I have always had excessive neck fat (all of the...
I have always had excessive neck fat (all of the women in my family have double chins and poorly defined jawlines), but after I had a baby 3 years ago, it got significantly worse. I am very slim, but you would not know it from looking at pictures of me from the shoulders up. I realized that it was only going to get worse with age, so I decided to have neck liposuction as a 40th birthday present to myself. My goal was to have a defined jawline and get rid of the prominent roll of fat under my chin.
Day of Surgery - Got to the surgery center at 7:30am. I changed into the gown and was given a robe to help me stay warm while I waited. After receiving a visit from the nurse and the anesthesiologist, the doctor came in to answer my last minute questions and to draw on my face.
I was under general anesthesia for my procedure. I felt some moderate discomfort when I first woke up and sat up, but the nurse gave me something through the IV that took the edge off.
I left the surgery center heading home around 10:30am. The ride home was a little uncomfortable due to the bumpy road. I started taking the Percocet as soon as I got home and took it every 4 hours for the first 24 hours after surgery. I had no pain or discomfort at all. I was a little tired, but was able to work for a few hours that afternoon (I am a computer programmer, so I work remotely online).
Day after surgery - Took off the bandages and got my first look at my chin/neck. I was really impressed by what I saw! It was better than I expected. It might seem like a subtle change to others, but it looks SO much better to me. I had the typical bruising and the sutured areas are starting to go numb, but still no pain. I showered with no problems. I took the Percocet every 6 hours on this day. The swelling seemed to have gone down a lot overnight. My jawline is the most swollen and bruised area.
Days 2 & 3 post-surgery - Only taking 1 Percocet every 8 hours. The whole neck area is partially numb now. The ONLY thing that hurts or causes me any discomfort is the compression pad. I wouldn't be taking any pain medicine if I didn't have to wear this thing. It is about to drive me crazy. I was given a thick piece of foam to place under my neck and a very long foam wrap to secure it in place with. I have had a great deal of trouble getting the pad positioned and getting the wrap on. The wrap goes over my ears and makes them hurt. I think I had it on too tight yesterday and got a terrible tension headache. I also had some muscle spasms in the back of my neck. I took the compression pad off for a couple of hours last night and put it back on looser and I feel better. The pad is slightly tacky and sticks to my skin. When I move, it pulls on the skin and makes it sore. I have had to take it off and re-position it several times. It takes me about 15 minutes to get the thing back on. I am not even sure I have it on correctly. I am stressing out about this because I know I need to wear the compression garment, but it is causing me a ton of trouble and pain. I have ordered a real compression garment from online because I don't think I can deal with what I have now for much longer. I tried to find one in a store, but I couldn't. Hopefully, it will get here in a few days. If you are going to have neck lipo, order a compression garment with velcro before your procedure because you do NOT want to have to go through what I'm going through now! Ugh!
I’ll update again in a few days after my follow-up.
Approx. 48 hours post-surgery
I felt SO much better after a shower. The bruising is not as bad as I had expected.
No more compression during the day!
I saw the Nurse Practitioner today. She said I was healing nicely and only need to wear a compression garment at night for a couple of weeks. I go back in 4 weeks for another checkup.
I am feeling some tingling sensations, but no pain. My neck is stiff from wearing the compression garment and it feels really good to stretch. I'm still pretty numb directly under my chin and near my ears. I'm a bit more swollen in today's pictures but I still look much better than I did before surgery.
A Bit Frustrated
Overall, the healing process is going as I expected. I stopped taking anything for pain at 8 days post-surgery. The swelling is going down, but I'm still partially numb from ear to ear. I also have a couple lumps under my neck, but I know time will take care of that.
What I didn't expect was how limited my range of motion would be. I am doing gentle stretches regularly, but I have less than a 30 deg. range when trying to look up. It is also very difficult to drive because I can't turn my head very far to the left or right. The person who was helping me after surgery has left town and I have a 3 year old to care for. Not being able to drive safely is a problem for me. Also, I am still MUCH more sore to the touch than I thought I would be at this point. My son is begging to hug me, but even the slightest touch almost brings me to tears. I don't want to take pain meds just for this. It does add to my frustration at this point.
I'm still happy that I had the procedure, just a little down and frustrated right now.
A Few Photos
I am still numb down the middle of my neck and still not able to raise my chin up. The soreness is better everywhere except for my jowels on both sides. The slightest pressure on those areas causes deep, shooting pains. I'm going to call the doctor tomorrow to make sure that isn't a sign of a problem. The area right under my chin is hard and I am lumpy, but it's not visually noticeable. I am still swollen some, but not nearly as much as last week.
Better, but still sore
I saw the doctor last Friday. I still have a lot of swelling and inflammation right under my chin, so the doctor said to apply heat and massage the area a few times a day. It's still really sore, so I really hate doing it. It's hard to hurt myself.
These were taken today, except for the one with my hair down, which was taken a couple of days ago. I'm still lumpy, but no one would notice if I didn't point it out. I do put a touch of makeup on the scar under my chin because it shows a little due to the swelling I still have in that area.
Final Post-op Appointment
19 Jan 2016
11 months post
It has been 11 months to the day since my surgery. Here are my before and after pictures. Though you'd never know it from looking at the pictures, I actually weigh about 5lbs more now than I did before the surgery.