Background: Augmentation of the total lower third of the face is historically and most commonly done using standard implants. The combination of chin and jaw angle implants, a three implant approach, provides enhancement of the three corners of the lower face. While theoretically appealing and a good solution for many jawline needs, it can be unsuccessful for a variety of reasons. These include implant asymmetry, the inability of standard implants to provide the desired aesthetic result and the lack of connection between all three implants.
A custom jawline implant connects the chin and jaw angle regions in either a linear or non-linear fashion.The size or thickness of the connection between the chin and jaw angles of the implant determines whether there is a smooth or linear look going from the chin back to the jaw angles or whether the chin and jaw angles stand out more than what connects between them. (non-linear look)
Designing a custom jawline implant with existing indwelling implants is ‘easier’ and more helpful than if no implants were there at all. Knowing what the aesthetic effects of existing implants creates, even if undesired, helps guide a new implant design that may produce a better result. While the custom implant design process is greater from the standpoint of fit to the bone, symmetry of both sides of the implant and creating a unified look, the computer or surgeon has no way of knowing exactly what implant dimensions can exactly achieve the patient’s goals.
Case Study: This 45 year-old male had Medpor chin and jaw angle implants previously placed which did not produce the jawline look that he had hoped. Fundamentally it did not give the jawline angularity that he seemed and did not have a smooth connection between the chin and the jaw angles. In the implant design process his existing implants were digitally removed and a one-piece jawline implant designed.
His new custom jawline implant was placed using a split implant technique. Due to the size of the implant jaw angles and concerns about injury to the mental nerve when passing the implant from front to back as a single piece, the implant is first sectioned in the midline of the chin in a geometric interlocking pattern. This then permits the implant to be placed in two sections from back to front and then reconnected in the middle. This is safer for the mental nerve as the sizes of the implant that must pass underneath it is smaller.
His one day results show an immediate improvement in his jawline shape in a more connected fashion. (linear jawline look) There is also more angularity evident in the chin and jaw angle corners. While he will go on to have some tremendous swelling that will take up to month or more to fully resolve, his very early jawline result looks more favorable to his aesthetic goals.
1) Jawline augmentation by three separate preformed implants often does produce a satisfactory or desired shape of the lower third of the face.
2) With existing chin and jaw angle implants in place, a custom jawline implant can be designed for an improved facial outcome.
3) Contrary to popular perception, Medpor implants can be successfully removed although it is more traumatic to the tissues than that of silicone implant removal.
Dr. Barry Eppley