How Soon After Surgery Can I Have My Jaw Angle Implants Adjusted/Exchanged?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I had a jaw angle augmentation surgery done over a week ago and now that major swelling has subsided I’m noticing that my implants are way too big, they make my face look round, like a watermelon, and not long and squared like I wanted them to. My question is: can the implant be taken out, reshaped and placed back in? Do you recommend this or should new implants be ordered? Will the revision surgery have the same amount of swelling/downtime as the intial one? Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions.

A: Quite frankly, if I have heard these same concerns from one male patient who has had jaw angle implants, I have heard it from the last fifty. You are jumping the gun in trying to determine just one week out form surgery what the results will be. Jaw angle implants cause, by far, the largest amount of swelling of any of the facial implants. Patients generally swell up like a balloon and don’t even start to look human again until three weeks after surgery when maybe 50% of the swelling has subsided. I would not even try to judge the results obtained by these implants until at least six weeks after surgery…three months is even better. Swelling aside, there are numerous other factors which control the shape of the jaw angle afterwards including the original jaw angle deformity and what style of jaw angle implants were used. Size of the implants is one issue but style of the implant and where on the bone they were placed and how they were  secured is even more important. Patience is the key for now. It is just as ‘easy’ later to adjust or switch out the implants at six weeks or three months as it is now. You will only benefit by patient and more healing time to make the right decision.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana