Q: Dr. Eppley, I have a question regarding chin implant fixation. I’m still having trouble deciding whether to travel to get my implant done by a surgeon who will use screw fixation, as it would obviously increase the costs. Do implants secured with screw fixation cause additional issues over unsecured implants if infection occurs? For example, would screw-fixated silicone implants be more difficult to remove than non-fixated? Would they require special attention since infections could spread into the bone tissue via the holes used for the screws or anything like that?
A: Your concerns about screws in chin implant fixation are unfounded. Chin implants secured by screws are no more difficult to remove than those that are not. A screw is not a source of infection into the bone should the rare incidence of infection occur after chin implant placement. Some of your thoughts about screws are probably based on the misconception of their size. Screws used for skull and facial implants are 1.5mm in diameter, roughly the same size as screws used in a pair of eye or sunglasses. When the screw is placed on a penny, it is only as big as Lincoln’s jaw.
Dr. Barry Eppley
Q: Dr. Eppley, I want to have a chin implant, I want to ask you is a chin implant with a screw holding it into position a must so that it won’t move? One doctor said screw is not necessary as she said you can extend anteriorly more than 1 cm it and it depends on how the doctor carves out the implant so it won’t move place. Is what she said true and effective?
A: How any surgeon secures their facial implants is a matter of personal preference and experience. I prefer to screw all facial implants into place when possible to get the best aesthetic result (assured position) and never have to worry about them every moving or sliding from where I want them. That is my personal preference and has served me and my patients well over the years. Just because other surgeons make not choose that technique of implant fixation, or any fixation at all, does not make them wrong. That is obviously what works for them.
Dr. Barry Eppley