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Not a Great Necklift/Scar Revision Afterall, Scroll to End - Houston, TX

I'm only 3 days post op from a lower facelift and...

I'm only 3 days post op from a lower facelift and necklift revision and decided to get word out quickly to others seeking 2nd or 3rd revisions to the face and neck that Dr. Athre is an excellent choice. This is actually my 3rd lower facelift revision needed to correct multiple poor results under my chin starting with bad liposuction in 2000. I've read once you end up with what's called "cobra neck deformity" it's a tough road ahead and almost impossible to correct. I guess the key is start out with a surgeon who won't overdo neck liposuction in the first place. So after ten years of my persistence to correct the deformity with my own fat, platysmaplasties, a disastrous kenalog injection, then an alloderm implant repair and then of all things repeated juvederm injections under the chin (surgeons will letting me call the shots just to take my money), I ended up with granulomatous inflammations from who knew which source; there was so much junk added to my submental region it was beginning to look like a toxic waste dump and Dr. Athre could barely contain himself when I showed him one bad result photo after the next. So when I finished describing my protracted history of work under the chin Dr. Athre didn't mince words, his only recommendation was a three hour surgery under general anesthesia to remove all the bad stuff and lift the lower face/neck region again. At first he said he couldn't guarantee a cosmetic result but later while photographing he said, "I'm trying for a grand slam home run" which really helped cut my anxiety level in half over the upcoming surgery. I knew from his many successful patient results and testimonies he was capable of being equal to or surpassing the work of all top surgeons anywhere on the planet; including ones who advertise they are "stars in the galaxy of plastic surgeons." I had let one of those "stars" work on me and realized later on his slogan was just an advertising gimmick to lure in gullible folks like me. Once I decided on surgery with Dr. Athre, every piece of paperwork was carefully written with patient education, safety and transparency in mind. As a result, my post-op nausea, swelling and bruising were next to nil, as seen in my 3 day post op photos with stitches still in place. Stitches come out next week and I'll post updates of the healing process for those who might be considering a similar procedure with Dr. Athre.

First base...about the chin scar revision

The marking pen is one long line but the actual incision where he removed alloderm is off-centered and much shorter; then he addressed outer bumps with curvilinears and no apparent stitching that I guess closed up with the tight head wrap (I'll ask him this week). So he managed to leave me with minimal scars to disquise the old chin scar which is what I wanted more than anything else. I could have done much worse somewhere else. In one consultation the surgeon wanted to help me but asked "What would you like for me to do?" and in another the surgeon suggested, "Mesh can be used..." Either choice would have been a disaster. First, what do I know about state of the art scar revision surgery, and secondly, adding anything more to my bulk would have been ludicrous. I guess one of the deciding factors to trust Dr. Athre was his patient coordinator said he taught head and neck surgery at UTMB Galveston. Well, I had other coordinators tell me their docs taught at local prestigious med schools only to check on it after things went wrong and saw they weren't on any faculty pages; perhaps they lectured to med students on a volunteer basis but that's not good enough. So I checked Dr. Athre's teaching experience and his picture was in fact on a current faculty page for cosmetic head and neck surgery. It seems cosmetic surgery patients can't be too careful. Can you imagine a surgeon taking his expensive car to a body shop for dent repair then picking it up to find another dent with the shop owner exclaiming "we tried our best!" Unfortunately, the BBB won't help us so do your homework!

some process photos...

Everyone who has a 2-3 hr face or neck surgery will leave the surgery center with a space helmet like this; so bring a scarf to cover because people in other vehicles will look over at you while your wonderful caretaker drives you home to safety. The next photo is six days post surgery showing some yellow on the neck but I've had worse after Juvederm injections. By the way, not sure Juvederm should be injected into your neck so check with your practitioner first about that. The most exciting part of this photo is the "freakin' skin lobe" on my jawline is gone. Hooray! Mission accomplished. Houston, I no longer have a problem.

more process photos: second and third base

This being the third time I've undergone something like this, to deal with congenital asymmetry + aging + cobra neck deformity, I have to say these are the most aesthetic incisions and stitching behind the ear that I've experienced. My previous incisions and marks were scary and the one seven years ago looked like I had been attacked by an ice pick (a friend's comment). I wouldn't want to scare people out of this procedure if they really wanted one so I'm showing these because they are as good as it gets. I'll be getting stitches removed this afternoon then I'm home free!!!

I owe, i owe, it's back to work I go...

Stitches came out yesterday and I'm completely presentable for the workplace tomorrow. At the surgery last Tuesday I was "Queen for a Day" with highly skilled medical personnel doting on me but it's over now; by the way, their skills were worth every penny right down to the nurse who inserted the anesthesia tube and didn't leave a bruise. I don't want to belabor the fact I received great service, so I've removed some process photos and added before and afters to show the basic anomalies Dr. Athre tackled for me. The underneath the chin "before" shot was taken in March to my dermatologist who I begged for help but she said the work HAD to be done by a plastic surgeon; then asked when I finally find the right one to please send pictures. Clearly I found the right one, so I'll just sum it all up in two words..."He's great!"

forgot one photo...

I always evaluate results in natural side light and this passed the test. Dr. Athre said I didn't need to put anything on the chin scar and he'll treat it with some dermabrasion in 6 weeks. Sounds like a plan to me.

let's try again...photo resized

last try...

photo resized!

This chapter is ending...

At this point I think all my swelling is gone and healing is complete so here are 2 final side-light photos with things a little more relaxed and all still looks good. I sent pictures to my sister and she said, "I'm jealous. You have the neck of a 25 year old." Have to admit it hasn't looked this good since 1979, and Dr. Athre also turned the clock back on my earlobes to their pre-2000 condition before I ever let a surgeon cut my face, and they no longer have that tell-tale altered look. As for the submental region, itt has been returned to it's 2004 condition only better since all the scar tissue, Alloderm, and granulomas were excised from upteen procedures done since then. So now I'm now noticing how my fat injection in 2004 had left more fat on the side of the hollow and very little in the middle, due mainly to the surgeon's assistant instructing me to wear my chin strap really tight for five days before I returned for the follow-up. So when the strap was removed it looked like the fat had been squashed out to the side with very little in the middle, I wanted to cry and so did the surgeon. I've also read that injected fat doesn't survive in the hollow very well anyway so who knows if the chin strap had anything to do with the injected fat looking displaced or not. Now I'm wondering if I should consider another injection or just quit while I'm ahead. Do I really want to open another chapter called, "Neck Liposuction and Fat Transfer,"???

Last words. I noticed people ask about total cost on other posts so Dr. Athre's fee was $7,000 and the rest facility and anesthesiologist's fee. By the way, she gave me a tip on how to prevent post- surgery nausea that I haven't read on anyone's post yet. She said not to consume dairy products in the first 24 hours and gave a scientific explanation that I don't remember word for word but has to do with brain and gut interaction in people who get motion sickness. Hope that helps someone.

just remembered more about the anesthesiologist's tip...

She told me not to consume any fat for 24 hrs after surgery because fat in the gut works against you if you have inner ear imbalance and are prone to motion sickness; so when I cooked eggs for breakfast for my caretaker I sipped a banana frozen strawberry smoothie instead. It's probably also a good idea to leave fat out of your diet the day before surgery, incuding cafe aulait. I'm so prone to nausea I even gag at the smell of mayo, so I'm still in awe my stomach felt fine after surgery and will definitely leave fat out of my diet when travelling or on a boat.

Goldilocks and the three bears...

This is my final chapter and final update on Real Self describing a two-year long cosmetic journey(nightmare) because I've probably ticked some surgeons off, so I'm ending with a parallel to "Goldilocks and The Three Bears"....

Once upon a time and two years ago I wandered into a cosmetic surgery forest to find a cosmetic submental surgery. The first surgery in September 2012 was like not even a surgery .... TOO LITTLE! (First Photo). So in January 2014 I tried a second cosmetic submental surgery where there had been excising but TOO MANY lumps left and TOO MUCH Kenalog used...TOO MUCH! (Second Photo). Finally in May 2014 I tried a third cosmetic surgery and this one was JUST RIGHT! (Third Photo). That surgery left me looking like a hollywood version of myself, along with Sculptra treatments in the interim. Things are looking so good I might even go blonde but one thing for sure I'm out of the forest; and the moral of this story is if you're looking for cosmetic surgery be very very careful and do your research. THE END.

Erratum: "January 2013" NOT "January 2014"

in above post. Just like me to end with a mistake.

Ooops, I did it again...

First, I apologize to Real Self users for a hasty glowing review of Dr. Athre only 3 days post surgery. Perhaps most consumers saw through it. Admittedly, I was probably too happy from hydrocodone and was induced to write enthusiastic reviews too soon. So as I mentioned in my above post on June 3rd, I noticed soon after Dr. Athre's surgery that my submental area was hollow again. I just didn't know yet that Dr. Athre had performed liposuction and spent only 2hrs instead of 3 on the revision. This week I returned to my Restalyne injector who applied his art to fill the hollowed and raked areas under my chin and he'll evaluate in six months for possible fat injections in small increments for a longer lasting result. I'll post photos of the filler repair on my Restalyne review. This is truly my last post here and admit I regret letting Dr. Athre's convenient location and scheduling influence me to try his services. He ended up not following through on a promised post procedure dermabrasion and pushed me out the door at the 6 week follow up. It was the same quick-sale behavior I experienced from scar revision surgeons in the past. Thankfully, my Restalyne surgeon took me back and I have finally learned my lesson. Maybe the key is to avoid surgeons with too many positive reviews, testimonies and photos.

final result photo added

Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon

I'm revising this review 9 months post-procedure to give a more informed and objective rating. Be careful of nomenclature when paying for services and be careful of your surgeon's enthusiasiasm for his own results. Bottom line, I paid too much for a scar revision necklift combo that kept being referred to as a "facelift" on the surgery quote. Also, I didn't know liposuction would be used, liberally. I now hate liposuction more than I hate mayonnaise. There may be a rare surgeon who can perform lipo without "raking" but I got "raked" again, and now looking at a filler repair. Not the big success story I thought only 3 days post surgery...duh. Who really knows 3 days post surgery anyway?

1 out of 5 stars Overall rating
1 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
1 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
1 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
1 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
1 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
1 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
1 out of 5 stars Payment process
1 out of 5 stars Wait times
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