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What can be done for the chin?

The chin can be made larger or smaller, or more shapely, and a cleft or dimple can be created. A double chin can be removed and loose skin tightened, resulting in a straighter jaw and under chin line.

How is chin surgery done?

The incision may be in the mouth under the lower lip or in the skin under the chin. It can be enlarged or lifted by repositioning the bone or soft tissue. The area under the chin is lifted by removing fat, trimming muscle and tightening the skin. An implant of Teflon or silicone is often used to achieve the desired shape.

How often is chin surgery done?

It is a planned part of about half of the face-lift operations and one out of four nose surgeries.

How often have there been problems with the implants in the chin?

Fewer than one in ten surgeries of over a thousand we have done in the past thirty years have had serious problems such as rejection or infection. There may be some numbness of the chin for a while on one or both sides. There may be some asymmetry of the appearance or of the feel of the chin, but this is usually correctable, or the problem corrects itself if it is due to swelling.

There is also some interference with speech for a while after surgery, especially if the change in the chin is very great. This can be demonstrated by holding the lower lip while you try to talk. The effect is usually not that great, but this gives you some idea of what to expect.

Does this require changing the occlusion or bite, repositioning the teeth, wiring the jaws, or major dental work?

No. Most cosmetic changes to the chin can be made in less than one hour of surgery, with a week or more of recovery, and do not require major dental work. Major dental/orthodontic work is necessary only to change the way the teeth meet together. Some persons may need both types of procedures.

How would I know if I might benefit in appearance from something being done to my chin or under chin area?

The person considering an alteration in the shape of the chin and jaw line can see what can be done via drawings made on their photographs. This is routinely done in our office for each person considering these possibilities.


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 William Roy Morgan, M.D., F.A.C.S  Last modified: January 22, 2015