Sliding Genioplasty Recovery

Q: Dr. Eppley, It’s been one month since my sliding genioplasty surgery and I am starting to feel that my results are just getting worse every day.  I’ve attached some pictures for you to see. My whole right side of my face looks rotated upwards & even more crooked than before.  Is there any chance this is going to get better?  I have a dent and now I also have lines on my right side.

A: I think it is important to understand that four weeks, which seems like an eternity when one is the patient, is a very brief time after surgery and many issues have yet to resolve or become clear. In intraoral genioplasties I do not judge the aesthetic outcome and any functional issues for at least six months. When the mentalis muscle is disassembled, the bone cut and moved and the muscle then reassembled, many expected short-term issues will appear. Stiffness and aberrant movements (soft tissue distortions) of the chin pad will initially develop as it heals as one might expect from such disruption of the anatomy. These almost always resolve but it will take time and patience to get there. Until all swelling, numbs and stiffness of the tissues resolve, you are not close to what the final functional outcome may be. The resolution and complete adaptation of the soft tissues down to the bone always takes much longer than any patient thinks. It would be impossible that your face is more crooked than before surgery given exactly what was done. Again the six month time period is when the true final outcome can be determined.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana