How Is Chin Reduction Surgery Done?

Q : I would like information on the horizontal chin reduction procedure.  My chin juts forward to a point (witches chin) and I think it being reduced would really help my appearance.  Most interested in knowing how the procedure is done, down time needed for recovery, surgery location (outpatient in center or hospital, or in physician’s office),  and rates of success.

A: A big chin (macrogenia) can be either too far forward (horizontal excess), too long (vertical excess) or a combination of both. Determining the 3-D dimensions of what makes the chin too big is important as it can change the method by which the chin is reduced.

Horizontal chin excess is best reduced through a submental (under the chin) incision rather than from inside the mouth. This is because it is important to properly manage the soft tissue excess which will result once some of the bone support is removed. If the soft tissues are not removed and tightened, one will end up with what is known as a witch’s chin deformity. (exactly the appearance of what you wanted to improve in the first place!)

The chin is horizontally reduced by burring down its prominence and tapering the bone into the sides of the chin. The mentalis muscle is brought down over the underside of the reshaped chin and any excess removed as it is re-attached to the its fellow muscle. Likewise, redundant skin and fat are removed so that the chin soft tissues are nice and tight.

Chin reduction surgery is done as an outpatient surgery under general anesthesia. It takes about an hour to perform. The chin is taped and will be sore but there are no restrictions after surgery. It takes about 3 weeks for the chin swelling to largely go away and it begins to feel normal again. The success rate is 100% in terms of having less horizontal projection. The usual amount of actual horizontal chin reduction  that is achieved is from 5 to 8mms.

Dr. Barry Eppley