A chin implant can dramatically improve the balance, proportion, and appearance of the face. In people who need substantial definition in the jawline, few procedures are as effective as a chin implant.
The typical chin implant is a piece of hardened silicone, nearly the firmness of bone. Chin implants come on various shapes and sizes—your surgeon will select the chin implant that is right for you and your aesthetic goals. In the unlikely event that a standard commercially available chin implant does not meet your needs, custom chin implants can be designed and manufactured to your specifications. While chin implants can be made of materials other than silicone, they are usually reserved for special circumstances.
The chin implant procedure may be performed under general anesthesia (you are not awake during the procedure) or under local anesthesia with twilight sedation (you are awake, but quite sleepy and relaxed). Your facial plastic surgeon will make a small incision in one of two places, depending on your needs.
Intraoral incision – Your facial plastic surgeon makes a small incision, about 1 inch long, inside the mouth. Your surgeon makes a pocket into which the implant is placed. The chin implant is anchored into place using one of the muscles in the chin.
Submental incision – Your facial plastic surgeon makes a small incision, less than 1 inch long, in the natural crease under your chin. As with the oral incision, your surgeon makes a pocket for the chin implant to rest. The chin implant is anchored to the chin bone using a special suture.
Your facial plastic surgeon can help you decide which approach is best for you.
Most chin implant patients are able to go home on the same day as the procedure. Regardless of whether you have general or local anesthesia, you will need someone to see that you get home safely (you will not be able to drive yourself after the procedure). There may be some swelling, bruising, and discomfort soon after the chin implant. This can be treated with ice packs and oral pain medications.
You will need to wear a compressive dressing over the treated area at least overnight. If you opt for the intraoral (mouth) incision, you may need to rinse your mouth with a special solution until the area heals. You may not be able to eat solid food for a time after the procedure until the area heals. Lastly, you will need to take an antibiotic for several days after the chin implant, especially if you choose the intraoral approach.
External sutures in the chin are removed in the office within a week to 10 days. Chin implants placed through the mouth may be dissolvable, and simply dissolve within a few days. During a follow-up appointment, your surgeon will see how well you are healing and check the success of the procedure. People can usually return to work within 1 week and resume full activity within 2 weeks.