If you have a weak, recessive chin and are looking to improve your profile with a stronger jawline, a chin implant may be right for you. Chin augmentation is a form of mentoplasty (also called genioplasty), which is the term for any cosmetic reshaping of the chin. Though most patients qualify for this procedure, those with jaw functionality issues may be ineligible.
Because of its effect on the face as a whole, mentoplasty is often coupled with other cosmetic surgeries to create a cohesive look. These include facelifts, forehead lifts, and many other alterations. Whether or not you want to couple a mentoplasty with other procedures is up to you.
Chin implants are made of solid silicone, Medpor, Gore-Tex, or other materials with similar textures. They come in a variety of shapes, and the shape can be altered by the surgeon to best fit the needs and goals of the patient. Though cartilage-graft implants have also been used, they carry with them an increased risk of infection and are no longer as popular.
There are two possible incision sites: on the chin or inside the mouth, situated between the bottom lip and the gums. The benefit of a mouth incision is that any resulting scar is entirely hidden, whereas with a chin incision, a scar has the potential to be more visible (though it is still very subtle). Unfortunately, the mouth incision carries with it an increased risk of infection, since the site is exposed to new bacteria whenever the patient is eating.
After the initial incision is made, a pocket of tissue is created in front of the lower jawbone area. The implant is inserted and placed into the pocket. For greater stability, it is sometimes affixed to the bone or the tissue using small screws or sutures. If the pocket of tissue is tight enough, these measures are not required. The incision is then closed up with sutures.
Chin implant surgery can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours, sometimes longer. Though local anesthesia is an option, most patients elect to go with general. Patients are usually able to return home the same day as the procedure. In the recovery period, suture removal depends on the incision site; with a chin incision, sutures must be removed, but with a mouth incision, they will dissolve.
As with all types of plastic surgery, it??s important to remember that swelling and bruising are common side effects. These can impact the initial appearance of the procedure??s results, so wait for these side effects to disappear before judging its overall effectiveness. Potential risks associated with mendoplasties include infection, chin or lip numbness, or the chin implant shifting out of place. In the case of implant shift, a corrective surgery may be required; the original incision site would be the access point, so no new incision would be required.
It can be difficult to make decisions regarding cosmetic procedures, so it??s best to set up a consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon. Whether you live in the Austin area or are just visiting, Dr. Erella is an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon who can help you attain your cosmetic goals. Contact our office now to make an appointment.