What is Mentoplasty?
Mentoplasty (chin surgery) is a term used to describe the restructuring and reformation of the “mentum” region of the face. This is the most anterior portion of the jaw or mandible. Sometimes, the jaw region can be quite prominent, called macrogenia or quite deficient and receded, which is called microgenia. By sculpting the chin through mentoplasty plastic surgery, a more aesthetically pleasing profile can be achieved.
An Aesthetically Attractive Chin Profile
Of course beauty and attractiveness are determined in a subjective manner and aesthetic features differ according to each individual’s unique preference. Nonetheless, there are certain profiles and contours that cause an individual to appear more or less attractive. Generally speaking, if a line drawn vertically along one’s profile, going from the base of the nose down to the front portion of the chin, an aesthetically acceptable profile would dictate that the chin be located within 2-3 millimeters behind this line. A “weak chin” is a condition in which the chin is retropositioned greater than 2 to 3 millimeters. In women, a slight degree of retropositioning is acceptable and even desired aesthetically. However in men, a masculine chin is preferred because a strong jaw line is characteristic of virility and strength, which is of particular importance for men.
The Mentoplasty Procedure
Mentoplasty plastic surgery is generally performed under intravenous anesthesia or can be done under general anesthesia. The procedure begins with an incision made inside the mouth. The advantage of the “in the mouth incision” is that an external wound is completely avoided. It is difficult to see a healed wound underneath the chin, but nonetheless, a “transoral” or through the mouth approach is desired. Oftentimes, submental liposuction of a double chin is performed at the same time as the mentoplasty and in this instance the incision is made underneath the chin.
The mentoplasty procedure takes approximately 30 minutes. There are a number of chin implants that achieve adequate chin resculpturing. Gortex and silicone are two of the most common implants as they have proven to achieve optimum recontouring in many studies.
Regardless of which implant is chosen, the implant is carefully placed in front of the mandible, deep into the chin’s soft tissue in order to achieve the desired increase in projection and alteration of the contour. Each individual’s unique set of circumstances and unique anatomy dictate the implant requirements. Generally no screws or plates are required for mentoplasty. The implant is held in place with a suture or it is placed beneath the periosteum, which is the fibrous protective layer adherent to the jawbone.
Overall improvement is generally expected after mentoplasty and improvement in contour can easily be seen at the time of surgery. Enhancements are completely visible six to eight weeks after the procedure.