Is A Chin Implant Or Sliding Genioplasty Better For Me?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I’ve attached your original morph (which I like very much) as well as 5 clear photos of myself from all angles. Forgive me for being so thorough, but I want to give you as much to go off of as possible since it is not feasible for me to meet him until the day before surgery, and my original photos were not as clear.

I have slight natural chin asymmetry. I believe he stated that he may be able to position the implant so as to not accentuate asymmetry, but I want to be sure I am clear on this aspect. What is the difference in approach,  if any, when using a standard implant on someone with mild asymmetry like myself? Or is it likely that the implant will also be asymmetrical?

A: As I stated earlier the dimensional changes you seek for your chin can be equally achieved by either a standard chin implant or a sliding genioplasty. In these circumstances the decision between two then comes down to cost, any predilection towards either an autologous vs alloplastic approach and the procedure’s reversibility/ease of secondary modification.

Of these three deciding factors the only one I can provide insight about is the latter…the ability to secondarily reverse or modify the result. This is certainly more easily done with an implant. While patient’s understandably never think before surgery about this very important concept, the reality is that in the broader world of facial reshaping surgery this is not uncommon at all. You can look at all the computer imaging you want but, in the end, you have to ‘wear it’ to really know how you feel about it. There is no way to predict beforehand with unerring accuracy any patient’s emotional acceptance of any type of facial shape change.

While one can try and shift the implant to camouflage a bony chin asymmetry, it is important to remember this is not a custom chin implant made specifically for your bony anatomy. Thus efforts at trying to correct the asymmetry by a standard chin should be viewed as hopeful but not assured. Its improvement is best viewed as a bonus but not absolutely expected.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana