Procedures » Surgical Procedures

• Chin Implants (genioplasty, mentoplasty)

Balanced facial proportions are essential to creating an attractive facial appearance. The chin plays a crucial role in these proportions affecting, for example, the apparent projection of the nose and the definition of the jaw-neck line. A disproportionately retrusive or small chin can make a large nose look even larger, or a neckline look blunt, or a chin look weak. Augmenting the projection of the underdeveloped chin can dramatically enhance one's profile.

Chin Implant Anatomy"Mentoplasty"—also known as "genioplasty"—is the name for procedures designed to reshape the chin, and many different techniques exist. In Dr. Pearson's experience, some of the best results can be obtained by building up the contour of the chin with a solid silicone (silastic) chin implant placed directly on the jawbone. The silastic implants are particularly inert and have an exceedingly natural look and feel. Once healed, it is nearly impossible to detect where the implant stops and where the patient's bone begins. Careful pre-operative selection of the implant size and shape are essential to a beautiful result. Oftentimes, chin implants are combined with other procedures, especially reduction rhinoplasty (nose reshaping), but can be done as an isolated procedure.

During the consultation, Dr. Pearson will consider the patient's specific facial proportions, whether an implant is appropriate or whether some other technique, if any, is better suited for their chin. As with any cosmetic surgery, it's important that patients thoroughly discuss specific concerns about their face to make certain that patient and surgeon have a clear, mutual understanding of the intended result. Only then will Dr. Pearson be able to outline what can and cannot be achieved with chin surgery.

The following is provided to answer questions relevant to most patients:
  • What happens if I proceed with mentoplasty (chin implants)?
If Dr. Pearson feels that you are a good candidate for mentoplasty (genioplasty) and you feel that results he expects to achieve coincide with your desires, then several things need to be arranged for surgery. Pre-operative photographs, routine lab work, a physical exam and various paperwork need to be completed. A second visit is typically booked shortly before your surgery date. This will allow you time to think over the many things discussed in your initial consultation, and it will allow you time to ask additional questions or address concerns.
  • Silicone? I thought I'd heard that silicone was dangerous.
Nonsense. Silastic chin implants are a vulcanized solid silicone rubber and have never been implicated in the formation of disease. Smooth solid silicone is perhaps the most inert substance ever implanted in humans and has been used widely in humans over several decades for all sorts of implants and medical devices. [Note: silicone breast implants, implicated in several very public law suits against their manufacturers, are filled with silicone gel which is distinctly different from solid silicone rubber. Importantly, even in the case of silicone gel, the extensive scientific literature does not support that it causes disease either, despite hysterical claims to the contrary.] That said, any non-living implant can rarely become infected, extruded, or distorted.
  • Can the chin implant be removed?
Yes. One of the advantages of silastic implants is their general ease of removal. Fortunately, this is rarely ever necessary. Dr. Pearson will discuss those specific issues with you during the consultation or pre-operative visit.
  • What kind of anesthesia is used for mentoplasty?
Chin implant surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis. Patients may choose between local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia. Most patients nowadays prefer to have this type of surgery completely asleep under general anesthesia, especially if combining mentoplasty with rhinoplasty.
  • Where is mentoplasty surgery done?
Dr. Pearson performs most of his surgery at Fleming Island Surgery Center or Middleburg Surgery Center. Both are state-licensed outpatient surgical facilities fully accredited by the AAAHC (Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care). Both locations are close to his office (and a conveniently short drive from Jacksonville, Florida). Both facilities offer excellent safety while also providing the privacy and convenience patients desire.
  • How long does a mentoplasty (genioplasty) take?
Because of the custom nature of the surgery, exact times cannot be given. On average, implant mentoplasty surgery may take about an hour or so depending on the specific steps your surgery requires. You will receive a better estimate during the consultation.
  • What should I expect after mentoplasty (chin implant)?
Incisions for mentoplasty can be placed internally within the mouth (between the lower lip and the gums) or externally through the skin under the chin. The external approach is generally favored for several reasons, including minimizing contamination and avoiding disruption of some of the chin muscles. The incision leaves a scar, which, when fully healed, is usually quite inconspicuous.Firm elastic tape is applied to the skin of the chin to help stabilize the implant and minimize swelling. Bruising, if any, generally fades in two weeks or so. Numbness of the chin is common for several weeks to months, but is almost always temporary. Rarely, permanent areas of numbness can remain.
A soft diet that minimizes heavy chewing is recommended for the first couple of weeks while the implant is healing in place. Although heavy lifting and strenuous activity should be avoided for a week or two, patients can resume their normal activities as soon after surgery as they feel able, and can begin enjoying their new appearance.
  • When are the follow-up visits after mentoplasty (genioplasty)?
The patient is usually re-examined in the clinic three to four days post-operative. Skin stitches and the tapes are usually removed at this visit. If the implant was placed through an incision in the mouth, those stitches are dissolvable and do not need to be removed. Dr. Pearson will discuss with you any variations to this schedule, such as when chin surgery is also combined with rhinoplasty. Dr. Pearson usually also likes to see patients two weeks, six weeks, three months, and one year after surgery. These are at no charge to you, and more visits may be necessary. Dr. Pearson enjoys seeing patients long-term and yearly follow-up after the first year is welcome, but not essential. Post-op x-rays of the chin are not routinely performed.
  • Does my insurance carrier cover mentoplasty?
In almost all cases, the patient is responsible for the entire cost of chin implant surgery. Call us for more details.

For more information about chin implants and cosmetic facial plastic surgery here in Orange Park and the greater Jacksonville, Florida area, please contact us or call (904) 215-7377 to schedule an appointment.