Ever had a Skype chat and been more focused on the appearance of your double chin than the conversation? You're not alone.
An increasing number of people in the US seeking chin augmentations or "chin-plants" to enhance their jawlines, and wider use of video conferencing in the workplace may be to blame.
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Chin procedures have surpassed breast augmentations, Botox and liposuction combined as the fastest growing area of cosmetic surgery, according to statistics released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), with the majority of recipients being over 40.
Chins have even been labelled the "new boobs", according to a community of plastic surgeons in the US who carried out over 20,000 chin augmentations in 2011 alone.
One of the most popular types of chin surgery is mentoplasty, which corrects a chin that "juts out" or is considered to be larger than desired.
The second is maxillofacial corrective surgery which changes the shape of the jaw. The chin-plant is the insertion of a silicone implant under the chin to give the patient a more defined and "stronger" jawline.
The average cost of chin surgery in the US is approximately $4,671 (AUD$4,513), and can take up to four hours to complete. Mostly people can go home the same day and only experience soreness and swelling for two weeks.
It has been suggested that the growth in video-conferencing, which puts the spotlight on people's faces, is responsible for the record number of chin-plants,.
"The chin and jawline are among the first areas to show signs of aging," said ASPS president Dr Malcolm Roth.
"People are considering chin augmentation as a way to restore their youthful look just like a facelift or eyelid surgery.
"We also know that as more people see themselves on video chat technology, they may notice that their jawline is not as sharp as they want it to be."
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Dr Darrick Antell is an ASPS Member Surgeon based in New York, who has studied the profiles of many CEOs, says that corrective surgery may not just be about looks, but also driven by subconscious associations we make with a strong jaw.
"We know that chief executives tend to be tall, attractive, good-looking people," he said in a media release. "We now know that these people also tend to have a stronger chin."
"As a result, people subconsciously associate a stronger chin with more authority, self-confidence and trustworthiness."
Chin implant procedures are currently available in Australia, but according to the annual member survey of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast augmentation remains the most popular cosmetic surgical procedure that patients seek.
Gaye Phillips, Chief Executive of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons confirmed that in Australia, "non-surgical procedures for the face such as fillers and injectibles are popular and frequently used by Specialist Plastic Surgeons, where appropriate, as an alternative to a surgical procedure such as a chin implant."
"Of course, the decision as to which procedure is most appropriate should always be made in consultation with a qualified specialist plastic surgeon," she said.
Chin augmentation statistics in the U.S. in 2011
Overall: 20,680 (+ 71 per cent)
Women: 10,087 (+ 66 per cent)
Men: 10,593 (+ 76 per cent)
20-29 years: 2,750 (+ 68 per cent)
30-39 years: 2,587 (+ 69 per cent)
40-54 years: 5,075 (+ 77 per cent)
55 and over: 8,459 (+ 70 per cent)
Source: American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)
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