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V-Line Surgery and my V-Line Reconstruction Surgery


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This is going to be quite a long post. But for those who choose to stick around to the very end, I hope my experience will be helpful or serve as a cautionary tale to you in your own surgical journey.

I'm an Asian female in my 20s. I'm actually of Korean background but I am what they call a "gyopo", which refers to a Korean person who resides outside of South Korea. Even though I grew outside of Korea, thanks to my parents and the internet, I've always gravitated towards the Korean standards of beauty.

My biggest insecurity regarding my appearance was the size and shape of my face. Compared to my friends, whether they were Asian or other races, my face was quite wide and round. When looking at the Korean standards of beauty, in no way was I even close to having a nice or ideal face shape. I hated taking photos I couldn't control because I just felt so ugly when I would look back at the photo. My head always seemed so round and big and fat compared to my friends. It also didn't help that my mom would joke about how my face was like a dinner plate or a satellite dish because I took more after my dad than I did her.

Just to note, she never did it to purposefully verbally abuse me but I don't think she knew just how harmful those words were to my self-esteem during the time I was growing up. For Asians, I don't think it's any surprise that family members make jokes or pick out your flaws. Rather than learning to love myself, facial contouring was just something that eventually became a "necessity" in my life.

In early January 2017, I actually flew back to my home country to get facial contouring surgery. I got all three done - jaw shaving, a chin narrowing genioplasty, and my zygoma/cheekbone reduction. This next part might shock some of you but... I didn't tell anyone. I didn't tell my mom or dad, who are against such major surgeries as there are grand risks and grand price tags. I didn't tell my extended family in Korea, and I booked a guesthouse in Seoul but claimed to be travelling around the country so I couldn't see them. I didn't tell any close friends that I was going through this major surgery. I was completely alone on this ride.

I knew my family wouldn't approve and I just didn't know how to adequately express to any close friends about justifying this major surgery. I just worked hard to earn money and in January 2017, I got facial contouring surgery at a hospital I trusted and found many reviews for on this forum.

I won't openly write the name of the clinic here that did my facial contouring surgery as I'm afraid that they may come after me. I'm not sure if I would be breaking any rules or contracts as the surgery was done 2 years ago. But this clinic is one that frequently is mentioned here and has good reviews and seems to have quite a good standing with even locals in Korea.

However, I was not happy with the results of the surgery. My cheekbones were reduced too much so I look tired and droopy due to the loss of volume at my relatively young age. My jawbones were cut too high and my chin was over-narrowed so that it is pointier than I would like.

My facial contouring surgeon was very nice and I don't have any nerve damage whatsoever. Actually, looking at post-op X-rays from way after the surgery, the bone cuts were done evenly and my cheekbones fused with the rest of my skull as they should have. But the results of the surgery, I just really hated.

I don't blame my surgeon but myself. I admit, that at the time that I consulted with this clinic, I was in such an emotional state and in such a hurry to finally get rid of my facial structure insecurities. I didn't completely grasp how big of a surgery this actually was. I just wanted it done and over with and I feel like, thinking back on it now, I failed to communicate what kind of results I was actually hoping for. I had minimal photos and because my self-esteem was so low, I put all my trust into my surgeon.

(to be continued)
 
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When I went back to my country, my mom noticed I was swollen but I brushed it off. She noticed that my chin was pointier instead of its usual flat/squarish shape but I brushed it off. I think she knows deep down that I got work done to my face but she hasn't been able to confront me about it. My face doesn't look deformed or extremely unnatural, but it is just not what I was expecting as the result.

I have cried a lot in the time since my surgery until now. I was unhappy with myself and my choices. I was frustrated at not being able to communicate what I wanted and I was angry at myself for wanting the surgery in the first place. I could have used that money for other things I really wanted in life, like travelling. But what was done, was done.

I've spent the last two years researching about reconstructing my facial structure. Sometimes I do tear up at the thought of having changed my face shape so drastically (in my mind) because I would rather have my big fat round face than this unwanted result. But like I said before, what has been done has been done and it's not like I can just rewind time back to pre-surgery.

(to be continued)
 
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I'm writing all this and feeling very emotional about it because I'm literally booked for surgery next month to reconstruct my jawline and my chin. I will be getting custom implants to add some volume back to the lower part of my face. I won't be reconstructing my jawline and chin to exactly how it was prior to surgery, but the fun thing about custom implants is that you can customize it to however shape and volume you want.

I'm actually absolutely PETRIFIED of the idea of having to live with a foreign body inside of my face. More so, it is the idea that the implants could get infected. Which in that case, I would have to pluck out the implant and I would be back to where I am now.

But I trust my doctor. I'm more confident and expressive about what it is that I want my face shape to be because this time I want to get it done right.

I wanted to get my cheekbones reconstructed with implants as well but money and time off is a problem. My surgeon also said that looking at my CT scans, it is possible to either use an implant to add back volume or to use the existing bone by cutting it and extending it back out. It seems the physical bone is long enough to be able to build the cheekbones back out, but then my fears would lie in whether the bone would fuse with the bone appropriately a second time and the shape (as it is not as certain as implants.)

(to be continued)
 
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I'm scared. I'm very very very scared. Words can not describe. But I am also excited.

As long as there are no post op infections from the insertion of my jaw and chin implants, I think I will be much happier than I am now. My face may not be the exceptional breath taking egg shaped face that Koreans love, and during these two years, I've learned to accept that my skin, tissues, fat, muscle would never be able to hold up on such a small tiny skull outline. My face will be bigger after my implants, and I've learned to accept that. My chin won't be pointy and slim as hell, and I've learned to accept that.

I am just excited to build out some volume and to get a face shape that suits my features and not the cookie cutter Korean and Asian standards of beauty.

(to be continued)
 
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Why am I writing all this?

I wanted to share my journey with you all.
But more so, I wanted to use my experience as a somewhat cautionary tale to those who are thinking of a major surgery like facial contouring. My mindset when I was in my 20s getting my jaw and cheeks shaved was that, the younger I do the surgery the more time I will have looking and feeling beautiful.

This was probably my biggest regret. I wish maybe I waited until I was mid 20s to outgrow the recent teenage mindset and to see whether I still wanted the surgeries or not.

I hope people who are thinking of getting facial contouring surgery can really think through about what it is they want. What kind of results do you want? Are you willing to accept that additional surgeries may have to be done to fix any problems that arise?

I don't want people rushing into surgery like I did.

My surgeon was very experienced and worked at a great clinic with a great reputation. But facial contouring surgery is not as easy and accurate as you think. They are literally working on the shape of your face from the limited incision within your mouth. They can't see the whole bone. They have to roughly estimate using their skills and knowledge and experience, and even if the surgeon and clinic reputation is good, it still is never guaranteed.

(to be continued)
 
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Never feel pressured by a surgeon or clinic to undergo surgery. Never rush into a surgery you think you desperately want or "need."

If I could turn back time, I would. But I can't. And as I sit in my room, waiting for my surgery in roughly a week's time, I'm just grateful by the fact we even have technology good enough to be able to reconstruct jawlines and create custom implants. I hope it all goes well. I hope I never have to undergo another surgery on my jaw and chin again.

Thank you for reading about my experience.

I hope you guys rethink about your decisions and reasons behind undergoing a massive surgery like facial contouring. You only have one face and you don't want to mess it up.

Thanks again and wish me luck !!
 
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To individuals who are still thinking of going through facial contouring surgeries, I won't stop you. There are lots of cases where facial contouring surgeries go well and many patients are happy. I've seen many patients happy with their results from my own clinic.

But please stand your ground and know what you truly expect and want. Be realistic. Bring a tonne of photos of faces you like and don't like because a picture speaks 1000 words.

Also I would like to use this analogy as I feel it makes things easier to understand. But image your natural bone structure is a person's body and your skin, muscle, fat, tissue is an XL t-shirt. If a person loses weight to a size XS, the XL t-shirt covering the body doesn't shrink with it. As I am young, I didn't get much observable sagging apart from a slight double chin effect when I look downwards. For older individuals, you could get a facelift to make the "t-shirt" smaller or you can "add weight" so that the underlying structure is now a size M or an L.

It's the best way I could describe and I hope people understand what I am trying to say.
In short, it is best to be conservative especially when it comes to your bone structure. Doctors are not magicians.
 
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Thanks for sharing, I wish you a successful surgery.
I'm planning on get my Zygoma reduction since mine are so protruding, I just want them to be lower. Could I possuibl PM you on Kakao to ask about the clinic that you went.
Thank you.
 
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I just wanted to start off by thanking everyone who has shown support for me in my surgical journey. I really appreciate the kind words as it really helps to not feel alone in all of this.

I have my last pre-surgery consultation in a couple days before my surgery next week. I'm absolutely nervous as hell but also really looking forward to it. We will be going through my expectations and aesthetic goals, and the details of the surgery itself. One thing I really appreciated was that at the start of my reconstruction journey with my surgeon, he asked me to collect as many photos of jaws and frontal jaw photos that I liked as I could. He wouldn't be able to guarantee it as there is no formula for 'adding more implant volume here gives xyz face shape' but he could use these as a reference for what I initially wanted to achieve with my facial contouring surgery.

I'm absolutely petrified of getting an infection. My surgeon mentioned that infections are very rare but they do happen and it's a tiny risk I have to take. I would be devastated if I had to take the implant out but I would rather deal with that than my current state now... Anyway, thank you again for all the support. I will keep updating for those who are interested in my plastic surgery journey!
 
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I really hope all goes well with you truly.

''I've learned to accept that my skin, tissues, fat, muscle would never be able to hold up on such a small tiny skull outline.'' This spoke volumes to me because I've also always wanted a very small framed face but it is just not possible with the rest of my anatomy.
 
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Thank you for reading about my experience.
I can relate to your feelings and I would caution anyone who is looking for a very dramatic change or a very dolly look to really rethink about their decision. There are just some things our bodies and surgeons can and cannot do without some sort of tradeoff.
 
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I haven't done the reconstructive surgery yet but the surgery date has been booked.
I will share my surgeon's name a couple weeks after my surgery just to make sure there are no complications before I let people know who my surgeon is.
 
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Thank you so much for sharing your journey! I can relate so much to it. I wish I had read this post 4 months ago when I went to have surgery for facial contouring. I am now living in regrets and wish I can have my old face back too as the new smaller shape simply doesn't suit me. I also have sagging and loose skin. May I ask you where you're getting your custom implants and reconstructive surgery? I am researching on reconstructive surgery as well...
 
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