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Corrects: weak or understated chin
Length of Procedure: 30 minutes
Number of Treatments: 1
Recovery Time: 3-7 days
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Though most people considering facial plastic surgery are concerned with other areas of their face such as their nose, eyes, and ears, augmentation of the chin is often performed to achieve harmony with other facial features, and is sometimes done in combination with other procedures most frequently with nose surgery
During a chin augmentation the chin is accentuated through the use of an implant, an injectable paste, or by changing the shape of the bone. Though most people considering facial plastic surgery are concerned with other areas of their face such as their nose, eyes, and ears, a chin augmentation is often performed to enhance symmetry by creating harmony with other facial features. One other distinction that separates chin augmentation from many other cosmetic procedures is that it, along with gynecomastia (male breast reduction) surgery and hair transplants, is one of only three procedures performed more frequently on male patients than on female ones. Augmentation of the chin helps to turn a weak chin to a strong chin.
How It’s Done
Chin augmentation is an outpatient procedure performed under general anesthetic or local anesthetic with sedation. The surgeon begins the procedure by making a small incision under the chin or inside the mouth. Though incisions placed inside the mouth do not create visible scars, the chance of infection is increased, especially if plaque or other oral bacteria is present. Incision placement should be discussed with your doctor before surgery.
After the incision, the surgeon stretches the tissue to allow for implant insertion. After the implant, or synthetic paste, is molded into place inside the skin, sutures are used to pull the skin together. If the chin size is being reduced, the surgeon, after making a similar incision, sculpts the bone of the chin to change the appearance. Total surgery can last between 1 and 3 hours.
Since about 1956 chin implants have been used for augmentation. These days, of course, technology has advanced and there are many different options available: everything from silicone to more porous, flexible, and biocompatible materials. Now there is even a synthetic paste that can be used to mold a new chin. Because there are many different options available you should discuss which type your surgeon prefers and why. For some, the paste is a less appealing option because the form can change for up to two days, while others have had success.
Recovery / Post Op Expectations
Generally, mild to moderate amount of discomfort may be associated with the surgery. This should be easily controlled with oral medications. Prescription pain medications are commonly prescribed pre-operatively and are commonly sufficient for pain management. Occasionally patients are prescribed a sleep medication for the first 7 to 10 days after the surgery. After the surgery, the surgical site rarely rarely causes significant pain.
The discomfort and pain significantly decrease after 72 hours. Any significant increase in pain after this period should prompt you to call the office. Severe pain is rare; if you experience this, please contact us immediately.
Bruising and swelling are to be expected after the surgery. To minimize the swelling, apply ice packs to the chin and hold them gently over the area as you sleep with your head elevated. Swelling is self limited and commonly resolves within several days to a week. You should lie with the head elevated for 3 weeks after the surgery.
It is not unusual to have some slightly blood tinged drainage at the site of the incision located underneath the chin for the first few days after surgery. This will most often significantly improve or disappear by the end of the week after surgery.
It is of utmost importance to tell Dr. Dagan ahead of time if you have ever been taking Accutane, receiving radiation therapy to the head or neck or taken steroids or immunosuppressive agents. Immunosuppressed patients (HIV positive, chemotherapy, AIDS, etc) and patients with certain autoimmune disorders are not good candidates for this procedure because of the higher risk of poor healing and infection that can lead to permanent scarring and rejection of the implanted material.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT AFTER SURGERY?
CALL THE OFFICE PROMPTLY IF YOU NOTICE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
- the operative site becomes very red, has yellow or green thick purulent (containing pus) drainage, or is very warm to touch.
- New onset fever with temperature elevation over 100.0 F degrees.
- a significant increase in pain after the first 48-72 hours following surgery.
- If any of the above should occur after regular office hours, call our office and ask to be connected to our 24 hour emergency service. For whatever reason, if you notice one of the above changes and cannot reach us at our office or through the answering service, present yourself to the emergency department for evaluation.
HOW DO I CARE FOR MYSELF AFTER SURGERY?
Make arrangements to have someone drive you to, and from, your surgery.
Having someone stay with you on at least the first night after your surgery is highly recommended although not required.
Be sure to fill your prescriptions prior to your surgery so that you are not forced to identify an open pharmacy should there be pain.
Arrive for your surgery in loose, comfortable clothing. Your top should button or zip rather than pull over your head, avoid wearing jewelry or makeup.
Be sure to keep the dressing clean and dry until your first post-operative visit to the office. You may take a shower from the lower neck down. Do not remove the dressing until we see you in the office, unless instructed to do so ahead of time by your surgeon.
Take the antibiotics and pain medication only as prescribed by the office.
Avoid taking any aspirin or anti-inflammatory compounds for 2 weeks prior to and 2 weeks after your surgery unless you first discuss it with your surgeon.
If you are a smoker, you should not smoke for at least 2 weeks prior to surgery and 2 weeks after surgery. Smoking and chewing tobacco reduce the blood flow by affecting your circulation and can significantly compromise your surgical outcome and lead to post-operative infection.
If bleeding occurs, apply firm pressure preferably using an ice pack to the site for at least 10 minutes. Do not remove or lift the dressing during this time. Call our office if the bleeding persists.
The dressings and sutures will be removed approximately 1 week after surgery. Some sutures may be left to dissolve on their own.
You should do no vigorous exercise or engage in physical exertion for 2 weeks after your surgery.
You should not participate in any contact sports until approved by your surgeon. Generally, you should avoid such activity for a minimum of 4 weeks after your surgery.
Sleep with the head elevated for at least the first 48 hours.
If the implant was placed through an incision in your mouth, rinse with water several times after each meal or snack for a couple of weeks after your surgery. You will also be prescribed a mouth rinse solution which you should use as directed for five days.
Approximate recovery after chin implant is as follows:
DAY 1 Return home – the procedure is ambulatory and does not require a hospital stay.
DAY 1-2 you may feel aching, throbbing in the chin area
DAY 6-8 Bandage/dressing come off, stitches are also removed
As with any major surgery, there are risks and complications associated with chin augmentations. Infection is always a threat, as is adverse reaction to anesthesia. Procedure specific complications include:
- Implant moving, or shifting out of alignment
- Blood clots
- Rejection of implant by body, resulting in necessary removal
Am I A Candidate?
Candidates for surgery should be at least 18 except in instances of medical necessity. Additionally, patients should be well informed and in good physical health. Most patients are unhappy with their appearance due to a weak or asymmetrical chin.