Chin Surgery: I. Augmentation-The Allures and the Alerts

Abstract

The correction of sagittal deformities of the chin presents a seemingly simple surgical challenge. However, several authors have reported negative sequelae from such chin surgery. During the past 11 years, the senior author (B.M.Z.) has evaluated more than 100 such cases of adverse results after chin augmentation. Many surgeons, it seems, use chin implants unnecessarily and, thus, get into trouble. Because alloplastic chin augmentation is deceptively easy, it tends to be overused in certain situations. Either the surgeon’s evaluation is too narrowly focused or his/her abilities to perform other types of surgery (e.g., osseous genioplasty) are limited. Herein, the authors present a diagnostic evaluation protocol, QUAC (Quick Analysis of the Chin), to assist in avoiding simple mistakes in alloplastic chin augmentation. This protocol will alert the surgeon to situations that, if unrecognized, will cause problems and create an unhappy patient. This article will specifically focus on (1) lower lip analysis; (2) the effect of the labiomental fold; (3) chin pad evaluation, both static and dynamic; (4) the anatomy of the cleft chin; (5) special situations; and (6) how to troubleshoot three common problems. The accompanying article, Chin Surgery II, will present a new operation that treats a chin problem that was previously difficult to correct.

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