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Ask the Experts
Chin surgery, also known as mentoplasty, genioplasty or chin augmentation, is a surgical intervention that aims to modify the size of the chin to achieve a more proportionate and aesthetically pleasing face, correcting congenital facial asymmetries or those caused by an accident. Chin surgery can be done either by inserting an implant or by modifying the bones.
What does Chin Surgery consist of?
Depending on the objective of the intervention, the most appropriate technique for each patient is applied. If a chin is being augmented and enhanced, there are a number of options. For non-permanent results, injectable fillers can be used to achieve enhancement results without the need for surgery. However, to achieve a permanent change, surgical implants can be used. This procedure can take around 45 minutes and involves an incision being made inside the mouth. Through this, a pocket is made to insert the implant which is positioned accordingly. Implants can vary in size and shape, according to the patient’s wishes. General anaesthesia is mostly used for this procedure, but it can be performed as a day-case.
If a chin reduction is being performed, an incision is made inside the mouth or under the chin. Through this incision, excess tissue and fat are removed to create the desired shape. General or local anaesthesia can be used for this procedure.
Candidates for mentoplasty typically have a weak chin and/or prominent nose, or a prominent jaw.
Mentoplasty that augments the chin takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour to perform. Either local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia is used. During the procedure, an incision is made inside the mouth, which eliminates visible scarring. A pocket is created for the implant (typically made of semi-solid silicone), which is then placed and positioned in front of the jawbone. Once in place, the implant is secured with sutures. When an incision in the mouth is not possible, it is made underneath the chin so that the scar is not apparent.
Mentoplasty that reduces the chin takes approximately 1 to 2 hours to perform. General anesthesia is typically used. The procedure begins with the surgeon’s making an incision inside the mouth or under the chin. Excess bone and/or tissue and muscle are removed, and the tip of the chin is contoured to the desired shape using a bone burr or drill. In some cases, a piece of the bone is removed, and the chin is repositioned. Sutures are used to close the incision.
After mentoplasty, a patient may experience tightness and swelling in the chin. Discomfort can be relieved with pain medication, although most patients report that pain is gone within 3 to 5 days. A compression garment may be taped to the chin to reduce swelling. For 2 weeks following mentoplasty, eating only a light, liquid-based diet is recommended. Full recovery from mentoplasty takes 6 weeks.
Risks of mentoplasty include implant displacement or bone absorption (in augmentation), asymmetry, numbness in the lip and chin, infection and bleeding. In general, serious complications are rare.
Patients should discontinue all medications that contain aspirin and should stop smoking before the surgery. If there is a planning for submental incision, the patient should use an antibacterial cleanser a few days before surgery and patients scheduled for the intraoral approach need to rinse the mouth at least thee times a day. The surgeon may advise the patient not to eat and drink for eight hours before starting the procedure.