Is It Normal for the Lower Lip to Feel Numb Weeks After Chin Implant?

I had a chin implant 4 weeks ago and my lower lip is still numb. Also, I can't speak, eat, or smile as I did before, and the smile is really unattractive. When will I gain feeling back in my lower lip? There is also a dimple that appears in my chin as I speak. Is that temporary as well?

Doctor Answers 12

Chin Implant Recovery

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There are two approaches to doing a chin implant, through the mouth and under the chin.  Each has its advantages.

Most younger people choose through the mouth because their skin under the chin is so nice and perfect that they don't want an incision.  If you already have a scar (common childhood injury), a crease, or are having other surgery on the neck that requires that incision, you should have the chin implant placed that way.

I am going to assume your implant was placed through the mouth.  With the incision through the mouth, a few of the very small nerve branches to the central lower lip are cut and some mild numbness in the very middle can occur.  This is temporary.  If there is total numbness and goes all the way to the edge of the lip, you should contact your surgeon as it is possible the main branch was injured.  When the incision is inside the mouth, it also causes some swelling and disruption of the muscle in the lower lip.  This results in the lip being a little higher when you smile and some challenges to forming words.  These are temporary but take a few months to go away.

Putting the incision under the chin usually causes none of the numbness and lip mobility issues.  It is a much quicker return to normal.  You do, however, have a small scar that is slightly visible when viewed from below.

In short, if you want an essentially invisible placement of the implant and are willing to deal with a few months of quirks, go through the mouth.  Otherwise go underneath.

Austin Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Numbness, not Paralysis is a risk after Chin Implant Surgery

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Numbness or tingling after Chin Implant surgery may happen after chin implant surgery because there are two large nerves along the mandible (jaw bone).  The surgeon must take care not to injure these nerves.  More often than not, if numbness occurs, it is temporary.

Facial paralysis is not a normal risk of chin implant surgery because the nerves that cause movement in the face are not in the usual area of implantation.

There may be some temporary, "funny feeling" with eating, smiling, etc. from swelling after surgery, but this should be temporary also.

David C. Mabrie, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 156 reviews

Lip numbness weeks after chin implant is worriesome

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Numbness 4 weeks after chin implant is worriesome. If it persists for two more weeks, remove the implant. Consider revision of insertion again or fat transrer in 6 months. Implant might be impeding on the mental nerve.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Lower lip numbness after chin implant usually goes away.

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The numbness in your lip and the difficulty moving your mouth and the dimple are all separate problems, with separate causes.  Hopefully, and usually, these are temporary complications.

If any of these problems are still there after 6 months, then I am afraid they could be permanent.

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

Normal course of numbness after the chin implant procedure for approximately one to two m

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After a chin implant, there is swelling and edema for approximately two months after the surgery. The mental nerve is located just above the implant, and there is a normal course of numbness after the chin implant procedure for approximately one to two months. There is a rare occasion whereby the numbness might be permanent after a chin implant.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

It may take several months to recover

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There are two nerves that give sensation coming out of your mandible close to where the chin implant is placed. There are another two nerves that make the muscles move around your mouth that cross over near where the chin implant is placed. In some cases, there may be a transitory period of numbness or weakness if the nerves were stretched during the placement of the implant. If there was considerable stretching, and the nerve or nerves suffered considerable injury, it may take months to recover. In an even smaller percentage of people, there may be permanent nerve damage. However, at this point only 4 weeks out from surgery, don't get too worried. However, you should discuss your concerns with your surgeon.

I hope this is helpful.

David Shafer, MD
Shafer Plastic Surgery
New York City

Numbness and Dimple After Chin Implant Can Occur

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The problems that you describe can be temporary, especially if it has been only 4 weeks. Unfortunately they can be a longer term problem. I would certainly speak with your surgeon because removal or repositioning of the implant may be necessary to resolve your problems.

D.J. Verret, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon

Numbness of the lower lip is common after chin implant but usually resolves in a matter of days.

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The sensibility to you chin should come back in time although 4 weeks starts to create some anxiety.  If the nerve was cut (and it should not have been) repair will be necessary and it will take a long time to recover.  I strongly doubt this is the case.  Numbness from handling the nerve is common and may take a number of weeks but usually is just a few days.  If the implant is putting pressure on the nerve, it will need to be repositioned if sensibility is to return.

Numbness after chin implant

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Numbness present weeks after a chin implant is due to the mental nerve being stretched or swollen. The good news is that the feeling typically comes back to normal over time.

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

Give it sometime

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I would give it sometime until all swelling go down. Make sure you mention it to your surgeon, he will be able to follow up the progress of the recovery and interfere if necessary.

Hisham Seify, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.