Purpose: Improve the appearance of the chin area, especially in profile. This procedure provides more projection to improve a “weak” chin and poor jaw/neck shape.
Incision: Patient’s choice
Anesthesia: Patient’s choice
Recovery: Varies by patient
Chin augmentation is perhaps one of the most under-utilized facial plastic surgery procedures, probably owing to its benefit being seen in profile, and angle that people to not to see themselves from often. The primary purpose of chin augmentation is to strengthen the appearance of the jaw line, which can have a positive effect on the appearance of other facial features. This procedure makes the chin look more projected, which makes the nose appear smaller and the neck look lifted. Patients often combine chin implant procedures with fat removal in the neck or rhinoplasty to maximize their results. Patients can choose from several options and sizes of chin implants. As viewed from the front, most chin implants have a minimal impact, though some styles add width to the chin and/or make the chin more square. Other implants are designed to smooth out jowls. But the most commonly the chin implant is used to simply increase chin projection.
During a consultation, Dr. Apostolakis discusses and demonstrates each implant option to develop a plan which meets the needs and desires of each individual patient. In unique cases where a solution isn’t found with standard implant, we are able to build a custom implant for the patient.
Chin implants are constructed out of a rubber-like material called silastic. Silastic is what the “baggie” of a breast implant is made of. It is also used as insulation for wires that attach to pacemakers. It is a time-tested, well-tolerated material that has been safely used for many decades. This sturdy, hypoallergenic material will never break open or leak. Unlike breast implants, a chin implant is expected to last a lifetime without need for revision.
Chin implant procedures take place in our accredited outpatient surgery center, which is attached to our office. After preparing the site to accept the implant, various sizer implants are tested before implanting the best one. Patients are able to choose from two surgical approaches for chin implants depending on their unique needs. Implants can be placed through an incision on the backside of the lip or through an incision underneath the chin. In either location, the incision is approximately 1 centimeter long (3/8 inch). With either incision option, this procedure takes about 30 minutes. When the incision is made under the chin, patients typically experience less swelling and a quicker return to a normal appearing chin and lower lip. The inside the mouth incision’s advantage is that it leaves no outward scar.
Patients are able to choose between local anesthesia only or IV sedation for their procedure. Local anesthesia involves around 10 seconds of pain as the anesthetic is infiltrated into the tissues. The advantage to local anesthesia (alone or in combination with a “valium” pill) is the minimal recovery from anesthesia. Another advantage of local anesthesia is that a patient is awake and able to view different size implant test fittings during the procedure using a mirror. IV sedation allows the patient to sleep throughout the entire procedure for an anxiety and pain-free experience.
Recovery time is largely dependent on which incision site is used for the procedure. While the lip approach is effective in concealing the scar, it can often take several months for the soft tissues of the chin to fully recover. The chin approach typically heals more quickly. With either incision, the chin is taped for a few days after the surgery so that it can heal. Patients are able to drive beginning the day after the procedure (so long as they are not taking judgment-impairing medications), and may return to work if having tape on their chin isn’t an issue. It is important to stay away from activities that may impact the chin for several months following the procedure, as the area will still be sensitive to pressure. Patients will want to avoid activities involving a chin strap or other forms of pressure on the chin for several months following surgery.
Risks that could potentially occur with this surgery include excessive bleeding, infection, improper position, nerve injury (numbness to chin/lower lip), prolonged swelling, or poor scarring. The implant is removable. Once the implant has settled into position (usually around 1 week), there is no risk of it moving.
$ = less than $2,000
$$ = $2,000 – $4,000
$$$ = $4,000 – $8,000
$$$$ = more than $8,000