Chin augmentation

Definition

A chin augmentation is a surgical procedure to reshape or enhance the size of the chin. It may be done either by inserting an implant or by moving or reshaping bones.

Alternative Names

Augmentation mentoplasty; Genioplasty

Description

Surgery may be performed in the surgeon's office, a hospital, or an outpatient clinic.

You will have x-rays taken of your face and chin. The doctor will use these x-rays to find out what part of the chin to operate on.

When you need only an implant to round out the chin:

The surgeon may also need to move some bones:

Chin augmentation is commonly done at the same time as a nose job (rhinoplasty) or facial liposuction (when fat is removed from under the chin and neck).

Surgery to correct bite problems can be done at the same time as chin surgery.

Why the Procedure Is Performed

Chin augmentation is usually done to balance the face by making the chin longer or bigger compared to the nose. The best candidates for chin augmentation are people with weak or receding chins (microgenia), but who have a normal bite.

Before your surgery, discuss how you want to look and feel with the plastic surgeon. Keep in mind that the desired result is improvement, not perfection.

Risks

The most common complications of chin augmentation are:

Other possible complications include:

Rare side effects include:

Although most patients are happy with the outcome, poor cosmetic results that may need more surgery include:

Nicotine from smoking can delay healing.

After the Procedure

You will feel some discomfort and soreness, which you can easily control with medication.

You may feel some numbness in your chin for up to 3 months, and a stretching sensation around your chin for 1 week. Most of the swelling will be gone by 6 weeks, depending on the type of procedure you had.

You might have to stick to a liquid or soft diet for at least a day or two.

You'll probably have the outside bandage removed within a week of surgery. You may be asked to wear a brace while you are sleeping for 4 - 6 weeks.

You can resume light activity the day of surgery. You should be able to return to work and your usual activities within 7 - 10 days. Your doctor or nurse will give you specific instructions.

Outlook (Prognosis)

If the cut was made under the chin, the scar should not be noticeable.

Most implants are good for life. However, implants made from bone or fat tissue that was taken from your body will sometimes be reabsorbed.

Because you may have some swelling for months, you might not see the final appearance of your chin and jaw for 3 - 4 months.

References

Sykes JM, Frodel JL Jr. Mentoplasty and facial implants. In: Cummings CW, Flint PW, Haughey BH, et al. Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby; 2010:chap 32.