From Chinless Wonder to Chinless No Longer - 32/F/UK - United Kingdom, GB

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*Treatment results may vary

I find it difficult to post pictures of myself,...

I find it difficult to post pictures of myself, especially the before pictures – yuck!

I inherited an ‘underdeveloped’ lower jaw which has affected my self-confidence for as long as I can remember. I’ve never liked my face and would especially hated my profile and would dread being seen from the side due to my receding chin and would spend as long as I could hiding behind scarves. :-(

So after various consultations including jaw surgery, fillers and genioplasty I decided a chin implant which would offer a massive improvement. I chose a maxillofacial surgeon to do the surgery as I wanted someone who fully understood the chin/jaw area. My surgeon was realistic with me, explaining the only way I could achieve a perfect result was through jaw surgery but I am not in a position in life right now where I can go through braces (again) and as well major surgery. A chin implant was my compromise as would offer a good improvement and I have no issues with my bite. I could’ve had a genioplasty but read a lot of bad reviews about genioplasties alone without jaw advancement creating ‘step off’ issues. (huge chin and small jaw effect) whereas the implant would create more of a jawline.

I had my surgery around 8 weeks ago under a general anaesthetic; the surgery itself went as well as it could be with no side effects and minimal pain. My surgeon used an Extra Large silicone implant (the biggest available) which was fixed in place with two screws and I had an external incision under the chin. Immediately after the surgery I could see an improvement with my bottom lip looking more in proportion to the top lip and no more Lip Incompetence - yey!

I had to keep the dressing on until the stitches were removed a week later. Now anyone just out of surgery who is unsure about their results, keep reading...... when surgeons say wait until the swelling goes down – TAKE THEIR ADVICE – SWELLING IS A MASSIVE ISSUE WITH THIS SURGERY!!
Sorry didn’t mean to shout but this was the advice I needed at this point. I was so excited about removing the dressing and seeing the results that I freaked when I first looked in the mirror. My jaw looked square with two large jowl looking dents either side of the chin. I looked like a hamster with full pouches – not a good look! At the time I honestly thought this was my final result, it turned out to be swelling around the wings of the implant. When I look back at pictures now I can see how swollen I was. I put some photos on here.

8 weeks have now passed and the hamster look has just about gone, phew! I've seen my consultant for the final check up. He is happy with the results and I’m about 90% happy. I know I’ll never look perfect but my appearance has definitely improved, I look better than I did before and it is nice to feel more confident from a side angle and not have to hide the lower half of my face. From the side its great but from the front I still see a bit of a square jaw although my husband still insists it’s not as square as I think it is. The incision has healed well and I’m using bio oil to try and get it down as quickly as possible.
Part of my chin is still numb but I can live with that, lip incompetence totally gone as well as most of the dimpling affect.

Another thing I also need to mention is that out of the few people who did notice I looked different, no one could put their finger on what it was. I didn’t really care if people noticed; this surgery was for me and not for anyone else. I’ll know I’ll never be a model but as long as I feel more confident that’s all I care about although it does feel good to know in myself what I’ve done and that my old chin has gone for good.
Any questions, please ask. Surgery is a life changing decision so I’m happy to help anyone :-)

The Recovery Process

So I thought I'd write a bit about the recovery process as I realise I was a bit vague before.

When I initially woke up from the anaesthetic the pain was pretty intense, I can only describe it being like the worse throbbing migraine type headache but in the chin area! This was soon resolved with some stronger painkillers (co codimol) and never returned. I had surgery in a hospital which is 3 hours away from home so stayed in a hotel over night - trying to sleep. This didn't happen, I think partly because I wasn't in the comfort of my own bed but also I needed more pillows to prop up more as lying down hurt. This only lasted a couple of nights until I could sleep horizontal again so lack of sleep wasn't a massive issue.

The first few days I ate mainly soups and yogurt. Not because of pain but because I could barely open my mouth to get food in. The dressing was on very tight and I didn't realise just how this surgery affects your muscles so chewing itself was also difficult. I couldn't brush my teeth properly for days because I couldn't open my mouth to get the brush to the back teeth. It was all a bit gross, lots of food wedged in places I couldn't get to!!

Talking was hard, I found I was talking like a ventriloquist so I didn't have to open my mouth. My surgeon did work on some muscles to help with the lip incompetence and chin dimpling affect, so they were very stiff making it harder to talk. You don't realise how much your chin moves when you speak so I had to learn to use different chin/lip muscles but I'm used to it now and the muscles have loosened up. I would guess its just like getting botox in that area when your muscles are frozen if that makes any sense!?

Stitch removal was a walk in the park, one quick tug and the whole thing was out. Never felt any pain from the wound at all, the most painful part was peeling the dressing off. I thought I'd be able to eat better without the dressing but it was still difficult and I'd say it took a good 4 weeks to get back to normal. Throughout the first couple of weeks I felt a lot of tingling as nerves were starting to come back to life. The same feeling you get when local anaesthetic wares off at the dentist. I still have one part of my chin which is still numb just above the incision line which may or may not come back. I feels kinda strange, like I'm touching someone elses chin.

I also found I couldn't smile properly and I'd say it took a good 6 weeks for my old smile to return. I still can't show my lower teeth which is a good thing and I'm hoping it continues as it means my lower lip is holding up - which was the plan!

The last thing is - central chin dimple. Surgeon advised I could get botox to remove it as its just muscle but I kind of like it. Its something from the old me that makes it look less obvious I ever had surgery. Only my husband knew about the implant and I have still not told anyone. They have all put my change in appearance down to my hair cut which is fine by me :-)

Oh and one last, last thing - bruising. I developed some yellowy bruises right down my neck but none on the chin or face. I think they were more to do with the muscles being worked on rather than the implant itself. They didn't last long and can be easily covered with make up.

Hope this gives a clearer idea of what to expect. I was terrified of going under the knife but it was no where near as bad as I thought. I actually enjoyed my week off work recovering :-)
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