Wish I Could Turn Time Back - Beautiful Result but Made Me Very Ill - New Jersey
In 2000 I made the decision to have a chin implant...
- 13 Mar 2013
In 2000 I made the decision to have a chin implant to balance my small face. The implant was two pieces, made of hypo-allergenic nylon that was made to adhere to the bone after time. I also had neck lypo. After the surgery I never felt right. I didn't connect it to the surgery as my mother was dying of cancer and I thought I was just depressed. The implant looked beautiful and changed my whole face, but I noticed one side seemed a little swollen. When I went back for my 3 month check up, the surgeon thought it was just a blood pocket. My fault...my mother passed and I missed my 6 month check up and never rescheduled. I just kept feeling worse and worse, but still not connecting it to the implant. I was fatigued to the point I could barely stand, dizzy (almost passed out a few times), my gait was off when I walked, I had horrible migraines, lost so much weight I was a size 0, and felt weak and sick all the time. One year and one month later, my face blew up like a balloon. The surgeon took one look at me and thought I had an infection... he told me I could have died. He did emergency surgery to remove both pieces of the implant. We thought that would be the end of it and I would get better. He sent samples of the puss (sorry so gross) to the lab, but when they came back there were no signs of infection. After the removal, my chin area would still swell and fill with a clear liquid and worse than that... I got sicker and weaker by the day. The surgeon would drain my face and put me on antibiotics. He thought my sickness was not related to the implant so he sent me from specialist to specialist. He thought I had an auto-immune disease. I didn't. No other doc found anything and everyone of them sent me back to the surgeon. I knew it had something to do with the implant, but couldn't get anyone to listen. I got sicker and sicker by the day. I went from a hyper type A personality to someone who couldn't wear heels anymore and had to sleep from Friday night to Monday morning to make it to work...barely. I couldn't drive myself to work by the end of the 3rd year.... I couldn't stand without being held to take a shower because I was so dizzy and weak. I went to ER after ER, doctor after doctor to no avail. Finally, 3 years into it and almost dead, the original surgeon was getting scared for me (he's a really great surgeon and doctor...this was not his fault) and he decided to open me back up on one side through my mouth. He really didn't think he would find anything, but he cared about me and was getting very worried. He was just about to close me up and he said his hand moved and he felt something. The next thing I knew he was pulling tiny pieces of nylon of my jaw bone and filling the bottom of a little jar to send for testing. I cried after that because I finally had hope again that I would get better and I felt vindicated after so many doctors wouldn't believe me and treated me like I was a nut. Unfortunately, I didn't get better yet. I ended up with many more surgeries after that (I believe a total of 10 from original surgery to the removals....it was every week to 2 weeks for months). Every time a side would swell, he would operate again and pull out more pieces. He had to be very careful because as he put it...it's not like opening the hood of a car. There are a lot of muscles, tissues, and nerves. The big fear was that if he damaged a nerve, I coud drool for the rest of my life. Also, if too much tissue was taken out, my face could sink in. Again, lucky for me, he's an awesome surgeon. After several surgeries, I slowly started to feel a little better each time. It took months. Nothing grew when the samples were sent to the lab. We never really figured out why I got so sick. There were only two possiblities... I am allergic to nylon or another substance/chemical that was in the material of the implant...or my body rejected it. I believe I was/am allergic to the nylon or something else in the implant because he told me later he did some kind of test and he didn't believe it was rejection. Now, if I have any surgery, none of the docs use nylon stiching as a precaution. I will never put a piece of nylon in my body again or any type of implant in my body again. It was beautiful, but not worth my life that I almost lost. I'm not telling anyone not to do it. 99% of the people who do are fine and look beautiful, but I am saying to educate yourself because it's surgery and just because it has the word "plastic" in front of it doesn't mean something can't happen to you. I am all for plastic surgery to feel better and recently the same surgeon did a mini face lift on my neck area and all went well. We just used dissovable stitches to be safer and not leave anything permanent inside my body due to my sensitivities. Just do your research and make sure you are willing to take the slight chance that you can be one in a million like me. Just because something has the term "hypo-allergenic" attached to it, doesn't mean you can't be allergic to it. Had the implant not been made to adhere to the bone, when he took it out, I would have been fine, but because it had been a little over a year and it adhered, that caused the issue. When it was taken out, it looked intact, but must have peeled like an onion and that layer stayed on the bone which is what made me sicker and sicker over time. I can't even explain just how sick I was except to say that I knew I would have died had he not operated. Again, I don't want to scare anyone... just really, really want to have it done and do the research. If you don't feel right, go back immediately to the doctor.