I have been wanting to have neck lipo for over a...
I have been wanting to have neck lipo for over a year now. Ever since I saw a YouTube video on the proceedure and thought, "Heck yes!!!" My whole family of origin has "the neck". And all 3 of my grown adult children got it too. Although, thankfully, theirs isn't as bad. After realizing there was a proceedure out there that could help that wasn't so major as a face lift I started reading all that I could about it. I found Realself and have been reading it everyday pretty much. I went for a consultation last September and even set a date but then got scared and cancelled. I got scared because some people were saying that they had permanent lumps, etc. Yet, the more I read the more I heard that the majority were super happy. And, every time I looked at my neck I hated it. I keep my hair long so I can hide my neck. I finally decided to just do it. My hope is to be able to cut my long hair and have a style more suitable to my age. But my hanging neck has always stopped me from doing it. So, I booked the surgery and just did it yesterday!!!! I had two consults with two different doctors and went with the first one, Dr Sheena Kong in San Fransisco. Mainly because I felt comfortable with her, she was out of town [important because I didn't want anyone knowing I was doing this] and she was a woman. The other consult was with a male doctor in my hometown. I deciced I didn't want to do that. Also, he was a thousand dollars more than Dr Kong and said he wouldn't do the jowl area, just the neck. Hmmm. I had researched jowl liposuction thoroughly and even though some said that it was risky, most said it produced very good results. I think he didn't want to do it because he had one bad review of a patient who said their jowls looked worse after using him [that review was on Yelp not Realself] So I went with Dr Kong. She was very professional and nice. Her office staff was super nice too. The proceedure went off without a hitch. Medicine goes a long way with me so the anti-anxiety meds and the vicodin worked perfectly. I was given an anti-nausea pill too because I told the doctor that I usually throw up on pain medication. I pretty much slept through the entire proceedure. I went alone and set myself up in a hotel nearby so that afterwards all they had to do was put me in a cab. I slept like a baby from 6pm until 8am the next day! Then, after seeing Dr Kong for her next day follow-up appointment I drove myself home. I wasn't in any pain at all!!!! That surprised me!!! I am bruised and swollen with bumpiness but that was to be expected. I AM SOOOO HAPPY!!!!!!!!!! Even with the bumps and bruising it is already like night and day!!!! Yay!!!! Even if these bumps don't go fully away I can live with it. I can't wait for it to keep improving and then..., ta da-to get my hair cut with an age-appropriate hairstyle!!!!!! There were some hidden costs besides the amount stated above. The things weren't covered in the $2850 was the compression garment [$70] and the prescription medications [approximately $80] and the over the counter herbs and immune boosting items suggested such as arnica, coQ-10, alpha-lipoic acid, etc. All that added in with the cost of the hotel room, gas, cab rides, and such was about $3200. In my opinion this neck result is worth it!!! I will be posting again with more pictures as I 'tighten' up. I go in for another follow up in a couple of weeks.
Day 4-when can I start to massage these folds?
So I cannot believe how much better my profile is from before!!! However, I'm not liking these 'folds' of skin under the chin. I know I'm still pretty swollen, especially in the jowl area. I knew that my age wouldn't be ideal [skin elasticity wise] but I also knew that it would be better than doing nothing and continuing to hate my profile. I'm glad I did this. One reviewer said to get Bio-oil and so I will. I started putting arnica gel on today. The doctor didn't want me to do anything but put Bacitracin ointment on it or a few days. I haven't bruised up much at all. I'm not a bruiser anyway and have been taking arnica 30C to help. The area is stiff but not painful. I haven't needed any pain medication at all. The second day I took one fourth of a [generic] vicodin but really, I don't think I even needed it-I had just been worried about waking up in the night in pain. It just made me feel a teensy bit nauseous which isn't worth it. So, nothing since then. My adult son and his wife came over yesterday so I quickly took off the compression garment [I haven't told anyone I did this] and they didn't notice anything!! Whew! I know it's because the swelling still isn't as big and hanging as my previous neck was! Sad but true! The only thing that will draw attention is the folds of skin which don't look 'normal'. I am wearing a turtle neck until that gets better. Everyone is used to me in turtlenecks anyway because previously I've always hidden my neck in them along with my long hair. Sigh. I still can't get over my profile-no hanging neck!!! So happy!!!
Day 5 "waves" underneath chin photo
Profile happiness! But the "waves" underneath are not so great. I'm hoping they will be able to be massaged away over time. I'm still swollen of course. Numbness but no pain. Sometimes my jowls look worse-I suppose it's when they are swollen more. I look best in the morning after a good nights sleep. This is still soooo much easier than I imagined it would be. I have to speak before an audience next month so I'm hoping that the waviness improves so no one will notice it! Either that or the turtlenecks stay on a bit longer ;)
Nasolabial folds better but jowls worse
So, what I'm noticing is that my previously horrendous nasolabial folds [in my opinion] are much better after the lipo, but, even though I know the doctor sculpted my jowls away and they immediately looked better, now they have reappeared. I am thinking that it's perhaps due to the fat that was previously causing my nasolabial folds has shifted downwards-? I will go in for my post-op appointment in a couple weeks and see what she thinks. It may just be swelling, which I still have. Or, if this is the result maybe she could just do a quick touch up on those jowls and I'll be good to go.
Comparison shows jowls better than before
Well, I started gathering all of my past photos that I could find prior to my chin/neck lipo and now I have to admit that my jowls are better, even though they are still there. Just went for my follow up appointment yesterday and my Dr said that it will keep getting better over time. It's only been 3 weeks and already things are improving. I have healed up perfectly. The waves and bumps are much better. No one knows I have done anything done because I still don't have a fantastic jawline. But I do feel it's much better than before. I'm happy and glad I did it. When I still see the jowls I start feeling sort of bad but then I look at the before and after and know that it's MUCH better and I settle down.
6 month follow up
16 Oct 2015
6 months post
Well it's been a bit over 6 months and I am very happy I did this! I still get unhappy about my jowls BUT when I look at the "before" photos I know for sure that it's much much better and I am still happy. In fact I can hardly believe how bad I looked from the sides before!! No wonder I hid behind all my neck scarves! I'm still deciding if I should keep some of my scarves [I have at least 60 because I needed to wear them with all colors and in all temperatures, summer or winter] or not-but this time just for fashion reasons and not for hiding behind!
I do think that the doctor did a better job along my one jowl line that the other... I will let you guess as to which-that way I will see i others see the same thing I do. However, that being said, it's still waaaay better than it was. And, actually I unfortunately have gained like 6 pounds [plan on remedying that very soon!] so you would think that the results wouldn't have gotten better. Yet over the course of these past 6 months it has gotten tighter, as others had said it would. So for those of you thinking about this proceedure it's true-it does get better over time.
I still have sort of what I call 'wavienss' under my chin but, again, it's beter than before. I know it doens't look perfectly normal but I'm ok with that. I realize I probably needed a neck lift instead of just lipo but that wouldn't of been do-able for me either cost wise or 'don't-want-anyone-to-know' wise. And to validate the other doctor who I consulted with, he was right on that-I would have benifited more from a neck lift which would have addressed the jowls better. I did what was best for me at the time.
I do think I might look into having lipo along my jowls in the future. I saw one woman who had an entire neck life yet still went back in to have the doctor clean up along her jowls-and hers weren't nearly as pronounced as mine still are. But they bothered her and so the doctor did it. I don't know if they would still charge the full price for a tiny clean up. Hmm. Or, I should just be happy that it's completely changed for me and call it good :)