Chin Augmentation

Chin Implants Procedure Description:

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 biocompatible 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.

Am I a good candidate for aesthetic chin surgery?

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 Implants Standard Procedure 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.

Chin Implants Benefits / Advantages / Options

  • Permanent way to achieve a strong chin (as opposed to temporary fillers)
  • May easily be preformed with other procedures (eg: nose surgery/rhinoplasty)
  • Multiple chin implant choices are available to achieve your desired look
  • Intra-oral or direct surgical approaches available
  • Other Considerations for Chin Implants

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 / Complications / Patient Safety

  • 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
  • If the chin implant becomes infected, removal may be necessary to clear the infection

Chin Surgery Recovery Process

After surgery, you will have a more balanced profile and pleasing facial contour. 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.

Will chin surgery be painful?

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.

Will there be scarring undergoing chin surgery?

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.

What are some typical short-term side-effects of undergoing chin surgery?

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.

Why type of anesthesia, if any, will be used for chin surgery?

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.