A chin augmentation is a surgical procedure to reshape or enhance the size of the chin. It may be done either by inserting an implant or by moving or reshaping bones.
Chin augmentation is usually done to balance the face by making the chin longer or bigger compared to the nose. The best candidates for chin augmentation are people with weak or receding chins (microgenia), but who have a normal bite.
Before your surgery, discuss how you want to look and feel with the plastic surgeon. Keep in mind that the desired result is improvement, not perfection.
Reasons for Chin Implant Surgery
The procedure can balance a weak, or receding, chin and make a prominent nose seem less large. A weak chin can also make your neck look overly fleshy. Usually, a chin implant provides a more harmonious balance to your face and features so you feel better about the way you look, especially in profile.
Preparing for Chin Implant Surgery
You can prepare for your Chin Implant procedure by keeping to a healthy diet, to aid strength and recovery. During your consultation you should inform your cosmetic surgeon if you smoke or take medication and you will be advised accordingly.
Chin Surgery Options
Surgery may be performed in the surgeon’s office, a hospital, or an outpatient clinic.
You will have x-rays taken of your face and chin. The doctor will use these x-rays to find out what part of the chin to operate on.
When you need only an implant to round out the chin:
- You may be under general anesthesia (asleep and pain-free), or you may get medicine to numb the area, along with a medicine that will make you relaxed and sleepy.
- A cut is made, either inside the mouth or outside under the chin. A pocket is created in front of the chin bone and under the muscles. The implant is placed inside.
- The surgeon may use real bone or fat tissue, or an implant made out of silicone, Teflon, Dacron, or newer biological inserts.
- The implant is usually attached to the bone with sutures or screws.
- Sutures are used to close the surgical cut. When the cut is inside the mouth, the scar can barely be seen.
The surgeon may also need to move some bones:
- You will likely be under general anesthesia.
- The surgeon will make a cut inside your mouth along the lower gum. This gives the surgeon access to the chin bone.
- The surgeon uses a bone saw or chisel to make a second cut through the jaw bone. The jaw bone is moved and wired or screwed in place.
The cut is closed with stitches and a bandage is applied. Because the surgery is performed inside your mouth, you will not see any scars.
Chin augmentation is commonly done at the same time as a nose job (rhinoplasty) or facial liposuction (when fat is removed from under the chin and neck). Surgery to correct bite problems can be done at the same time as chin surgery
Aesthetic chin surgery is performed to improve the balance of your facial profile and correct a “weak” chin. Chin augmentation with implants is the procedure of choice for most patients with normally functioning teeth and jaw development. A bio-compatible implant is placed over the bone structure of the lower jaw, augmenting the dimensions of your jaw. Depending on the region augmented, you can create a stronger and/or wider chin, and even lengthen your face.
Chin Surgery Candidates
In one approach, the lower section of bone is moved forward and wired into position.
If you have a mildly weak chin and normal function of your jaw, chin augmentation with implants may be the procedure of choice for you. Perhaps you have used temporary soft tissue fillers in the past to achieve a stronger chin, and are seeking a permanent solution. As with any implant surgery, you should be of good health with a normally functioning immune system.
Chin Implant Techniques
There are several options available for aesthetic chin surgery. Aesthetic chin surgery augments the bony structure of your jaw, and can create a stronger chin, make the chin wider, or even slightly lengthen your face. Implants of multiple shapes, sizes, and materials are available, and are chosen depending on the changes desired and the technique utilized. To perform aesthetic chin surgery, the incision is made and a pocket designed to accommodate the implant directly over the bone along the lower jaw. Solid silicon implants can be placed through a small incision under the chin.
When other rigid biocompatible materials (such as Medpor) are used for chin augmentation, an incision inside the mouth is utilized. The chin implant is secured in place either by designing a well-fitting pocket, or affixing it to soft tissue or bone. The incision is closed, completing the chin augmentation. Usually the entire operation takes about 30 to 45 minutes to complete, unless other procedures are being performed in addition to the aesthetic chin surgery. Tape is often applied to the skin to assist in holding the implant in place during the normal swelling after surgery.
When considering aesthetic chin surgery with a chin implant, you should be aware that certain patients are better served with other surgical approaches. If you have a severely weak chin, or abnormally functioning jaw, a genioplasty or mandibular advancement surgery maybe appropriate. Although these procedures involve cutting the bone of your jaw, and have a longer recovery than chin surgery with chin implants, they can achieve results not attainable with implants alone. To decide which procedure is right for you, it is best to seek consultation with a knowledgeable plastic surgeon.
Chin Implants Risks
- Sensation to the chin may be temporarily or permanently changed by the implant.
- The chin implant can be shifted, especially in the early stages after surgery.
- Avoid contact sports until you are fully healed.
The usual recovery after aesthetic chin surgery depends on the surgical approach utilized and if other procedures are performed at the same time. In general, from a chin augmentation alone, you will be active around the house the evening of surgery, but your lower lip will be “asleep” similar to after a visit to the dentist. This sensation returns overnight, and your chin will feel mildly sore and swollen. Prescriptions for antibiotics and pain medicines may be provided, and you should maintain light activities.
You may be given a garment or your chin may be taped to help maintain the chin implant position during the swelling phase after surgery. Keeping your head elevated helps swelling resolve sooner. If your chin augmentation was performed through the mouth, you will be restricted to a liquid or soft diet for a few days until the gums have healed. You will rinse your mouth after eating to keep the sutures clean, and these will dissolve on their own after several weeks. If your cosmetic chin surgery was performed with a small incision under your chin, sutures are normally removed after 4 to 7 days.
Chin Augmentation Questions
The majority of patients do not consider cosmetic chin surgery to be painful surgery. There is a period of “tightness” associated with the increased volume from the chin implant, which is worse right after surgery due to the body’s normal swelling response. Discomfort responds rapidly to oral pain medications, which are usually only needed for a few days.
If the intra-oral approach for chin augmentation is used, no visible external scars will be present. If your surgeon places the implant through an incision under your chin, a very small scar will be present in a well-concealed region. With usual social encounters, this scar is not visible.
It is normal to have a change in chin sensation after aesthetic chin surgery. Right after surgery, your chin will be “asleep” due to the local anesthetics utilized. After your chin “wakes up”, sensations maybe heightened until sensory nerves near the implant get used to their new, tighter surroundings.
Chin augmentation surgery can be performed under light sedation anesthesia or under general anesthesia. The choice of anesthetic is up to yourself and your surgeon to decide.
Facial implants are made from a variety of materials include bone and synthetic materials like dacron, silicone and teflon.Chin implants are available in a variety of sizes and shapes allowing for a custom fitting to the patient’s face.