Chin Reduction - Cosmetic Surgery Guide

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Chin reduction and augmentation are part of a group of surgical procedures which can help you deal with a prominent or receding chin. This can help to improve your profile, making your nose seem smaller and reducing the appearance of overbites. It can improve the proportion of your face and increase your self-confidence. If your chin is receding it can be built outwards whereas if your chin juts out then some of the bone can be removed. As chin development stops at around 20 years of age, ideal candidates for chin reduction should be at least this age and in good health. If you suffer from any medical conditions or bone disorders then you may be excluded from treatment.

The procedure

Chin surgery usually takes between two and three hours, depending on the complexity of the operation. The surgery is typically performed under a general anesthetic, meaning you will be unconscious throughout, and is followed by an overnight stay in hospital. During the chin reduction procedure your surgeon will make an incision either underneath the chin, to expose the chin and jawbones, or in the base of the mouth. Your surgeon will then rework the bone by repositioning, sculpting or removal and then close the incision. In cases where the incision is made in the mouth there will be no visible scars. In the chin augmentation procedure your surgeon will make a similar incision, again located either in the base of the mouth or under the chin. The underlying tissue and skin are then stretched, creating a pocket into which your surgeon will place an implant. These are usually made out of semi-solid materials in order to mimic the texture and feel of chin tissue. Implants are typically made from non-toxic materials like silicone and ePTFE to prevent any adverse reactions. They come in a number of shapes and sizes and can be further customised by your surgeon to better fit you. Once secured in place using either permanent or dissolvable stitches, the incision will then be closed.

Aftercare and Recovery

Following your surgery you will have an overnight stay in hospital. It's usual for your chin to swell and bruise slightly, but this should dissipate within a couple of weeks. If the pain becomes excessive then it's usual to be prescribed medication to help. Most patients feel tired and sore for a couple of days after surgery and it's recommended you spend this time resting and recovering. Sutures should dissolve in around two weeks, if they are permanent then your surgeon will need to remove them about ten days after surgery. You will need to follow a soft diet for a couple of weeks and it's recommended that you avoid any situation which involves facial contact for a couple of months. Although you can resume most normal activities after a week its usually suggested you take a couple of weeks off work and avoid strenuous activities. Full recovery from chin surgery takes around six weeks and your scars will take slightly longer to heal.

The risks

As with all surgical procedures, chin surgery has a rare possibility of complications. Infections can develop, so it's common to be prescribed antibiotics to help prevent against this and in rare cases there is an adverse reaction to anaesthesia. If you aren't satisfied with the result of your initial surgery, or some complication develops during the procedure then additional treatments may be required. Chewing and swallowing will be difficult during the period immediately following surgery, so it's important to maintain a light, liquid-based diet during this time. You can help promote healing and protect against infections by following aftercare advice carefully. It's usually recommended that you avoid smoking as this can constrict blood vessels. Similarly certain medications will need to be stopped a while before you undergo the treatment.