Q: Dr. Eppley, I know you warned me that the jaw angle implant recovery would involve substantial swelling for a while. I am at the 2 week mark. I can tell I should not have gone with any ‘drop down’ with the implant. This change is a bit more than what I was looking for. I should have stuck with just 3 mm width, no vertical lengthening. I am wondering what is the next step to getting this fixed. Would I be able to get them replaced with smaller ones (or completely removed)? And, could this happen soon? I am sort of desperate at the moment, I am really sorry. I do need your help on this.
A: I am going to give you some advice on jaw angle implant recovery based on an enormous experience with them in young male patients. You may choose to take it or not and I will do whatever your decision may be.
- I have heard your concerns from innumerable young men who have had jaw angle implant surgery and it is always about the same time period…about two weeks out from surgery. At this point you are far from seeing the final result, both physically and psychologically. On average 50% of the swelling is gone in10 days, 75% in 3 weeks and 95% by 6 weeks after surgery. So while you may think you know what the final outcome will be, you do not. No one can say for sure at this point in the incomplete recovery process. There is also the ‘getting used to’ the new look which takes much longer. So any decision made today is a premature one that could result in an unnecessary surgery.
- The economically prudent and medically advised recommendation is to give the recovery process a minimum of 6 weeks and ideally one should not have revisional surgery for three months after any form of facial skeletal surgery. (temporal implants are NOT like facial skeletal surgery) Any surgery before that time period is really chasing a moving target from an aesthetic standpoint.
- Any surgery before this time period has elapsed is really an emotional one that is not based on logical thinking. I will do it but I need to make clear I do not think it is a wise choice. After three months you may still come to the same conclusion (or not) but at least you will know an undisputable clear idea of the result and how you really feel about it.
Dr. Barry Eppley