There are many reasons why men and women of all ages seek advice for surgery to the chin or jaw. You perhaps feel that your chin or jaw is too small (or too big) and believe surgery might improve the appearance. If you have decided you have a problem with your chin or jaw then you should be assessed by an expert in all aspects of surgery of both the chin and jaws.
If you have a small chin there are various options which can be considered in order to give your face a better shape overall. If your chin and jaw is of a good height then chin implants may help to improve the projection of your chin.
Generally chin implants are more suitable for smaller advancements; if movements are needed to change the width/height of the chin then you may be advised to consider a genioplasty instead.
Chin implants are placed via an incision made form either inside the mouth or in from an incision made directly under the chin. The chin implant is usually placed adjacent to the chin point before being fixed into position with very small screws. The wound is closed using sutures in the mouth or under the chin.
These have been made from a number of materials over the years but the commonest ones on the market today are:
Medpor (porous polyethylene)
All of these implant materials have been shown to be safe materials for this type of surgery, and my personal preference is to use medpor implants which comes in a number of different shape and sizes. They can also be custom carved to specific shape at the time of the surgery. If you wish to have a custom made implant this can also be arranged. You would need a CT scan prior to this and the implant can be constructed from this data.
Chin implant surgery is typically carried out under general anaesthesia however occasionally it can sometimes be performed under local anaesthetic – with or without sedation if requested. Chin implants are usually done as day case procedures unless combined with other surgeries. Some moderate bruising and swelling is likely to occur within the initial days post-treatment and recovery takes 1-2 weeks. The final result may take a number of months to be seen, when the swelling and tissue trauma has settled.
If placed from inside the mouth a soft diet is recommended for the first few days after chin implant surgery in order to help the wound to heal. Antibiotics and mouthwash are also usually given to patients post-surgery and excellent oral hygiene is also very important during this healing time to prevent infection.
Complications of any surgery include bleeding, infection, altered sensation and asymmetry. Sometimes the edge of the implant can be palpated, although normally this should not be visible. Any implant runs the risk getting infected and if this occurs the chin implant may need removing and replacing at a later date. There is also the risk of dissatisfaction with the appearance after surgery.