Q: Dr. Eppley, I had a reduction genioplasty (chin reduction) six days ago and there is some significant swelling. The doctor who performed the procedure said that I have to wear a compression garment around the chin to help the tissues to mold around the new chin. Whenever I remove it I find that the tissue has taken the shape of the garment. Will this be the long term result once the swelling goes down? Does the garment play any role in the shape?
A: It is important to realize that the result from any bony genioplasty procedure, including a chin reduction, takes a full six to eight weeks to be fully seen. At just one week from surgery there is tremendous swelling, most of which has not yet resolved yet and causes a lot of chin distortion. Thus your chin will appear mishapen and far from the final result regardless of whether you wear a compressive garment or not. The chin strap will help some of the swelling to go down quicker and get a normal chin shape sooner than if it was never worn at all. But I would certainly not worry about the shape the chin is caused by the garment with the early swelling present.
Dr. Barry Eppley