Bringing one's lower face into alignment with the rest of the face is commonly done through the use of a chin implant. Done through a very small incision under the chin, an implant is placed on top of the underlying chin bone bringing one's profile into a more harmonious balance. There is really very little care that is needed after chin implant surgery but here are some instructions that I provide to my patients.
1. A chin dressing that goes around the head will be in place the first night after surgery. You may remove this at home at the next day. There is no need for any further dressings.
2. Underneath the chin, there will be small brown tapes to cover the incision through which the implant was placed. They are glued on and will not easily come off. These will be removed at your one week postoperative visit during which the sutures will also be removed.
3. You may sleep laying flat but please avoid sleeping on your side or face down for the first postoperative week. This may potentially displace the position of the implant.
4. You may use ice to the chin area for the first 24 hours if it helps reduce any discomfort that you may have. It is not absolutely necessary however.
5. You may shower, bath, and wash your face and hair the next day after surgery. Getting the tapes wet poses no increased infection risk. Men may shave around the tapes and the rest of their face after 48 hours.
6. Your activity level should be what feels good. Do routinue activities as tolerated. Strenuous exercise may be resumed 1 week after surgery. Avoid contact sports, where the risk of getting hit in the face may dislodge the implant, for one month after surgery.
7. The skin around the chin area, and sometimes parts of the lower lip, may be numb after surgery. This should completely go away by one month after surgery.
8. You may begin driving the next day if you are off pain medications and can think clearly.
9. Be patient. It takes about 2 weeks for most of the chin swelling to subside and the final result to be seen clearly. Usually there is little to no bruising with the chin implant procedure.
10. Occasionally, some patients many have some temporary numbness to their lower lip which may cause it to move in an unusual manner. If this occurs, it will go away in a few week after surgery.
Dr Barry Eppley is a board-certified plastic surgeon in private practice in Indianapolis, Indiana at Clarian Health Systems. (http://www.eppleyplasticsurgery.com ) He writes a daily blog on plastic surgery, spa therapies, and medical skin care at http://www.exploreplasticsurgery.com