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Chin Surgery - Mentoplasty - Chinplasty

Information in spanish

Chinplasty - Procedures that augment (increase) small

The cheekbones, malar bones, or zygomatic bones are the bones that support some of the muscles of the face.   Malar bones form the elegant prominences of cheeks.  A weak cheek structure or a narrow or flat face, (malar hipoplasia), may give an aged look and a gaunt appearance.  Cheek augmentation is an effective facial surgical procedure that helps to correct these conditions.


Cheek augmentation is usually done on an out-patient basis, and may be done in conjunction with other facial procedures, such as nose surgery or eyelid surgery. This operation is the facial surgical procedure that is intended to correct an asymmetry, or to make the cheekbone’s in a person’s face more pronounced. A patient who wants more prominent cheekbones can have a little implant placed to rest on top of their cheekbones. Cheek implants can be made of different material and come in many different sizes and shapes depending on the patients needs. The surgeon will usually make an incision in the upper mouth near the top of the gum line and slide the implants into place. Another method is to use the incisions made for an eyelid surgery, external incisions near the eyes. According to the bone structure of the patient, the operation may be vestibular, palpebral, or coronal.

Cheek augmentation can be made of different materials.  Fat can be removed from an area of excess of your body and then be injected to fill sunken cheeks.   Also, solid silicone and dermal fillers are materials that can be used as cheek implants.   Other procedures that can improve the results, such as eyebrow lift, upper and lower eyelid surgery, facial contour (jaw line), and neck skin treatment, are sometimes done in conjunction with this procedure to achieve the maximum improvement.

On the other hand, individuals with very prominent malars, frequently request a reduction malarplasty.  This is a facial surgical procedure to improve facial contours by performing an osteotomy through an intraoral incision, resulting in minimal invasiveness, with no external scarring.  In a personal consultation with Dr. Espinosa, he will determine what is reasonable and safe in your specific case.

Sometimes people want to change something about their face, but they do not know exactly what part of it. Many people, who see a facial plastic surgeon to ask about a nose surgery, or an eyelid surgery, actually find out that part of their problem is a weak chin. It is just through a computer imaging study that patients may understand how a chin implant can change the proportion and balance of the face.Chin augmentation is one of the facial surgical procedures that contributes more to restore balance and a younger appearance. As with all facial plastic surgery, good health and realistic expectations are prerequisites.

Your understanding of instructions is essential to a successful final result.
Dr. Espinosa accurately analyzes the face before surgery. Through a computer imaging study, Dr. Espinosa examines your bone structure and facial features, in order to make the proper surgical decisions. In the same way, he may evaluate your general state of health, order some lab testing, and x-ray studies, as well as he may also recommend you visit your orthodontist before surgery.

What kind of anesthesia will be used during the surgery?

Usually sedation and a local anesthetic medication are administered in the operating room, during a mentoplasty. When mentoplasty is performed in conjunction with other procedures, general anesthesia might be necessary. Most chin augmentations are performed under general anesthesia or light sleep sedation, where you are lightly asleep and entirely unaware of the surgery. Both types of anesthesia are secure, you do not feel anything during surgery and you wake up quickly and comfortably, feeling no pain and experiencing no anxiousness. You will be carefully monitored by your anesthesiologist during and after surgery. Anesthesia can be a reason for preoperative anxiety. However, pre-operative routines make it possible to perform safer surgical procedures. In the first visit, Dr. Espinosa may order some lab testing to evaluate your general state of health, in order to take precautions and avoid any complication with anesthesia. Subsequently, a pre-anesthetic evaluation will be ordered to determine the appropriate anesthetic plan.

On the day of your surgery, your health history will be reviewed by Dr. Espinosa, the anesthesiologist and the nursing staff to ensure a safe and uncomplicated experience. Your vital signs will be carefully monitored by the anesthesiologist during and after surgery. He will treat any possible medical problem which you may develop during surgery. You will be under your anesthesiologist's supervision until surgery is completed and during your recovery phase. Because anesthesia affects your entire system, it is important for your anesthesiologist to know as much as possible about you. Please inform him about your allergies, medications and past anesthetic experiences.

Our Santa Bárbara Medical Center is an accredited surgical center fully equipped to ensure you excellent care. When your procedure is completed, you will be taken to the recovery room. Later, you will rest in a comfortable room. Some medications will be prescribed to minimize any discomfort. You will be carefully monitored to observe any adverse side effect to anesthesia. You will stay in our medical center until Dr. Espinosa feels sure you have completed your recovery phase. You will receive specific home-care instructions and prescriptions for medicine. Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home and to stay with you at least for the first night following the surgery.


Frequently Asked Questions - Mentoplasty


How a Mentoplasty is performed?

Mentoplasty is performed by making a small incision inside the mouth where the lower lip joins the teeth. The chin implant is then inserted and positioned in front of the jawbone. Because suture (stitches) material is usually of a reabsorbable nature, suture removal is unnecessary. Chin augmentation is also performed by making a small incision under the chin. Depending on your needs, the facial surgeon will decide which is the best surgical technique to perform. In more complex cases, time is needed to allow your jawbone to grow through mechanical procedures.

How long will I stay in the operating room?

It usually takes from 1-1 ½ hours. When malarplasty is performed in conjunction with other procedures, it may take little longer.

What should I expect after surgery?

Most chin augmentation procedures are done on an out-patient basis. After surgery, you will be taken to a recovery room to be closely watched for 1-2 hours or until your physician considers you ready to go home. You will wake up quickly and comfortably, feeling no pain and experiencing no anxiousness. Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home and to stay with you at least the first night following the surgery. As hours pass by, it is possible that you may feel some temporary discomfort that can be controlled with pain medication. As with all surgeries, swelling will be an issue. As time goes by, the swelling and bruises will dissipate. Remember that it is completely normal for you to feel some tightness or numbness due to swelling.

What is the recovery time from Mentoplasty?

Most patients are able to return to normal activity quickly. However, this will depend on the individual patient. You should resume gradually your normal daily activities after two days. Take your time to recover. Healing from surgery takes some time. Because swelling may still be present, patients who are very concerned about privacy take two weeks to recover. Schedule your surgery, so you have proper time to recovery. It may take some weeks for you to observe the results. Final results after a chin implant are not apparent for one full year following surgery. This is the time needed for body to recover.



Dr. Espinosa´s special instructions:

Instructions before surgery:



  • Avoid taking Aspirin (acetyl salicylic acid) or anti-inflammatory medicines.

  • Stop smoking at least one month before your surgery.

  • Inform your surgeon about drug allergies, medical treatments, and current medications.

  • Always have realistic expectations about the results of surgery.



Instructions after surgery:


  • Before you leave the medical center, make sure you have your surgeon’s prescriptions, medical certification, and date of your first post-operative visit to the office.

  • Stay on a liquid diet for the first two days. Then a soft diet is recommended for five days.

  • A bandage will be placed around your chin. Keep this bandage dry.

  • Cold compresses may reduce swelling. You will be instructed by Dr. Espinosa to use a surgical glove filled with crushed ice, as a compress, over your chin.

  • Keep your head elevated during your recovery. Sleep on your back with your head elevated the first 48 hours. It is necessary to sleep strictly on your back so as to prevent swelling. Sleep on two pillows to keep head elevated or use a wedge-shaped foam pillow. You must sleep face up.

  • You must rest at home during the first 3-5 days.

  • You will be given prescriptions for use following surgery, including an oral antibiotic, swelling medications, and pain medications. If you have severe pain, inform Dr. Espinosa immediately.

  • Keep your mouth clean. You must use dental floss and toothbrush from the first day following surgery. Brush gently near the surgical area. Rinse your mouth after every meal, (one half of chlorhexidine mouthwash to one half of physiologic saline moisturizing).

  • You may feel changes in sensation in the lower lip, including tightness and numbness. Because the nerves around the operated area of the skin are involved, a temporary loss of sensation may occur.

  • Remaining sutures will be removed 5-7 days following surgery.

  • You must avoid any activity that increases the risk of being hit. Lifting heavy things, animals or children may affect the area of surgery.

  • Excessive exposure to sun in the first 2 months following surgery may result in prolonged facial swelling and injury to the skin. Thereafter, you should always protect your skin with a strong sun-screen. Exposure to sun should be limited or skin discoloration may occur. You must be protected under an umbrella or a hat. Wear sun glasses. Try to keep out of the sun as much as possible.

  • Avoid strenuous activity, including exercise and sex. Do not carry or lift heavy objects for 3 weeks. Light aerobic exercise is allowed just 3 weeks following surgery. Return to normal aerobic exercise after 6 weeks. However, Dr. Espinosa will observe your recovery and will let you know when you can resume your usual physical activities.

  • You can gradually resume your normal daily activities in about 8-10 days, as long as you avoid strenuous activity and protect yourself from hitting.

  • You should expect swelling in the operated area for three weeks. You will be approximately 90% healed at 3 weeks. You may start to see results quite quickly, but you will not see the final benefits of your surgery for 6 months following surgery.




The information provided here is not a substitute for a consultation. Please, do not hesitate to communicate with us if you are concerned about something you consider significant. Your post-operative appointment is really important. Remember, the success of your surgery depends very much upon post-operative care. It is crucial that you follow your surgeon’s instructions.


Chin Surgery - Mentoplasty


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