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St. Louis Chin, Cheek & Jaw Specialist

Chin surgery, also known as mentoplasty, is a surgical procedure that reshapes the chin either by enhancing it with an implant (chin augmentation) or reducing and re-contouring the bone (chin reduction). Because the size of the chin may magnify or minimize the perceived size of the nose, a chin procedure is sometimes recommended in combination with nose surgery to achieve better facial proportions.

In addition to being used in the chin, facial implants can refine the line of the jaw, produce higher cheekbones, and re-contour the nose. They can be implanted for cosmetic or reconstructive purposes. In either case, carefully shaped implants change the basic contour and balance of the face by building up a receding chin, adding prominence to cheekbones, reshaping the nose, or creating a stronger jaw line. The result is a more harmonious balance to your facial features.

Facial implants have been approved by the FDA for many decades and are available in a wide range of sizes and styles, depending on what a patient needs, and manufactured with a variety of materials. Your surgeon can explain which implant type is right for you.

The Surgery

Insertion of an implant is similar for all facial areas. The surgeon makes a small incision near where the implant will be placed, either in a natural facial crease or inside the mouth or nose. A pocket is made in the facial tissue, the implant is inserted, and the incision is closed with stitches and then bandaged or taped. Many people choose to have facial implants placed at the time of another procedure such as a facelift. In these cases, implants can usually be inserted through the same incision(s) needed for the other facial surgery.

What To Expect After Receiving A Facial Implant

You will experience some discomfort and swelling in the affected area for several days, and there may be some temporary difficulty with smiling and talking following a chin or jaw procedure. Bruising may be visible around the implanted area. Your surgeon will instruct you about any restrictions related to diet, dental hygiene, or activities.

Facial implants can produce some remarkable changes, and you may not be able to accurately evaluate your appearance for weeks, or perhaps even months. Give yourself plenty of time to get used to your new look. You may be surprised to find that most people won't realize that you've had facial implant surgery, but they will notice some sort of change for the better.

Length Of Surgery

30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the type of surgery

Anesthesia

Usually general

In/Outpatient

Usually outpatient. Occasionally 1 night in the hospital.

Side Effects

Temporary discomfort, swelling, bruising, numbness and/or stiffness. In jaw surgery, inability to open mouth fully for several weeks.

Risks

Shifting or imprecise positioning of implant, or infection around it, may require a second operation or implant removal. Excess tightening and hardening of scar tissue around an artificial implant (capsular contracture) can cause an unnatural shape. Implant may be palpable.

Recovery

Back to work: about 1 week.
Normal appearance: 2 to 4 weeks.
Activity that could jar or bump face: 6 weeks or more.

Duration of Results

Can be removed but is considered permanent.

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