What is chin augmentation?
Chin augmentation can be either a surgical or a non-surgical procedure that increases the projection of the chin to help add balance and harmony to your face. If you feel that your chin is not adequately prominent or is not balancing your other facial features, chin augmentation may be the solution.
Am I a good candidate for chin augmentation?
Both men and women who have “weak chins” can benefit from a chin augmentation. When a patient has a weak chin, it gives the illusion that their nose is too large for their face. Often, these patients present for a rhinoplasty consult to reduce the size of their nose. In reality, these patients may not need a rhinoplasty, but instead may need a chin augmentation to achieve facial balance. Another common concern in patients with weak chins is the illusion of excess fat below the chin. Often it is the poor bone structure of the jaw and neck that gives the appearance of excess fat below the chin. In this situation, a chin augmentation can correct the poor bone structure and make the contours of the neck look better. The final indication for chin augmentation is when there has been significant age related bone resorption (osteoporosis) of the jaw bone directly in front of the jowls. The bone loss makes the jowls look worse. In this situation, a chin implant can augment the pre-jowl depressions and hide the jowls, giving the patient a more refined, straight jawline.
What is the procedure for chin augmentation?
A chin augmentation is usually performed surgically. A surgical chin augmentation can either be done in the office under local anesthesia, or under general anesthesia at an outpatient surgical center. A surgical chin augmentation starts by making a small skin incision under the chin. Through this incision, an implant is placed on top of the bone over the front part of the chin. The shape of the implant is such that when it is in place, it looks and feels like a normal chin. The skin incision heals beautifully and is rarely noticeable, even upon close inspection. Chin augmentation is often performed in conjunction with a rhinoplasty or with a facelift and necklift.
Sometimes a patient does not want to have surgery and wishes to have a chin augmentation by using injectable fillers. A non-surgical chin augmentation is performed with either Restylane or Juvederm (hyaluronic acids). These products are ideal for non-surgical chin augmentation because they are the easiest to mold and to shape. They are also favorable because they do not prevent a future surgical chin augmentation. The Restylane and Juvederm products can be easily removed prior to a surgical chin augmentation by injecting a medication called hyaluronidase.
What are the risks associated with chin augmentation?
The risks of any surgical procedure include bleeding, infection, and scarring. Additional risks to chin augmentation include, but are not limited to, asymmetry, abnormal contours of the chin due to buckling or bunching up of the implant, temporary or permanent numbness of the lower lip, injury to the nerve that moves the lower lip, over correction of the chin augmentation, under correction of the chin augmentation, and a sub-optimal esthetic result. These risks are very, very low.
What is recovery like from my chin augmentation?
Chin augmentation recovery time will vary depending on whether the patient received a chin implant or if the chin augmentation was achieved using injectable fillers. Also, chin augmentation done in conjunction with other procedures can lengthen recovery time. Patients may experience a feeling of tightness in the chin area, due to swelling. The swelling usually peaks at two days after surgery. There may be mild bruising of the chin. Pain medication may be prescribed to control any discomfort, as well as antibiotics to prevent any risk of infection. The patient needs to sleep with their head elevated to diminish swelling, and they should not do any bending, lifting, or straining for one week. The patient may shower the day after the procedure. The sutures are removed one week after the surgery. Most patients can return to work once the swelling and bruising has resolved, usually at one week.