Numbness to Bottom Lip 3 Years After Chin Implant

I had FFS in 2008 consisting of jaw and chin shaving and a then a chin implant. I had very poor movement in the bottom lip and chin area for 6 months after surgery.Now 3 years on i still have a soft numbness to my bottom lip area and sometimes movement isn't as fluid as it used to be but generally the effect looks very good, will my full feeling ever return ? and is there anything i can do to rectify this?

Doctor Answers 4

Numb lip 3 years after chin impalnt is likely permanent.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The sensory nerve to this area is close to the area of your jaw surgery and implant placement, and this nerve can occasionally become injured in the course of the surgery. While this heals and recovers in most cases, some numbness can be complete and permanent, or partial. Each patient is unique, as is his or her healing.

The motor nerves for movement are entirely different nerves, but these can also be injured during the surgery. From your description, movement has returned to nearly normal, and after this length of time this is likely as good as it gets.

There is really nothing surgical that can be done (unless the implant is impinging on the sensory nerve, in which case repositioning can perhaps improve sensation), so testing of these nerves by a Neurologist via EMG study would likely yield only information that is interesting, but not likely to help with a decision to proceed with re-operation. Of course, there is that tiny chance that something might be done which could be of help, but I really don't want to give you false hope that there is anything possible other than what you have right now. SO sorry, but I am glad you like the overall effect despite these nagging issues.

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Numbness of Lower Lip 3 Yaears after Chin Implant

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Your swelling has resolved 3 years after chin surgery. If there was injury to the mental nerve, which supplies sensation to the lower lip, this change in feeling can be permanent. You need careful evaluation by your surgeon or a neurologist. If the implant is putting pressure on the nerve, repositioning the implant may be helpful.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Numbness after chin implant

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Chin implants sit along the edge of the chin. However soft tissue swelling and scar tissue can put pressure on the nerves for sensation and muscle movement which lie along the edge of the jaw and front of the chin. After one year, soft tissue swelling and scar tissue should not increase so it is unlikely that you will get further recovery. However, all surgeons will agree that it is impossible to predict with 100% accuracy your personal recovery.

Kristin Egan, MD
Manhattan Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon

Numbness to bottom lip 3 years after chin implant?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Hello! Thank you for your question! Numbness after any surgical procedure is expected for several weeks to months following. As the nerves to the area are traumatized and will then experience a temporary neuropraxia, a transient loss of nerve conduction. This usually resolves over the next 6-12 weeks, but depending on the procedure performed, sometimes much longer. Typically this should resolve by 1 year. As it goes past this date, the likelihood of the sensation returning is small. However, it can take up to 2 years. If no return from there, it is unlikely to return. It should be discussed that persistent sensory changes may develop following any surgical procedure.  At 3 years, the numbness will likely not return.  I doubt removal of the implant will resolve the issue. 

The usual signs of the nerves regenerating and neuropraxia resolving is itching, followed by a burning sensation and then occasional sharp, shock-like pains. These will be normal to experience, and actually a promising sign. Usually, normal sensation returns, but is is also possible to have decreased sensation or even increased sensation to the areas affected. Re-educating nerves postoperatively is often helpful and will allow proper instruction for the affected sensory nerves - methods include using different textures to the affected areas when showering, bathing, applying lotion, etc. If bothersome, there are some medications that may be helpful, including Neurontin for pain for hypersensitivity. You can try various textures such as washcloths, loofahs, cotton sheets, etc. Massaging the areas is also beneficial for the incision to make the finest scar possible. The last place to regain the sensation will be directly adjacent to the incision/scar as the nerves will make its way from the periphery to this location. If continual pain arises, evaluation is warranted. After ruling out other causes, one rare explanation may be that a neuroma has developed and may require surgical excision. This is very unlikely unless a large sensory nerve has been transected inadvertently during the procedure. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 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.