Q: Dr. Eppley, I am a 25 year old male interested in jaw augmentation surgery, and from reading your very informative blog posts I believe what would best suit me is a custom jaw implant. In broadly qualitative terms, what I want to achieve is an overall squaring of my jaw, an improved definition of my jawline and a strengthening of my chin, increasing the size and ‘strength’ of my lower third.
In more specific terms, I think this will include:
-Chin: Broadening my chin; projecting it forward; and increasing its vertical length.
-Jaw: Widening my jaw laterally, decreasing the gonial angle, and adding horizontal and vertical length to the jaw.
I don’t believe I’m able to attach pictures via this online form – obviously they are the best way for you to make an initial assessment on how I might achieve those aims, and I’d be very happy to attach them in further emails for your expert opinion.
Regarding initial questions about jaw augmentation. surgery more generally, could you advise me on the following:
1) Does the above sound like it would be feasibly achievable through a custom jaw implant?
2) Could you sketch out the broad timelines that you would expect going from initial consultations to designing an implant to the surgery itself?
3) I live outside the U.S. – would this present any problems as an overseas patient, and how long would I need to spend in the US pre- and post- operatively? Would I need to travel to Indianapolis before surgery for a face to face consultation, or can all of these be done virtually?
4) What is the likelihood of infection in custom jaw implants? Typically how often after surgery would any infection become apparent, and what implications would that have post-surgery (i.e. could it likely just be treated with antibiotics, would the implant have to be removed, could it be replaced, etc)
5) Beyond infection, what are the other main causes of complication in custom jaw implants? How likely are these?
6) While all elective surgery obviously carries risk, how risky are custom jaw implants in the grand scheme of elective surgery? (apologies if this is too obtuse or vague a question!)
7) How long lasting are custom implants? Are they designed to last a lifetime, or is it likely I would need a replacement at some point in the future?
Thanks you very much for any initial information you can provide, and I look forward to talking further.
A: Thank you for your inquiry. In answer to your jaw augmentation by custom jawline implant questions:
1) Every dimensional jawline change you have mentioned are very typical for most young males.
2)It takes about 4 to 6 weeks, after receiving a 3D CT scan, to design, manufacture and be available for surgery.
3) Most patients in my practice are from afar so your situation is common. The consult and any subsequent discussions are done in a virtual fashion. There is no reason to come here for a consultation first…unless you want to do so.
4) The risk of infection in jawline implants is about 5%. They are always initially treated with antibiotics and most, but not all, can be successfully treated without further surgery. I have a very specific postoperative care protocol to lessen the likelihood of such occurrences as much as possible.
5) Beyond infection all other custom jawline implant complications are aesthetic in nature. (size and symmetry)
6) A custom jawline implant is not risker than other type of standard facial implant…it is just a bigger implant and to some degree has less aesthetic risks than using standard implants.
7) A custom jawline implant is designed to be lifelong device. The material never degrades or breaks down.
I will have my assistant Camille contact you to schedule a virtual consultation time. In the interim please send me some pictures of your face for my assessment and computer imaging for jawline augmentation.
Dr. Barry Eppley