Facial balancing with injectable dermal fillers has grown in popularity over the last few years, but facial implants have offered a permanent way to contour the facial features for decades. For too-short or “weak” chins, our facial plastic surgeon Dr. Inessa Fishman often recommends chin implant placement as an effective, long-lasting and customizable treatment option. Below, Dr. Fishman explains how the chin implant treatment works in detail.
Who is a good candidate for a chin augmentation?
Individuals who appear to have a too-small or short or recessed chin may be good candidates for chin augmentation (or contouring) with a chin implant. How can you tell whether you need more chin projection? There are a couple of ways, says Dr. Fishman. “In general, when viewing a face in profile, I imagine a vertical line dropped down from the lower lip. In a woman, the most forward part of the chin should meet or come very close to meeting this line. In a man, the chin should be at the line or a hair ahead of it.” If you notice an imbalance between the nose, mouth, jawline, and chin, you may do well with chin augmentation. This said, “facial contouring is both an art and a science,” explains Dr. Fishman, and an in-person exam or thorough evaluation of your facial photos can provide a wealth of information in terms of whether chin augmentation is necessary.
What are chin implants made of?
Chin implants are highly variable materials specifically manufactured for long-lasting facial contouring. Most chin implants are made of medical-grade silicone formed into different shapes and sizes to fit the patient’s desired outcome. Dr. Fishman prefers these gummy-bear-like silicone implants to other implants, which are usually made of porous polyethylene (with the trade name Medpor). “I like the ability to carve and customize implants for each patient, and silicone makes these easy,” says Dr. Fishman. She also notes that silicone implants are easy to remove, should there be a complication or a need to change or take out the implant.
How are chin implants placed?
The chin implant treatment takes place via a small incision just under the chin, or through the inside of the mouth and the lower lip. These incisions depend on patient preference and any associated procedures, like a deep plane neck lift or rhinoplasty. During chin implant placement, Dr. Fishman dissects the skin and underlying soft tissue to expose the chin and jaw bone; she then washes this area of dissection with an anti-microbial rinse; chooses and customizes the chin implant; places and secures it to the jaw bone; and closes the incision. Dr. Fishman places chin implants in the office, with patients awake and relaxed; or in the operating room, with patients asleep with the help of general anesthesia.
What is the recovery like after chin implant surgery?
Chin implant surgery is an outpatient procedure, with patients returning home after surgery. Once the numbing medicine wears off, most patients experience mild discomfort or pain, and take Tylenol and Motrin to control this. We recommend a soft diet for 1 week after chin implant surgery, to help control discomfort and swelling. Bruising may be present, and is typically mild and easy to conceal with make-up; most bruising resolves in 7-10 days after surgery. Most of the initial swelling after chin implant surgery resolves in 2 weeks after treatment, and most patients return to work and social events 7-10 days post-operatively. Because the body takes multiple months to heal after any surgery, we counsel patients to allow for at least 6 months of healing before looking for the final results of chin contouring.
Curious about facial contouring? Considering chin implant surgery or fillers?