Mentoplasty refers to plastic surgery of the chin. “Mentum” is the Greek word for “chin”; the suffix, “plasty” means “to shape or mold”. Mentoplasty can generally be classified as either chin augmentation or chin reduction. Chin augmentation is far more common, but Dr. Velargo is an expert at both procedures.
When the chin is too small for the face, augmentation can often produce dramatic improvement in facial harmony.
Very often it is necessary to recommend surgery for a receding chin either in connection with a rhinoplasty, facelift, cervicofacial liposuction, or as an isolated procedure. This is the case because Dr. Velargo does not consider the chin as an isolated structure but rather as an important harmonizing component of the face.
During your consultation with Dr. Velargo, your chin will be analyzed to determine if augmentation should be considered. Other features of the face (e.g. forehead slope and nasal shape) and an oral exam will guide the decision making process. Generally speaking, if one examines his or her profile (side view) in a mirror, the chin projection should approach a vertical line dropped from the lower lip.
Dr. Velargo’s expert consultation will also involve an examination inside of the mouth to assess your bite. If your bite is abnormal, mentoplasty with an implant alone will not correct the dental malocclusion, and Dr. Velargo may refer you to an orthodontist or oral maxillofacial surgeon for an additional opinion on the best treatment plan. A patient with a “weak” chin that is associated with a normal bite is the best candidate for chin augmentation surgery.
What can a chin augmentation accomplish?
A chin augmentation can correct:
- A “weak” chin
- A recessed chin
- Nasal disharmony
- Poor facial profile (e.g. a convex profile)
What happens during a chin augmentation?
Dr. Velargo utilizes two techniques to augment the chin.
One way is non-surgically with fillers such as Perlane, Radiesse, or Juvederm Voluma, which are injected over the chin bone to augment the area.
Another manner in which chin augmentation can be accomplished with medical grade implants. Dr. Velargo analyzes the face and attempts to select the appropriate implant for each patient. Surgical chin augmentation can be performed under local anesthesia in Dr. Velargo’s clinic procedure room or under a deeper level of anesthetic.
Custom made medical grade silicone or Merseline mesh implants are Dr. Velargo’s choice of implant materials. During the chin operation, the implant is placed on the jaw bone so that the soft tissues (skin, fat, and muscles) rest upon the implant, not the bone.
The operation is usually performed from inside the mouth through an incision just above the crease between the lower lip and gum. Absorbable sutures are used and when the scar “matures” it is generally well-camouflaged.
What can I expect during recovery from a chin augmentation?
Although the chin area will be sensitive for a few days, postoperative discomfort is usually negligible. The chin is supported with a special tape for the first week post-operatively.
Until most of the swelling has subsided, the lower lip and chin area may feel somewhat full and tight. Do not try to evaluate the results of your surgery too soon. It may take several weeks before the majority of swelling and tightness subsides, sometimes longer.
Proper oral hygiene is stressed and instructions will be given post-operatively.
All sutures will absorb within about 10 days.
Chin dimpling following chin augmentation with implants occurs in a minority of patients; however, should this occur, injection of the chin muscle with a “relaxer” such as Botox, Dysport, or Xeomin typically solves the problem.
Questions and Answers About Chin Augmentation
How long do the results of a chin augmentation last?
Surgical chin augmentations with medical grade implants will last for the life of the implant.
Does insurance cover chin augmentation?
Most chin augmentations are considered cosmetic procedures. Therefore, insurance companies do not generally cover the cost of surgery.
What Other Procedures Can Enhance the Effects of Chin Augmentation?
Attractive facial appearance is a matter of harmony and balance. A stronger chin may be all you need to bring your features into better harmony. But for some people, making changes to the nose and neck can enhance the effects of chin augmentation. A weak chin can make your nose look larger, for example, and a large nose can make a normal chin look too small. In your consultation with Dr. Velargo, he will explain these visual relationships. Procedures commonly paired with chin augmentation include the following.
- Rhinoplasty: Nose surgery to bring the shape of the chin and nose into balance.
- Neck liposuction: Removal of excess fat from the neck and under the chin to give more definition to the jawline.
- Facelift: Surgery to tighten loose skin on the face. A facelift can remove sagging jowls, lift sunken cheeks, and smooth the skin on the neck.
Can a Chin Implant Correct a Double Chin?
A chin implant will give you a stronger and more balanced profile, but will not, on its own, eliminate a double chin. A double chin results from excess fat under the chin, and liposuction can correct this issue.
Will It Be Obvious That I’ve Had a Chin Augmentation?
The result of a chin augmentation is a subtle improvement in the balance of your facial features. Most people who know you will notice that you look more attractive, but without being able to say exactly what has changed.
Are Chin Implants Made In Different Shapes?
Chin implants come in many different sizes and shapes to enhance the unique characteristics of different faces. They can be thick or thin, wide or narrow, adding definition to the jawline in different ways and to different degrees. They can wrap around the jawbone to build out the projection of the chin more broadly, or they can add volume only at the front of the chin. Dr. Velargo will help you choose the size and shape of your implant from this wide array to create a look that is unique to you.
Some chins are too large. Dr. Velargo is also an expert at reducing the size of the chin. In this procedure, the excess bone can be removed or repositioned to help provide better facial harmony. This is typically accomplished through an incision inside of the mouth and the excess bone is removed with a drill bit or chisel in order to properly and artistically re-shape your chin.
Contact the New Orleans Center for Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery today to find out more about expert mentoplasty.