Background: The shape of the chin has a major effect on facial appearance. Since the chin is a projecting facial structure, it highly influences the shape of the face and how defined the neck can look. The shorter the chin becomes the more convex the facial profile becomes and the neck looks increasingly ‘lost’.
A common aesthetic facial concern is that of the Double Chin. This is really an urban term that is a misnomer. It is not really a double chin per se, it is really a chin deficiency or lack of enough chin projection. When combined with even a small amount of excess neck fat, which occurs right under the chin (submental fat), the profile will show two humps or mounds. They may look like two projecting chins but the lower ‘chin’ ir excessive neck fat.
The treatment of the double chin is a classic diametric surgery. Each ‘chin’ change must be in opposite directions to create the best facial profile change. The upper ‘chin’ must be moved forward and requires some type of bony procedure. (implant vs sliding genioplasty) The lower ‘chin’ requires soft tissue reduction using liposuction fat removal. Together the entire lower face is improved as it becomes more ‘pulled out’ and defined.
Case Study: This 45 year-old female was bothered by the increasing size of her double chin as she aged. She has always had a shorter chin but as she had gotten older the ‘double chin’ appeared.
Under general anesthesia an initial small submental incision was made through which the neck was treated by liposuction removing about 12ccs of fat. The submental incision was extended to 1.5 cms and a 7mm thick curvilinear silicone chin implant was placed in a subperiosteal pocket on the bottom of the anterior chin bone. (the implant had no extended side wings)
Her eight week postoperative result show elimination of the double chin and a much improved facial profile. Between the chin augmentation and the liposuction, it really takes at least six weeks after surgery to see the full benefits of the double chin correction procedures. Depending upon the degree of horizontal (and even vertical) chin deficiency, the chin deficiency may be better done using a sliding genioplasty for a more 3D chin augmentation effect. It also can have a more positive neck reshaping effect as it pulls the underlying neck muscles (roof of the neck) forward and up.
1) The double chin deformity is a combination of excess fat fullness under the chin and insufficient horizontal chin projection.
2) The combination of submental/neck liposuction and chin augmentation effectively treats the double chin deformity.
3) Whether the chin augmentation is best done by a chin implant or sliding genioplasty depends on the degree of horizontal chin deficiency.
Dr. Barry Eppley