Mentoplasty (chin surgery) is a surgical procedure to reshape the chin by either augmenting or reducing it. Chin implants improve a person's profile by making a "weak" chin look stronger; chin reduction also improves the profile, but removes bone and/or tissue and muscle to do so. To create optimal facial proportion, mentoplasty is often performed in conjunction with rhinoplasty (nose surgery).
The Mentoplasty Procedure
Candidates for mentoplasty typically have a weak chin and/or prominent nose, or a prominent jaw.
Mentoplasty that augments the chin takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour to perform. Either local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia is used. During the procedure, an incision is made inside the mouth, which eliminates visible scarring. A pocket is created for the implant (typically made of semi-solid silicone), which is then placed and positioned in front of the jawbone. Once in place, the implant is secured with sutures. When an incision in the mouth is not possible, it is made underneath the chin so that the scar is not apparent. The patient returns home the same day.
Mentoplasty that reduces the chin takes approximately 1 to 2 hours to perform. General anesthesia is typically used. The procedure begins with the surgeon's making an incision inside the mouth or under the chin. Excess bone and/or tissue and muscle are removed, and the tip of the chin is contoured to the desired shape using a bone burr or drill. In some cases, a piece of the bone is removed, and the chin is repositioned. Sutures are used to close the incision. The patient returns home the same day.
Recovery from Mentoplasty
After mentoplasty, a patient may experience tightness and swelling in the chin. Discomfort can be relieved with pain medication, although most patients report that pain is gone within 3 to 5 days. A compression garment may be taped to the chin to reduce swelling. For 2 weeks following mentoplasty, eating only a light, liquid-based diet is recommended. Full recovery from mentoplasty takes 6 weeks.
Risks of Mentoplasty
Risks of mentoplasty include implant displacement or bone absorption (in augmentation), asymmetry, numbness in the lip and chin, infection and bleeding. In general, serious complications are rare.