During my teen years I was pretty self-conscious about my nose. I thought it was too big and it wasn’t until years later that I realized that it wasn’t necessarily that my nose was too big but that my chin was a bit small.
About Chin Augmentation
Chin augmentation is a procedure in which a surgical implant is used to create more projection in the chin area.
A small incision was made into my lower gums, and a little pocket was formed in my chin, to make room for the implant, then they just pop it in. I remember it being excruciating for a couple of days and, no matter what I took, I couldn’t relieve the pain (since then I discovered PAIN MEDS – don’t let your doctor be shy with those).
I was swollen for a couple weeks, my lip was numb for a bit and I dribbled my drinks for a while but it made such a difference in my profile and within a couple of months I was absolutely thrilled.
Long Term Complications of Chin Implants
So fast forward 25 years and my chin implant started to jar. I could literally move it around the lower region of my face. Fun party trick but, not such a pretty feeling, so I decided to replace it. Easy-peasy right? I mean there was already the pocket where it goes, and an old incision in my mouth, so I figured I’d just have to pop in a new one.
Au contraire! The medical community has come a long way since the neolithic period when I got mine. All of a sudden there were all these options.
I could simply switch out the chin implant for the ‘button’ version that I had before, I could replace the ‘button’ style for a chin implant with ‘wings’ that extend into the area of the lower jaw and pull up some of that slack skin, or do a genioplasty.
What is a Genioplasty?
A genioplasty is a surgical procedure where a small portion of your jawbone is cut and moved forward. I have to admit, the idea of sawing my jawbone wasn’t all that alluring but I trusted this doctor and felt it was the best decision.
At first I chose the chin implant with ‘wings’ but given my age, and looking more into future skin laxity, my doctor, a Maxillofacial & Cosmetic Surgeon, somehow convinced me to do the genioplasty AND a small chin implant on top of that.
Photos with a Chin Implant Before Genioplasty
My Experience With Genioplasty
Together, me and my doctor decided that, to get the projection I wanted, we would need to do the genioplasty plus add a small chin implant. She said that the implant that I had had in all those years had grated away at my natural chin and actually made it smaller.
Long story short, we did that and I felt like Reese Witherspoon but not in a good way. Over the course of two years and five surgeries shaving it down smaller and smaller we finally realized that the implant was just too much and a standard genioplasty would’ve done the trick. Ahh, ya live and ya learn.
Here are some pics of my final surgery. After the chin implant was removed my jaw came loose so they had to go back in and tighten it again and I ended up with a giant incision under my chin.
Then my allergic reaction to the tape:
Still swollen six weeks after surgery.
Four Months after surgery. Swelling was finally going down and the natural shape of my chin was coming back.
Five years later. Very happy with my jaw line. It’s so much stronger and, without it, my jowls would be much more pronounced. Here is my jaw after:
Besides small children and leprechaun’s, really the only one who ever sees my scar is my hubbie and that’s only in, um, one situation and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t mind, so who cares?
Truth be told though, had I to do it all again I would have 100% definitely gone with a chin implant with wings no doubt about it. But am I happy with the end results 5 years later? Yup.
The Bottom line
I would say, if you just need a little projection to smooth out your profile and tighten up that jaw line, opt for a chin augmentation. If that isn’t enough then you may need to also look into a facelift. I would personally never, ever, EVER recommend a genioplasty unless you are suffering from a giant under bite.