Genioplasty is a surgical procedure designed to improve the appearance of a chin that is set either too far back or too far forwards. Before considering this procedure your bite should be reviewed by a maxillofacial surgeon to ensure that you would not be better off following a full orthognathic approach.
This procedure is usually performed through an intra-oral incision. During a sliding genioplasty a small piece of the bottom part of the chin bone is cut away form the rest of the jaw using a very small saw and then repositioned to better cosmetic position before finally being fixed into its new position with very small titanium plates and screws. Unlike chin augmentations using chin implants, the surgery corrects and amends the bone structure, so the result is permanent.
Chin surgery is usually carried out under general anaesthesia. Patients are usually discharged home following a one night stay in hospital.
You will have some chin strapping (tape) over the chin to help reduce the initial swelling. This can be removed after a few days or can be left on till the first post operative consultation the following week.
Some bruising and swelling will occur for the first few days and recovery to normal activity takes 7-14 days. The final defined shape of the new chin will not be fully appreciated until a number of months (often 9-12 months) following surgery when all the swelling has settled.
A soft diet is usually recommended for the first few days in order to allow the wound chance to heal. Antibiotics and mouthwash will usually be given and good oral hygiene is very important during this time.
Complications of any surgery include the risk of bleeding, infection or damage to adjacent structures. In the case of chin surgery there are nerves that supply sensation to the lower lip. These can be stretched and bruised affecting sensation to the lower lip, the gums or the teeth. This is usually temporary although can persist in a very small number of cases. The chin point can also feel numb following chin surgery. Again this will usually recover with time.
There is a small chance that teeth can also be damaged in this type of surgery and this is why x-rays are undertaken to assess the position and length of the teeth as well as to assess for any pre-existing dental or jaw problems.
Repeated chin surgery can weaken the muscle that helps support the chin tissues during talking and eating. If you require repeat chin surgery then occasionally we may recommend additional fixation of the soft tissues to try and prevent against problems with the soft tissues long term.
Occasionally after a genioplasty you can get some slight hollowing of the jaw line behind the site of the genioplasty bone cuts. These are not usually of concern and often will settle as the bone remodels itself in the first few months after the surgery but in some cases, once the bone has healed then a small amount of bone contouring maybe indicated to either fill out the area or reduce the indentation. This is a second procedure and would not be advised until the swelling has fully settled.