The Relationship Between Rhinoplasty and Chin Implants

Learn about rhinoplasty and chin implants from Columbia plastic surgeon, Dr. Seaberg.

It may sound a bit cliché, but the hallmarks of an attractive face are harmony and balance. Facial features that either appear out of proportion with the rest of the face, or are slightly asymmetrical, are often the reason someone feels self-conscious about his or her appearance. And when I see a patient considering rhinoplasty at my Columbia practice, my evaluation includes observing the relationship between the nose and the chin.

Plastic surgeons need both a good sense of aesthetics and knowledge of geometry to create results that please the eye. That’s especially true when it comes to the interplay between the nose and the chin. A patient may come to my office wanting to reduce the size of their nose, for example, but just as important is the fact that their receding chin creates the appearance of a large nose.

So, when will I recommend combining chin augmentation with rhinoplasty? There are a number of factors I discuss with the patient, including both the benefits and limitations of the combined procedure.

  • It’s all about proportions. As I mentioned, when a patient believes his or her nose is “too big,” the underlying cause may actually be that the chin is not prominent enough. A chin implant alone may create the desired result without rhinoplasty. It’s important that a patient understands all options before moving forward with surgery.
  • There are limitations to how much a protruding nose can be reduced. A patient who undergoes rhinoplasty alone may still feel that their nose is too large. By combining cosmetic nose surgery with chin augmentation, I can create well-balanced facial features simply by increasing the chin’s projection.
  • Both procedures have a positive effect on the profile view. When looking at someone who has had rhinoplasty or chin augmentation — or both — from a straight-on perspective, the results may not be that noticeable. From a profile view, however, the results can be dramatic — and very pleasing.

I’m often asked what’s considered optimal for chin projection. There’s a relatively simple answer, although it’s slightly different for men and women. If you draw an imaginary line straight down from your lips, a man’s chin should be either at the line or a couple of centimeters in front of it. A woman’s chin should be barely behind the line.

Of course, combining the procedures isn’t always the right approach. In many cases, rhinoplasty alone will produce very good results that achieve a patient’s aesthetic goals. The only way to be sure is to schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon who has expertise in rhinoplasty.

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John J. Seaberg, MD, FACS