What is a sliding genioplasty?
A sliding genioplasty is a type of surgery that realigns your chin by cutting and moving part of your chin bone. The procedure might be right for someone whose chin is set too far back or too far forward. It can also correct a very long or short chin, or help align your bite. Another name for a sliding genioplasty is an osseous genioplasty.
Sliding genioplasty vs. chin implant: What’s the difference?
A sliding genioplasty and a chin implant are types of genioplasty (chin augmentation). They can both improve the look of your chin and help your chin and jawline appear more balanced with the rest of your facial features. The two procedures have important differences:
- Sliding genioplasty: A sliding genioplasty uses your existing chin bone to reshape a protruding, recessed or misaligned chin.
- Chin implant: Chin implant surgery uses a flexible piece of silicone to enhance a small chin and add definition to your lower face and jawline.
Who gets a sliding genioplasty?
Most people get a sliding genioplasty for cosmetic reasons. However, some people may need the procedure to reconstruct their chin and jawline. Reconstructive surgery might be necessary after an injury, such as a facial fracture, or if you have a congenital condition (birth defect).
The most common reasons for a sliding genioplasty include:
- Chin asymmetry (crooked chin that doesn’t line up with the middle of your face).
- Chin length abnormalities (long or short chin).
- Macrogenia (large chin).
- Microgenia (small chin).
- Prognathia (chin protrudes too far forward).
- Retrogenia (chin sits too far back).
- Retrognathia (jaw is set too far back).
The ideal candidate for a sliding genioplasty is someone who:
- Doesn’t have a jaw disorder.
- Doesn’t smoke.
- Has reached full skeletal maturity (bone growth is complete; late teen years).
- Has realistic expectations about the results of chin surgery.
- Is healthy.
How can I prepare for a sliding genioplasty?
Your healthcare provider will give you instructions on how to prepare for your sliding genioplasty. They may:
- Ask you to quit smoking several weeks before the procedure.
- Do imaging scans of your chin and jaw to plan the surgery.
- Perform a physical exam or blood work to make sure you’re in good health.
- Recommend you stop taking certain medications such as aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs or herbal supplements.
- Start you on a course of antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection.
What happens during a sliding genioplasty?
Before your chin surgery, you receive anesthesia. Most people get general anesthesia, which means you’re unconscious during the procedure.
During the procedure, a surgeon pulls down your lower lip and makes a horizontal incision (cut) at the base of your jaw line. As the incision scar will be inside of your mouth, it won’t be visible. Your surgeon uses a surgical saw to cut away part of your chin bone. Providers call this part of the procedure an osteotomy.
Depending on the specific type of chin realignment you need, your surgeon may move the cut bone forward, backward or sideways. To shorten a long chin, your surgeon removes the piece of cut bone. To lengthen a short chin, your surgeon may leave a space between two pieces of your chin bone. New bone eventually grows to fill the space.
Your surgeon may use special tools to reshape your chin so it fits naturally with the rest of your facial features. They secure the cut bone to your chin using wire, plates or screws. Your surgeon closes the incision inside of your mouth with dissolvable stitches. They apply a tape-like surgical dressing, or bandage, along the incision inside of your mouth. You might also have a supportive dressing outside of your mouth, just below your lower lip and under your chin.
What happens after a sliding genioplasty?
You may be able to return home the day of your surgery. Some people stay overnight in the hospital. Your surgeon will give you specific instructions about how to care for your incision. It’s important not to disturb the surgical dressings or the stitches inside of your mouth. Your surgeon removes the dressings three to four days after the procedure. The stitches dissolve in a few weeks.
Risks / Benefits
What are the risks of a sliding genioplasty?
Potential risks of a sliding genioplasty include:
What are the benefits of a sliding genioplasty?
A sliding genioplasty can improve the balance and symmetry of your facial features. It can also correct chin deformities associated with birth defects, trauma or other surgeries.
Recovery and Outlook
What can I expect after a sliding genioplasty?
Recovery from a sliding genioplasty can take several weeks. You should avoid strenuous activities for several days after your procedure. You might notice swelling and bruising for up to two weeks. Your surgeon will probably ask you to take antibiotics to prevent infection as your mouth heals.
Your surgeon may also recommend a liquid or soft-food diet for several days after the surgery. Avoid hard or crunchy foods, as these could disrupt your stitches or irritate the incision.
Rinsing your mouth with salt water before and after you eat meals keeps your incision clean.
Discomfort after a sliding genioplasty is usually mild. Over-the-counter pain relievers and cold compresses can reduce discomfort. Sleep with your head raised above your heart to reduce swelling in your chin and lip.
Most people resume normal activities, such as exercise and work, seven to 10 days after their procedure.
When to Call the Doctor
When should I see my healthcare provider after having sliding genioplasty?
Contact your healthcare provider if you have:
- Chest pain.
- Fever, chills or other flu-like symptoms.
- Shortness of breath (dyspnea).
- Signs of infection such as pus or drainage coming from your incision.
- Swelling or pain that lasts longer than a few weeks.
- Unusual pulse or heart rate.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
A sliding genioplasty is surgery to realign and reshape your chin. A surgeon cuts part of your chin bone and repositions it. You may consider this procedure if your chin sticks out too far from your face or recedes back too far into your face. It’s also a treatment for people with very short or long chins. Some people choose to have a sliding genioplasty to reconstruct their chin due to a traumatic injury or birth defect.
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