Not a Quick and Easy Recovery - Dallas, TX

I had my LSL about 8 weeks ago and I am still...

I had my LSL about 8 weeks ago and I am still recovering from the "procedure" which, in my case involved a mid/lower face and neck lift with added liposuction under the chin. My surgery was performed by a double board certified plastic surgeon who, I was told, has done over 6,000 LSL procedures himself and the center I went to in Dallas does about 15 procedures a week. I was led to believe in the consultation that I would be back to work in a week and could resume all normal activities after 10 days. This certainly has not been the case with me. As a very healthy woman in my late 40's who exercised regularly and led a healthy life before the surgery, I was unable to resume exercise because of the swelling and tightness that occured around my ears and neck until about 6 weeks post op. I can't give an accurate rating on the results of the procedure yet because of all the swelling, numbness and firmness around the sides of my face and neck.

Right now my jowls have all but disapeared and my neck is much less loose and wrinkled. It looks good so far, but I can only hope that the extreme hardness of my skin (which I assume is scar tissue) and the uncomfortable tightness behind and under my ears will eventually dissipate and I'm not sure how much loosening this will create in the look of my jowls and neck. The actual surgery may take only and hour or so but I was in there over 6 1/2 hours with my husband waiting there the whole time expecting me out in a couple of hours. I found the actual surgery to be much less stressful than I had anticipated due to all the valium and other drugs I was given, but I was very sick afterward and vomited repeatedly until my husband phoned the DR, who phoned in some meds to resolve the nausea. This ment I couldn't hold down any pain medicine the first night either. I don't know why I wasn't just given this disolving anti nausea medicine before leaving the office, as they knew I was sick before I left.

I also had a very difficult time sleeping for the first 4-5 weeks because I am a side sleeper and I could only sleep on my back because of all the sutures around the ears. I was actually shocked by how many stitches I had. I was expecting a few around the ears, but not the 12-14 inches of continuous stitching extending from about an inch above the ear into the hairline, down in front of the ear, behind the ear and about 2 1/2 inches behind each ear into the hair at the back of the scalp. I was so grateful I had long hair to cover all this up! The scars are fading with the exception of the one inch scar under my chin where the liposuction was done. This scar is still very visible and I am self conscious about it because it is deep and cannot be covered with concealer due to the makeup collecting in the indentations. I still do not understand why this cut needed to be so long for a small liposuction canual and the tiny amount of fat that was removed.

I only wish I had been given a more accurate picture of the reality of the LSL recovery process and had a place to get information on what is normal during the recovery period. I think an organization such as LSL should be more forthcoming regarding the true length of the recovery process and give patients much more information on how to manage their recovery. I still would probably have gone through with it, but it would have been nice to know what to expect instead of constantly worrying that something was wrong because I was not back to normal after a week, as they alluded to in the consultation. I have not seen my doctor except for the morning after the surgery when the bandages were removed and he has not available to answer questions or see patients until the final followup visit. Not having access to the doctor after surgery when questions or concerns arise is one reason I would not recomend using LSL. This is surgery...real surgery...not a face and neck firming procedure and you should know what you are getting into. Does it work? I think so. I will have to update in the future, but for now, I am just wondering when I will be completely back to normal.

10 Comments

Wish I had a GOOD photo to post, as I am now 2 and a half months AFTER surgery (LSL-neck and lower face only---but had the full face laser) Wad glad I KNEW to sleep sort of sitting UP. Was VERY pleased with Dr. Rodriguez, but, you seem to think there would be no numbness or pain several weeks later. I still have "some" numbness and 2 tiny lumps below ears. One time I thought I was about totally healed and forgot and brushed my hair too vigorously. A scar re-opened and bled in front of left ear. I used a butterfly bandaid, but it hardly stayed. I was slightly scared that time, and wore the chin strap nightly again. (and around house) My profile is an amazing difference. I had hoped the creases from my chin would have been less pronounced than they still are, but, I am age 75, and guess I should just be happy I was able to attend my nightly class only 3 days after the surgery. (Now I didn't say I looked beautiful at that time, but, I did attend with the chin cover and a scarf over it. I felt pretty good and never really used the pain meds--just tons of icing. My doctor also has a plastic surgery practice elsewhere, actually closer to my house than the LSL location, and he comes highly recommended. About "when you will be completely normal" , the receptionists at the office did tell me it can take a full year to be "conpletely" healed, and, that holds true for about any type surgery. I am just trying to determine IF I want/need my eyes done. In the meantime, I say, "Thank you Dr. R and LSL."
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Who was your surgeon? I'm scheduled for July 5 with Dr. Standefer.
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Bobbi, you are correct in that we should research our doctor to the best of our ability. Some information is hard to find especially when it something bad & many rely on information that is given to them or go by the diplomas posted on websites or walls... on the other hand, it is the facility/doctors responsibility to accurately describe the procedure, give the real recovery time and tell the truth about the procedure itself (none of these things were done with me). I am happy that your experience was pleasant and hope that you continue to be happy. Some of were not so lucky. As to other women who have posted here at realself, describing the same type of complaints as I have, forewarned is forearmed. We give our stories so that someone else may not have to suffer through what we have. Many have indicated if they knew what the procedure was really going to be like they would not have had it done. I had to have revisionary surgery done by a different surgeon, so I can honestly say that I would have made a different choice had I sought out 2 surgical opinions instead of believing what LSL told me and this does not mean that I did not do my research on my doctor. I had my LSL in 07, things may have changed for the better at some offices, maybe not. I truly believe if LSL offices gave accurate information as to longevity, real length of downtime, pain of the procedure both during and after, the true risks, that would really deter many. I would also like to point out that no one has mentioned LSL offering a different method or procedure or that LSL would not be the proper "SURGERY" for them. LSL is marketing a procedure, targeting a specific age group and not really giving all the facts. As posted by Manish H. Shah, MD, Everything in life is "Buyer Beware." Posted on Feb. 1, 2012; link: http://www.realself.com/review/englewood-co-facelift-bad-face-lift#comment-272734. For me, this is the truth and I applaud Dr. Shaw for having the guts to post it online. Best, Chrystal Eckes
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