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Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery-SanFrancisco Bay Area|Marin County

When is a Chin Implant Appropriate?

January 31st, 2012 Miguel A. Delgado Jr, MD

Chin augmentation is usually done to balance the face by making the chin longer or more protruding. Men and women with weak or receding chins are the best candidates as long as they have a normal dental bite.

When balancing the face with a chin implant, along with rhinoplasty (nose surgery) or a facelift, it may give a “finished” look with a strong profile more in line with what is considered classically attractive in our society. Many patients who seek rhinoplasty may not realize that they may benefit from  chin surgery (mentoplasty). Computer imaging is a wonderful tool that allows a surgeon to show patients how they might look with the added chin implant with or without a rhinoplasty.

Chin implants come in a variety of shapes, sizes and made of different materials.  Some implants are made of Teflon, Dacron or Silicone, and in some cases real bone or fat tissue is used. Dr. Delgado prefers silicone implants that are made of a solid consistency. They have a proven safety record and in most cases are good for life. Implants made from fat or bone can sometimes be reabsorbed.

The incision is usually made either inside the mouth or outside under the chin. A pocket is made in front of the chin bone and under the muscles and the implant is placed in the pocket or it can be affixed to the jaw bone. Dr. Delgado prefers the incision under the chin instead of inside the mouth as it decreases the risk of infection. The scar is well concealed and barely visible.

A liquid or soft diet will be necessary for the first few days. Most of the swelling will be gone in six weeks. After several weeks of healing the implant is practically undetectable to the patient.

Remarkable subtle changes are obtained by adding balance and definition to underdeveloped features. Many of Dr. Delgado’s San Francisco Bay Area patients have benefited from his refined judgment, skill and good aesthetic eye.