Northern Virginia-Fairfax and Manassas
By: George Bitar, M.D. and Larry Lickstein, M.D.
Board Certified Plastic Surgeons
A chin implant, or chin augmentation, is done to correct a recessive or weak chin. It can also improve the jaw line and improve the jowling by adding volume in the chin area and making the jawline smoother. Sometimes, patients who are bothered by a “big nose” are candidates for a chin implant rather than a rhinoplasty. In those patients, the nose may appear to be big due to a weak chin, and when a chin implant is performed, the nose is in balance with the rest of the face. A chin implant is a straightforward procedure that yields a very high level of satisfaction.
Preparing for Surgery
An initial consultation is set-up where we discuss the chin implant procedure, and whether you are a good candidate for the surgery. Your medical history is reviewed, and you will be asked to see your medical doctor for a physical check-up and a few labs to make sure you can undergo the surgery safely. You are asked to stop smoking, if you are a smoker, two weeks before and two weeks after surgery, for the surgery to be performed safely, and for you to have optimal results. You are given the opportunity to talk to patients who have had the same surgery that you are considering. We will see you shortly after the surgery (in a day or two usually). You are seen regularly after your surgery. You are always welcome to come back for follow-up, even years after your surgery, free of charge.
The Chin Implant Procedure
Chin implants can be performed with silicone or implants made from other material. We prefer silicone implants due to the ease of the operation, the low level of complications and the excellent results. The procedure is straightforward: a small incision is made under the chin or inside the mouth and a pocket is created under the muscles of the chin. Next, a chin implant is placed in this pocket and fixated to the bone. The incision whether inside the mouth or under the chin, heals very well. This procedure lasts about half an hour and is performed under heavy sedation or general anesthesia.
How We Minimize Complications of Chin Implants:
At the Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute, we take pride in making sure we provide for our patients the best surgical experience possible, anticipating problems or set-backs, and addressing them before they happen. This is a process that includes the pre-operative preparation, the actual surgery, and the after care.
General complications can occur with any surgery. Cosmetic surgery is usually a safe surgery performed on healthy patients and, as all surgeries go, is with low risk. What we do to even lower the risk of complications is to operate at a first class hospital with board certified anesthesiologists and nurses. To avoid post-operative complications, we advocate early mobilization –patients seen in our office one or two days after surgery- and active participation in their own post-operative care. When we create a partnership, the results invariably improve.
Bleeding after a chin implant is rare. Before surgery, our patients are tested to make sure they don’t have any common bleeding disorders by their own physicians, and by lab tests.
Infection / Open Wound
The most important step in avoiding infections, in our opinion, is to perform the surgery at a first-rate surgical facility with board certified anesthesiologists and nurses. Patients are given the appropriate intravenous antibiotics coverage throughout the surgery. During the surgery, the skin surface of the patient is cleaned properly. After the procedure, our patients are prescribed a one-week course of antibiotics to minimize infection. As a result of these extra precautions, our rate of infection after a chin implant is minimal.
In our chin implant technique; we do the dissection away from the major nerves to avoid injury. The result is a minimal rate of functional nerve injury. There is sensory nerve damage, with some loss of sensation of the chin. Sometimes, temporary loss of sensation from a “stunned” nerve or a bruised nerve may occur in the time period after surgery.
A chin implant procedure may have a risk of implant displacement or asymmetry. We affix the implant to the chin bone, and have not seen any “crooked’ or displaced implants.
Our office will provide you with a detailed post-operative instruction sheet that will be individualized to your needs. We usually see patients the day after surgery in one of our offices to make sure that everything is O.K., and that you are healing as planned. Multiple visits in the year after the procedure will ensure the best outcome possible.
For more information about this procedure call our office and speak to our friendly staff member at 703-206-0506.
Information on this web site is for information only. Do not use the information to diagnose or treat your plastic surgery or cosmetic surgery problems. Please contact your plastic surgeon with all questions and concerns.