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Chin Implant



Overview

When you look at people who are considered attractive, whether they are male or female, they have certain traits in common. One of them is high cheekbones and a long, triangular appearance to the lower face. A strong chin is a requirement in obtaining this attractive triangular appearance. If you look at any of the super models or sex symbols it is unlikely that you will find any with a weak chin.

As unfair as it may be, a weak chin is one of the first things that people notice as it sets the tone for the whole face. People with weak chins are mistakenly perceived as being un authoritative and less influential.

Fortunately, chin augmentation is very predictable and effective with little downtime. It is performed by making a small incision within the mouth and placing a silicone implant directly on top of the chin. It can also be done through an incision below the chin in conjunction with a neck lift.

The results of the chin implant are very impressive as it adds significantly to the contour and profile of the face. In addition, by making the chin larger it makes the nose appear relatively smaller and gives length to the entire face, all of which significantly enhance facial appearance.

Some people have what is called “retrognathia” which means recessed jaw. In this case the entire jaw is setback and may need to be repositioned forward. This is a much bigger procedure and is not discussed here. For the most part, however, a simple chin implant is all that is necessary.

Benefits

A strong chin that projects as far forward as the lower lip is important in creating a long, attractive, triangular lower face in both men and women. The benefits of a chin implant are many. Here are a few of them:

  • Correction of a weak, underdeveloped chin.
  • Gives the lower face a longer, more aesthetically pleasing triangular appearance.
  • A strong chin creates a more attractive profile.
  • A weak chin gives the illusion of a bigger nose.
  • A strong chin creates a more attractive neck profile and reduces the double chin appearance

Are you a good candidate?

Good candidates are people with small chins without a significant over bite where the entire lower jaw is set back. If you have a significant over bite it may be more appropriate to advance forward the entire jaw which is a much more involved procedure. The best way to decide if you can benefit from a chin augmentation is to take a profile picture of your face and evaluate it. Ideally, the chin should project as far forward as the lower lip in women and even a little more so in men.

Another advantage of chin augmentation for people with large noses is that by augmenting the chin it gives the illusion that the nose is smaller in profile. Also, the chin has a profound influence on the shape of the neck. If your profile shows a weak jaw and a short, indistinct neck, especially if you have a double chin, you most likely would benefit from a chin implant.

Possible complications

Complications with chin implants are rare. Complications, unique to chin implants, include mal position of implant, erosion of the bone underneath the implant, over or under projection of the chin, numbness of the lower lip, and infection.

Do's and Dont's prior to surgery

  • Medications. Certain medications thin your blood and should not be taken within 3 weeks of surgery. The most notable is aspirin and aspirin containing products. Vitamin E and many herbal products also thin the blood and should not be used within 3 weeks of surgery. Your doctor will go over this more thoroughly prior to the procedure.

  • Sleep. It is important to get a good night's rest prior to the procedure. If you think this may be a problem, please, do not hesitate to ask your doctor for something to help you sleep.

  • Smoking. It is important to not smoke within 3 weeks before and after surgery. Smoking has a profound effect on reducing wound healing capabilities. It significantly increases the likelihood for infection, wound healing problems, and scar formation. It also affects your airway and, therefore, makes anesthesia much more difficult.

  • Eating. Do not eat within 8 hours of surgery and do not drink within 6 hours of surgery. Please discuss all medications with your plastic surgeon and the anesthesiologist.

  • Washing. It is a good idea to thoroughly wash your face the morning of surgery and to not apply any makeup. It is extremely important to brush your teeth very well the night before and the morning of surgery. When you are brushing, it is important to also brush your tongue, your gums, and the crevice between your lower teeth and your lower lip. It is highly recommended to use mouth wash as well to decrease the bacterial count in your mouth.

  • Arrival. It is best to arrive on time to make sure everything goes smoothly. Please be sure to have someone else drive you home.

  • State of mind. Remember, this should be a happy and exciting time. A certain amount of nervousness is normal but you must not be overly concerned. Excessive worrying can actually be detrimental. If you are a very anxious person you should discuss this with your doctor prior to surgery so that something can be prescribed to make sure you remain calm.


Anesthesia

The anesthesiologist will discuss with you what type of anesthesia is best for you prior to the procedure. He/she will take into consideration your medical history, the procedure, and your personal wishes.

Chin implant surgery is normally done under local with or without sedation unless it is done concurrently with other procedures.

After the procedure

The procedure itself will take about 1 to 1.5 hours.

Immediately. Right after the operation you will be watched for 1 or 2 hours and encouraged to walk around. You will be given as much pain medication as necessary both immediately after the operation and for the entire postoperative period. You will have tape applied to the chin area. It is important to keep this tape in place until you see your doctor in the office. You may have a small amount of oozing within your mouth. You will be shown how to gently rinse with mouth wash to take care of this. The oozing will stop in about 2 days.

That evening. It is recommended that you take it easy. You should only drink fluids so that you do not move your jaw that much. It is recommended that you do not talk too much the first week after implant surgery to minimize jaw movement. You should take as much pain medication as necessary and try to go to sleep early. It is best if you sleep with your head elevated to promote proper lymphatic drainage and keep the swelling down.

First 48 hours. You can take a shower the day after and move around. Just remember to keep the tape in place, keep your head elevated. Move your jaw as little as possible. You should be eating only soft food that it easy to swallow.

First week. The tape will remain in place for 1 week. At this time, the implant is somewhat secure but mal position can occur as late as 6 weeks from surgery so be careful not to bump your chin. Be sure to finish your antibiotics.

Beyond. Swelling will not completely resolve for about 3 months but the majority of it will be gone by 2 weeks. If you have any numbness in your lower lip it should resolve by 3 months.

Recovery time

Some people with sedentary jobs go back to work after 2 days. If your job, however, requires strenuous activity it may take as long as 3 weeks to return to work. Most people return to work in about 3 to 5 days. Remember, you will have tape on your jaw for 7 days.