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What’s Better- Genioplasty or Chin Implant?

A commonly overlooked feature of the face is a weak chin. Most often, a patient will notice a large nose that bothers him or her. If you have a large nose, make sure you pay attention to your chin. Is it small, or set back? If so, then you have what we call microgenia, or you may have retrognathia. In order to have the best outcome with a rhinoplasty, enhancing your chin would be recommended. This will help your face look more balanced and attractive.

Options to Enhance Your Chin

How can we do this? What are your options? There are two basic techniques- a chin implant or genioplasty. A genioplasty involves cutting your jaw bone and moving it forward. Sawing the bone is a very aggressive surgery. Moving the jaw to a more forward position can be challenging and then screws and plates are needed to secure the jaw in its new position. Once the jaw is cut and set, it can be extremely difficult to fix any errors. One advantage is you are changing your own bone, which may appeal to some patients.

I recommend a chin implant because I think it’s a much safer surgery. It is technically easier, the procedure can be done in the office with or without sedation. The right size implant can easily be selected to achieve your desired chin appearance. In select cases, you can even get custom designed implants. Once placed, an implant is for all practical purposes permanent. This permanency is an advantage over fillers– which must be repeated regularly. Another advantage of using an implant is it can also be removed if you are unhappy with the appearance. Implants uniquely offer permanent – yet reversible- results.

Risks and Benefits

Surgery – either chin implant or genioplasty – does carry risks. Obviously, genioplasty is a very aggressive surgery and will have more significant risks compared to a chin implant. One, there is a higher risk of bleeding since the bone is cut. Rarely, this bleeding can be difficult to control . One has to extremely precise to achieve a good cosmetic result. Cutting the jaw occurs in a confined area. Once the jaw is cut, it’s almost impossible to revise. Pulling the jaw forward is constrained by the strong tongue muscles.

If, significant amount of jaw bone needs to be pulled can be very challenging. Cutting the bone also exposes small risk of injuring your teeth. With both implants and genioplasty, injury to the mental nerves (these supply sensation to your chin) may occur. I believe the risk is much lower in a chin implant because most of the dissection is done bluntly. With any surgery, risk of infection exists, but is quite low.

The recovery after an implant is also easier compared to genioplasty. It is less painful, and has less swelling.

When would a chin implant not be the best option? If you have an underbite or overbite, a chin implant won’t help align your occlusion or bite. A chin implant will only improve your cosmetic appearance. Orthognathic surgery- performed by oral surgeons- will be required to align your teeth properly.

Another benefit of chin implant that’s not commonly realized is its potential to enhance a Facelift or Neck Lift result. If you think you have a weak chin that detracts from your appearance, or exacerbates your big nose, make sure you see a board certified facial plastic surgeon for a good in office exam and discussion of your options

For more information about San Antonio chin implant surgery, contact Dr. Kenneth Yu Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.  To schedule a consultation, please contact our Concierge Patient Coordinator at (866) 574-1719 or email us