The chin varies widely between males and females, so it can be extremely important in gender recognition.
Gender of the chin
Female chins tend to merge together to the centre of the chin. Men’s tend to have two points directly below the canine teeth and a flat part between the points. This makes men’s chins look fuller and more square. Women’s tend to be more tapered.
Male chins also tend to have more vertical height, with more space between the lower lip and the base of the chin.
In some cases, male chins have a vertical crease in the middle, usually known as cleft chin, something that is highly unlikely for women.
Chin and facial harmony
While tastes do differ there are a number of guidelines of what the characteristics are of an aesthetically pleasing face. In profile view the face should have a slight degree of convexity.
The profile of a patient can be significantly altered with a genioplasty (chin recontouring surgery). This, in turn, has a significant effect on overall facial harmony.
Ideal facial convexity
Lack of facial convexity
Excess of facial convexity
Feminizing the chin
Luckily, the chin is an area whose features can all be modified: height, width and if necessary even projection. It is possible to make various modifications to a chin depending on the individual anatomy of each patient, and the desired result.
This chin recontouring surgery is called a “sliding genioplasty”. The chin is cut from front to back, separating a horseshoe-shaped segment of bone. A slice of this segment can be removed. This will reduce the height of the chin. The middle part of the horseshoe-shaped bone can be removed to narrow the chin. The chin can also be moved forwards or backwards to correct a receding or protruding chin (if necessary).
Procedure genioplasty (chin recontouring surgery)
- General anesthesia
- Incision—Incisions are all made intraorally, so there will be no scars visible on the outside.
- Sawing—The chin is cut from back to front on both sides with a saw, separating a horseshoe-shape of bone.
- Height reduction—A second cut can be made parallel to and a few millimetres from the first one, and a slice of bone can be removed.
- Width reduction—The middle part of the horseshoe-shaped bone can be removed to make the chin more pointed.
- Chin advancement or setback—The final position of the piece of bone is chosen. At this point the chin can be moved forwards or backwards.
- Fixation—The bone parts are fixed using titanium miniplates and screws, which will never be removed.
- Suturing—The wound is closed with self-dissolving stitches.
Recovery of a genioplasty (chin recontouring surgery)
- Hospitalisation— Most patients will spend one night in the hospital after their surgery.
- Compression Bandage— A bandage will be put over the chin to reduce hematoma. It can be removed on the next day.
- Swelling— The swelling is comparable to the swelling after jaw surgery.
- Numbness—Most patients experience temporary numbness.
- Work and sports— If you don’t mind being seen with the swelling, you may be able to return to your social activities 7 to 10 days after the surgery. You will have to wait until the fourth week before doing any hard work or physical exercise.
Complications of genioplasty (chin recontouring surgery)
- Infection— Infections are possible but rare.
- Numbness— Partial numbness of part of the jaw because of mental nerve damage (is rare but possible).
- Asymmetry—Even though the surgeon marks very carefully the areas he is going to operate, there may be asymmetries. They can always be corrected afterwards.
FAQ before operation
That is a very difficult one. It depends very much upon your healing and we can’t give you any guarantee about how long it takes before you look good enough for a photoshoot.
It could be 4 months, but it could also be a year. Of course it also depends on the amount of work that has been done.
If you want you can send us good pictures together with your ideas so we can send you a financial and operative proposal. To receive a proposal, please fill in the proposal request online
and pay the proposal fee of 50 euro through Paypal.
Of course you are always welcome for a consultation.
Of course there will be relatively more skin around the chin after a bony reduction of the chin. A hanging chin can however be avoided by meticulous suturing of the muscles of the chin and by wearing of the facemask that Dr van de Ven will provide you with after the surgery for 3 weeks. The facemask gives a strong upward support to the chin. If in spite of these measures the skin is still sagging around the jaw and chin (this happens mostly in elderly patients with less elastic skin) one of the 3 types of facelift that Dr van de Ven performs can bring the solution.
Yes, if you reduce the height of the chin and you suture the muscle well, the lower lip moves upwards.
Yes it is. Two of the greatest benefits of titanium are its high strength-to-weight ratio and its corrosion resistance. Couple this with its non-toxic state and its ability to fight all corrosion from bodily fluids and it’s no wonder titanium has become the metal of choice within the field of medicine. Titanium is also incredibly durable and long-lasting. In principal they are not removed anymore and stay in the body. Only in case of an infection on the plates (rare) they will have to be removed.
Another benefit to titanium for use in medicine is its non-ferromagnetic property, which allows patients with titanium implants to be safely examined with MRIs and NMRIs.
Dental implants normally have a maximum length of 14mm. Natural teeth are longer. That’s why dental implants never create problems during a chinplasty or jaw recontouring.
The removal of bone will be done at the lower border of the jaw, far away from the teeth. So dental implants can be inserted after just as before.
In our experience no bone has ever grown back.
FAQ after operation
If you haven’t had any treatment involving your teeth a sliding genioplasty or orthognathic surgery, you’ll be able to eat normally quite soon. Due to the effects of general anesthesia, you should only feel nausea for the first few hours. You may prefer to eat softer or pureed foods initially if you have intra-oral sutures. Patients should prepare accordingly in advance and purchase juices, yoghurt and soups to have during for the first few days after surgery.
After a sliding genioplasty you should be very careful not to put too much force on the lower jaw e.g. by eating raw meat (steak) or biting an apple. The jaw is really weak in the chin area and it will take about 6 weeks until it has regained it’s original strength.
They dissolve in 5 – 7 weeks. They don’t have to be removed. If they would still be in your mouth after 7 weeks you can easily remove them just by pulling as they will immediately break.
After a chinplasty the feeling in the lower lip and chin is always disturbed. If the mental nerve (that comes out of the jawbone just behind the chin and then runs into the lower lip and skin of the chin) has not been ruptured during the surgery, for sure sensitivity will come back. It is not possible however to predict when and to which extent. Mostly the recovery will take between several weeks and several months but it can take up to even 2 years. It is normal that sensitivity of lower lip and chin doesn’t recover completely.
If the mental nerve has been ruptured (in the hands of Dr Bart van de Ven around 1%) it can be sutured. Of course the prognosis will then be worse. Damage to the mental nerve will however not be visible to the outside world as it is a 100% sensory nerve. It doesn’t contain motor branches so function of any muscle is not involved.
You still have another question? Feel free to ask! We will answer your question and if generally applicable add it to the FAQ of this page.