Can A Chin Cleft Like Adele’s Be Surgically Made?
Q: Dr. Eppley, I would like to have a chin dimple made to look like Adele’s chin. Can you do that and how is it done?
A: What you are asking about is chin cleft creation surgery not the creation of a chin dimple. In looking at the chin of the singer Adele, careful assessment will show that what she actually has is a chin cleft and not a chin dimple. This chin feature distinction is not really semantics but two distinct anatomic entities. A true chin dimple appears on the center of the chin pad above the lower border of the bone and is a circular indentation. It occurs as a result of an underlying soft tissue (fat) deficiency without a mentalis muscle defect. Conversely a chin cleft appears on the lower end of the chin pad and is a vertical groove that crosses the lower border. It can have a wide range of depths from just a very shallow hint of a line to a very deep groove. Chin clefts are the result of an actual mentalis muscle defect (midline separation) and may actually involve a groove in the underlying chin bone as well.
In the surgical creation of chin dimples and clefts, this distinction is critical as the technique to do them is different. As a general rule, successful creation of a chin cleft is more reliably done than that of a chin dimple. Chin cleft surgery is best done from a small incision on the underside of the chin, a groove is made in the bone, a strip of soft tissue including muscle is removed above it and the underside of the skin sewn down to the groove made in the bone. It can also be done intraorally but it is technically more difficult and I have found it to be not quote as reliable in terms of getting a good result. This is a small outpatient procedure that can be done under local anesthesia or IV sedation. Other than some mild chin swelling there is no real recovery afterwards. Expect that to see the full depth of the chin cleft result to take about six weeks.
Dr. Barry Eppley