Chin Implant Surgery
For many people, a strong defined jawline is a sign of confidence, attractiveness and beauty. For some however, the jawline is genetically weak. Occasionally this can be combined with an overbite, a protrusion of the upper teeth over the lower teeth resulting in a weak jaw and in extreme cases a condition called hypognathia.
Thankfully, there is a surgical solution to improve a weak chin. Mild cases can be augmented by filler or fat transfer. Intermediate cases can be significantly improved by chin implant surgery. Severe cases are treated with extensive maxillofacial surgery which involves sliding the jaw forward or using bony techniques to change the shape of the lower face.
In my practice, the technique we use most often is that of chin implantation. A specialist silicone implant is placed in front of the tip of the chin to lengthen the jawline and strengthen the lower face. This also adds a little bit of vertical height to the face overall creating a more almond shape.
Is Chin Implant Surgery For Me?
If you have a mild to moderate weak chin without an overbite then chin implant surgery may well be for you. Your first step would include a free face-to-face consultation to discuss what technique might best suit you and the general morphology and shape of your lower face. Your general health as well as your chin specific complaints will be discussed. You will be given a number of options to strengthen your jawline and chin shape.
Chin Implant Surgery
Once you have decided that an implant is your treatment of choice, you’ll be given a range of size options. These range from small to extra large and the maximum amount of improvement that can be obtained is approximately 1 1/2 cm of projection. Anything more than this requires bone sliding techniques which is not something we perform.
Surgery is typically performed under a general anaesthetic as a day case. The scar through which the implant is placed can either be under the jaw or through the gums inside the mouth. Each of these approaches has Its own advantages and disadvantages. You are free to discuss your options to help choose which you prefer.
Surgery typically takes one hour. The implant is held in place with a single screw which minimises migration and allows the implant to sit more securely in the long term. You will be covered with antibiotics during the surgery and for one week after. Pain relief will be given. Haitians are typically allowed to go home the same day but advised to take it easy as the chin and lower jaw area feels very stretched and bruised. Eating and drinking can be slightly difficult for a few days after surgery and the lower lip may experience some transient weakness and clumsiness which can make talking and drinking a little more challenging in the immediate post-operative period.
Chin Implant Recovery
Typically patients feel sore for 48 to 72 hours after surgery. The lower jaw feels stiff and heavy. Hey your ability to talk in your normal voice may be a little compromised for up to a week following surgery. You will be reviewed at one week to ensure the scar or incision is settling well. By this time most people are able to return to work in a normal fashion. Other activities including a light exercise can be permitted at this point.
In the early phase of recovery there will be additional swelling which gives a slightly Fuller than expected result. This will settle but may take six weeks to 3 months or longer. The scar in the skin will take 3 to 6 weeks to start to fade but this can be a little longer in fair skin types. Scar problems are rare but these will be discussed.
Normal physical activity can be resumed anywhere from 10 days to 2 weeks following surgery but contact sports should be avoided for four weeks.
Complications of chin Implant Surgery
Thankfully, complications are rare. They fall into two main groups. Complications associated with the scar include lumpiness swelling and irritation, especially in male patients in whom the beards can grow through especially in the immediate post-operative period. The second group of complications are associated with the implant. Movement and migration of the implant are rare but infection can occur. If the implant becomes infected, then unfortunately, the almost universal outcome is to remove the implant, wait several months until everything has settled and then consider placing a new one. Infection is a very unfortunate complication but is associated with all implant surgery and will be discussed with you during the pre op appointment.
Overall, satisfaction from chin implantation surgery is very high. By all means discuss what you are hoping to achieve at your first or pre-operative appointment.
Your final result will be achieved somewhere between three and six months following surgery. By this time, the swelling will have settled, movement and sensation will be normal and you will be back to full activity. Chin implant surgery is a lifelong change and can be very powerful in augmenting our body image, face and facial confidence.
Time in Theatre
Time in Hospital
Recovery to Comfort
Recovery back to work
Back to full exercise