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The chin implant is often perceived as a simple procedure with a high success rate. It is often a secondary procedure as a complement to a primary procedure, most notably rhinoplasty surgery. Placing an implant on a solitary projecting edge through incisional approaches that do not require trespassing through complex anatomy can make an aesthetic success.

But the simple chin implant can go aesthetically awry for two main reasons, implant style/size and positioning. Both adverse aesthetic outcomes, however, are different in origin. Implant style and size is usually a preoperative decision while implant positioning is an intraoperative event.

In selecting a chin implant most surgeons focus on how much horizontal projection is needed and less on the shape of the implant to do so. This unfortunately is short-sighted as patients see themselves less frequently in profile and more so in various frontal view angles. Thus the frontal shape of the chin has great importance. This is particularly so in women who typically value a more narrow rather than a wide chin.

The frontal shape of almost all standard chin implants is round. This round effect is enhanced when the implant style is an extended anatomic one. The longer the wings are the rounder its effects will be. It is for this reason that extended anatomic implants are often not a good choice for women…unless their goal is to have a rounder or wider chin.

The anatomic chin implant is a style that does not have wings and thus will not make the chin rounder. But it is still a round shaped implant which may be perfectly fine for some women.. But for those women who want a tapered or v-shaped chin the anatomic style is still inadequate. To make it more suited for this chin shape goal, the roundness of the implant will need to be hand carved down into a near v-shape. It is important to remember that the thickness of the soft tissue chin pad will blunt any implant’s shape so do not be afraid to make it a sharp V.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana

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