Is My Swelling Extreme After Jaw Angle Implants?
Q: Dr. Eppley, I recently had chin and jaw angle implants combined with fat transfer ten days ago. I see that my lower face is much wider than expected. I realize that a lot of this is swelling and that fat transfer is overdone with the expectation that much of it will be reabsorbed. However, if there is a “window” of time that would be possible to remove the jaw implants (the chin is just fine) then I would want to be aware of that.
A: One of the very common early postoperative features of any jawline implants, including the chin, is the amount of swelling that occurs. Suffice it to say it is tremendous and doesn’t signify at all what the final outcome will be. It is actually very common that many patients in the first three weeks want to remove their implants as it just seems too big. While I am always happy to do whatever the patient wants, any judgment now is way premature and doesn’t indicate what the final results will be. As a general rule, the result of any facial implant follows the general guideline of 50% by 10 days, 75% by three weeks, 90% by six weeks and the real result (100%) by three months.
There is also the psychology of facial structural changes. Facial augmentation of natural structure is not like a facelift. In anti-aging procedures, people are psychologically comfortable with the swelling because they are just trying to go back to a place they know. (what they used to look like) Facial structural surgery is more psychologically unsettling because the person is going to a place of which they are not familiar. (a new look) This is tremendously unnerving and there is a natural tendency to want to return from when they came. If most patients can just get past this transition period (which is usually about 3 weeks, when a lot of swelling goes down) then they are usually fine and happy with their new look.
It is important to remember that the jaw angle implants are only 3mms thick, just a sliver of width really. So don’t let this temporary facial look with the swelling remotely think that the final result will look anything like what you see now. When you combine the swelling from the jaw angles with the fat grafting, it ail, temporarily look especially heavy on the lower third of the face.
Dr. Barry Eppley