How to Tell if There is Nerve Damage After a Chin Implant Causes Numbness?

I had a silicone chin implant 5 years ago and still have numbness sensation. Is there any type of test to determine if there is nerve damage of if it is just because of the extra large implant pressing on the nerve? I would have it taken out but only if it was for the better.

Doctor Answers 8

Chin Augmentation Numbness

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Complications and side effects are very uncommon with chin augmentation. However, there is a small degree of risk ,.. The most likely side effect is altered sensation in the chin and lower jaw, which may be temporary or permanent depending on the extent of the surgery. A plastic surgeon will be able to tell you if you are at particular risk for this type of side effect at time of consultation. In general the longer the numbness or lack of movement the more likely it is to be permanent, especially after a year and therefore it would be unlikely that your sensation would return after 5 years

Cause of numbness after chin implant

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The implant itself is probably pressing on a nerve creating numbness. The only way to know for certain would be to remove the implant and see if the numbness goes away. There is no other test to determine whether any other type of nerve damage is present.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Sensation Improvement After Chin Implant Unlikely

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It is unlikely to have an improvement in the numbness at this point in time. On occasion a large implant can press on the Mental nerve causing numbness. It really needs to be removed right away to give much of a chance for recovery. Keep in mind that many surgical procedures cosmetic and otherwise do result in changes in skin sensation. I think at this point if you are happy with the augmentation of your chin its best to keep the implant in place .

Thomas Buonassisi, MD
Vancouver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 114 reviews

Chin Implant

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I wish you did not wait 5 years on the numbness.

Probably the numbness is due to direct injury of the mental nerve, or pressure on the nerve from the implant or stretch  of the nerve due to the implant, I do dout that removal of the implant will reverse the process, however The implant should be removed by an expert Plastic Surgeon and if possible explore the nerve, remove all scarring around the nerve and look at it .

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Will sensation come back?

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Since it is five years after surgery, I doubt even removing the implant will bring sensation back.  If you are willing to try then it certainly can be done but you would have the original deformity of a small chin, so it is a trade off.  Even if it is just pressure that caused the numbness I doubt much change would occur at this time.

Chin Implant Numbness

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I would have to say that if it has been 5 years and you still have numbness, then the nevrves probably have some permanent damage to them from the implant itself.  If the implant has been pushing on those nereves this entire time, it would be pretty rare for the sensation to return just by removing the chin implant.  The pressure on the nerves has been going on for too long to expect and big recovery in sensation.

Chin Implant and Numbness

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The nerves responsible for sensation of the lower lip, the mental nerves, come out from small openings on either side of the chin. These nerves can be damaged by severe stretching when the implant is placed or by subsequent movement and compression by the implant. At three years after surgery, any damage you may have is likely permanent BUT there is a small chance that the numbness, especially if only on one side may be due to compression by the implant. The only way to find out is going back in and either removing the implant or moving it and making sure the mental nerve is not compressed.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Nerve damage after a chin implant.

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If it has been 5 years after the chin implant than yes, you have sensory nerve injury. You really do not need a test to tell this. Treatments are none, sorry. 

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.