Are there any sliding genioplasty risks?

Now that I'm almost 100% sure I want to undergo a sliding genioplasty procedure to give me the profile I've always wanted to have, I have to ask whether or not there are any risks associated with it—either during or afterwards. I know that general anesthesia is involved so I guess there's always risks with that but what about the procedure itself? What information should I have before making a final decision?


M, 40, Virginia

Tags:man age 35-44 chin procedure risks sliding genioplasty

The risk of general anesthesia is exceedingly low.  The main risk for this procedure is damage to the mental nerve, which provides sensation to your your bottom lip.  The risk is low when done by a skilled surgeon, but it is a risk nonetheless.  It is also important to discuss with the surgeon how much more chin projection you to to achieve.  Another option for increasing chin projection is a chin implant.  This is a less complex procedure and is performed by more plastic surgeons as there is a lower risk profile.

Every type of surgery comes with potential complications. Compared to many other cosmetic surgery procedures, however, a sliding genioplasty is relatively low risk. With this procedure your surgeon first cuts your chin bone before inserting titanium plates and screws in the area to hold the bones in position.

The primary risk of this procedure is potential damage to the mental nerve, which can affect sensation around the chin, lower lip and the gums beneath the front teeth.

If your goal is to increase the forward projection of your chin, implants might be another pragmatic option for you. From your question it sounds like you’ve yet to consult with a surgeon to discuss your goals. When you do, I strongly recommend that you only meet with board-certified plastic surgeons.

While a sliding genioplasty does have advantages over chin implants (for example, genioplasty helps contour the neck muscles when chin implants cannot), implants are a much less invasive procedure than many people often achieves many of the same results with lower risk.

All invasive surgery involves some degree of risk, but risks associated with sliding genioplasty are relatively rare.

The principal source of risk in an invasive chin augmentation is nerve damage. The 3 branches of the mental nerve extend into the chin and lower lip which can be damaged during osteotomy or bone cutting.

Exactly how much risk there is depends both on the skill and experience of the plastic surgeon and the individual anatomy of the patient. In some patients, the mental nerve descends low into the chin which can increase the risk of nerve damage and numbness.

When cutting the chin bone, experienced plastic surgeons are careful to keep a minimal safe distance from the mental nerve canal to limit any risk of nerve damage.


If you’re concerned about a possible loss of sensation during your plastic surgery you may want to consider a chin implant. We have had excellent results with chin implant surgeries and find them to be lower risk than genioplasty procedures.

The chin implant procedure takes less than half an hour to complete, only requires a local anesthetic, and has a faster recovery time.

Both procedures have their benefits and drawbacks, but without a direct consultation I’m obviously not in a position to make any specific recommendations for you. But I can tell you this much, and it’s far more important than many people realize: be sure to consult with a maxillofacial surgeon who has board-certification. Any doctor who has this certification (ideally from the ASPS) can be counted on for both safety concerns and the overall quality of your final results.