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How long before complete facelift/necklift recovery?

  • springup
  • Staten Island, NY
  • 2 years ago

I'm almost six months into recovery from facelift, necklift and lower bleph.  There are so many issues I never expected to experience.    I still have tightness around the neck and behind the ears and two swollen glands in my neck.  I wake up every day hoping to feel different but I'm aware of the discomfort all day.    My jowl line is higher than it was and I have a sort of ridge above my jaw that  sometimes seems to relax and drop but then raises up again as the tightness returns.    In low light I look worse than in sunlight .  I can see shadows and lines and hardness that actually make me look older than I did before.  I have dark stains on my cheekbones under my eyes which is taking a very long time to fade.  My scars are still visible at my hairline and I have a raised one on the corner of my eye.  My husband is not at all happy with my results, but no one else has seemed to notice a change, or maybe just haven't said anything because  I camouflage with makeup.   I was a very young looking 59.   All I initially wanted was some filler in my marionette lines, but I wound up getting all of this done.  Now I have scars, lumps, uneven skin tone and discomfort.   My confidence is not what it used to be and I also feel really foolish and guilty for having chosen to do this to myself.  I get so discouraged when I read about short recovery time and wonderful results after a few months.  Actually,  I seem to look a tiny bit better and more like me this month, but I still look  'strange" to myself and not what I had hoped for.  Realistically, when should everything loosen up, scars fade and see full results.  Has anyone else had a rough recovery? 

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I’m really sorry for what happened to you. I know it's common for plastic surgeons to "upsell" at the consultation appointment and talk you into getting more work done than you originally wanted. But I didn't know that they were failing to provide accurate recovery times. That's not right! I'd recommend you see a different doctor and see if there's anything that can be done about your discomfort. I found a great Montreal plastic surgeon (through the site plasticsurgeryinfo dot ca) ; I'll bet there are similar services wherever you are.
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i'd like to offer my gratitude to those who opened my eyes to the length time for a successful recovery. it angers me that it was not even implied but the comments do help and they're encouraging. . i'm just about 4months out from a neck lift and fighting daily with a mild form of depression. i'm not a drama queen, so i usually win the fight. i experience all the symptoms i had 2 weeks after surgery.....two weeks??? the ubiquitous suggestion from those in the office, at the hospital, and even recovery nurses....that "usually, it takes about 2 weeks"...borders on unethical. based on the numbness, the elec shocks, the sore and tingly ears and the tightness in the neck and scalp....ad nauseum .....suggests to me the recovery won't be complete for a year. this site is SO HELPFUL thx again.
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Perfect , you're right it does more than border on unethical !!!!!!
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Perfect, you're right it's more than borders on unethical !!!!!!!
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I think it's the new normal you have to adjust to or you'll drive yourself crazy. I'm almost 16 month post op and I have the same issues as I always have, they've lessened in severity but they are still there, some days worse than others. I have pretty much just gotten used to it. (Tightness, numbing, tingling, rubbery feeling...etc..)
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I'm afraid you're right about that, Fixmyface. I'm 22 months away from having a mini-lower facelift & I'm uncomfortable every single day (mostly tightness around the ears & throughout the back of my scalp.). Yes, it's gotten better but not to the point where I'm back to the "old normal." I've come to accept it but I'm not happy about it. As others have said, it really is unethical that doctors minimize the risks & recovery times involved. I too gave up on going back to my ps because all he did was look at me like I had two heads & tell me how rare it is to have prolonged discomfort. Yeah, right.
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hi Carol, i am glad that you came to accept the results. i just wanted to have a little permanent filler removed from my cheeks because it didn't make me look like myself. my dr convinced me to have a facelift bc he said my skin would sag (i am forty and before the fl i looked 28). well, i didnt need the facelift i dont think. i read that when you are not ready for a facelift, your face will change after the surgery. now my smile is completely different and my already high cheeks even higher. i especially hate my smile. i look like a chipmunk when i smile. i am hoping that at 2 mos postop there is still hope, but if anything i hope that like you i will come to accept the results. so far i cry everyday. funny how sometimes when we try to fix a problem we end up with a bigger issue.
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Carol99, it's pretty sad that we come to this place where we give up on going to the PS. My discouragement is in treatment. I feel as I'm looked upon as being difficult, but he can see the issues that need to be fixed, but I know it's not something he relishes having to do again, nor do I, but considering this was a 'gift' to myself and self-esteem (some gift)... I want to be happy with the results, but instead every day I look in the mirror to see glaring flaws. It makes me so unhappy. And unhappier still that I have to get it fixed again. My eyes did not come out as I thought, I don't understand that, and it's just very disheartening. Now I have to wait another year (because of my schedule) but it's like having to put your life on hold again and walk around with my head down. Then to have it done again to correct things, exacerbates all the crazy, uncomfortable, unnatural sensations again. But yeah, I know that feeling of being looked at like I have two heads, or 'it has to come from within', or that I look FAR better than before. Yes, my neck does, but not the rest. It hurts to hear them 'remind' me of how crappy I looked before said with that underlying tone of 'be thankful you look better than before'...but I expected to look good not just so so...and still have jowls and sags.
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Fixmyface , I feel your pain. I know what you're talking about. They don't want to think they've done less than stellar, so they make u feel like you're the one in need if an attitude adjustment . My doc looked me square in the eyes and said I was the ONLY one of his patients who was having notable discomfort 8 months out . He then said he could do nothing more for me. Disenheartening is an understatement . For what it's worth, you are not alone dear.
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Angelxoxo, So sorry! I have regrets 15 mos post op..and discomfort. Do ur friends think your smile is weird too? It will improve some in time. Mine has I know. Helps to pop a chip of Atavan when really obsessing. I'm also using coconut oil, retin A, Hyularonic acid , and vit. C serum, all of which help a bit. Bought a small ultrasound device also which in Ive heard helps but not sure yet. We need to support one another. Hang in there! It's a shame we women fall prey to all the hype. I fell too and had more done than necessary, in my opinion..and I'm starting to think happiness is the best "treatment". It's helped me to steer away from Mirrors and try to be grateful for the positives in my life. Maybe u need time and space to grieve first. Best of luck.
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Thanks, Shrinkmom. Mine did say that 20 percent of patients do need revisions. I had already read that and was saddened that I had to be part of that. I'm tired of it all. I see before and after pictures of some women that are amazing and I think why couldn't I have results like that. In the beginning I had hopes, but I also had concerns but he would always assure me to 'give it time'...but all the issues I saw even right after surgery that gave me pause for concern, actually did become issues and still are. Your surgeon makes me so mad to make that statement to you that you are the ONLY one. Im reading your other comments about products you are using. I started using Retin A in December I think. I think it makes my skin look healthier, but it's not done much else, so far. I hate that after all I've gone through I'm still seeking out products and trying things. I just bought (wasted money) on another product a couple days ago. Sigh. Why do I still fall for the hype. I do feel and look my best after running and being outdoors and exercising, but the days I don't, I look like crap.
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You know we are all our own worst critics! Chances are others see you differently. What helps me is this: try to live in the moment - mindfulness; get interested and feel compassion for others , practice smiling , even alone; set small goals and celebrate the accomplishment, avoid mirrors; surround self with as many positive people as possible; find humor and laugh ; and be active . (Yes, sweating is great!) I know it's hard to experience our dreams fading but we need new ones. Sorry. The counselor is coming out in me ! I'm not thinking I need revisions - think my doc did the best he could given my face . I'm just a bit too thin right now and fearful of fillers. My main issue is the ongoing discomfort. The weight should come in time. But when I focus on the above, It does help. Being proactive and positive is about all we can do ! Don't give up! Please stay in touch dear. I'm going to sleep now. Xoxoxo
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Hi there my name is belinda I had a lower and neck lift 7weeks ago I still have swelling and dark eyes but it is improving week by week I to am suffering mild depression as worried that the tightness and all the swelling will not go away .but I started getting the red light treatment once a month it is helping big time my skin and the scars are a lot better I still have a good bit of healing to do but it is improving .id deff say go get the the red light treatment belinda
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Fixmyface, You are right! Question: does your jawline feel tight to the touch? Mine does and I'm not sure if it's scar tissue or what. Will continue my regime and may ask for another opinion. ( my PS said he had conducted a recent study of 60 or so former Patients and I was the only one still complaining after. 6 months . Oh well!) good luck . Hope we both keep improving...only faster!
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i am so grateful that i read all of the comments related to healing. i've tried to stay positive over the past 3 &1/2 months but frequently feel very discouraged. i had only the neck lift and my surgeon's skill is evidenced by the ongoing compliments...including the positive aura when i look in the mirror. HOWEVER, had i known the residual discomfort would include numbness, electric shocks, and tingling tightness, poor sleep...etc i doubt , seriously, i would have put my body through this. it smacks of deliberate unethical avoidance to not explain, in depth, what the recoy. i fully anticipate, based on my symptoms, recovery will not be sooner than 6 months. free follow-ups were provided but i ceased going............i became tired of complaining. thank you all SO MUCH ......
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Unfortunately, I've had same experience. I'm now 15 mos post op and still uncomfortable, albeit better. Neck looks better but otherwise very subtle difference. Feel stupid when I complain so I've stopped. Hang in there! Shrinkmom
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Hi Shrinkmom. I have accepted all the odd/weird sensations as my new normal. What upsets me most is less than stellar results. :-< (even after eye revisions)... I feel stupid complaining as well. I'm just angry ...grrr...
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Hi Fixmyface and everyone.. I am just about 13 months out from my lower facelift and I feel exactly the same as you, my new normal like a lot of us I guess. Some days are better than others, but the weird tight feelings and uncomfortable tightness that continually annoys me is sometimes very frustrating. I made the decision to have this elective surgery, so I have to live with the consequences of that decision. So, now I am scheduled for a revision next week and not really looking forward to it as I really dread going through the recovery again, if I have even really recovered from the original surgery. But, my PS is not charging me, only have to pay for the surgery center, so I am afraid if I don't get the revision, I will wish I had later. He said the recovery should be about 30% of the first, so I can handle that if that is in fact how it will be. He recommended having my upper eyes done at the same time since I'm already paying the for surgery center, and he is giving me a huge discount because I'm already a patient. So, I am taking advantage of his offer. From all I have read during the past year, the recovery from the upper eyes should be a breeze when compared to the facelift. Sure hope so. All and all, I am satisfied with the results, there really is quite an improvement. Sometimes I have to go back and look at some of my "before" pictures to actually realize it. I know how you feel, I feel stupid complaining too. But like most, I was lead to believe that a couple weeks or so and I would be good, but more like a couple years??
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Myownhope, please let me know how your revisions go. I'll be doing same early next year. I had my eyes done again mid-February and I saw what he was going to take off and I was happy he knew exactly what the first bleph did not do, yet the results only have a very slight improvement. I don't understand this. I wondered if the stitches were left in too long. I thought they were, but who knows. I was upset over what the NP said when I wanted to schedule my secondary FL (he said it's not a revision, it's called a secondary facelift because it has to be done in the hospital and more invasive, not like the eyelid revisions)...she tried to make it seem like he never said he'd perform a secondary facelift and reminded me that she was in the office during the last visit. I said to her that I've talked about it to him in EVERY appointment what I was unhappy about, and she wasn't in the office with us all the time. He offered to do the secondary facelift whenever I wanted, even this spring/summer, but I told him due to my jobs winter is the only time I could have it done, he said that was fine. The NP gave me the impression I might be brushed off. I'd have to pay hospital fees, which I understand, but he said revisions, his fee is waived. I didn't pay anything for the eyes, that was done in his office. I'm sure I'll be brushed off in my next visit in regards to my eyes. I cant force pretending I'm okay with the results. I know I look better than before and he's always reminding me of that and bringing out the pictures to prove it, but still when you pay out a chunk of money, I really should not have the issues I have (jowls, one side looking more saggy than the other) folds, pleating... I wonder if there are any people who still read that are many years out and still have issues?
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From what I've heard, recovery is different for each person. My suggestion is to just be patient and try to keep busy doing other things besides thinking about your facelift. Tell yourself that it's going to take a year to heal completely. If you are still dissatisfied after a year, then consult with a doctor. Good luck.
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i developed hematomas on both sides (im almost three weeks). i drained for two weeks. my face was beginning to look great, but after they stop draining because there wasn't any more liquid, my cheeks became very hard and bulkier. one side worse than the other. my dr said it is scar tissue and it will be helped by warm compresses and massages and conservative steroid injections. anyone had the same problem or experienced hard lumps?
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I have a hematoma that makes me look like I have a huge adams apple. It has only been 12 days since I had my platysmaplasty, but it is making me nervous. My Dr. drained about a teaspoon of blood from it 6 days after surgery and I see him again in 3 days.
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my dr drained mine for over ten days (had it on both cheeks). now scar tissue has replaced the hematomas and my face looks kinda asymmetrical and dimply when i smile. will this ever go away? i am getting cortisone injections and ultrasound 3 times a week. i wonder if it does anything. i also have to massage three times a day. when i smile i look worse bc my lowerface becomes dimply. i am worried.
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wow!! you just wrote my life including the almost 3 wk post op. I love my dr.I trust him but I am going thru the exact same thing. I developed a very bad infection and the left side of my face was mostly affected. I am respnding super to my antibiotics but this has been unreal with the draining etc! Im prayin tomorrow will be the last "draining" I have to have and it will not be much but oh my gosh im ready for this to be over.
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Hi again I am now 7weeks into my opp and all going well swelling down lots feeling starting to come.back eyes still a we bit puffy but no one notice but me if all keeps going way it's going in 6months I should be almost normal again so keep your chin up.it takes time to.heal I take.my mind of by doing my bodybuilding and bike riding other wise I'd be sitting. At home depressed there is light at end of tunnel have faith belinda
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