A weak or small chin (Micrognathia) can offset the appearance of your entire face. Several options are available to improve the balance of your facial profile and correct a “weak” chin.
The chin can be sculpted in both size and shape with injectable fillers. The results are immediate and will last 8-12 months. Recovery is very quick and there is minimal discomfort.
Surgical Chin Implants
Chin augmentation with implants is the procedure of choice for most patients and provides a permanent solution. A biocompatible implant is placed over the bone structure of the lower jaw, augmenting the dimensions of your jaw. We can create a stronger and/or wider chin, and even 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. Usually the entire procedure takes 30 to 45 minutes to complete, unless additional procedures are being performed also. Tape is often applied to the skin to assist in holding the implant in place during the normal swelling after surgery.
An alternative approach involves inserting an implant between the bone and chin tissue through a short external incision under your chin or through an incision made inside your mouth between the lower lip and gum. Similarly, your cheekbones may be built up by placing an implant over them.
Advantages of Chin Implants
- 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
A severely weak chin or abnormally functioning jaw may require a different surgical approach - called genioplasty or mandibular advancement. These procedures involve cutting the bone of the jaw and have a longer recovery than chin implant, but may be necessary to achieve the desired results. Dr. Myint will help you decide which procedure is right for you.
Chin Implants Risks & Complications
- 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 recovery time after aesthetic chin surgery depends on the surgical approach utilized and if other procedures are performed at the same time. In general, 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. Feeling returns overnight, and your chin will be 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. Keep your head elevated to help reduce swelling. 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 find this procedure to be painful. 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. Oral pain medications will ease any discomfort during the first few days.
Will there be scarring from 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.
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 you and Dr. Myint.