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A chin enhancement is an operation to improve the structure of the chin, known medically as chin augmentation, mentoplasty or genioplasty. It can involve the use of an implant to change the shape and projection of the chin.
This can help to balance out facial features and improve appearance, particularly in people who have a naturally receding chin. Sometimes surgeons can combine this operation with other jaw surgery and multiple procedures take place at the same time. This chin enhancement overview page will be able to give you an idea of what the procedure involves.
What can a chin enhancement achieve?
This procedure can alter the shape, size and position of your chin to create a more balanced appearance. The chin is reduced in size if it is overly prominent or enhanced if it is receding or small. Chin enhancement surgery aims to make you feel more confident and comfortable by creating a natural looking, well-proportioned chin.
Chin enhancement technique
Your surgeon will discuss all of the available options and tailor their approach around you. The choice of technique also depends on whether you wish for your chin to increase or decrease in size. Some of the commonest techniques are:
This is a permanent method of chin enhancement. The surgeons creates a small incision underneath the chin and inserts an implant made from either silicone, Porex or Gore-Tex. Silicone implants are the easiest to remove if required, but also carry a higher risk of movement or buckling as they are less porous than the other types. Despite this, silicone remains the commonest type of implant used for chin enhancement.
This permanent method of chin enhancement uses the existing bones to reshape the chin rather than an implant. The surgeon makes incisions inside the mouth in order to reach the lower jaw and chin. This allows the surgeon to cut the bones of the lower jaw and "slide" it into the desired position. Then, they will secure it in place with a small metal plate and screws. Finally, the surgeon stitches the inside of your mouth together using dissolvable stitches.
This is a non-surgical procedure as a local anaesthetic alone is suitable and some surgeons offer it in the clinic. It is not permanent and results tend to last up to one year. This method involves strategic injections of a material such as hyaluronic acid directly into the chin to alter its shape and size. Fillers only ever increase the size of the chin and cannot be used for chin
Chin Enhancement Candidates
Why choose to have a chin enhancement?
Some patients are more suitable chin enhancement candidates than others. If you feel that your chin is either too large or too small, or disrupts the balance of your face, then you may consider having a chin enhancement procedure. To decide whether undergoing this operation is the right decision for you at this time, please think about what exactly you feel is the problem with your chin and how it makes you feel. The most suitable candidates for a chin enhancement are those who have features and concerns that a BAAPS or BAPRAS approved surgeon can improve through this procedure. A chin enhancement may be appropriate for you if:
- The appearance of your chin affects your confidence and self-esteem.
- You are experiencing significant distress or worry because of the appearance of your chin.
- Your chin is disproportionately prominent or receding in comparison to the rest of your face.
- You want to improve the balance of your facial features.
Who are the ideal candidates?
This depends on many factors in addition to those outlined above. These include, but are not limited to the following:
Good general health
It is important that you are in good general health before your surgery. This may mean stopping smoking before surgery or losing some weight before the procedure. This will reduce the risk of complications and help you achieve better results from the surgery. Your surgeon will discuss this with you and will be able to offer you support and guidance throughout the process.
Good jaw function
In order for this procedure to be successful, it is vital that you have a normal jaw and teeth. This includes having a jaw with full range of movement and no significant under or overbite. Also, patients with some genetic facial abnormalities may not be suitable candidates for a chin enhancement.
A small (receding) or large (prominent) chin
A chin enhancement procedure can correct chins with problems at either end of the scale. To achieve the best visible results, patients undergoing this surgery should find themselves in agreement with their surgeon that their chin is either overly large or small when compared to the rest of their face.
What a chin enhancement will not resolve
A chin enhancement will only alter the size and shape of your chin. However, often the surgeon can combine a chin enhancement with the following procedures to address other concerns you may have:
- Face lift – this can reduce wrinkles and skin sagging.
- Blepharoplasty – this can correct sagging of the eyelids.
- Rhinoplasty – this alters the size and shape of the nose.
Your surgeon can perform these procedures at the same time as your chin enhancement. Discuss with your surgeon your concerns so that they can suggest the best approach for you to achieve your goals.
What should I expect from my chin enhancement consultation?
Your chin enhancement consultation is an opportunity for you to meet with your surgeon to discuss the procedure and what you would like to achieve from it. This will last between 15 minutes and an hour. You will talk with your BAAPS/BAPRAS surgeon about your concerns, and they will assess your face and chin. They can then discuss with you the best surgical approach to solve the problems that you have identified. If appropriate, they may suggest procedures for other parts of the face such as the nose or eyelids. These can often be performed at the same time as a chin enhancement with the aim being helping you to achieve the aesthetic goal that you’re looking for.
Your surgeon will also discuss with you the potential risks and complications that come with a chin enhancement procedure. It is important to be aware of these so that you can make an informed decision on whether or not you wish to go ahead with the operation.
To assess your suitability for surgery, your surgeon may ask you about the following:
- Any current medical conditions you have.
- Your past medical history.
- Any previous surgeries you have had.
- What medications you are currently taking (including over-the-counter and herbal remedies).
- Your intake of alcohol.
- Your smoking history.
- Whether or not you have any allergies.
During your consultation, we recommend that you are as open as possible with your surgeon. Be honest about your expectations and your desired outcome. Your surgeon is there to listen carefully to you, and to help you achieve the goals you want. This also means letting you know if your expectations are not realistic. In this case, they may suggest better alternatives for you.
What questions should you ask during your chin enhancement consultation?
You can ask your surgeon any questions you have about the procedure during your consultation. We want you to be confident with your decision to have a chin enhancement, so make sure you express any queries you might have. There is no such thing as a silly question! The following are some examples of questions that you may consider asking:
- Will a chin enhancement correct the concerns I have expressed?
- What scars will I be left with?
- What other options are available for me?
- Will I benefit from a face lift/rhinoplasty/eyelid lift too?
- Do you think that my goals would be better achieved with a non-surgical procedure?
- Do you have any before and after pictures of previous chin enhancement procedures you have performed?
- Will I be in pain after the surgery?
- How soon after a chin enhancement can I return to work?
Chin enhancement preparation
Chin enhancement preparation - How can I prepare?
Preparation is key for a smooth and speedy recovery. Doing some household chores and planning ahead will make your life easier after the surgery. During this time, you will need to take things slowly as your wounds heal. Below are some simple chin enhancement preparation tips that can help you make a smooth recovery:
You might want to do certain tasks like cleaning the house, taking the bins out or doing the laundry before the day of your operation. This way, you won’t have to do these chores when you get home from the surgery. Coming home to a clean and tidy house is sure to make you feel more comfortable and at ease whilst you recover.
It’s good to stock up on some key food items that can be kept in your cupboard or fridge. You may not feel like leaving the house for a couple of days after the surgery, so this will save you from having to go to the supermarket when you return home. Preparing some meals in advance may also be a useful way of minimising stress when you return after the operation as they can be kept in the freezer. You can then easily defrost these on days you don’t feel like cooking.
Children and pets
Looking after pets and young children can often be a handful. After a surgical procedure such a chin enhancement it is understandable to be tired and lack your usual energy. Asking friends or family to mind your children or pets can, therefore, help to make your recovery less stressful. As another option, you might wish to get a babysitter or nanny to help you with your little ones for a short time as you recover.
After the surgery, you will not be able to drive as the effects of the anaesthesia wear off. Therefore, make sure you have organised for someone to pick you up and drive you home. We recommend asking a friend or family member, rather than a taxi service, as you will feel more at ease having someone familiar to collect you from the hospital after your surgery.
A healthy diet is an important factor in helping you to heal and recover after a chin enhancement. Eat lots of healthy green vegetables, fresh fruit, and high-protein foods such as chicken, fish and legumes. Drink plenty of fluids - water is best. Tea and coffee are high in caffeine, so we advise you to keep those to a minimum as well as avoiding alcohol. Also, try to avoid foods that are high in sugar and salt as much as you can.
Make sure you have clothing that fastens in the front or the back. Clothes that have to be pulled over your head will make contact with the treated area of your face and might cause pain or irritation of the incisions. We also recommend loose clothing such as jogging bottoms for your comfort as you relax at home during your recovery.
Your face might feel delicate the first few days after surgery so you may find it uncomfortable sleeping face down. Additionally, sleeping face down can cause a chin implant to move from its desired position and so is not recommended. You may, therefore, want to have some extra pillows for after your surgery so you can sleep propped up on your back. Resting in an inclined position on pillows also has the benefit of reducing swelling around the treated area.
Your Medbelle BAAPS/BAPRAS surgeon may be able to give you further chin enhancement preparation tips as well as more specific information on your surgery, on the day of your consultation. Make sure you follow their instructions to achieve the best results from surgery.
Before your surgery please discuss any medicines that you take with your surgeon and/or anaesthetist. This includes over the counter medications, herbal remedies and any other drugs not prescribed by your doctor. It is important to follow any instructions about adjustments to your medications or medications that you have been told you should stop prior to your surgery. This is particularly important if you are taking any blood-thinning medications such as warfarin or clopidogrel and/or any oral diabetes medications.
Failure to follow instructions regarding your medications is a common cause for cancelled or delayed procedures and one we should all try to avoid wherever possible.
Chin enhancement procedure
How is a chin enhancement performed?
There are a number of different techniques your surgeon can use for a chin enhancement procedure. You will have met with your BAAPS/BAPRAS surgeon for a consultation prior to the surgery to discuss the different options, and what technique would be most suitable for you to achieve your goals. A chin enhancement usually takes around 1 hour to perform. However, this also depends on whether you have additional procedures, such as a rhinoplasty, performed at the same time. Below is an overview on what will happen on the day of your procedure.
You will have to sign a consent form before having your surgery. You will sign this either on the day of your surgery or during your pre-operative assessment a week before. We advise that you take your time to read the form carefully. This is in order to ensure that you fully understand all the risks, benefits and potential complications of your surgery. Also, be sure to ask any questions you may have before signing your consent form.
After you sign your consent form, your surgeon may want to have a look inside your mouth or draw some lines on your tummy. They will also discuss the goals of the procedure and what they will be doing.
You will be walked to the anaesthetic room where you will meet your anaesthetist. This is the doctor who will be responsible for giving you your anaesthetic. Your surgeon will have discussed with you what type of anaesthetic you will have during your operation. This will either be a general or a local anaesthetic. A general anaesthetic will put you safely to sleep throughout the entire procedure. A local anaesthetic will numb the treatment area, and the anaesthetist will also give you a sedative medication at the same time. This will help to keep you relaxed throughout the operation.
In the operating theatre, your surgeon will prepare you for the operation by cleaning the treatment area and draping over a sterile sheet. Your surgeon will then make an incision.
The incisions will vary slightly in size and location according to the technique used. They are generally located under the chin or inside the mouth The general technique involves the surgeon gaining access to the jaw bone and either placing an implant or cutting and manipulating your existing jaw bone to enhance the chin. The surgeon will then use stitches to fix the chin in its new position.
There are also different techniques that the surgeon may use which include the following:
This is a permanent method of chin enhancement.
The surgeon creates a small incision underneath the chin and inserts an implant made from either silicone, Porex or Gore-Tex.
Silicone implants are the easiest to remove if required, but also carry a higher risk of movement or buckling as they are less porous than the other types.
You can see some examples of silicone chin implants in the photo below.
Despite this, silicone remains the commonest type of implant used for chin enhancement because it is robust and well established.
This permanent method of chin enhancement uses the existing bones to reshape the chin without an implant.
The surgeon makes incisions inside the mouth in order to reach the lower jaw and chin. This allows the surgeon to cut the bones of the lower jaw and reposition them with small metal plates and screws.
Finally, the surgeon stitches the inside of your mouth together using dissolvable stitches.
4. Closing of incisions
The surgeon will stitch the incisions closed. They will usually use absorbable stitches to close the incision. Afterwards, they will apply a light dressing to your face to help minimise bruising and swelling. These bandages will come off after a couple of days. Your surgeon may encourage you to wear a support bandage around the chin for the first week after the surgery to ensure that the chin settles in its new position.
5. Return to the ward
At the end of the surgery, the nurses will move you to a recovery room. Here, you will gradually wake up from your anaesthetic under close supervision.
Chin enhancement aftercare
What can I expect after a chin enhancement?
Knowing what sort of things to expect after a chin enhancement operation can help to make you feel more comfortable and at ease in the lead up and on the day of the surgery. Chin enhancement aftercare is an important part of your road to a balanced and cosmetically pleasing chin. Your BAAPS/BAPRAS surgeon will discuss the details of the chin enhancement aftercare process during your consultation. They will provide you with information on how best to take care of yourself during your recovery. This includes advising you on:
- When you can go back to work.
- How long you must wait before resuming exercise.
- How you should wash and care for your wounds.
A key element of chin enhancement aftercare is a follow up appointment which your surgeon will also organise with you. This often takes place within two weeks of your surgery. During this appointment, your surgeon will check your wounds to see how they are healing, remove any non-dissolvable stitches, and remove or replace any dressings if necessary. They will also address any complications and make an initial assessment of the results of the procedure.
How will I feel after surgery?
If you were put to sleep with a general anaesthetic, you will gradually wake up following surgery under close supervision. You will have dressings around your chin and you may also have a drainage tube in place. The nurses will remove any drainage tubes before you go home unless your surgeon advises you otherwise. The bandages will normally stay in place for up to a week, after which time a chin support can be worn. If local anaesthetic was used, you may feel a change in sensation in the treated area of the face. This will eventually wear off. The treatment area may also feel slightly tight and tender. Your surgeon or the nurses in the recovery room will offer you painkillers which you can take if necessary.
Is there anything I need to do in the first 24 hours?
It is important that you have a responsible adult to stay with you for at least 24 hours after the surgery. This is because after a general anaesthetic you will feel tired and groggy. The anaesthetic can also affect your memory and concentration and affects everybody differently. This can last from anywhere between a few hours and up to 2 days. It is good to have someone there to help you if at any point you feel dizzy or unsteady as you get up from a seated position. We therefore recommend that you ask a friend or relative in advance if they can stay with you during this period. You can also ask them to drive you home after the surgery, as you will not be able to drive yourself due to the effects of the anaesthetic.
How much time do I need to take off work?
The recovery period may depend on which surgical technique your surgeon used and how extensive your chin enhancement procedure is. In general, you will need to take around a week off work. You may need longer if your job is more active or you are not comfortable to return. You should therefore listen to the exact time frames that your surgeon provides you with. Whether you have an office job or a physical job, make sure that you do not lift anything heavy for at least 4 weeks.
When can I return to exercise and sport?
You should avoid any strenuous activity and contact sports for at least 4 to 6 weeks after your chin enhancement surgery. However, you should be fine to resume some light physical activity after 1 to 2 weeks. Start off gently, with light aerobic activity such as walking on a treadmill or a short walk outside.
What other points should I consider?
Swelling & Bruising
This is common around the treated area for the first couple of weeks after a chin enhancement operation. Generally, this will be at its worst 3 to 4 days after the operation and will then gradually begin to settle. Sleeping and resting with your head propped up with pillows for the first 10 to 14 days can also help to reduce any swelling. Additionally, you should avoid sleeping on your front or putting any pressure on your chin during this time.
For the first few weeks, scars typically appear pink and raised. They will eventually fade to faint white lines. Avoid too much sun exposure to the treatment area as this can cause permanent darkening of the area.
Saunas and heat
Avoid anything that may promote facial flushing for 4 to 6 weeks. This includes saunas, steam rooms, and steam face masks.
Your surgeon may advise that you wear a compression bandage around your face for the first couple of weeks after your operation. The length of time you will need to wear this bandage will depend on your individual surgeon’s specific advice. Your surgeon will also advise you on the type of bandage that you need and will be able to recommend some suitable options.
There will of course be a noticeable difference to your face immediately after surgery, but it is important to remember that you may not be able to appreciate the final cosmetic results until up to 6 months after surgery. This is because often there is some residual swelling, some scarring may take longer to fade, and it may take a while for the area to fully heal. Immediately after the surgery, your chin may look larger than you anticipate due to the swelling. This will gradually settle within 2 weeks. As long as you follow your surgeon’s chin enhancement aftercare advice, you will gradually feel more and more like your usual self and be able to appreciate your new chin shape.
Risks and Complications
Chin enhancement risks and complications
What are the main chin enhancement risks and complications?
As with any surgical procedure, there are risks and complications that can occur. It is very important that you are fully informed of these and able to weigh up these risks before you choose to go ahead with chin enhancement surgery. This page outlines the main chin enhancement risks and complications. You should read these carefully and take a while to think about them when deciding if a chin enhancement procedure is suitable for you. Your surgeon will also give you a two-week “cooling-off” period after discussing the risks and any of your concerns during your consultation. This will give you time to decide if you are happy to proceed with the surgery.
Bruising & Bleeding
Some bruising of the treated area is common after surgery. This should resolve over the first couple of weeks. You may also experience slight bleeding from the incision site. This typically occurs right after surgery but may occur a few weeks later. However, if you notice significant bruising, pain, and facial swelling, please inform your surgeon immediately. It is possible that you may have a haematoma, which is a solid collection of blood under the skin. These usually occur within 24 hours of surgery and require medical attention to treat. You may be more at risk if you are male, have high blood pressure, or take certain medications.
Although every effort is made to minimise the risk of infection during surgery, it is still possible for an infection to occur in the treated area. Therefore, it is important that you are aware of the signs of infection. Make your surgeon aware immediately if you notice any of the following signs after your chin enhancement:
- Feeling feverish with a temperature over 38° C.
- Redness at the incision site that is spreading after the first 48 hours.
- Yellow pus-like or foul-smelling fluid seeping from the incision.
- Increased pain or discomfort that your pain medication does not resolve.
Unfortunately, it is not always possible to avoid scarring where the surgeon has made incisions. The size and location of the scars will vary according to the technique used. Make sure you have discussed with your surgeon what scarring you can expect. Most scars will be minimal and your surgeon will make them as discreet as possible, often placing the incisions either inside the mouth or underneath the chin so they are as unobtrusive as possible. Remember that scars will also fade with time. How much they fade will depend on the healing ability of your skin. Your surgeon can also give you some tips on how you should care for your wounds, to minimise the scarring you may be left with.
Sometimes the skin where the surgeon has operated on can change colour slightly after the surgery. This should settle over a few months. You should be able to easily cover this with makeup if it concerns you.
If, during your surgery, the nerves in your face or jaw are injured, you may lose some feeling or movement in your face. For most cases, this is temporary. However, rarely, more long-term loss of sensation or movement can occur. At Medbelle, we work with BAAPS/BAPRAS surgeons who are highly skilled and qualified. This means that you will be at less risk of this occurring.
Rarely, the implant inserted during the surgery can move or become displaced. This may affect the result of the surgery but fortunately is a rare occurrence. When it does occur, displacement of the implant tends to happen soon after the surgery as it has not had time to settle into position and has not yet grown attached to the surrounding soft tissues. To lower the risk of chin implant displacement, avoid putting any pressure on the chin after surgery, sleep on your back or side and make sure to wear any supports or bandages as advised by your surgeon.
After a cosmetic surgery, there is always the possibility that you find you are unhappy with the results of your procedure, or that they are not exactly as you had expected. To ensure that you are happy with the final results, we recommend that you talk openly with your surgeon during your consultation about your desired outcomes and make sure that they understand your expectations to ensure you are both happy with the aims of the chin enhancement.
General surgical complications
All surgeries carry some common risks. These include the development of a blood clot, nausea and vomiting, and postoperative pain. As the surgery involves the use of an anaesthetic agent, it is also possible that you may develop complications relating to the anaesthetic itself.
Chin Enhancement FAQs
What are some common chin enhancement FAQs?
We have compiled some of the most common chin enhancement FAQs that patients ask about the procedure below. It is useful to read them through as there may be some questions that you had not thought about. On the other hand, if you still have further questions, don’t worry! Your BAAPS/BAPRAS surgeon will be happy to answer them during your consultation.
Do I need a GP referral for Chin Enhancement surgery?
Generally, you do not need a GP referral to see a cosmetic surgeon for an initial consultation. However, if you decide you want to go ahead with the procedure, your surgeon will require more detailed information on your medical history. In this case, they may contact your GP for this information, with your permission.
When can I shower and wash my hair after Chin Enhancement surgery?
Your surgeon will give you specific advice on how to wash and bathe after the surgery. In general, you may shower and wash your hair 48 hours after a chin enhancement procedure. Use a mild shampoo and be particularly careful around the treatment area. You can also blow dry your hair on a cool setting. Be gentle when brushing or combing your hair so that you do not catch your comb on your chin as it may still be sore. You must follow your surgeon’s specific advice.
Can I wear makeup after chin enhancement surgery?
You should not wear makeup until your surgeon gives you approval to do this. Usually it is possible to start wearing makeup again 2 weeks after your procedure. You can then use camouflage cosmetic products if you wish to cover any bruising you may have.
When will I feel comfortable attending major events after Chin Enhancement surgery?
It is normal to feel a little self-conscious when you are in public due to the swelling, redness and bruising around the treated area after a chin enhancement. However, the vast majority of bruising and swelling should have settled by around 4 weeks. By this time, most people feel comfortable enough to be seen by friends and colleagues. Full recovery, however, takes several months. We, therefore, advise that you plan ahead. If you have a major event coming up such as a wedding or birthday, plan your surgery 2 to 3 months before it.
How long will my chin enhancement results last for?
A surgical chin enhancement is a permanent procedure. Having said this, no cosmetic procedure can stop the effects of time and ageing and so there may be some changes to the shape of your face and chin as you get older. This means that most patients only undergo one chin enhancement in their lifetime, with the very rare exception of those patients who suffer from surgical complications such as an infected implant. It is recommended that you follow general health advice to get the best long term results from your operation. This includes maintaining a healthy weight and using sunscreen when outside, moisturising regularly and staying healthy and hydrated.
What are the effects of smoking, drugs and alcohol on chin enhancement surgery?
Smoking and drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk to a number of complications from surgery. This is why we advise you to cut back on alcohol and stop smoking well in advance of the operation. Six weeks is the least we advise you to be smoke-free before your surgery and to continue this for as long as possible afterwards.
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