Post Op Chin Osteotomy

Chin Osteotomy Post-Op Recovery Instructions

  1. A chin dressing that goes around the head will be in place the first night after surgery. You may remove this at home at the next day. There is no need for any further dressings.
  2. You may use ice to the chin area for the first 24 hours if it helps reduce any discomfort that you may have. It is not absolutely necessary however.
  3. All incisions are inside the mouth behind the lower lip. It is closed with dissolvable sutures so there is no need for suture removal later nor is any wound care required for the sutures.
  4. You may sleep laying flat but do not sleep face down nor on your side (not that you would feel comfortable doing so anyway). While the newly positioned chin bone is held in place with plates and screws, it is potentially possible to cause it to shift and get misaligned.
  5. You may shower, bath, and wash your face and hair the next day after surgery after you remove your head dressing. Men may shave around and over the chin area after 48 hours.
  6. The skin around the chin area, and sometimes parts of the lower lip, may be numb after surgery. Normal feeling will return in most patients within four to six weeks after surgery.
  7. Your activity level should be what feels good. Do routine activities as tolerated. Strenuous exercise may be resumed 1 week after surgery. Avoid contact sports, where the risk of getting hit in the chin may shift the new bone position for one month after surgery.
  8. You may begin driving within 48 hours your chin surgery if you are safe to operate a car (not on high doses of pain medication).
  9. The chin will get fairly swollen and feel real stiff. It may also make your low lip and smile move a little different until the tissues start to soften again. It takes about 3 weeks for most of the chin swelling to subside and the chin looks more natural again. Usually there is some bruising with the chin osteotomy procedure that will usually appear in the neck several days after surgery.