What Can be Done To Reduce A Big Chin In A Man?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I’ve been looking into a chin reduction for quite a few years now, but I have never gone through with it because I’ve always been afraid that the results would be terrifying. I read through your case studies on chin surgeries, and I must say it’s a relief to see someone with as much experience on the subject of chin surgery. Perhaps other doctors have just as much experience or more, but it’s relieving to be able to read about it instead of them briefly talking about it. I’m a man who has a larger than average chin (or at least I think so). My main reason for wanting a chin reduction is because I feel that I look weird when I smile, and it was not always that way. When I was a child I thought I had a great smile, nowadays I’m sad to say that I smile much less simply because I feel self-conscious. The other goal is to ensure that the chin surgery doesn’t make me LOOK like I’ve had surgery (this may be an obvious goal, but this is the one reason why I’ve been so reluctant on getting surgery in the first place). If a random stranger would introduce themselves to me, I don’t want there first thought to be “that man’s had work done’.

A: Unlike chin augmentation, chin reduction surgery is much more difficult and technically precarious. In plastic surgery, it is usually much easier to make something bigger than it is too make it smaller. Chin reductions are done either removing bone by an osteotomy or burring or reducing the soft tissue envelope. In many cases, both bone and soft tissue need to be reduced to get a good result. Most male chin reductions are a function of too much bone and leaving them with a smaller but still strong chin is acceptable. As you have stated, some improvement is better than too much change that would look unnatural. That is a good approach for any type of male facial plastic surgery in general. In looking at your pictures, I can see that a vertical chin reduction by wedge osteotomy would be a good approach.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana