Visualizing a Chin Implant?

Can the patient choose the way his chin will look after the surgery? Is there a computer simulation procedure to choose the chin implant size for a "weak" chin?

Doctor Answers 6

Chin implant visualization by computer simulation.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

24 years ago I thought computer video imaging would be an asset in patient education, and frankly, marketing for certain cosmetic procedures. My partners and I bought the (then very-expensive) software, hardware (the video card alone was $4500 in 1987 dollars!), and training. We found it very useful in chin implant selection, liposuction under the chin (later, submental direct excision as I have discussed elsewhere), rhinoplasty profile, and frontal rhinoplasty views. It was not helpful (and maybe a bit negative for liposuction of the thighs and hips, facelift, and breast surgeries). We used it for years, and updated several times every 4 years or so.

Prior to computer video imaging, we used Polaroid photographs, photocopier, white-out, and penciled-in surgical "guesstimates."

Now we no longer use computer video imaging, and even have a few patients bring in their own Photo-shopped digital photographs! Cue "Circle of life" music!

In reality, it turns out that normal facial harmony is not achieved by any of these modalities, but looking at before and after photographs can aid the patient and the surgeon in determining the degree to which the patient desires additional chin projection. The "button" type chin implants are "out," and depending on the desired result, the choices of implants are numerous enough to achieve nearly any reasonable goal.

I tend to use the Flowers mandibular glove extended anatomic vertical tilt chin implants, as they "fit" the anterior chin like a "glove," and are very well-designed for the anatomy of the chin and mandible region. Occasionally I use a Mittleman pre-jowl chin implant where I want more fill laterally, and little or no additional projection centrally, but that is determined again by the precise anatomy of the patient and what needs correction.

I always recommend a submental (under the chin) incision, since this allow me to remove the submental fat pad and sculpt the anterior neck region, but more importantly, avoids the bacteria-filled, higher infection rate intraoral incision. For examples of my patients with chin implants and in some cases, submental fat excision, click on the link below. Good luck!

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Computer imaging

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

There is computer imaging available that will help you visualize the changes and how it fits your face. But it will not choose the size , shape implant . Plus no computer can simulate wound healing body reaction and scarring. We probably will have these advances in the next 20-50 years.

There is also 3D imaging help you visualize the changes does not replace the surgeon and the surgical decision making,

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Video imaging software is a great tool

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Chin implants can improve a patient’s profile and balance a patient’s facial appearance. Unfortunately, for many patients, it is difficult to view fully what their profile looks like and even more difficult to determine what it would look like with a chin implant. Fortunately, with video imaging software, many facial plastic surgeons can show you what you would like with a chin implant from a side view as well as from the front. This is a great tool for helping patients understand what can be achieved as well as making sure both the patient and the surgeon are on the same page. I enjoy using video imaging and consultation to help patients understand the benefits as well as the limitations of chin augmentation. 

Mark Hamilton, MD
Indianapolis Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Chin implant or liposuction?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Yes there are different imaging programs to demonstrate how you would look like after a chin implant, therfore you can help yopu rsurgeon to decide which one would be the best choice for you. The other way to get some idea would be to review the pre and post op photos of a patient who has some resembleness to your feature/profile. what we do in our office is to glue different "sizer " implants to the patient's chin and let the patient be to vew him/herself in a mirror and be the one who chooses the most desired ones.

Yes, simulation is helpful pre-op!

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Hi there. Most facial plastic surgeons now offer photo-morphing, or photo simulation of the effects of different procedures. While they are not guarantees of results, they are very helpful in education and arriving at realistic expectations. Just as importantly, look at before/after photos of patients about your age and with similar anatomy to get an idea of results- I find photo morphing to look a little "pixelated" compared to the natural results seen in my patients.

good luck!

Catherine Winslow, MD
Indianapolis Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Visualizing a Chin Implant

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

There are several different imaging software programs that allow you to visualize what your chin will look like after an implant. You can also view before/after photos of patients your age with similar facial anatomy to get an idea.


Edward E. Dickerson, IV, MD
Fayetteville Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 127 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.