Genioplasty is a form of cosmetic surgery that involves repositioning or reshaping the chin to improve facial harmony.
Oral-maxillofacial surgeons with specific training and experience in treating the head, face, mouth, and jaw typically perform genioplasty procedures.
However, plastic surgeons can also perform this type of surgery if they have the necessary training and experience.
Surgeons use genioplasty or chin repositioning surgery to correct the following problems:
- receding chins, or retrogenia
- overly large or extended chins
- chins that are too short or too tall
- misaligned or asymmetrical chins
- abnormal dental bite
People typically receive general anesthesia before a genioplasty procedure.
The exact operation and recovery times vary, depending on the type of genioplasty a person is undergoing and the extent of corrections a surgeon is performing.
People typically undergo genioplasty procedures to alter the physical appearance of their chin. As a result, people consider genioplasty to be a form of cosmetic surgery.
Medical conditions may also require surgical intervention, however.
According to a 2018 retrospective study, researchers found that people with certain chin and jaw defects had a higher risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea. The risk was especially true if they were older than 30 years of age, or had overweight.
There are two main types of genioplasty:
During a sliding genioplasty, a surgeon uses a saw to cut the chin bone away from the rest of the jaw.
They reposition the chin by sliding it forward or backward to correct receding or protruding chins.
Surgeons can also correct asymmetrical chins by sliding or reshaping one side of the chin to match the other.
After repositioning the chin bone, a surgeon will reattach it to the jaw with surgical screws.
Surgeons can reshape, elongate, or enhance a person’s chin by attaching plastic or silicone implants around the existing chin bone.
During this procedure, a surgeon places an implant over the chin bone, securing it with stitches or screws.
Dermal filler injections are a temporary nonsurgical alternative to chin implants.
This type of chin augmentation involves injecting fillers to enhance the shape of the chin and the overall appearance of the face. Fillers are fat, calcium hydroxylapatite, or polycaprolactone,
People should attend a clinical evaluation with a licensed surgeon before having a chin augmentation procedure.
During a consultation, a surgeon will review a person’s medical history and current health status. They will ask the individual to describe what they hope to achieve from the procedure.
The surgeon will measure the person’s face and take X-ray and CT images of their jaw.
Once the surgeon identifies the most suitable option, they can make recommendations and start planning the procedure.
For a sliding genioplasty, this may involve deciding where and at what angle to cut the chin bone. They will also need to consider the personnel and equipment requirements for the procedure.
Surgeons planning an implant augmentation procedure will decide whether to use implants, filler injections, or a combination of both. They will also consider the material of the implant and the fillers.
Chin augmentation procedures require general anesthesia. Although people may be able to go home after their surgery, they need to make transportation arrangements beforehand.
Sliding genioplasty procedure
A sliding genioplasty procedure involves the following steps:
- The surgeon cuts along the border of the lower gums and the inside of the lower lip.
- The surgeon makes an incision in the layer of soft tissue to access the chin bone.
- Once the chin bone is exposed, the surgeon makes a small vertical cut in the chin, which they use as a reference point during the operation.
- The surgeon makes a horizontal cut below the roots of the bottom teeth. The surgeon can change the height of the chin by cutting at different angles. They may cut out a wedge-shaped piece of bone if they need to make the chin smaller or move it backward.
- They slide the bone fragment forward, backward, or sideways. After positioning the chin, the surgeon will check the alignment and file any excess bone along the jawline.
- They will reattach the chin bone to the jaw with screws and a metal plate. Some surgeons may use biodegradable plates and screws instead of metal ones so that a person cannot feel the screws under the skin.
- The surgeon sutures the incision closed. Then they place compression tape over the front and sides of the chin to minimize swelling.
People may need to spend around 2 nights in the hospital after a sliding genioplasty procedure.
During this time, their surgeon and nurses will monitor their recovery, looking for signs of infection or other complications.
Before they discharge the individual, a surgeon or nurse will go over postoperative care instructions with them.
These may include:
- dosage and timing for taking oral antibiotics
- tips for managing pain and swelling
- how to rinse the mouth with water or oral antiseptic
- how to remove and replace wound dressings
- switching to liquid or soft food for the first few days
- avoiding strenuous activity for 3–4 weeks
Implant augmentation procedure
Implant augmentation procedures take roughly 1 hour. Surgical implant procedures typically involve the following steps:
- The surgeon makes a small incision either on the inside of the mouth or under the chin.
- They insert the implant through the incision and position it around the chin bone then attach the implant.
- The surgeon closes the incision with stitches.
If someone chooses a nonsurgical augmentation option, the surgeon will inject dermal fillers around either the mouth, chin, or jaw. They may need to repeat this procedure as the filler material dissolves after several months.
The aftercare instructions for surgical implants are similar to those of sliding genioplasty procedures.
People may notice minor swelling, redness, or bruising, which should resolve by itself.
People can reduce pain and swelling with over-the-counter pain relievers and cold compresses. Most people can return to their daily actives within 1 week.
The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery recommend that people lie on their backs with their heads elevated for 1–2 weeks following surgery.
Several factors influence recovery times, such as:
- the type of procedure
- the extent of surgical changes
- how quickly the body heals
- any complications, such as infections
After the implant augmentation procedure, a person can go back to work after 7 days.
People who have sliding genioplasty or implant surgeries should attend regular follow-up appointments for their surgeon to monitor their healing and address any complications.
Dermal fillers leave no scarring and have shorter recovery times than sliding genioplasty and implant surgeries.
Sliding genioplasty and chin implantation procedures are both safe and effective methods of enhancing the chin’s appearance.
However, all surgical procedures carry a risk of side effects and complications.
Genioplasty procedures can lead to temporary side effects, such as
- redness or bruising
- tenderness or pain
- loss of sensation or numbness
Possible complications of genioplasty include:
- damage to nerves or tooth roots
- allergic reaction to filler or implant material
- changes in implant position
Genioplasty procedures can alter the aesthetic appearance of a receding, protruding, or misaligned chin.
The location and size of the chin plays an integral role in balancing other facial features, such as the nose, forehead, and cheeks, which contributes to overall facial harmony,
Genioplasty can offer significant benefits for people who are dissatisfied with their chin.
In an older 2011 study of 37 people who had sliding genioplasty procedures, more than 94% were extremely satisfied with their results.
The cost of genioplasty varies, depending on:
- the surgeon’s fees
- the location of the clinic or hospital doing the procedure
- the material of the implant or fillers
- the type of health insurance
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ 2018 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report, the average surgeon fee for chin augmentation was about $2,364. Surgeon fees for injectable fillers ranged between $682–$2,065.
These prices only reflect the surgeon’s fee.
The total cost of chin surgery may include:
- surgeon’s fee
- hospital and other facility costs
- medical tests
- preoperative and postoperative appointments
- prescription medications
- anesthesia fees
Genioplasty is a type of cosmetic surgery on the chin. Both plastic surgeons and maxillofacial surgeons can perform genioplasty procedures.
There are two types of genioplasty procedures — sliding genioplasty and implant augmentation.
The choice of which procedure to use depends on various factors, including the extent of chin augmentation a person requires, the surgeon’s training and experience, and individual preferences.
Genioplasty can offer numerous benefits for people who are concerned about the appearance of their chin.
The procedure can enhance the overall look of the face by altering the position and size of the chin to complement better the other facial features, such as the forehead, cheeks, and nose.