In facial aesthetics, we strive for ideal proportions and balance. Individual features are not as important as how all the features come together, relative to one another. Ideal proportions dictate that the upper, middle, lower portions of our face should be equal thirds. For example, when the chin is underdeveloped, the lower third of the face becomes imbalanced—the chin may appear weak and deficient. It may also offset other features—an otherwise normal nose can appear large when the chin is short or retruded.
Chin augmentation can be performed with an implant, bone, or fat. It is a common procedure that addresses congenital conditions, age-related bone resorption, or facial trauma. In preoperative evaluation, it is critical to assess dental occlusion to identify other underlying problems. Some patients may have malocclusion that requires more advanced orthodontics and potentially orthognathic surgery. The ideal patient for a chin augmentation has an adequate occlusion with an isolated chin deficiency.
Chin augmentation requires a thorough understanding of facial anatomy, experience, and an aesthetic eye. Dr. Lisa Hwang is very methodical in facial analysis and precise in implant choice—with a thorough understanding of your desires, she will account for your unique features to help you achieve your desired aesthetic result.
what are your goals?
Men with small or retruded chins generally desire a more “masculine” appearance with a stronger jawline. Before undergoing surgery, some men use facial hair to disguise their chins. A less prominent chin can cause the jawline to blend into the neck. In both men and women, it may exacerbate the appearance of a double chin and accentuate early signs of aging i.e. jowling. Improving the projection of the chin defines the remaining jawline, making you appear more confident, fit and youthful.
It is not uncommon for patients with small chins to seek a plastic surgery consultation for rhinoplasty to reduce the size of their noses. Under the guidance of Dr. Lisa Hwang, they analyze photos of their profile and come to understand that their noses appear large only in comparison to their retruded chins. Chin augmentation improves chin projection to match the upper and middle thirds of the face, correcting the facial plane and restoring facial harmony.
With age, we develop bony resorption, soft tissue atrophy, and skin laxity. Signs of aging are especially apparent in the lower face i.e. jowling, neck skin laxity, and marionette lines. Fat grafting can restore volume to the chin, lips, and face to significantly improve the appearance of both deep and fine wrinkles. Fat grafting is often performed as an adjunct to other facial rejuvenation surgery i.e. facelift and neck lift.
Chin augmentation can be performed with an implant, fat grafting, or autologous bone, depending on your preferences and desired results. Chin implants can be placed under intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. A small incision is made under the chin, which ultimately disappears, blending into your native skin folds. A small pocket is dissected around your chin bone, and the implant is carefully placed. Surgery takes less than one hour, and you can go home the same day. A bulky dressing with tape and an elastic neck strap will be placed after surgery to support the implant while it heals.
For the first 3 days, minimize talking, chewing, and facial animation to allow the implant to heal in proper position. Since the mouth is a very mobile region, implants have the potential to migrate or rotate. Keep the tape and elastic strap in place to both secure the implant and to compress the soft tissue. Postoperatively, you should expect swelling, tightness/discomfort, and bruising. Placement of the implant can slightly alter the position of your lower lip, which may be awkward to adjust to. Bruising should resolve within 2 weeks, but swelling may take up to 6 weeks to resolve. Since the chin is the dependent portion of the face, swelling tends to linger.
Risks & Complications.
Risks of chin implant include bleeding, infection, implant malposition, implant migration, dental erosion, and nerve damage.