Plastic surgery on the chin
Chin augmentation (aka mentoplasty or genioplasty) is one of the lesser known types of plastic surgery. Regardless, it is particularly important when it comes to improving the shape of the face.
As strange as it may seem, the chin is one of the features that contribute most to determining the attractiveness of the face. Many patients who have a small chin may feel that something is damaging their face’s aesthetic appeal, but cannot pinpoint just what that is.
It is not rare for a patient to seek out a plastic surgeon to operate on their nose, when their problem is actually located in the chin.
Even though the chin is an entirely separate part of the face in relation to the nose, the two features are deeply interrelated, bound together by certain proportions and angles, which determine the symmetry of a face.
Frequently, a patient with a hook nose may also have a very small chin, which may in turn be accompanied by a dewlap. When these two (or three) problems occur in conjunction, their simultaneous correction through a single operation can yield impressive results.
METHODS OF CHIN AUGMENTATION
Several different methods have been employed over time in chin augmentation. The standard method, however, is the use of implants.
The methods are divided into four base categories, which are:
• Synthetic implants
• Tissues from the body itself
• Injectable materials
• Enhancing the lower jaw
Such implants are usually manufactured from silicone or other materials such as Gore-Text, SoftForm, Medpore (Porex), hydroxyapatite implants and other. Your plastic surgeon will explain the pros and cons of each material, and as such you should be able to decide which one is ideal for you.
Autogenous Materials from the body itself
Various tissues have been employed from time to time, such as bone, cartilage and fascias, but the most commonly used material has been fat. Fat implantation to the chin, just as in other areas of the body, can yield the desired result. The fat is injected after have been harvested by liposuction.
Almost all types of injectable materials have been employed to enhance the chin. The most frequently used of these is hyaluronic acid. There are several materials, however, such as PMMA (Artecoll), injectable hydroxyapatite (Radiesse), hydrogel, aquamid and various others that are also employed for such operations.
Enhancement of the Lower Jaw
Apart from the aforementioned methods, maxillofacial surgical operations are also employed, wherein the bone is brought forward to a different position, where it is secured with internal screws and bolts.
Most patients, however, prefer simpler solutions, such as implants or injectable materials.
There are several different types of implants used in genioplasty, the chief of which are silicone implants and medpore (porex) implants.
In order for these to be placed, an operation is required which may be performed with local anaesthesia. During this operation, the implant is placed high up on the bone, in order to encourage the tissues located above it, i.e. the skin, the fat and the muscles, into a more prominent position.
The incisions are made within the mouth, or under the chin; thus, the patient has a choice between inner and outer incisions. The procedure is fairly short and lasts approximately between 20 and 30 minutes. Afterwards, the incision is sutured.
Over the next few days, there will be a fair amount of edema and swelling in that area, which will begin to fade away after about 10-15 days. This means that, even though after the operation the patient should feel no annoyances, it may take approximately two weeks before he/she will be at all presentable.
The implant will gradually become incorporated by the tissues, and the patient should be able to feel it as part of his/her own body. This means she/he will have no awareness of there being a foreign substance in the body.
Silicone implants can easily be removed if the patient wishes them to be.
Usually, there is no post-operative pain.
Injectable materials are a simple way of enhancing the chin. However, most of them, such as hyaluronic acid, is absorbable. The results usually have a duration of about a year.
On the other hand, however, it is a method that does not require surgery (non-surgical chin augmentation) and only requires approximately 5 minutes for the final result to be achieved.
The advantage of this is that the result will become immediately evident to us and can be rectified, if it is not to our liking. In addition, it may be employed as primary method if the result is acceptable, which the patient may decide to build upon via a different, more permanent method.
CHIN AUGMENTATION USING FAT
When using this method, the plastic surgeon obtains fat from a certain area of the body, usually the abdomen. This fat is then processed and implanted into the area of the chin. Fat transfer is, in practice, quite similar to the application of injectable substances, but is a slightly longer procedure. This is because the fat must be collected and processed as well as implanted. Of course, this method offers the advantage that a large fraction of the deposited fat will remain permanently in place; the result is, for the most part, permanent.
In general, chin augmentation is a method that requires little time, is fairly simple and usually yields impressive results.