The facial bones have a significant effect on both appearance and facial aging. The facial bones are the foundation of the face and, when weak, can increase the appearance of aging. Surgeons at Cleveland Clinic Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Center have used facial implants and other chin surgery techniques to establish balance and proportion.
Your surgeon may perform your procedure alone or as a complement to other facial contouring procedures, such as a face lift, neck lift, cosmetic nose surgery (rhinoplasty) procedure or other surgeries.
Why choose us?
When considering blepharoplasty or eyebrow surgery, choose a surgeon with significant experience in eyelid surgery. Friends, family, or your internist or primary care provider can be helpful in suggesting the best surgeon.
For the best results, choose a cosmetic surgeon who is affiliated with a major medical center, such as Cleveland Clinic. Make sure to ask your cosmetic surgeon about their credentials, training and how many procedures they’ve performed.
How to Prepare
Am I a candidate for facial implant or bone surgery?
Facial implant surgery (sometimes referred to as chin surgery or chin plastic surgery) involves the insertion of specially formed solid, biocompatible materials designed to enhance or augment the physical structure of your face. The precise type and size of facial implants best suited for you require an overall evaluation of your goals, the features you’d like to change and your surgeon’s judgment.
Chin surgery (also known as mentoplasty) aims to reshape your chin by enhancement with an implant, cutting boney chin and moving it forward (genioplasty), or by reducing your chin bone. It’s not uncommon for chin surgery to be performed during other facial surgery procedures to give the best overall facial balance.
The most common use of facial implants is to enhance chin position. This procedure can correct a weak chin by using either a silastic or medpore implant, or by cutting the boney chin and advancing it forward using small, jeweler’s-type plates (called a genioplasty). A genioplasty procedure can also reduce the size of the chin or correct a crooked chin.
Implants can not only advance the chin but also improve the angle of the jaw. Bone reduction surgery can also address prominent facial features.
Good candidates for facial implant and/or chin surgery include:
- People whose facial bones have reached physical maturity, which generally occurs in late adolescence.
- People who are bothered by a small chin, weak jaw or lack of facial contour.
- Healthy people who have no major medical conditions.
- People with a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for their facial implant and/or chin surgery.
How do I prepare for facial implant and chin surgery?
Preparing for your facial implant and/or chin surgery procedure at Cleveland Clinic Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Center will include:
- A detailed examination of your medical history.
- A physical exam.
- Photograph analysis.
- Review of precautions before surgery (including avoiding aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs).
- Smoking cessation.
What to Expect
How are facial implant procedures performed?
Facial implant surgery is generally performed on an outpatient basis using local or general anesthesia at Cleveland Clinic Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Center. Our experts offer a variety of options, including:
Your surgeon inserts your cheek implants with an incision inside your mouth or along your lower eyelid. If your surgeon is performing another cosmetic procedure at the same time (such as a facelift or eyelid surgery), they may insert the implants through those incisions. Cheek implant surgery generally takes about one hour.
Your surgeon places a chin implant through either an incision inside your mouth or a small incision under your chin. This procedure is often done at the same time as a rhinoplasty (nose surgery) or a facelift. It can, however, be a stand-alone procedure. It’s a short operation, taking less than one hour.
Genioplasty is a procedure that can be an alternative to a chin implant, as no implant is required. Your surgeon cuts your chin bone using an incision inside your mouth. They move the chin forward if the chin is small, lengthen it if it’s short, or set it back if it’s prominent. A small metal plate and tiny screws hold your chin in place. The surgery doesn’t move teeth or affect occlusion. This operation takes about an hour to complete.
Your surgeon performs lip augmentation by using fat injections, fillers (such as Restylane®, Juvéderm® and other hyaluronic acids) or tissue grafts. Grafting and implants are generally performed on an outpatient basis (meaning you go home the same day) using local anesthesia. Your surgeon makes small incisions in the corners of your lips to insert the implant or graft. Sutures hold the implant or graft in place.
Lower jaw implants
Lower jaw implants are used when your lower face is narrow and the angles are weak. Your surgeon places the implant through an incision inside your mouth and holds it in place with a small screw.
How is chin surgery completed?
There are many different ways to achieve symmetry in your chin area, including:
Your surgeon performs chin augmentation through a small incision inside your mouth or underneath your chin, in addition to creating a small pocket above your chin bone and below your chin muscle. They then insert a customized implant inside the pocket.
Your surgeon performs genioplasty through an incision in your mouth. They cut the lower portion of your chin with a drill and move it either forward or down, depending on the desired effect. A small plate and small jeweler’s screws hold the bone in place. After surgery, your chin may be taped to hold the implant in place, to reduce swelling or until it’s firmly in its new position.
Correction of a “double chin” (submental lipectomy)
Submental lipectomy treats excess skin fat.
Correction of a double chin is often performed along with a standard neck lift or cheek lift. A chin implant may also be recommended to complement the overall basic shape and balance of your face.
Are facial implant and chin surgery procedures safe?
All surgical procedures carry some risks. Possible complications from facial implant and chin surgery include:
- Unfavorable scarring.
- Bleeding (hematoma).
- Poor healing of incisions.
- Anesthesia risks.
- Change in skin sensation due to nerve injury.
- Excessive scar tissue formation.
- Firmness around the implant.
- Shifting of implants and pressure on surrounding structures.
- Skin contour irregularities.
- Skin discoloration and swelling.
- Skin sensitivity.
- Cardiac (heart) and pulmonary (lung) complications.
- Potential need for revisional surgery.
What results can I expect?
The results of your facial implant procedure are visible almost immediately. Initial swelling will subside over the first week with the use of cold compresses and will continue to subside for the following two to four weeks. Swelling from facial implants should go away fully in one to two months as your true results appear.
After chin surgery, your chin will be swollen, firm and possibly bruised. Using cold compresses in the first 48 hours will significantly lessen the swelling, as will keeping your upper body elevated when resting. If cosmetic injectables were used as the primary treatment for your chin augmentation, the swelling and bruising may be milder.
End results from both facial implant and chin surgery procedures take time. The best way to ensure your overall results is through follow-up consultations with your surgeon at Cleveland Clinic Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Center. View our chin surgery before-and-after photos to see results from actual patients.
What is involved in recovery?
Cheek implant surgery recovery may include some discomfort and swelling, as well as difficulty moving your mouth and lips for several days.
Following chin implant surgery, you may experience some pain, swelling and bruising. Your stitches will be removed within about a week. Stitches used inside your mouth dissolve on their own.
Recovery from chin surgery involves some swelling, bruising and numbness for several weeks. During the recovery period, you’ll need to eat only soft foods and protect your face from bumps and other injuries.
Lip implants or lip augmentation
Most lip enlargement techniques cause postsurgical swelling that can last for about a week. After that time, your lips may still be swollen but presentable.
Lower jaw implants
Lower jaw implants may cause some discomfort and significant swelling. You may also find it difficult to move your mouth and lips for several days. Although most of the swelling will subside within several days, it may take months for all the swelling to go down. Stitches used inside your mouth dissolve on their own.
Insurance & Financing
Insurance rarely covers the cost of elective cosmetic surgery and procedures.
Please call 216.444.4004 and ask to speak with one of our financial representatives who can explain payment options, including CareCredit financing.