Even though I’ve never been overweight, I have always struggled with a soft jawline. Several members of my family have double chins, so I know there is a genetic component; and my jaw is small to begin with. Over time, I developed the habit of reflexively sticking my tongue to the roof of my mouth every time a camera was pointed at me to avoid the unflattering bulge, and I even tried to do neck and chin exercises intended to make the chin area more taught. I practiced posture and poses, minimized sugar in my diet, and began to work out regularly, but the issue got even worse after the birth of my daughter. I gained 25 pounds during pregnancy, and lost them over the course of a year; but no amount of diet and exercises seemed to affect my double chin.
Finally I decided to schedule a plastic surgery consultation. The surgeon took pictures of me from the front and profile view, and recommended that I get chin liposuction. He also suggested that I get a small implant designed to smooth out my prejowl sulcus. These are grooves along the sides of the jaw that can exaggerate jowls and worsen with age. The implant would provide a structural platform to contour my jawline, improving my profile without dramatically changing my frontal appearance. I decided to proceed.
I was nervous about the surgery, but I knew it was the best option for improving my double chin. The night before I took medication designed to prevent nausea; the morning of the operation I did not eat, as instructed. Because the surgery is a fairly minor one, the surgeon was able to perform it within his office suite. I did not need to go to the hospital. The nurses gave me anesthesia through an IV; when I woke up it seemed that no time had passed at all.
The first few nights I had to sleep sitting up, with pillows propped behind me, to avoid letting fluids pool in my jaw and cause additional inflammation. The plastic surgeon also instructed that I ice the area regularly.
The scariest part about the recovery was the numbness. It helped with postoperative pain, since I couldn’t feel my mouth or chin — but it was like a visit to the dentist that lasted weeks. Every day the numbness would recede slightly; it took about 6 weeks for full sensation to return to my lips. This made eating difficult, as sometimes I’d have food on my mouth without feeling it. Occasionally I bit my cheek by mistake. However, permanent numbness is a very rare complication, as one of the first steps of the surgery is to locate the nerves that branch through the chin and make sure they are avoided. The numbness experienced after surgery is typically a temporary bruising or shock of the nerves. It resolves on its own, even if it is temporarily inconvenient.
It has now been over six months since I had the surgery, and I couldn’t be happier about the results. The chin implant is extremely subtle, and I don’t look visibly different from the front. But my profile is dramatically improved. The double chin and weak jawline that has been bothering me and progressively growing worse looks better than it did even when I was a teenager. The swelling has long since gone away, and the scar is a faint white line under my chin that is practically invisible. Best of all, chin liposuction gives permanent results: as long as I don’t gain a lot of weight and put new fat deposits there, my double chin will not return. Overall, I am very pleased that I decided to get the surgery.
In the hands of an experienced plastic surgeon, such a procedure is routine and low-risk, but the results are incredible. If you feel like there’s an area you’d like to improve, please contact us to schedule your own consultation.