Jowls and Turkey Neck - London, GB
I had a brow lift 4 years ago as I wanted to get...
4 years ago I also discussed getting rid of my jowls but I wasn't ready mentally for a facelift. So I opted for fat transfer to my cheeks which I did last year. That looked nice, but the jowls, of course, were still there.
A month ago I saw my profile in yoga class - all those mirrors! I felt self-conscious. All that work to keep my body toned but my face, my profile, was something I couldn't fix.
I went back to my surgeon. He explained that with the SMAS, he would tighten the muscle and skin both to the side and upward to the cheeks. But he also explained he would also need to tighten my neck through a small incision under my chin.
I also asked about the little red veins by my nose and he said that is done by a special laser and done separately. I haven't scheduled that yet. And for sun spots he suggested retinol done during the winter. He said he wouldn't do a peel as my skin doesn't need that.
I am a little scared about the post op recovery but I've had good results and no pain with Mr Stanek's work before. But it does look a lot more serious.
I hate that bit when the anaesthesia goes in and boom the next second you are waking up thinking oh God it's done already? And trying to work out what hurts, what you look like, why does my throat ache and feel so dry.
I'll put up post op pictures.
A few days pre-op
Back in my room
I was able to wash my hair very gently in the bath with Johnson's baby shampoo.
I brought button down pjs but I shouldn't have bothered really. As I didn't feel like changing just sleeping.
Day 4 post op
First of all I'm not in any pain, just uncomfortable and a bit sore. I only sleep for a few hours straight. I sleep at about a 45 degree angle with a wedge and pillows. Surprisingly this isn't too bad and I stay in my back the whole time. I prop up my legs on a pillow also.
My neck feels tight and sore especially when I yawn, sneeze, cough or eat. My ears itch and burn around the stitches. I try not to look and the wounds as it makes me a tiny bit queasy. Especially the staples!
I've been icing every 3 hours or so and use my own fleece wrap thing. Just put in 3 gel ice packs and it doesn't get too cold just gives some respite from the itching feeling of healing. (Apparently I read the wounds have a different electrical and chemical composition the allows the new cells to go there and constrict and pull the tissues together. This makes the itch as the itch nerves send signals.
I can't get over how strange I look -to actually see the results. I don't have much swelling as I had two cortisone injections after surgery but I am a bit bruised by my ears and a little swelling to mid face and around my ears. Enough to look strangely odd to me. So no looking in the mirror ...
The last 4 days post surgery have not been easy. I have wondered what the hell I've done many times. I do notice that there are no jowls and no sagging under my chin. I just hope it starts looking more like me soon. It has gotten me down a bit maybe as I'm stir crazy and bored but also there is no break from being uncomfortable. I've lost my appetite but making juices with my juicer. Kale, broccoli, cucumber, beetroot, tomato, pear, orange, lemon, pineapple ... using many recipes and combinations. I really like pineapple and pear juice.
Tomorrow my stitches and staples come out, I'm both a little anxious and really looking forward to having all that metal and stitches gone! I think that only then, I'll start to remember why I did all this. Recovery has not been a walk in the park. I'm still swollen and look strangely alien to me. I can see that the jowls are gone and some of the vertical lines by my mouth are much smaller. Seeing my jawline again is a weird sensation. I feel a bit of burning around both the front and back of my ears. My throat looks good and the scar and stitches under my chin feel like they are not there. Numbness in my face is off-putting but maybe a blessing. I haven't taken any strong pain killers, only paracetamol a few times so far.
Day 7 & pre-op photo
Still very swollen, the nurse said I'm much more swollen that the average. And bruised more than usual - but yellow bruises now. I know my doctor uses glue and I had a big bandage after surgery and stayed overnight - but still I am swollen. I wore a yellow shirt to match.
After 50 mins the nurse got all the staples and stitches out. Can't say that was fun but was hugely relieved afterwards. As most of the area is numb anyway there was little pain involved. More like little pricks in the skin. The scars are minimal already, hard to see the temple ones where the staples were.
I'm still concerned about the vertical fold behind my left ear but I'm told it should even out and disappear in time. And that I should massage it in a couple of weeks if it is still there.
Day 15 - Put a little makeup on for the first time
Still have numbness, feeling of pulling/tautness on my neck and behind my ears.
Behind ears healing well
The pulling and numbness gets me down a bit - I keep thinking - when will it go away? I can finally wash my hair and style it without feeling I have to be extra careful.
Day 27 (4 weeks)
Day 47 (6 1/2 weeks out)
6 month review
But other than that there doesn't seem to be anything else left to heal.
People say I took well.
8 Months after
The fold / crease behind my ear is gone! The surgeon said it would go at my 3 month appointment. I was sceptical as it stayed the same for 3 months. But is totally gone now.
I think my face has settled down now, no swelling apparent anywhere, and I do think it has shagged a tiny bit - maybe as it has healed.
I've found Mr Stanek to be extremely good at delivering great results that don't look unnatural. No pain. And always explains and answers all my questions. His staff are very caring and helpful. I like that they come to the hospital to see me afterwards.