Chin Implant

Conveniently located to serve the areas of Beverly Hills and Los Angeles

Description

The chin is the most important aesthetic feature of the lower face.  Together with the nose, it determines the shape and profile of the entire face.  As aging occurs, bone density diminishes, and soft facial tissue support weakens, causing the jaw to slowly recede, which creates the appearance of a smaller, or’ weak’ chin. A weak chin can make the nose and upper teeth seem more prominent, and the jaw and neckline appear undefined; however, chin implant surgery is a way to remedy these problems by increasing or changing the size and projection of the chin.

A chin implant, also known as a chin augmentation or mentoplasty, is performed to strengthen the chin and jowl line, making them symmetrical and proportionate to the rest of the face, and producing a more defined appearance of the chin and jawline for the profile and frontal view. The goal of chin augmentation is to improve one’s profile by creating a better balance between the chin and the rest of one’s facial features.  At Gabbay Plastic Surgery, Dr. Gabbay and his team will walk you through the chin enhancement procedure from start to finish—ensuring that your every question and concern is addressed and that your surgery is specifically tailored to meet your specific needs.

Men and women with underdeveloped chins are excellent candidates for chin implant surgery. A receding chin disrupts the balance of a facial profile, and this imbalance is amplified if the nose is generously sized, because this makes the chin appear even smaller. An underdeveloped chin can result in crowding of the underlying neck structures, thereby creating an appearance of fullness under the chin, obscuring jaw line definition, and leading to an inaccurately plump facial appearance. Chin implants have become increasingly popular because they offer predictable and permanent results and a variety of benefits: they maintain their shape, they perfect patients’ profiles while maintaining a natural appearance, they do not suffer from re-absorption, and they restore symmetry and balance to the face. Your chin implant can be performed alone, or with other facial surgeries, and is one of the most efficient procedures to help you obtain a total rejuvenation of your face.

Male and female patients alike have sought out Dr. Gabbay’s surgical expertise after having undergone chin augmentation procedures elsewhere that did not give them the desired results they hoped for.  Dr. Gabbay’s years of extensive training and experience enable him to assess each patient’s needs, and efficiently determine exactly what needs to be done to make rectify the problems previous surgeries were unable to correct, and to ensure each of his patients’ aesthetic goals come to fruition.

Options

With recent technological advances enabling plastic surgeons to use new materials, which are accepted by the human body, the safety of the chin implant procedure has increased. A small or receding chin (microgenia) can be augmented with a wide variety of chin implant options. Dr. Gabbay will work with you to find the implant option that will best meet your needs.  Just as faces come in a variety of shapes and sizes, chin implants come in several pre-formed styles, and are able to accommodate a wide range of aesthetic requirements. Each implant is available in several sizes, thicknesses, and projections, and after measuring the dimensions of  your mandibular bone, Dr. Gabbay will select the perfect implant to match the existing contour of your chin, and give you the profile you desire.  Dr. Gabbay will not rest until you are completely satisfied with the results of your chin implant surgery and can make any and all adjustments necessary to ensure your every aesthetic goal is met.

The entire chin implant operation takes approximately 30-45 minutes, unless other procedures are planned in addition to your chin implant surgery. Chin augmentation surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis. Anesthesia for chin augmentation surgery may be in the form of general anesthesia or a combination of local anesthesia and intravenous (IV) sedation. Mentoplasty incisions are typically placed either inside your mouth at the intersection of your gum and lower lip, or under your chin in the natural crease line where it will be hidden. Your incisions will be closed with sutures, and bandages may or may not be applied to the closed incision. Some sutures will dissolve on their own after a few weeks, while others may need to be removed by Dr. Gabbay during your follow-up visit.

After your procedure, it is advised that you have someone stay with you for the first 24 hours. If the incisions were placed in your mouth, you will be restricted to a soft diet for a few days following surgery and you will need to rinse your mouth thoroughly after eating in order to keep the incision and sutures clean. The recovery from chin implant surgery is relatively simple; however, total recovery time depends on the surgical approach used, whether or not other procedures were performed at the same time, and your body’s unique capacity to heal itself. If you would like more information about chin implant surgery, please contact Gabbay Plastic Surgery and we will be happy to answer any and all of your questions, and to schedule an initial, complimentary consultation with Dr. Gabbay. You may also click the link below to read a more in-depth description of the chin implant procedure.

Chin Anatomy

The chin is the centerpiece of the lower third of the facial structure, and plays a large role in determining facial shape and aesthetics.  The mandible (lower jawbone) is the largest and strongest bone of the face, and is responsible for providing the alignment of the upper and lower teeth and for the foundation of the soft tissues surrounding the face and neck. With age, gradual and progressive bone reabsorption results in decreased mandibular height and reduced chin projection, thereby causing the surrounding soft tissues to become lax, and creating the appearance of a double chin.

Indications

Along with the nose, the chin has a prominent role in establishing facial symmetry, and in determining facial balance in relationship to one’s facial profile.  A receding chin changes the balance between the lower third and upper two-thirds of the overall facial structure. One way to assess whether your chin position is out of balance with the rest of your facial proportions is to look at your profile in a mirror, and draw an invisible line directly down from your upper lip to lower lip. If your chin falls behind the line, it is an indication of retrogenia (receding chin), which can be corrected with chin implant surgery.

Chin implant surgery is performed on both male and female patients, and can be undertaken to correct:

  • A chin that appears too small for the face
  • A chin that has lost definition due to the natural aging process
  • Asymmetry of the jawline
  • Jawline irregularity caused by congenital defects or trauma/injury
  • Fatty deposits under the chin
  • Inadequate bony support in the chin, preventing the soft tissues of the neck from draping smoothly
  • The appearance of a double chin
  • Imbalance between the upper and lower facial areas (ie. Strong upper facial definition but “weak” lower facial appearance)
  • Premature aging of the lower face and neck

Chin clefts result from the soft facial tissue and are not a function of the bone itself, so a cleft may remain even after a chin implant.  For cleft removal, a fat grafting procedure may be used to soften chin contours.

Evaluation

During your chin implant consultation, Dr. Gabbay may take a series of x-rays to analyze the structure of your jaw, and to look for any dental or bony pathology that may affect the surgical outcome.  He will then take calibrated measurements to determine the degree of chin projection required and reveal possible asymmetries, and will use digital imaging analysis to establish the degree of desired projection in relation to your facial shape, size and gender.

After digital imaging analysis is completed, Dr. Gabbay will discuss his recommendations for implant size and type based on your unique facial structure and aesthetic preferences.  Dr. Gabbay uses advanced materials and up-to-date placement techniques in order to ensure that your chin implant will look as natural as possible.

Option Details

Modern-day chin implants are generally created using a number of non-biologic (alloplastic) materials with high biocompatibility, such as: silicone, Gortex, or high-density porous polyethylene (Medpor).  Gortex and silicone are two of the most common implants because research has proven that they achieve optimal re-contouring results.  Medpore implants may be the better choice when a large implant is desired, because Medpore implants have a porous texture, which allows for tissue growth and prevents shifting of the implant, which can occur with traditional silicone-based implants.

Chin implant options include:

  • Central Chin Implants: offered in the original chin implant shape and provide various degrees of chin projection
  • Anatomical Chin Implants:  provide chin augmentation in conjunction with mild to moderate contouring of the front part of the jaw. Two wings positioned at 45-degree angles allow the implant to contour to the front portion of the mandibular bone, which provides better stability and smoother lines.
  • Extended Anatomical Chin Implants: the anatomical implant’s wings are extended in length to provide further enhancement of the jawline, and to create a more angular or square jawline structure.  The wings taper along the lower mandibular ridge in a “wrap-around” design for better restoration of the mandibular buttress, and can also be used to correct the appearance of jowls.
  • Mandibular Implants: used to augment the angle of the jaw and to increase the width and jawline definition. This type of implant is often used in conjunction with anatomical implants to facilitate a complete re-contouring of the jawline structure.
  • Custom Implants: For reconstructive chin surgery, a patient’s CT scan can be used to design a customized three-dimensional implant (custom implant) to correct any mandibular defects or asymmetries.

Complementary Procedures

If a patient’s goal is to improve overall facial symmetry and structure, two or more procedures performed together may produce optimal results, and enhance the results of the individual procedures. Rhinoplasty (nasal reshaping surgery), face lifts and neck lifts are three of the most common procedures patients elect to have performed together with their chin implant surgery, as the results of these procedures all contribute to overall facial harmony and balance.

For patients seeking temporary chin augmentation results, soft-tissue injectables and dermal fillers may be utilized to enhance the size of the chin region.  Patients experiencing only mild tissue and volume loss around their chin as a result of aging may elect to use the technique of fat grafting as a means to re-contour and rejuvenate the lower portion of their face (fat grafting is not, however, ideal for achieving augmentation in chin projection).

Procedure details

Chin implant surgery generally takes 30-45 minutes (if performed alone), and is performed using general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation.  The chin implant can be inserted either through your mouth (intra-oral positioning), or below your chin (sub-mental positioning). During your chin augmentation surgery, Dr. Gabbay will make an incision and design a pocket to accommodate the implant directly over the bone along your lower jaw.  Solid silicone implants can be placed through a small incision under the chin; however, with other rigid biocompatible materials (ie. Medpor), an incision will be made inside your mouth.

When using a silicone-based implant, the implant does not need to be fixed to the mandibular bone, as it is sufficiently secured within the narrow by the bone. For reconstructive surgeries using high-density polyethylene implants, fixation of the implant to the mandible is often required to ensure stability, allow refinement of the implant shape, prevent displacement, and eliminate any gaps between the implant and mandibular bone.

When surgery is completed, Dr. Gabbay will close your incision and apply tape to your skin to assist in holding the implant in position during the temporary post-surgical swelling. After two weeks, the implant will be in its permanent position and stable. For incisions made inside your mouth, no external scar will be visible, and incision sites under the chin will rapidlyheal and become nearly inconspicuous.

Recovery

The extent of the chin augmentation recovery period depends upon the surgical approach utilized, and whether or not other procedures were performed with your chin surgery.  It is likely that you will have temporary swelling and moderate bruising in your chin area, and occasionally along the bottom of your lower front teeth.  Keeping your head elevated will help resolve the swelling, which usually peaks within 1-2 days, and you should be able to return to work and your general daily activities after one week (although you will need to avoid physical activities such as sports until your chin has fully healed).

Pain medication will be used to ameliorate any post-surgical soreness, and you may need to wear a chin strap around your face (day and night) for one week. Following the initial week, Dr. Gabbay will evaluate your healing progression and will determine if you need to wear the strap for an additional two weeks (only at night).  If your incision is inside your mouth, the stitches will usually dissolve within ten days. It is important that you refrain from eating tough foods for the first week or two, as softer foods are easier to chew and will cause less strain to the incision.

Potential (although rare) risks and complications of chin implant surgery include: temporary or permanent changes in chin sensation, shifting of the chin implant, infection, and hematoma (bleeding).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is chin surgery painful?

The majority of patients do not consider cosmetic chin surgery painful.   They do report a period of “tightness” associated with the increased volume from the chin implant, which is worse right after surgery because of the normal swelling process.  Discomfort responds rapidly to oral pain medications and is usually only necessary for a few days.

Is chin augmentation permanent?

If you ever decide that you do not like the way your implant looks, the great thing is, it is removable with a simple short procedure.  The method Dr. Gabbay uses when performing your chin implant will allow you to look the way you did before your surgery, if you decide to have it removed.

Will I have scarring after my chin implant surgery?

If Dr. Gabbay uses the intra-oral approach for your chin augmentation, no visible external scars will be evident.  If he places the implant through an incision under your chin however, a very small scar will be present in a well-concealed region.

What are the side effects of chin implant surgery?

It is normal to have a change in chin sensation after your chin implant, because after surgery, your chin will be “asleep” due to the local anesthetics used.  Once feeling returns, sensations may be heightened until sensory nerves near the implant get used to their new, tighter surroundings.

What type of anesthesia will be used for chin implant surgery?

Chin augmentation surgery can be performed under general anesthesia or light sedation anesthesia, depending on what you and Dr. Gabbay decide.

What happens during my chin augmentation surgery?

Dr. Gabbay will place your chin implant through one of two locations: underneath your chin or inside your mouth.  The incision on the chin is designed to be hidden from view, and also allows other procedures to be performed through the same incision. Incisions inside the mouth may involve a higher rate of infection, which is minimized if you follow your post-operative instructions thoroughly.

How do I know if chin augmentation is the right option for me?

Chin augmentation is appropriate for healthy men and women, who have reasonable expectations for improving a chin that is weak in appearance. Augmentation can also be achieved with the use of temporary injectable fillers, which are a good alternative for those individuals not yet ready for an implant.

What is the recovery like after a chin implant surgery?

Some amount of swelling, bruising and discomfort can be expected after surgery, and discomfort can be treated with medication.  Dressings will be applied after surgery and most people can return to work within one week.  You will be advised however, to wait several weeks before partaking in strenuous activities, particularly those where your face may be bumped or jarred.

Will I look natural after chin implant surgery?

The goal of implant surgery is to create prominence to your chin area and Dr. Gabbay accomplishes this in a natural technique that falls inside the proportions of your face. For any cosmetic surgery, Dr. Gabbay’s goal is to make you look natural and well proportioned.

What are chin implants made of?

Chin implants come in a variety of materials and the most common on the market today are silicone, Medpor (porous polyethylene), PTFE (Gortex) and custom-made Mersilene mesh, which is beneficial because it is highly customizable, and it integrates into the soft tissues eventually feeling like your own tissues.  Because they provide very natural results, Dr. Gabbay typically prefers to use extended anatomical implants coated with a Gortex-like product. All of these implant materials have been shown to be safe materials for this type of surgery.

When will my stitches be removed after my chin implant surgery?

Your chin implant will be placed adjacent to the chin point and fixed into position with either sutures or small screws. The wound is closed using resorbable sutures in the mouth or non-resorbable sutures under the chin, which will be removed in 5-7 days.

When can I expect to see my final results?

It may take months for the final results of your chin implant to emerge.  It is important to give yourself time to get used to your new look. Chin implant surgery offers a high rate of patient satisfaction, with minimal scarring and natural-looking enhancement.