How Great Are the Risks of Damage to the Lower Lip Nerves After Having a Chin Implant?

Doctor Answers 4

Risk of lower lip nerve damage after chin implant

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The chances of injuring the nerves that give feeling to the lower lip (mental nerves) during a chin implant is quite low. In a small number of cases temporary (a few weeks) decreased lip sensation is possible from nerve swelling, but this is not typical. During implant placement care is taken to avoid injuring the mental nerves such that permanent numbness is exceedingly rare.

Chin implant question regarding post op numbness

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There is a chance of temporary and rarely permanent numbness to the lower lip from chin implant surgery.  Generally this is not a common long term problem and recovers with time.   By performing an external approach chin implant with a small incision below the mandible the implant is placed below the small nerves that exit the jaw below under lower canine teeth.   In cases that a soft silastic chin implant is used the chance of numbness is low.  With the use of  a hard implant made of medpore the surgeon may need to cut out two mall notches to avoid the implant rubbing up against the nerve  causing pain or numbness.   The larger the implant used the higher the risk of numbness.

With a competent surgeon, the risk of nerve damage with chim implant is negligible.

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This is really very safe surgery.  The plastic surgeon just has to know the anatomy and stay away from the nerves.  Go to someone who has done a bunch of them.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Risks of Damage to the Lower Lip Nerves by having a Chin Implant?

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Sensation to the lower lip is conducted by a nerve that exits the lower jaw  from a small opening directly under the canine tooth. In the process of placing a large and wide chin implant (especially through the mouth as opposed from a small under the chin incision) the nerve can be stretched. The vast majority of such injuries recover sensation but there is always a small number of permanent numbness associated with this operation.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

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