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Chin Surgery

(Genioplasty or Mentoplasty)
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St. Luke’s chin surgeons are among the Lehigh Valley’s most skilled and experienced. Our providers are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, having completed extensive training that leads to a rigorous certification process. And due to our large network of over 12 hospital sites, we have access to the latest technology. These resources allow us to perform minimally invasive procedures with results you can be proud of. 

What is chin surgery?

Chin surgery gives you a more defined facial structure and may improve jaw function. During the procedure, your surgeon will make an incision under your chin or inside your mouth. Then, they’ll either alter your bone structure to reduce your chin size (sliding genioplasty) or place a chin implant (mentoplasty) to augment it. 

Your chin shape contributes to facial harmony. So if you feel your chin is “weak” or too prominent, you may not be happy with your appearance. Additionally, a receding chin may cause sleep apnea or obstructed airways. 

If you want to learn more about chin surgery—or schedule a consultation with a chin surgeon in the Lehigh Valley—then contact St. Luke’s Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery.


Chin surgery candidates include adults with the following characteristics:

  • Receding chin
  • Short chin
  • Chin misalignment
  • Chewing problems

In addition to correcting form-related problems, chin surgery can help with functional problems—like congenital disabilities, sleep apnea, or trauma-related damage.

Schedule a consultation with a St. Luke’s chin surgeon in the Lehigh Valley to determine if chin surgery is right for you. 

Having chin surgery can positively impact your wellbeing and self-confidence. The following list includes some of the most commonly reported benefits:

  • Improved profile appearance
  • Balanced face shape
  • Increased chin width or height
  • Minimized double chin (double chin surgery or chin tuck surgery)
  • Reduced chin size (chin reduction)

Chin surgery can dramatically improve your body image and give you a more youthful appearance. It can also be part of other treatments to enhance your features.

As with all surgeries, chin surgery has risks. Some of them include the following:

  • Allergic reaction to implants
  • Infections
  • Implant extrusion
  • Mouth or lip numbness
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Swelling

Your surgeon will review a complete list of risks before getting your consent.

Before the procedure

In the time leading up to your chin surgery at St. Luke’s Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, you can take steps to make your procedure as safe as possible. These include discussing the following topics at your surgical consultation:

  • Goals and expectations
  • Surgical options
  • Results
  • Recovery

As part of your consultation, your surgeon will also do a complete evaluation—which may include the following items:

  • Ordering lab work
  • Taking “before” photos for comparison
  • Assessing medical conditions, allergies, and medical limitations
  • Reviewing medications, supplements, alcohol, tobacco, or drug use 

A week before the procedure, you can prepare at home in the following ways:

  • Filling outstanding prescriptions
  • Purchasing any medical supplies as needed
  • Coordinating transportation and meals as needed
  • Staying hydrated

You should arrive early on the day of your procedure to avoid travel delays.

During the procedure

Your surgeon will work with you to determine the best type of chin surgery for your desired results. Chin surgery lasts one to two hours and requires either local anesthesia or sedation. To keep the procedure minimally invasive, your surgeon will create a small incision where your lower lip meets your gums.

Chin implant

In chin implant surgery, your surgeon will stretch your natural tissues to place a synthetic implant. This implant will augment your facial contours, helping your chin appear more prominent. If necessary, your surgeon may use donor tissue—but artificial implants are more common.

Chin reduction

In chin reduction surgery, your surgeon will trim your bone to make it a more aesthetically pleasing size. The surgery may also include removing excess fat and skin or repositioning your bone (sliding genioplasty). If your surgeon cuts bone, they will use titanium plates and screws to keep it in place. However, your jaw doesn’t have to be broken during this type of chin surgery.

After the procedure

Due to swelling, you won’t see your final results immediately. If the incision was made under your chin, your scar shouldn’t be very noticeable once it heals. 

Though chin surgery is permanent, a chin implant has the potential to be reabsorbed. Depending on your goal, you may need multiple procedures—but injectable fillers can be used for “touch-ups.” 

Your St. Luke’s plastic surgeon will customize your procedure based on your desired treatment results. The typical recovery milestones include the following:

  • Day of surgery: Immediately after the procedure, your surgeon will apply a temporary dressing. At this point, you may experience tenderness—but this discomfort can be treated with pain medication and cold compresses. 
  • One week after surgery: You may need to take time off work and avoid vigorous activity for several weeks. Additionally, most patients feel a tight sensation in their chin.
  • Two weeks after surgery: Your surgeon might recommend a diet of liquids or soft foods. You should also sleep with your head elevated to reduce swelling and promote healing. 
  • One month after surgery: Though you may still have minor swelling, your pain should be minimal. Your surgeon may allow more strenuous activity.
  • Three months after surgery: Your swelling and bruising should be gone entirely—so you’ll see the final results.

Not all surgeries have the same recovery period: If you’ve had a sliding genioplasty, it can take between six and eight weeks—whereas implant surgery can take two to four weeks.