On my 1 and 2 week post op appointments, my doctor could not tell for sure if the hard lump that had formed shortly thereafter, half way up between my chin and smile line, was the implant wing or just swelling. As the first few weeks to 1.5 months went by, the whole left side of my face was super swollen compared to the right, peaking around my left jowl/smile line area. A visit to another doctor about 7 weeks post op confirmed the implant wing was shifted way up about an inch from the left corner of my lip.
Even more concerning to me was that this entire time, my bottom lower lip was severely 'tethered' up to where I couldn't smile, or move my lower lips much when talking. I was regularly emailing my doctor pictures showing the swelling in my left cheek, and finally visited him again 3 months post op. The swelling in my cheek was much improved but still present by then, and my lower lip STILL tethered. About 4 months post op, I can still only show about 3/4 of my lower teeth when I try to lower my lower lip. My lip essentially has improved over the first 2 months and has shown no progress since. This has severely impacted my smile, and I'm so self conscious of it. If I smile too widely, the middle of my lower lip stays tethered up, causing a very unnatural affect. I've read so many reviews on this board and elsewhere and totally expected my lower lip to return to normal 6-9 weeks post op, or by 3 months at the very latest. I have visited 4 plastic surgeons, an ENT, and an oral surgeon and no one knows why my lower lip is acting this way. I suffered no numbness at all post op, and over the 6-9 week period my lower lip movement did improve, but its function is only about 60% back to what it used to be. As much as I like the affect the implant gives to my chin, I dislike the bulge in my left cheek still present 4 months post op from the malpositioned wing and hate how my smile has changed. My theory is that if i remove the implant without replacement, and my lip movement returns shortly thereafter, then I know that my muscles could not stretch enough to compensate for the added chin volume. If my lower lip is still tethered up several weeks after removal, then my muscles were fine and a nerve was simply damaged during the original surgery. If it is a nerve causing my middle lower lip to tether, then I will know, in hindsight (post implant removal), that my lower lip function would have returned if I gave it several more months time to heal. In which case, I may consider a smaller implant in the future. I've seriously considered removing the implant and doing a sliding genioplasty, but the oral surgeon has scared me away with the countless possible complications, and of course no guarantees with my lower lip function.
My original doctor said he can only remove the implant, not replace it, and that it would cost me 2k in anesthesia and OR fees (dr fee waived, but that's still a lot of money). Unfortunately, I also learned from an ENT that I have a moderate amount of scar tissue in my nose that's been affecting my breathing since surgery, and I'll need to be put to sleep to have them cut out (I get faintish if I have needles, etc. flying around my face, so there's no way I would get through this procedure with only local anesthesia). My original surgeon possibly contributed to this scar tissue problem by not cleaning my nose out at all post rhinoseptoplasty, so I can't expect him to treat this issue as it requires multiple cleanings post op. Insurance will also cover this scar tissue complication, so I am diligently searching for an ENT/PS combo type doctor that is in network in the DC area who can do both procedures at the same time - remove the chin implant and cut out the scar tissue in my nose. But this is not easy to find by any means!
I've written this review because I am at my wits end with this chin implant, and I am hoping someone out in this community sees my review and can lend me some advice or share their experience if they've encountered a similar problem like mine. In googling this problem online, I can't find another case where just the middle of the lower lip doesn't retract down with the rest of the lip. Thanks for reading, and I'll reply back / post updates.