Deep Plane Facelift/necklift, CO2 Laser - Dallas, TX

Hard to know where to start...I am 50 years old...

Hard to know where to start...I am 50 years old and have wanted to do since I lost 80 pounds 6 years ago. All the weight loss and being in my mid 40's really did a number on my skin. I had a Tummy tuck in June 2013 and LOVE IT! In fact, I went in for my initial consultation for my facelift, but my friend said, "Ask him about a tummy tuck...you hate your stomach." So... I found my PS so down to earth and fun, that I just connected with him and scheduled a tummy tuck for a few months later. He has a quiet confidence about him and he doesn't try and sell you procedures. He listens to you and then repeats what you have said to make sure he is hearing you. Then, he tells you what he thinks and it feels more like a collaboration rather than a sales pitch.
I was originally scheduled for Oct 6th for a deep plane facelift, neck lift and lower Bleph. I was so overcome with anxiety I canceled the morning of the surgery!...I know, but I just freaked out. My PS was so chill and cool about the whole thing. I called him at home at 5:30 am and he just said, "No worries, come in when you can and we will reschedule." So pleasant...
So, back to what I hate about my face...lol...It's what we all hate when we wake up and look in the mirror...the loose neck skin, the jowls, the rough skin texture, the feeling that our faces are sliding down our bodies...I don't feel 50, I feel 35...I eat right for the most part, don't exercise as much I as should, work like a demon, don't smoke and drink occasionally. I don't want to look "old", so, I shouldn't have to...I figure I can take about 10 years off (secretly wishing for 15 years) but will be happy with 10 :)
Neither my father nor my mother aged that well. So, genetically, I am screwed...lol. However, I have the resources to get this done. Yay! I have had botox (love it) and fillers (love) and have had a CO2 laser done about 18 mos ago and after the very uncomfortable recovery I loved that as well.
I rescheduled my surgery for 12/3 at 10am. I have been going to hypnotherapy and having biofeedback for the last two weeks so I can get this done. I know some of you will think I am nuts, (probably am), but it has helped. I went to a fully licensed therapist and loved her. So peaceful and positive and helpful. It is all about the power of positive thinking. I have CD I listen to every night that helps me relax and it is all about deep breathing and how to relax before surgery. I believe we should all do whatever helps to get us through this very daunting experience. I am less than 48 hours away and feel very calm about my upcoming surgery. Can I say I am 100% fear-free? No, but I would say 80% and that's a heck of a long way from where I was.
I think the things that are feeding my anxiety is the numbness, tightness and swelling after a face and neck lift. Well, here's what I have learned: I am still numb after my tummy tuck. Can't feel a thing over my hips and below my belly button; tightness? Well, that is what I am after, right?" and as I age it will all become loose again, lol, so be thankful for tightness; Swelling? I still have some swelling after my tummy tuck--just on one side and is not noticeable to anyone but me. I read on this site somewhere that 80% of all swelling is resolved in the first 2 weeks and the remaining swelling resolves for the most part by 8 weeks. So, if I still have some swelling for 6 months it won't be enough to make a huge difference and I will need to focus on the positive. This is a choice I made. No one is forcing me to do this. I want to look my best as I age and I have fully prepared myself as best I can. All I can do is think positive and remember how bad the recovery was from my tummy tuck...if I got through that I can get through anything. That was pain like no other, except for birthing a 10 pound baby (which I have done)...haha!
No longer having the lower bleph as my PS thinks I don't really need it right now. He has talked me into a full face laser again to improve/remove my wrinkles and skin texture. I have had that done and the recovery is hard, but I loved the result.
I hope this all helps anyone who is thinking about having this done. I have gained so much insight from this site and have loved reading and seeing all the other ladies and their progression. Thanks to all the others who have been kind enough to share their experience. You all are the reason why I have decided to share as well.

I AM HOME

See comment below...sorry, high on Valium right now..

I am home-1st day post op

CindyLouHoo
2 seconds ago


I am home, Stayed overnight at the "hotel" at the surgical center. It was $650 for the night and completely not worth. Once the nurses found out my partner was a nurse we didn't see much of them for the rest of the night. No hot food, my partner had to leave for 1/2 to go find something hot to eat. Anyway, surgery was five hours for deep plane face lift, neck lift and FraxelCO2 laser. I have dressings on that make me look like one of those Mexican masked wrestlers from Nacho Libre, lol...I feel okay except the bottom of my neck hurts and so does the base of my in the back. Also my ears are aching. This morning the Dr came by and told me everything went great, but he had to pull me extra tight because I so much extra skin in by turkey neck area. Said I was in the top 10% of hard cases...funny. Then his staff came by changed all the dressings adn washed my hair, and replaced my occlusive face dressings and gave me a chin strap. My eyes are very swollen front the Laser. He popped some of the veins in my eyes because he didn't realize how superficial my upper eye veins were, so I ave bilateral black eyes. My lips are extremely swollen as well. Look like Angelina Jolie...haha! That won't last long. I think my ears bother me the most. I don't feel that tight under my neck because he doesn't pull tight right over my thyroid notch, so I don't have that strangling feeling. Yay! I didn't look at my face when they took the dressings off because I didn't want to be disappointed. My partner just stood and said, "Wow!" so I guess that was good. I have lots of bruising on my neck because my PS said her ran into unexpected fat pads under my chin. I will try and post a picture later but I took a Valium and am beginning to not make sense. Later ya'll...xoxo

two post op photos

day one post op

Post op day 3

Well, the occlusive dressing came off today. My partner took if off because we are iced in today. Swelling from Laser and surgery has begun in full force. Stuck at home with no cable or internet due to a faulty modem. Using lap top now because my partner as a mobile hot spot on her iphone. Feeling fairly miserable today. Just sort of achy and the laser on my face is particularly uncomfortable. Texted my doc today...iced in here in Dallas so no formal visit with PS. Told him that I can turn my head from side to side fairly easily and maybe he didn't pull me tight enough? He assured me that he did and he thought he had pulled me too tight because I had some much extra neck skin. He said he is very happy with the result that he could see during surgery. Anyone else feel that way within three days post op?...I think I am being super paranoid,

Post Op day 4

Feeling okay. Tired but swelling seems to be better. Can open my mouth a little better to eat. Still a little uncomfortable. Upside? Lost 3 pounds lol...Got cabin fever as we are iced in here in Dallas. No TV or internet since Thursday night. So went to Blockbuster and bought a bunch of movies. Skin wise? Red as a beet from the laser. Swollen but slightly better. Numb to almost the middle of my cheeks, feels very weird. Skin feels a tight as a drum. But, I am on my way to a great result (or here's hoping)...Ears feel weird, but I do have feeling in them. I was under general anesthesia for 5 hours. Still feel tired doing even the smallest things. Onward and upward...:)

Post Op Day 5

Took a shower and washed my hair. Felt great! Wore me out. Texted my PS and asked if I needed to wear the chin strap while we went out today. He said I could lose it for a few hours. Yay! Went to lunch, went to two stores in the mall and was physically all done. Completely exhausted. Back in bed now to take a nap. Put my chin strap on and feel more contained. My question is does the chin strap really do anything. I would to have ruined my neck lift because I am not wearing it enough. Opinions?

Post Op Day 6

Went in for first Post OP visit as we were iced in until today. PS is very pleased with result and told me that he put me in the top 10% of patients that he took so much excess skin off. In front of my ears about 1.5 inches and behind my ears from my neck lift? about 2.5 inches. Removed the sutures from in front of my ears and told me the others were all dissolvable. Also, told me he pulled me a little tighter than normal because he knew I would be disappointed if I didn't look "tight". Said he ran into a problem with my the chin incision. Apparently I had a couple of fat pads that he didn't' expect to find and cutting them out caused a lot of bleeding. But, he thinks he was able to get out a lot of the fullness under my chin. Told me it was probably genetic. There is already an area behind my right ear that does not want to heal. He said to leave it alone and it will probably be okay. He gave me a before picture that I will post later and everyone of his office staff was amazed by the difference. I don't have my phone right now but will post pics later tonight. My skin is still beet red from the laser. My PS told he put it at almost the highest setting to get rid of all the wrinkles. He's funny...So, far I am pretty pleased.

Photos of post op day 6

Taken last night after I cleaned my face

Pics

For anyone following my progress, although the pics might look painful they are not. I have not had any pain medicine at all in the last 4 days.

Forgot the "best" before photo

Day 9 Post Op

I think I have hit that day where I feel a little down. Looking in the mirror and wondering who is the person staring back at me...sorta of feeling overwhelmed by what I did. I still feel completely exhausted by the end of the day. I have been off work for 9 days and am used to endless energy. I remember this feeling from my tummy tuck back in June and am just trying to wait until it passes. I read somewhere that you should never rush a face lift to fit a planned event. Well, that's exactly what I did. I have a graduation to go to on Saturday morning and with all the bruising and red skin from the laser I feel like I look like hell. I know that I look better but again, I thnk I am just having a down day. I am adding some photos and hope that they help someone going through this or thinking about doing this.
I don't really have any pain. My ears are a little tender but nothing bad. I don't feel as tight and I can turn my head fairly easily. I don't have that "hanging noose" feeling that some on here have had. I like wearing the chin strap but I don't wear it all day long and at night I take it off if it bothers me. I am still sleeping somewhat upright and have not slept on the "sides" of my face at all. I have not iced my face at all. I am using Arnica cream for the bruising and taking Bromelian as a supplement to help with the bruising. I just took these photos, so I look pretty tired. I am using a TNS cream given to me by the PS to help with the healing from the laser. I am cleaning my incisions with an antibiotic cream. I will try and post pics of the incisions behind my ears as soon as I can get some help taking them. Hope these help.
Dallas Plastic Surgeon

Loved him for my tummy tuck. A few little problems that we are waiting before I have a some scare revisions===very minor. Will review fully after my face procedure.

Was this review helpful? 4 others found this helpful

Comments (57)

Sort by

Hope you still are on real self -- would love to see you today Hope you are still on real self -- would love to see your results today
  • Reply
Do you have a current pic after surgery? How is the healing process going? Any Problems?
  • Reply
I would love to hear how you feel about your CO2 laser treatment. My SP wanted me to have either one CO2 or 3 fraxel treatments starting with my facelift last April I would have done it then but as I was waiting to be admitted they wheeled out a woman who had just had laser and that scared the heck out of me and I decided to wait. Then I started reading up on it here and the reviews are mixed to say the least. I will be having a lower body lift and possibly the laser at that time, still not sure....
  • Reply
How are you doing now Cindy, would live to see a new picture?
  • Reply
You are looking great, can't wait to see more progress photos....
  • Reply
Poppy, I go back to work as an NP in an ER Sunday night. I have only told 2 of my 4 children. (The two that live at home, lol) They are 16 and 13 yo girls. My 16 yo thinks I look a lot younger and knows that under the bruising and swelling a more refreshed "mom" is in there. My 13 yo just says, "You look fine, mom." I didn't even tell my other 2 children. They don't live at home and are 25 and 23 and would be upset over how much money I spent. I am "just mom" to them. They are busy with their own lives and just don't see me as a person. My little girls do because I have raised them on my own after divorce and so they are more in tune with "mom is a separate person" idea. I think the laser red face and all the bruising is what is throwing a lot of people in public at this point. It's kind of funny to watch them look at me and then, look away because they are not sure what to say...lol. Work, Sunday night, is going to be hard because ER folks are pretty straight talking in general. So, I expect a lot of comments and most of them damn honest. I realize that many of the negative comments come from people who are jealous that I can afford to spend the money on what is considered a "luxury. " Knowing that I try to be gracious and just say, "I did this for me. It's my turn at this point in my life." Then, I walk away. I think it helps that I had a tummy tuck in June and that increased my body confidence like nothing else. One positive outcome today is I got my braces off! I am not sure I mentioned that I had braces on since last December. I knew I was getting close, but ta-dah!!! Off...and I love it! Tomorrow is my partner's graduation from her Master's program and I am only 11 days post-op. So, in the morning will be me using a green concealer to try and offset the red skin from the laser and hopefully not looking like my favorite Martian...hahaha! The bruising on my neck looks like someone has tried to strangle me and I gonna try and cover it with makeup, but at this point, I am just trying to focus on the positives: No more turkey gobble and jowls. After the laser I don't have a wrinkle on my face. So, I am gonna do my best to look my best and If it doesn't turn out perfect, "Oh, well, bring on the wine!"
  • Reply
You might want to try Dermablend. It's suppose to cover scares. And just ignore anyone that gets negative. They Have no strength but you do.
  • Reply
I am 23 days post op and I still have bouts of "who am I" or 'what have I done'. I am having more 'I can see me" moments but still not near where I need; I also had a nose job so I am in a total face identity crisis! I've seen 2 of my 3 kids, both who say I look fine and I still look like Mom. Neither thought I needed a face lift either, so I question their ability to honestly assess Mom. I always look like Mom to them no matter what I do :), that's a good thing i guess. So today I went into work for the first time just to get the first reactions over with. My first encounter I passed someone I knew in the hallway and was met with "Oh Hi, I didn't recognize you....%&%* Oh Great! Now I am paranoid! When I saw my 4 co-workers who knew I had a face lift, they said I looked good and still looked like me. I felt better.....until I went to the restroom and bypassed someone I knew in the doorway who said, "what happened to your face"? I was so self conscious, I blurted out "I had a face lift and continued walking. I told my co-worker and reassured me I looked fine and said they were probably asking because you have a bandage on your face covering the burn. Well duh@! I am sure the word will be out be next week and I have a pleura of curious visitors!.. Somebody, hand me my sign!!
  • Reply
Love that your sense of humor is alive and well, Poppy! Such a wonderful quality.
  • Reply
Cindy, I definitely had the feelings you wrote about - wondering what the heck you did, etc. if you look at my blog and the conversations there, I think you'll find that is pretty common. It's taken me months to get used to the person looking at me in the mirror and, at ( months post-op I am definitely still in the recovery process. Best wishes to you!
  • Reply
5 months post-op
  • Reply
Thanks, Bski. Your posts were definitely some of the ones that made me realize that I could do this.
  • Reply
For some REALLY good reading have you visited Westy53? If you haven't already I think you'll find her blog to be a great read!
  • Reply
Cindy and everyone thanks for sharing. It is so helpful. Has anyone awakened to find themselves sleeping on their side. I did this last night. Sure hope that didn't cause a problem. Sleeping is impossible. I don't sleep on my back, and right now it is impossible.
  • Reply
Can I relate! I'm not a back sleeper either. I bought an incline pillow yesterday to start trying to train myself before Hand. Love the pillow but I still end up on my side or stomach. I wish I knew what to tell you. I know how hard to impossible sleeping on your back can be if it's not natural to you. Surely, some of the other people have had this problem and can give you an answer. Call the PS and ask.
  • Reply
I spoke to the nurse at PS office, and she suggested Xanax or Ativan. That is fine except they are addictive. I hope that using them for a few weeks won't cause that problem. Does anyone have ears that are hard and discolored?
  • Reply
I was afraid I would roll on my side, but so far so good. The first week I slept in a recliner or on a futon that was still in couch position. Like Rose, I have a recline pillow and I have a neck pillow that doctor wanted me to use at first to keep my head tilted back a bit. I also put a pillow under my knees and would put my knees out to the sides (feet together like a yoga position). That relieved the pressure in my back and hips which is why I generally roll on my sides. At 23 days and I am still sleeping on my back (I never thought this could happen!) I sleep in the guest room full bed and do all of the above plus put a body pillow on the side on me so I do not roll. I had rhinoplasty too so I don't want to hit my nose for 6 weeks. The only thing I do different now is, I don't always use the neck pillow and I put a regular pillow on top of incline pillow. I had turned my head to the side once or twice and found my nose and face would be more swollen on that side. And, now my ears are starting to have some feeling and feel sore if I try to lay on them so thats preventing me from turning now. Try more pillows and see if that helps. Good Luck-Poppy
  • Reply
I am a right side sleeper. I am still sleeping on an incline pillow at 11 days post-op and have awakened to find myself with me on me left side but with my face still turned toward the ceiling. Everything I wake up I tell myself, "You just spent over $9000----stay on your back!" That usually does it. lol...I took Valium the first couple of nights. That helped me.
  • Reply
Mine are tender but not hard or discolored. Did you have a deep plane facelift?
  • Reply
You were really red but from the pictures the scars you can hardly see. I'm sure the redness will get better and better. Your really tough Going through all this. I hope your totally pleased as time goes on. Keep sending your before pic and a current one. Let us know any problems you may have and how it's going. When all is healed I'm sure you will be beautiful.
  • Reply
Rose, today was a better day. Redness is better and I got my braces off today! I had fastbraces put on last December and one year later I got them off!!!! That helped. I am going to try and get some better pics posted tomorrow. Thanks for the kind words.
  • Reply
Please keep us updated of your progress with pictures and any problems. Your doing great! So brave. It's a very scarry process.
  • Reply
Just posted an update. Thanks for reading.
  • Reply
I am on for tomorrow. I want to thank everyone for sharing. I will try to post tomorrow at some point.
  • Reply
Good luck, lilt! Think positive and positive things will happen! My best wish is for a speedy and easy recovery :)
  • Reply