Although chin reduction surgery is done in several ways, the goal remains the same: to improve facial proportions and physical attractiveness, which scientists and artists believe can be quantified by mathematical ratios.
Renowned Inland Empire plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley says the chin, along with the nasal tip and forehead, plays a critical role in facial profile and harmony.
To determine if the chin is too long for the face, the latter is divided into three horizontal segments—from the hairline to the middle of the eyes, from the middle of the eyes to the base of the nose, and from the base of the nose to the chin. Ideally the distance should be [approximately] equal to each other.
Oftentimes, chin reduction is done by shifting the chin backwards and shaving the bone margins. This is either accomplished through incisions made inside the mouth or behind the chin.
It should be noted that shaving the chin would not just change its vertical height and profile, but also its inherent shape.
Contrary to popular belief, markedly prominent chins are not just a simple bone “problem.” Oftentimes, abnormal projection and height also stems from too much skin and muscle, which if not properly addressed could result in sagging and other surgical stigmata.
Occasionally, chin reduction also involves cleft removal and symmetry improvement.
Unlike its antithesis chin augmentation (which can be done via implant or fillers), reduction surgery involves a more invasive approach and thus it leads to longer downtime. In fact, “social” recovery can take up to six weeks due to the amount of swelling and bruising.
It should be noted that while most patients are back on their feet 10-14 days postop, strenuous activities and heavy lifting should be avoided for 4-6 weeks to prevent healing problems.
Also, patients are generally asked to stick to soft food or liquid diet in the first few days postop to minimize movement of the jaw and chin, which in turn can promote healing.