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My Genioplasty-The Good and the *Very* Bad

My Genioplasty-The Good and the *Very* Bad

Postby ja_visst1 » Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:03 pm

So I've been waiting a long while to post about my genioplasty experience but I figure now is as good as ever. I had the procedure done over three years ago by Dr. Nima Massoomi at San Francisco Surgical Arts in SF, CA. I had a retrusive chin that I'd been wanting to have corrected for years and after seeing several plastic surgeons and maxillofacial specialists for consults, I decided to go with Dr. Massoomi and had three in-person consultations before I actually went ahead with surgery. Finally he said, "You really have nothing to lose, and you're going to look a lot better when it's done." At this stage I was mostly worried about esthetic outcome: Was it really going to look better? Would it be too big and look worse than it already did? Or what if it ends up making no difference all? I felt reassured knowing that I could always have a revision if it wasn't esthetically to my liking, so I booked my surgery for February of 2014.

The day of the surgery came and the entire initial recovery was a lot like when I'd had my wisdom teeth extracted a decade earlier. Soft foods for a few weeks, some pain but nothing that the painkillers couldn't manage. The incision site healed up and when I went back to have a CT scan of my jaw a couple months post op, it showed my bone was healing up nicely as well. My face looked better, but the good news stops there.

Jump a few months ahead: I noticed that the numbness I'd felt in my front 4 teeth during the initial healing period wasn't going away, and there was a very tight feeling deep in the tissue under where the incision had been (if you look through my posting history you can see how this was concerning me around 8 months post op). I emailed Dr. Massoomi about this and he said to wait until the one year mark and contact him if these sensations hadn't subsided by then. Sure enough they didn't, so I emailed him and asked what I could do. He told me that that there were two options: remove the plate from my jaw, and/or get botox injections into my mentalis muscle. I decided to go for the Botox ($1200), which did nothing to help the pain. Now, this pain was not what I'd call sharp, it was more like a very tight feeling, as if something was pushing my front teeth in together, and it gets better and worse at times but I have noticed no correlations to anything such as food or activity, except that it's better when I wake up and worse at night. I even saw an orthodontist because I thought that some slight crowding in my lower teeth might be the issue; he made me a retainer to correct the one lingual tooth, but it was of no help. The pain was bothering me so much that in May of 2016 I opted to have the plate removed. This, of course, required and entire surgery with anesthesia and another incision, and set me back another $1500. After this second surgery had healed, my chin felt slightly better but certainly nowhere near 100%.

Dr. Massoomi was out of ideas so I went to see the Facial Pain Clinic at UCSF. I was put on Neurontin and Flexeril and given physical therapy, but again no relief. Finally I went to see a facial pain specialist here in San Francisco, who put me on another nerve medication (Tegretol) and recommended that I try a series of nerve blocks to my mental nerve in an effort to "confuse" the nerve signals that he believed had gone awry since my surgery. My dentist administered the nerve blocks four times over a two month period, but no luck. The higher dose of Tegretol has seemingly brought me a tiny bit of relief, and I'm still working with the facial pain specialist to see if a higher dose might be more helpful. Unless that happens, I'm going to be stuck with this unrelenting chronic pain and discomfort.

I totally understand how painful it is to feel like your body doesn't look right.
I also know that stories like mine are rather uncommon. This surgery isn't as simple as it is purported to be; they're cutting through tissue and bone, and severing thousands of nerves along the way. If I could go back in time I might have opted for an implant, but the same thing could well have happened had I done that. While I'd never tell anyone that they shouldn't get cosmetic surgery, I think it's very important to weigh the very real risks with the potential benefits. Feel free to contact me if you'd like, and I'll update this if any changes occur.
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Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:40 pm

Re: My Genioplasty-The Good and the *Very* Bad

Postby Samas » Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:35 pm

Hi there,

Sorry to hear of your predicament. How are you feeling now? Any better at all?

I share your sentiment on cosmetic surgery. My situation has parallels to yours, only mine is 10 years out and my health has progressively worsened. I believe it is due to the surgery, although the doctors do not know.

For anyone considering surgery, my advice is this:
1. If it's invasive, consider the risks and the worst case scenario. And keep in mind that 99% of plastic surgeons will oversell their service since it is their livelihood. If you aren't deformed, hold off on it. A year. Two. Whatever. Circumstances in your life may change that make you no longer want one. That's what happened to me.
2. If you still want to go for the invasive procedure, then don't be cheap. Budget in the significant extra cost of seeing at least 3 other surgeons at the top of your list, and the travel cost to wherever they are. A few thousand dollars is WELL WORTH every ounce of risk reduction. This is your life. It is fairly permanent. Don't be cheap.
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:49 pm

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