Types of Chin Implant Surgery

The most common way to augment the size or shape of the chin is to use a chin implant. There are two basic types of chin augmentation: solid implants and injectable fillers.

Solid implants: The implants used in chin augmentation are usually synthetic, with the most common material being solid silicone. Solid silicone is a flexible, rubbery substance that is widely used in medicine. Unlike the implants used in breast augmentation, solid silicone implants cannot rupture or leak silicone into the body. 

Other materials that are widely used as chin implants include polyethylene, expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE or Gore-Tex), and an acellular dermal matrix product (Alloderm). Synthetic implants come in several shapes and sizes and can also be custom made.

Some surgeons augment the chin using pieces of bone or cartilage taken from elsewhere in the body, but there is a higher risk of infection with this kind of implant since there is a second surgical site. This kind of augmentation is more often done in cases where the chin must be reconstructed after an accident or disease.

The surgeon usually inserts a chin implant into a pocket that he or she makes over the front part of the chin. The incision can be made either under the chin or between the lip and lower teeth on the inside of the mouth. A solid implant can be removed if necessary, as in the case of infection or if you do not like the results.

Injectable fillers: Your chin can also be augmented using injectable fillers to build up the chin and make it more prominent. Injectable filler products used in chin augmentation include collagen, hydroxylapatite, hyaluronic acid, and polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA).

Collagen and hyaluronic acid are temporary fillers that do not last more than a few months because the body eventually absorbs them. If you want lasting results, you must continue to get the injections; if you don't like the look, you are not stuck with it. Hydroxylapatite is longer lasting, but also is usually absorbed eventually.

PMMA injections are considered permanent. However, the disadvantage of semipermanent or permanent injectable fillers is that they may not be easily removed if there is a problem or if you do not like the results.

With injectable fillers, there is the possibility that the filler product will migrate out of place or form lumps. Infection is possible, but not common.

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