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...

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.

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I am just in AWE of your story. I'm so sorry you had to go through all of that! I'm glad you're ok. I had a chin implant put in back in 1992. It's been 22 years! Stay well :-)
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Sorry You went through your ordeal. I am going through one myself from a chin implant. Though, I do think Doctor's need to provide proactive follow up calls until they are sure everything from a surgery is fine up to a year out. They just schedule follow-up appointments and anything can be happening in between the follow ups that they need to take immediate action on. Chin Implants can damage the mental nerve and cause havoc on life. Sending you prayers that you stay well.
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Glad you are feeling better. I just had a silicone implant remove due to a bad reaction. My doctor made me feel like I was the only person in the world. I was just wondering if anyone else ever had a bad reaction to a silicone implant and what was it?
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thanks for a great review. I just had a silicone implant removed after only six weeks. My face started to droop on one side like I had a stroke. My doctor said that he never saw anyone have a problem with an implant. I felt bad. Like I had failed a test or something. He took the implant out yesterday and I feel great. I feel like I have my face back. However, today in his office he started telling me this long story about his friend who was very educated and depressed. When the doctor told his friend to go to his doctor for a blood test, the friend found out he had an imbalance and when he had it corrected he felt wonderful again. I figured he meant me because I complained so much with the implant in me. That's when I decided to check and see if anyone else had reactions to "the perfect face" solution. My doctor used a silicone implant. He also told me that the bone was eroding on my chin. I'm not even sure what I'm supposed to do with that information. I'm wondering what kind of success anyone has had with nonsurgical fillers. I truly hope you are feeling better.
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Just wondering, why did they use nylon implant? Nowadays I hear the doctors only use silicone or medpor.
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I guess back in 2000 it must have been the popular thing. It was supposed to be "hypo allergenic" and adhere to the bone after time and become part of your own body... no sliding out of place. So, I wasn't afraid because of the hypo allergenic part. But, we think I was allergic to it. It sounds like they use other types now. Maybe others had issues with that kind. If they did, I hope they post. I'm the only person I've ever found who had such a reaction to it. I called the makers of it for information, but they wouldn't and didn't want to give me anything. What's medpor?
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Medpor is another material dotors uses for chin implants nowadays. It has pors that your tissue can grow into thus lowering the risk of movement. But the downside is it is harder to remove.
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Thefirstborn - I'm not sure what they called my "hypo-allergenic nylon" implant, but it was made to adhere to the bone by tissue growing around it. That's why it was used, so it would not move around, but, yes, the removal caused me to stay sick because we didn't know there were so many small pieces wrapped in tissue and on the bone. Because the pieces were still inside me, hidden, I got sicker and sicker as time went by, even after we took it out.
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Yes, the one benefit with silicone is that it can be removed in one piece.
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What an ordeal, sorry for all you went through and happy that finally you are happy and doing good. I completely agree with you, looks matter but nothing is more important than health. I had my chin implant done 2 months back and at the left side it is mal-positioned, thou it looks good, its causing me a great deal of discomfort, so I am planning to remove it, than to reposition it with all the risks involved.
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I'm sorry you are going through that. The implant I had was made to adhere to the bone... what type do you have? I actually saw my surgeon today and he is going to put fat in my chin and a few other areas on my face next week. (I was just going to do the smile lines, but he said he'd do other areas too...cheeks, chin, etc. to fill out my face a little.) We thought, for me, that would be the best thing to do because you can't reject your own fat. It still has risks, like anything else, but not allergy risks. He said I'll have to come back every 3 months for awhile since the fat dies and takes awhile to hold, but he said it's become quite popular in place of actual implants. I wish you luck. I think the implants are a great thing for those of us who were born with small chins (my whole face is very thin) unfortunately, it was not meant for me. Since you didn't get sick in 2 months, I'm sure you will be fine and just have the normal recovery time. I got sick right away but didn't realize it was from the implant for a year and a month when my face blew up like someone had punched it. I am curious though, what type of implant was used that it mal-positioned? Will it adhere to your bone in the future like mine did? Good luck with your surgery. I'll keep you in my thoughts. I'm so glad you are happy with your new look. The chin implants, I will always admit, look beautiful.
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Hi I had my implant out and have scars under my chin. Look terrible
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I'm sorry, Marilyn. I have a scar under my chin but you can't even notice it unless I show it to someone. I don't know what area you are from, but my surgeon is the best. If you want his name, I'd be happy to e-mail it to you. I'm from Southern New Jersey. I'm going tomorrow to have fat injections in my face and he said, even though my chin looks fine, he's going to plump that area up, too. Can I ask why you had yours removed?
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Oh my gosh - I am so sorry to hear what you went through. What an ordeal, especially to have this come right on the heels of your mother's passing. :( I'm so glad that he did that surgery, and that you are doing better now. Obviously its of little importance compared to your overall health, but do you mind me asking how your chin looks after all it has gone through?

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Hi Megan - thanks for your kind words. I laugh all the time and say I've had 3 chins in my life. He's such a great surgeon that it looks fine but is a little different from what it was before. If you looked at my face, you would never know what I went through. He's an amazing surgeon and I was told by other doctors that I was lucky he did the surgeries. I never thought about it, but one doc said that my whole face could have sunk in on the lower sides from all that was taken out. It didn't. My neck was getting saggy recently from where the original scar was and aging (I'm 54 now), so I had surgery in August (by him) to correct it and now my neck looks great. Since he used dissovable stiches that were not nylon, I had no problems from that surgery. Like I said originally, I am surely not anti plastic surgery, I just want everyone to do the research and know there are risks....even ones that the doctors don't know about. I'm lucky, very lucky. I do miss the implant because he showed me pictures with it in when I saw him in August and my face did look beautiful, but it's beautiful now too, and I'm not sick and that's more important.
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Dear Megan - I posted a recent picture of myself on my profile so you can see that you can't tell. :)
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I love your outlook - such a great perspective!

Thank you so much for posting a picture. You look great, and no, I never would have noticed anything had gone on.

I definitely agree that it is very important for people to understand the risks, even very unusual ones, when treatments are being considered. I'm so glad your neck surgery turned out well, that you are healed, and that you have opted to share your story with us! :)

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Thank you, Megan! :)
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