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Facelift / Necklift / Lower Lid Bleph - Denver, CO

I am going to be 66 in August (yikes - where did...

I am going to be 66 in August (yikes - where did the time go?) and I will be going on Monday for a facelift and necklift which the doctor has called a submentoplasty. I am a retired teacher, but being retired was difficult for me, so I went back to work part-time at an elementary school. I've been wanting to do this for six years ... and all the while I've been watching my turkey neck Grow! So after several consultations, I scheduled with a doc in Denver who comes highly recommended (and was wonderful about staying in my budget - the number includes everything including a night's stay in the hospital). Part of my decision making process has been reading posts and responses on this forum, and I'm so grateful for them! I spent yesterday getting prescriptions filled and making preparations for sleeping sitting up. I was excited, feeling productive - I even programmed my iPhone to alert me when I need to take the meds - I figure I'll be pretty out of it for the first couple of days ;) I'm posting 'before' pictures now, and I don't know when I'll be able to post again ... hopefully soon!

Almost ready to go home

I'm glad to be on the road to mending, although today is difficult.

Day 5 update and pictures

It's no surprise that the first few days were difficult. Recovering from anesthesia and the surgical event are difficult. I had another factor that became difficult, and that was that the pain medicines undermined my emotional strength. It happened especially in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep but wanted my husband to since he alone provided for all my physical care during the initial "at home" phase. I paced some, rested some, and tried to calm an inflamed tummy. I also was not prepared to become 'emotional' about seeing the new face in the mirror!

My doctor's patient coordinator called me frequently during these first few days. She was caring and positive and both she and my doctor helped to build my emotional strength!

Yesterday (Day 4) was my first post-op check up, and I am pleased (yes!). We live in the mountains and had to drive to Denver - it was a big day! Today, although I moved slowly, I am feeling well and enjoying that we are getting back to our usual household routines. We decided to board our pup during the first week, and I' glad we did. He came home today, and I'm looking forward to some upcoming opportunities to go for walks with him.

I have bruising under my eyes and on my neck - to be expected I know. I am taking Arnica Montana for that, and Bromelain with Quercetin. I am also feeling swollen, and have tightness in my neck, so I am continuing to ice as well as continuing to wear the compression garment. And I'm looking forward to my next check-up on Tuesday!

A new Monday

Each day I feel a little better; a little stronger, a little more comfortable. It is encouraging. I still have some swelling, and obviously black and blue and green and yellow ;) but I'm wondering if I still have some surgical pen on my skin ??? I'll ask my PS at my follow-up appointment tomorrow ... I posted some pics from after my shower this a.m. The difference from before and after are already amazing. In my first day or two I could not imagine saying this, but I am so happy I had this done!

Thursday - Day 10

Today I am sporting the bandana look so I don't have to put my hair through the rigors of styling ;) I saw Dr. Imola on Tuesday, he removed stitches, and that was an emotional boost - a right of passage in my mind. Yesterday, I began to experience discomfort in my neck from what appeared to be a bit of increased swelling for the first time since surgery (did I sleep wrong? try to push my activity level? idk), so I called Dr. Imola, (also checked in with his office today), and I'm on track for my appointment next week. I'm so appreciative that I can call with questions and concerns! Parts of the bruised areas on my neck and under my left eye are starting to fade. I started using Arnica cream in addition to the oral Arnica Montana in hopes I can encourage the bruising away a little more quickly. I'm posting a couple of pictures to show my neckline, as I'm thinking it's becoming more well defined.

Addendum to Day 10

On Tuesday at my post-op visit, Dr. Imola spoke about some of the benefit of the deep-plane lift technique he uses. If you look at the smoothness of the surface of my skin, you can see what I understood to be one very important benefit - the smooth result. I am so thrilled about that!

One small step into Sephora -

I have been feeling good, 2.5 weeks out. I still have bruising and, having not used make-up for many years, I really didn't know where to start. That was frustrating for me. After my check-up today (I love my check-ups - such a positive experience going to see Dr. Imola and Peggy) I went to Sephora and learned how to apply the makeup I need. Woo-hoo!

Three Weeks ago today

At this three week mark, I find I have so much more of my energy back. I can be active for the entire morning, starting around 6:30 a.m., and sustain pretty well for walking the dog for a couple of miles, doing household chores, and chipping away at my to-do list for getting ready for 'back to school.' I'm posting pictures - still sporting the bandana look while I'm waiting for the official 'OK' to begin using styling products, etc. I'm also so looking forward to scheduling a visit to the salon for my 'back to school' haircut and style ;) You can see, I still have some bruising, but when I compare today's pictures to the ones posted last week, I can see that the bruising on my neck has almost completely resolved, and the bruising on my cheeks seems to be turning greenish yellow - another good sign of healing. In the day-to-day journeys to the mirror, I don't see the progress, so the pictures seem to be a better way to actually see that I am making steps forward in the physical healing process. Everyone says it, and it's true - PATIENCE ;)

photos mentioned in Three Weeks ago Today post

I am so clumsy ...

I cannot believe I was clumsy enough to bump my face on the car door! It's a small car, it was starting to rain, and standing by the open driver's door, I leaned down to look over to the passenger side window to make sure it was closed and ... clunk. I hit my face on the corner of the door, about 1.5 inches in front of the tragus of my left ear. the bump left a red mark and now, the peculiar thing is that I have swelling under my left eye. I am icing, but I am afraid ... which is to say, actually more afraid than I've been in the past few days. Having done pretty well and having gotten this far in the recovery process (approaching 4 weeks), I am now afraid and feeling severely lacking in my ability to take care of my new face. Has anyone else experienced anything like this?

Thank you ...

Thank you all for posting your support for me during my mini-meltdown. I have to tell you that I also was so fortunate to have received a phone call from Peggy at the PS office. She was so supportive as we talked about me reframing my concerns about taking care of my new face and viewing them as opportunities - instead of saying "I have to ..." saying "I get to ..." This really makes sense to me, and because I am not alone in these feelings, I wanted to share her good advice. Hugs to you all!

Ready for work

I am almost at one month. Although I still have bruising, tingling and sometimes pains in the nerves of my face, I feel so much more that I am getting back to being myself. Today I will start tutoring some children I worked with last year, and it's been wonderful to get back to thinking about planning lessons and activities for them. I'm posting some pictures. I'm wearing makeup (and glasses in one), and I think the bruising is covered pretty well, but I know the kids will notice something and ask questions! Please notice my necklace - it's a little silver bead necklace that I bought years ago and haven't worn in years ... but I can wear it now :-) Wishing you all a great day!

A Month and a Day

I am overall so happy with the amazing difference in my appearance, yet I fret, fret, fret about inconsistencies I see and concerns I have. I drive my sweet husband and the people I communicate with about it (who are very few as I don't want to burden my children and my siblings and parents - who would listen - are gone ) crazy. This week I was bonkers about the amount swelling near my left eye and how different it was from the amount of swelling near my right eye - couldn't get it and possible nerve damage because it hurt, out of my mind. Today, not hurting and the swelling has gone down some ... I think there's a life lesson for me here!

Got "the compliment" today

I attended a meeting for school staff in preparation for the coming year. After the meeting one of the attendees said, "Your new hair style looks great." It made me smile and feel good too. I want also to include a cautionary tale here. I was looking on the web for information about LDM, and I found a yoga site that said to do it right you have to move the skin - WRONG!!! I did that and swelled up so-o-o-o much it scared me, a lot. The swelling is s-l-o-w-l-y subsiding. It was so disheartening - felt like I was back at Day 1 with regards to swelling. So, the cautionary message is to be very careful about info you find. Heather's method of LDM worked beautifully go me - I should have stopped my LDM research there!

my swelling saga.

On Monday I swelled from giving myself an overagressive LDM massage and, being that my swelling seems to worsen at night, by 6:30 pm or so I was very swollen and in pain from it. I called Dr. Imola's service and explained to them what was going on. Dr. Imola called me back right away, asked me to text pictures so he could see what was going on. After I sent the pictures, Dr. Imola called me right back with a plan that included getting a prescription ... well, I live in a rural area - 1.5 hours to the nearest open pharmacy after 7 pm! Dr. Imola helped me brainstorm my options, and when I decided I'd go to the local Emergency facility rather than wait to the morning (being a fretter, I envisioned a sleepless, pacing night if I waited), Dr. Imola encouraged me to ask the ER physician to contact him so he could coordinate with him regarding my care. I felt reassured and grateful knowing that Dr. Imola was responsive and involved, even 'after hours' and on into the night. The next day, Peggy followed up with a phone call, and I saw Beryl (aesthetician) on Friday. She evaluated my situation to report to Dr. Imola ( by Friday most of my excessive swelling had resolved), making sure the swelling was within normal limits. She also listened while I spoke of my concerns about my lingering bruising, and suggested some IPL to help it resolve. She reviewed with me my current face care routines for am and pm and suggested some changes, which I will implement slowly to see how my skin tolerates each change. I left her office feeling good about where I am in my healing process and Dr. Imola and his team of care-givers. With regard to the IPL treatment for bruising, does anyone have experience with it? Hugs to you all for your ongoing commemt and support!

Picture update

Swelling has gone down some more and Dermablend is doing its magic! Earrings today for the first time. Six weeks tomorrow and I feel (finally) like I'm getting adjusted to life post FL - and it's great!

4 Months Yesterday

I've noticed that some of my RealSelf friends have posted advice for those considering a FL / NL procedure, and I'm going to add my 2 cents about discussung realistic expectations with your surgeon, listening carefully to what he or she says, and asking questions! Undergoing and recovering from these procedures are major life events, and anesthesia, pain meds, and extended temporary changes in life style and sensation are part of the experience. I think, if I ever really had realistic expectations for my results they drifted off somewhere into the anesthesia and pain med haze (both of which I did not tolerate well). My skin broke out in rashes - I freaked out. Changes in my neck and chin as the swelling subsided freaked me out. I did not take on the responsibility I should have early in the healing process to use the time during visits with my surgeon to ask questions about what had been done and what I should expect, but I did go home and worry and fret. Anyway, at 4 months I am getting back to reality, which is that My PS achieved an amazing result for me, and especially so given what he had to work with - and I quickly lost sight of that reality, too, almost immediately after surgery. My husband tells me I lok great. We visited my sister-in-law a couple of weeks ago and she said I look 20 years younger. Almost all swelling is gone. I still have slight numbness in front of my ears, and tightness in my neck. The tightness is occasionally uncomfortable, but mostly reassuring. So today I am posting a before picture and a picture taken today (no make-up, just lipstick). This juxtaposition helps me stay grateful and grounded ;)

Vibrant Color

Well, RealSelf friends, I had the color put in my hair today , and as promised, here are a couple of pictures! I'm into the holiday spirit now for real, and looking forward to a family reunion next week!
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon

I was very fortunate to have chosen Dr. Mario Imola. He is a skilled surgeon, methodical, and in every way a consummate professional who cares deeply about his work. He is calm and reassurring, however, he is not a "hand-holder." That quality about him was very good for me. His practical approach encouraged me. Everyone heals differently, and for me personally, recovery has not been smooth sailing. This is in no way a reflection on Dr. Imola, and my confidence in the quality of care I'm receiving has only been enhanced due to the difficulties I've encountered.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 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
4 out of 5 stars Wait tmes
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Enjoyed reading about your experience. What a huge difference. You look beautiful!
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I just reviewed your review and you look fantastic! I completely agree with trying to be realistic. I am only 6 days out and don't feel like I look very different. I am trying to be patient but I am missing that gene. I think it really does take awhile for our mental picture of ourselves to change. To everyone else going through this transition remember this: It takes 6 weeks to change a habit...maybe it takes 6 weeks to change our perception of ourselves? Something to think about.
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Hi, CindyLouHoo! I had my old perception of myself for a lot of years! And the changes that happened to my face happened very slowly - barely perceptible from day to day. Then, between one day and the next, my face and neck changed dramatically. At nearly 5 months post op, I am now pretty comfortable looking in the mirror and seeing myself in pictures. It's been quite a journey for me ;)
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Hi Basi, Thank you for sharing your experience. I deep plane FL without fillers 8 days ago. I still am having a hard time with out I look. I had a nice job to so that adds to the loss of identification and I still have the side stitch in my lower eyes changing the shape of my eyes for another week. Although, my daughter think it looks good, I look strange to myself. My cheeks are high and neck and in front of ears is swollen and numb. Your results look great! Did you go through an identity crisis phase?
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Hi, Poppy223. I did have a hard time wrapping my brain around my appearance after FL. I've learned that we notice changes in our appearance that others really don't see. You're early on in your healing process, so you can do yourself a favor by accepting that it will be a little while until you see your result. I'm sure you'll look different yet great! Give yourself some time to adjust!
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Poppy, you didn't mention getting an eyelift (upper or lower) but a face/neck lift and rhinoplasty. So why are there any stiches near your eye? Did you decide to have a lower eyelift at the last minute. Wow you did have a lot of work done all at once and the swelling has to go somewhere so it's no surprise you have some significant (and probably temporary) changes in your facial features but it is way too early to worry and those who know you best say it looks good already. And you had a deep plane lift? Basner does several different types and the deep plane is the toughest to recover from. It is the one the PS closest to me would do if I used him. It is the recovery from that one that has me the most concerned altho it is said to be the one that holds up the best...you don't want to do this again in another 5 yrs do you??? I wish you all the best and continued progress in your recovery. Stick with BSKI ...she had what you're having :) and knows first hand the road you'll travel. grace60
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You look fabulous - happy for you. Love the color!
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Thank you. It looks like you got a great result, too. I love the way you look in the racer back shirt!
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You look wonderful and I love your hair. I think it matches your vibrant personality!
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Thank you, AG. I think you look fabulous - you're setting a great standard for grannies everywhere!
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You look magnificent! Yes, it's hard, but it's worth it. I'm almost 2 months post OP mini-lift and now I wish I did my eyes too...I did microdermabrasion on my peri oral area and it looks so smooth! Good luck, you are a doll!
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Thank you! I looked at your pictures and I'm so impressed with your result. You look beautiful :). I hope your ear is healing!
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Thanks…yep, slowly slowly things progress. Getting a lot more feeling in my skin back too. I think you are about 1 month "ahead" of me. Did you notice that things really started feeling less numb around the 3 month mark? Just curious….
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RLady--I started to get feeling back at around three months too. Now at 4 1/2 months I have some feeling everywhere, though not completely back. Still a bit of strappy" feeling in my chin, but slowly diminishing.
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Thank you! Yes, although I still have a scab my ear is almost healed. Now I'm battling a three week cold so far. Ugh....
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I've had the same healing and feeling time frame. I describe the sensation as snug. My chin scar area is still a bit tender, but I understand that area takes the longest to heal.
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My chin scar is about the same as everything else, but the area behind the scar is a little tender still. I believe that is where the lipo was done.
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Love it Bski!! It looks great with your hair color and your trendy cut. You truly do look amazing!
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Hi, TL! If you look at my 'before' pic you'll see color there, too. The color makes so much more visual sense now, doesn't it?
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My PS is a pretty amazing guy! And the woman who does my hair is also a gem. Thanks so much for your compliment. I think YOUR result is amazing!
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Doesn't she? What a success story!
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Bski, You look great and what's really incredible is the very nice transition in your under eye to your cheek. It almost looks like filler or fat grafting but you didn't have that , did you? If not....then it is a result of the deep plane technique which has a tougher recovery but which has no equal in lifting the cheeks area. Not all facelift techniques can achieve this kind of result and YOU are a visual reminder of why this more technically difficult surgery still is done altho fewer and fewer PS can manage the risk and complexity of it. So kudo's to your surgeon and congratulations to you...you really look great! grace60
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Hi, grace60. My PS did give me a deep plane lift . Also, when he performed the lower lid bleph for me, he repositioned the existing under eye fat pads, and I think that accounts for part of that excellent result in the under eye to cheek transition you mentioned.
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Grace60 is right and luv the clor--you GO girl!
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That was supposed to be color-- bad i pad typing...
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