In profile, the shape of your neck is closely related to your nose and chin, together forming the balance in your face. It is often impressive to see how a relatively small adjustment of one or all three can greatly improve that balance. This has to do with the relationship between the upper and lower jaw, but also with how your cheeks transgress into your neck. The more well defined this transgression is, the more your face will stand out.
What is the best way to perform a chin correction?
A chin that is too small is often the result of congenital growth disorder of the lower jaw. As a paediatric plastic surgeon I encountered many chin corrections at the beginning of my career in the children’s hospital. Most of my colleagues use silicone chin implants to enlarge a chin that is too small, but I have seen many problems related to this technique.
My preferred method to optimize the balance of the lower part of your facial profile is to combine a liposuction of the neck with a lipofilling of the chin. This is a much simpler technique that uses your own body's fat, which can be done almost without any scarring.
What does lipofilling of the chin mean?
In lipofilling, fat is harvested from by liposuction from for instance your tummy or your thighs, which is then infiltrated into the chin with a syringe. This is a relatively small operation performed under local anaesthesia. In this way it is possible to create a custom made and very natural looking (and feeling) chin to optimise your profile.
How is the healing process?
In the first week, you will have plasters on your chin. You might be a little bruised. Your chin looks a little swollen at first. Because not all fat survives the transplant process, the volume of the chin will slowly decrease in the first 6 weeks before it stabilizes.
Is that all?
Usually, yes. It is important to realize that the chin is only one aspect of the profile. Often the neck and the shape of the nose also play a role. If this is the case, I will point it out to you in the analysis at the consultation.
All the phases of a typical chin correction are explained below in more detail. My recommendation would be that you read this information carefully and contact us if any questions arise. I wish you a good recovery!
- You should not take medication that makes your blood thinner, this increases the risk of bleeding. Therefore, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, Brufen, Ibuprofen and Nurofen should be stopped two weeks before surgery, up until to two weeks after the procedure.
- Ask us in advance if you have any doubts about the safety of your current medication regarding the operation.
- If you smoke, it is strongly recommended that you quit two weeks before to at least three weeks after the surgery. Smoking restricts blood flow, so the fat will have a lower survival rate and will often largely disappear again.
- Make sure someone is able to pick you up after your surgery, because you can't drive home (besides the fact that you won’t be insured) if you’ve just undergone surgery.
- We advise you to shop for your groceries in advance, so that you don’t have to do this immediately after the operation.
The chin operation
- Please come to the surgery without any jewelry, makeup or contact lenses in.
- On the day of the operation, I’ll see you right before the operation and I will briefly go through the procedure with you again.
- Before the surgery I will take pictures to record the pre-operative situation.
- The operation will be performed in a fully equipped operating room, adhering to the strictest medical rules and guidelines.
- The operation is performed under local anaesthetic, which is always well tolerated. The local anaesthetic numbs the area from the lower lip to the chin.
- The fat is harvested through a very small cut, usually on the inside of your knee or at your navel. You will notice that you will have slightly bruised feeling in the beginning, but that it won’t be very painful. The infiltration of the fat in the chin doesn’t lead to any scarring.
- The operation takes 45 minutes to an hour.
- At the end of the procedure, you will get plasters on your chin, which should stay there for a week.
After the procedure
- After the operation you will be taken to our recovery room. You can go home soon afterwards.
- A chin correction isn’t generally a painful operation. Once the local anaesthetic has worn off (after 2-4 hours), you may experience some discomfort, which usually disappears within a few hours. In the unlikely event that it still feels unpleasant, you can use the painkillers that you have already received on prescription as a precaution from us. Paracetamol (2x500mg) should be sufficient.
- If the volume of your neck is also corrected by liposuction, you will receive a bandage to wear for one week after the procedure, in order to support that area.
- In the beginning, the operating area slowly swells and (sometimes) some bruises arise. The swelling will increase for two to three days before it subsides.
- Avoid bending or lifting heavy things in the first few days. During this period perhaps it could be pleasant to sleep with an extra pillow so that your head is slightly higher, then the swelling will decrease faster.
- You’ll notice that you can do many things in your daily life, you are simply limited by the healing process. You will have to adjust your pace accordingly. If you don’t do this, the process will be more troubling than is necessary.
- We’ll make an appointment for a week after the operation. We’ll check up on the wound and remove the plasters.
- By this time the swelling and bruising, if any, have usually returned to an acceptable level that allows social activities to resume. Sometimes, however, these side effects take longer to disappear completely. We therefore recommend that you do not plan very important social activities in the first 3 weeks after the procedure.
- We also recommend that you avoid any heavy physical activities in the first 2 weeks.
- It is normal for the chin to be slightly swollen in the first weeks after the procedure. It takes about 6 weeks for the swelling to disappear completely and the result to stabilize.
- Regular check-ups are at 1 week, 3 months and 1 year after the procedure. In the meantime, of course you are welcome if there are any questions or concerns.
Just something to consider
"Body fat" is exactly what it is. It reacts to your weight changes just like the rest of your fat. This means that if you loose or gain weight you will also loose or gain weight around your chin.