I am SO excited to FINALLY be doing this after...
I am SO excited to FINALLY be doing this after about half my life being unhappy with my chin / neck / jawline and lower face area.
I went for a consultation with Cosmos Clinic on the Gold Coast at the end of August and booked in for 5 October. I am a bit apprehensive as the procedure does seem to be just a little more invasive than I thought. One hour duration, twilight sedation, a sedative pill beforehand a drip...but mostly I am really positive and looking forward to having it done.
I'm actually also looking forward to wearing my compression garment. I know, I know...those who've worn one are probably yelling at the computer screen / phone saying "FOOL! Just you wait!" lol. I am supposed to wear it full time for the first three days and after that for three weeks just at night (12 hours a day), but I work from home so can wear it a lot more than that, and the doctor said the more I can wear it, the better.
I want to try and get some arnica to start taking 1-2 weeks beforehand, but I have issues swallowing tablets so it would need to be a liquid, or possibly a cream, if that helps. I've also bought some Bio-Oil for massaging once I can start doing that later.
I'm a tiny bit worried about lumps and bumps and unevenness also. I had Lipo-dissolve last year and it was SO BAD. Immensely swollen and lumpy for MONTHS. Then it resulted in no noticeable difference anyway. Now I'm finally doing the real thing.
Stay tuned for an update.
One week to go!
I started my arnica tablets today and they do NOT dissolve!! I had the two little pills in my mouth for 10 MINUTES and they had not shrunk at all, so I ended up having to chew them! They also had no taste whatsoever.
I am getting very excited! I'm also stocking up on pineapple juice, chicken soup and a big comfy cushion for resting propped up.
Oh my god, I can't believe it's actually going to happen tomorrow. I've been taking my arnica, multi-vitamins and eating lots of protein and veggies.
I've got a big cushion to prop me up on the couch and in bed. I've also got a soft gel ice pack ready, and soft foods in case it's hard to chew, like chicken soup, protein smoothies and yogurt.
I can't wear any nail polish (on fingers or toes), makeup or earrings for the procedure. Comfortable, loose and warm clothing. Clean, dry hair up in a ponytail.
No food or water 6 hours prior, which isn't so bad since my procedure is early, at 8.30am.
I'm a little nervous, but mostly excited. i have no night-before relaxant to take, as I can't easily swallow tablets and simply don't feel overly anxious about it anyway.
I'm more apprehensive about the post-procedure 2 hour recovery time. 2 hours, just sitting around, bored and uncomfortable!? Blegh!
I'll be back!
I am quite tired and a little vague and slightly nauseous, so I'll write in more detail tomorrow, and also upload the pictures.
My nifty chin garment isn't too bad, but my lower neck is quite tender. Gravity is causing the swelling to occur down there. I also look like a chipmunk from having my jowls done. lol. There seems to be LOTS of swelling under the garment.
I will report back tomorrow.
I am SO happy already!!!
8 Oct 2015
Day of treatment
So I feel MUCH better today. Not that I felt terrible yesterday, but I was a bit nauseous for a while and then really tired and wiped out. I didn't expect that, but it's all good. It hurt quite a bit to eat and chew (right under / along my jaw and lower down on the neck) as well as swallow and talk and smile, etc. Before I went to bed, I took one Panadol rapid dissolvable (no Aspirin or Ibuprofen allowed) and slept pretty well. I did try to sleep propped up on my newly purchased large pillow, and I accomplished this for some of the night, but for someone who has always slept on one very low pillow, it was a bit awkward and uncomfortable to try and sleep on much higher cushions.
I have no pain when swallowing now and only a bit of pain when chewing. I can open my mouth wider (brushing my teeth was a bit difficult last night) and talking is good.
I noticed no weeping at the incision sites at all overnight, and just a tiny bit yesterday after I got home. There was quite a lot while in recovery at the clinic yesterday, so I hope that was enough to get the residual fluid out.
This morning I had a shower and washed my hair, and obviously removed my compression garment for the first time. I did not feel faint at all. I'd read that you should not do this alone in case you faint, but nope. Felt fine. I took it off gradually, unvelcro-ing each of the three separate sections individually and waiting 30 seconds to get used to the sensation.
Lots of swelling, but WOW, already I am SO happy with the results! I think I will be thrilled once everything settles down!
Washing my hair felt really good. I was careful with the incision sites, but wow, they are really small and already hardly noticeable!
The compression garment has left major indentations in my neck and there was a white band around the neck surrounded by dark pink lines, so I suspect it may have been a bit tight. Or maybe that's how it's supposed to be.
There is bruising very noticeable on each side of my mouth, but that's ok. I kind of expected that, as I had not just the under-chin and neck, and jawline, but just above the jaw on my jowls and lower face beside my mouth, which has always been "fatty".
My garment is back on again now. I've painted my toenails and put a tiny bit of eye makeup on, to feel a bit human. And yeah, I'm feeling good!!!!!
Actual procedure details and more photos
8 Oct 2015
Day of treatment
So I was LATE to the clinic for my procedure, which was SO annoying and stressful. Traffic is ridiculous right now for some reason and I don't drive, so I didn't realize this would happen. Oh well. I got there 10 minutes late and Dr Kim was ready for me, so I signed the relevant forms, took some "before" photos, and I was drawn on with black marker to see where to remove the fat from. Dr Kim was very thorough during this, which I was pleased about.
I took a mild sedative tablet (which I don't feel really did anything), took off my shoes and my hoodie top I'd worn (over a loose tank top and sweat pants), left my bag in the recovery room for later, and went into the procedure room.
There was a nice nurse in the room along with Dr Kim, and I lay on the table and had my IV drip put in my arm. It hurt a little (sort of like a prolonged bee sting). I was nervous about the twilight / conscious sedation as I'd never experienced it before, but it was really mild. I felt a little hazy within seconds and my eyes were a bit blurry but not too much. I felt relaxed and was no longer nervous about what was to come.
A light cotton mini towel was draped over my eyes and nose to protect against anything falling on top of me there, and this was also calming and I just closed my eyes and let whatever happened, happened.
First the local anesthetic was injected under my chin and beside both ears. This was the only part of the entire procedure that was a bit painful, but it really wasn't very bad.
After this, I think the incisions were made for the cannula to remove the fat shortly thereafter. This did not hurt and I felt a bit of pressure. The fat suckage was again not painful at all and also not rough or forceful, but it did make a REALLY high pitched sound right in my ears which was a little unpleasant, but I didn't really care.
I was aware of the canulla moving around to different areas, and I was pleased that all the areas I wanted the fat removed seemed to be being attended to.
After this, the laser was inserted and this made a slightly odd sound occasionally, almost like a crackling. Again, no pain. I wasn't sure if this wasn't the fat removal happening again, but I think it must have been the laser as afterwards, I was done.
My compression garment was fitted, and I recall trying to be aware of how they did it so I could replicate it later, but I vagued out and don't remember much. It just suddenly seemed to be on.
I then sat up (feeling fine, not dizzy or sick) and Dr Kim showed me a lovely dish of all the sucked out fat and blood. Yummy. lol.
Then the nurse walked me to the recovery room and I lay down and put a blanket over me as I was a little cold. She got me some apple juice, water and a plate of assorted biscuits. I ate four of them and drank both the juice and the water. Feeling good.
I took some photos on my phone. I had an IV drip of fluid in and once that was finished, and once I had peed ok and was able to walk around feeling fine, I was allowed to go home. YAY! I was finding it SO hard to speak, which was a bit unnerving. I was worried that my mouth nerves may have been ruined, but no, it was just the numbness. Within a few hours I was able to talk normally again. I was given anti nausea pills to dissolve under the tongue is needed, and I had had antiobiotics in my IV (I have trouble swallowing pills).
I got a taxi home and started feeling just a little nauseous when we were almost there (it's only a 10 minute drive thankfully, in traffic) and then felt quite nauseous so just lay on the couch quietly for a few hours, surrounded by my two cat sons who were my "nurses".
I didn't need to take any of the anti-nausea pills thankfully and after a few hours, I felt ok and had something to eat. A light late lunch of leftover tuna casserole and a yogurt. Yum. Lots of water too, as I was told to drink.
I was so sleepy and spent most of the afternoon just laying around sleeping or half dozing with my cats.
Later when my partner came home, I realized it hurt to talk quite a lot and whenever I laughed, I did so without any expression on my face or "mouth involvement" as it was too sore. I had a good and easy dinner of chicken and corn soup.
Later I had my snack (I must ALWAYS have a night time snack!) of soft cereal and yogurt. I was slow to eat as even trying to fit a small spoon in my mouth was tough. Very hard to open wide.
I went to bed around 11pm and took a Panadol to help me sleep, although when I wasn't eating or talking, the pain was not bad.
This is really quite an "easy" procedure, though it is way more invasive and involved than the other things I'd had done like fillers and such.
I'll be back with another update tomorrow, which will be Day 3.
Day 3, feeling good
Today is probably the first day I felt pretty much normal and not vaguely sick and very tired since the procedure.
Today is also the first day I had my garment off for most of the day, and it felt SO good!
It definitely hurts much less to eat, chew, open my mouth and make various facial expressions now.
The bruising is more noticeable today around my mouth and the whole area affected is SO tender. It feels bizarre to touch underneath my chin and down my neck. Very, very soft skin and painful but still numb.
I am not enjoying sleeping with the garment on AT ALL. For some reason i find it a bit hard to breathe and it is not comfortable enough to sleep soundly.
I love seeing my new profile! I can't believe it looks so good already!
Photo...more to come
I'll add more photos later. My phone is not behaving right now.
Day 5 and swollen and bruised!
I wasn't 100% sure that I'd be like most people who get the worst swelling and bruising around days 4-6, but yep. I am. lol.
Feeling good though. Not much pain except when I massage the area. Some parts are HIGHLY sensitive and yet still very numb.
I'm getting curious looks in the street now, because of the bruising. lol. I STILL think I look better than I did before though!
Many photos attached from the past few days when my phone refused to let me upload them.
Yet more photos. The bruising is mostly yellow now and goes all down to the base of my neck. I can't feel any hard lumps as yet and instead, there seems to be a lot of soft pillowy stuff going on.
I HATE MY GARMENT MORE AND MORE EACH DAY! lol
Day 8 - a whole week has gone by
Today I went for my check up and lymphatic massage. The nurse was so lovely and the machine (this little vacuum head type massage machine) felt good and was only painful along the jawline on each side (where I'd noticed a hard ball of fat / scar tissue had formed in the past day or so, which I know is normal).
Then she did a manual massage which felt REALLY good. I go back each week for three weeks for these massages. She said I am healing SO well and look the best she's seen for someone only a week out from the procedure. YAY!!!
Bruising beside my mouth is dramatically decreased (I've been using Hirudoid cream three times a day) and the yellow bruising all over my neck and jawline is also less bright. The swelling seems to have lessened a little today too, though the right side is worse than the left.
I feel like even having that massage has made the swelling go down a bit already.
Almost 2 weeks
Just some more piccies for ya.
I'm feeling better in terms of not feeling like there are teeny tiny bugs crawling under my skin each morning at first when I take off my garment. I think it's looking more like it did on day 1 in terms of the swelling, at least under the chin and jawline.
The jowls are still quite hard and bulbous, but it's not noticeable. It actually looks almost exactly like it did before I had the procedure, so that's ok! lol. I know it'll be much improved as time goes on.
I go back for my second massage in 4 days and I'm looking forward to it. It hurts a little but it feels SO good at the same time.
I'm using bio-oil religiously 3 times a day also, massaging my lower face, chin and neck, including on the incision points too now. The scabs all fell off by themselves over the weekend. The chin one fell off first and was quite large. It has since scabbed again but much smaller. The 2 ear incision scabs fell off and will not return. You can hardly even see them, YAY!!!!!
Ow! My second massage was bad!
I quite enjoyed my first massage but the second one, a week later, was SO painful and vigorous!
It was a different nurse and although very nice, I did not enjoy the massage techique.
The vacuum suction head pushed hard into my tender neck, jaw and lower cheeks, over and over. Ow, ow, OW! It even sucked at my UPPER cheeks, where my precious dermal fillers are!!! (as far as I can tell, they're still intact).
Afterwards, my whole cheek, chin and neck area was bright red. My jowl area specifically had ruptured capillaries on both sides, but mostly the left.
Under my jaw was very, very tender and the next morning my whole neck was stiff, tight, hard to stretch, tender, still just as firm and lumpy as before, and those capillaries now looked like bruises. Bruises! Again! I had moved on from that healing stage, dammit!
I'm using the Hirudoid cream again and continuing my Bio-Oil home massages. I now have firm lumpiness under each side of my jaw / neck, as well as lumpiness in the areas beside my mouth.
I'm a bit worried about two areas - one, just below the lumpy area beside my mouth still appears to be jowls. Firm and bouncy skin that kind of juts out and disrupts my otherwise smooth jawline. I'm worried that somehow this particular area of fat was not removed.
Two, the area right under my chin, in the middle, is quite soft and pillowy. On either side of this is, by contrast, very taught, tight and sort of puckered and lumpy. Why would the middle not be the same? Again, I'm worried the fat there was not removed somehow.
Is it ever possible that when they draw on you and then you lay down that the fat moves to other areas, so they don't remove it from the applicable area?
When I lay down, my jowls disappear and my under-chin may fall to each side. What if there was removal from the middle as per the drawing, but at the time, not much fat was sucked because it was no longer there, but rather, in the sides. Now I'm confusing myself! lol
More pics in a few days.
3 weeks now
I had my last lymphatic / vacuum massage yesterday, yay! Much better than the previous one. Still a bit painful, still left me a bit bruised and swollen but it felt much better.
Some more photos for you. I am wearing my compression garment for about 10 hours a day (I had stopped wearing it entirely about a week ago because I was just SO over it, but now I find it feels better if I wear it) and I think it helps with the more longer term swelling.
Just some more pics I forgot to upload before...still 3 weeks
There are two areas bothering me in terms of the swelling and hardness, which are my left side beside my mouth, which feels like a ripple of lump under the skin. There is a bruise on that too after the massage.
The other area is on the right side just under my jawline where a jowl used to run from my lower face down into my neck. I HOPE this goes away as it is currently disrupting the smooth line of my jaw on that side.
Now almost 5 weeks
So, nothing much to report, except those two areas troubling me remain completely unchanged.
I have a follow up with the doctor in 5 days so I will have him look at them and give me his advice.
I may be paranoid, but it SEEMS like there is more "fat" (?) or swelling or just tissue there than there was even last week. It doesn't feel like swelling. But is it fat? It seems that week 1 was the best, apart from the bruising and lower face swelling. Week 2 was also very good. Week 3 wasn't so good in terms of how trim my chin / neck looked, and week 4 seems about the same, but perhaps even LESS trim.
There also seems to be a very tight and a bit tender area right under my chin and going down to my neck, but then midway down my neck it seems to get fatty or tissue-y and it looks as if the neck itself is swollen now, starting halfway down. But it doesn't feel swollen in the slightest down that far. Maybe my entire NECK was fat and that far down didn't have anything removed. :(
It does all feel and look more "contained" and firm and neat and less fatty after wearing my compression garment for several hours. What does that mean? Do I have to wear it for the rest of my life cause if I don't, the fat re-appears? lol