What Is The Best Way To Plan For Revision of My Facial Implants?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have a slight asymmetry that affects most of my face, though the only place I noticed it was in my lower jaw. My chin grew too far to one side, and that side was under developed. I had implants put in to make the developed side fuller, my chin was filed down and capped to make it symmetrical. The problem was that after the surgery the side of my face didn’t have implants put in then looked very small. My dad said I looked like the “Janis” Roman coin with a different face on each side. I saw the same surgeon for a corrective procedure where he took out the chin piece almost entirely and only added a piece to make it symmetrical on that side. The result was a very odd look. I think because the jaw implant was designed to go with the chin implant, when the chin implant was gone it no longer worked. I look like I have constant swelling on one side of my face. This was all five years ago. I didn’t have the heart to ask my parents to pay for another surgery. I have been saving since then and I think that I can afford it now. I recently started orthodontics again and can send you current photos of my face and can send you x-rays that show the implants. 

I have several concerns, which you will probably need to see these pictures to answer. The first is, do I have unreasonably expectations. I think that I could expect to have symmetry, and a face I don’t try to grow a beard to hide, but I don’t have your experience. This is a tremendous amount of money for me and I won’t have the money to try again if this surgery is unsuccessful so I would rather not go for it if I can’t expect good results. I imagine the previous implants are grown in, I don’t know what that means for your surgery. 

Facing me, my right side is too full, my chin is too weak. I would ideally like to pull out the chin implant that is there now and create a new implant that wraps from (facing me) my left side to the implants on the right side. This would lengthen the chin so I wouldn’t have the fat face effect. It would also add filling to the left side so I wouldn’t have the janis effect. Hopefully, it would be symmetrical. Because my whole face is off slightly I worry that a 3d rendering of my jaw may allow for a perfectly symmetrical jaw, that does not look symmetrical. I am sure you could address that.

A: When you have a significant facial asymmetry that has failed previous attempts at ‘simplistic’ correction (estimating the amounts of augmentation), one can assume that this is partly a function of the planning stage. While one can never predict with absolute certainty as to how any bone surgery will create a change on the outside,  it is reasonable however to strive for optimal facial symmetry. This is best done with a 3-D CT scan and model fabricated to properly diagnose the problems and design/fabricate custom facial implants that would best correct them.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana