Not Sure About Anything Yet…. - California, CA

I had a lower face and neck lift along with upper...

I had a lower face and neck lift along with upper and lower eyes done…. I am SHOCKED to experience the healing process. I am not as miserable as I was, and every day I am getting better. Had my questions been answered honestly in my consultation, I would never have gone forward with the surgery. I had a sagging neck and vowed to take care of it before I turned 50 (next year). The surgeon who I still believe to be very competent and skilled suggested that I have the lower face done as well as my eyes. I did agree because I had the tired eyes and the jowls and marionette lines. I had a drug cocktail with LOCAL anesthesia…. I was awake and chatting with the doctor and assistant through the entire 5 hour procedure. The local anesthetic was VERY painful. I thought I was going to throw up, but it passed. I could feel EVERY cut of the scalpel, every tug, suction and stitch. The drugs did mellow me to the point that I did not stand up and walk out. I did mention on several occasions that I could feel pain. They would respond by shooting more anesthesia into the area they were currently working on. I am not sure weather I am happy I did not know and went forward OR if I will forever regret my decision to hack into my face. The numbness has lessened and my lips have re-emerged (anyone who has done face surgery knows what I mean). I still look like a bad science experiment…. I am hoping daily that I look in the mirror and see a younger version of myself, but this has yet to happen. I do feel as though I am sick, but am not. Kind of in a fog…. (I have not had a pain pill since 11/2). I thought I would be back to myself and my life routine within 3 days honestly from what I was told in the initial consultation and subsequent conversations with the staff. Everybody there is very encouraging (They see this everyday… the hideous look of plastic surgery) telling me how beautiful I am looking. Hope they see what I can not yet see myself…. Will post again in a few days.

Tuesday will be two weeks….

It is Sunday….. On Tuesday I will have my third visit post op. I am planning on asking many questions. When do I shed my skin? How long will this take? When should the swelling be gone? Will the dark circles around my eyes always be there? When will I look normal in makeup? Ever without? I'd love to hear from anyone who has gone through this that can offer any insight…. Also I am not able to download a photo. says wrong format. Any suggestions?
Hi Stella, I had a similar procedure in 2006 when I was 42, face/neck and upper eyes. I had general anesthesia in the docs surgery center. I see that now they are doing more of these with local like you had. The thing about general anesth is that it has its own risks and it's super expensive. I think it added 3000 to my costs. But it does sound like you went through a lot! It took me 6 weeks to look presentable with most bruising gone and swelling mostly gone down. (Other people may not notice the swelling as much as you do.) Also, the docs may have more modern techniques now which heal faster. I stayed numb under my chin for a long time--but being numb there isn't a big deal. Scars healed well, I just have a little white line that goes from behind the ear into my hair on each side of my head. If I really cared, I guess I could have it tattoo'd a bit darker, to match my skin, but it's very small. I looked normal without makeup at 6 weeks :) I don't think any bruising, even under your eyes will be permanent but of course ask your doc. If it's broken blood vessels (which are permanent unless treated) they can treat them with a minor laser treatment. I think most photos on here are jpg format. They might also accept png and gif. It's the part that's after the dot that tells the format. If there's nothing after the dot in the photo file name, you can sometimes just add .jpg to the name and it will work. Take care!
Thank you for sharing your experience…. I am feeling better today. I put makeup on and felt more human. I feel as though I just need to give it time after researching. I am basically healthy and juice a lot. I am hoping this will accelerate my healing. The swelling seems to be just a little bit less everyday. I will keep up with my progress with my posts. Thank you so much for the help with the photo issue. I will try now, hopefully with success!

Welcome to RealSelf! You had a lot done and from what I've read in this community, the recovery can be somewhat intense and long, too. It's very compassionate of you to see this from the doctor's and his staff's point of view, that they see this stuff often, but that doesn't make it easier on you!

You might want to join (or at least read through) this thread about the healing time for a facelift. Please keep us posted as you continue to recover!


Tuesday… almost two weeks. A good day!

I go to my surgeon tomorrow for my two week check in. I am very happy to report my swelling is getting less each day. I am convinced my ears are dead…. Or dying.
I feel like my face is a giant ice cube that is slowwwwlly melting. This is encouraging in a weird way. I can hardly wait until I am thawed completely. Putting makeup on for the first time today was interesting. The numbness on my eyes is a very strange. It is like my eyelid is not there. Hoping this gets better soon. I will report back after my appointment tomorrow. I am hoping to get a better report this time. Last week he seemed concerned that there was much swelling and told me to take things more slowly. I am a definite type A personality and don't like taking it easy!

more pics

You look awesome you're going to have wonderful results. I'm doing the same procedures in January. Have to fix the neck before I turn 50 next Spring, just can't take it anymore. I'm having general anesthesia it adds $1600 to my cost but I don't think I could brave a local as you did! I think you're going to turn out gorgeous, so happy for you!
I was not even offered the general. Not sure why… I will be 50 next October and I did not want to still have the loose neck and aging look continuing into my 50's. The surgery is behind me and the healing ahead thank goodness. I only wish I had found this site. I did go in a bit naive. The reality is patience is needed…. I did myself NO favors panicking in the beginning. You will be so happy once you have done it because in the end the result is worth it. January will be here before you know it. Don't be hard on yourself in the beginning. I am just now seeing myself again when I look in the mirror and that is a great relief. It is a bizarre (and wonderful) thing to look at yourself minus the wrinkles and sagging neck!!!
You look like your in your 20's in the latest picture! So pretty! I'm with you on turning 50 and needing to fix things now. I was going along fine on aging....until about a year ago, my neck seriously started falling and to me it's the first thing everyone sees and makes me very self-conscious. I agree on finding this site..I started researching back in February and feel like my healing expectations have been put in check by all of the great sharing on this site - otherwise I'm sure I'd be in complete shock after my surgery. You are healing so well, please keep us updated as you can and get lots of rest!

Yippee! I passed my two week review….

Saw the Dr today and he is very happy with my healing. I am thankful that two weeks have gone by. I tried my chin strap, but due to ear pain I stopped. My ears are not as swollen now so I will try again. This is supposed to help the swelling quite a bit. Will let you all know after I have worn it for a few days…. Will try to post more pics now.


Your recent picture looks great!....Before having my surgery (3 procedures done at once) I had 2 local "quick lift" consults, so I neglected to really talk about just what was going to happen with my face, we concentrated on the other 2 procedures, I thought I knew what was going to happen with the face, but no, since I was getting a real face lift/neck lift, so when I woke after surgery I thought the PS had removed my ears and then re-sewed them back after the lift...When I saw him the next day I asked if he had removed my ears, he laughed, and I said No, really did you??? I was really seemed like it at the time. In the end I am happy I did not know how extensive the lower face and neck lift was going to be or I may have chickened out....I am happy now but it did take the full 6 months to regain my feeling in the sides of my neck and cheeks...
Thanks….. Now I have a bit of a timeline to follow. Already the sweeping has decreased by at least 50%, but somehow I think that the rest of the swelling is going to take longer…. The feeling coming back feels very strange the nearer I get to the ears. Under my cheekbones is feeling very raw and a little painful. My incisions behind my ears are in certain places feeling swollen and blood crusted, but for the most part healing nicely. I am so happy to be able to go out and feel like I am looking refreshed. My hair is my shield at this particular time. I am considering cutting my hair, but am a bit reluctant until the swelling is down. I totally understand about the ears and also thought mine were removed and put back!!!!! When I really think about the entire surgery that was done I cringe….. I like so many, am really happy it is done! I would definitely NOT have gone through with it, and that would be a tragedy! My results are pretty spectacular. So interesting to go back and read my freak out in the beginning!!!!
Sweeping s/b swelling….. LOL

Feeling more presentable these days.

Everyday I feel a little relief. The mobility in my neck is still quite limited due to the swelling. The swelling has become less and less…. day by day. I am very please with the emerging result. I have come a long way in three weeks, and feel like the worst is in the first two...
I hope you read my experience, I looked like a car wreck and I didn't even have my eyes done! You look I wish I did my eyes. I thank god I was under General and at a hospital...I could never have done it the way you did. But, after all, you look great! Love the new look....fantastic...I'm still waiting..I have swollen glands that are interfering with my recovery, it's from another illness. Take care of yourself, and when you look in the mirror you will know it was Al worth it!
Thank you for sharing your experience! I hope your swollen glands are not as swollen. I can't imagine having something else to deal with! The eyes, should you choose to do them in the future are easy in comparison… When was your surgery? Thanks again for the kind comments!
Hi Stella..the darned glands are so swelled that they are getting in the way of a very nice neck! Specialist Dec 5th to deal with that....I'm healing well, thank you!

tomorrow it has been FOUR weeks….

OK, I am still swollen. You know the hard, rubbery numb swelling. The good news is that it is receding, albeit slowly. There are still days when I look in the mirror and think WHY did I do this to myself. Those days are random, and I am pretty much happy with things. People who know me and don't know what I have done look at me cautiously. They know something is different, but can't quite put their finger on what. I will try to get some pictures and add them today. Hope you all are doing great!
Your eyes look terrific....overall..beautiful...ass more pictures!
Add more's late at night!
Post...sorry...the I pad likes to change words!

new photos 11/29

Thought I would post some photos from today. Still swollen. Still healing and feeling some pain at the incision sites. Pics really don't show the swelling, but it is definitely there. It is getting better….
I read your posts before looking at your pics. I was afraid to look at your picture but I did. I think with any surgery there will be swelling and bruising from the beginning and of course will fade. I want to tell you, you look absolutely wonderful and think it was well worth it!!!

other eye...

I posted the pic of the same eye twice! This is the other that looks better. Hope the other catches up….
If you were awake and chatting with the surgeon ( you know many who have had local anesthesia w/oral sedation claim they sleep thru the whole thing) how did you deal with seeing a scalpel come right at your eyeball. I can understand the facelift not being that frightening b/c the work is being done off to each side. I can almost understand the upper b/c the lid is shut but I cannot see how you don't move even a cm when a knife you can clearly see is coming at your eye in doing the lower lid. Can you help me understand this. The surgeon I am considering using only does the kind of anesth you had. BTW I think you're results are excellent and your pics look like those of a 30-something and your upper eyes look very good. You are lucky your surgeon knew how to do a great eye w/o the need for an accompanying brow lift b/c that is brutal.....thanks grace60
Thank you for your kind words! I am very happy with my results thus far. My posts in the beginning were a bit brutal because that is how I (and I think many of us who elect to have this surgery) was feeling then. Time and healing are needed to work through these emotions. IF (and that is a big IF) I ever have any other work done, I think I will be better able to handle the flood of emotions that come along with the healing crisis. As far as the scalpel coming toward my eyes, I think the body and mind take over and you just know at that time to close them and keep them closed until they are finished. I am happy now that the PS suggested local anesthesia. I don't know what, if anything you are considering, but I am SO thrilled with my result that I am glad that I didn't know what I didn't know. I hope that makes sense. Anybody going into face/body work should know that the healing crisis does pass!
Stella24 you look great!!!! thank you for the detailed description of your recovery, something to consider. Again, you look fabulous!!!!

December 23rd. Almost two months post.

I know I need to post current pics….. I wanted to at least let you all know how I am healing. Everything is healing nicely. The hard rubbery numb feeling has really loosened up. I am looking very natural and have many people I know well that don't know I have had the surgery comment that I look great. Others I don't see on a semi regular basis think I have lost weight OR changed my hair. I am still numb and very much healing, but I have come a long way. I am very happy that I did have this surgery. Good luck to you all venturing in…… You should be thrilled with your result as long as you research your surgeon and go in with good health.
Thanks for your posts I was laughing out loud as I read them because today is two weeks post op for me....I had same as you except a general....and you sound exactly like how I've been reacting! I just said yesterday and again today how I wished I didn't do this to myself, why did I do this. Wondered the same thing went I went to checkup yesterday...why is doc and staff saying how beautiful I look? I look like side is more swollen than the other, crusty scabby ears and my ears loo, like they are different lengths! The neck looks better but for a little spot that looks like it's not as tight as the rest and my eyes looked pretty good but swollen yesterday but today they were more swollen and dark again. It's nice toread what you went through because I feel hopeful. At least though I so want my life back. Did you put anything on the scars to fade them I do have an inch and a half long scar under. My chin that is now a massive scab and I hope to one day feel my face and ears again.
I would never have believed you were going to heal so nicely after seeing the first few pictures... but OMG! You look AMAZING! Who is the surgeon?
Dr. Chester Cheng in Danville. His bedside manner (and skill) are excellent! I highly recommend him.
Dr. Chester Cheng

If you read my posts, you understand I went through a lot while healing. Not all of my comments were favorable, but please know that this is all a part of the process. I could not be happier with my result. There are not enough nice things to say about Dr. Cheng and his staff. If you are considering plastic surgery of any kind I would highly recommend Dr. Cheng.

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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