How Can You Tell if Your Chin Implant Has Shifted?

Hi! I had an Inamed Cleft Chin Implant size Medium placed through an incision under my chin in late 2006 (under the periosteum - no screws). I like the way it looks and haven't really had any problems with it, but I have been able to feel the tip or the "wing" slightly when I press down on the skin around the edge of my left jaw. It is like a step off since the wing goes back and my jaw heads more upward towards my ear (hope this makes sense).

Being somewhat neurotic about this, I touch it, stretch my skin, stare in the mirror, etc. making sure it hasn't "shifted"! It feels slightly bruised sometimes..not sure if this is from me touching the area throughout the day or not. I feel like the dull pain showed up like this about 6 months ago and went away after not touching it for a while.

My questions are: 1. Should I be concerned about the implant having shifted? Is what I am describing normal? Are these the signs of infection? What are the signs of infection? I am a banker and work in a very corpoarte environment so the thought of another surgery, etc. is concerning. Your thoughts?

Doctor Answers 4

Shifted chin implant

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You can tell if the chin implant has shifted by manual palpation of the chin. You can feel the tail of the implant out of sync with the opposite side. It is extremely rare for both tails to be shifted. The implant is normally placed underneath the periosteum of the chin area and when placed in the proper anatomical position should not shift, move or migrate. A sign of infection would be if the chin is red, hot, tender, swollen, and painful after the implant is placed. If that is the case, the implant simply has to be removed. Removal of the chin implant can be done under local anesthesia and takes approximately 20 minutes to perform.

Chin implant

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You are describing buckling or flaring of the "wing" of the implant. That will give all the symptoms you have described.

You could have felt it now because of weight loss or volume loss on top of the implant with passage of time.

The wing of the implant can cause pressure on the fat and skin, before it does that you need to see your Plastic Surgeon for a possible revision surgery.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Chin Implant Shifting

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Your description notwithstanding, it is virtually impossible to give you a good answer to your question regarding chin implant shifting without examining you. A brief examination by your original surgeon or by another competent facial cosmetic surgeon would give you the best answer as well as an opinion as to whether or not anything should be done.

Chin implant positioning

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It sounds like the edge of the implant has buckled and lifted slightly off the jaw bone. This is something that is usually felt but not seen from the outside. This is fairly straight forward to correct if need be by repositioning the implant surgically through the same incision to allow the edge to lay flat against the bone. Typically, this can be done under local anesthesia with some light sedation.

The implant itself really should not be palpable under the skin and should feel as natural as your own jaw bone. In fact most patients forget they had the implants placed since they feel so smooth. It does not sound like an infection which would present with Pain, Swelling, and redness over the area. Hope this helps.

Dr D.

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.