Chin augmentation is a relatively simple procedure and recovery is usually quick. Depending on the location of the incision site and the type of material used, most patients are able to return to their normal daily activities soon after the procedure.
Types of Chin Augmentation
When most people think of chin augmentation, they picture a reshaping of the chin using an implant that is surgically placed to produce a more prominent chin and jawline.
While this type of surgical augmentation has become extremely popular, there are also some non-surgical techniques that can be used to “fill out” the chin and improve the facial profile. “Some patients prefer injectable fillers. They may not want to take the leap into surgery yet,” says board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Darrick Antell, MD, DMD, spokesperson for the American Academy of Plastic Surgeons. “Fillers have zero recovery. You can go out to lunch immediately afterwards.”
The drawback to injectable fillers is that the results may not be permanent, says Dr. Antell. But, he points out, this is an excellent option for those wishing to “try on” the new look before taking permanent action.
For those hoping to experiment with a new look but unwilling to commit to an injectable filler, Antell says he can inject sterile saline into the chin. The saline produces a similar appearance as an actual implant but is quickly absorbed and not long lasting.
Chin Implant Recovery
A typical, uncomplicated chin augmentation surgery takes approximately 30 minutes to one hour to perform. Antell, who lately completes as many as three chin augmentations a day at his New York City office, says he performs the procedure under local anesthesia with the patient lightly sedated, but awake.
If the dental bite is severely affected or if extra bone work is necessary to correct an alignment problem, the surgery can be more extensive.
The incision can be done either outside under the chin or inside the mouth along the gum line, although Antell prefers the more direct outside approach. “For the first 15 years, I used an inside approach and I had two cases of infection. Since I’ve been using the outside approach, I’ve had zero infections,” he says.
Following a simple chin augmentation using an implantable device, Antell says his patients are typically able to return to work within a day or two.
Since most patients will experience some swelling and bruising, Dallas plastic surgeon Samuel Lam, MD, recommends his patients take off from work for several days to one week. “I use removable sutures that come out in 7 to 8 days, and during that time, patients need to keep the incision clean and apply bacitracin ointment,” he says. “For that reason, I usually recommend they take off work a few days because it can look a little funny.”
Dr. Lam says he also asks men to avoid shaving the area for 14 days and then to use only an electric razor for the following two weeks.
“The incision is located under the chin and is only about a half inch long,” explains Antell. “Scarring is minimal and because of the position under the chin, the incision is not easily seen anyway.”
“Chin augmentation produces very subtle results,” says Antell. “Many patients say people ask them if they’ve lost weight or have been working out. No one asks if you’ve had a chin implant.”