Patients with submental fullness consider many possible neck procedures to reduce a double chin. Except for some nonsurgical treatments such as Kybella® and facial fillers, chin plastic surgery will involve incisions. All double chin surgery options for submental fullness will have a scar, including neck liposuction, chin augmentation, facelift, and neck lift. Although patients are concerned about scarring, the appearance of potential chin scars are generally not noticeable nor bothersome.
Where do plastic surgeons place the chin augmentation incision?
Regardless of the chin augmentation method (implant or bone advancement) or implant material (ex. silicone), chin augmentation will have a scar either outside under the chin or inside the mouth. Initially, patients consider the intraoral (inside the mouth) approach as ideal since the scar is hidden. However, there are disadvantages to this intraoral approach. One downside is that a separate external incision would still be required under the chin for those patients having liposuction, neck lift, or lower facelift type procedures. No reason to have two incisions (and scars) when one would suffice.
The chin augmentation incision will vary in size and exact position based on factors such as specific implant type, which is based on individual needs. For many patients, the incision may be a little more than the length of a fingernail. Many patients already have a scar under the chin, so plastic surgeons may use that existing scar instead of creating a new one as appropriate.
Incisions in chin surgery fade with time. – Houtan Chaboki, MD
How does the chin augmentation incision change with time?
All plastic surgery will involve a scar, but surgery should result in scars that are eventually not noticeable. The body has three broad phases of healing after plastic surgery: early, middle, and late. During the initial phases of healing (ie. weeks), the chin augmentation incision may be swollen, tender, bruised, or red. External stitches may dissolve or be removed after about one week.
During the middle phase of healing (ie. months), the chin augmentation incision becomes softer, flatter, less pink, and non-tender. The last phase of healing takes a year and longer, at which point the scars gradually become mature. Mature chin surgery scars are generally thin, white, and flat. The scar may no longer be obvious, as it blends with surrounding skin.
Examine these very close-up before and after photographs of patients who have had chin surgery by Dr. Chaboki. The incisions are well hidden even on close examination.
When can I use makeup after chin augmentation?
Make-up is usually allowed after an appropriate healing period, due to the risk of infection or skin irritation. During the first weeks, only ointments such as petrolatum (ex. Vaseline®, Aquaphor®) or silicone are allowed. Once the chin is in the middle phase of healing, then makeup can be applied to hide healing scars.
When is shaving allowed after a chin augmentation?
Men have to wait until appropriate healing has occurred. Most men are able to shave one week after chin augmentation surgery. Shaving in the direction of hair may minimize irritation to the scar.
How to minimize a chin augmentation scar?
Always review the care instructions of your facial plastic surgeon. Some topical ointments may cause a skin allergy or contact dermatitis after prolonged use, such as vitamin E or triple antibiotic. Other topical ointments, such as polymyxin B or muporicin, have much less risk of skin allergy.
Other methods to help reduce scarring after plastic surgery include:
- Avoid smoking and smoke exposure, including second hand smoke
- Avoid excess direct sunlight. Cover operated areas with scarf, hats, and clothing. Sun block once healed appropriately.
- Stay hydrated
- Massage, once allowed by your plastic surgeon
Our Washington DC area chin augmentation surgery patients use an antibiotic or petrolatum ointment and avoid getting the incisions wet for the first couple days after cosmetic surgery. Topical petrolatum jelly or silicone gel (patient’s choice) is used continuously on the incision for approximately one month. Once the incisions are appropriately healed, patients resume using sunblock.
Contact the office today for a consultation and to review if chin surgery is appropriate for you.