The purpose of getting a chin implant is to balance out the profile and add more symmetrical proportions to the face. At Mountain State Cosmetic Surgery in Beckley, WV, men and women interested in augmenting their chin often want to know exactly what these implants are made from. This is a great question and one we will delve into below.
The Composition of Implants Used for Chin Augmentation
Chin implants are typically made with either medical-grade silicone or with a polyethylene-based substance known by the brand name “Medpor.” Both are excellent options that can be customized to suit the patient’s facial shape and plastic surgery goals. While either type of implant can get you the aesthetic results you are looking for, there are some distinct advantages to each option.
Silicone has a soft, flexible consistency that adheres nicely to the chin bone and feels very natural under the skin. Once the soft tissues heal around the implant, they form a snug capsule that will hold the implant securely in place. If for some reason a patient eventually decides to remove their implant or change it for a different size, silicone implants are very easy to replace as they do not fuse into the chin tissues the way that porous polyethylene implants do.
Medpor is a very versatile medical-grade substance that can be used not only in the chin, but for reconstructing the nose, ears, or cheeks. It has a more solid consistency than silicone and has a porous structure that allows natural tissue to grow into the implant. Some patients like the idea of their implant fusing more fully into their natural chin structure, although silicone implants are also very secure and unlikely to shift.
Is There an Advantage to One Type of Implant Over Another?
Silicone chin implants seem to be the go-to option for most cosmetic surgeons because they can be easily inserted through a small incision under the chin and can be removed at any point if the patient wishes to do so. While silicone implants are not quite as customizable as Medpor implants, they come in so many shapes and sizes that this would not be an issue for most patients.
The porous structure of Medpor implants allows for tissue ingrowth, which means the implant becomes a permanent part of the chin structure. It will never shift, but patients should keep in mind that the risk of shifting with a silicone implant is low. There is not normally a need to remove an implant from the chin, but patients should be aware that removing a Medpor implant would be more difficult since it fuses more fully with the chin than would a silicone implant.
Both silicone and Medpor implants are extremely durable medical devices that are designed to last a lifetime. They are solid structures that cannot leak, tear, or rupture. While silicone is softer and more flexible than Medpor, it is still very unlikely that it could become damaged, even with a moderate impact to the face. Both types of implants maintain their high safety rating over time and require replacement only in very rare circumstances.
Deciding Which Type of Chin Implant Is Best for You
This is a personal choice but one that must be made in consultation with your plastic surgeon. There are cases where a surgeon may recommend one type of implant over another, based on a patient’s surgical and aesthetic goals. Likewise, a certain type of implant might be more advisable based on the patient’s facial shape.
This is why the consultation process is so important – it allows us to really get to know a patient and make sure they receive the best possible option for them. If you have any uncertainty at all, it is always better to choose a silicone implant, which is easier to remove than a Medpor one. There is also the option of starting with fillers instead of surgery to see if you like the way your chin looks when it is augmented.
How the Procedure Works
Chin augmentation is a relatively straightforward procedure that should take no more than 45 minutes. A small pocket is created that allows the implant to sit directly over the chin bone. When using a silicon implant, the incision is made under the chin, while Medpor implants are inserted through an incision inside the mouth. Either dissolvable or removable sutures will be used (for an incision made inside the mouth, dissolvable sutures are sometimes a better choice).
Having Two or More Procedures at Once
It is very commonly requested that work be done on the nose at the same time as the chin, to create the most balanced effect possible. If you are having a nose job at the same time as a chin augmentation, there might be a slightly longer recovery process, but there is no reason not to combine these procedures. It is perfectly safe to do so and we always achieve excellent results.
The Recovery Process
Patients will be sent home with a prescription pain medication, although many patients find that all they need is an over-the-counter NSAID such as ibuprofen. For the first few days after surgery, a snug bandage is worn around the chin to keep the implant firmly in place as the healing process begins.
It is recommended that patients get plenty of rest in the days following surgery, but they must keep their head elevated.
Sleeping in a recliner is good idea, as this not only keeps you upright but also discourages you from rolling over in your sleep. It is important to not place any unnecessary pressure on the implant as it heals. If you tend to be a stomach or side sleeper, you will need to either prop cushions around yourself or stay in a recliner until your surgeon advises you otherwise.
Returning to Work
Patients can generally return to work after a few days. While you will likely feel much better within a day or two after your procedure, it’s important to not overdo it. This is particularly true if you have a job that is more physical in nature. Heavy lifting must be avoided for several weeks. We do have patients with more sendentary jobs who have been able to return to work after a day, but be sure to check with your surgeon first.
Results To Expect
Whether you opt for a silicone or Medpor implant, patients can expect to achieve the following results following a chin augmentation:
- Improved proportion between the chin and nose
- Reduction of double chin and/or jowls
- Stronger, more defined chin
- Improved definition along the jawline
Will There be a Permanent Scar?
Any scarring should not be noticeable, as the incision is placed either under the chin or inside the mouth. You will be sent home with specific instructions for incision care, and the more closely you follow these instructions the more quickly and fully your incisions will heal. Eventually, there will just be a thin white line under the chin that can easily be covered with makeup.
Who Makes a Good Candidate for a Chin Augmentation?
Anyone who has a recessed chin or a weak jaw line can benefit from this procedure. We also see patients who don’t like the natural shape of their chin – perhaps it’s too square or too pointy. A properly sized and fitted chin implant can fix any of these issues.
Although this is not a long procedure, it is performed under general anesthesia so we do require patients to be in good overall health. If there is any reason why you might need to wait to have this procedure done, it is possible to opt for a non-surgical alternative.
Alternatives to Surgical Chin Augmentation
If you aren’t sure whether or not a chin implant is right for you, it’s important to note that there is the option of getting a temporary chin augmentation using dermal fillers. This will be a more subtle effect than what can be achieved with an implant, but it can help to add fullness and symmetry to this part of the face. If you love the way you look with a fuller chin, you may later decide to opt for a permanent surgical solution.
Ready To Create Your Ideal Facial Symmetry?
If you’re considering a chin augmentation or other facial cosmetic surgery procedure, contact us today at Mountain State Cosmetic Surgery in Beckley, WV for a consultation with Dr. James Paine Jr. We would be pleased to discuss your options for achieving the facial symmetry you have always wanted.