A Guide to Chin Augmentation: Costs, Risks, & Recovery

by Dean Anderson

A Guide to Chin Augmentation: Costs, Risks, & Recovery

Chin implant surgery, or mentoplasty, is one of the easiest ways to dramatically transform your profile with one simple procedure. American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported 20,680 chin implants were performed in 2011, with slightly more men than women choosing for the procedure.

The operation typically lasts from thirty to ninety minutes and does not require an extended hospital stay unless complications arise. Chin augmentations can usually be performed in conjunction with other procedures such as rhinoplasty, especially in order to balance facial proportions.

The Implants

Implants can be taken from real bone samples in the hip or rib; however, even bone implants from the patient are associated with higher risk of infection, and sometimes infection can spontaneously occur after the implant has been in place for years.

Synthetic implants are commonly recommended. Gore-Tex, also known as expanded polytetrafluoroethylene, is a popular synthetic material because it is bio-compatible, meaning there is very little chance the body will reject it. It is also porous, so soft tissue will eventually grow through the implant and anchor it in place. Other possible implant materials include AlloDerm, a soft implant derived from human tissue, silicone, or porous polyethylene.

The Risks

Usual complications are mild and include temporary numbness of the bottom lip, facial swelling, and hematoma. Less common risks include bone changes, infection, and skin discoloration. Rare risks include the implant shifting position and the hardening of scar tissue (capsular contracture) around an implant.


Your doctor may prescribe something to help calm yourself before the surgery. You will be administered either local or general anesthesia, or both. If you are under a general anesthesia, know that your heart rate and breathing will be monitored at all times.


A short incision is made either under the chin where the skin naturally creases, so as to hide the scar, or at the intersection of your gums and lower lip. The surgeon will then carefully stretch the opening to create a cavity for the implant.

Implant Insertion

The surgeon may insert a spacer to gauge the right size and appearance of the implant, or simply insert the pre-chosen implant. Many synthetic implants have a line on them to help the surgeon achieve perfect facial symmetry.

Incisions Are Closed

Once the surgeon is satisfied with the placement of the implant, they will begin to suture the incision closed. Especially if sutures are used in the mouth, they may be dissolvable, but if not, you must schedule a follow up. Bandages and tape will be applied to the sutures to speed healing and keep the implant stable.

After the Surgery

Chin augmentations are usually outpatient procedures, although there’s a chance you’ll be asked to stay the night for monitoring. Your surgeon may prescribe medication to mediate bruising and swelling. Some doctors request that patients wear a supportive brace or mask during sleep to aid healing during the week after the procedure. If an incision was made inside your mouth during the surgery, you will be subject to diet restrictions.

Most people are able to return to work in five to seven days, but you are to refrain from strenuous work or exercise for two to three weeks. Any activity which may cause a sudden impact to the face should be avoided for at least a month. As always, your doctor will be the best judge of your recovery schedule.

If you experience abnormal pain, prolonged bleeding, colored discharge, sudden puffiness, or a high fever at any time during your recovery, contact your doctor.

If you are interested in chin augmentation, contact one of our representatives to schedule a private consultation with a board certified chin implant specialist in your area.

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