Chin augmentation, performed by itself or often in combination with other surgeries such as liposuction of the neck, face lift, and rhinoplasty, is a procedure with significant aesthetic benefits. Especially from a profile view, the chin is a defining aesthetic component of the lower third of the face. Its vertical projection ideally is at about the level of the forehead, with the forehead and chin “framing” the nose. In a pleasing profile, these three facial elements are in harmonious balance, and their relationship to one another has tremendous impact on whether an individual is seen as being “attractive”.
A Brief History of Chin Augmentation
Aesthetic enhancement of the chin, especially through adding to its projection, has been performed in various ways for a long time. Earlier and unfortunately ill-conceived methods included injection of substances such as paraffin and implantation of materials far less well-tolerated by the body than those commonly used today.
Until about a decade ago, the emphasis in chin enhancement was primarily on augmenting the center of the chin only. This tended to produce a “cherry on the chin” appearance still not uncommonly seen by plastic surgeons in older patients coming in for face lift and other surgical consultations. More recently, the aesthetic superiority of an extended “wrap around the chin” implant has been recognized. Such implants are now commercially available in a wide variety of sizes and shapes from which the surgeon may choose. Primarily made of medical-grade silicone, the implants can be further trimmed and custom-shapped before insertion. This implant design can also improve on the “marionette folds” (the vertical indentation that runs from the corner of the mouth to the jawline).
Bone reshaping procedures are significantly more complicated to perform and require a longer recovery. Nevertheless, they may be a better choice for some patients. The training and clinical experience of a board-certified plastic surgeon enables him or her to make a determination of which method will produce the most satisfying results for each individual patient.