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Facelift & upper Bleph for Hereditary Problems - Cincinnati, OH

I'm 43yrs old. I have had droopy eyes and a...

I'm 43yrs old. I have had droopy eyes and a double chin most of my life regardless of my weight, even got made fun of for it as a kid. The biggest I have ever been was at the beginning of this year at a size 12. I've lost 45lbs this year and now on top of the double chin/jowls, I have a turkey wattle and my neck has wrinkles from all the loose skin. I finally gathered the courage and funds, and I plan to bring in the new year with a new me! I am also a smoker, and just started taking Chantix to ease the pain of quitting. It's going to be hard, but I have too much on the line here to be taking chances, so I will finish the pack I have and that's it.

I'm so excited, but I'm also terrified my face will look unbalanced with my fat cheeks once the chins and jowls are gone.

I go back to the PS on Thursday but plan to go shopping this weekend for some supplies, what things did you find the most helpful in your recovery?

Before pic

A week from now...

I will be recovering from surgery and I'm more nervous than ever. When I first saw the PS he said lower facelift and didn't describe exactly what that would entail. By the time I went for my pre-op appointment I was much more informed and asked specifically what he would be doing. Long story short, I'm getting a MACS lift. I have read those don't address the jowls/neck much and since that's what prompted me to go see him to begin with, I'm really worried I won't get the results I was led to expect. This doctor has a good reputation and I hope I'm just being paranoid!

Cried like a baby.

Surgery was this morning. Obviously way too soon to know what my results will be but I felt under my face and there was a distinction between by chin and neck I could feel even through all the gauze. I whipped out my phone to take a picture. And burst into tears. Not only do I have a jawline of some sort(hopefully a nice one but won't know that for awhile), I have eyelids! Words can't express what it was like to see my eyelids exposed and a promise of a chin that does not go straight into my neck.

I won't get to talk to the doctor until tomorrow but the clinical staff said he did another procedure and my neck hurts more than anywhere else plus I have marking on it that wasn't done prior so surgery so I suspect he got in there and realized it needed more work than he thought. I had told him before going in that if he needed to excise more than expected to do it, I can easily hide more stitched with my long hair.

Sorry so wordy, I'm just so happily surprised!

oops!

Realized I posted a pic with ice pack hiding my neck! Here is a better one. Note that is NOT a wrinkle on my neck, it is a marker line. I'm guessing it was originally at the base of my neck. Something I didn't notice earlier, all of the "circles" of wrinkles I had in my collarbone area are completely gone as as result of whatever he did. I never mentioned them and did not expect they would change at all, much less disappear but they have. I can't wait to see what's under this bandage tomorrow!

day after surgery

The drains were removed today, my hair washed, and the gauze replaced with a comsression garment. My PS had no idea what the girl in recovery was talking about, said he didn't do any additional procedure. Sadly, he also said swelling was probably why my neck circles are gone and that they will likely return.

I'm in more pain now, he wasn't exactly gentle pulling the drains out and the one behind my right ear pulled on the incision and my nerve endings were screaming. The hoodie I was wearing has blood on it :( he said I could stop with the ice packs if I want but since the pain meds aren't affecting me (pain meds never help me) the ice packs are my pain relief and I'm going to keep using them. My only real pain is on either side of my Jawbone. I asked if he had dislocated it during surgery and got a strange look!

I got to see my neck for a moment before he put the sling on. It looks awesome! If it stays this way I will be beyond happy. Little nervous that one side of my face is swollen so much more than the other but I know that's not uncommon. I do not have warm fuzzies about his bedside manner today, but it is NYE so that could be why. The important thing is the results.

Can't eat due to jaw pain. Best I can manage is mashed potato. You know when you feed a baby and have to wipe baby food off their lips? Thats what its like. Even jello requires more chewing than I can do right now. My neck has a little bruising but none on my face yet. I am a big bruiser so I assume the arnica must be helping. Thanks to the person who suggested pineapple juice. I normally don't like it much but it tastes like pure heaven right now. Eyes aren't hurting and for the first time since I can remember, aren't watery. It feels really strange to not have all that extra skin weighing them down. Cant picture what they will end up looking like at all. Cant picture what I will look like, but I am pretty sure it will be a dramatic change!

Still no bruising!

PS indicated today would be when I have the most swelling and bruising. Swelling hasn't gotten better or worse and I have zero bruising unless it's on my neck hidden under the compression sling. I am taking Arnica whenever I think about it, and drinking a ton of pineapple juice, but I'm normally such a bruiser! I am in more pain today but that could be from my dad and his wife stopping over to visit. Dad had been wanting his neck fixed too, but said one look.at me changed his mind!

They thought I had lost a ton of weight (i saw them just a week ago!) and seemed shocked by my size, but I'm no smaller than they last saw me...except in the face. I suspect I'm going to get that a lot now that the size of my face is more in line with the size of my body. Works for me, I'd rather claim its weight loss than admit I had a facelift and be judged.

The itching, oh the itching is maddening already and I'm sure it's only going to get worse. Fingers crossed I don't scratch in my sleep and pop a suture. My throat is also still raw. It feels like the anesthesiologist used a razor blade to intubate me.

Eyes feel great, just swollen and tight. I still marvel over seeing eyelashes, very eager to see them in makeup.

Anyone remember the short lived reality show called The Swan? I feel like one of the contestants, except I only had 2 things done instead of 10. Happy New Year!

First good look

Showered this morning, that was not fun. Blind without my contacts, afraid to turn my neck, and trying to wash my hair. I'm sore from the effortless. I got my first good look at Dr. Hummel's handiwork and wow, just wow. Can't see well enough to comment on the stitches or my ears, but here's some pictures.

gastro issues

I hope my posts are helpful to someone, it feels a little strange sharing such intimate details...I bought stool softener just in case. Apparently mom picked it up and took it home. Enter the worst pain I have ever experienced. It was so bad that I felt back there to see if my insides were coming out, cuz stool sure wasnt! I didn't even care if the straining busted stitches, it was like a huge knife was slicing me open. Be sure to have stool softener, not laxatives, on hand!
On a happier note, showering was easier today and I think I'm looking great! My face is still lopsided but I assume that's just swelling. Other than in the shower I'm wearing the sling 24/7. It makes me feel safer. I can eat crackers now and really want real food but terrified what normal food might do to my intestine!

scary sutures day 6 update

Another post that hopefully might help someone else as i could not find a good pic of sutures on day 6 to reassure me I didn't need to be worried about mine. Left side stitches not looking great and giving random sharp pain. Googled for a few hours before I gave in and contacted the doc. As a former smoker (22 days smoke free now and zero desire to pick one up) necrosis is a big fear of mine! I texted him a pic of the stitches and he said it looks like delayed healing and nothing to be too concerned about at this point. My compression sling seems stretched out a bit so I wonder if its been cutting off the circulation or if its swelling going down, or the 5lbs I've lost from not being able to eat? In any case, it's kept getting looser so I kept adjusting it tighter. He had me take it off and within a few hours I felt better, but started bruising on that side of my face so I put it back on, but as loosely as I could.

Tomorrow I'm supposed to start working from home but I'm not sure if I'm ready. Sitting at a computer all day programming sounds a bit much still with these stitches in my lids and having glasses pressed up against the painful sutures since I don't have the ok to wear my contacts yet. I'm assuming when those sutures come out day after tomorrow I'll be ok.to wear them again. My eyes have swollen back up a bit from crying. It was a dramatic weekend. Do NOT cry when healing from blepharoplasty if you can possibly help it!!

day 6 pics

Most sutures have been removed

Most of my sutures were removed yesterday and I learned my compression garment was too large. It should rest on either side of your ears but not cover any part. Between the suture removal and the change to a proper fitting sling, I am pretty much pain free at this point! I was given the okay to start wearing my contacts again, tweeze my eyebrows, and while I was advised to try to not sleep on one side all night, I don't have to sleep on my back raised to a 30 degree angle anymore either!

Here is a before picture taken in December. Like all pictures of me prior to last week, I have my eyebrows raised and an excessive amount of eye makeup on but you'd never know it.

Sutures Out!

10 days in and I'm finally suture free! My left side continues to be behind on healing both the incision and the swelling. Seeing one side of my nose and mouth look pulled down is a very scary thing, I can see why it's common for people to get depressed at this stage! Trying to stay positive. PS says my eyes and neck are still pretty swollen as well. Tried to put on some eyeliner and it looks very strange. I look like Droopy Dog the cartoon character might after having a stroke.

My chin and my neck are no longer one continuous body part. I have a line where my chin meets neck from the pressure of the compression garment, and another on my neck where the garment stopped. Because of this I'll only be wearing the chin strap a few hours a day, the PS shares my fear that they'll become permanent wrinkles.

12 Days Post Op

I got bored and decided to cut bangs into my hair. Wasn't sure I wanted to, and not sure if I like it, but I can use it as the excuse for looking different.

My paranoia about the lopsided face continues to grow. Say a prayer for me please.

Lopsided

The left side of my face remains a little swollen. The left cheek either has a knot or has been lifted higher than my right. Basically if you drew a line down the middle of my forehead to my chin and compared the two sides, they are off. From the eye showing more lid on one side, the different wrinkle by the mouth, and even a bit of a jawline difference, my face is asymmetrical. I keep thinking of all the various things I felt pull on the right side of my face when the PS removed the drain and wonder if some important nerve was severed, or an important stitch from the lift itself?

Well this is a scary development

2 1/2 weeks post op. My chin suddenly becomes lumpy and wrinkled??

3 weeks post op

No real changes in appearance but the incision line on the left side did get cleaned up a bit today. I'm not sure if it looks better or worse, the scabs are gone but there are some raw holes in their place. On the upside, the difference in my profile is night and day already. I mentioned my asymmetry to the PS and he still believes it's swelling, especially with the one side having healing issues, so we shall wait and see.

I knew I wouldn't be fully healed a month after surgery, but...

I knew I would possibly have nerve damage and numbness, but I didn't expect to feel the way I do right now at 4 weeks post op, and the things I'm worried about.. are not things I even considered as being worth concern.

TIghtness/Numbness: The best way I can describe it is how it might feel if someone were to have sewed a thread around my head fairly tight. One earlobe is numb and on both sides it's numb from ears to about halfway up the side of my cheek. Neither eyelid would seem to be numb, but when I put eyeliner on the upper lids I can tell I don't have full feeling.

Swelling: I spent the last month looking in the mirror thinking "Why have I never noticed how huge and ugly my nose is?!" I'm happy say in the last week it's returned to normal. I feel like all of my swelling is mostly gone at this point.

Pain: I have the small area of necrosis on my left side which is sometimes a tiny bit painful, but otherwise I have no real pain. Underneath my chin is very tender and I have some tenderness of the jawbone

Appearance: I continue to have what is, to me, an unacceptable amount of disparity between the left and right sides of my face. My left side looks to have had more correction, from the bleph down to the facelift. I have more eyelid showing, a slightly higher cheekbone, and less jowl on that side. While I'm not unhappy with the right side, the fact it does not match the left continues to be a pain point for me. If this does not resolve itself, I will be seeking revision surgery.

Almost 6 weeks post op

I had a follow up appointment yesterday.
I'm finally healed enough to not put antibiotic ointment on daily, and I get to dye my hair. Gray roots, be gone!
I've had lots of confirmation from friends and family that my face is off kilter and I'm happy to say my PS did not brush me off when I again brought those concerns to him. He is hopeful (as am I!) that it's just swelling but gave me reasons why this could happen and will do revision surgery if it's still like this @ 3 months. I can't say how relieved I am after reading some of the stories here! I am hating that I'll have to walk around another 6 weeks like this, but knowing he'll make it right goes a long long way and if he can make the right side of my face look like the left...I'll sing his praises all over the internet, lol. I am very very happy with the left side of my face!

Swelling: One of the 2 coworkers who knows what I had done saw me today after seeing me 2 weeks ago (we work from home normally) and literally the first thing he said to me was "You are less swollen".

TIghtness/Numbness: TIghtness has decreased quite a bit this week. No change on the numb side, but nerves heal slowly!

Pain: Under my chin is still tender but not as bad as it was. The tenderness in my jaw is better but the right side still hurts a lot if I yawn. Sleeping on either side is not comfortable for too long, but no real pain.

Random: I have a lump under either side of my jaw. I'm assuming it has to do with liposuction of my jowls. PS isn't worried, said it will go away. It's messing up the "after" profile pics I keep trying to take of myself, but I'm not too worried at this point.

Almost 8 weeks post op

I'm really surprised at how much change I've seen over the last 2 weeks! My cheekbones are starting to look a little more defined as well as my jawline so it makes the lopsided face a little bit easier to look at in the mirror but my wattle seems to be returning as well, so I'm torn on how I feel about these latest changes.

Nerves are healing faster than I expected. Still some numbness, but it's gotten much better over the last 2 weeks as well.
Dr. Robert Hummel

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No one's face is symmetrical. The question to discuss with your PS will have to do with whether the asymmetry has been made worse. I don't think 1 month is long enough to be fair in assessing this. Your eyelid incisions can give you a good clue as to final result of the lid margin. If the lid was not cut in the same place on each eye, if one incision is higher up on the lid then I don't see how the margin will ever be identical. Incision placement is one variable over which the PS should have total control. Eye lids are thin and don't have much fat so they don't stay swollen for very long. And since there is no fat and no significant tissues in the upper lid (I'm speaking about the lid that covers the eyeball, not the part that is near the brow bone) you usually get a fairly straightforward and quick resolution of the incision. So close your eyes and take a picture and see if those incisions are identically placed. If they are not ask your PS why they aren't? How tough should it be for an experienced PS to place them symmetrically and to take the same amount of skin/tissue/fat from each. That is very simple compared to the facelift. And as to what you are concerned about in the face contour...what do your friends and family say about that? In your after pictures you look nothing like you looked in the pre op pic? I wouldn't pic you out as hardly being related to that person. In all of your post ops you face has no expression and in the pre surgery pic you were smiling. That's why I think those who know you best can comment on whether your face contour, shape, etc is very noticeably different. Just some thoughts along with the thought that you really have not seen the final result at 1 month....grace
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If you'd read everything you'd see that family has commented on it and I've already spoken to my PS once and will be doing so again next week. I also don't recall asking for your "expert" opinion. You may have meant well, but I find your comment to be condescending.
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Tehyaj, yes, I did mean well and my opinion is not based on being an expert; it's based on having had an upper bleph myself. And I did miss the part of your story where you talked about your family's comments regarding the symmetry and contour concerns. Sorry about that...grace
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Remember , nobody's face is perfectly symmetrical. I obsessed A LOT over being lopsided. It evened out, except for the area that needs a small revision. If you look at my before pics, you'll see I had a very heavy hanging neck that caused damage over the years. I am 8 months out, and very thrilled. My face isn't perfect, but then again, no ones is before or post facelift.
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Your first post mentions that your face has been asymmetrical your whole life, so i'm a little confused by this comment but very happy for you that your face has evened out to your liking!
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It was extreme prior to facelift. Now it's only a little bit off. I think if you didn't have have a lot of difference prior to FL, you should be good. At three weeks out, based on your last photo, you look great!
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Like you, I'm struggling with the evolving face after surgery. I am 6 weeks post op and my face looks distorted. I've been told to wait 3 months for the swelling to subside as I had multiple surgeries, which I'm sure affect the recovery time. Other than the asymmetry on your cheeks, you look great. What is your doctor telling you about what to expect?
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His reaction was that it was too soon to be worried but if need be, we'd look at a revision later on. I'm both vindicated that he sees the same issues I do, and worried that he's not more confident that things will even out. I go back 2/4, I think we'll talk about it more at that time.
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Hi Tehya, Perhaps this will make you feel better. Each side of my face is recovering a bit differently, including the way the scars are healing. As time goes by, you will see if your cheeks begin to even out, which is what I hope will be my case although one reason for my sides looking different is the fat transfer and what I believe is uneven swelling. Like you, I've been told to wait until I reach the 3 month mark, which is 6 weeks away. My PS has told me to massage my face with almond oil. You might want ask your PS if he recommends you massaging the area. Ruz
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SO sorry Ruz , we've messaged privately but I didn't see this comment until now.
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Dear Tehyaj, No worries. I'm glad to hear that your PS is taking care of you and will address a possible correction if it is needed down the line. In the meantime, keep positive and busy, so you don't obsess over the next 6 weeks. By the way, yesterday I had my first lymphatic drainage massage and it was great. I've made another appointment for next week. Ruz
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You look great! I had lopsided swelling too, and it does even out in time.
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I agree with you that the right side is fuller than the left. BUT that was not the case in your day6 pic so what you are experiencing could be that swelling is dissipating differently and in time when all the swelling has resolved (way past day 17) you will have the balance and symmetry you want and had from the beginning. Stay positive on this....grace60
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Sadly, by day 2 I was questioning the symmetry. The day 6 picture, my hair is covering a good part of my cheek. I am trying to stay positive though!
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You look very pretty
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Tehyaj, its highly unlikely your nose will remain as swollen, given that your face is looking so good, under the chin and in front of the ears are the areas that seem to take longest to get definition and feeling. Enjoy the new you, all those little worries will resolve given a bit of time :)
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I saw your comment and remembered your Q/A that included an early post op photo. I re-read the docs responses. So did everything tighten and even out by your 8th month post op. Your journey from that point to having things resolve is a very positive reminder to anyone concerned about asymmetry, laxity, or the like that things can resolve perfectly....grace
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My last comment was to Klaus....I didn't really make that at all clear by using her ID . sorry, grace
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Grace60 , thank you for remembering, for others reading I had loose skin under my jaw after a facelift/necklift. I consulted with my dr, who told me to wait out the healing process and I am so glad I did as once the swelling reduced most of the laxity was taken up. There is a small amount of laxity still and it appears to be skin not muscle. My PS has agreed to do a revision of that area at no cost and while I could easily live with it i have decided to go ahead with the revision. Otherwise I am very happy with the outcome.
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You look fantastic, honestly. I had a face and necklift 8 months ago and swore it was lopsided, but no it was swelling and it took 8 months to look even, so try not to be too critical, we are our own worst enemies and no one scrutinises our faces like ourselves, lol.:)
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It took a whole 8 months? Oh my gosh! I hope that doesn't mean my nose is going to be swollen up like this for the next 8 months too!
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You look great with your bangs! did you change your hair color? You know our brains like to play tricks, especially when wwe have this kind of surgery. Honestly I can't notice lopsided face. Take care.
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Hair color hasn't changed, just the bangs :) My brain isn't playing tricks, my son has asked if my eye was going to stay droopy like this.
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you are healing so fast! thanks for the advice about not crying. i hope your relatively drama-free now. and congrats on giving up smoking. how's that going? i have "hooded" eyes from birth as well. i'm irish.... what does it feel like to have such a major change in the character of your face?
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You are the third person to mention the eyes as Irish. I have a tiny bit of Irish in me but had no idea that's where they came from! A big part of the tears was from someone who was here to take care of me not knowing when I needed help because she was smoking pretty much every time I needed help. I even had to get myself in the house, iced, and in bed when we came home from the hospital so she could have her cig. End result, I wasn't as important as the nicotine. So no, I'm not at all tempted to pick one up. I have a burning hatred for smoking at this point. Tears of joy on the eyes, I think it looks much better and sure feels better to not have the extra weight on them!
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