Will Removal of Medpor Jaw Angle Implants Cause A Nerve Injury?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I got my medpor jaw angle implant procedure over 2 years ago.  One year ago I had one side of the implant shaved down to make my face look more symmetrical.  But, the second procedure caused a mandibular nerve injury, which has impacted my smile and caused a dimple in my chin.  My smile and chin are improving, but very slowly.  I’m confident that my smile and chin will heal eventually on its own. 

If I go ahead and get these implants removed by Dr. Eppley, what are the chances of getting another nerve injury?  I was planning to get a 3D CT scan soon, which would probably help Dr. Eppley see where my nerves are and if it’s possible to safely remove my implants?

A: You  are referring to an injury to the marginal mandibular branch of the facial nerve. A nerve that is not seen on a bone scan unlike the inferior alveolar nerve that runs through the bone which is a sensory nerve not a motor nerve. It is not clear to me how that nerve got injured if the jaw angle implants were placed intraorally. It could have occurred if they were placed externally through a skin incision near the jaw angle but not intraorally.

There is a good motto to remember about recurrent surgical risks….past history predicts future behavior.

Dr. Barry Eppley

World-Renowned Plastic Surgeon