Shadyside Place
580 S. Aiken Avenue, Suite 530
Pittsburgh, PA 15232


Archive for September, 2011

The Finer Points of Chin Augmentation

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Cosmetic surgery of the face is always a balancing act, where careful attention must be paid to how one area of the face affects the visual balance of another, in order to achieve a natural look. That balance can be especially noticeable in the profile.

The chin, the nose, and even the neck are visually interrelated in some interesting ways. A weak chin can make a nose look bigger than it is, while a more prominent nose can make a chin look weaker. A thick, ill-defined or “obtuse” neck—often called a “double chin”—can also make a chin appear less strong.

This is why when a patient approaches us with concerns about their nose, chin or neck, we perform a full evaluation of the profile to ensure the patient’s needs will be fully addressed by the ultimate solution.

In about 20% of rhinoplasties—that is, patients who choose to have their nose reduced or reshaped—these patients will also need a slight chin enlargement. And likewise, a percentage of patients with an ill-defined neck will also benefit from a chin augmentation procedure.

Now, when we say “chin augmentation,” we don’t mean a dramatic enlargement of the chin. Chin augmentation, when done properly, is a safe, subtle procedure designed to bring the chin out just so the profile is proportional.

How Chin Augmentation is Done
There are two ways a chin augmentation can be done, and both involve adding a small, FDA-approved silastic implant. This implant can be placed through a small incision made in the natural crease under the chin, where a large number of people have scars already from falling as a child. The implant can also be placed through a small opening made within the mouth just behind the lower lip.

No matter which technique is used, the whole procedure is quite simple—taking 15 to 20 minutes—and recovery is swift, with minimal bruising and minimal downtime. If the chin implant is placed through the mouth, a few small stitches are used, and these dissolve over four or five days. If the chin implant is placed through the crease under the chin, the stitches used there are removed approximately five days after the procedure.

We caution patients to avoid contact sports and other physical activities for the first three weeks that might result in a fall. But after three weeks, the procedure is typically fully-healed and the patient views the implant like their very own chin.

If a patient doesn’t care for the effect the chin implant offers, chin augmentation is reversible. Most patients, however, are very satisfied with the look. And unlike some other procedures, chin augmentation doesn’t have to be redone every ten, fifteen or twenty years. Many patients easily go a lifetime with their chin implant intact.

We like to follow-up with patients in six weeks, six months and then a year after the procedure, to ensure everything is still going well. These follow-ups are free of charge and an important part of our patient care routine.

But when it comes to chin augmentation, the point of every procedure is facial balance, harmony, and a more confident you–from every angle.

Do you think chin augmentation might be right for you? Contact us today to schedule your consultation.