I am 54 years old and am feeling and looking very...
I am 54 years old and am feeling and looking very tired My neck and face have been asymmetrical my whole life. I have always had the turkey neck thing going on. My husband died two years ago, and I am extremely self concious now about going out, due to the neck issue. I have wanted this done for years, but how I am looking now (tired) helped me make the decision. I finally took the leap, and surgery is May 14, 2013.
On my way to get my facelift! Excited and...
14 May 2013
Day of treatment
On my way to get my facelift! Excited and nervous at same time. ;)
Glad the procedure is over, living with bags of...
Glad the procedure is over, living with bags of peas on my face and trying to follow instructions to a t!
Day two post op. my face has a mask like quality due to swelling. My ears and staples behind ears are killing me. Ice is my best friend right now :). I am so glad I found this forum prior to having lift done, so I had a good realistic base of experiences to draw on for info. I do, however, want to smack the nurses at plastic surgeons office who sad " you won't even need the pain pill, it's really not painful". LIARS! LOL
Post op day three
Yesterday was the worst, today I am wandering around the house a bit. I know myself though, so I'm really trying to do nothing. Ill overdo it. I've switched from frozen peas to regular ice packs. For some reason smells are really bothering me.... Including the frozen pea bags. My ears continue to he painful and I am sleeping basically sitting up. Woke in middle if the night feeling like my skin was going to split by the suture line at ears. Was very swollen so got ice again and fell asleep that way. How often and for how long are you guys icing at the third day?
Day four after FL
I feel pretty good today, swelling is down a bit, and Tylenol is managing the discomfort for the most. I am amazed at having almost no bruising! Ears are less painful, but still cant put phone to ear. I keep catching myself trying to do things and am REALLY trying to lay low. I go back to work on the 25th, so I need to maximize my rest and healing time. I'm a nurse, so I won't be able to do lighter duty, it's all or nothing. This really s a major procedure, I thought I was prepared for it, but unless you go through t, I don't think you can totally understand it. I am very pleased though with the outcome and my surgeon. I'm gonna look great. :))
Post op day five....questions
Things change from day to day it seems. For the past two nights I find myself waking up laying on my side, chin down, etc. I start out nearly sitting up with two wedges, but it's so uncomfortable for me, that while sleeping I change positions. I'm freaked out its going to affect my outcome! I ate a hamburger yesterday and it was hard to chew yet I finished it. Lol. Worried that if I do anything other than sit or lay with my head elevated I'm going to ruin something. I am doing basically NOTHING, and I'm so bored and got weepy this morning. Scared I spent all this money and my life stopping for a total of ten days and maybe it won't be good results and not worth it. I think I felt so bad about how I looked that I'm putting too much on this procedure. Any encouragement or thoughts on doing activities is welcomed........
As previously statd, I have had no bruising, minimal swelling.......up to yesterday. I am very swollen now, and can see some faint bruising on my cheek bones. I think I started doing too much. I live alone, so I have to do things on my own. I know over past three days I have been bending over too much. Yesterday I tripped and fell....I didn't hit my face...but I'm having pain now too. I go for suture/staple removal tomorrow, so ill see what's up. I doubt I'll be able to go back to work on Saturday as planned. Disgusted with myself for doing too much probably....but I can't call people over to wash dishes, etc. wish me luck tomorrow.
Staples and sutures are out.....woohoo! There were a lot more than I thought. Warned about all of the internal sutures and possibility of them migrating to the surface. He said in in the normal range, but to watched the increased swelling on my left side. My ears are now like cauliflower and one is folded over at the bottom lobe section from being so swollen as well as edema behind the ear. PS has sent me to have a one hour facial massage to help with the lymphatic drainage......it both hurt, but was incredibly good at the same time :). Dr Sabbagh has all face lift patients get this done twice, and after three months a free microdermabrasion or fraxel or some other treatment. I was shown my before pics that he uses during surgery to help guide him, and I can't believe the difference now. Can't go back to work Saturday as planned, but he said I could try on Tuesday 28th....but no bending, etc. as a nurse, that's impossible.....not sure how this is gonna play out. I have to work, but my job isn't in an office. Somehow it'll work out. I hope you all are doing great today :)
Wondering if the swelling will ever go down around my ears. Woke up the morning with bleeding behind right ear at suture line. Seemed to be blood and fluid......not a lot though. There is no definition between face and ear still, and ears are still monstrously huge (in my mirror, anyway. Lol). Still a large amount of swelling on left jaw line, maybe went down a bit. Swelling on cheek bones has decreased a lot , still some fluid there My scar line will be beautiful. Suture line is inside the tragus, don't know how he does that! And staples and sutures are in the scalp so that there are non on my face beyond the ear scar. Doing it that way produces no scarring there, but increases pain, I believe. Released to drive short distances, so going to go into work and pick up my laptop and work phone. Nervous about going in there being in this state. Ah, what we do to ourselves to look better! Hope you all are doing great today.
Makeup tryout before I go out into the world today ;)
Post first outing
Wow, my face swelled up, fluid on cheek bones and soooo exhausted! While it was nice to put makeup on, it's a b@@@ch to take off. LOL. where does all this swelling come from with a simple short outing? I have to be ready for work on Tuesday, so I need to do a bit every day now to amp up. It WAS nice to be out though ;)
Almost two weeks out now
So, I have been trying to get out a bit every day now so I don't go from sloth mode to full on run all day, with work on Tuesday. Today, I really overdid it (I felt so good after having my first whole night of sleep). Took a short walk, putzed in the garden, and of course had to go find a throw and pillows to spruce up my new recliner so it doesn't look so......recliner-ish. LOL. You know what shopping for two things leads to....home with am armful new finds. Made a salad, and I am soooo tired I could fall over, and some soreness in neck and by ears/jaw. I am getting zinging and pinging feelings in neck area since last night. I feel myself swelling up again. Wishing I could have another few days off to prepare for increased activity prior to Tuesday. Seems we are just released to drive and do short trips out, and it's time to go back to full time! I cannot believe the exhaustion from today. I'm sure it's normal though. I'll post two week pics tomorrow!
Two weeks today
Wow, the changes are amazing in how I looked three days after surgery till today. I still have swelling on left side more than right.....not sure why, if he had more work there or not. I wish it was symmetrical though, cause now I just feel weird and crooked. I see it isnt as tight as it was on the neck, so wondering what will happen when all the swelling resolves. Get too loose? Or even out nicely? If it gets too loose I will have revision done....cause I didn't go through all of this to still have loose skin on my neck. I do look much better, though, than prior to surgery. The fluid in my cheeks is slowly resolving too. I think getting sleep finally is helping tremendously. Bless you recliner chair!!!! My advise to anyone getting this done...use it if you have one, go buy one if you don't. Wish I wouldn't have waited till two days ago to get it. Going to post pics of today, no makeup, and wake up hair! Sorry about that. LOL
Two weeks ago today
So I spent yesterday getting ready for work...which involves carrying my big nurse bag, lap top, charts, reviewing my patients charts, washing clothes, etc. last night I swelled back up pretty bad. When I got up this morning some new bruising, more swelling, pain again with my ears being plugged and ringing. . I am so not happy. I called work to arrange for these next four days off. If simply getting ready to go back to work did this, what's going to happen if I go see my patients today and have to bend over turn them, do dressings, iv,s etc?... I feel like a lazy a**, I usually go to work no matter what. This, though, is kicking my butt.
Arranged to have the rest of this week off of work. Called PS office, because I just didn't know if this was normal, or a potential problem brewing. They asked me to come in, and thankfully it is not a problem. I am holding fluid in the left side and the bruising increased there. Was very uncomfortable. He instructed me in light stroking movements on my neck and face from mid neck upwards and outwards to the ear area. Gentle with hardly any pressure.....to help with the fluid. Advised to start taking Motrin for inflammation. I performed that twice last night and once this morning, as well as took Motrin last night and this morning. It IS less swollen and not as uncomfortable. Today I switched from recliner to a different chair so I can
Look our the window at my flowers. Such is my life. LOL. He said he will evaluate in two months to see if i need a small revision on the left side, maybe taking up a bit of skin. I love that he looks for any possible problems and owns it, does not run and get all defensive. Any issues I have had have been on the left, so we'll see what the future plays out. If anything, I think it might just be a bit of looser skin....but maybe not! Question, are any of you GAINING weight? Sheesh, with no activity, and the soft foods that weren't my norm....and my emotional eating, I think I have gained 5 pounds!!!!! I still am amazed that I look so much better and rested even this early in the journey.
Two weeks and two days
I am Feeling better these past few days. Still have swelling on left and left side of neck. I do have to remember, though, that I previously had nerve damage on left, as well as past fracture to left jaw when I was a child. The hanging skin was always more on my left as well. Genetically, my father had this as well on his left side too Oh, the curses! Lol. PS did say I may need a revision on left side, will evaluate in a few months. I don't believe it's from anything he did, but more from my previous problems/ damage on that side of face. i still look 100 times better. the loose hanging skin on that side created almost no neck there at all. is what it is.
Lots of tingling, zinging, and pinging going on. Bruising is minimal on left side of neck. I saw my mother and brother yesterday, first time since the face lift, and they were amazed! My mothers reaction was " you don't have your dads problem now". YEA! I am still going to sleep in recliner for a while, I sleep better there and if I do turn my head to the side, it's more supported. I Have been using a travel neck pillow since day one to prevent my ears touching anything in case I happened to roll. I feel now ready to go back to work, and if I have to bend down, which I will have to, it won't be detrimental to my healing. I see so many posts, from yesterday, I'm going to be catching up tonite with them. I am so thankful to you all for your support, help, laughs, pictures and stories. Like Financegirl said, about not being a forum kind of person.....I am the same way, but this has been a blessing. Best of all, I truly believe my Daniel (late husband) would be very happy for me right now :). I feel more normal and confident. Ok, time to post pic with no makeup again except eyeliner. I would have NEVER done that before!
Found a couple of before pics, and these aren't the worst! But wanted to show the difference now.....WOW! I'm a size 8, and these facial pics make me look much larger. Ok, here goes......
Out all day today
And I'm tired, but so much better than last week, that's for sure. On my way; work on Monday ....... and so life resumes out of this safe little bubble. ;)
First day back to work
WHEW!! It was kind of rough, increased discomfort and swelling, which is to be expected with my job. I'm home on the recliner having a cup of coffee.....still have charting to do tonite. Was scheduled to go to a kindergarten graduation tonite, but I think I better stay home! I'm on the road seeing patients all day, two who I ave ad or a long time said basically....WOW, YOU LOOK LESS TIRED! I ran into the home office for a while and my supervisor and another one came out see me right away....said you look so pretty today - while staring intently at my face. I think the cat got out of the bag somehow due to my return to work note. Cause this was not normal behavior. LOL. My first patient of the day had to be moved up in bed (bed bound), so there was no choice but to do it, couldn't let them stay in that position. Had anther one where I was sitting on the floor with a lantern and a mirror doing dressing work on their legs.....so i was contorted and neck bent down a lot. I don't feel I damaged anything, but just aggravated it with swelling. Not pain either, merely sore. All in all, it went fairly well. I'll evaluate how I look in the morning now ;). I just wish I would swell equally in both sides, rather than always the one side. I'd rather look like I just have a big head than being all weirdly lopsided. LOL.
Today I noticed that I was not contorting my head, or watching that i dont have ny chin down, etc. to hide my neck. Or placing my hands on chin to cover it. I'll be able to wear my hair back now, too, and not be afraid of my profile. I actually bought those things called Secret Neck Lift, it's tape things that you wear with a thin elastic that attaches to them to pull your neck tighter. They work good! But now.....wow, I am going to be free of so much worry about my appearance ;). It's rather liberating :). I LOVE my neck now. When all swelling leaves from cheeks and jaw I will be so happy
6 week review
So, I went to a party last night with people I haven't seen in over two months. Nobody knew I had surgery. I heard quite a few times "you're looking really good" and "have you been on vacation.....or...is your hair different?" I felt more confident, and less apprehensive about my profile and tired look. Today it was really hot and humid here, and I was able to pin my hair back for my walk. Normally, I would leave it down to try to hide my neck, but not today! I'm am finally able to sleep in bed, but I do still wake with swelling behind and in front of my ears. I also still have swelling on the left side neck and chin. that has been my stubborn side from the beginning......ear hurt more, that side of neck and chin hurt more, and always swelled up more. Scar behind the left ear aches now too...feels thicker than before. Going for facial, lymphatic massage on Wednesday, so I'll ask her about that. PS office recommended a good base moisturizer to use for now (allergen: Vivate'), as they don't want any other stronger products on my face. As for sunscreen, I purchased Smashbox CC cream that has SPF 30 in it, and it balances out uneven tone. Anything over SPF 35 is basically overkill and a waste....according to literature on that subject. 30 it is! Talked about an endoscopic brow lift, but I'm undecided on it, I'm so afraid of the surprised look! I haven't been blessed with nice high arched brows, so I understand that it would make improvements, but I'm still scared of it, more than I was of the facelift. I have heavy hooding on my eyes, so I'm kind of torn..... A simple upper eyelid lift, or the eye lift and endoscopic brow lift t same time. A slippery slope this PS is. LOL
Pre op and post op Pictures at 6 weeks
I think maybe we forget how we looked prior to facelift.....when we are picking apart our new face. I am dealing with lots of swelling from the fluids in lymph system not moving well, so have a few more lymphatic massages booked. The heat and humidity makes me swell a lot too. It's looking good though! Going to keep the old pics for reminder of the good work my PS did for me :)
Swelling swelling swelling
10 Jul 2013
2 months post
Oh, how I am tired of the swelling! I am in and out in the heat all day with my job, and it seems most people don't turn on their air or use fans in their homes, so by time I am done with work I feel like a pumpkin head. LOL. Its not that noticeable to others most of the time, but I can feel it. My eyes even swell up, and no eye work was done. Heat always did affect me negatively, but wouldn't you know that this is the most humid it's been here in years....of course when I have had a FL! It's to the point that after working hours I just need To be inside to feel some relief behind my ears and sides of my neck. At times there is some fluid escaping behind ears as well, even though scars look good and are healed. arrrggghhh. Trying to really watch sodium intake, etc. to help battle this. This too shall pass :)
Exactly 8 weeks tomorrow
13 Jul 2013
2 months post
I'm pleased. Especially when the swelling quits..... Especially my eyes....even though no work was done there. LOL
Three and a half months
28 Aug 2013
3 months post
New pics with old ones for comparison. Still some swelling on left, but much less. I'll need a small muscle tightening on the left, due to previous damage to my left side. If I wasn't getting my eyes done in the winter, I wouldn't bother. I'm so very pleased with it all. Feel like a new person. Next pics will be with my eyes done. Yea!
The overall experience was good. He doesn't seem to do like a lot of other PS on here.......marking the face, or chin/head strap for weeks, etc. that had me a bit concerned, but I trusted his way and at this point I am pleased. I think he is a genius in terms of scars......I will have none showing. Even under the chin, it's very fine so it will be faded out quickly.
I had two consultations prior to surgery, he was very professional, but I didn't get a warm fuzzy feeling. He did, just from looking at my face, tell me about nerve damage that I had since I was a child. he talked about involvement of nerves, and possible risks. I saw him to say Hello right before getting iv placed for surgery...and that was it. At my post op appointments, he was very nice, professional, answered all questions and didn't make me feel rushed. He again told me to call with any questions or concerns. I left both of these appointments feeling cared about. I also liked that at post op appointments he removed all bandaging, sutures, staples and care. I preferred him doing it rather than his staff/RN.
He sends his facelift patients for two facial massages to help with swelling and lymphatic drainage....included in with the price. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Dr Sabbagh for facelift procedures. Who knows, maybe I'll get my eyes done in a few years from him!