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Mini Lift; Maxi Recovery - Atlanta, GA

In May 2012 I had a mini-lower facelift and...

In May 2012 I had a mini-lower facelift and platysmaplasty performed by Dr. Leroy in Atlanta. I interviewed 4 doctors before deciding on Dr. Leroy as I felt he had the best overall credentials and experience in facelifts as well as a wonderful bedside manner. Being a very healthy life-long non-smoker with very good skin, I fully expected the recovery to be uncomplicated and to take no longer than the two weeks that Dr. Leroy told me is the norm. The surgery itself was a breeze but the day after when I removed the compression bandage, I knew from the excruciating pain around both ears that there was no way the recovery would take only 2 weeks. The extreme pain continued for about two months slowly morphing into extremely uncomfortable tightness & pulling around both ears that lasted approximately 9 months and then for the last 5 months just a dull weird feeling around the lower back of both ears. It’s now SIXTEEN MONTHS post-surgery and although the situation has improved greatly, my ears are still uncomfortable for at least a part of every single day. It’s still improving, though, even at this late date, so I remain hopeful that I will one day soon feel completely normal again.

I have no complaints whatsoever about the esthetic result of the surgery which is lovely and very natural looking. There was minimal bruising or swelling, I looked fine to go out in four days and the scars were virtually invisible at about 2 months post-op. I look 7-10 years younger but there is no doubt that had I known what the true recovery period was going to be, I would never have done it. I feel as if I lost at least a year of my life to this recovery—not only was I not able to work for a while in the early months, I had to postpone several trips that I had planned. Not to mention the thousands of dollars spent on neuromuscular massage therapy, acupuncture, various medical specialists, etc. (None of which provided much relief, by the way.) Yes, I look better than I did before, but worth it? No way.

In the research that I’ve done in the last year or so I discovered that a tiny minority of facelift patients experience prolonged discomfort around the ears. For whatever reason, I guess I was just one of the unlucky ones. Dr. Leroy said that I was the only one to have such severe long lasting issues in the thousands of facelifts that he’s performed.

Even with the difficult recovery, I have nothing but good things to say about Dr. Leroy and his staff. In the first 6-7 months after the surgery, I either called or went back to see him at least a dozen times and he was never anything other than patient, compassionate and caring. I think he genuinely felt badly that I had such a miserable time. If I were ever to have another cosmetic procedure, I would have no hesitation going back to him or recommending him to a friend. My only critique is that the diminutive monikers for this procedure, like “mini-lift” or as Dr. Leroy calls it, “band-aid lift” really trivializes the invasiveness of the procedure and the possible very long recovery time. Not for everyone, of course, but if it happened to me, it could presumably happen to someone else too. If you're considering a mini-lift, I would suggest you take the possible long recovery period into consideration.
Thank you for your honest assessment. You are so right, plastic surgery is traumatic!
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So sorry you were one of the unlucky ones. One good thing is, that you got the desired results in the looks department. It sounds like your Dr. was very sympathetic--I'm sure he was sincere in what he said (you were the only one with issues in the healing of it)--otherwise he could have not bothered with you afterwards.
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Great review! Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us here on RealSelf. I'm sure you'll help other folks with your account of what you went through.

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Atlanta Plastic Surgeon

Very skilled surgeon and a great human being. He does beautiful, natural looking work and I very much appreciated that he did not try to talk me into additional procedures. Even though I had problems with recovery, Dr. Leroy was always available to me which is the true measure of a great plastic surgeon.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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