One of Dr. Zelken’s favorite operations is chin augmentation, or adding height, width and/or projection to the chin. The operation doesn’t take much time, and can generate meaningful changes, instantly.
Chin augmentation is an important component of facial balancing and establishment of a harmonious profile. Chin augmentation is often performed in conjunction with rhinoplasty, facelift, submental liposuction, and buccal fat removal, but it can also be done as a standalone procedure. There are several options to consider: width, height, projection, material, and incision placement.
The dimensions and shape of the implant are somewhat limited by your existing anatomy, and should reflect your unique goals and desires. It should be noted that large chins, though trendy, can masculinize a face, so moderation is very important in making this decision. We use vectra software to simulate the results of chin augmentation shape and size.
A rule of thumb when evaluating a profile, is to create an imaginary line between the lips and nose and to evaluate the relationship of the chin to that line. The “ideal” standard is based on classic studies of caucasians and artistic masterpieces, and this is of course prone to vary by ethnicity, trends, and other factors. In that sense, and in person consultation and Vectra analysis is imperative.
Implants can be made of silicone or porous polyethylene. There are no meaningful differences in the safety profiles of each (the silicone is a hard, malleable product, not a gel like breast implants) but Dr. Zelken typically uses silicone implants from two or three manufacturers. Regardless of the incision, the fundamentals of the operation are the same: create a pocket safely right against the jawbone, and symmetrically deliver the device into the pocket.
The entry site can be made through the chin (submental crease) or through the mouth (gingivobuccal sulcus). While an “invisible” oral scar sounds most desirable, there may be additional risks associated with passing an implant through a contaminated space. The submental incision minimizes the risk of colonization but a visible scar is created.
Fortunately, Dr. Zelken makes these scars as small and inconspicuous as possible, and sometimes as small as 1 cm in width!
The risks, regardless of implant shape, size, material, or surgical approach may include cometic dissatisfaction, injury to nerves that affect smile or sensation, infection, visible scarring, and bleeding. Fortunately, these complications are very rare. The good news about implants, as irreversible as they seem, is that you can always take it out if you don’t like the way it looks. Satisfaction rates with chin implants are very high.
This 30-something Latina woman was bothered by her receding chin and the effect it had on her profile. She was afraid of a big change but fillers were simply not enough. Dr. Zelken chose an XL implant that was a small oval to add subtle projection to the chin and improve the lip-chin-nose balance. There is a tiny 1 cm incision under her chin. She is thrilled with the subtle but important change incurred.
Written by Dr. Jonathan Zelken
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