At 48 years old, I looked and felt much younger...
At 48 years old, I looked and felt much younger but was still bothered by heavy eyelids and the beginning of a little turkey wattle. For as long as I can remember, my mother's neck started at her chin and I did not want to have that, ever! I had a neck lift, lower face lift, upper blepharoplasty and brow lift by Dr. Weinfeld on 4/14/14. At 2 1/2 weeks post surgery, I am beyond thrilled with the results.
The surgery itself remains a blur. I remember waking up in recovery feeling very groggy and out of it. My son drove me home and I slept through until the following morning. At my first post-op appointment the following morning, they removed the bandages from my head which was a relief, but I was not prepared for how I would look. No matter how many pictures you look at, it doesn't prepare you to see your own swollen, bruised face. And it's true, it really doesn't hurt much at all.
I had significant bruising under my eyes which were also swollen from the blepharoplasty. Most of the swelling I experienced was along my jaw line. At one week out, I put on makeup and sunglasses and ventured out to Easter services at church but I really was not yet presentable. At two weeks, I put on makeup and sunglasses and went to my grandchildren's ballgame and it was not too scary for small children and animals. Today at 2 1/2 weeks, I'm feeling very comfortable in public. I am still bruised, especially under my right eye. My jaw is still swollen, especially on the left side, It leaves me looking a little lopsided but not bad. The scars at my ears, eyelids and under my chin are still pretty visible. Everywhere I am swollen, I am still numb which is a weird feeling. Where the anchors from my brow lift are placed is tender and swollen and it will take a couple months to dissolve and resolve.
What is amazing is my neck. I am so beyond thrilled to have all signs of jowls and turkey wattles eradicated. My eyes are also wide open. I can absolutely see what I will look like once healed and I couldn't be happier.
It has now been one month since my surgery. I am still super pleased with the outcome and recognize myself when I look in the mirror. I'm including a bunch of pictures so that you can see what recovery looks like.
At this point I am still very much healing although most people, even those close to me, wouldn't be able to tell. The spots where the anchors in my head are are still very tender. They are dissolvable but are still very much there. All of my bruises have faded except the one under my eye on the right side. The scars in front of my ear at the hairline are now laying flat and very, very thin although still purple. The ones behind my ears are flattening but still pretty bumpy. The scar under my chin continues to flatten and fade. The scars on my eyelids are very thin and you cannot see them at all with a touch of concealer.
I have regained a lot of feeling. However, my left ear is still numb as is my jawline and under my chin. It is a strange feeling (or lack thereof!). My jaw is still pretty swollen, especially on the left side. My neck feels very tight which is a feeling that I am very okay with! I get occasional shooting, electrical shock type feelings, especially on the right side of my scalp, as nerves heal.
I have returned to most activities with some exceptions. I cannot wear my helmet because of the sore anchor spots so no bike riding. Any exercise or yoga position that puts my head down doesn't work - downward dog caused my face to bloat for hours. I am still sleeping on my back with my head elevated and probably will until the swelling is completely gone.
I've had people ask how I feel about it and if I'd do it again (I haven't hidden what I was having done from anyone). My answer is unequivocally yes.
22 Mar 2015
11 months post
It is now getting close to a year after surgery. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat!
At this point my face has pretty much fully settled into itself. There is no more swelling although I did have some slight swelling under my right eye and around my chin for months. I was the only one who really noticed it but it was there. All of the feeling has returned to all areas of my face but my ears still feel a little strange. It is difficult to describe but they are sensitive to touch, not painful but it's not pleasant either. My scars are all flat and very faded. I have been traveling the world for the past 6 months and not as diligent about sunscreen as I should be. The scars are no longer pink but are lighter than my surrounding skin where they are visible at all - a bit at the inside corner of my eyes and right at the hairline on my temples. They continue to fade and the lightest of makeup covers them. That is the update on the details.
Now the update on how I look and feel. I look in the mirror every morning and like what I see. I don't push the skin back to see what my jaw would look like if it were tighter. I don't struggle to put on eye makeup because my lids are too heavy. I look like me and I like that.
This is a serious surgery. I don't think I appreciated the complexity of it going in, or the true recovery. Knowing all of that now I would still absolutely do it again. I am beyond pleased with the results and my doctor delivered exactly what he said he would.