I've always had a bit of turkey gobbler, it's actually a running family joke among the women in my family (as we all seem to have inherited this wonderful gene). My gift to myself for my 40th birthday was to say goodbye to the gobbler! I had asked my plastic surgeon a few years back what could be done (I've been going to him for a few years for Botox twice a year), and he told me I was not a candidate for lipo as there really was no fat, it truly was just lax skin. He advised me to hold of for a few years before considering a lift. I'm so glad he gave me that advise, as two years later I really began to see more noticeable changes in my lower face as well as my neck. While still on the younger side for this procedure, I really wanted to be proactive so that the change would be conservative. Basically I wanted to be able to enjoy my 40's without constantly looking in the mirror and obsessing over my saggy neck.
I am now 13 days post op from my lower face and neck lift. The results are absolutely amazing, I could not be happier with my decision to do this for myself. I credit my surgeon, Dr. Henry Sandel (Annapolis MD) 100% with my speedy recovery and fantastic results. Selecting a plastic surgeon who ONLY works on faces was very important to me! Dr. Sandel has excellent credentials along with the best bed side manner of any physician I have ever known. After seeing before and after photo's in his office, along with doing TONS of research I knew I was in good hands. I really did my homework, and talked to several physician friends in the area who all said the same thing "he is the best, hands down".
In terms of my recovery, I have been pleasantly surprised. The night of the surgery was uncomfortable, my ears were what bothered me most. I did not sleep well, but in retrospect I should have taken the prescription pain killer on night #1. I really just don't like to take pain killers (they just make me feel so out of it), but that was just silly of me not to. Day two I had my drains removed and compression bandages taken off, ahhhhhh felt so much better with out the pressure on my ears. Decided this was no time to be a marter and took the prescription pain killers before bed that night. It was unbelievable how much more comfortably I slept that night (just did Tylenol during the day). My ears were still the most uncomfortable area, they just felt really sore almost like a burning sensation.
At no time was the pain unbearable though, maybe a 5 on a 1-10 at the very worst point. Day three was really my turning point, as I woke up feeling really good. I actually even ventured out of the house for a trip to the grocery store with my husband! I really had no visible bruising to speak of, other than the sides of my face which was well covered my my hair. The bruising on my neck was minimal and was easily covered by a light weight scarf. The left side of my face had a bit more swelling than the right (which is not unusual, but honestly I was the only one that noticed). By day 4 I was out and about for a few hours running errands. I was careful not to lift, bend over, or push myself but it felt good to get out of the house for a bit! Sleeping elevated (I bought a special recliner pillow from the back store for my bed, it even has arms which makes it very comfortable), drinking lots of fluids, taking the arnica, and religiously icing the first 48 hours seemed to really help. On day 7 my stitches and staples were removed in the morning, and I headed straight to work from my appointment. My jaw felt tight and I still had some minor swelling under my chin, but all in all I felt really really good! Every morning I wake to feel a little less numbness around my jaw and ears, and see the slight swelling under my chin starting to resovle. The scars around my ears are literally almost invisible, with a little concealer I was able to wear a pony tail today to the gym (my first day back for just a light workout).
I cannot say enough about Dr. Sandel and quality of his work. I would with full confidence recommend him to anyone looking for a facial plastic surgeon! My neck and lower face have been restored to what they looked like years ago, while looking very natural. I truly could not be happier with my decision.
I hope this review is helpful for anyone considering this procedure! While this procedure is still surgery and should be very carefully thought out, I have been pleasantly surprised at the speed of my recovery.