Chin Implant Augmentation (Genioplasty)
Thousands of chin implant surgeries are performed every year. A chin implant adjusts the contours and increases the dimensions of the chin, which will correct an underdeveloped or receding chin. Beautiful aesthetic results can be achieved with chin implants.
A patient’s bite or dental occlusion is not impacted by the placement of a chin implant. On the other hand, if the teeth and bite have significant malocclusion, a more extensive procedure other than a simple chin implant surgery may be advisable.
Dr. Delgado has extensive experience with chin implant surgeries. This background allows him to provide informative consultations, explaining the various surgical options and reviewing the wide selection of implants available.
Chin implants come in many sizes and shapes. They are constructed of durable silicone and, unlike breast implants, have no liquid component. There is no potential for breakdown of the silicone material and once placed, the implant will not migrate out of position, nor can it become displaced by impact. Working with the patient’s preferences, Dr. Delgado will advise implant styles that he is confident will deliver a balanced and natural-appearing chin to face relationship.
Any man or woman who has an underdeveloped chin is a candidate for a chin implant. A receding chin disrupts the balance of the facial profile. The imbalance is even more accentuated if the nose is generously sized, as this will make the chin appear even smaller. An underdeveloped chin often results in crowding of the underlying neck structures. This creates fullness under the chin that obscures jaw line definition and may project an erroneous appearance of plumpness.
Before Chin Augmentation
A personal consultation is the first step for a patient considering chin augmentation surgery. This appointment can be scheduled at either Dr. Delgado’s San Francisco or his Marin County office.
At this meeting, Dr. Delgado will discuss the patient’s concerns about the appearance of his or her chin. The current relationship of the chin to the face will be assessed and compared and contrasted to the patient’s goals for his or her appearance. A physical examination will be done and the patient’s medical history reviewed to determine if chin augmentation surgery is a safe and an appropriate option. If the patient is a good candidate, Dr. Delgado will explain:
- The best style of implant to meet the patient’s goals
- The ideal size of implant for the patient’s face
- The different options for the incision through which the implant will be placed
Digital photographs will be taken of the patient’s face. These will be entered into a computer program that will display realistic images of the outcome of the procedure. This computer imaging facilitates further discussion between Dr. Delgado and the patient to ensure that the patient’s vision and goals for aesthetic improvement are met.
Blood tests done within six months of the surgery date are required to assure Dr. Delgado and the anesthesiologist, Dr. Gaynor, that surgery is a safe option for the patient. These tests include a CBC (complete blood count) and possible other tests, depending on the patient’s medical history. If the patient is 50 years old or older, an EKG (electrocardiogram) is required.
The patient is provided with a booklet that supplies detailed pre- and post-operative instructions, including the use of medications prior to surgery. For example, it is required that aspirin and aspirin-containing products be discontinued, including anti-inflammatory products, two weeks before and two weeks after surgery, as these products have a negative effect on clotting ability. The pre-operative instructions include a complete list of medications that could pose hazards and therefore, should be avoided. However, Tylenol (acetaminophen) can be safely taken during this time. However, do not exceed 1 gram over 4 hours or 4 grams per day from all sources since this can cause liver damage The booklet also provides a list of vitamins and homeopathic preparations that promote healing and limit bruising which the patient can opt to use before and after the surgery.
Chin Augmentation in San Francisco
DAY OF SURGERY
Dr. Delgado performs chin implant procedures at Marin Cosmetic Surgery Center, a private surgery suite, located in his Marin County office on the Sutter Marin County Community Hospital campus. This allows Dr. Delgado to offer his patients private, concierge medical care, while providing the extra measure of safety and reassurance afforded by the surgery center’s contiguous location to the hospital.
The placement of a chin implant can be done through the inside of the mouth, or externally, from under the chin. The external approach is the most common since it doe not interfere with lip function, nor cause scar tissue in the mouth or within the upper chin area. Dr. Delgado prefers the external approach.
Once the incision is made, a pocket is formed to house the chin implant. The chin implant is placed directly on the chin bone. When healed, the presence of the chin implant is not detectable. It feels firm and exactly like natural bone tissue. So that the chin implant cannot float in the soft tissue, it is securely sewn in place. This guarantees that its alignment with the chin will not change over time.
Most chin implant procedures are performed under general anesthesia and are usually performed in an outpatient surgery center or a hospital. At Marin Cosmetic Surgery Center, general anesthesia is administered by Randy Gaynor, MD, a board certified anesthesiologist with more than 30 years experience. For the past 20 years, Dr. Gaynor has worked exclusively in outpatient office surgery centers such as Marin Cosmetic Surgery Center.
Dr. Gaynor has developed LMA (Laryngeal Mask Airway) techniques that are specifically suited for the cosmetic surgery patient. Light levels of anesthesia are used so that patients need not be pharmaceutically paralyzed for procedures, as is often the method used in hospitals. The LMA technique allows patients to breathe on their own while anesthetized. Patients are completely comfortable and unaware of anything that is happening.
With Dr. Gaynor’s techniques, patients awaken quickly and are far less likely to experience nausea than with conventional anesthesia.
Dr. Delgado and Dr. Gaynor assist the patient in making the best choice for the anesthesia. Additionally, Dr. Gaynor calls each patient the evening before surgery to review his/her medical history, confirm last minute instructions and answer any questions they may have regarding the anesthesia.
After Chin Augmentation
The first hour or so after chin implant surgery is spent in the recovery room. When the patient is fully alert, he/she can go home in the care of a friend or family member.
After chin implant surgery, it is important to keep the head and back elevated to a 45-60 degree angle as this will greatly minimize swelling and bruising. Although there is normally a moderate amount of swelling in the surgical site, patients experience very little pain. Rather, there is numbness in the chin that persists for five to seven days before it resolves completely. Pain medications are prescribed for use the first day or two after surgery, though it is unlikely the patient will need them, except possibly to facilitate comfortable sleeping in the elevated position.
There should be only a small amount of swelling the first week after surgery and the slight bruising that also occurs can be easily concealed with makeup. Most patients find they can easily return to work and social activities one week after surgery. However, strenuous exercise should be avoided for four to six weeks as this can trigger unnecessary swelling.
RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS
As with all surgery, the risks of infection, bleeding, scarring and complications related to anesthesia exist. On rare occasions, there can be slight asymmetry in the placement of the chin implant. Numbness of the chin and lower lip can persist past the first week after the procedure, but this is usually transient in nature and related to any swelling that might be present. Although extremely unlikely, there is always the potential for nerve injury.
The goal of chin implant surgery is to create harmony with the face as a whole. Chin implants can improve the appearance of the jaw and neckline as well. The improvement is long lasting and does not fade with the passage of time.