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Facelift, Dermabrasion and SMAS Lip Graft - Birmingham, AL

Motivated by the desire to look as young as I...

Motivated by the desire to look as young as I feel, I decided to have a facelift for my 50th birthday. I did not want to look like a windblown Barbie doll but wanted to reverse some of my youthful ignorance of the sun and the damage that it caused and the severe frown line between my eyes making me look stern and angry most of the time.  Three and a half months post op and I am very happy with the result. I was happy and confident before the surgery but now I am more excited to look people in the eye and smile, knowing that my appearance reflects my feelings. The only thing that I truly wish I had been more prepared for was the length of time that I would not look like myself. I truly expected to be back to "normal" after about 2 weeks. It has taken the full 3 months to truly be able to see "myself" again when I look in the mirror. There is still a minor amount of redness around my mouth from the dermabrasion and some tingly numbness on my cheek area but nothing major and nothing that won't resolve in time. I would advise anyone seeking a facelift to be aware of the true amount of healing time.

Here are my most recent photos, 5 months post op. ...

Here are my most recent photos, 5 months post op. I am so happy with the result! People who know I had it done are amazed at the result! Strangers think my daughter and I look exactly alike (she's 27) and sometimes I am mistaken for the mother of my granddaughter (what fun!). Yes the recovery was long but the end result is well worth it!
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon

They were recommended by a co-worker. My surgeon was very attentive to that and assured me that my expectations were realistic. I feel that Dr. Schaffer and his staff were the best choice that I could have made for my needs.

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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Wao in the after pics you look only 45 great pictures!
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Hi L, Thanks for sharing.  You look great!  Are you still pleased?  I am 46 and I am thinking about getting a facelift within the next 1-2 years.  First, I have to get through my surgery next Thurs 4/11 which is fat grafting to the breasts.  Did you have your eyes or brows done?  I am wondering if 46-47 is too young for a facelift?   Amelia
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Yes I am still very pleased, more so every day actually. I did not have my eyes done. The brow lift that I had was a bi-planor which is more thorough (for lack of a better word) than the endoscopic. Dr. Schaffer said that once he did that he wouldn't need to do an eye lift and he was right. My desire was not to look plastic or "done" and I certainly didn't want my eyebrows to be in a constantly surprised position. I don't think 46 or 47 is too young for a facelift, depending on your issues and your desires. I see that you already have a PS, what does he/she say about it? Good luck with your surgery next week!
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Thanks.  Glad to hear you are pleased.  Where are the scars & how are they? What is a bi-planor brow lift?  So, you are saying it eliminates the need for a bleph.  I have consulted with different docs and they have said different things about my eyes so I find it comical.  They all say no to a facelift b/c I don't have jowls but I do have saggy/crepey mid face skin.  I have had fillers and botox.  That helps some.  Although, the first doc was not great & after cheek fillers, I developed ugly 'malar mounds' (lines through the middle of my face).  I have not discussed my face with my current ps as I found her through real self because I saw a review on her for the fat transfer to the breasts.  I emailed the girl who wrote the review & ended up meeting her at a Starbucks, talked for 2 hours & she showed me her new breasts & the lipo marks.  I signed up with the doc for that after one meeting so we have yet to discuss anything else.  Although, I will say, that when I arrived a woman was sitting in the waiting room with me that I started to talk to.  She was there for her 1 month follow up on a face lift and she looked great.  So, that is a good sign.
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Amelia. My young friends 35-50 are talking now the procedure Vampire facelift (see realself.com review for details on the procedure). Kim Kadashian has a full details of her Vampire facelift on youtube. It seems that the procedure can refresh the face without a facelift and no scars. A facelift leaves scars at the ears and under chin area, I had to put concealer to hide them. Some people says that a Vampire facelift and some fillers or maybe laser procedure can make the face look younger too. The beauty technology is moving fast . You may want to check it out.
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A bi-planor brow lift is where they actually cut your scalp from one side to the other and pull it up, working those muscles from underneath. This as opposed to the endoscopic brow lift that requires 2 or 3 small incisions in the scalp, is less invasive however for the brow wrinkles that I had, would not have been as successful allowing me to receive the results that I wanted. My scar from that is right in my hairline and is not visible at all. My other scars are behind my ears and in my hairline at my temples. None of them are visible at all. I did also have lipo under my chin and had a mole removed between my eyes. Neither of these scars is visible at all. It's truly amazing! As mentioned by MiamiBeach390, the technology is moving rapidly and if no PS that you have consulted with thinks you need a full lift, ask what your other, better options are. A facelift is a great procedure if you need it but if you don't, I wouldn't recommend it. The recovery time is long and can be emotionally difficult. The end result for me has been grand but if I had not needed it I would happily have gone a less invasive route. Good Luck!
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I will look into it.  I vaguely remember hearing bad things about the Vampire Facelift.  Right now, I am 2 days out from surgery for a Fat Transfer from my thighs & hips to my Breasts.  So, I am very excited but need to get through this first! :-)  Thanks for your comment.  Happy Healing to you!!
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Hi L, Interesting.  Thank you for explaining the bi-planor.  I do not think I would need that as I have never even had botox in the forehead as I have NO wrinkles in my forehead b/c I do not frown.  Mostly, it is just my mid-face...it is SO saggy & crepey.  One facial plastic surgeon suggested an ebrium laser resurfacing.  What do you think of that?  It seems to have VERY bad reviews as a procedure.  Can you pm me the 3 day pics that you are scared to post so that I know what I am getting into?  I also have the chin starting to sag down a little, so maybe a little lipo there?  I think I am "on the border" of needing anything done yet.  POO!  Enjoy your results..you deserve it after your long recovery!!  I have my Fat Transfer to the Breasts on Thurs so 3 days to go!  And, you are right, my husband always says how technology is improving everyday so wait & they will come up with even better techniques.  After I am through recovery of this surgery, I will ask this doc what she thinks too.
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You're stunning! I'm glad this was worth it for you. Thanks so much for sharing your experience.

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Yes, I am in a similar situation. It was for my 50th birthday as well. I had my eyes and nose done ..lower and upper blepharplasty/ deviated septum but had him make it a big smaller in December. There was no pain at all. I only took tylenol. My eyes are starting to look like me. I think he did a great job but I am using the silicone strips non stop on my upper eyelids. The line is raised and pink still. I seem to hyper....I forgot the word but it means that I tend to scar and it is raised and pink therefore I have to be very careful not only who my surgeon is and my part of the healing process which means silicone and constant moisture....protein drinks too. Then 2 weeks ago today...I had surgery. I needed scar revision on my ears and a neck lift. This was frustrating to me because I had someone do it about a year ago and went the cheap way. Well, the cheap way left me with ugly scars on my ears ...the new doc put the scars in my ears...thank goodness I had some skin to work with. About 14 years ago or longer I had some weird thing that protruded from my neck. I went to an eye ear nose surgeon and he took a lympnode out. After I told him that the lump under my chin was still there. He said, I took out the problem and now you need a face lift. That was Dr. Steven Soltes. He was the worst doctor with the worst bed side manner. I think he cut my neck muscle. Thanks Doc. He probably knew later I would have a double band hanging in the front of my neck. It was ugly and yes that meant a neck lift at the very least but why not do the lower face at the same time. My older sisters did not have this and I know he not only did not take care of the problem but made me worse. I went to another doc and he said it was a herniated muscle and sewed the muscle to the bone. He said he had never seen anything like this. All was good up until about a year and a half ago when the double band in my neck was protruding. Ugly. So, I went to a a plastic surgeon who I liked but he did not charge much and tried to fix the neck and pulled some skin back. That is the doc that kept giving my silicone shots. It did not work. The scars by my ears were ugly. When I went to get my eyes/nose done the plastic surgeon said, you need scar revision and your neck fixed. You are too pretty to have this on your face and neck. I did not want to do all of this at once but looking back maybe I should have to save money and deal with one healing process not two as I am doing now. People do not realize the length of healing time. I think you are right. It will probably take me 3 months to look and feel like me. Plus, I changed my hair color. Another thing that is normal that nobody talks about is that you go through a phase that you feel down. I am there now. So, I pray. I think it is great that people have had success going to Mexico but to be honest I don't think I could do that. I have had to see the doctor numberous times during the first two weeks. What if you have a problem later? Trust me, another doctor does not want to intervene in another doctors work. All in all I think I had a great doctor. The scars by my ears are way better. I can't really see them but I am wearing silicone starting today. The scar under my chin (love having a neck again) is pink and I have silicone on that as well. I do have a weird line on my left cheek that is from the drain. The right drain was taken out the next day after surgery but the right one stayed in for 3 more days. I also had to wear that bowling bowl wrap on my head for longer. He says the line on my cheek will go away. The nurse says it will go away. I have to be patient. I am sure that we look at ourselves under a microscope and others do not do that to us but I can't wait until as one nurse said...you are in a cocoon and you will be a beautiful butterfly soon! Cute metaphor. My ex husband took me to the doctor and said, you need to be patient. Do you expect to look like Marilyn Monroe in 2 weeks. Of course I said, Yes!
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How do I download pics so people can see what my progress it? Thanks!
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I think you have to post a review to get the download option.
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You look very beautiful . Thanks for sharing your story. It took me longer to heal all the bruises, about 6 weeks. Maybe because I am older (62) and I am slow to heal. I now wear hat when I go out, avoiding direct exposure of my new face to the sun. I also make sure I wear good suncreen.
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Hi LHayes! Can you tell me how long it took the dermabrasion to heal? Does anyone know approximately how much it would cost?
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At 4 months out I still have a very small amount of pink on the sides of my face just above my mouth. The actual very very red only took about 1 month to be gone for the most part. It's not pretty initially, be aware. I can send you a 3 day post op photo if you want. I don't want to post it for the entire community to see because it really is shocking. As far as cost, I'm sure each area of the country and each doctor has different prices.
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Thanks LHayes. Yes, I would love to see a post-op photo if you have one, but I mostly appreciate what you have to say. Did it hurt? Were you able to cover it with make-up. Thanks so much for the info, I appreciate your kind response. Leslie
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There was absolutely NO pain! When I tell people this, they cannot believe it. I did do vinegar/water baths on my face several times a day until all of the crusting was gone which took about 2 weeks. After that it was very red and makeup did a so-so job of covering. I bought heavy duty makeup which isn't my norm just to see if it would cover. I see some photos of myself and when I have on no makeup it looks like I've eaten a jelly doughnut and have it on my upper lip. I really don't want to post the horrid 3 day post op photo as I don't want to scare people. It is really bad. Did you not have any dermabrasion? How are you healing now at 4 weeks post? What did you have done? I would do the dermabrasion again. My skin has never looked better.
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That's awesome that you had no pain! I had a mid facelift and neck lift. I wish I had gotten at least some dermabrasion also, since I was going to be stuck inside healing anyway. At 4 weeks post-op I have quite a bit of bruising on my neck, and a sore next to my ear. I also had a tummy tuck and am healing pretty well from that, but I have a seroma and have had to get it drained 3 times. Hopefully next week will be the last time. My incision looks amazingly good I think. Still swollen. Still tired. Hope I get a chance to do dermabrasion because it sounds like a huge success. Thanks much! Leslie
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Yes, I am not quite at 2 weeks post op and I thought I would look more like myself!
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Try your best to be patient. It will come. I know that's difficult especially if you must be out in public as I did. I had a doctor friend tell me that it would be a full 6 months before everything would be completely as it would be. I'm 4 months in and think that it's all there now. The result isn't dramatic to others as you can tell by the comments on real self but to me it's amazing and I am loving it. I'm sure you will too. Good luck! I cannot wait to see your before and afters!
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I also see change now after the new photos. Good job, enjoy your new younger face
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ok I see the change now in the new pics you submitted. Great job! But whoa 12K???
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I have added some different photos hoping to show more difference but truly it is very subtle, which is exactly what I asked for. Close up, it is very noticeable and I am so very happy with my result!
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Photos are awesome. I can really tell the BEAUTIFUL difference! Congratulations!
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Gee I really can't see any difference from your B and A. I went back and forth several times looking for changes but see none. You look absolutely great in both pics.
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