[By Lu An]
“Ava Gardner was the most beautiful woman in the world, and it’s wonderful that she didn’t cut up her face. She addressed aging by picking up her chin and receiving the light in a better way.” – Sharon Stone
Kimmy has always thought of herself as a confident and fairly attractive lady, except when she looks at herself from the side. Even as a child, her relatives have always commented on her “weak chin”. Ever since then, Lil’ Kim has been overly aware of her facial profile, and at times, she said, “looking at myself from the side made my stomach turn.”
“I thought I was an attractive person from the front, but not from the side.” says the 33 year old accountant.
So earlier this year, Kimmy decided to join the scores of ladies seeking chin augmentation surgeries and got herself a new chin. While she was a little nervous prior to surgery, the desire for a new and better profile propelled her to follow through with her surgery. Thankfully, the surgery went off without a hitch and Julia is now proudly flaunting her new chin.
Now, new research concludes that Kimmy is not alone. Chin implants, otherwise known as ‘chin plants’ have taken over breast augmentations as the fastest growing procedure among image-conscious Brits in UK. There has been a 60 per cent rise in the cosmetic procedure over the last few years, and this new wave of surgeries is favored by both sexes, with around 60 per cent of enquiries coming from women and 40 per cent from men.
“A weak chin plays a vital role in diminishing a person’s overall appearance as it is an anchor point for the eye.” Says consultant plastic surgeon, Dr. Chia Hui Ling from the SW1 Clinic, a one stop destination for medical spa, cosmetics dermatology and cutting edge aesthetics surgery in Singapore. “Chin enhancement procedures can make a dramatic difference.”
Some skeptics may wonder what the fuss over such a small and insignificant part of our facial anatomy is all about. However, according to plastic surgeons, the chin is a very important part of a person’s profile.The chin is often being described as “strong” or “weak”, and has also always been regarded as a basis for character judgment. Someone who has a strong or prominent chin is stereotyped to be more assertive, athletic and powerful, even if this may be far from the truth. Studies done consistently show that men with “weak” chin are less successful in life compared to those with stronger ones. As for women, a profile with a weak chin will always appear less attractive than someone bearing a well-proportioned one.
“When a chin is too small or narrow, it tend to throw the facial proportions off balance visually, making the face, nose and neck appear somewhat larger than what they actually are.” Elaborates Dr. Chia. “Furthermore, the chin and jaw line are among the first areas to show signs of aging and these can be corrected or reversed by both surgical and non-surgical means.”
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Plastic surgeons said they are seeing fewer patients who want extreme makeovers and more who are seeking more subtle changes, and facial rejuvenation — which can include nips and tucks to the eyelids, skin aging, wrinkles, nose and hairline — is also becoming a growing trend.
It might be the digital age that has brought on the added chin attention.
Video chatting has added a new dimension to the way people see themselves because people can no longer hide behind the phone or email, experts noted. The technology has caused people to see themselves at completely different angles than before. For instance, constantly seeing your own image staring back at you certainly does give one pause to assess all aspects of your image. The jawline and neckline are intimately associated with the chin, as this is the point of suspension of the rest of the neck.
Apart from visual assessment which is largely what it takes, a simple way to assess the adequacy of the chin is to draw a line from the tip of the nose to the lower lip. When this line is extended downwards, it should be able to touch the chin.Since Asians generally have shorter and flatter chins, chin augmentation procedures are especially common in Asia.Chin Fillers administered via injections and surgical chin implant are the two most popular chin augmentation methods which have been widely practiced across the globe with a rising trend in recent years. Both of these chin contouring procedures result in soft-tissue augmentation that correct profile deformities with satisfactory outcome.
There is a wide array of chin fillers composed of naturally occurring hyaluronic acid that are ideal for chin enhancement. It is injected into the chin so that the soft tissue present in that section is elevated and gets a “liquid lift”. FDA approved fillers such as Restylane SubQ® and Belotero INTENSE® are some of the fillers that give good results and can last anywhere from 8-12 months. As there are differences between male and female aesthetics, the knowledge, skills and expertise of the attending physician which governs injection techniques and product placement,will play an exceedingly important role in avoiding undesirable masculinization or feminization of features that are not asked for.
Chin Fillers can be performed as a lunchtime procedure that’s quick and effective, giving immediate result without the downtime, risks and complications that surgery entails. It is appropriate for patients who desire some degree of chin augmentation but aren’t quite ready for surgery, or those who want to experience an augmented chin before committing to surgical intervention. Its effects are temporary and not long lasting compared to an implant.
“Chin enhancement with injectable fillers is a progressive approach, and depending upon your requirement, you might have to use a considerable amount of filler over a few sessions in order to achieve a similar outcome comparable to surgery.” Explains Dr. Chia. “This is probably not cost effective in the long run, and hence is more appropriate for those who only seek slight augmentation of the area.”
Especially those with structural or anatomical jaw anomalies such as under-bite, over-bite or cross-bite problems or those requiring more substantial enhancement, surgical Chin Augmentation with a prosthetic implant or Genioplasty gives not just aesthetics improvement but provide functional correction as well. The well placed artificial implant often made from silicone sits under the skin right on the mandibular bone to give a permanent boost to the strength and definition of the jawline, improve upon the bite, and prevent premature wearing out of the dentition. Chin implants come in various shapes and dimensions to allow the results to be individually customised for different patients. The prosthetic implant can be placed through either small imcision made in the natural crease line under the chin or within the mouth so as to avoid unsightly external scars, and is at times combined with madibular or jaw bone manipulation to give even more dramatic correction in selected cases.
While facial fillers have revolutionized the field of cosmetics dermatology and plastic surgery, surgically inserted silicone implants still provide a better, permanent 3D improvement to the structure to the face. Chin fillers are ultimately gels and therefore cannot provide the same support as a solid implant. Over filling with injections to try to achieve adequate chin projection may result in an ill-defined, puffy, or doughy chin, which isn’t desirable. As with all surgical procedures, chin implant carries with it possible anesthetics risks and complications.There is higher initial cost and longer recovery time, with reported cases of pain, bruising, swelling and numbness that can last for several weeks.
After completing her Basic Surgical Training in London and Cambridge (UK), Dr. Chia Hui Ling from the SW1 Clinic returned to Singapore for Advanced Specialty Training where she attained her Specialist Accreditation in Plastic Surgery. Apart from her meticulous skills, as a female plastic surgeon, Dr. Chia is sensitive to the anxiety and emotions of patients faced with plastic surgery, with a genuine and compassionate nature that has earned her accolades of praises and a loyal following.