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What is Mentoplasty?

Felicia Dye
Felicia Dye

Mentoplasty is a type of cosmetic surgery that focuses on the appearance of the chin. It can be used when the chin is too large or too small. Some people seek the procedure purely for enhancement purposes. Others undergo mentoplasty for correctional purposes, such as when there is a birth defect. It is common for the procedure to be part of a larger facial correction plan.

It is believed that the appearance of the chin can drastically affect other facial features. Mentoplasty can allow the chin to be changed for this purpose. One reason that a person may want to undergo such a procedure is because she has a receding chin.

Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

There are two methods that are commonly used to correct a receding chin. In some instances an implant is inserted, while in other instances, the jaw bone is moved forward. Both techniques generally involve making an incision under the chin or inside the mouth. When implants are used, they are commonly made of materials such as Gore-Tex® or solid silicone. The facial tissue is then stretched to accommodate the implant.

When the chin is too large, it is corrected by reduction or reshaping. This also requires an incision under the chin or inside the mouth. Once the incision has been made, the bone is sculpted to produce the desired effect.

Mentoplasty can take several hours to complete. The time required will be determined by the amount of work that has to be done. Where the incision is made will determine the prevalence of scars; incisions inside the mouth are usually the cleanest. When an incision is made under the neck, the surgeon will often try to cut within a natural crease, which diminishes the appearance of scarring.

Following the procedure, some pain and tenderness is common. It is, therefore, also common for the patient to be prescribed pain relievers. These may not prevent difficulty chewing or eliminate the feeling of the skin being too tight, however. These symptoms do not generally last for longer than a week.

A patient can expect to have the dressings removed within a few days. The stitches usually remain for about a week. The swelling that generally accompanies the procedure may prevail for a month or more. It is usually recommended that a person remain out of work for at least a week following the procedure.

There are risks associated with mentoplasty. When implants are used, these can shift out of their intended position. Infection is also possible. As with most correctional surgical procedures, there is also the possibility that the procedure will not produce the desired results.

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