Genioplasty (Chin Surgery)
Who is a good candidate for genioplasty?
Although very underrated, the chin is one of the most defining characteristics of the human face. Even small movements of the chin either forward or backward can have a significant and dramatic impact on the way a person is perceived in whole. Patients who desire more strength to their chin and a more defined jawline are excellently served by a genioplasty utilizing their own bone. Patients with a very prominent chin who desire less emphasis on their jawline are equally pleased with the results obtained by moving the chin back. In addition, patients who have either a double chin or a recessed jaw can benefit cosmetically from a simple genioplasty without the larger mandible surgery with significant risk and recovery time.
Chin implants made of silicone and other plastic substances may or may not look fine in the short term, but as with all implants there is the potential for infection, movement, and the body rejecting the substance. Given the fact that these implants are in very close proximity to the inside of the mouth where the skin/mucosa is very thin, this makes the use of these products tenuous at best. Dr. Smith has the craniofacial background and technical expertise to utilize the patient’s own bone in order to alleviate these potential risks, and provide the patient with natural and safe augmentation.
What do the procedures generally entail for genioplasty?
This procedure is performed under general anesthesia as an outpatient over the span of approximately 2 hours. There is only one incision which is on the inside of the mouth and is completely invisible externally. Through this incision where the lower lip meets the gum, all of the manipulation of the chin can be performed. Typically when completed, a small titanium plate or fixation wire will be left in place to stabilize the bone until it has healed. This fixation device will remain unnoticeable by feel, look, or metal detector. All of the sutures that are placed are dissolvable. At the end of the procedure, the patient will have a chin strap in place to help decrease the swelling.
How is the recovery after genioplasty?
Patients undergoing genioplasty typically go home after a short stay in the recovery room of only a few hours. The chin strap which is in place at the end will be changed in the office within 24-48 hours. During that time we typically ask that patients refrain from showering. The patients may have liquids 12 hours after surgery and are encouraged to begin brushing their teeth at 24 hours. The maximal swelling is at 48 hours postoperatively and dissipates rapidly over the next week. The activity is limited for the first 3-5 days to decrease the risk of bleeding, but then is only limited by restraint from activity that would endanger the bone shifting. The sutures dissolve over the next few weeks without any activity from the patient at all.
Many patients say that they never thought that their overall appearance would be improved as much as it is with this procedure. Males in particular express that their confidence has been greatly improved as a result of their image change. These changes to the chin are permanent unless there is a trauma or other foreign interference. After 6 weeks the bone is at approximately 90% strength and at 6 months almost 100%.