How Is A Chin Cleft Surgically Created?

Q: I am interested in having a cleft put into my chin. Can you tell me how this is done, how successful it is, and is there any visible scarring as a result. Thank you for your time.

A: There are chin clefts and chin dimples. I assume you are very specific about a vertical chin cleft. They can be created anywhere from a hint of a cleft to a very prominent one but the techniques to do so are different. A subtle to moderate chin cleft (most natural) is done by notching the bone internally, removing a wedge of mentalis muscle and fat, and then sewing the underside of the skin down towards the bone with suture anchors. Very deep chin clefts can be created but that requires a vertical incision in the outer chin skin which would only be acceptable in those desiring a very deep cleft almost down to the bone. This is more unnatural looking in my experience. The most commonly done chin cleft surgery is performed from inside the mouth where no external scarring is created. It is a highly successful procedure which will initially look a little deep or overdone but some relaxation of the depth of the cleft will occur to create a more natural look.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana