A well defined chin helps give balance to the face and creates a major part of one’s profile. Mentoplasty, or chin augmentation, is used to enhance the profile and/or facial contours and balance.
At the Johns Hopkins Center for Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, our physicians are experts in performing chin augmentations. A pleasing, balanced profile can be achieved by:
Inserting an implant
Moving the bone forward to build up a receding chin
Reducing a jutting or too prominent chin
Submental liposuction in which excess fatty tissue is removed to redefine the chin or neckline
Performing a facelift and neck lift, with tightening of the muscles of the neck.
When there is a contributing problem of dental malocclusion, 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.
Our surgeons work with patients to examine how the face changes over time, including how aging affects the chin. Our surgeons may also recommend chin augmentation in conjunction with rhinoplasty, as when the nose is changed the entire balance of the face changes as well.
Is Chin Surgery for You?
The goal of chin surgery is to bring balance to the face as described above. Important factors to discuss with your surgeon include:
Individual healing rate
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.
Making the Decision for Chin Surgery
What you should expect:
During the preliminary consultation, your surgeon will take a thorough medical history, as well as assess the patient’s mental and emotional attitudes toward the surgery. Because a realistic attitude is crucial to the success of the surgery, the surgical procedure and realistic expectations will be discussed.
Photographs will be taken so the surgeon can study your facial features and chin.
Individual risks will also be examined, especially those related to medical situations such as high blood pressure, a tendency to scar, smoking, and any deficiency in blood clotting.
After the decision to proceed with chin surgery is made jointly by you and your surgeon, the surgeon will describe:
a. The technique indicated
b. Type of anesthesia recommended
c. The surgical facility
d. Any additional surgery
e. Possible complications
f. Costs of the procedure
Understanding Chin Surgery
Remember each patient’s individual needs and features are considered before your surgery. Following is a general guideline of the way chin surgery is performed:
To 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 imperceptible.
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 this 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.
What to Expect After Chin 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.