When we consider the beauty and proportion of the face, we think a lot about the eyes, the nose, and even the cheekbones. Makeup focuses on the 3 L’s (lids, lashes, and lips), and everything else is skin texture and tone. There is surprisingly little conversation about the chin, although therein lies a huge part of the face’s balance and poise.
In craniofacial surgery, the profile is measured based on a few key points. These include the highest peak of the forehead, the orbital bone under your eye, the base of the nose, and, yes, the chin. In fact, the chin is the landmark based on which surgeons determine if the jaw is balanced in position, too forward, or too retracted. In some cases, a jaw that lies really far back on profile can be associated with other conditions (such as sleep apnea), but for our purposes here, we will focus on the cosmetic issue.
For patients in whom the chin is too retrusive, the facial profile and the frontal view can both be markedly affected. A retrusive chin gives the impression of a much larger middle of the face, and can also allow the lower lip to become wrinkled and saggy. It can cause the skin under the chin to double out, and generally looks less esthetically pleasing. But the biggest effect that a small chin can have is to make the nose look a lot bigger.
For patients who feel that their nose looks big on profile, and who also have a small chin, augmenting the chin with an implant can not only improve all of the above-mentioned issues, but it can give the illusion of a nose job without actually having a nose job. By strengthening the lower face profile, the nose will appear to be less projecting, and the face will regain balance. For some patients, this improvement is so striking that it is difficult to convince the viewer that there was nothing done to the nose in the first place. Being that the chin implant itself is a much a smaller procedure to have done, this can also be a welcome option for the patient if they are not ready for a full rhinoplasty. Finally, in cases where the chin is the issue more than the nose, performing an aggressive rhinoplasty instead of the chin implant may actually be counter-productive.
Chin augmentation can be performed in several ways. In some cases, it can be done with no external scars of any kind (call us for more information, and to book your consultation for this procedure). The recovery is usually quite quick and simple, and results are usually excellent in both men and women. A well chosen implant can not only rebalance the face and minimize the nose, but it can be used to square off the male jawline, or refine the female one as needed.
An ideal result from augmentation genioplasty is subtle but successful, with no evidence that anything was actually done. In most cases, patients report that even close friends can’t tell, but “I just look better all the time.” You may never have considered the importance of the chin before, but I encourage you to start. Look around and consider chin position on everyone you see. It is truly one of those things that you must tune into to notice; but once you do, it will be undeniable. There is a lot to be said for having a strong chin.