Throughout history many civilizations have considered strong facial features, such as high cheekbones and a projecting chin, a sign of beauty. Individuals born without these facial features can lack the definition and facial harmony that a high cheekbone and strong chin can provide. Now, with the use of facial implants a receding chin or a flat facial contour can be permanently corrected. Chin implants, can be recommended for rhinoplasty (nose surgery) candidates as an alternative or in addition to the surgery, due to the fact that a receding chin can make the nose look larger and out of proportion to the face. Cheek implants can improve midfacial contour often restoring sagging tissue, alleviating the need for a facelift.

PRIOR TO SURGERY

A complete medical history and a careful examination will be done in the initial preoperative visit to determine the general health of the patient. The surgeon will determine the shape and size of the implants needed to achieve the desired look. Photographs may also be taken before and after surgery to evaluate the extent of improvement. Moreover, the surgeon will discuss the procedure, realistic expected results, type of anesthesia to be used, and possible risks of surgery. Preoperative instructions generally include taking certain vitamins and elimination of certain drugs to minimize the possibility of excess bleeding. Antibiotics may be prescribed for the days prior to surgery to prevent infection.

THE OPERATION

Both chin and cheek surgeries can be done as an outpatient using general anesthesia, IV sedation, or local anesthesia and can take from less than an hour to three hours. Chin Reduction or Augmentation surgical procedures begin with an incision in the natural crease of the lower jaw or inside the mouth. A pocket is made in the tissue to make room for the implant followed by its insertion into the correct position. The incision is sutured. Cheek Augmentation also can use both an external approach through the lower eyelid or an internal approach made with an incision between the gums and the cheek. A pocket is made for the implants above the cheekbone and they are inserted into their correct position. The incisions are sutured shut.

AFTER SURGERY

An elastic dressing may be applied for the first few days. Swelling, bruising, and minor pain are normal and can be controlled with cold compresses and oral medication. Normal activity may be resumed within about ten days. Normally after six weeks most swelling subsides and the results of the procedure can be enjoyed. The implants conform to the bone structure allowing the skin to naturally settle on the implants.

RISKS

Inherent risks are present in any surgical procedure, although they are rare. In some cases, numbness of the treated area may occur or implants may have to be removed. However, problems with implants can be corrected easily. Carefully following the physician’s directions can lower the chance of a complication.