Chin Augmentation Dallas
Chin augmentation describes the process of placing a chin implant into the chin to improve the appearance of a weak or small chin. A small chin can make someone less attractive both in the frontal and the side profile views. A weak chin can also make a nose appear too large and throw off the balance of one’s facial features. The type of implant that Dr. Lam prefers to use is known as an extended anatomic implant made of silicone. He finds silicone to be the ideal material because it does not compress (unlike Gore-Tex), stays very stable, and is easily removable (unlike MedPor). The chin implant, once done, is a permanent solution that provides a lifetime of enjoyment.
- Dr. Lam use of an extended anatomic implant and likes to refer to the procedure as truly a “jawline implant”. In the old days “button” implants were used that had problems after a while because these short implants could shift over time. Dr. Lam’s implant has wings that are tucked under the periosteum (lining of the bone) and placed under the mentalis (chin) muscle so that it should never move and should remain stable for one’s lifetime. In addition, these extended implants create an encapsulation with collagen tissue that keep it firmly in position.
- It is important before contemplating a chin implant to ensure that one’s dentition (bite) is normal and does not need orthodontic (braces) or orthognathic surgery (jawbone advancement). If one’s bite is normal or if one has had braces already, then a chin implant can offer an excellent solution. However, some individuals who have not had their orthodontic work performed may elect to have orthognathic surgery, which can be considerably more expensive with a much longer recovery time. However, it should be considered as an alternative to chin augmentation with a chin implant.
- Men and women differ from what may be considered an ideal chin size and degree of projection. Using Gonzalez-Ulloa’s line drawn through the nasion (nasal root) and perpendicular to the Frankfort Horizontal line, we can determine general guidelines for ideal chin projection. Men should be at the line or slightly in front of the line. Conversely, women should be at the line or slightly behind the line. When unsure of the exact size of the chin implant, it is almost always better to upsize a male slightly and err on a smaller size for a woman.
What is the nature of the procedure and how long is the recovery?
The procedure is pretty fast and takes generally a little over an hour to perform. All procedures are performed in Dr. Lam’s Joint Commission accredited surgical facility with his handpicked board-certified anesthesiologists. After the procedure, you will have some mild to moderate swelling that can make it socially unattractive for a few days to a week in most cases. He says the first few days you will look like Jay Leno. Also, you will feel as if you have a foreign object in your chin for the first week or so, but your body rapidly acclimates to the presence of the chin implant and you will then not notice its presence. Also, for the first week you will feel as if your smile is not fully present. The reason for this is that the implant is placed underneath the mentalis muscle, so initially the muscle must heal before it fully functions. Typically, other people will not notice that when they look at you, but only you may notice it in yourself. That limitation of movement will last about a week but could last up to 2 to 3 weeks in rare cases. The incision underneath the chin heals quickly but you may need to have an injectable scar dissolver and/or laser treatment one to several times in the following months to ensure that the wound heals perfectly. Men are not allowed to shave over the incision for the first 15 days then can use an electric razor for the next 15 days. After the first month, a normal shaving routine may be resumed.
Can Dr. Lam work to improve the fat in my neck at the same time?
Yes, if there is extra fat in the neck, he will look at the area and remove the fat as needed without extra charge. He performs selective removal of the offending fat without suctioning. He believes in sculpting the extra fat rather than suctioning, which can remove too much fat and in the wrong areas. If you are over 45 years of age (approximately) and your skin laxity is poor, he may not remove any fat for risk of showing up the neck banding (so-called turkey gobbler). If you have neck sagging associated with aging, then you will not be a candidate for fat removal in most cases but may need a neck lift instead. Dr. Lam will consult you in detail and tailor the procedure to your needs.
Does Dr. Lam ever go through the mouth to perform a chin implant?
No. There are several reasons he does not. First, chin implants have a higher risk of infection going through the mouth. Second, the implant is an extended anatomic design, which is more safely placed away from the nerves from the bottom up, i.e., from the neck side. Finally, Dr. Lam oftentimes works in the neck to tighten the platysma muscles and/or remove fat, which he would otherwise have to do from the incision under the chin.
Can Dr. Lam combine chin implants with other procedures at the same time?
Yes. The most common procedures that Dr. Lam performs at the same time with a chin implant would be a rhinoplasty and/or a facelift. However, he can combine almost any other procedure at the same time with a chin implant like otoplasty, fat grafting, blepharoplasty, etc.
Does Dr. Lam perform cheek implants too?
No. He believes that cheek implants are a flawed procedure for many reasons. First, aesthetically Dr. Lam does not like the appearance of cheek implants. Second, cheek implants that may initially look good over time begin to become visible as one ages and the overlying fat pad regresses. Third, there is about a 10-12% chance of infection and asymmetry, so he likes what a colleague of his stated during one of his lectures that he believes that cheek implants are a flawed procedure.
Is the chin implant good for my lifetime?
Does it need to be replaced? In short, no. They are not like breast implants that may need replacing. Chin implants should be good for your lifetime. There should no need to replace them, as infection is incredibly rare and is about the only reason for need to remove it. Further, to displace its position would require a major accident that may break your jawbone.
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