Chin augmentation is a facial cosmetic procedure used to enhance or reshape the size of the chin. The plastic surgeon can perform chin augmentation by inserting an implant, using a fat transfer, or by reshaping the bones.
Why Chin Augmentation is Performed
According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, people are having more chin augmentation procedures than ever before. This surgery is usually done to balance the appearance of the face by making the chin bigger or longer to match up with the nose. People with microgenia (weak, receding chin) with a normal bite are the best candidates for the chin augmentation procedure.
The Initial Consultation
Before your surgery is scheduled, you meet with the plastic surgeon for the initial consultation. The doctor will show you pictures of people and ask you what look you are going for. He may also take pictures of your face for your medical record. During this office visit, the surgeon takes a medical history, performs a physical examination, and takes x-rays of your face and chin.
Chin Implant Procedure
Most chin augmentation surgeries are performed under general anesthesia, which means you will feel no pain and be asleep. After cleaning and prepping the chin area, a small incision is made either under the chin or inside the mouth. The surgeon creates a small pocket in front of the chin bone right below the muscles. The implant is inserted and molded to fit the chin. Most implants are made out of Teflon, Dacron, or silicone. The implant is attached to the bone with sutures, or a biological material is used, which becomes part of the tissue and bone.
If bone manipulation is necessary, the surgeon will use a small saw or chisel to cut through the jaw bone and move it. The bone will be positioned with wires, screws, or other materials to hold it in place. Once all corrections are made, the incisions are closed with sutures, and bandages are applied to the area.
Chin Implant using Fat Transfer
If fat transfer is used for the chin augmentation, the doctor may first perform liposuction. Usually done under heavy sedation or general anesthesia, the site where fat is taken will be prepped. After making a small incision, the surgeon inserts a small hollow cannula and gently removes fat tissue. The fat is processed in the laboratory to purify and concentrate the solution. The surgeon will inject or implant the fat into the chin area after making a small incision below the chin or inside the mouth. After molding the newly implanted tissue, the incision is closed using sutures.
After the Procedure
After your chin implant or fat grafting procedure, you will be monitored by a nurse for around 30 minutes. You need to have someone available to drive you home, and should plan to be off from work for a few days. You will return to the surgeon’s office in 3-7 days to remove bandages and sutures. Be sure to avoid strenuous activities for 2-3 weeks, and don’t soak in a tub until wounds have healed.
Outcome and Results
In a recent study regarding chin augmentation surgeries, the procedure had a 98% satisfaction with the procedure. Additionally, almost all patients reported that they were highly satisfied or very satisfied with the chin augmentation procedure.
Change EW, Lam SM, Karen M, & Donlevy JL (2001). Sliding genioplasty for correction of chin abnormalities. Arch Facial Plast Surg, 3(1), 8-15.