Candidates for Chin Augmentation
Patients whose chin profiles are weak but have normally functioning jaws are candidates for Chin Augmentation. Many of these candidates have used injectable fillers in the past to strengthen the protrusion of their chins, but are looking for a permanent solution. If you are one of these patients, then you are a likely candidate for chin augmentation.
Chin augmentation most often is used to restore balance to the face due to a weak chin (under-projecting in profile). This disproportion of facial structure—having a small chin—tends to make the nose look larger and results in a poor jaw/neckline. As it doesn’t support the neck skin, often it causes skin to hang down from the upper neck and can lead eventually to a “turkey waddle” deformity. Chin implants can also create a wider, stronger chin. They can also be used to lengthen the face slightly.
The augmentation is performed with a sterile, biologically inert implant (such as silicone or Medpor) which is placed over the bone of the lower jaw so it feels like your real chin and not like a separate implant.
A wide range of chin implants are available, depending on the patient’s needs and goals. These implants vary in their dimensions and are made of different materials. The proper selection of the correct size and type of implant by your plastic surgeon is critical for you to achieve the look you want.
It is very important to select a highly-skilled, board-certified plastic surgeon, such as one of our doctors, to aid you in selecting the implants and insertion methods that will give you the best possible result.
Chin augmentation involves very minimal scarring. If the incision is made below the chin, it will be done in a natural fold of the skin or in a manner that will make the scar inconspicuous. If the incision is made inside the mouth, no external scar will be visible at all. In any case, the scar will not be visible in typical social encounters.
It should be noted that patients with severely weak jaws or abnormally functioning jaws may be better treated with other facial surgery (orthognathic surgery), although a chin augmentation may be an option at a later time. These patients should seek the advice of a plastic surgeon to determine which course is right for them.
Chin augmentation is an outpatient procedure typically done in the plastic surgeon’s office or in a surgery center. It is usually done under local anesthesia with oral sedation or intravenous sedation, but can be done under general anesthesia if requested.
Chin implants are secured by placement inside a well-fitted pocket and anchoring it to surrounding tissue so it doesn’t move. The incision is then closed, and in 30 to 45 minutes the procedure is done, unless the patient has requested other procedures as well. Chin augmentation is commonly done in the same surgical session as other facial procedures such as the Lite Lift™, neck lift, playsmaplasty or rhinoplasty.
Recovery from chin augmentation surgery will vary with the the type of implant and incision used, and whether other procedures were done at the same time. The chin augmentation recovery process is not considered to be painful relative to other surgeries; oral medication will control pain for the first few days, and after that no pain medicine is typically needed.
The evening of your surgery date, your lower lip and mouth may feel numb, as if you’ve been to the dentist. As sensation returns, your lower jaw will feel tight and sore from your body’s natural swelling response. It is at this point that you can take your pain medication, if necessary. You are encouraged to engage in light activity.
If your implant was placed through an incision beneath your chin, the sutures (if they are not self dissolving) will be removed after 5–10 days. If your chin augmentation was performed through the mouth, you will be on a liquid or soft-foods diet for a few days while your mucosal skin heals. You will rinse your mouth out regularly to keep the incision clean. The sutures will dissolve on their own over the course of a few weeks.
You will experience an odd sensation in your chin for a time while your nerves return to their normal function.
Risks of Surgery
Complications and side effects are very uncommon with chin augmentation. However, like any surgery, there is always a small degree of risk. The most likely side effect of a chin augmentation is altered sensation in the chin and lower jaw, which may be temporary or permanent depending on the extent of the surgery. A plastic surgeon will be able to tell you if you are at particular risk for this type of side effect at time of consultation. Another risk of chin augmentation is shifting of the implant during the recovery process, but this is avoided by properly following post-operative instructions. Chin augmentation carries the same background risk of infection as any other type of surgery.
For more information on chin augmentation or to schedule a consultation, please call our office at (714) 902-1100 or (949) 720-3888.