Chin Widening

Q: Dr. Eppley, thank you for reading about my request. I am a Korean female.

In Korea, as you already know, many Korean girls desire to have a very heart shaped face – Just like the one I have sent in the photo.

My situation is very different. I was actually born with a heart shaped face. Many of my friends say I was very lucky to be born with this shape, as the taper chin and slim face is very desirable in my country. But…

I desire a more oval face. I feel as if it makes a person look younger, cuter, and more feminine. I do not like my face when I smile, because my chin is so tapered it looks sharp and pointy and makes me look old. More oval face is plump, cute like a baby.

Doctors in Korea do not do jaw implants. When I tell them I want to change my heart shape face, they think I’m crazy and reject my request because there is nothing they can do.

For me to get oval shaped face is important. Do I need jaw implant or can I get some small improvement from chin widening surgery as I really hate my small thin pointy chin. I am very afraid of jaw implant because it is very not common in Korea – the doctors here don’t know how to put in or fix if something goes wrong. Would chin widening surgery give me more rounder bottom half of the face?

A: While it may be common for a Korean female to seek chin/jaw widening, it can certainly be done. There are two fundamental approaches, each with their own degree of effectiveness. 

While osteotomies work well for chin narrowing as part of V-line jaw surgery, they are not quite as effective for chin widening. This is not due to the central chin widening effect but out at the sides of the chin where it has to blend into the jawline to make it wider as well. This can be an area of step-off or irregularity.

A extended special designed chin implant works the best because it provides a smooth widening effect back along the chin into the jawline. As the effect you seek is probably more than just an isolated central chin widening. But you would have to clarify that for me.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana