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Necklace, Lower Face Lift and Co2 Laser Resurfacing - Beverly Hills, CA

I had a chin implant in late 2011 (from a...

I had a chin implant in late 2011 (from a reputable surgeon), which definitely helped, but did not adequately address, the appearance of my double chin. The chin implant didn't solve the issues of a poor neck angle and loose skin and fat under my chin, which created the appearance of a very bulky neck on an otherwise physically fit 39-year-old man.

I did a significant amount of research regarding who was the single most qualified surgeon to remedy these issues. Dr. Brent Moelleken of Beverly Hills stood far above anyone else. In addition to being a highly qualified surgeon with training at Harvard, Yale and UCLA, Dr. Moelleken has an honest, open and forthcoming personality and I could sense I was not "being sold" unnecessary surgery in our initial consultation. He outlined the course of action that he believed to be most appropriate and answered all of my questions. He recommended that I have a Neck Lace procedure to tighten the muscle, a lower face lift to tighten and lift skin, and a Co2 laser resurfacing to tighten skin and reduce signs of premature aging. After visiting another top surgeon (which in hindsight was simply as a sanity check), it reinforced the decision that I had already made; to utilize the services of Dr. Moelleken.

The surgery went smoothly and the recovery process was very manageable. Dr. Moelleken and his entire staff provided world class care throughout the entire process; pre-, during and post-surgery. Five weeks post-op, I am very satisfied with my short-term results. My scarring is nearly imperceptible, my neck angle is dramatically improved, my double chin is gone, and the loose skin and wrinkling of my neck are gone. My skin literally looks 10 years younger. Well worth the cost.

Issues you may encounter in recovery

I thought it would be worth the time to outline a few issues that one may encounter post-facelift.
While my doctor made me and my wife aware that I would be feeling emotional after surgery for a few weeks, possibly even depressed, I laughed it off. Not being a "depressed" person, I thought I would be immune to these emotions, but I was wrong. It's a pretty serious surgery and I didn't look like "myself" for about a week. While the areas I wanted to address look better than I ever remember them, I still don't feel 100% like myself yet. It's a slow grind. I wasn't prepared for the emotional recovery period. I didn't experience this after my chin implant. It's just nowhere near as substantial of a surgery as a lower face lift. Thankfully, my wife and my doctor have been extremely supportive. It is imperative that you have a support system in place when undergoing a surgery such as this. You CANNOT do it alone.

The only other notable issue I've encountered is hair loss around my incisions, which, while infrequent, can occur for of reasons based on my research. All signs point to a full recovery, as permanent hair loss typically occurs due to a bad procedure. I'm certain that is not the case in my situation. As a male with short hair, this hair loss is difficult to cover up and requires quite a bit of makeup and time on my wife's part every morning. She's a magician. According to my doctor, hair typically starts to regrow after three months. So, as my doctor says, it will be like "watching paint dry" for another seven weeks or so.
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

I had a chin implant in late 2011 (from a reputable surgeon), which definitely helped, but did not adequately address, the appearance of my double chin. The chin implant also didn't solve the issues of a poor neck angle and loose skin and fat under my chin, which created the appearance of a very bulky neck on an otherwise physically fit 39-year-old man. I did a significant amount of research regarding who was the single most qualified surgeon to remedy these issues. Dr. Brent Moelleken of Beverly Hills stood far above anyone else. In addition to being a highly qualified surgeon with training at Harvard, Yale and UCLA, Dr. Moelleken has an honest, open and forthcoming personality and I could sense I was not "being sold" unnecessary surgery in our initial consultation. He outlined the course of action that he believed to be most appropriate and answered all of my questions. He recommended that I have a Neck Lace procedure to tighten the muscle, a lower face lift to tighten and lift skin, and a Co2 laser resurfacing to tighten skin and reduce signs of premature aging. After visiting another top surgeon (which in hindsight was simply as a sanity check), it reinforced the decision that I had already made; to utilize the services of Dr. Moelleken. The surgery went smoothly and the recovery process was very manageable. Dr. Moelleken and his entire staff provided world class care throughout the entire process; pre-, during and post-surgery. Dr. Moelleken has also been extremely responsive whenever I email him questions about the recovery process, even answering my emails on nights and weekends. Five weeks post-op, I am very satisfied with my short-term results. My scarring minimal, my neck angle is dramatically improved, my double chin is gone, and the loose skin and wrinkling of my neck are gone. My skin literally looks 10 years younger. Well worth the cost. Highest possible rating. Dr. Moelleken is an artist.

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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Comments (26)

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Hi Todd, hope everything is going great with you in your recovery. Let me inform you that I am two weeks post op today and I had pretty much everything you had done with the additional upper eyelid surgery. I too stayed at an overnight center the first night and you were correct it was the best thing I could have done for my recovery. Dr. Moelleken is absolutely great! He is very patient and so down to earth as well as the rest of his staff. Thank you once again for allowing me to share your journey as your experiences helped me with my journey. I have a question that I don't know if you went thru the same thing as me. Did you have the incisions on your scalp behind your ears raise up sort of like a ridge? Mine's are like that but the doctor assured me they would flatten with time. They don't bother me as much because I have a lot hair and its long so they are not noticeable at all. However, I do want them to flatten and fade. What has been your experience with them so far?
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Good to hear that you're doing well! Yes, the incisions behind the ears were ridged at first and have since flattened out. They're still not perfectly flat to the touch against the surrounding skin (More like a vein under the skin), but the distinct ridge-like feeling is gone and they are definitely fading. I'm exactly 90 days in today. I expect the scarring to continue to improve over the next 9 months. It seems like the last few days I notice some new improvement every day. Stay optimistic and I'm sure all of your concerns will be alleviated over time.
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Well I am so glad to hear that. Thank you.
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By the way, what type of laser are they using for your scars? and how much does it cost?
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I'm not sure, but I believe that they are using three different types of lasers per treatment. Cost for me is $125 per treatment. Takes about 20 minutes.
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Hi Todd, just wondering if your hair has regrown? how are you doing with your surgery thus far? Tell me, are your incisions hidden within your ears and behind them or are they slightly infront of your ears? Also, what type of stitches did Dr. Moelleken use? and were they dissolvable or he had to remove them? I am considering having the same surgery you had so your experience is such a big help to me. I already had my consultation with Dr. Moelleken but the procedure in itself just scared me into prolonging it. Thanks to talking to you I feel a lot more confident in moving forward with the surgery and staying at an after care center for a couple of nights as well. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us.
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Hello. I'm doing well, thanks. My hair has not regrown in the few small spots that fell out, but Dr. Moelleken said that no regrowth would happen for at least three months, which is consistent with what other surgeons say regarding similar situations on Realself. Today is exactly two months since the surgery, so I'm at least another month away from regrowth. I keep very short hair and have grown it out a little longer in the interim to compensate. If by chance my small bald spots do not regrow, I will definitely be getting hair micro grafting, but I'm confident that this won't be necessary at this point. I'm not sure if he used dissolvable stitches, although I do know that some stitches (and staples) were taken out about a week after surgery. My incisions run from my earlobe and in the crease behind my ear, about an inch into my hairline in the back and about two inches in front of my ear, and in the front within the ear. The scars in the ear are completely imperceptible, the scars in the crease behind my ear are minimal. The most (currently) noticeable scars are the ones running horizontally behind and in front of my ear. I believe that these are darker and more noticeable because they are the sites that "anchor" the lower face lift. You should strongly consider laser treatment after surgery, which Dr. Moelleken's office does. I had one laser treatment about 10 days ago and will have another every 30 days for 4-5 months. This is said to greatly reduce scarring. I will say that I would be generally less concerned with scarring if I were a woman who could hide scarring with her hair, however overall I am not very concerned about it, as I am seeing the scars fading and can tell that the incisions were done with great care. Regardless of the skill of the surgeon, there will be scarring and you will have to deal with it in some way for at least a few months. I didn't give it much thought prior to surgery, but it's best to know going in that you'll have to take steps to compensate for it, including makeup, laser treatments, and/or hiding with your hair. I understand your being "scared" about the surgery. It's a pretty significant procedure. The question you need to ultimately ask yourself is whether you can live with your face and neck the way they are now (and presumably not getting better as you age :-)), or whether you can sacrifice a few months of (potentially) feeling even more insecure about your looks to reap the longer-term benefits of the surgery. It's a definite trade-off. I've thought a lot about it and I'm happy with my decision, but it's definitely been a more difficult emotional recovery than I expected. I think it has a lot to do with going from being a male who's never used makeup or thought about his hair so much to feeling like a diva who needs his hair and makeup done at least once a day. I'm sure my wife will be very happy when these things aren't necessary any more! Setting that aside, however, I'm very happy with the way my neck looks! I hope my feedback is helpful to you! Todd
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Absolutely your feedback helps me a lot and I am so grateful to you for sharing so much with us here on Real Self forum. Let me ask you, at your one month post op would you say that people noticed that you had something done to your face? I ask because on the day I am planning to have the surgery, it will be exactly one month from an event I have to attend and I dont know if I will still be bruised and swollen or looking odd as to the point that people will know right away I had a lower facelift done. were there people coming to you who right away noticed something different in your looks? what were the comments you got if any?
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In my experience, at one month post op, nobody will notice anything. Bruising and swelling were fully dissipated for me at that point. The only thing people notice about me (that they've mentioned) is the beard that I grew out. I think you'll be fine. For the first month, the progress you'll make day to day will most likely be rather dramatic, and then level off. For the first week or so, you'll think there's no way possible you'll look presentable for your event. Don't stress too much or over think it.
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Thank you so much for everything. You have been such a great help and I really appreciate your feedback.
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My pleasure. Best wishes for your procedure and recovery. You're in good hands.
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hi I would also be interested in what the $18000.00 covered. I would think that Dr Moelleken would be charging more. What about the anesthesia and the aftercare? Thanks
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The $18k included anesthesia. Optional aftercare at Serenity in Santa Monica was an additional $750, but well worth it.
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To be more specific, the $18k covered the neck lace procedure, lower facelift, co2 laser procedure, anesthesia, and operating room. The only additional cost was aftercare at $750.
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Thank you for sharing your experience and especially your honesty concerning the emotions you went through during recovery. I'm glad you're liking your results so far. Please let us know when you start to see the hair regrowth!
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You're welcome. I will keep you posted on hair regrowth.
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was this procedure painful? can you give us some feedback on your experience following the surgery on up to the first week?
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Surprisingly, not really! At my doctor's recommendation, I went to an aftercare facility the night of the surgery, which I would recommend. I was pretty out of it from the iv pain medication for the first day, so no pain whatsoever. The next three or four days I was on a prescription painkiller, which also dulled any pain. Beyond that, I experienced some discomfort with sleeping at night. I am a side sleeper and you have to lie flat on your back with a compression wrap on your head for about two weeks, which is uncomfortable but not necessarily painful. Your ears will be tender for a few weeks. As of today, I have no pain.
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Thank you for your honest answer. Tell me does the $18000 fee you posted include the surgery center and anesthesia fee?
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The $18k does include anesthesia, but does not include the aftercare costs. I believe that I paid $750 for one night at Serenity in Santa Monica. They were really great and I'm glad I didn't go home, which was an option. While pain was manageable, any facelift is a pretty big deal and I recommend going to aftercare.
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Todd, what was done for you at Serenity for the day you spent there? How would it been different in comparison if you had gone home and had your wife watch over you? I am just wondering if what they do would merit the additional expense since I know the first day after surgery most people just spend the day sleeping the hours away.
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Good question. While I was completely out of it the day of the surgery, my wife was concerned about a large bruise (possibly hematoma) on my neck that appeared immediately after my surgery. She says that she would have been uncomfortable taking me home and being responsible for my care given that she is not a medical professional. The aftercare staff monitored this closely while I was there and it didn't worsen, but nevertheless, the peace of mind that it provided for her was worth the cost. They also administered shots of painkiller, which I'm sure significantly dulled any pain I would have experienced. While I had a reasonably easy recovery, given the significance of a surgery such as this and the complications that could arise, I would play it safe. I wrestled with whether to use the aftercare or not in the months leading up to surgery given that it was optional and because of the additional cost, but I am happy that I did. You want your recovery to be as easy as possible on you and your loved ones. You'll put them through enough in the month after the surgery! :)
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hi. I am considering this doctor. Who else did you consider in Beverly Hills?
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I went to see Dr. Jason Diamond in Beverly Hills, but didn't feel nearly as comfortable with his recommendations. He recommended a ribbon (trampoline) neck lift and regular Radiesse injections in my face, which seemed liked a strategy that was short-term focused and required much more ongoing maintenance and cost.
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did you have fat transfers?
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