Mentoplasty means augmentation of a receding chin. A weak chin can increase the appearance of a large nose or increase the appearance of a lumpy neck. Mentoplasty is often performed along with rhinoplasty (nasal surgery) or face lifting, yet there are many people who desire this operation alone to improve a "weak" chin. The profile is markedly enhanced with this procedure.
The operation is performed using Light Sleep Anesthesia with a local anesthetic to numb the chin. An incision is made under the chin, and the scar is very well hidden in the crease that is there. A firm plastic implant is generally used, as it is well tolerated by the body and stays there permanently.
The First Week After Surgery
The patient is released one to two hours after the surgery. Tape is applied to the chin to keep the implanted material exactly where it has been placed. One should be very careful not to get the tape wet. The patient will begin oral antibiotics pre-operatively and will continue as directed after surgery. A liquid diet will be taken for the first two days, followed by a soft diet for two days. After four days, a regular diet may be resumed. Pain medication will be provided should there be discomfort. The patient is instructed to place ice packs on the chin for the first 48-72 hours after surgery. This will dramatically reduce swelling and discomfort.
Some degree of swelling follows any surgical procedure. This is due to the new tissue fluids that the body brings into the area to aid in the healing process. Some degree of bruising is also a normal part of the healing process. Much of the swelling and discoloration are generally gone by two weeks after the operation.
The First Month After Surgery
It takes about four weeks for the implant to become well healed into place. Patients may begin exercising three weeks after surgery and slowly increase to normal activities four weeks after surgery. Contact sports should be avoided until six weeks after surgery.
There's More To It
Although there are very few risks or complications associated with this operation, there are some. They are very uncommon, but one must be willing to assume these risks in order to proceed. Bleeding, infection, rejection of the implanted material, asymmetries, numbness, and facial paralysis around the chin are the risks. All the risks amount to less than one percent.
Sometimes people with weak chins have an abnormal bite. If this is the case, that determination will be made at the time of the consultation, and an evaluation for bite correction may be recommended. Like most operations, the swelling that occurs takes a long time to completely disappear. By the end of the second week, 80 percent of the swelling is usually gone. The last 20 percent can take many months to disappear, but the patient generally doesn't notice the swelling. What is noticed is that, over time, the chin gains more definition and looks better and better.
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