Q: Dr. Eppley, I feel like I have always had a weak chin amd jawline. It makes too feminine and disproportionate to the rest of my face. As a result, I have been considering getting a chin implant. My concern is that I am HIV positive but otherwise healthy. I have been on antiviral meds for the past ten years. Becuase of this medical condition I feel a little bit vain as I don’t want to risk my health and cause a problem with the surgery. What has been your experience with this surgery in HIV patients.
A: The medical evidence is fairly clear on the risks of elective surgery in HIV patients. There are no apparent increased risks or complications from surgery as long as one’s counts/levels are good. As long as you are not immunosuppressed, the outcomes from elective facial surgery are the same as non-HIV patients. I have treated numerous HIV patients with chin augmentation procedures, including implants and osteotomies, and have not seen any problems. Therefore, if this is a procedure that will make you feel better there are no increased medical risks for doing so.
Dr. Barry Eppley