What Is Cheek & Chin Augmentation?
Chin augmentation is a procedure designed to reshape the chin or enhance its size for a well-defined jaw line that is in better proportion with other facial features. This surgery can be performed in one of two ways: By placement of a chin implant or surgical manipulation of the jaw bone.
For chin implant placement, an incision is made either inside the mouth or outside, under the chin. The surgeon creates a pocket underneath the muscle in front of the chin bone and places the implant inside the pocket. The implant may be attached to the bone with sutures or screws, and then sutures are used to close the incision. An incision made inside the mouth has the advantage of leaving a barely visible scar.
Cheek implants have numerous advantages over other methods of restoring midface volume. Fillers and fat will dissolve over time. Fat and permanent fillers will droop over time, worsening the problem and cheek or midface lifting procedures will sag over time. Cheek implants are fixed to the cheek bones with tiny micro screws, so they will always remain in place and not droop. This makes them the only three dimensional method of cheek rejuvenation that is permanent and won’t move. Perhaps the biggest advantage is that if the patient does not like them, they can be removed in 5 minutes! If the patient desires smaller or larger implants, they can be changed. There are not many options that are both permanent and reversible. When considering the available options for midface rejuvenation (fillers, fat, lifting procedures and implants) nothing rivals the versatility of silicone cheek implants. One thing that has never ceased to amaze me is how many surgeons will perform cosmetic facial rejuvenation on the upper face and lower face and completely ignore the midface. A volumized midface is the hallmark of youthfulness and contemporary cosmetic facial surgeons realize this fact and address this important area.
If the bone needs to be manipulated, the surgeon makes an incision along the lower gums for access to the chin bone, and then makes a second incision through the bone. The bone is moved into position and wired or screwed in place, and the incision is closed with sutures.
Chin augmentation surgery is typically performed as an out-patient procedure under general anesthesia, or with local anesthesia and intravenous sedation. The procedure takes approximately 1 to 2 hours. Most patients can return to work within a week after surgery. However, strenuous physical activity should be avoided until approximately the 4th week of recovery.
What To Expect?
Before the surgery, you’ll have a detailed consultation with your facial plastic surgeon to discuss your medical history and any dental problems you’ve had or if you have had any prior cosmetic or reconstructive surgery on your face. It is important that you discuss with your surgeon what you want to change about your appearance and set realistic goals.
The facial implant procedure is an outpatient treatment. How long the procedure will take depends on the extent of surgery required. Usually surgery lasts between one and two hours.
Implants Of Useful Types
The following are the type of implants that are usually done:
- Lower jaw implant. The implant is placed inside the lower lip. The incision site will be secured with sutures that will dissolve in about one week. The procedure takes one to two hours.
- Cheek implant. The implant is put in place either through your upper lip (internally) or through your lower eyelid. The procedure takes about an hour.
- Chin implant. The implant is placed through your lower lip or under your chin. The procedure takes 30 minutes to an hour.
Like all surgeries this too requires after care. You would be guided on the food and medications that you can take and need to avoid to aid in your healing. After the surgery, you will have bruising and swelling that can last for at least two days. Your surgeon will let you know what to watch for as far as excessive or abnormal swelling or bruising is concerned.
As far as complications are concerned, one needs to make sure that there is no shifting of the facial implant. In case it does happen you may need another surgery to solve the issue. There is a high chance of infection but you can lower the risk by making sure you complete the antibiotic course given to you. You need to contact your doctor immediately if you develop fever or experience abnormal pain or swelling, or have abnormal discharge from the incision site.