The shape and size of an average female chin differ from those of an average male chin. It tend to be smaller, both in width and height. It also tend to be rounded or to be a pointed vertex of the facial frame, whereas a typical male chin tend to be more “square”.
In some cases, male chins have a vertical crease in the middle, usually known as cleft chin, and this is unusual in women.
Luckily, the chin is a facial area with features that can all be modified through surgery: height, width and projection. According to the facial characteristics of each patient, the surgeon will evaluate which of the following procedures or which combination of them would be the most adequate.
a) Placement of a solid implant:
This surgery is used when the chin only needs to be given more projection or made pointier. The implants can be made of solid silicone or porous polyethylene (Medpor). Both materials are very popular and suitable for Facial Feminization Surgery.
b) Shaving (burring) or trimming off the bone:
This surgery is used when the chin needs a change in shape and size in order to get a more female facial balance, but the projection is okay. Electric saws and grinders (drills) especially designed for cranio-facial surgery are used.
c) Sliding genioplasty:
This surgery changes the height and projection of the chin in one move, which in turn alters the whole facial tallness and the balance of the facial profile. A sloping cut is made across the chin bone to separate the lower section, which is shaped like a horseshoe. This separated portion of bone is then placed again with small titanium screws, more forward than its original position in order to increase the chin projection. As the cut is sloping, an inclined plane is created so the more advanced the bottom part is, the higher it moves, reducing the chin tallness. At the same time, if the height of the chin bone left into place is reduced before fixing the released part back on it, the final height of the chin will result even shorter.
When you leave the operating room a compression bandage or a facial garment will be covering your lower face. It will probably be removed one day later. If the chin conturing was perfomed as a part of a full facial feminziation surgery, then the bandage could be left in place longer.
Unlike facial surgery on other areas, chin surgery involve the gums, so you will have to be on a liquid diet during the first one or two days, and then you will pass to a soft diet. It will be very important for you to take care of the hygiene of the wound on your bottom gum until it heals to avoid the proliferation of bacteria inside the mouth. Washing your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash will help.
If you don’t mind being seen with facial swelling, you may be able to return to your social activities a week after the chin contouring surgery. You will have to wait until the second or third week before doing any hard work or physical exercise.
Sleeping with your head elevated during the first days can favor the healing process, especially if a full Facial Feminization was performed. Ice packs are very useful during the first days.
During the first weeks some patients tend to suffer from depression. You may find it difficult to come to terms with your new look and you may even feel that having facial feminization surgery was a big mistake. But don’t worry: most of the people who today are happy and satisfied with their results have also gone through that phase.
The incision used for this facial feminization surgery is only one and is usually made along the bottom gum, between the teeth and the lower lip. The scar results then completely invisible. If it was made under the chin, which is rare, the resulting scar will be very small and it will be concealed by the natural fold of the area. If a complementary facial liposuction is needed to add definition to the chin shape, a couple of very little punctures (2mm) will remain for several months and then vanish.
Every surgery, no matter how simple it may be, has certain risks, and we should not rule them out. However, it is unlikely for a chin feminization surgery to present any complications when performed by a qualified facial surgeon.