Everybody feels self-conscious about some part of their body, but over time, many people come to accept their flaws. Others decide to fix their flaws by getting plastic surgery.
Oftentimes, people want to fix a facial feature like the nose or chin. These facial augmentations can enhance and strengthen the look of the face, which can make the individual feel more confident about his or her appearance. Here is an introductory guide to chin augmentation procedures.
Why Is It Done?
Those who don’t care for the appearance of their chin may consider getting a chin augmentation. A chin augmentation can enhance the chin in the following ways:
- It can reduce the size of the chin.
- It can increase the size of the chin.
- It can strengthen the jawline.
Of course, many people elect to go under the knife for cosmetic purposes, but some people may receive a chin augmentation as part of a larger facial reconstruction if they’ve suffered severe facial trauma.
There are always risks with any procedure and a chin augmentation is no different. The risks generally associated with a chin augmentation and other facial alterations are:
- Pain or discomfort
- Problems with anesthesia
- Damage to the teeth
- Blood clots
- Poor healing
In some rare cases where the patient has received a chin implant, the implant may appear under the skin after the surgery. This is called extrusion and must be corrected through a second surgery. During the healing process, it is possible for the implant to shift or collect fluid, which also requires a second surgery to correct, but these cases are also rare.
A more common risk or side effect is tightness around the chin, which often occurs after chin or cheek augmentations. After the surgery, the skin on and around the chin may feel tight and difficult to move while it adjusts to the new shape or to the new implant.
Preparing For Surgery
Before undergoing any medical procedure, it’s important to consult with a doctor. Both the doctor and the patient can benefit from a consultation because each needs to know what to expect from the other.
As the day of the surgery approaches, the patient may be asked to stop smoking or to stop taking certain medications or supplements. The patient may also need to arrange for a friend or family member to assist them during the recovery period.
Chin augmentation is usually performed through an incision in the mouth, but can also be performed through a small incision on the chin. An oral incision eliminates the chances of having a visible scar, but the doctor may decide otherwise depending on special circumstances.
After the incision is made, the procedure can begin. Depending on how the chin will be altered, the surgeon may do one of the following:
- Insert a chin implant into a pocket under the skin to increase the size of the chin. A custom implant may be used and it may need to be secured with bolts or screws.
- Contour the bone. If the size of the chin is being reduced, the bone can be contoured with special instruments to give it the exact look that the patient wants.
- Move the chin forward to make it look more prominent. This can be done by cutting the bone above the lower border of the chin, detaching the chin and moving it forward. The chin will then be secured with wires, screws or plates.
Once the surgery is over, the surgeon will close the incision and the chin may be taped in order to support it while it heals. This can also decrease swelling and fluid build-up.
A chin augmentation usually takes about two hours to perform and the patient may be able to go home the same day if that is the only procedure he or she is having. If the chin augmentation is performed with other facial alterations, an overnight stay in the hospital may be required.
Directly after the surgery, it’s important to take several precautions to ensure that the chin heals properly. Some of those precautions are:
- Sticking to a soft or liquid diet for a day or two after surgery.
- Wearing a brace while sleeping after the tape is removed. This may be necessary to do for up to six weeks.
- Not working or exerting the body for up to a week after surgery.
For the first few weeks, there may be bruising and swelling as well as some pain and discomfort. The bruising should only last about three weeks but the swelling may take longer to dissipate if an implant was placed under the skin. Temporary numbness of the upper or lower lip may also be experienced and can last for several months after the surgery. After about six months, the chin should be fully healed and settled into its new shape.