Q:I am looking at having a revision surgery on my chin for what I believe is a partial non-attachment of the soft tissue to the hydroxyapatite implant. Some of my chin hang independently from the rest and looks aged. My surgery was two years ago. I am contacting you because I see you have specific knowledge of the intricacies of chin surgery. Could you give me some information about what I should do now and whether you have dealt with this problem before?
A: Thank you for your inquiry. Before I can answer your questions specifically, let me get some details as to your chin surgery from two years ago. You refer to having a hydroxyapatite implant placed. Since there are no off-the-shelf hydroxypatite implants of which I am aware, I assume that this was an intraoperatively carved one that was done from a block of material. Furthermore, I am assuming that it was placed intraorally (through the mouth) as opposed to under the chin through the skin.
Your description of your concern’s sounds like what is known as a ‘witch’s chin deformity’, otherwise known as soft tissue chin ptosis. There is where the chin soft tissues sag off of the end of the bone/implant. Because any type of chin implant augmentation must detach the muscles, there is that risk after surgery although it almost exclusively occurs from an intraoral approach.
Please send me some photos of your chin and provide answers to my questions, then I will be able to confirm this diagnosis. I have seen this numerous times and the appropriate correction (implant notwithstanding) in most cases is a mentalis muscle resuspension procedure.
Dr. Barry Eppley