Q: I had a chin surgery in the past with a silicone implant placed from inside my mouth. I didn’t like it so the doctor removed it two weeks later. Within a few days after its removal, I could feel fluid inside. The doctor removed it by a needle and it looked fine. But five days later I had a hard ball in my chin and the doctor told me that it was scar tissue. He assured me that I would return to the profile I had before my surgery. But it did not go back and I went to see another doctor who also told me it was scar tissue and injected me with steroids. The steroid helped a little but the labiomental sulcus is still much fuller than it was before the chin implant was placed. It now feels soft but is still fat. I think that the majority of the problem is in the upper part of the chin in the mentolabial sulcus. I don’t have the normal S curve that divides the chin and the lips. When you touch it you can feel something soft inside and the doctors here have told me it is scar tissue but they only want to fix the problem with more steroid injections. But I am afraid now because I have a dent from the steroids. Do you think it is possible to take out the scar tissue in the labiomental sulcus ?
A: You have experienced one of the problems from intraoral chin implant placement. When the implant is removed, the muscles remain expanded and an ‘open’ pocket exists where the implant once was. While the implant removal was undoubtably done quickly and easily in the office, no effort was made to put the mentalis muscle back in place and re-tighten it. A technique well known in plastic surgery as eliminating the dead space. Since the body abhors dead space, it will fill it with serous fluid…a perfect nidus for the development of scar tissue.
My recommended approach for this type of chin scar revision is excise scar tissue and reposition the muscle back down to the bone. This would be done from inside the mouth through your old incision. This is the most assured way to get back your chin profile and re-establish the depth of the labiomental sulcus.
Dr. Barry Eppley