I've enjoyed good looks through my life, yet with...
I've enjoyed good looks through my life, yet with one glaring flaw - the dreaded fatty chin. When I was younger, it wasn't as big of a deal because I weighed less (even though it was still there)..but now that I'm in my mid-thirties and have put on some weight - it can no longer be ignored. I have a triple threat kind of problem - fat under my chin, underdeveloped jaw/chin and hereditary lines/bands around my neck (since I was born). I don't want to do anything extreme (neck lift) nor have a foreign substance in my body (chin implant), so I figure the most conservative approach to my problem is to have chin liposuction. Looking at before and after pictures, it's amazing what a difference this surgery can make in someone's appearance. I feel like I have selected one of the top doctors in the country for this procedure and I am bubbling over with excitement to have this done!
The cost includes general anesthesia (extra $350), surgery and all other visits. I know this is usually performed under local, but why feel anything if you don't have to?!
Less than a week to go!
I've been dreaming of my new side profile... and took a couple pictures of my before and hopefully what my after might look like! I am getting a bit nervous... just the unknowns of having an invasive surgery... but overall, I am feeling really positive and excited. I have started taking bromelain, vitamin C, arnica and am going to pick up some zinc to complete my arsenal of healing supplements! Will update my review after surgery!!
Surgery is OVER!
Hi friends... so, I am 3 days out from my chin lipo! In my pre-op appointment, Dr. Repta and I decided he would dip a little lower into the neck to smooth out the transition of the deeply defined lines in my neck. There wasn't a lot of fat there, just thin skin and lines that age me quite a bit (I've had this since I was born). Because of this decision, I have a larger compression garment to wrap around my throat as well. On day 3 here today, I would say that's my biggest annoyance. I can't swallow very well and sometimes feel like I'm being choked. I saw Dr. Repta yesterday (day 2) and he removed the garment to what looked like a very promising result! It's hard to tell with the purple surgical marker lines and swelling... but I am feeling very optimistic. The swelling and bruising is mostly contained to the lower part of my cheeks/behind my ears where the compression garment doesn't reach - so it's clear that the garment is doing what it's supposed to with the skin underneath. I don't really see any bruises. I continue to take arnica, vitamin c and bromelain. The zinc was making me nauseous. Speaking of nausea, I did throw up when I got back to my hotel after surgery. I have felt nauseous off and on but have zofran to deal with that. Dr. Repta doesn't want me to take a shower all week... I honestly don't know if I can pull that off... so I am thinking a sponge bath for my body tonight and maybe I can attempt to wash my hair tomorrow without getting near my incisions. As for incisions, I have three because he needed to reach both sides of my lower neck. He hid the incisions in the natural line creases on my neck, which I thought was a great idea. I will see Dr. Repta Monday night one more time before I head back home. I can't wait to see how things progress. Still contemplating if I should wear the garments on the plane. I have been in public a couple times since and I wear big sunglasses, a hat and try not to make eye contact. Well, there was that one guy in a truck next to us that couldn't stop staring so I waved at him. Lol. It's good to be in a place where you know no-one!
Last thoughts for now... the pain was more than I expected. I have taken full advantage of vicodin the first 2 days. Haven't taken any today as the pain has gotten better... but probably will later to help me sleep. Sleeping with my head propped up is difficult. I'm a face-plant sleeper... or at least on my side. I have needed ice from time to time when I feel nauseous. The compression garment for the chin part really isn't that bad... but the neck part is pretty uncomfortable. I have very little energy and not much of an appetite. I couldn't eat a lot if I wanted to anyways.. my mouth only opens a little bit. Oh - I did feel numbness for the first day around my jawline but I think that's all gone. My teeth have been sore from being constantly clenched from the garment. I picked up orajel to numb them from time to time.
I haven't taken any pictures yet. It takes a lot of energy to do everything, so if I get to that bath in a bit, I will take some. And I will certainly be updating as the weeks pass by.
First Post-Op Pics
As I said, the purple marker muddies the overall look - but I think it's looking great! Today is Friday afternoon and I had the surgery Wednesday morning. Now that I took the compression garment off for a bit, I was able to feel the numbness under my chin and in various areas. I put some topical arnica on the puffy parts.
5 days since surgery
Healing is sllllllllow-going. I had a rough night of sleep, with my compression garment getting a bit twisted, which led to weird bulges on my neck today. Looks like its smoothed out after wearing the garment correctly today. The numbness is getting a bit less, it doesn't hurt too much to touch the more swollen areas. My whole neck looks yellow even though it never bruised darker (arnica?) I continue to put topical arnica gel on the area. The bad bruise behind my ear is getting a lot better. My jaw is really sore from the garment. Stitches out tomorrow night! I have to fly on Tuesday morning and haven't decided yet if I will wear the garment on the plane... besides, really don't want a fuss at the security check-points. !!! I take off the garment to eat and my neck is REALLY tight. It feels like I still have the garment on. I've felt like I have a low-grade fever since the surgery. Especially in the morning... I wake up feeling pretty terrible.. but as the day goes on, it improves. I didn't take any pain meds yesterday or today. I may get some tylenol but the vicodin makes my stomach upset, so I am avoiding that. Antibiotics will be done today. Had weird dreams last night - definitely with an anxiety theme to them. I'm sure my poor body is freaked out and releasing some of the anxiety in the dream state! I also took a real shower yesterday and it was fantastic :-)
9 days since surgery...
I'll be honest - I've been a bit grumpy. Travel back home was a nightmare... with delays and missed flights, etc. Not exactly the smooth transition one hopes for when they are managing their recovery process. My jaw is sore all the time from the compression garment. I get headaches sometimes, too, from the pressure pulling down on top of my head. However, I am grateful I don't have the kind of garment that pins your ears - I hear that is quite painful. I'm over the moon that I can wash my face normally now and the stitches are out. I can't believe how tiny the incisions are - Dr. Repta is a genius! The more I read about how slow this part of the body recovers, the more glum I feel. It looks really good for 9 days out and I am thankful to say this, as I know many people find this period frustrating because of the slow healing. I am definitely swollen and numb, but there hasn't been a day that I don't think it looks better than it did before, even with all the swelling/bruising/etc. The right side of my chin is a little puffier than the left and my neck takes on some deformities depending on how perfect the garment is positioned. I did lose a few pounds because I can't eat my normal fare -- my mouth only opens so wide - so that's a bonus?! I definitely feel like a weirdo when I smile or talk... I wonder how long it will take before I have that full functioning back. It is crippling my personality a little, lol. Not a bad trade off in the short term, though.
At my last appointment with Dr. Repta, he suggested I wear the compression garment as long as possible. Pretty much up to a month he suggested. That was not welcome news! I am already bummed that I am encouraged to wear the thing 24/7 for 2 weeks... now 4 weeks? Waaaah! I was originally told after 2 weeks to just wear at night, so I plan to do that... maybe even up to 6 weeks. I don't see this every day thing fitting into a normal social schedule and I really only prepared for 2 weeks to not work, see people, etc. Also, I asked about massaging the area and he said not to bother. His theory is that compression will do everything I need in getting the maximum result. It's so interesting how many varied viewpoints there are on this topic. Of course, I will follow what my doctor has suggested.
I am still re-acclimating to home, but plan to post some new photos soon when I get more settled.
Still wearing my garment the majority of the time. I have to work at some point, right? I would say that the last day or two, I turned a corner with the level of discomfort... definitely less soreness now. But, holy CRAP - my chin feels like a granite rock. It is HARD. I know it's normal, but I was very surprised once I could touch it more. So... I am still really happy with how things are progressing, looks-wise, but the right side has some "deformities"... under the chin has a bit of a bulge and the lines on my neck and defined in one area... but hard-looking. Hey - it's all still better than it was before. I am hoping it will be amazing in a few more weeks. Oh - something else I realized is I can't actually smile... it is beyond comical. I try to smile fully or sing and that hard jaw just doesn't have any give to it. I guess it's crippling my personality slightly. HAHA. I can live with it for now. And I really haven't had a ton of face to face interactions. God, it feels weird though. Gonna post some updated pics now. :-)
3 weeks out...
hi all -- things have been progressing. the first 2 weeks are truly the most brutal, but now i am down to wearing the compression garment at night and have much more flexibility in my jaw. i still can't smile correctly or say certain words without a bit of a lisp. my neck is pretty discolored... i sent some pics to my doc today to get his advice and make sure everything looks good. my left side looks great and my right side has a bit of a dent or something going on. it's been there since the beginning and i hope it smooths out. i will be starting daily massage, since my doc gave me the okay for it. the hardness under my chin has softened, as has the rest of my neck. down the middle of my neck is some lumpiness. i have been creative about the way i dress and thankful my hair is longer right now to camouflage the area a bit. i've added some pics. not wearing make-up or anything so you can see a realistic view of the results. will post more pics when i feel there has been a marked improvement!
just after the six week mark
sooooooooooo... feeling a lot better. i definitely still have some pain and tightness. massage seems to help quite a bit. it still looks a little lopsided, but i'm not complaining too much. overall - so worth it.. and i know it will keep getting better. the only thing that's really weird is i haven't gotten my smile back 100% but hopefully soon! oh - all the discoloration is gone - thankfully!!
About 3 months post
14 Nov 2014
3 months post
Just wanted to share some pics. Things have been good! Still get tightness but massage seems to help.