Chin or malar (cheek) augmentation is a quick, efficient way of achieving improved facial architecture and balance. Chin augmentation is often done in conjuction with nasal surgery to enhance the relationship between the chin and nose in profile. Malar augmentation is effective in patients in their mid 30’s to 40’s to improve the mid facial contour and sagging jowls in lieu of a full face lift, or it may appeal to men and women of any age who just want higher cheek bones for a more elegant look. Both techniques may also be utilized to correct facial imbalance as a result of trauma, burns, or facial paralysis.
Procedure and recovery
Either procedure can be done individually in the office under sedation anesthesia or as part of a larger reconstructive surgery in the hospital. The 1 to 1 1/2 inch incision for the chin augmentation is usually placed in the crease beneath the chin or inside the mouth (beneath the lower gum line). The custom Porex (polypropylene) or silicone implant is placed into the chin pocket and anchored in place with permanent suture (to prevent dislocation). Extended tails on the implant may be used to fill in the indentations on either side of the chin. The incision for the malar augmentation is made intra-orally (above the upper gum line). The Porex or silicone custom implant is inserted over the cheek prominence.
Protective foam tape is placed over the chin or cheek for 2-3 days to prevent swelling and shirting of the implant. Bruising and discomfort may last a week to ten days. Smiling and talking may temporarily be limited. You will need to eat soft foods or liquids for several days. External sutures are removed in a week and intra-oral sutures dissolve on their own. Ice compresses are critical in reducing post-operative swelling.
You will be able to observe your enhanced facial architecture within a week or two (after the swelling has subsided). Risks are minimal but problems may rarely occur. The implant may inadvertently shift and a second minor operation may be needed to re-align it into the proper position. Because it is a foreign body, the implant may be more susceptible to post-operative infection and may require temporary removal and/or replacement if antibiotics are not effective in clearing it up.