Chins may be augmented or reduced.
Chin remodelling can help bring your features into proportion with other features, giving a more balanced appearance.
• Chin augmentation - increases the size of the chin either through the use of an implant, or by moving a section of bone forward (sliding genioplasty) and fixing it into position.
Your surgeon should carefully consider whether chin remodelling is appropriate depending on whether your teeth meet correctly. If they do not, then a much longer process of orthognathic surgery supported by orthodontic preparation may be needed and can take up to 2 years to complete.
At your consultation, your surgeon should take a general medical history and ask you about your goals for your procedure. He should also describe the various options available, and help you determine which will be right for you.
What to expect from your operation
Both chin reduction and chin augmentation are usually performed under general anaesthesia. Typically these procedures are done as day cases. Both procedures may be performed either through an incision inside the mouth or one placed under the chin. If the procedure is being done at the same time as a face lift or neck lift, the incision will most likely be placed under the chin and also used as access for neck lifting.
In the case of chin augmentation, an implant may be used or the bone may be reshaped.
• When an implant is used, chin tissues are first freed from the bone. The implant is then placed, adjusted as needed and fixed to the bone with two titanium screws. The chin tissues are then reattached over the implant and your wounds are closed with absorbable stitches.
• If the bones are to be reshaped, a horizontal wedge of bone is removed from the lower part of the chin, moved forward and fixed into its new position. In the case of chin reduction the bone may be filed down or actually cut. Alternatively, your surgeon may remove a wedge of bone just over the chin point. The chin is then repositioned slightly back and higher up.
After your surgery
As mentioned above, this surgery is usually done under local anaesthetic, however if you opted for general anaesthetic, you should arrange for an adult to accompany you home and stay with you through the first night.
• If your surgery was done through incisions inside your mouth you should eat soft foods for the first week so that your wounds can heal properly, as vigorous chewing can cause your stitches to break down and infection may occur.
• Swelling is to be expected for the first 7 to 10 days. Your surgeon should recommend a compression garment, to encourage the swelling to reduce more quickly.
• A course of antibiotics and painkillers should be prescribed, but it is important you do not take aspirin as it can promote bleeding.
• Even if you have incisions inside your mouth it is advisable to continue brushing your teeth regularly with a soft toothbrush and to use an antiseptic mouthwash four times a day for the first 2 weeks after surgery.
• You should plan on taking two weeks away from work to allow your bruises to clear and your chin to settle sufficiently.
• Infection caused by a breakdown of incisions within the mouth can be problematic, particularly if there is an implant. If this happens, it is often wiser to remove the implant to promote control of the infection, then repeat the procedure 3 to 4 months later.
• The nerves that give feeling to the lower lip travel through the jawbone and emerge on either side of the chin and may be damaged during surgery. This type of damage usually leads to temporary numbness in the lower lip.