I had my first face lift with eyelids & neck in...
I had my first face lift with eyelids & neck in 1990 when I was 48. The doctor is also an artist, and he made my eyes almond-shaped. Really beautiful. I was SO happy with that face lift. I've never regretted it. Also, it was done in office, in a chair. They gave me some valium or something in an IV, and I was in & out of consciousness, but I remember talking to them. This was a 3/4 face lift -- no forehead. I was sent home w/drains (he didn't tell me first) & my poor 19-yr-old son had to drain the pouches, which he thought was extremely gross, and not in a cool way. I don't remember having pain, but you forget pain. So anyway that face lift gets an A+.
My second one was pretty much the same (same doctor), except I'm not sure he separated my skin from the muscle. I dont' remember any pain at all with that one. Anyway, also very happy with that one (I was 56). A+
Now I'm 65 & recently had a complete face lift w/forehead & neck (but no eyelids). It also included lifting the cheek muscles & sewing them together just below my cheekbones so enhanced those some (I already have good cheekbones). Before this one, I wasn't as jowly as I was before the other 2, so to me I don't look all that different except that I have no crepiness on my neck, for which I'm very grateful. Other people say I look "better". This was a different doctor (I moved) & he insisted that I be completely knocked out. I have a high hairline so the incision has to be right at the hairline, not inside. I was very surprised at his finish stitching. He WAS going to staple me back together, but I had had staples elsewhere & hated them, so I asked for internal stitches & external stitches. His external stitches were one rolling stitch all around (or maybe several end to end). I was horrified that I had paid $6700 & gotten stitches that any drunk off the street could do. However, the scar has healed very nicely (but I can feel a dent there, but it doesn't show).
The horrible thing is that he cut into the nerve that controls motor function in my left forehead. It was completely paralyzed after the operation, although I've regained about half of the function now, and I expect to get it all back (I called my neurologist after the operation & she said it would come back). In addition, the sensory nerves on the top of my head were damaged and my head feels like it's made of wood. I'm not sure sensation will come back up there. You'd think a plastic surgeon would know how to avoid the nerves.
Overall, I'm happy with the results (B+), and he's going to do a little tuck above my ears to further reduce the depth of the last inch of the nasolabial folds. This one was "uncomfortably" painful for a couple of days. More than I expected.
I highly recommend face lifts, eyelid lifts, and neck lifts. Not so sure about forehead lifts. I used to have 3 lines across my forehead and now I have about 10. Not sure why. Maybe it's related to the paralysis. Anyway, face lifts really do make you look a lot younger. Someone told me (I asked them to be honest) I look 45 now -- 20 yrs younger.
Too bad they only last about 8 years (for me) & then signs of aging start showing up again (though each face lift takes more years off your face -- if I'd never had one I'd look really old now).
Also, I think maybe the older you are, the less elegant the surgeon can be with the work. Because I didn't have an eyelid lift, and the skin from my cheeks is pulled pretty tight up to my temple, I now have wrinkles under my eyes that I didn't have before. So I'll have to get the eyelids done even though I didn't need that before the surgery.
Note: The good face lifts were done by the...
Note: The good face lifts were done by the Sacramento doc and the one I'm unhappy with was done by a doc in Seattle. See "Doctor or Business Who Performed the Treatment".
My comments on whether it was worth it are based on the work by the Dr. in Sacramento.
OK, the software isn't satisfied with my 50 word update, & demands that I say more. Although I do look somewhat younger from the work by the Seattle plastic surgeon, my cheeks began falling as soon as the swelling was gone, and I have MORE big wrinkles at my eye corners. I've finally gotten feeling back in my left forehead & can raise my eyebrows, but before the surgery I had 4 or maybe 5 forehead lines, about 1/2" apart, like everyone else in the world, and now I have maybe 20, about 1/8th inch apart, so now I have to get Botox to keep some of them from showing. I'm also very very unhappy with the scar (outside the hairline) the Seattle doctor gave me by using a rolling stitch (and I had to ask for stitches because he was going to use staples -- I didn't know he was going to use a rolling stitch). My first 2 face lifts (by the Sacramento doc) were finished off with those great small stitches only plastic surgeons can do, and the scar was so fine you needed a magnifying glass to see it. Now I look like Frankenstein at the top of my forehead. What pisses me off is that all plastic surgeons used to finish with fine stitches. Now they want to staple you back together (this is just plain laziness and does NOT give as good results as stitching). And did they lower their prices when they switched to staples? NO! (I asked one of them.) But they'll charge you more for fine stitches because it's very time consuming. Plastic surgeons: If you read this, know that I, and probably everyone out there paying you thousands for a face lift are PISSED that you switched to staples without lowering your price and charge extra for fine stitches.