When one considers
the substantial impact a chin implant has on overall
appearance, it is surprising how few people seek information
on this minimally invasive cosmetic surgery. Both balance
and proportion are recognized as essential fundamentals of
beauty. With the exception of rhinoplasty, perhaps no single
plastic surgery contributes more to balance and proportion
than a chin implant.
Chin implants add definition to the jaw line and improve
overall balance of the face. When patients come to our
office seeking facial plastic surgery, it's not uncommon for
them to focus on a single aspect of their appearance rather
than the overall picture. For example, a patient
dissatisfied with the size of their nose seeking rhinoplasty
(nasal surgery) may actually be talking about a nose that is
out of proportion to the face. Patients who perceive their
nose as being too big for their face might be surprised when
correcting the chin proportion enters into the equation.
Because a chin implant can improve overall balance and
restore loss of a clearly outlined profile, chin implant
surgery can be a most rewarding facial plastic surgery.
When discussing contouring procedures the best place to
start is by looking at before and after photos to see just
what can be accomplished. As you will see in our
photographs, many patients combine the contouring of a chin
implant with a facial rejuvenation procedure such as a
facelift to eliminate a "saggy neck" or "turkey wattle" to
tightening of the jowl area. Others come to discuss neck
liposuction and fat injections, which can easily be combined
with chin implant. Fat injections can be used in many areas
of the face including the smile lines and for lip
Sometimes men ask for a stronger looking chin. Once thought
a beauty procedure sought by only wealthy women, men in
today's competitive corporate workplace are increasingly
seeking facelift procedures to restore a younger look that
more typifies their energy level. Men also frequently ask
about brow lifts for correction of frown lines between the
eyes or blepharoplasty for improvements in bags under the
Patients also learn about chin implants when they seek
information about improving superficial skin wrinkles in the
chin area with a chemical peel, laser surgery or similar
skin resurfacing procedure. Lip surgery can also be
performed in conjunction with a chin implants.
A good surgeon, knows that his responsibility is to evaluate
not only the areas of concern but also the motivation behind
the requests. It goes without saying, a cosmetic surgery
won't save a failing marriage. Similarly some patients not
ready for cosmetic surgery are better served with
conservative measures, such as Botox for fine lines and
wrinkles or Collagen for crows feet. Patients who educate
themselves about facial rejuvenation know when and if the
time is right to proceed.
An important first step toward any cosmetic surgery is to
have a facial plastic surgeon assess the entire picture
before making specific recommendations. At an initial
consultation, we will evaluate the bony and soft tissue
architecture of the face, including the proportion and
balance of the face, nose and chin. We evaluate the amount
of fat in the neck area, the elasticity of the skin and the
textural qualities of the skin. Skin type, ethnic background
and age are important factors influencing the outcome of
surgery. Together we may discuss many alternatives before
determining if a chin implant is right for you.
Chin implant is a safe, effective procedure performed to
restore balance, proportion and a younger appearance. As
with all facial plastic surgery, a thorough health
assessment and realistic expectations are prerequisites.
Your understanding of instructions and routines is essential
to a successful final result.
At your preoperative appointment our nurse will provide all
the instructions for you to follow before and after surgery.
On the business day prior to the operation we ask you to
call to confirm your arrival time for surgery. Upon arrival
for your surgery, you will talk with a nurse (who will start
an IV), discuss anesthesia (with local anesthesia and IV
sedation you are asleep and comfortable) and meet with your
doctor before going to the operating room. A chin implant
takes about one hour depending on the anatomy and structure
present prior to surgery. If you are having a combination of
procedures your surgery will take longer. Recovery time from
the anesthetic takes about an hour and you will be
discharged about four hours from the time of admission.
Please avoid any aspirin, aspirin-containing products, or
ibuprofen for one week prior to your surgery. Please see our
medication list (separate page of instructions) which
outlines in detail products to avoid prior to surgery. If
you are on any medications that affect bleeding (such as
coumadin or warfarin) please notify the office immediately.
Please refrain from tobacco products and alcohol for one
week prior and two weeks following surgery. Along with
delayed wound healing, persistent skin redness and other
complications may persist when tobacco and alcohol are not
Please notify us of all routine medications and significant
health history. We ask that you remain on your daily
medications unless instructed otherwise. At the preoperative
appointment, our nurse will tell you which daily medications
to take with just a sip of water on the morning of surgery.
At your preoperative appointment you will be given
prescriptions for use following surgery including an oral
antibiotic (Keflex/Cephalexin), swelling medications and
pain medications. Please obtain these prescription
medications before your surgery so you will have them ready
for use when you return home after surgery.
The day before your surgery, we will ask you to begin
Vitamin C 1000 mg (ascorbic acid), which helps promote
healing, three times a day with food for one week before and
two weeks following surgery.
You may not eat or drink after midnight the evening before
the procedure unless instructed otherwise. You may brush
your teeth. Your procedure will be cancelled if you do not
follow these instructions.
Remove all make-up and nail polish before arriving for your
Someone must be available at all times while you are here at
the clinic for surgery. Someone will need to drive you home
after your surgery and stay with you that evening.
Transportation to the office for suture removal three days
following surgery is also recommended.
When you wake up from surgery you will notice a chinstrap
dressing that may feel a bit tight because of the swelling.
This dressing helps minimize swelling and keeps the chin
implant securely in place. Following your chin implant, the
nurses will ask assist you to meet the discharge criteria:
to drink liquids, walk with a steady gait, void, manage your
discomfort, and have a responsible adult at home following
the procedure. The nurses will review all instructions you
will need for care following chin implant.
The chin dressing must be kept dry and in place for three
days following surgery. You will be asked to come to our
Office (not the Surgery Center) on postoperative day three
or four for dressing and suture removal. The morning of the
suture removal, you may shower and get the dressing wet,
which will help with dressing removal at your appointment.
Although most patients describe dressing and suture removal
as discomfort rather than pain, you are encouraged to take
your pain medication about an hour prior to suture removal.
When sutures are removed, small steristrips will be placed
to reinforce the incision. These steristrips must remain dry
and in place for four days. You may then get them wet in the
shower before your second postoperative appointment for
Keep dressing dry and intact the evening after surgery and
for three days following surgery. Notify your doctor if the
dressings become loose or fall off.
complain of discomfort more than pain. Use pain medication
as directed/as needed. Do not drive or drink alcohol while
taking pain medication. Taking pain medication with food
helps minimize nausea sometimes associated with pain
Start your antibiotic (Keflex/cephalexin) when you get home
and one at bedtime. It is not uncommon to have a low-grade
fever for 24 to 48 hours following surgery.
Start swelling medication when you arrive home and again at
bedtime. Then follow package directions. Take with food.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) helps promote healing. Take 1000
mg three times a day for two weeks following surgery.
Advance diet from
liquids to soft food to your regular diet as tolerated.
There are no dietary restrictions for chin implant patients
Rest for entire day
after surgery. Sleep with head of the bed elevated or use
two to three pillows for one week after surgery. Absolutely
no bending, lifting or straining. If you have little
children, bend at the knees or sit on the floor and let them
climb on to your lap. No driving for one week following
surgery. Two weeks off work is recommended; three weeks off
Always protect your face from the sun. At this point, a hat
and sunglasses are a good idea. Following surgery, our staff
will tell you when it is ok to apply sunscreen, cosmetics or
facial creams. Avoid unprotected prolonged sun exposure for
three months following chin implant to prevent pigmentation
of incision lines.
and disrupted sleep are very normal postoperative symptoms
and will decrease as the healing process occurs. Assistance
with daily activities the first two to three days after
surgery is recommended.
implant, it takes time for the swelling to subside and for
the skin to heal. Most patients return to work one week
following surgery, however two weeks is ideal, depending on
the degree of privacy one is trying to maintain. At two
weeks postoperatively, swelling and bruising may be apparent
to you but not to many of your coworkers and closest
Final results following chin implant are not apparent for
one full year following surgery. After three months, the
changes are ever so subtle, although still important. Being
perfectionists about our work, you may tell us you are
pleased long before the one-year anniversary. However, we
request that you follow-up with us at that time for
postoperative photographs and so that we can enjoy your