Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in making my chin vertically longer. I consulted a Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon where he took x-rays and he said that I should probably do jaw surgery because he cannot do a sliding genioplasty of more than 3 mm without any hip bone grafts. Is this true? I definitely do not want to do a corrective jaw surgery because of the high risks. I would be okay with doing a sliding genioplasty but I am concerned with the involved hip procedure. Do you have pictures of patients who have had custom implants for the jaw and chin so i can see the results? Will they be similar results to someone doing a sliding genioplasty? Also how long is each of these procedures and recovery time?
A: It is absolutely not true that a vertical lengthening sliding genioplasty requires a bone graft. While a gap will be created between the two bony chin segments, the use of a synthetic hydroxyapatite block works quite well as the interpositional graft. There is even some debate as to whether this bone gap needs to be treated at all. But certainly a bone graft is not needed in my experience. I have never placed a bone graft in the many vertical sliding genioplasties that I have done.
The vertically opening sliding genioplasty and a custom implant can have very similar effects. The only potential difference is at the jawline behind the chin and how well the bony genioplasty cut blends into it. But from the front view there would be no difference in the chin lengthening effect.
Both procedures requires several weeks for most of the swelling to go down. Recovery will also involve some temporary chin and lower lip numbness. (bony genioplasty only)
Dr. Barry Eppley