Background: Chin implant augmentation is the most common form of facial bone reshaping done. While it was the first type of facial implant procedure ever done, it still remains as the most commonly recognized and performed. While it is requested by both men and women, there is probably a larger number done in men. This is because the stronger projecting chin is still mainly associated with the male profile. That is less true today than it historically used to be.
Both preoperative and intraoperative assessment of the effect of a chin implant is done primarily in side profile. This is certainly used in postoperative assessment as well as can be seen across the internet on plastic surgery websites. But the side profile, while important, is but one of three dimensions of chin shape. Failure to preoperatively think about how the implant affects the front and oblique profile as well can be an aesthetic mistake, particularly in women.
Patients assess their frontal appearance actually more than their profile…until recently. The advent of cell phone picture taking and social media has drawn attention to one’s side profile that historically was only seen in the occasional old style printed picture. But the frontal appearance of the chin still dominates in women who often seek a more tapered and narrow appearance. Most styles of chin implants, by their shape, will actually make the chin wider.
Case Study: This young female desired improvement in chin projection but with a more narrow or tapered shape if possible.
Through a submental incision a small anatomic silicone chin implant was placed. Double screw fixation was used on its sides.
Her results show an improved chin projection in profile, a small increase in vertical height and the persistence of a narrow or tapered chin shape in the front view.
Besides the improvement in projection it is equally noteworthy that the chin did not become any wider in the frontal view. The use of the anatomic chin implant style has no wings and more of a central directed projection. It can be further narrowed intraoperatively if desired by shaving the sides into more of v-shape for a maximal tapered look.
1) Chin implant augmentation in females must consider how it will be affected in three dimensions.
2) Most females want a horizontal chin augmentation effect, with or without vertical lengthening, with either no or even diminished width.
3) The anatomic implant style is of primary use in female chin augmentation.
Dr. Barry Eppley