What is Chin Lipo Recovery Really Like? One Patient SharesApril 2, 2021
Chin liposuction — also called submental liposuction or “chin lipo” — is a minimally-invasive surgical technique that suctions excess fat from the chin, neck, and jawline (the cause of a double chin). It is one of the many minimally-invasive procedures we offer safely here at our office under local anesthesia. Check out a first-person perspective on the recovery process after chin liposuction with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Michelle Sieffert.
Chin lipo, from a patient’s perspective
If you suffer from excessive chin fat, you know the struggle. Before my procedure, my double chin was always my biggest insecurity for as long as I could remember. I was so self-conscious about my profile that I unintentionally developed a years-long habit of jutting out my lower jaw to look like I had more of a chin than I actually did. Not only was this physically tiring, but when I looked at myself, my chin was the only thing I could see.
Last December, I decided to make the most of my time off from the pandemic & the holiday season and scheduled myself to receive submental liposuction with Renuvion Skin Tightening (also known as J Plasma) underneath my chin. Dr. Sieffert, my surgeon, specifically recommended lipo with Renuvion for me, which is a new technology to Donaldson Plastic Surgery that essentially tightens up the skin after liposuction. Dr. Sieffert expected I would get great results, so I was totally on-board with her recommendations, and excited to see my end result!
The Day of Surgery
On the morning of my procedure, I arrived at the Donaldson Plastic Surgery office early to get my bearings and mentally prep. They have underground parking garage below their office, so it was really private and convenient to take the elevator from where I parked my car right up to their space. Luckily, my S.O. was there with me to support me and drive me to and from the surgery. We sat in reception together, both a little nervous and excited, until it was time.
The minute I saw Dr. Sieffert, all of my nerves disappeared. She explained to me exactly what we would be doing that day, what I was going to experience, how it was going to feel, everything. Then, it was time to get started.
Now, I have to be honest. Experiencing surgery while you are awake is… weird. The actual liposuction tube (cannula) is a little strange — you can hear the sound of suction close to your ears, and you do feel the rod thrusting back and forth. But the team of Donaldson Plastic Surgery was there with me the whole time, holding my hand and letting me know that I was doing perfectly. I knew that the end result was going to be worth any discomfort I had in the moment, which, strangely, kept me feeling really calm. Dr. Sieffert was WONDERFUL and made sure I was comfortable throughout the procedure. All in all, it lasted around one hour.
It’s definitely worth mentioning that, unfamiliar sensations aside, I personally did not experience any pain at all. I was completely numbed beforehand, and had preemptively taken medication for pain and anxiety, so I felt literally no fear the entire time I was in there. It honestly felt safer in their procedure room than being at the dentist.
Recommendations for a quick liposuction recovery
1. Prepare your recovery environment
I brought my significant other with me, who was prepared to drive and help me that day. I also did all of my paperwork before so I didn’t have to worry about it, and I had the couch set up with everything I needed around me for when I got home (water, laptop, charger, snacks, blanket, OTC meds, heating pad, neck pillow, etc.).
2. Discuss pain management ahead of time.
Dr. Sieffert sent in two prescriptions to my pharmacy for me to take before my procedure. I would highly recommend having a conversation with Dr. Sieffert about what medications she would recommend for you, whether it be for relaxation or pain, and that you are both clear on the plan.
3. Take the time off.
Take 3 to 5 days off of work if you can. While I did feel good for most of my recovery, and felt like I could have worked from home, I was glad that I didn’t plan to be productive during this time.
4. Don’t skimp on wearing the compression garment.
It really does help reduce the potential for swelling and makes your results better. In the first week or two, do not take it off for an extended period of time except to bathe. I would recommend wearing the compression at night for a couple of months after surgery. A really great tip I learned to make wearing the compression garment easier was to wear a soft cotton headband underneath to protect your skin and ears from become irritated under the velcro fastenings. It also helps to keep the wrap clean if it’s not sitting directly on your skin!
5. Eat plenty of protein.
This one came from Dr. Sieffert herself. You want to make sure you’re getting enough protein after your surgery so your body has what it needs to begin the healing process. It is super important to make sure you have protein-rich foods and supplements on deck.
6. Discuss your expectations with your surgeon.
I absolutely recommend talking with your surgeon ahead of time about the specific results you want, and whether or not they recommend any additional treatments to get you there. Because of my recessive chin, we also discussed the possibility of a chin implant or placing fillers in both the chin and along the jawline to better define these areas. I’m glad that we have a larger plan to go on, and I plan to receive a chin implant soon when I am ready.
After the procedure, I felt great because I was still generally pretty numb, and the pain medication I had taken before my procedure was still working. I took it easy the next couple of days after surgery. I began feeling the swelling and discomfort set in on day 2, which is when I felt my worst.
After chin liposuction, you are supposed to wear a compression sleeve around your chin to minimize any swelling that occurs 24 hours a day for at least the first week. That was more of a nuisance than anything, but I was willing to wear this compression band in order to make sure I had the best results possible. I took the weekend and 3 days off of work to fully recover before getting back into my normal day-to-day routine. I had no bruising at all, no eating restrictions, and I was able to shower the next day.
I first began to notice my results really coming in about a week after the procedure once my swelling went down — I knew then that I would LOVE my results because they get better and better over time as your skin heals and tightens. The only scarring I have is a small incision scar hidden underneath my chin and my ears where the liposuction cannula was inserted. They are really well hidden, and less than a couple of centimeters wide — the office even gave me a scar gel to use on my incisions to help them heal really nicely.
I am so grateful to Dr. Sieffert and the team at Donaldson Plastic Surgery for my chin liposuction experience. I have to admit it — I was emotional when Dr. Sieffert said we were all done. I cried when I looked in the mirror after my procedure, just from the sheer relief I felt once I realized that my insecurity was gone. It was a really powerful moment, and I am so happy I did it.
Ready to leave your double-chin behind?
Chin lipo can be combined with other skin tightening or fat reduction treatments, or even a chin implant to help define the contour of the neck. A neck lift, Renuvion, Kybella, chin and jawline fillers, and CoolSculpting are all alternative treatments for the double-chin, or can be combined with chin liposuction to define your neck and maximize your results!