Q: Dr. Eppley, is there a chin implant that can make a cleft chin? I would like to get a cleft with my chin implant augmentation and I am told that cleft chin implants exist but do they work?
A: Contrary to popular belief, a chin implant that has a central cleft in it either manufactured that way or intraoperatively put in it will not create the appearance of an external chin cleft. It seems like that chin implant approach would work but it does not.
The key to making a vertical cleft in the chin when using an implant is to use/make a clefted chin implant but then the overlying soft tissue must be thinned out and then sewn down into the implant cleft or even all the way down to the bone. What makes it work is the suture technique down to the bone.
I wish it was as easy as putting in a cleft chin implant and creating a visible external chin cleft…but it is not.
Dr. Barry Eppley