How Long Is The Scar From A Submental Chin Reduction?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am a 32 year-female with a chin issue. My chin doesn’t look too bad when I’m not smiling because I have a large nose so it is somewhat in balance.  However when I smile, I have excess soft tissue that almost looks like cellulite on my chin and it then sticks out more.  It is an appearance that is very similar to what I understand is witch’s chin deformity or chin ptosis.  I would like to know what you recommend for this problem and what the cost would be.  From reading your blog, I would presume that you would suggest some chin burring using the underneath the chin approach and soft tissue excision.  My concern of course is the length and visibility of the scar and I wondered what your experience with that has been. What is the average size of the scar? Is it visible from a frontal view and does it fade significantly over time? Also, do you think you can effect significant improvement in my problem or would the change be only minor?

A: In looking at your pictures, I suspect most of your chin issue is a soft tissue problem with a small bone component to it. That makes the submental approach the most effective treatment. The submental chin reduction scar is about 4 cm long and is curved to match the border of the lower jawline. Quite frankly, the effectiveness of the procedure is a balance of how much soft tissue tightening/removal can be done vs keeping the scar as short as possible. The scar is not visible from the front view and the redness of the scar does fade with time. I suspect the final result would be somewhere between a minor change vs a significant improvement. That is probably the best way to think about it. It is going to change, it is just a question of how much.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana