Chin augmentation using surgical implants can alter the underlying structure of the face, providing better balance to the facial features.

This operation is often, but not always, performed at the time of rhinoplasty to help balance the facial proportions. Chin augmentation may be achieved by manipulation of the jaw bone (mandible) and augmentation utilizing this technique usually provides a more dramatic correction than with the use of prosthetic implants.

Candidates

Individuals who are not happy with their facial features, and feel that reshaping the chin will improve the overall balance of the face. An example may include enlarging the chin to make a prominent nose appear smaller.

Types of implants

Silicone, body tissue, bone and other man-made materials

Procedure

Chin implant surgery can take up to two hours, depending on the method used. You will be placed under a local or general anesthetic and a small incision made underneath the chin or inside the mouth. The chin implant is then fitted into a pocket created by your surgeon, and the incision closed with stitches (usually dissolvable stitches are used inside the mouth). Another method of chin implant surgery involves making an incision inside the mouth to reach the jaw bone, after which a second incision is made through the bone. The jaw bone is then moved into the appropriate position and wired or screwed into place before closing the incisions with stitches.

Recovery period

Your face will have become swollen following chin implant surgery and take several days before returning to normal and the pain disappearing. Usually the swelling will go down within one week but may take a few weeks before disappearing completely. You may need to wear supportive bandages and will usually put on a liquid diet for up to 10 days. Your surgeon will speak to you about your oral hygiene, which may include rinsing with salt water to keep the area clean. Smiling and talking properly may be difficult for a few days following the chin implant procedure. Stitches will be after removed 7-10 days.

Risks

The usual complications are relatively minor and include swelling, hematoma (blood pooling) and numbness of the lower lip which usually does not last long. Other, less common risks include infection, bony changes and displacement of the implant.