Is there a risk for a nerve damage after Chin Implant?

I am scheduled to have a chin implant soon. I have done some research and believe my surgeon is highly qualified, but I would still like to hear a response from a third party.
Is there a risk of noticeable nerve damage from this procedure, given that the doctor will be inserting the implant from the outside, underneath the chin? How common is it for such undesirable complications to occur with chin implants? If I felt that some part of my face were damaged to the point where I could not smile or some other similar complication was possible, then I might decide not to have an implant.

Doctor Answers 6

You must be comfortable with the risks and possibilities

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Before you undergo any surgical procedure, you should be comfortable that the possibility of unusual and even serious complications is something you could accept and tolerate.

You seem most concerned that a nerve could be injured that would produce visible facial signs. I do not have statistics for you, but that would be quite rare. The nerves that control movement in the face branch through the deep tissues and muscles entering from the sides of your face. Chin implant surgery usually does not interfere with them.

A more frequent issue are the nerves that control feeling (sensation). They emerge from the jawbone on each side of the chin. They are relatively near the pocket your surgeon will create to contain the implant. Even stretching over the implant may cause altered sensations (partial or complete numbness, tingling, pain, etc.). These could affect your chin and lower lip areas. They could be termporary or permanent. Others may not notice this altered sensation, but you would. Ask your surgeon.

As you probably know, permanent harm is unusual and you are likely to enjoy your results.

Greenville Plastic Surgeon

Chin Implant and possible nerve damage

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A chin implant is placed under the skin right on top of the bone.  A space is made so the implant can fit. There are nerves on either side of the space that could be stretched producing temporary numbness of your lip and chin.  It is very rare that the nerves do not recover, or they are cut, producing permanent numbness - you still could move everything normally.  It is common, however, to have some swelling that causes the lower lip to move less than normal temporarily for a week or two after surgery that could affect your smile.

Randy J. Buckspan, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Chin implant and possible nerve damage

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The only nerve damage that could potentially occur and that could be permanent would be to a sensory nerve called the mental nerve in the chin area. If this were stretched or cut, it could lead to some numbness on the lower lip on the side that is affected, but it should not affect movement. The chance of a mental nerve complication is less than 1%. The best place for the chin implant to be performed is underneath the chin and not through the mouth.

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

Chin Augmentation - Risks of Surgery Uncommon

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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 and lower lip weakness. 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.

Options in chin augmentation and nerve injury - choosing a surgeon

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The risk of nerve injury to the mental nerve is slight with chin augmentation.  Discuss these concerns with your surgeon, who will evaluate your particular risks and anatomy and guide you through the process.  Nerve damage is a very low risk, but can still theoretically occur. 

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Risk of chin implant

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Complications of chin implant surgery is rare (about 1%) but can include lip numbness, lip weakness, infection, bleeding, and asymmetry. The larger the implant used the greater the risk.

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