FAQ: Facial Implants


Chin and Cheek Enhancement Surgery

By altering the underlying structure of the face, a skilled cosmetic surgeon can create beautifully balanced features, with a well-defined jaw line and cheekbones and a slight hollow in the cheeks. Chin and cheekbone enhancement, though not minor in nature, can dramatically improve one’s appearance.

What is the standard procedure for chin or jaw enhancement surgery?

Chin surgery is accomplished through a mouth incision or existing under-chin skin crease. To alter chin projection, surgeons use either a small implant or cut and shift the bone’s position. Afterward, incisions are closed and a small elastic dressing is applied. If the posterior portion of the jaw requires fixing, it is accessed inside the mouth.

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What is the procedure for cheekbone enhancement?

Cheekbone implants rest on the existing cheekbone (the malar eminence). The implant is inserted through a mouth incision or, in some cases, through the lower eyelid, brow or ear front. Incision placement is dictated by your unique needs and any concurrent surgeries being performed.

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What material is used in cheek and chin implants?

The two most popular materials are solid flexible silicone and Gore-tex. Both plastics are biocompatible, which means they cause negligible reactions when placed under the skin.

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How painful is chin and cheek augmentation surgery?

Surgery is performed with either a local or general anesthetic, and thus causes only minor discomfort. After surgery, there is some soreness, but this is easily managed with drugs.

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What procedures are available to correct a small or shallow chin?

Chin augmentation, or thrust-forward enlargement, is the most popular chin procedure. It can be done alone, or as an accompaniment to nasal or facelift surgery. There are two methods of augmentation. The simplest, implant augmentation, involves inserting a plastic implant directly onto the bone of the chin. This is done under local anesthetic through a mouth or under-chin incision. A more involved, no-implant procedure called intraoral incision requires a cut into the chin bone, sliding it forward and wiring it in place. General anesthetic is mandated. Although the implant is used more often, each method has specific benefits and drawbacks.

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What if I have an overly long or prominent chin?

Reduction genioplasty is performed under general anesthesia. Again, through a mouth incision, the chin bone is trimmed and moved back as needed.

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The back of my jaw, just below my ear, is too wide/narrow. Can you correct this?

The so-called “angle of the jaw” can be decreased or widened via techniques similar to those used for chin alteration.

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Can cosmetic surgery fix my underbite/overbite?

For the most part, yes. Various surgical methods are available, and a comprehensive evaluation is required before deciding on the appropriate procedure.

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I have a double chin or “turkey gobble” neck. How can this be corrected?

Double chins and turkey gobbles involve the skin, fat and muscles of the neck. These problems are common among those with weak chins and can be corrected simultaneously.

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Is it possible to augment my cheekbones to fix my puffy cheeks?

Chubby, cheekbone-obscuring cheeks can be greatly refined by removing cheek fat (the buccal fat pad). This is done under local anesthesia through a small mouth incision.

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What is the standard recovery time from cheek or chin enhancement surgery?

These surgeries are usually performed on an outpatient basis, allowing you to go home the same day. For one week, a limited diet is prescribed, after which patients may return to normal activities. The jaw is not wired, and only minimal dressings are used. Most patients return to work in 2-7 days. Bruising and swelling can last longer, and lip numbness may last 3-6 weeks.

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What are the possible risks and complications of cheek or jaw surgery?

As with all surgery, the possibility of bleeding, scarring and infection exists. Nerves and muscles may be injured, causing permanent numbness or lower lip immobility, though this is rare. The implant may shift, requiring a second surgery to correct. Dental injury, while atypical, can occur. Additional, though rare, risks will be discussed at your consultation. In San Francisco, facial cosmetic surgery offers the most advanced techniques during and after surgery to minimize risk of complication.

Dr. Mosser is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon specializing in chin and check enhancement surgery in San Francisco. If you have any further questions about facial cosmetic surgery or wish to schedule a consultation, please contact us.