Genioplasty: Overview

Also known as chin surgery

Genioplasty, also known as chin surgery or mentoplasty, is a type of cosmetic surgery that is done to change the shape of the chin. It may involve techniques such as adding an implant to increase the size of the chin or removing part of the jawbone to reduce the size of the chin.

This procedure is done more often for men than for women. According to a 2019 statistics report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 57% of genioplasty surgeries were done for men.

Types of Genioplasty

Verywell / Danie Drankwalter

What Is Genioplasty?

People who opt for this procedure generally use it as a way to aesthetically improve their appearance.

Reshaping the chin through genioplasty can be accomplished by using chin implants or by repositioning the bone supporting the chin. Many types of implants are available, and they are manufactured from a variety of materials, including silicone or other substances. 

The most common technique is osseous genioplasty, which involves modifying the skeletal structure of the chin.

Besides osseous genioplasty, there are other types of surgical procedures for reshaping your chin:

  •  Sliding genioplasty
  •  Jumping genioplasty
  •  Reduction genioplasty
  •  Widening genioplasty

Genioplasty is typically performed under general anesthesia, and it's usually done by a plastic surgeon.

Who Gets Genioplasty?

Genioplasty is a relatively popular procedure, accounting for 39% of all plastic surgery procedures.

  • In 2019, a report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons showed that most patients who underwent chin surgery were over 55 years old.
  • The report also found that 9% of all genioplasty were performed on 13 to 19-year-olds—in this age group, the surgery is usually done for reconstruction to correct syndromic diseases that affect the shape of the chin.

Sliding Genioplasty

Sliding genioplasty is a procedure usually used to correct a retrusive (receding, set back) or misaligned chin.

An inverted V shape cut is made from one canine to another on the other side of the teeth. A push-and-pull saw is then used to cut the chin bone away from the rest of the jaw and correct the defect in jaw alignment.

Jumping Genioplasty

Jumping genioplasty is a surgery where the chin bone is moved both forward and upward. 

This is performed by making a cut on the lower jaw and bringing that section forward and upward so that the lower edge of the chin lies against the upper region of the lower jaw. The movement of the cut section from the lower jaw upwards gives it the name jumping genioplasty.

Reduction Genioplasty

Reduction genioplasty is done to reduce or remove the excess chin fat on the face. It is also used to reduce the chin for patients who feel their chin is too big.

Two parallel cuts are made during the procedure, with their width in line with the width of the chin. The chin can be moved backward, or it can be made smaller, narrower, or both.

Widening Genioplasty

Widening genioplasty is done to widen a narrow chin.

It involves horizontally cutting and dividing the lower end of your chin in the middle. The cut pieces will be widened using a bone graft as a midline divider.

Contraindications

Before you have genioplasty, you and your doctor will need to consider whether this surgery is appropriate and safe for you.

If you have a heart condition, you could be at increased risk of having an adverse event due to surgery. Also, if you recently had heart surgery, it is usually advised that you postpone elective surgeries, including genioplasty, for up to a year.

Anyone considering genioplasty may be advised to stop taking certain medications prior to surgery to avoid complications such as bleeding or interactions with anesthesia during the procedure. The Plastic Surgery Group in America recommends that only acetaminophen products such as Tylenol are used for pain relief before genioplasty.

Potential Risks

Studies have shown that genioplasty is a safe procedure, but some complications can result, including:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Bone loss or displacement
  • Damage to the mental nerve
  • Damage to the apices of the tooth root
  • Failure of metalwork
  • Allergy to implant materials
  • Delayed union of fissure
  • Chin ptosis
  • Lower lip drop

A thorough consultation with your plastic surgeon about your personal medical history can help prevent many of these complications from happening after the procedure. If you experience any complications, contact your doctor or seek emergency medical care.

Purpose of Genioplasty

Chin surgery is for those who want to change the shape of their chin to achieve a desired facial profile. It can help alter the position, shape, and contour of the chin for aesthetic purposes. It can also be considered if you were born with a receding chin, chin misalignment, or a large chin.

Genioplasty is best for patients who are otherwise in good health, without active diseases or serious, pre-existing medical conditions.

A few reasons people may choose to undergo genioplasty include:

  • Improving facial balance
  • Correcting congenital malformation of the chin
  • Improving chin definition
  • Reducing or removing the appearance of a double chin

How to Prepare for Genioplasty

People who are planning to undergo chin surgery may take the following steps to prepare:

  • Your surgeon will conduct a complete examination of your face, including the skin and underlying bone.
  • Discuss possible risks and complications with your doctor.
  • An X-ray or another imaging test may be necessary to determine the proper approach for your procedure.
  • According to your surgeon's instructions, you will need to stop taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or herbal supplements that thin blood because they increase the risk of bleeding during and after the operation and can potentially lengthen recovery time.
  • Quit smoking a few weeks before the surgical procedure because one of the components, Nicotine, constricts your blood vessels. This effect prolongs recovery and interferes with healing.
  • You will need to wash your face thoroughly with antibacterial face wash daily beginning two days before the procedure until the morning of surgery.
  • You will be instructed not to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery.
  • Wear loose clothes on the day of the operation to maximize your comfort.

What to Expect on the Day of Surgery

On the day of your scheduled genioplasty, you will be given general or local anesthesia with sedatives.

Once your pain control is working, you doctor will make a small incision around your chin. They will proceed with reshaping your chin—this may include adding an implant or bone graft around your chin bone. Your incision will be closed with sutures, and your chin bandaged.

Usually, genioplasty is an outpatient procedure. You can expect your surgery to take about an hour. If there are no complications, you will be discharged within a few hours after surgery.

Recovery

After your surgery, your doctor will prescribe:

  • Painkillers
  • An antibacterial mouthwash to keep the surgical site free from germs and infections
  • An antibiotic for the first five postoperative days

You will need to sleep with your face facing upward and your head raised for one to two weeks after the surgery to protect your chin.

Your plastic surgeon may tell you to consume only liquids for one to two days after the surgery and you may be instructed to avoid using a straw. Regular chewing may be resumed after three weeks. Always follow your doctor's instructions.

Generally, after three months or when the swelling has subsided, your chin will have completely healed.

Factors that can affect your recovery time include your general health, the type of procedure, and post-operative complications.

Long-Term Care

When done by an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon, the effects of your chin surgery should last throughout your lifetime. How well your genioplasty will turn out depends on careful planning prior to the surgery, which can lower the possibility of many complications in the long run. There is usually no long-term maintenance or follow-up surgery required after genioplasty.

This type of cosmetic surgery typically produces predictable results with bony and soft tissue stability. Avoid things like physical trauma to the chin area because it can affect your implant and may necessitate a replacement.

Was this page helpful?
8 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Sella Tunis T, Hershkovitz I, May H, Vardimon AD, Sarig R, Shpack N. Variation in Chin and Mandibular Symphysis Size and Shape in Males and Females: A CT-Based Study. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Jun 14;17(12):4249. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17124249

  2. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Plastic Surgery Statistics Report. Published 2019.

  3. Michigan Medicine. Chin Surgery (Genioplasty).

  4. Deshpande SN, Munoli AV. Osseous genioplasty: A case series. Indian J Plast Surg. 2011 Sep;44(3):414-21. doi: 10.4103/0970-0358.90811

  5. The PMFA Journal. Genioplasty. Published April/May 2019.

  6. Spear SL, Mausner ME, Kawamoto HK Jr. Sliding genioplasty as a local anesthetic outpatient procedure: a prospective two-center trial. Plast Reconstr Surg. 1987 Jul;80(1):55-67. doi: 10.1097/00006534-198707000-00008

  7. American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. Chin implant surgery

  8. Kumar BL, Raju GK, Kumar ND, Reddy GV, Naik BR, Achary CR. Long term stability following genioplasty: a cephalometric study. J Int Oral Health. 2015 Apr;7(4):44-50.

Additional Reading
  • Chin surgery. American Society of Plastic Surgeons

  • Deshpande SN, Munoli AV. Osseous genioplasty: A case series. Indian J Plast Surg. 2011;44(3):414-421.

  • Genioplasty. The PMFA Journal

  • Magee L. Cosmetic surgical and non-surgical procedures for the face. In: Cash T, ed. Encyclopedia of Body Image and Human Appearance. Academic Press; 2012:350-359.