Jowls and Turkey Neck - London, GB

I had a brow lift 4 years ago as I wanted to get...

I had a brow lift 4 years ago as I wanted to get rid of my droopy eyelids. That went well and everyone said I looked much younger than my age. 6 weeks later, I still with remnants of a bruise, I went on a date with a man 17 years younger. We still see each other.

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.

Pre-op

Photos before...

A few days pre-op

Looking forward to after

Back in my room

Morning after

Home

Home. Feel good really. Put on my home sewn fleece gel ice pack head band. Works a treat. It has pockets for three 3x3 inch gel ice packs I bought on amazon. It sits into if the Velcro wrap they gave me. It gets cool and feels really good.

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

I haven't written much as I've been finding recovery rough going. I took miralax (laxative) as a precaution to avoid constipation then started vomiting which lasted for over 3 hours. My throat feels burnt. Can't talk. That was scary, and the nausea was horrible. Thankfully I released it was the Miralax as I hadn't eaten anything else. I guess I have an allergy to it. Rough time to find out.

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.

Day 6

I'm told that the vertical skin fold behind my one ear will go away with time. I've read other reviews and it seems that the short scar method does sometimes have a vertical fold as the skin is gathered under the short scar. It seems strange is it was there immediately after my facelift so I'm assuming my surgeon knows it will go away. I'm a little worried as I wear my hair up at the gym. Any comments on similar issue very welcome. My other ear has no fold at all.

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

I have my old jaw now :-)
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 13

Face still a bit swollen, numb and feeling taut. I can see my check bones again.

Day 15 - Put a little makeup on for the first time

I finally ventured out with a little makeup. I don't recognise myself!

Still have numbness, feeling of pulling/tautness on my neck and behind my ears.

Day 19

Feeling better, healing well, slower than I thought in terms of it feeling weird were I'm still numb.

Behind ears healing well

Day 23

Feeling a bit better today. After the round of antibiotics I got an outbreak on my face of something called Malassezia folliculitis (when the natural bacteria on your skin are killed and the natural yeast grow out of control). It looks like acne but if treated like acne gets much worse. Thankfully it is now almost gone.
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)

Thought I show progress after 4 weeks. Can finally sleep on my side with little ache in my ears. Face numbness still there but getting better.

Day 27

Day 47 (6 1/2 weeks out)

Still feel pulling outside my eyes by my temple. Still numb by my ears. incision sting a bit sometimes. Sleeping on my side bothers my ears still. I wake up frequently when turning over. I can perceive swelling in front of my ears but only a little. I don't cover up the scars at all with makeup as I don't like the idea of it, besides touching numb areas is weird.

6 month review

Face still tingles a bit if I touch it where it is still a tiny bit numb, in front of my ears mainly.
But other than that there doesn't seem to be anything else left to heal.
People say I took well.

8 Months after

The numbness is barely noticeable now.
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.
Mr Stanek

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.

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