Is A Chin Osteotomy The Right Procedure For Me?

Q: I have recently consulted with a maxillofacial surgeon who has recommended performing a chin osteotomy procedure. He intends to remove a 3mm wedge (for vertical reduction) as well as a 3mm advancement, with the osteotomy performed at a slight upward angle. I seem to have the unique situation of anterior mandibular vertical excess with a very flat labiomental fold (which would be enhanced by the advancement) What are your thoughts on the success of this procedure?

A: Without looking at photos and x-rays, it would be impossible for me to comment on whether this is a good procedure for your concerns or not. That is a technically sound chin osteotomy procedur and is very straightforward to do. The only question I would raise about it is that these bony movements (3mms) are fairly small. Such small movements are unlikely to make much of an external visible change, albeit a very modest one. To take down the chin bone by osteotomy for this amount of bony movement seems like a ‘solution that is bigger than the problem’. For a horizontal advancement of 3mms, an implant would be far less invasive. For a vertical reduction of 3mms, there is no other solution than osteotomy and bone removal. This makes it a difficult decision in my mind as to whether the problem justifies this degree of surgical effort.  I would look at your chin concerns carefully and would reconsider carefully the potential benefits and risks of this type of chin surgery.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis Indiana