Q: Dr. Eppley, have a medpor chin implant that I have had since 2008. It has become infected. I am taking antibiotics and soon I will have it removed. I don’t think my surgeon has ever removed a medpor chin implant. In your opinion is it too risky to have someone how hasn’t removed one before perform this surgery? How many medpor chin implants have you removed? Thank you.
A: Thank you for your inquiry. That is most unusual to develop an infection in a chin implant that has been in for years. Regardless, removal is the appropriate treatment now. I have removed/replaced numerous medpor facial implants over the years, most commonly the chin and jaw angle areas. Most of these have been for aesthetic purposes where they are well integrated into the tissues and can be challenging but successfully removed. I have done very few for infection reasons but they are always a little easier as they may not have ares that have a tight tissue bone due to the infection. I can not comment on whether your surgeon is up to the task in removing it but they should be prepared that it will not just slide or jump out like a silicone chin implant would.
The other issue you have to ponder is whether you want to do an immediate replacement or not. Some surgeons prefer to wait several months which is the standard approach while immediate replacement with a new chin implant can also be successful but with a slightly higher risk of recurrent infection. This can be successful because the infection is mostly in the porous material which, once removed, eliminates the primary source of the infection.
Dr. Barry Eppley