Chin reduction surgery is much less well known than chin augmentation. In fact, while the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) estimates that 11,000 people underwent chin augmentation in 2009, chin reduction didn’t even make the list of the top 21 procedures. (See this publication for complete statistics: http://www.surgery.org/sites/default/files/2009stats.pdf.)
The fact is, however, chin reduction is a procedure some plastic surgeons do perform. And the impact it can have on someone with an overly prominent jaw is no less dramatic than chin augmentation for someone with a weak jaw. If you feel you have a Jay Leno look and you’re very self-conscious about it, you may want to consider whether this type of plastic surgery is a good choice for you.
Chin reduction surgery is most often performed on an outpatient basis. Your doctor will make an incision either inside your mouth, below your lower lip, or just under the tip of your chin. Then he or she will either shave and reshape your jawbone, or, more likely, remove the tip and cut out a wedge of excess bone. The tip is then replaced and held firm with very small plates and screws.
An important consideration your surgeon will deal with is how to manage the soft tissues of the face properly while reducing some of the hard foundation. Depending on the degree of bone removal, your underlying muscles may not reattach automatically. Your surgeon will need to consider whether to shorten and/or suture muscles in place. He or she may also remove some of the fatty tissue that contributes to the overall look of your chin.
You can see why, then, although chin reduction is not necessarily extremely complicated, it’s important to work with a board certified plastic surgeon or facial plastic surgeon who has performed many such procedures. Since the list is not extensive, be prepared to travel to work with an experienced surgeon.
You may also discover that since the procedure is not exactly mainstream, you may not have an easy time finding out who actually performs chin reduction. Some plastic surgeons who do the procedure don’t even mention it on their Web sites.