Surgeons perform chin reshaping surgery, or genioplasty and sometimes mentoplasty is used to reshape the chin through a surgical procedure. This procedure involves a surgeon either placing a chin implant or reduction of the existing bone of the chin area. After the chin surgery, what can you expect, as far as healing and post-operative discomfort? Surgeons often perform this in a combined procedure which involves chin, neck, and nose reshaping.
Why is Chin Surgery Performed?
Surgeons perform chin surgery, most often, for cosmetic purposes only. Surgeons perform it in cases when there is a proportional defect or deficiency that a patient wants correcting. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are the type of surgeon that most often performs this type of surgery. Plastic surgeons also perform chin reshaping surgery.
What are the Types of Chin Surgery?
Surgeons perform two main types of chin surgery for a deficient chin: sliding genioplasty and chin implants. Surgeons perform sliding genioplasty for major retrogenia or deficient chin. A deficient chin appears as an excessive overbite but is due to the lower jaw being smaller in proportion to the upper jaw. This may require jaw surgery to correct. In this type of genioplasty, surgeons cut and move the jaw bone into place to correct the defect and align the bite.
Surgeons use chin implants are used in lesser cases of retrogenia. In these situations, the surgeon places a synthetic device in the chin area. The surgeon will then secure the implant into place. He or she will adhere the implant to the bone of the chin using various forms of securing devices, such as screws or plates.
A surgeon may also remove bone from the chin for cases of prognathism, or prominent lower jaw. In this instance, the surgeon removes bone to change the proportion of the lower to the upper jaw. Surgeons will oftentimes suggest both of these types of chin surgeries, reductive and additive, instead of rhinoplasty to achieve better facial proportions.
How is Chin Surgery Performed?
Surgeons perform most chin surgery under IV, or intravenous, sedation with a local anesthetic, although more complex chin surgeries may be performed under general anesthesia. A small incision is usually placed under the chin, or inside of the mouth for access to the chin bone. Through this access, the appropriate changes to the jaw bone can be performed.
Following your surgery, you will most likely have sutures or stitches in place. If they are the non-resorbable kind, you will need to have your surgeon remove them at your post-operative appointment. If your sutures are resorbable, they will work their way out on their own. Regardless, you should not tamper with your sutures during your healing period.
What to Expect Immediately Following Your Chin Surgery
Immediately following your surgery, you will want to rest. In fact, you will most likely want to rest in bed for the first day or two following your surgery. After about a week, your surgeon or the surgical team will remove the stitches from your surgery. Your surgeon may also use a surgical tape to cover the incision area to help with healing.
You will most likely be able to eat the same day of your surgery, but you will want to stay on a soft or liquid diet for several days following the surgery. You should be able to return to work and normal activities within a week to ten (10) days following surgery. This does not, however, mean that you are necessarily able to return to all of your normal activities. You will want to avoid strenuous activity for many weeks following surgery.
What are Common Complications?
As with any surgical procedure, some common complications can occur with chin surgery. You will have discomfort, swelling, and bruising, numbness, as with any other surgery. You may notice some other common complications, however. These common complications, if noticed early and managed appropriately by your surgeon, or surgical team, can be handled with no effect to your surgery.
If your surgeon or surgical team finds that you have a post-op infection, then you will most likely be treated with an antibiotic. If the infection is more severe, then your surgeon or surgical team may choose to treat your infection with more aggressive means, but this is to be determined at the time of post-operative complications.
If a shifting of your surgical implant occurs, then a second, a more minor operation may be needed to secure the implant back into place. This will place the implant back into its desired location, leaving you able to heal appropriately.
When dealing with reshaping and moving bony structures, nerve damage can be a possibility. If you experience long-lasting numbness or tingling in the surgical area, contact your surgeon or surgical team. This may be completely normal and last for several weeks. But, in some cases, the sooner you start to treat nerve damage, the less of a chance it has to become permanent nerve damage.
Chin surgery is riddled with swelling and bruising in the very beginning. In the beginning, you may first think it was not worth the effort. Initially, your healing from your chin surgery will be slow. But if you follow the post-operative instructions from Arkansas Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons, then you will find the results will be worth the effort!