Chin Augmentation: Improving A “Weak Chin”

A small or “weak” chin is a facial attribute that is often inherited and present for a person’s entire life. It is not a medical problem, and it does not “need” to be corrected. However, an underdeveloped chin can affect facial harmony and facial balance. When we look at a person, we unconsciously measure how their chin relates to their nose, and also how their chin relates to their neck. Specifically, a small chin can make a nose look larger than it actually is, and it can also result in a poorly defined neckline. There are several different ideas for what constitutes the ideal chin position, but in general, the chin is supposed to lie at a position just at or behind the lower lip. A person whose chin sits further behind this point would be a good candidate for chin augmentation.

Chin Augmentation Techniques

There are several techniques available for chin augmentation. These techniques differ in terms of surgical complexity, recovery time, and potential for complications. One type of chin augmentation is called sliding genioplasty. This procedure involves making a cut in the jawbone, moving the chin forward, and securing it into place with titanium plates or screws. Advantages of this procedure include using a person’s own tissue for the repair, as opposed to using a synthetic implant. Disadvantages include the fact that it is a more complex procedure, is not easily reversed, takes longer than implant placement, and is usually performed under general anesthesia. The other main category of chin augmentation is placement of a chin implant. This procedure can be performed through two different approaches. The first is the intraoral approach, which involves making a cut inside the mouth, placing the implant along the jawbone, and securing it with a stitch. The advantage of this approach is that it avoids a scar on the skin. The main disadvantage of this approach involves the potential for contamination of the implant as a result of contact with saliva and bacteria from the mouth. The other approach involves making a small skin incision under the chin, placing the implant along the jawbone, and securing it with a stitch. The main disadvantage of this approach is the creation of a small scar. Advantages include low risk of infection, speed and relative simplicity of the procedure, and relatively little dissection, which correlates to faster recovery time.

Chin Implant Surgery

Chin augmentation can be performed by itself, under local or general anesthesia. It can also be performed at the same time as a rhinoplasty, in people who need and want to achieve a more balanced facial profile. Additionally, it can be performed at the same time as neck liposuction or facelift surgery. For these people, it can further enhance definition of the jaw and result in a very crisp neckline. Of all the types of chin augmentation, we prefer to use a chin implant placed through a small incision under the chin. This procedure can be done in the office under local anesthesia, or in the operating room under general anesthesia. It takes approximately 45 minutes, and recovery time is typically a few days. Chin implantation is a procedure that can make a big difference in a person’s appearance and confidence with relatively little recovery, and it remains one of the more gratifying procedures within the field of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

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