Dear Dr. Wolf, I have not stopped hearing about chin implants lately. I have always thought that my chin was small, but since there has been all this hoopla about the chin, I would like to know what my options are. what do you recommend?
Chin implants have been around for a long time. I have seen lots of variations on sizes, type of materials used, and on methods of introducing the implants to the chin area.
First, let’s start with how you put one in. Chin implant surgery may be done with local anesthesia (direct injection of local anesthesia into the area) or done with general anesthesia. The incision used to place the implant is done either on the inside of the mouth or just under the chin. The implant may be secured to the bone with a suture, a small metal plate or just sliding the implant into a small “pocket” to keep it in place.
Chin implants are made of different materials, including silicone, rubber-like materials and bone. The bone may be your own bone or bone from a cadaver donor. if it’s your own bone, it may come from your hip or your own jaw (it’s moved forward and secured with little metal plates). Chin implants vary in size and shape depending on the patient’s needs and wants and, of course, what your physician thinks is best
Like everything else in surgery, there are other procedures that may be added to your chin augmentation surgery that would improve your cosmetic results. Neck liposuction improves the jaw line and often enhances the overall result of a chin augmentation. in addition, a rhinoplasty (“nose job”) is often accompanied with a chin implant.
This is one of those “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” questions. Improving the chin often makes a bad nose look good, and likewise, improving the nose makes a bad chin look good.
As in life, there is always the good with the bad. Chin surgery has risks like all surgeries. Risks of chin implant surgery include infection, rejection of the implant, malposition and nerve injury. Nerve injuries include loss of sensation, persistent pain, and on rare occurrences, loss of movement in the lower lip. while these complications are rare, they do occur.
In picking your physician, you should choose a facial plastic surgeon, plastic surgeon, otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat doctor) or oral surgeon for your surgery.
Make sure that your physician discusses your expectations, shows you “before” and “after” pictures of patients, and discusses your risks and benefits before you sign up.
I find that chin augmentation surgery is a rewarding procedure for my patients to undergo once they are well-informed. Good luck.
Carlos Wolf, M.D., is a board-certified facial plastic surgeon who sees patients in Napa and Miami. if you have any questions that you would like him to answer, he may be reached at DrWolfinNapa@aol.com.