Chin augmentation is a surgical procedure designed to improve the balance of the facial profile by placing an implant over the bone structure of the lower jaw. Depending on the region augmented a stronger and/or wider chin can be created. Implants come in different shapes and sizes. They are chosen according to the desired changes and the technique utilized. We prefer to use solid silicone implants which are well accepted by the human body.
Chin area is important for entire facial balance. Chin augmentation is a procedure of choice for those who have a normal function of the jaw, but naturally weak chin in proportion to other facial features. Many patients who wish to undergo rhinoplasty will also benefit from increasing the size of their chin. Since patients with receding chins are less likely to get a good neckline with a facelift, chin enlargement is often combined with a facelift. When considering aesthetic chin surgery with a chin implant, it must be noted that certain patients are better served with other surgical approaches. For those with severely weak chin, or abnormally functioning jaw, a genioplasty or mandibular advancement surgery may be appropriate.
At preoperative consultation, an image analysis is performed together with the patient to give a better understanding of the procedure and an impression of the final result. Chin augmentation is usually performed under local anesthetic. However if, patient prefers it can also be done under sedation or general anesthesia. Unless other procedures are performed in addition, the entire operation takes about 30 to 45 minutes to complete. A small incision is usually made in a natural crease under the chin. The incision can also be made inside the mouth in the grove between the lower lip and the gum. A pocket is designed to accommodate the implant directly over the bone along the lower jaw. The chin implant is secured in place by designing a well-fitting pocket and fixating it to a soft tissue or bone. A chin enhancement can be carried out in combination with other facial procedures such as chin liposuction, rhinoplasty or a face lift.
If the implant is placed through an incision under the chin a very short scar will be present in a well hidden region. With usual social encounters, this scar is not noticeable. With intra-oral approach, no visible external scars will be present, but the rate of infection is slightly higher.
Chin augmentation is usually performed as an outpatient procedure. Right after surgery, the sensation in the chin is diminished for a couple of hours. Afterwards, sensations maybe altered until sensory nerves near the implant get used to the tighter surroundings. Prescriptions for antibiotics and pain medicines will be provided, and you should maintain light activities. Bruising and swelling are sometimes present during the first two weeks. You will need at least a week off work. Strenuous work or physical activity should be avoided for two to three weeks.
There is a slight risk that the implant does not stay in the correct position. This is usually prevented by creating a pocket of the correct size and attaching the implant to the bone. Temporary lack of sensations may occur when the nerves surrounding the surgical area are stretched. Rarely these operations are complicated by infection and removal of the implant may be necessary. The implant can usually be replaced once the infection has cleared. There is a greater risk of infection if the approach through the mouth is used.