Third Quarter 2009, Volume 23, Number 2

Chin and cheek implants can help restore youthfulness and enhance your profile


Latest trends show increase in minimal invasive procedures on men, women, and for work reasons

Chin and cheek implants can help restore youthfulness and enhance your profile

Ask the Surgeon / Health Tip / What’s New

Trust your face to a facial plastic surgeon

Facial implants are used to improve and enhance your facial contours. Chin and cheek implants provide a more harmonious balance to your overall face, making you feel more confident about your appearance. There are various types and sizes available. Facial plastic surgeons are able to replace bony deficiency, to improve balance of facial features, or to reposition the sagging skin upward and outward to fill hollows and depressions. Whether you are looking to strengthen your jawline, restore volume, or provide reconstruction, implants might be your solution. Find out what procedures are available and how you may benefit.

Facial implants can improve your appearance and may increase your self-esteem. You should not expect perfection. Your facial plastic surgeon will explain the details of your surgery and the realistic outcomes. Some younger patients request implants to balance their profile. Patients in their 50s and 60s may combine a facelift with cheek implants to restore a youthful appearance or to increase volume in sunken cheeks. Be sure to discuss what you want and expect with your facial plastic surgeon.

Most facial plastic surgeons evaluate the relationship among the six points shown to the left when determining whether a patient might benefit from a cheek implant and, if so, where to place the implant.

Your surgeon will perform a thorough evaluation of your face and determine the best treatment plan for you. Be prepared to ask questions and ensure that you understand all aspects of the proposed procedure.

Your facial plastic surgeon will provide details of the surgery, including if you will require only local anesthesia combined with a sedative or a general anesthesia. Your operation may take place in an office-based facility, a freestanding surgical center, or a hospital outpatient facility. You may have to stay overnight if you are having extensive surgery. Additionally, you will find out if you can drive home afterward, what you can eat or drink the night before your surgery, and if you should stop taking any medications. You may take oral antibiotics before and after the procedure to prevent infection. All pre- and post-operative instructions will be shared with you in detail.

Chin surgery
Many people have a chin that is too small for their face. Flat, under-projected chins are usually genetic, although traumatic injury or previous jaw surgery can also result in deformity. Chin augmentation can help restore balance to the lower face and jawline.

A weak or receding chin can sometimes make your nose seem larger or more projected. During consultation, you can discuss if a chin implant will bring your profile back into balance or if a combination of rhinoplasty (nose surgery) and chin augmentation is the solution.

The implant is placed through a tiny incision under the chin or inside the mouth along the lower lip. The procedure may take from 30 minutes to an hour. During the procedure, the surgeon inserts the implant into a pocket over the front of the jawbone. Sutures close the incision. Usually, the chin is taped after surgery to minimize swelling and discomfort. It may be difficult to smile or talk temporarily. Your facial plastic surgeon will instruct you about dental hygiene, eating, and any restrictions to your activities after surgery.