Mentoplasty (chin surgery)

Mentoplasty is the technical name for surgery that changes the shape of the chin by either moving part of the bone forward or adding an implant or by removing part of the bone.

Chin reduction can reduce the appearance of an overly prominent chin by decreasing its projection. Simultaneously, it can create better harmony between the nose and other facial features for a more balanced and attractive profile.

A chin that is defined helps give balance to the face and influences how a person's profile looks. Usually, people when they look in the mirror, focus on the size and shape of their noses, their fine wrinkling of the skin. Not a lot of them pay attention to their chins with the same sort of focus. But having a weak chin or a double chin is not an asset.

Mentoplasty is the technical name for surgery that changes the shape of the chin by either moving part of the bone forward or adding an implant (to build up a “weak jaw, called “chin augmentation”) or by removing part of the bone (to reduce a “jutting jaw,” called “chin reduction”). The procedure results in a more pleasing profile, and often accompanies nose surgery, so that both features are in correct proportion to each other.

Chin plastic surgery is a procedure that aims at either reshaping the chin either by enhancement with an implant or it's a reduction surgery on the bone. It is not uncommon for a plastic surgeon to recommend chin surgery to a patient having nose surgery in order to achieve facial proportion since the size of the chin may make the perceived size of the nose bigger or smaller. In most cases chin surgery gives the face more balance.

The procedure

Chin reduction surgery begins with incisions in one of two possible locations, under the lower lip inside the mouth or under the chin in an inconspicuous location. the incisions give the surgeon access to the bone and surrounding tissue. The surgeon uses specialized electrical instruments (a bone burr or a drill) to reduce and reshape the bone to create a more natural appearance.

When the procedure is complete, your surgeon closes the incisions with small stitches and covers the chin area with bandages chin surgery normally lasts from one to several hours depending in its complexity and is often an outpatient procedure. More complicated cases can take longer and/or require a short hospital stay. Depending on the surgical plan, you’ll be given local or general anesthesia. A patient can return home the day following the surgery.

After chin surgery

You may also experience significant swelling or discoloration in the treated area, which will subside over the course of several weeks. The stitches are typically removed within seven days of the procedure.

Follow your doctor's post-operative instruction list to help reduce the risk of complications. There may be some pain, which can be managed with oral medications. The surgeon may have recommendations to reduce swelling, such as elevating your head. Normal activities can be resumed typically within seven days.


There are other options used for chin surgery. Liposuction can be used for a double chin to remove fat from the neckline and chin. To reshape your nose, chin surgery maybe suggested as the chin makes the nose look bigger. Chin surgery can also be used in conjunction with other plastic surgery.

If a patient had a witches chin or droopy chin, corrective elevation could be used. Orthognathic chin surgery is used if there is a birth defect caused by dental malocclusion (which prevents a person from eating).

Recovery, side effects, and complications

After the surgery is over you may have discoloration or swelling of the area operated on. It will take several weeks for it to go down. In about seven days the stitches will be removed. To reduce complications, the patient needs to follow the postoperative instructions. If there is any pain, oral medications can be prescribed. Another way to help with the pain is elevating the head.

You may also experience significant swelling or discoloration in the treated area, which will subside over the course of several weeks. The stitches are typically removed within seven days of the procedure.

It is rare to have complications from this procedure. If an infection does occur in the lip or chin area, an antibiotic will be prescribed and surgical drainage may have to be done. There could also be some scar tissue. Some of the bone could erode with time, but there will be no discomfort, medical concerns, or changes in the appearance of the chin.

Frequently asked questions?

How much pain is associated with chin implants?

Normally, extensive pain is not associated with chin implantation although pain and relaxation medication is often prescribed beforehand.

Your surgeon may also write a prescription for medication to reduce swelling and bruising. After the operation, you may feel a degree of numbness in your chin that usually disappears within one to three months. Your physician may ask you to wear a supporting brace during sleep to allow your tissues and implant(s) to heal in the best position possible and prevent shifting in the first few weeks of your recuperation.

Swelling usually disappears within the first five to seven days. Many chin implant patients return to work with the help of camouflaging cosmetics about five days after the procedure. Patients who have been under a general anesthesia may feel a little queasy at the stomach after waking.

Some swelling and bruising can be expected and usually subsides within the first two weeks. Your surgeon may ask you to wear a support brace while you sleep to allow your tissues and implant to heal in the desired position.

What to expect after the surgery?

Immediately after surgery, the surgeon usually applies a dressing that will remain in place for two to three days. You will experience some tenderness. Post-operative discomfort can be controlled with prescribed medications. Chewing will probably be limited immediately after chin surgery, and a liquid and soft food diet may be required for a few days after surgery. Most patients feel a stretched, tight sensation after the surgery, but this usually subsides in a week.

After approximately six weeks, most swelling will be gone, and you can enjoy the results of your procedure. Rigorous activity may be prohibited for the first few weeks after surgery. Normal activity can be resumed after approximately ten days.

Facial plastic surgery makes it possible to enhance your appearance and eliminate signs of premature aging that undermine self-confidence. By changing how you look, facial plastic surgery can improve your self-image. Insurance does not generally cover surgery that is purely for cosmetic reasons. Surgery to correct or improve genetic deformity or traumatic injury may be reimbursable in whole or in part. It is the patient's responsibility to check with the insurance carrier for information on the degree of coverage.

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