Genioplasty: Precautions during convalescence
Characteristics of the chin prosthesis
Chin rest implants are available with a wide choice of size and shape, and there are also different types of materials with which the chin restorations are manufactured. The most commonly used ones are made of silicone in solid form or in the structure of a shell that contains silicone gel (soft prostheses).
The advantages of these implants include ready availability, ease of insertion through a small incision, complete tissue tolerability, and reduced or non-palpable evidence of the prosthesis after healing.
It should be remembered that there are other materials on the market such as Dacron, Gore-tex and others with which some prostheses for facial implants are produced.
The choice of the shape and volume of the prosthesis must aim to give a harmonious result; a correction in defect rather than in excess is preferable.
During the first days after surgery, a stinging or throbbing pain may be felt in the chin area, usually controllable with common painkillers and anti-inflammatories, which will spontaneously regress within a few days.
It is advisable for a few days to keep the head raised (semi-sitting position). During bed rest, it is advisable to keep your head elevated, using pillows under the mattress for the first week. It is useful to apply an ice bag to the operated area avoiding direct contact with the skin.
If an intraoral incision has been made, modest bleeding from the mouth in the first 48 hours is expected and normal.
Anesthesia can lead to a reduction in the mobility of the lower lip which is accompanied by difficulty in completely closing the lips and a sensation of anesthesia in the dental arch. These phenomena usually disappear within 24 hours of surgery. They will last longer in case of genioplasty with osteotomy and fixation.
If a submental approach has been practiced, the dressing should be kept in place for the first week and the mandible should be avoided as much as possible. The sutures will be removed 7-10 days after the surgery.
In any type of procedure, after surgery there is a certain degree of edema (swelling), associated with extensive bruising (bruises) along the neck. Swelling and bruising will become more evident from the second-third post-operative day. In the absence of complications, everything will regress to normal in a week or two.
Some discomfort may derive from failure to fully open the jaw due to the presence of stitches and edema.
Precautions during convalescence
After a mentoplasty operation, it is advisable not to open the jaw completely for a month. In the case of an intraoral approach, cleansing should be performed by rinsing with oral disinfectants, also for cleaning the teeth. The use of the manual toothbrush will be resumed slowly, for electric toothbrushes you will have to wait about two weeks.
It is good to avoid lowering the head for a few days (for example, to pick up something on the ground or to tie your shoes it is a good idea to bend the knees and keep the neck erect), moreover, for at least 15 days, do not take alcohol, food or very hot drinks and aspirin-like medications. It is advisable to reduce or eliminate smoking. Finally, it is not prudent to make physical efforts and intense pushing maneuvers in case of constipation; could cause an increase in blood pressure and therefore possible bleeding.
In the first few weeks, avoid every possible opportunity for direct trauma to the chin, such as getting up at night without turning on the light, playing with large animals, picking up children, going to very crowded places and putting yourself in uncontrollable situations such as sports and games of ball, etc. Also avoid the use of narrow-necked clothing and as well as direct exposure to the sun or intense heat (for example, sauna, UVA lamp). If direct sun exposure is expected, high sun protection (50+) is absolutely recommended.
Work activity can also be resumed early, depending on the type of work and socialization needs. In most cases, however, a week of rest is recommended.
Sports activities should be avoided for about two weeks in order to avoid pressure changes with the consequent risk of bleeding or bruising. Subsequently, any sporting activities can be resumed after 3-4 weeks, as long as they do not expose the chin to possible trauma, even modest ones.
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