What is chin surgery?

Chin surgery, or mentoplasty, is a surgical procedure to reshape the chin either by enhancement with an implant or reduction surgery on the bone.

Plastic surgery, and other minor office procedures, can often be performed on the lower jaw line and chin area to improve proportions of the face and to help with one’s confidence and self-esteem. These types of interventions are frequently suggested by board-certified plastic surgeons to improve the harmony of facial features and improve the chin/jaw/cheek/forehead balance.

Sometimes bone from the jaw itself can be moved forward in an operation called a mentoplasty or genioplasty. Alternatively, shaped silicone implants can be used to give more projection to the chin. Conversely, bone can be removed to decrease an overly projecting chin. Furthermore, modifications to the upper and/or lower jaw can be advised for improved chewing dynamics and occlusion – or how the teeth fit together. These operations can range from simple to very complex.

Many times a plastic surgeon may recommend chin surgery or procedures to a patient having a rhinoplasty in order to achieve better facial proportions, as the size of the chin may magnify or minimize the perceived size of the nose.

Additionally, with recent advances in technology, and after obtaining informed consent after reviewing all options, risks and benefits, your plastic surgeon may suggest off-label use of FDA-approved gel filler material as an alternative for providing augmentation of the chin area that may last for a shorter duration.

Types of chin surgeries

Surgery can be performed on the chin to alter or improve its appearance. The two main types of chin surgery are either chin augmentation or chin reduction.

Chin augmentation/implants

Chin augmentation surgery is usually performed to augment an underprojected chin. Typically, this is accomplished by placement of an implant directly on the bone. A small incision is made either inside the mouth or underneath the skin of the chin. After the implant is placed, the incision is then closed with sutures. Mild swelling may occur for a few days, and patients usually are able to return to work within a week.

Chin reduction surgery

Chin reduction surgery, or chin shaving surgery, is performed to reduce a prominent or overprojected chin. The surgery is typically performed under general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure. A small incision is made either inside the mouth or underneath the skin of the chin. Excess bone is removed, and the chin is contoured to the desired shape. The incision is closed with sutures.

Who is a good candidate for chin surgery?

Chin surgery is a highly individualized procedure. It can be a life-changing procedure for patients who are self-conscious about their chin. This procedure should be done for yourself, not for someone else or to conform with any sort of ideal image.

In general, you may be a good chin surgery candidate if:

  • You are physically healthy and at a stable weight
  • You have realistic expectations
  • You are a nonsmoker
  • You are bothered by the appearance of your chin
  • You have a chin that is too short or lack projection
  • If you’re considering surgery, spend some time reviewing chin surgery photos and learning about what to expect during recovery. Preparation ahead of time helps patients have reasonable expectations and a smoother recovery.