic surgeon) he said that he believes that he can take out the chin implant and has done a few before. He said he is unsure if the chin will assume its original appearance and that the risk of permanent nerve damage to the chin for removal is quite substantial. The original implant was placed via a submental incision and I had loss of sensation for a month or so the first time. In your experience how often is the nerve damage permanent after removing this type of implant? Should I learn to live with the chin implant that is making me self-conscious?

A: Three comments based on my experience with a wide variety of chin implants:

1) You need to wait a full three months after any type of facial implant to get an accurate assessment of the final shape. It takes that long for all tissues to settle.

2) Medpor implants can be removed fairly easily in my experience. The risk of nerve damage is not much greater with its removal than with its placement in most cases. But it depends on the size of the implant and how long it has been in place.

3) Whether the chin will resume its normal shape depends on the size of the implant placed and how much the tissue has been stretched. If in doubt at its removal, the expanded soft tissue should be tucked and tightened to avoid any soft tissue ptosis.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana