of the Chin
A well defined chin helps give balance to the face and
creates a major part of one's profile. When people look
in the mirror, most focus on the size and shape of their
noses, their ears, sagging jowls, or fine wrinkling
of the skin. But even though few examine their chins
with the same discerning eye, having a weak chin
is certainly not an asset. Surgeons who specialize in
rhinoplasty, or surgery of the nose, are often the first
to suggest that changes in chin size or shape may enhance
a profile as much as rhinoplasty. It is common for the
facial plastic surgeon to recommend chin surgery in
addition to nose surgery when the surgeon sees that
chin augmentation is necessary to achieve facial balance
and harmony. Fortunately, this is a relatively straightforward
procedure that can make a major difference.
If you are wondering how chin surgery could improve
your appearance, you need to know how the surgery
is performed and what you can expect from this procedure.
This pamphlet can address many of your concerns and
provide you the information to begin considering chin
Successful facial plastic surgery is a result of good
rapport between patient and surgeon. Trust, based
on realistic expectations and exacting medical expertise,
develops in the consulting stages before surgery.
Your surgeon can answer specific questions about your
Chin Surgery For You?
As with all elective surgery, good health and realistic
expectations are prerequisites. It is also key to
understand all aspects of the surgery. A pleasing,
balanced profile can be achieved by inserting an implant
or moving the bone forward to build up a receding
chin, or by reducing a jutting or too prominent chin.
The result can be greater facial harmony and an increase
Another possibility for improvement through chin surgery
is submental liposuction in which excess fatty tissue
is removed to redefine the chin or neckline. When
there is a contributing problem of dental malocclusions
or birth defects in the structure of the jaw itself,
surgery of the jaw can improve the form and function
of the lower face and greatly enhance appearance.
Your consultation can help you decide on the type
of surgery that addresses your concerns. Your surgeon
can also provide information on new medical techniques
for chin surgery and offer recommendations for supplementary
surgery that can ensure the greatest improvement.
the Decision for Chin Surgery
Whether you are interested in chin surgery for functional
or cosmetic reasons, your choice of a qualified facial
plastic surgeon is extremely important. During the
consultation, your surgeon will thoroughly examine
your chin and jaw to pinpoint problems. In some instances,
the surgeon will suggest chin surgery as a supplement
to rhinoplasty because a small chin can make the nose
appear larger. Your surgeon will weigh other factors
that could influence the outcome of surgery such as
age, skin type, and attitudes toward surgery. The
surgical procedure will be described in detail along
with reasonable projections. If you opt for surgery,
your surgeon will describe the technique indicated,
the type of anesthesia to be used, the surgical facility,
any additional surgery, and risks and costs.
augment the chin, the surgeon begins by making an
incision either in the natural crease line just under
the chin or inside the mouth, where gum and lower
lip meet. By gently stretching this tissue, the surgeon
creates a space where an implant can be inserted.
This implant, made of synthetic material that feels
much like natural tissue normally found in the chin,
is available in a wide variety of sizes and shapes.
This allows custom fitting of the implant to the configurations
of the patient's face. After implantation, the surgeon
uses fine sutures to close the incision. When the
incision is inside the mouth, no scarring is visible.
If the incision is under the chin, the scar is usually
In chin reduction surgery, incisions are made either
in the mouth or under the chin. The surgeon sculpts
the bone to a more pleasing size. For orthognathic
surgery, the surgeon will make an incision inside
the mouth and reposition the facial bones. The procedure,
depending on the extent of the work, takes from less
than an hour to approximately three hours.
to Expect After the Surgery
Immediately after surgery, the surgeon usually applies
a dressing that will remain in place for two to three
days. You will experience some tenderness. Post-operative
discomfort can be controlled with prescribed medications.
Chewing will probably be limited immediately after
chin surgery, and a liquid and soft food diet may
be required for a few days after surgery. Most patients
feel a stretched, tight sensation after the surgery,
but this usually subsides in a week.
After approximately six weeks, most swelling will
be gone, and you can enjoy the results of your procedure.
Rigorous activity may be prohibited for the first
few weeks after surgery. Normal activity can be resumed
after approximately ten days.
Facial plastic surgery makes it possible to enhance
your appearance and eliminate signs of premature aging
that undermine self-confidence. By changing how you
look, facial plastic surgery can improve your self-image.
Insurance does not generally cover surgery that is
purely for cosmetic reasons. Surgery to correct or
improve genetic deformity or traumatic injury may
be reimbursable in whole or in part. It is the patient's
responsibility to check with the insurance carrier
for information on the degree of coverage.
Copyright 2000 American Academy of Facial and Reconstructive