Chin Surgery (Genioplasty)
Chin surgery can be one of the most common cosmetic facial procedures. Many individuals have very recessive profiles due to the fact that their lower face and jaw have not developed properly. In addition to complimenting the profile, chin surgery can also tighten and enhance the sagging or fatty tissues in the neck.
While many patients need more chin in the horizontal direction (back to front) some patients need an increase in the vertical dimension of their chin (bottom to top). Patients with a shortened lower facial height lack the proper esthetics for a natural chin and lip support. Their lower lip looks folded over and unnatural.
What types of chin surgery can be performed?
Implants may be used in minor cases to slightly increase the lower facial height, but in more severe cases a lengthening genioplasty (sliding genioplasty) is the proper procedure. The sliding genioplasty advances the patient's actual chin by moving the lower portion of the jaw. This procedure not only advances the chin, but also makes it longer. The chin is secured with a micro bone plate. A gap is left from the lengthening and this is sometimes filled with a graft material. The surgery is done from an incision placed inside the mouth for a completely hidden scar. Some patients have crooked chins that are not lined up with the normal facial structures. The chin may be off to the side giving the face an asymmetric appearance. This can be corrected or improved by moving the chin tip to the left or right.
How can a chin implant be placed?
The simplest approach to chin augmentation is the placement of a chin implant. This minor operation is performed in the office with intravenous sedation. The procedure takes about 30-60 minutes and requires a 5-10 day recovery. New technology in biomaterials has shown silicone implants to be very successful and extremely well tolerated by the body. The new chin implants are natural feeling and follow the contours of the normal jaw line. These new type of implants are known as anatomic implants which means they come in many shapes and sizes to personalize the aesthetics of each patient. Contemporary chin implants come in a vast array of sizes and shapes to allow the surgeon and the patient many options in facial enhancement. The incisions can be place inside the mouth or through the skin under the jaw using a small incision. When chin implants are properly inserted and fixation is used, the result is permanent. If for some reason the patient wants the implant to be removed or replaced, this can be done in 20 minutes with local anesthesia. Not many cosmetic procedures are both permanent but reversible.
What are the complications of chin surgery?
Chin surgery is a relatively simple procedure and complications are minimal. The most common one is temporary numbness of the lower lip as a result of the surgical manipulation around the mental nerves which provide the sensation to the lower lip and skin of the chin. Infection, implant rejection and non-cosmetic appearance can also occur.