chin implant in 1994, removed in 2012... its not always for life!

I had an implant placed in 1994. I did it in...

I had an implant placed in 1994. I did it in secret, so had no support to fall back on. It was tough. I was only 18 and full of anxiety about what might happen should something go wrong.

The consultants were part of a clinic and had prepped the chin area once a fortnight with creams and steam and massage, etc. I have to say this clinic was the worst aspect of the whole thing. They were basically salesmen in white coats, trying each time to get more money from me (I used my student loan to pay for it). For example, they waited until after the surgery to tell me I had to buy extremely expensive vitamins off them to aid healing and tissue growth etc. I didnt bother with any of it and felt very used. The surgeon however was good - just really professional and efficient. It was done in no time and I spent a night at their clinic in London with a bandage around my head. It would have been good to spend another night there, but they seemed to have a high turnover, so I left (I decided to take off the bandage early to avoid questions at home)

It was tough to talk properly the first week or so, but not impossible, and the swelling went down quick enough with ice packs. I went through a period of doubt and shame, and for a while really wanted the thing taken out, mostly because for a while it really doesnt feel right. The bottom lip will have some numbness and id say for the first ten years once on a while, for a few days at a time, id have a strange sensation on my bottom lip, as if it was sore. I rarely get that now. I had to change the way I slept - further down the pillow to avoid leaning on it overnight, but that just became the norm. It takes time - alot of time - to really heal and only then really can you judge whether it is something you can live with or not.

My advice to those thinking of doing it, is to really be honest with yourself in why you want it. There are those that really do have a very weak chin and imo if it bothers you then go ahead. But I can see plenty of people that have done it who really didnt need it and it borders on vanity. In that case, id say dont bother, cus its not a quick fix and its not the same as bone, and theres plently that can go wrong (as with any surgery)

Did I need it? I still dont know. I was young, and I had low self esteem. Having said that, once I did it I didnt focus so much on how I looked. I guess I figured I had done all I could to get to how I felt I should look, and I was content at that. It allowed me to move on foreward and live my life and not get hung up on this chin thing! So some soul searching is definately a good idea before doing something like this. I hope that doesnt sound preachy. Im guilty of vanity of course, but I was all alone and i guess I lost objectivity.

18 years on, the last few months I have been having issues with the implant. Im not sure why yet... Im told its very rare to have issues this late on... but I cant comment any more on that as I just dont know why its feeling hard and achy right now.

More advice - make sure you have money to cover any complications, not just enough to cover the initial surgery.

Hi, well I had the implant removed yesterday...

Hi, well I had the implant removed yesterday morning, and its been 24 hours... The surgery was more intensive that I thought it would be - I heard stories of surgeons popping them out in their offices etc - but no, not for me; it was an operating theater and its taking quite some recovery! I have bandaged it up to apply constant pressure on the space left by the implant, and the muscle above it. Having to take painkillers every 4 hours, and cant really talk or eat much yet. This morning I checked and the swelling has gone down, but my bottom lip is quite droopy. I will have to see if its just swollen, or changed somehow. My surgeon did mention the bottom lip may change. Its all rather scary and uncertain right now, and im trying to remain calm...
Immediately after the surgey I couldnt really see too much difference to the augmentation of my chin. But today I can see it is flatter, and im starting to remember what I looked like 18 years ago, before putting the implant in. I'm not really concerned too much about that though, my old chin wasn't that bad, and I'm not so focused on it anymore (and I really hope that unhealthy preoccupation doesn't creep back into my life!)
They showed me the implant afterwards - its a lot smaller and narrower than it felt inside. I always saw it as white, but it was clear. I also thought, cus its an old one now, that it would be more of a 'button' implant, but in fact it looked quite modern. Not massive wings, but longer than I thought. Its funny to see something you have had inside you for 18 years for the first time, and im trying to think of some uses for it now its out - suggestions are welcome! :-)
So my concern right now is the practicals - will my bottom lip droop? will I be able to talk fluently? will people recognize the change? I know from the first time 18 years ago that it takes quite some time to fully recover, and the first few days are for healing and not for making judgements on results.
My surgeon hadn't done this procedure before, and specializes in breast implants. She was great, and everything went ok, but I do hope that in time it proved to be a good choice. The final cost was 1,713 pounds. While is approx the same it cost to put it in 18 years ago.
I will update later in the week

Day two: things are starting to heal up now, but...

Day two: things are starting to heal up now, but Im sure it wasnt this bad the first time round! I would have expected removal to be easier on the patient than implanting. Im so worried about the muscle not reattaching that im wearing bandages all day and night, and will likely continue to do so for a few more days. Its hard to talk, but I really struggle with pronouncing 's'. I think that was the way the first time too. My profile isnt as bad as I thought it might be, but from the front my chin clearly isnt protruding out at all. Its an adjustment phase I guess. so far no tingling or numbness in my lip. Its early days though to tell if the removal actually fixed the issue I had with the implant, which is hard to explain, but it intermittently felt hard and painful. Other times I didnt feel it there at all, which is how it is supposed to be. It is a little disturbing to look in the mirror and see someone slightly different. I guess it must have been the same when I had it put in, but I dont recall exactly...I do remember freaking out the first week and wanting the implant out. But it settled and I got on with it. What will my smile look like? Time will tell

Day three: Had 3 or 4 Mentalis Muscle spasms last...

Day three: Had 3 or 4 Mentalis Muscle spasms last night, which concerns me. I have had the bandage on for 3 days and nights now, putting pressure on this area. Speech is improving and Im not needing the pain killers anymore. I just hate this uncertainty. Seems like there is so much that can go wrong, I wonder if its logical to provide this kind of implant at all? If something isnt fully reversable, then surely it shouldnt be offered for aesthetic purposes? Im sure in the distant future they will just be able to grow bone wherever they want, and they will look back at chin implants as being rather medieval. The muscles in the chin are rather taken for granted, but they have a considerable role to play in everyday life - talking, smiling, expressions, sensations. I most certainly would not recommend messing with this area for cosmetic enhancement unless the defect is considerable. I can see a lot of cases on this website that really are unnecessary, and ive seen tv reports of this procedure increasing by 70% lately. This makes me sad - especially considering the reasons for my implant changing after 17 years are unknown. Are they really even that permanent? Id certainly like to know if anyone has had one for 30+ years...
Well, im still hopeful for a full recovery. I read a report today that a bandage should be kept on for 2 weeks after removal of a chin implant! I have 8 full days before returning to work, and I can still wear it at night. But TWO WEEKS?!? Im also fed up of soup... Im having odd dreams about potato skins with cheese and bacon. Eating a packet of quavers is taking me about 10 minutes.

Day 5: Still wearing bandage. Woke up this morning...

Day 5: Still wearing bandage. Woke up this morning with a numb chin - around the area where the bottom lip becomes the chin. Cant remember if this happened the first time... anyways from research and asking my surgeon, seems to be a normal process. Still, its worrying. I hope it resolves. Aside from that, things are much improved today - I can eat crisps and hard foods (thank God!) and can talk a little better. Still struggle with some letters, but I think that was the way of it the first time. Infact the first time it really did take a month or so before everything started to work properly, but this time I dont have a lump of plastic in my body, so in theory it should be quicker... Also noticed there really isnt that much difference between my chin with the implant, and without. I know I said before that there was, and its true there is SOME change. But nothing negative. Not a 'defect' as surgeons like to call it. The beard hangs differently, which is amusing me. If it stays liek this, Im totally happy with it, and really should of done it years ago. Looking forward to seeing what my smile is like though. Oh also my lip is less droopy. So on the whole, im feeling mostly positive - just the numbness to upset things. I feel a deep sense of relief that I can so far look in the mirror and not feel Ive made a big mistake...

Day 6: The numbness has gone, and today I was able...

Day 6: The numbness has gone, and today I was able to eat eggs and bacon. Sweet sweet bacon! But later I got carried away with some mini donuts and now my chin hurts a little. I'm having to sleep on my back, which I find mostly impossible. I'm not sure im getting any 'augmentation' from the scar tissue. I will have top ask the surgeon how much there was. Its possible that cus Ive been wearing the bandage so much, it has pushed it tightly and thats how its healed, I don't know. Looking at old pictures (I mean, pictures of the old me from last week!) its so clear the difference it actually did make. I'm not mourning it as such, its just as adjustment period, cus I haven't been able to enjoy the benefits yet - the reason I got the thing removed in the first place. Well its definitely all healing up. Tomorrow morning it will be a week to the day. And what a horrible week! Its gone so amazingly fast though. Back to work on Wednesday. Im hoping I wont need to talk much!

Day 9: Back at work and everything is healing...

Day 9: Back at work and everything is healing nicely. Dont have to sleep on my back anymore, which is great! But I have had a horrible thought - that when it heals up fully, I may still get the tight sensations that led me to remove the implant in the first place. It occured to me today cus the healing aspect does feel somewhat similar to the tightness I felt before, and my surgeon did say that it may not fix the problem (as we still dont really know what the problem was anyway!) Its would be a real bummer to have gone to that expense for nothing, and it could also mean that there may be no relief from the problem! Only time will tell on this score. Im currently ok with the way it looks now, byt no idea really whether the scar has given some augmentation. certainly doesnt feel loose at all, or droopy. Just feels like an ordinary chin. I think though without my beard I wouldnt like the loss of the 5mms in that area. I didnt even like the old chin without hair. But im a beardy forever so not too concerned. Just want it to hurry up and heal up now really...

Day 15: Ok well the stitches are all out and its...

Day 15: Ok well the stitches are all out and its healed up. There is still a little bit of tightness in the muscle area, but each day it gets less. My bottom lip is definitely different to the way it was when I had the implant, but its not bad and will just take getting used to. Its a rather odd feeling being able to feel my chin bone again with my hand, or resting it on something. Its rather nice! My profile isn't bothering me, but like I said I have a beard. I don't know, life goes on I guess! No-one has noticed anything. Hopefully it will continue to heal up and I can get on with life (and paying back my credit card bill!)
I guess I hope this report will help anyone who is considering having their implant removed. Its a scary notion, and all the conflicting reports on here donT help at all! Its also helped me a lot to write down the process and my thoughts. Maybe it will help you decide if you want an implant in the first place.
I have to conclude by saying that unless you really have a proper defect in the chin area, you really shouldn't consider this procedure - its NOT a perfect fix, and its not as straightforward as some would have you believe. There is the chance of nerve damage; I remember my bottom lip feeling frozen on and off for years - I mean you get used to it - but my point is if its just a superficial 'my chin might look nicer a bit bigger' then this is NOT always a simple care-free solution. Yeah there were long periods of time when I forgot I had the implant. But it wasn't consistent. Nowhere near. And I think the main issue is that its not always easily reversible, especially if its a big implant. Its more scar tissue, more disturbance to the muscle and nerves and soft tissue, and hey - who knows what might happen to my scar tissue months and years down the line? Hopefully it will be ok cus the implant was small and my skin is still young... But you hear a lot about balling and drooping and dimpling of the tissue. who knows... there are absolutely no certainties. You might have the implant for 17 years and think its all OK, maybe even forget about it altogether - and then you get a problem out of nowhere. This is what happened to me. I didn't damage it or injure it. It just happened. We don't even really know what it was, maybe scar tightening, maybe something else.
I dont wanna scare anyone, I just want to add to the knowledge base. In conclusion...NOT...WORTH...IT

30th July: Well it seems my nightmare is never to...

30th July: Well it seems my nightmare is never to end. The scar in my lip has healed and it hardening and feels tight. Yes this is probably a normal phase in the healing, but I dont recall getting it the first time round. Worse than this though is the return of the sensations I was getting with the implant - the very reason I got it removed to begin with! Today the scar tissue feeling tight and uncomfortable. Not as bad as when the plastic was in, but still disheartening for me. I just want an end to all this crap and get back to how I was! I cant even get anyone to tell me what the damn problem is! I know this - massaging it helps temporarily, and eating or chewing gum / food helps too. I am worried for the future...

29th August: 7 weeks after surgery to remove the...

29th August: 7 weeks after surgery to remove the implant. Seems much longer! It feels great - the scarring has gone down and lost its tightness, it just feels like an ordinary chin now, and I love it! I can speak with the kind of easy fluidity that I couldn't with the implant. I think I just put up with it cus the job was done and that was that, but there was definately some loss of lower lip manipulation. I truly think I should have removed it years ago! The original tight and tingly problem has progressively subsided over this last month, and I have found that chewing gum can help if I do get the occasional tingle. It is nowhere like the way it was with the implant in. Im so amazingly relieved that I can just get on with life now and not have to worry about this issue. God knows what the problem was, maybe we will never know! What an odd crazy little journey! All springing from a teenage insecurity.
Good luck with your own journeys - I do hope you only get an implant if you really need it :-)

26th July 2013: 1 year and 16 days after surgery to remove my chin implant...

Hi,
Well it seems like a good time to update, as today I got the same tight and itchy feeling in the chin area where the implant used to be - the same sensation, although less troublesome as the implant isn't there to compound issues. Why it has started to do this now, I dont know. I thought until now I was ok and had 'gotten away with it'. The only connection I can make to now and when it first started happening, is bleeding gums - last night I flossed and my gums bled, and I recall around the time of this sensation first happening i had been to the dentist who rather rigourously cleaned my gum area. If it is some kind of biofilm infection, then perhaps bleeding gums let to it, I dont know. Im totally baffled by it, and I cant find a single reported case of this happening to anyone else (reassuring for you I am sure - but dont forget the real lesson here is - donet mess around with nature! Leave your face alone unless its a real issue and not vanity)
So I guess I will see what happens - nothing more I can do, cant have anything else removed - dont think I want the scar tissue removing to be honest, too much money and not a good idea to open the wound for a third time.
I really do wish I know what has happening though - not knowing is killing me! And we will never know as its not worth anyone looking onto I guess - I dont think anyone is interested.
My bottom lip has the sore feeling again - those with implants may know what I mean - a feeling you get, sort of like a burning feeling for some, but for me its like a soreness. It came and went when I had the implant - sometimes it went for years, other times it came for weeks, then left for weeks etc. You get used to it, but it pisses me off more now that the implant is gone - I feel ike ive suffered enough and the bloody thing is out now! Leave me be!
So in conclusion - my (unpopular and so largely ignored) opinion is to NOT have this kind of surgery. Its crude and damaging, and a waste of time and money. If I could go back and speak to the 21 year old me, I would say 'dude, get over yourself and go and live - noone gives a damn whether you have a piece of plastic in your chin or not. It wont change a thing.' Take or leave my advice, I know I remember mostly ignoring the negative reviews and opinions if they didnt suit my own agenda.
See you next year! (unless it drastically gets worse, in which case I will be on here to spill my weeping soul!)

£0th July 2013

Well things have not improved. Its been about 4 days and the sensations are stil there - it feels tight, but when I touch it it isnt tight. It feels numb and then tingly. My lower lip feels sore. The only respite I get is when im chewing gum or eating, or massaging the area. I can put ibuprofen gel on and it its ok for a few hours. But my massive concern is that this is my life now! Seems I will never be free from this stupid mistake I made as a young man. Oh how I wish I had just walked on by that damn surgery building, instead of going in and sealing my fate. And all this on the eve of finally sorting my life out - changing career and moving to another country. I start a scholarship in Germany in 3 weeks and suddenly this happens, and its like a dark mist descending over me, I cant think about anything else, I cant enjoy talking or interaction. I feel totally depressed and alone in this - noone can give me any answers or solutions. If you are reading this and considering an implant - dont do it. Dont mess with your body unless you absolutely have to. There are nerve endings that should be left well alone. I have emailed my surgeon and awit her response, but to be honest I dont think she can help, as she didnt know what was casuing the problems when she removed it a year ago. How can it be fine for a year and then suddenly not?! There is simply no logic to any of this.

31st July 2013

Horrible day. I feel loike my life is over. I had a teaching session and it was painful to talk - the chin feels so sore and strange. Its a horrible, horrible feeling that wont seem to go away. I tried Deep Heat today, and Ibuprofen gel, now Im on Aspirin. Nothing works. My surgeon hasn't replied to my email. I'm supposed to go to summer school in Germany for a month in 3 weeks. Its supposed to be the best time of my life. Im supposeds to have enthusisasm for my new career, for leaving the UK, for moving up in life...Instead all I can feel is misery and frustration. Since no-one knows whats going on, its a good chance nothing can be done about it. So I will have to live my life with this feeling. Im totally shattered by it. I simply cant believe it. The worst thing to happen at the worst time.

6th Aug 2013

Saw the surgeon today, but she had no answers. Luckily the last couple of days have ben much better. I bought some hot stone massaging things and they seem to help, or maybe it has nothing to do with that, who knows. Im just hoping that things will resolve itself and I can go and enjoy Germany!
sorry I dont recall. The clinic was LST, but they dont exist anymore

there was no real after care, just a clinic wanting to take advantage of me. The nurses etc were great, the doctor was professional. The rest were just salesmen in white coats.

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
3 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
4 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
1 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
2 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
1 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
2 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
1 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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