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Facelift - Worst Decision of my Life

Having a facelift was the worst mistake of my life...

Having a facelift was the worst mistake of my life. I had a pretty face before the facelift. I was a young 50, but the surgeon, who came very highly recommended and was a professor of plastic surgery, did my facelift completely different from what he described to me. In nearly every respect, he gave me false information. I am not certain he actually performed my operation, since I later learned he had a resident assisting him and had overbooked procedures.

I have nerve damage and cannot smile. This really destroyed my life. I can't chew normally and choke on everything. After 5 years, I still have constant severe pain. I threw away my excellent health thinking I would look refreshed. Other doctors treat me with disdain. Life after my facelift has been a constant nightmare.

9 Comments

I'm really sorry to hear about the significant functional complications you have arisen from your surgery. There seems to be a myth in plastic surgery that there's nothing they can do to the 'superficial' tissues of the neck that can affect the deeper structures. This is simply not true! I have suffered a multitude of functional problems since tightening to my upper neck and lower face tissues. On the outside, my lower face and mouth is pulled down, along with my smile, and my jaw opens involuntarily. On the inside, the submental (under chin) tissues are extremely tight, the floor of my mouth is higher on the left side and painfully tight, and my hyoid bone is pulled up on the left side and twisted. I cannot maintain lip closure whilst chewing and swallowing takes a lot of muscular effort. When I swallow, the bolus/liquid is obstructed on the left side and only travels down the right side. Furthermore, I cannot breathe normally sitting straight-backed, head straight and chin slightly tucked - normal healthy posture! My throat is obstructed, the blood vessels in my neck get compressed, I get heart palpitations, become nauseous and faint - basically I feel like I'm being stranged. Another person at this site suffered same, please see: "Lifestyle Lift side effects - Should I be worried that my neck feels 'too tight'?" This person also felt like she was being strangled, and described her neck in front as 'so tight that if my chin is tucked while lying on a pillow my air supply and blood supply to my head are altered. Since the procedure she's had 'chest pain, weakness, nausea, shortness of breath, headaches, accelerated heartbeat and/or heart palpatations sporadically.' All the same as me! There's no followup from this person, so I don't know if her symptoms passed or what may have been done to fix her. I remain as I am because the surgeons I've seen have told me either its all in my head or any attempt to fix me would likely make me worse. It seems to me that breathing, swallowing and posture problems following procedures to tighten the front upper neck are not so uncommon. It also seems that many surgeons either do not understand how disruption to the deeper cervical structures could occur or how to fix it, or they just don't think the level of disability these complications impose is serious enough to warrant intervention. I have done a lot of study in this subject trying to understand my own complications. As for how a 'pulled down face' or altered mouth/smile could develop, I think that overtightening of the platysma muscles fibres which are continuous with the depressor labii inferioris muscles inserting into the muscles at the corners of your mouth is the most likely cause (this can even pull down your whole midface and eyelids as muscles above interdigitate with the modiolus). As for how swallow and breathing problems develop, I think that this too may arise from an overly tight 'cervical collar' in the upper neck (narrowing and shortening the neck 'cylinder'), but also from disruption to the position of the hyoid bone, to which the floor of the mouth, tongue and other muscles forming and suspending the throat attach. The hyoid bone normally attaches to the platysma muscle fascia, so if you raise this you will raise the hyoid bone, and if you tighten asymmetrically this may tilt the hyoid and possibly cause it to twist. I think this is what happened in my case, although in my case the surgery was by intraoral incision and the release of the entire central 'glove' of lower face and neck tissues created more room for error - my mentalis muscle origins were dissected from the bone in the crease below my lower lip and the platysma muscle fibres were dissected from the central third of the lower edge of my mandible. I doubt this occurred in your surgery, but its worth bearing in mind that often surgeons detach the platysma/fascia from the hyoid, raise and tighten it, then reattach it to the hyoid with permanent sutures. However, if this reattachment is too high, or too low, or off-centre it seems reasonable to deduce that the hyoid bone, and in turn the floor of the mouth, tongue base and throat may be so too. They presume the muscles above and below will 'balance it out' as they normally do, but that would depend on the degree of distortion. You say you can't swallow normally? Well in order to swallow normally your hyoid bone has to rise, move forward and quickly tilt almost 90 degrees. This allows the epiglottis to lay down and close off your airway so food/liquid doesn't enter it and choke you. Sounds like there may be some issue with your hyoid bone positioning (too low or asymmetric perhaps) and/or overly tight upper neck tissues perhaps narrowing the upper throat. I can only suggest an opinion from an ENT specialising in the hyoid bone & swallow, though I think until these functional complications and surgical remedy are documented in the medical literature we'll have to survive like we are. I wish you well.
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Once you are under anesthesia, they can do the procedure any way they want to. I wanted a larger breast implant on one side to even me out. I later found out that the doctor had decided that having both implants the same size looked better to him! So what was the point of getting implants? I didn't do it to be larger, I wanted to be even. This happened to me twice! Ugh, like I said, they do what they want once you are asleep.
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ccwt, listen to Bits. They will do anything to get you to sign on the dotted line. What-ever question that you can come up with, they can come up with an answer for it. And what I have found out since my LSL is that not only is the pricing of the LSL in line with what a regular BOARD CERTIFED (in facial plastic surgery not an ENT) plastic surgeon would charge, the plastic surgeons are a lot more eithical. If you compare apples to apples, a board certified plastic surgeon will charge you within a couple of hundred dollars for the same procedure. Now if you are put to sleep, that changes the equation, the price goes up about 2500. If I were you, I would most definitely shop around. Word of mouth is good if you can find some one in your area that has had surgery and I am sure the surgeon that you choose would not mind you speaking with patients that has had procedures done by him/her. And I too like Bits, was lied to about almost everything including the FAKE one year guarantee. The only thing that you are guaranteed of is that you will give them money. That is the only true thing that will happen. Best to you. Chrystal.
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I would never recommend this doctor. He deceived me in every respect.

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