Swollen, Hard, Tender Under Chin 8 Days After Smartlipo Normal?

I had my smartlipo on chin only, 8 days ago. It is now swollen, hard, painful to the touch, and tight. It feels slightly better when I wear compression, but I'm not sure I should wear it this far out after surgery. I started taking Arnica Montana 2 days prior to surgery & continue to take it, with Vitamin C, lots of water, & light exercise, but the area is larger than before the surgery. Is this normal? What else do I need to do, and be looking out for in case I am having a bad reaction?

Doctor Answers (4)

What to Expect after Chink/Upper Nec Liposuction

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Swelling following Chin  Liposuction can vary early on whether Smart Lipo or traditional liposuction techniques. What you describe is probably a normal response to surgery.


There are many predictable portions of the healing process that ALL PATIENTS EXPERIENCE after liposuction. Temporary areas of firmness (lumps) can be seen early on but usually resolve on their own. Although both doctor and patients would like to not have this happen, it is part of the healing process. These Side effects refer to what you will be experiencing from the healing process: Here are some of the common things you will experience. The common side effects include: swelling which is maximum 2-3 days later, bruising (highly variable), numbness which takes several months to resolve,  tightness takes several days to months to resolve, discomfort (generally mild with this surgery, nausea (variable) and in some patients emotional lability in some. Although most of the visible edema resolves in 2-3 weeks in mini-lifts and 3-4 weeks in traditional facelift approaches, residual firmness (edema you feel but don’t see) can linger for several months. Skin suppleness also takes a while to return as does scar maturation. I tell my patients it takes up to a year for final resolution of the healing process. A chin strap often hastens recovery after neck/submental chin liposuction. In my experience, the above rough time table is usually delayed in smokers, when multiple procedures are performed together and when resurfacing procedures are done at the same time as the lift. The same is true if complications occur such as infection, hematoma, skin loss or compromise, etc


Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Swelling after Smartlipo

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Hi Katie Q,

For you to have some swelling, mild tenderness, and even firmness is not unusual about 7 to 10 days after this procedure.  HOWEVER,  hard and painful is concerning.  See you surgeon this week and have it looked at.  You may need a little steroid injection if not some by mouth.    Sounds like you're doing everything you need to do.  Have your doctor look at it.

Best of luck

Chase Lay, MD

Chase Lay, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

This does not sound normal.

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I would recommend an immediate assessment by your surgeon.  It is possible you are describing an early infection that needs immediate medical attention.  I would conduct yourself accordingly.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Los Angeles Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Swollen & Tender Chin afer Smart Lipo

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Some swelling and discomfort is common after liposuction but what you are describing seems more serious. Notify you doctor right away to make sure you don't have an infection.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.