Chin Augmentation Pasadena
In years past, only the most discerning of patients would visit Dr. Chow with chin augmentation in mind. This was despite the fact that the chin, which defines the lower third of the face and jawline, has a major impact on overall appearance. But the chin is difficult to see when looking straight into the mirror, and so many of us never noticed how weak chins can and do affect our facial profiles.
However, the advent of cameras and camera-phones, together with social media such as Facebook and Twitter, has allowed us to see ourselves as others see us, which is more often than not at an oblique angle or profile view (from the side). As a result, chin implants have dramatically increased in popularity in recent years, as the chin plays a pivotal role in providing balance to the face. For example, a patient who feels that his or her nose is too large may be surprised to learn that correcting chin proportions reduces the apparent size of the nose and forehead. Others will notice that chin implants can provide volume lost during the aging process and reduce the appearance of jowls. Men may desire a “stronger” jawline. And many patients combine the contour effects of a chin implant with facial rejuvenation procedures such as facelifts, neck lifts, neck liposuction, and fat injections.
Dr. Chow has experience with a number of different implant materials. These implants are generally placed via an internal (inside the mouth) or external (small incision hidden just underneath the chin) approaches. To reduce infection risk and provide more accurate placement, the external approach is more commonly used. After careful examination of your face and thorough discussion of your concerns and interests, Dr. Chow can recommend the right chin augmentation method and material for you.
Providing balance to your face by enhancing your chin and jaw line can make other facial features, such as the nose, appear more proportional and attractive. It can also rejuvenate the face and provide a slimming appearance to the lower face. This procedure is minimally invasive and yet has tremendous benefits.
This procedure is frequently done along with rhinoplasty, facelift/necklift, and liposuction of the neck. For more information, please follow the links or simply call the Chow Center for an appointment.
Before the Procedure
The first step towards addressing your cosmetic concerns is to have an in-depth consultation with Dr. Jen Chow at the Chow Center. This will provide you with the opportunity to review your aesthetic goals with the facial plastic surgeon himself. Additional before and after photos will be available to you, and you will receive an information packet that will describe much of what you discuss in greater detail. This will allow you to review the information at your leisure after your consultation.
After you have scheduled your chin implant surgery, along with any other procedures, you will have the opportunity to visit with Dr. Chow and ask any additional questions you may have. You will also be provided written instructions regarding what you should do before and after surgery. These will be reviewed with you so that you are completely comfortable about the procedure. Foods, supplements, and even vitamins that may thin the blood should be avoided. Aspirin, ibuprofen, Alleve, and other over the counter non-steroidal inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) should be avoided as well. You should refrain from tobacco products and alcohol in the week prior to surgery as well. These can affect your healing after surgery, and cause other problems, such as persistent redness of the skin.
Before surgery, you will be provided with prescriptions for any and all medications you will need after surgery. Please obtain these before surgery. Many patients also choose to take Arnica Montana, a natural supplement, which has been associated with decreased bruising. Arnica should be taken both before and after surgery in order to decrease the likelihood of bruising and also to shorten the duration of any bruising that does occur. Vitamin C both before and after surgery will help to promote healing.
Dr. Chow performs almost all chin implants at a fully accredited outpatient surgical facility. The procedure may occasionally be performed in the office under appropriate conditions. You will be given specific instructions leading up to your procedure. Remind yourself to avoid putting pressure on the chin (or engaging in contact sports) in the weeks after surgery. Some helpful tips for the day of surgery include: avoiding clothing that must be pulled over the head (zippered or buttoned shirts are recommended), leaving jewelry and valuables at home, and keeping the face and hair free of makeup and hair sprays or gels, respectively.
Once you have arrived at the facility, Dr. Chow will mark your face for the procedure and review your aesthetic goals with you. Dr. Chow is able to place chin implants through either a small outer incision (under the chin) or through an incision in the mouth. Before you schedule your procedure, the surgical approach will be discussed to your satisfaction.
In general, Dr. Chow prefers silastic implants for the chin, though he is also able to use a number of other materials, depending on your needs. If you are interested in non-surgical chin enhancement, this is something commonly performed with Radiesse. Please click on the link for more details.
Most chin implant procedures take about an hour or less. You will have tape over your chin afterwards to reduce swelling and prevent movement of the implant. Dr. Chow usually removes the tape four to five days after surgery.
* Individual results may vary.
View before-and-after pictures of real patients of Dr. Chow
After the Procedure
Most patients have mild to moderate discomfort after the procedure. Some patients have required only over the counter Tylenol for their discomfort. In addition, some patients have mild to moderate numbness over the chin and lower lip due to swelling around the nerve(s) that provide sensation to this area. This is not permanent, as sensation generally returns when the swelling subsides.
The tape and any stitches are usually removed four to five days after surgery. Mild bruising may occur, though most patients have minimal bruising by five days after surgery. Activities should be light in the first week after surgery, avoiding strenuous physical activity or too much sun exposure.
You should avoid resting your chin on your hands or otherwise placing pressure on the chin implant, especially in the first few weeks after surgery. Contact sports and ball sports (kick-boxing, football, etc.) should be avoided as well. Any of these can cause the implant to shift.
Moderate physical activity, such has light jogging, hiking, etc., may be resumed two weeks after surgery. Normal non-contact physical activity can be resumed after three weeks. After six weeks, you may resume all normal activities.
How do I know if I need a chin implant?
Chin implants achieve one or several of a specific set of goals. They provide definition to the jawline. They “strengthen” the appearance of the chin, providing proportion to the face; this is especially noticeable in the apparent projection of the nose and prominence of the forehead. Although chin implants can also be used in conjunction with other procedures to provide a more youthful appearance, they are used to provide a structural improvement rather than facial rejuvenation.
Why are chin implants sometimes recommended with rhinoplasty?
Facial aesthetics are based on symmetry and balance. When a single feature is too large or small in relation to the proportions of the overall face, that relative difference is magnified and becomes obvious. By adjusting the proportions of the face relative to one another such that there is a harmonious relationship, a more proportionate, and therefore more aesthetic, face results. In some cases, the nose can appear to become smaller simply by augmenting the chin to correct facial proportions.
What are implants made of?
Chin implants come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. The most commonly used is the silastic implant, which is preformed in a large variety of shapes and sizes. Others are more like gauze (mersilene mesh), allowing customization for each individual when needed. These two materials are the most common that Dr. Chow employs in chin augmentation. These substances have a very low complication rate and have been proven to be safe for chin implant procedures. Having written articles in the medical literature on this subject, Dr. Chow is familiar with a wide range of implant materials and can discuss the risks or benefits of each with you.
How do I know if I need a chin implant or liposuction of the neck?
Neck liposuction removes fat. If the neck skin has enough elasticity, it will reshape to a more youthful neckline once the fat below it has been removed. Neck liposuction will not remove sagging excess skin (often referred to as “turkey waddle”) or erase wrinkles or lines in the skin. Such excess, baggy skin is treated with a neck or facelift.
For men, does a chin implant affect shaving?
Not significantly. For the first few days, there is a dressing which covers the incision. Men simply shave around the dressing until it is removed on the fourth day. They may then shave the surgical area with a straight edge blade for one week. Electric razors are best avoided for at least 10 days after surgery to prevent undue pressure and stress on the implant.
How long will bruising and swelling last?
After the procedure, bruising and swelling begins to resolve at the end of the first week. Complete resolution may take two to six weeks. However, any discoloration after the first week is easily camouflaged with concealer.
When can I go back to work?
Most people are able to return to work approximately 1 week after the implant has been placed. Two to three weeks off work is recommended when multiple procedures are performed in conjunction with the chin augmentation. It is important to avoid anything that will increase your blood pressure – bending, lifting objects greater than 20 pounds, and straining will all prolong the recovery period.
I’m very anxious about getting a chin implant. Should I be so stressed?
Altering the appearance of your face is always a big decision, and never one to be taken lightly. Sometimes, the best way to understand how chin augmentation will benefit you is to take the time to visit the Chow Center and have an image enhancement session. This will provide you with a visual approximation of how the proportions of your face can be improved. You will be able to speak with Dr. Chow regarding any and all concerns you have so that you are fully informed about the potential benefits of chin enhancement.