A chin implant, also referred to as chin augmentation or genioplasty, is a cosmetic procedure used to enhance the chin to give the face a more balanced appearance. Chin reduction, or mentoplasty, is another type of chin surgery to balance the face. A chin implant is often recommended by cosmetic surgeons when the patient is also having rhinoplasty, cosmetic nose surgery.
Chin augmentation should only be considered by adults, as the bones in the face will shift and change with age. A small, receding, or weak chin is the primary reason to get a chin implant. Chin augmentation can also create a more defined jawline and neck, and some choose to receive facial liposuction at the same time to remove any excess fat from the neck. The chin implant may be made of silicon or other synthetic materials, attached to the bone with sutures or titanium screws; the physician may also choose to shift the chin bone forward without placing an implant at all. Only your plastic surgeon will be able to tell you the best course of action.
To insert the implant, a small incision is made in one of two places: under the bottom lip inside the mouth, or under the chin in an inconspicuous area. The scar is very small and usually undetectable. The size of the chin implant is carefully determined beforehand, in order to give your face the most natural appearance. Most chin augmentation surgeries take from half an hour to one hour, and the patient is usually able to go home soon after.
As with any surgery, there are inherent risks, but complications from chin augmentation are relatively uncommon. There is the rare possibility of a blood clot or a reaction to the anesthesia, as with any surgery. If you have particular concerns, or have ever had trouble with anesthesia, sedation, or any other potential problems, be sure to discuss them with your surgeon ahead of time. An infection is also possible, which can generally be treated with antibiotics.
After the surgery, the patient will have some swelling, soreness and skin discoloration. A bandage will likely be wrapped around the top of the head and under the chin, which can be removed the next day. The stitches can generally be removed in one week, at which time normal activities such as exercise can be resumed. It is advised that the patient sleep on his or her back for the first week or few weeks, as the implant could potentially shift and would then need to be surgically repaired. It could take months for the swelling to completely disappear, so be patient. Follow any post-operative instructions carefully. Once healed, the chin implant is undetectable.
Though the price varies, most chin implants can be performed for between $2,000 US Dollars (USD) and $4,000 USD, but it could be as much as $10,000 USD depending on the complexity of the procedure. Choose a cosmetic surgeon with years of experience and with whom you feel comfortable. Review the surgeon's credentials and ask to see any before-and-after photos from other patients. You might even bring in a photo of the type of chin you wish to have, but keep your expectations reasonable. Chin augmentation can be a great way to improve your self-esteem.