I remember the first time I realized that I...
I remember the first time I realized that I disliked my profile; I was in middle school slicking back my pony tail using another mirror to see the back and sides. I was devastated. How pretty I had felt on the inside didn't match on the outside. I always hated candid shots of myself - double chins, neck fullness, weak jaw. I have always been in shape - currently 130 lbs. - this is an unfortunate genetic trait. I loved loved loved looking at Korean plastic surgery - not because I wanted it at the time - I just thought it was fascinating and impressive. The more I looked the more I saw people often had jaw work done, which eventually lead me to researching chin augmentations. Bingo! I saw a bit of myself in so many others weak chin photos, and knew it was the procedure for me. RealSelf just fanned the flame :)
I have set my date for the end of April and it is crazy to believe I am actually doing it! Dr. Delgado has recommended neck lipo in addition to the implant. This will be my first plastic surgery, so I am trying not to freak myself out, because I know I will be so happy a month or two post. I have to remember this is for me only - I look forward to the day when I don't have to constantly focus on keeping my chin high. I photoshop for a living and love photoshopping myself with a tighter neck and stronger chin. I will attach a quick render I did! Counting down the days.
Pre-Op and Supplements
Had my pre-op and the team has me feeling really excited! Dr Delgado plans on using a medium implant on me. I stopped taking all blood thinning supplements (fish oil, vitamin e, ibuprofen, alcohol) and started the one month "Vita-Medica recovery support" supplement system (provided by the office) which consists of AM vitamins, PM vitamins, bromelain for 3 days before surgery, and arnica after. Having all my perscrips filled: antibiotic, anti nausea, pain killer, and suggested stool softener because of pain killers. Picked up Tylenol as well since I won't be able to take ibuprofen.
Out of Surgery
28 Apr 2016
Day of treatment
Went by in a flash. Super sore chin, neck feels totally fine from lipo. Just writing a quick and groggy update. Dr Delgado's team may have been the best medical team I have ever experienced. All so caring, hilarious, and thorough. Will update more later!
Had a hard time staying asleep sitting up all night, as expected, but sleeping much easier on couch than bed. I got a memory foam neck pillow which made my jowls area a little sore so I'm using it just on the side of my head between me and couch, which helps me sleep. I'm a little flushed on face today, likely due to norco.
I've been eating apple sauce, veggie smoothies (kind of hard to swallow w/ pulp - I recommend juicing instead if you have option), Amy's soups, saltines which are a bit difficult, and had scrambled eggs this morning. As for liquids I've been having the smoothies, Gatorade, throat coat tea, real ginger ale (that actually has ginger in it), and soda water. All with a straw of course! Anti nausea prescription has been helping with me a lot because of norco and antibiotic, but I have a really sensitive stomach. Still super swollen but loving my profile. Can't wait to get gauze off Tuesday! Going to upload more pics of before
Slept a bit better last night - definitely feeling groggy from the lack of sleep combined with pain killer. I got in a good nap and feel much better, despite my weird surgery dreams! Having a bath made me feel a lot better too. I can't wait to get these wrappings off! I can't see any bruising yet, fingers crossed that all my supplements are really helping! I feel like having my ears covered makes them feel plugged, and a little dizzy as a result. Only a couple more days. I'm definitely more chipmunky from the front today. Still sitting and sleeping upright, getting up hourly... Another post op food I would recommend is string cheese; easy to eat and no prep.
Pretty much same as yesterday. Same amount of swelling, little pain. My sister just came over and pointed out some nice battle wound bruising on my chin - not surprised - but daaaang. Not to mention I've never had any jaw definition from that angle, even with the nasty bruise I'm liking it :)
Day 5: Post Op
Feels SO good to have the wraps and adhesive pads off. The adhesive stuck to my skin really bad and hurt like hell coming off. The doctor said it doesn't usually stick that much. Lucky me! When I got home I used jojoba oil to get the rest of adhesive residue off which helped and soothed it as well. My neck feels SO weird to the touch because it's so swollen. The doctor gave me a new custom head wrap that doesn't touch the implant and I can take off to shower! Wahoo! We made another appt to remove stitches in a week. I have zero numbness around my lips which he was really happy to hear, because they intentionally try to avoid those sensitive nerve areas during surgery. Can't wait for my neck swelling to go down! I'm happy but having a hard time being patient.
Adding more pics from getting wraps off yesterday! I can't believe how much having a prominent chin changes my entire face. My nose looks smaller, and I look like I have some cheekbones now, which I have never ever had, due to the new curvature of my face. I can't wait for swelling to go down!
I know this is majorly jumping the gun but I wanted to add a side by side! I took this pic on day 6. I feel like my face looks longer from front as most women do, but I'm trying not to over analyze and let my brain adjust / swelling reduce. I can't smile the same yet due to neck swelling but this is super common. I feel like I'm lisping which my husband and sister are enjoying :)
Just updating with a pic of what my implant looks like for those asking. It looked just like the "conform" extended antatomical, I'm not 100% this is the exact one, but it had the raised circular pattern on the inside just like the photo. In a medium.
Still don't have complete feeling under my chin / neck area, but slooowly coming back. Also can't smile using my lower lip, but other reviewers said that took them 2-3 weeks to come back, so I'm not going to panic! Going back to work in a couple days!
Went out in public today - just wore a little makeup on my bruising and it covered very easily! Bruising is getting lighter every day especially with applying arnica gel 3x daily. The most painful part is actually not the implant but where I had lipo, specifically at the top center of neck. My chin still looks long to me but I think it's also because I can't move my lower lip downward yet when I talk and smile. Other than that I am feeling more and more like myself every day!
Day 12 - Stitches Out
Chin and lipo stitches out this morning! Didn't feel anything on my chin since it's still numb, so no sweat. Obviously I will have an incision scar. I don't think it will be bad, but honestly I could care less because I have a chin!!! :) still a big bruise but getting lighter... I'm really achey and swollen under my chin, and it's hard from scar tissue. Doc said my full smile will come back in the following weeks. I'm still sleeping upright, taking supplements, arnica gel, and wearing a strap for compression at home and to sleep. It's basically an elastic band, a piece of cotton, with a little nook cut out so it doesn't touch where my implant is. I feel like I haven't talked about the pain much, and yes it's painful, but I kind of knew what I was getting into and have wanted it for years, so I think I feel more excited and happy than anything. I think real self people prepared me for what to expect, so i went into it having the right mentality.
2 weeks post
My neck under my chin is still hard as a rock and swollen. It looks unflattering and full - this part seems to be taking the longest to heal. I'm worried my doctor was too aggressive with the lipo resulting in excessive scar tissue. I'm also really worried about my smile. I can't pull my lower lip downward at all to smile or eat. I know it's only 2 weeks, I'm just getting paranoid and having a down day.
3 week chinniversary
Feels like swelling under my chin and jawline lessened a bit this week - the hard spots are definitely getting smaller but still healing! Can't move my bottom lip downward still, which is my biggest concern. Wearing my neck compression strap every night, and when I spend a whole day in it on the weekend it helps a lot. Gaining a lot more movement as well, can look up much easier! Slow and steady, but getting better every day
4 weeks already?! I have so much more movement in my neck this week. I can fully look side to side and *almost* all the way up. Feeling really good! My hard spots are really clearing up from lipo. It's still solid under my chin, but so much better. The first couple of weeks I almost looked like I had a worse double chin because my neck was SO full and swollen. Ive talked to a handful of others on realself and none of them can smile fully using their bottom lip, same as me, which makes me feel much better. I will be patient :)
My neck has really thinned out from lipo this past week or so! It has made a really big difference. I still have hard spots under my chin but not nearly as much. Originally my neck was all just a big hard lump. Looking up still feels tight but I have much more mobility. Still waiting on my smile to come back fully :( I'm seeing my doctor in a week for checkup and am eager to see what he thinks! I'm finally trying to sleep on my side but don't want to put any pressure on my implant either. My neck pillow has been so handy through all this.
6 weeks appt.
10 Jun 2016
2 months post
Had my check in with the Doctor this morning! He said everything looks great and I'm still swollen. I was surprised because I didn't think I was that swollen anymore but he's right. I did sleep much flatter than I've been doing a couple nights ago and woke up more swollen, and slightly painful. Whoops. My jowl area on my right side gets the most swollen, that must have been the deeper pocket for implant. Also still pretty numb right under my chin and felt so weird when he touched it! He said my smile will take time to come back because everything has been stretched in this procedure, but somethings may obviously not be the same afterward as well. Kind of a whatever answer to me, so I'm glad I have realself. I do feel like I have gained a tiny fraction of a movement in my lower lip, which is reassuring. Still so happy with my decision and loving my new face! Took a pic of my befores from my file to share with you all too!
23 Jun 2016
2 months post
My smile is coming back!!!! I don't know exactly when it happened in the past week or so, but I can finally use my lower lip. Not 100% - it's still tight - but enough to have a more normal laugh/smile again. Such a huge relief as that was my biggest concern. I still wake up swollen sometimes if I sleep too flat and still have some numb spots along jaw. Also have little breakout bumps all along my jaw I've been fighting off since surgery - not sure if it's even related or I'm touching the area too much - my skin is hyper sensitive and could just be adjusting to my new "shape". But very happy with how everything is turning out!!
12 (1/2) weeks
26 Jul 2016
3 months post
Hey everyone! Just updating that everything is great! I almost have all feeling back, still a tiny bit numb just on skin under chin. I'm sleeping on a wedge now with pillow on top. No more compression. Doc gave me a silicon sheet to use on my chin at night that he says works much better for my scar than popular scar creams. Vitamin E oil has also been great for my scar (and acne scars!). Sometimes I sleep funny and wake up sore or a bit swollen on one side. I can't even imagine what my face looked like before. This is the best decision I have made for myself and I am really happy regardless of the long recovery - I would do it all over again.
28 Aug 2016
4 months post
Hey everyone! Just wanted to update everything's great. Still wake up sore but nothing to be alarmed about. It also still feels funny to the touch underneath my chin. I am using vitamin E oil and silicon strips my doctor gave me on my scar. I'm still sleeping on a wedge pillow + temperpedic pillow so I'm not completely flat. I can't even imagine what I looked like before now. Like I've said, this is a long recovery, ups and downs are normal - but totally worth it for me. I would do it again.