Chin Surgery Overview

Your chin can have a surprisingly large impact on your face. It can create the illusion of a large nose or full neck and define your overall facial shape. If you’re unsatisfied with the size or shape of your chin, chin surgery at MedStar Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery can help.

Also known as genioplasty or mentoplasty, chin surgery is a surgical procedure to reshape or reposition the chin. An implant can also be used to augment the chin, increasing chin projection and improving overall facial proportion.

The majority of patients who inquire about chin surgery are seeking to add projection to their chin due to a chin that is retrusive, weak, or misshapen. The chin can also be lengthened, narrowed, widened, tapered, or shortened to change facial shape from square to oval or shortened to bring a long face into balance. Frequently men desire to masculinize their face or women desire to feminize their face through surgery of the chin.

Planning and Recovery

What to Expect

Your surgeon will perform a comprehensive evaluation of your face, chin, jaw and occlusion (contact between the teeth). He or she will evaluate your occlusion to see whether lower-jaw surgery would be an option to achieve the same result. Most patients will defer jaw surgery but it is important that you are informed of the pros and cons of jaw surgery vs. chin surgery if both procedures are an option.

In evaluating your face, the doctor will make recommendations on how your chin surgery should be performed to optimize your facial dimensions based on your current facial form and shape, as well as how you will continue to age. Ultimately, the procedure performed is your choice, but your surgeon will make sure that your choice is based on a discussion of all aspects of chin surgery and facial form. Three-dimensional imaging is performed to allow you to get a sense of the proposed result. The consultation is meant to be an engaging interaction to help you determine the best procedure for your individual goals.

Chin implant: This procedure involves placing a chin implant directly on your bone via a short incision under the chin or inside the mouth. Surgery will usually require about one hour. Before the surgery, your surgeon selects the proper size and shape implant to enhance your appearance. He or she then inserts it into a pocket over the front of the jawbone. The small incision to create the pocket and insert the implant is placed inside the mouth (along the lower lip) or in the skin just under the chin area. The implant is then secured with a titanium screw to prevent postoperative movement or malposition. Although an implant will add projection, it will not correct asymmetry, add length, tighten neck tissue, or allow modification of the labiomental crease (the groove between chin and lower lip).

Genioplasty: During osseous genioplasty, an incision is made inside the mouth and the bone that makes the chin is moved into a new position. The jaw is not broken, only the chin button is moved. Therefore, there are no restrictions on diet and no limitations on mouth opening. The advantage of this technique is that it allows the chin to be repositioned with control of the labiomental crease and three-dimensional movement. In a genioplasty, the bone is being moved forward and the muscles and tissue of the neck that attach to the back of the chin are being pulled tighter. This tightening of the soft tissue under the chin has a rejuvenating effect on the soft tissues of the neck, resulting in a more youthful appearance. Once the chin bone is in its new location, a titanium plate is used to secure it.

Your physician will give you specific instructions to prepare for the procedure, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking and avoiding certain vitamins and medications. Carefully following these instructions will help your surgery and your recovery proceed more smoothly.

Anesthesia will be administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your surgeon will recommend the best choice for you.

 

Recovery After Surgery

The chin is frequently taped to minimize swelling and discomfort. If an intraoral incision is used, the sutures will dissolve on their own. If the incision is made under your chin, your sutures will be removed within 1-2 weeks following your surgery. While the initial outcome of plastic surgery with facial implants is noticeable almost immediately, it may be obscured by visible swelling, which can take several months to fully dissipate. Some temporary numbness is usually present on the lower lips after chin surgery but typically returns to normal within several weeks.

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Frequently Asked Questions

You may be a good candidate if:

  • You’re physically healthy
  • Your expectations are realistic
  • You understand the risks that come with surgery
  • You’re unhappy with the appearance of your chin but have a normal bite
  • Because the incision is made under the chin or inside the mouth, the scar should not be noticeable.

    As with any surgery, chin surgery does pose some risks. These risks include:

  • Anesthesia complications
  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • Bruising
  • Implant movement
  • Infection
  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Scarring
  • Swelling
  • Teeth damage
  • Unevenness of the face
  • The costs for chin surgery vary based on your specific needs. Insurance coverage may be available if your insurance carrier determines the procedure to be medically necessary to address deformities or functional problems.

    When you come in for your consultation visit, we’ll be better able to discuss fees in detail with you. Our staff will also review the financing options available and help with insurance approval questions.

    While most health insurance providers do not cover chin surgery, insurance coverage may be available if your carrier determines the procedure to be medically necessary to address deformities or functional problems. It’s always best to discuss coverage with your carrier and the steps necessary for approval. Our office will assist you with paperwork needed for pre-approval.

    If you’re exploring options for insurance coverage, you may need to request a referral from your primary care doctor, depending on your health insurance plan. Check with your carrier to see if medical coverage is an option for you and, if so, whether a referral is required.

    If you’re exploring options for insurance coverage, you may need to request a referral from your primary care doctor, depending on your health insurance plan. Check with your carrier to see if medical coverage is an option for you and, if so, whether a referral is required.

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