What is Chin augmentation?
Chin augmentation is an aesthetics or plastic surgery procedure which alters the size of the chin. This can be done with either implants, fillers or genioplasty (the medical term for plastic surgery involving the chin bone). This is usually done to correct a weak or recessed chin or to create a more defined, sharper jawline.
Why chin augmentation?
The size and shape of the chin and jaw has marked effects on the general proportion and appearance of the face. A well-defined jawline is considered one of the most attractive features on the face, male and female alike. Hence, many born with small chin bones may want to augment the chin and achieve better facial proportions.
A lacking or disproportionate chin can make the nose appear larger than it actually is. In this case, chin augmentation can reduce the apparent size of the nose, making it more proportionate. In this case, rhinoplasty and/or alarplasty (different types of nose plastic surgery) is commonly performed together as a face contouring combination for improved overall results.
A receding and weak chin may also make the fats around the neck more prominent, giving the appearance of a short neck or the infamous “double-chin”. By augmenting the chin, these fats can become hidden, giving a more pleasant head-to-neck ratio and concealing the double-chin. Neck liposuction can be performed together here to complement the effects and give a more defined jawline.
Different types of chin augmentation
Sliding genioplasty generally involves making some modifications to the chin bone and adjusting the chin structure. In this case, the chin bone is cut horizontally and shifted per required. Sliding genioplasty is also able to reduce the size of an overly large chin, which is unable to be achieved by fillers or implants.
A quick and easy way to augment the chin is via chin fillers. This is done using an injection of hyaluronic acid (HA) into the chin. HA is a naturally occurring substance in the skin and will not react negatively with the body. The filler directly provides structure while simultaneously improving hydration and regenerative processes, providing immediate results which improve over time.
Fillers can also be easily digested with an injection of natural enzymes if the results are unsatisfactory.
On the other hand, fillers do not last as long as other chin augmentation procedures as HA can be naturally broken down by enzymes in the skin. Filler procedures usually last around 6 to 12 months depending on the individual.
Procedure of chin augmentation
The surgeon and patient will first discuss the expectations of the surgery during a consultation session. The patient’s facial features are analysed and the surgeon will recommend the most suitable procedure.
Fillers are typically injected under the skin at specific points on the chin. The doctor may massage the chin to distribute the filler evenly after the injection. This is usually done with topical anaesthesia and will typically take less than an hour.
For chin implants, the surgeon will make an incision either in the mouth in front of the lower gums or under the chin behind the lower jaw. The implants are then carefully inserted in front of the chin and moulded into shape. Finally, the incisions are closed with absorbable sutures. Chin implants can be performed under local or general anaesthesia.
Similar to chin implants, the surgeon makes an incision in the mouth in front of the lower gums to expose the chin bone. A vertical mark is usually made on your chin bone at this stage to ensure that it stays straight after the adjustment. A horizontal cut is made on the chin bone to detach it from the rest of the jaw and the rest of the soft tissue. The chin bone is then reattached with a gap between the rest of the jaw to enhance the chin, or shaved/cut down in the case of a chin reduction. A metal plate may also be inserted here to ensure that the bone remains in place. Finally, the incision is closed with absorbable sutures. Sliding genioplasty is usually performed under general anaesthesia.
Possible risks and complications
Chin augmentation procedures are generally safe, with low risk of complications. In rare cases however, some of the following might arise:
- Infection and inflammation
- Injection of filler/fat into blood vessels, clogging them and leading to necrosis
- Spreading of fillers into undesired places
- Damage of nerves, leading to temporary or permanent numbness/loss of sensation
- Asymmetrical jaw/chin
Most of these can be avoided with good technique and post-care. Hence, it is important to consult a skilled and experienced doctor/surgeon for your chin augmentation procedure.
Chin fillers usually take less than an hour to complete.
Chin implants may take about 1 to 2 hours.
Sliding genioplasty may take 1 to 3 hours
Avoid consuming spicy/irritating foods for a few days to facilitate the healing process, especially if implants are inserted with in-the-mouth incisions. Also, avoid pressing/putting excessive force on the chin to reduce the chances of deformation.
For sliding genioplasty, you may need to consume a soft foods only diet for several days until your jawbone is sufficiently healed.