When a chin implant ‘fails’ it may be replaced or revised by a sliding genioplasty. Chin implant failure can usually be defined as an implant that had not met the patient’s aesthetic desires due to design, size or positioning issues. This is most commonly seen when a chin implant is used for larger chin deficiencies whose horizontal and vertical dimensional needs are at the fringe or beyond what a standard performed implant can achieve. Recurrent chin implant problems such as asymmetry and visible or palpable edges are another indication to consider moving from a synthetic to an autogenous or more natural chin augmentation solution.
Medpor is a chin implant material, which while used far less than that of silicone chin implants, is a favorite among some patients and surgeons. While it is a biomaterial that does offer good tissue adherence and fixation it can suffer the same chin implant problems that silicone implants do. The material composition does not make it immune to similar aesthetic issues. While many surgeons state that Medpor facial implants are impossible to very difficult to remove that perception is a relative one when they are compared to silicone. I have removed many Medpor facial implants and they all can be removed in their entirety with careful surgical technique. They rarely come out as one piece by rather in multiple smaller sections.
When a sliding genioplasty is used to replace a chin implant, it is sometimes more prone to having a ‘step’deformity’ than that of an implant. The aesthetic consequence of this step and the merits of filling it in can be debated. But should the surgeon choose to do so, it can be filled in with a wide variety of materials. A cost effective approach of filling in the step deformity of a sliding genioplasty is to ‘recycle’ the removed chin implant material. With a Medpor chin implant this would be placing the multiple pieces of the implant material that became that way from removal. Since this implant material already has tissue ingrowth on it it can be come quickly ingrown with further tissue, thus serving as an ‘autoalloplast’ so to speak.
Having used recycled Medpor chin implants in over a dozen sliding genioplasties no infections have occurred and the step has been aesthetically covered eliminating the risk of a much deeper labiomental fold.
Dr. Barry Eppley