Genioplasty - My Baby Chin Grows Up - Toronto, ON

Growing up I had a very underdeveloped lower jaw....

Growing up I had a very underdeveloped lower jaw. At 13 my orthodontist wanted to perform orthognathic surgery on me (breaking my jaws to re-align them), however after a year of headgear, my overbite was more manageable. Although the overbite was manageable, I've always been very self aware of my small chin. I cringed at the thought of anyone photographing my side profile, and always avoided 3-way mirrors at all costs.

My Genioplasty journey actually began by going for a rhinoplasty consultation. The surgeon recommended a chin implant or genioplasty since the balance between my chin and nose made my nose look larger than it actually was.

I sat on this information for three years before going through with it. Destiny seemed to align, and after researching doctors in Toronto and selecting on in my head, I asked my life-long orthodontist for advice. He recommended the same doctor.

My consultation was a bit disheartening. The consultation fee was $200, and I spent 10 minutes with the surgeon. Despite this, I was sure of the surgery and sure of the doctor, so I went through with scheduling a date.

In my pre-op (two weeks before surgery) we discussed the surgery further, but not in as much detail as I would have liked. I should have written down more questions, voiced my expectations, or said really anything, but I was overwhelmed by the process and so excited by the idea of a new chin, so I just went with everything. I was sent to the hospital for a surgical pre-op to determine that I was in good health, and then I was ready for my surgery.

I had never had surgery prior to this operation, so compared to no other experiences, it was fast and easy. I woke up in pain but was given painkillers, and the anesthesia wore off quickly. I was able to walk out of the hospital, talk a bit, and eat a bit (soups!). Throughout the entire process, I didn't experience any serious sharp pain. Everything is just dull and uncomfortable.

I initially didn't have any swelling, but that quickly changed. I was swollen for DAYS. The surgical tape they had put over my chin was incredibly itchy, and I had to take it off, which was a huge shock. The tape had hidden the shape of my face, which for a few days was a perfect rectangle. My swelling peaked on day 3 or 4, and I had a bit of emotional breakdown (the first of two). It's really difficult to be not only so uncomfortable but look so different. I was a block-head for a good week. My surgeon pretty much said "you can go back to work immediately!" - NOT TRUE.

I also had a REALLY fat neck. I was so worried that this was my "forever" neck, but trust me, this goes away. The lovely fluid from swelling doesn't just hang out in your chin, it's your entire neck too.

After two weeks I felt more confident and could see the shape of my face and neck again. There was a new issue though - my bottom lip became practically non-existent. I've always had pretty decently full lips, and my bottom lip was now a small, tight sliver. While I was no longer a blockhead, I now looked... just frightening. I though I had made a huge mistake. Que emotional breakdown #2.

At three weeks my stitches fell out, and when I went for my post op my surgeon suggested massaging the incision from outside my mouth, and doing stretches (kissy faces and huge smiles). This helped immensely, but it's a very slow process.

I'm almost 3 months post-op, and honestly prior to this time I thought I had made a mistake. This is a surgery where you need a lot of patience with your healing process. My lip has finally loosened, and the swelling has only now really gone down. I look more feminine again!

A few words of wisdom through my own mistakes:
1. Ask questions! What can you expect when you're healing? How long does swelling take to go down? When can I smile again normally?
2. Be patient. It's a process, and don't expect to look perfect after a month, or even two.
3. Give yourself enough time off work. I gave myself a full week and can't imagine anything less.
4. Don't rely on other people's comments to make you feel like you did the right thing. If you're doing this for yourself, trust yourself in the improvement and change. You can't wait for people to tell you that you look better and that you did the right thing.

Before/After - from the front

Dr Claudio Tocchio

Excellent surgeon, but ask questions and take research into your own hands.

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
3 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
4 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
3 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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