Although many people do not notice it, a weak chin may significantly affect facial appearance, causing the nose to look larger or the neck skin to appear loose. Chin augmentation is often performed to provide a more balanced facial appearance and create a chin that is stronger, wider or longer, depending on each patient's individual goals. Also known as mentoplasty, chin augmentation may also be performed in conjunction with rhinoplasty or facelift surgery in order to achieve more harmonious results.
Dr. Kunkel performs chin augmentation surgery with the patient under general anesthesia in an outpatient surgery center. During the mentoplasty procedure a small incision is made beneath the chin and a pocket is created for the implant. The chin implant is typically made of silicone or another soft, flexible material. The implant is placed into the pocket and may be secured using sutures or possibly small screws. The procedure usually takes about 45 minutes to complete.
After chin augmentation surgery some swelling and bruising are present. The lower lip may be numb for a few days. In most cases tape is placed on the skin around the chin implant and left in place for a few days. There typically is not very much pain after chin augmentation surgery. Patients may return to work within a few days but should avoid strenuous activities for a few weeks.
Chin augmentation surgery may help restore balance and harmony to a face. While all surgery entails some risk, chin augmentation may provide subtly dramatic changes in a relatively low risk procedure. Visit with Dr. Kunkel and learn more about mentoplasty surgery!
Ear Surgery (Otoplasty)
Otoplasty, or ear pinback surgery, is an operation that corrects prominent, protruding ears. The ears are set back closer to the head, making them look much more normal and less conspicuous. The ears are almost fully grown by age 4, so children as young as ages 4 or 5 may be treated early in life. More commonly, children and young adults with prominent ears who are between the ages of 10 and 18 become more self-aware and begin concealing their ears. Boys grow their hair long, and girls stop pulling their hair back into pony tails. This trend may continue into adulthood. Otoplasty surgery is a great way to correct the problem.
In people who have prominent ears the cartilage that gives the ears their shape does not form correctly. A normal ear has a fold in the cartilage just in front of the rim of the ear (see the picture of the ear above). This is called the anti-helix. Quite often in people with prominent ears the anti-helix does not form correctly, or there is a rudimentary fold. Another area of cartilage that may contribute to prominent ears is in what is called the conchal bowl. That's the "bowl" of the ear the gives entrance to the ear canal. Excessive conchal bowl cartilage may make the ear stand out away from the head. During a visit with Dr. Kunkel he identifies the cartilage deformities and formulates a plan with the patient (and the patient's parents if the patient is under the age of 18).
The operation itself is typically not very painful. Dr. Kunkel performs otoplasty surgery with the patient under general anesthesia in an outpatient surgical facility, and the surgery typically takes about 2.5 hours to complete. An incision is placed on the back of the ear, exposing the cartilage. The cartilage is sculpted into a new shape, in most cases creating a more natural-appearing anti-helix. Sutures are placed internally to help create and maintain the new shape of the anti-helix. In some patients with prominent ears part of the conchal bowl cartilage is also removed. Additional sutures may be placed to pull the entire ear cartilage complex closer to the skull. Sutures are then placed to close the incision, and these dissolve over a few weeks. A protective plastic cup dressing is placed to protect the ears for the first few days.
The changes from otoplasty surgery are usually fairly dramatic and may be seen immediately. Initially the ears appear swollen and purplish and the skin of the ears may be numb. The swelling and bruising diminish over three to four weeks. Usually after about 4 weeks other people who see the ears do not notice that they are swollen, but the patient may feel like they are swollen because normal sensitivity may take longer to return. Dr. Kunkel typically has his otoplasty patients wear a headband during the day and night for the first month to protect the ears. After the first month the headband may be worn at night only for another few weeks. Sporting activities should be avoided during the first month after surgery, particularly contact sports like basketball, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, football, and volleyball. People involved in dance may become active after about two weeks, but the ears will be noticeably swollen at that time. Patients begin shampooing their hair on the second or third day after surgery.
One of the most fun things about this surgery is seeing patients come to the office with their hair pulled back within a week or two after the surgery. Confidence often soars after this procedure, and many patients quickly begin wearing the hairstyles that they want, not having to conceal what were once very prominent ears. Dr. Kunkel actually makes a point of telling his adolescent patients to thank their parents for providing this surgery for them. Otoplasty surgery may be a profoundly rewarding experience!
If you would like more information about Face Procedures or to schedule an appointment, feel free to fill out our convenient contact form or call us directly at (817) 335-5200.