An osteotomy, or Functional Genioplasty is a surgical procedure in which bone is cut to shorten, lengthen, or change its alignment. A chin osteotomy/functional genioplasty is a form of cosmetic surgery with multiple non-cosmetic benefits. It involves either lengthening the chin (which is generally difficult with a chin implant), or shortening a narrow chin (which is impossible with an implant) and giving the chin better form. A genioplasty allows you the opportunity to achieve the chin you always wanted, with emphasis on the vertical length and width of the chin, important elements of an esthetically pleasing chin. Other benefits include: the ability to passively close ones lips at rest, and relaxation of the chin muscle (mentalis muscle) avoiding possible subsequent gum defects on the lower front teeth.
During the procedure, your doctor makes an incision through your mouth, surgically moves your chin bone, and sets it with small, permanent plates and screws. Recovery generally includes 2 weeks of swelling, as well as temporary loss of sensation in the chin or lips.
Though a chin osteotomy is a more complicated procedure than chin implant surgery, and requires slightly longer healing time, the long term benefits it offers makes it a great choice for appropriate candidates. For patients who desire chin lengthening or shortening, a chin osteotomy may be a better choice than a chin implant because once the bone heals after surgery, it will stay that way permanently, without the risk of infection, implant migration, or loss of augmentation that can occur following chin implant surgery. Remember a chin implant is a foreign body making it inherently more susceptible to infections.