More Pain That I Expected...

I had my lifestyle lift on May 8, 2008. I also had...

I had my lifestyle lift on May 8, 2008. I also had upper eyelid blephoroplasty (removal of extra skin to eliminate saggy eyelids-covered by insurance) and lower eye blephoroplasty with laser to tighten up baggy skin around eyes.

After a few years of considering this type of procedure I finally went through with it. I was worried about it and kept looking in the mirror and thinking that if I did not do it my face would only get baggier etc. I just turned 60, and I do not smoke, drink or worship the sun other than doing some outdoor activities like swimming, hiking, boating. gardening etc. I have tried to wear a hat or visor for several years to protect my face since too much sun eventually leatherizes the skin. I was told that I did not look my age many times before this but I still did not like where my face was headed and thought if I did this only once it would make the ageing process more graceful for me the rest of my life. I just turned 60 the end of April.
I went to a promotion at my doctor's office a week before my surgery and several women were there who had recently had the surgery. They all had their little pink battle scars by their ears but most wore short fluffy hairstyles that covered them up. I wear my hair almost shoulder length and like to wear it up, French twist, but mostly down. A few of these women had the eye procedure also. They all looked really good but I did not see their before photos.

Anyway, for my surgery, I put my hair in a ponytail but the nurse still shaved in front of my ear and about an inch away behind my ear. This was a surprise and will take about a year to grow in again and I cannot imagine how it will look if I try to pull it back this summer with 1-2 inch long pieces growing out and not reaching my pony tail etc.

I did feel pain during the surgery and I even said "Am I supposed to feel this?" and the doctor said to give me more Versaid. I think I was feeling the laser around my eye.

The first night was hard - I slept in a recliner with a neck rest like you use for travel - very useful - and pillows. I tried to avoid the drug with codeine because that will cause constipation. So, I took Ultracet a couple of times and then switched to Ex Str Tylenol which does the job. I try not to take anything unless it registers about a 7 on my discomfort scale. It is Friday after my surgery now and yes, I do have pain behind my ears - my incision is longer and extends about 1 inch into my hairline so that he could lift more of my neck.

I also have pain in my eyes mostly where the redness is from the laser - very tender there. I have to put ointment on all the time, Ice often and clean with cotton all of my scars starting today. I could have washed my hair today but decided just to take a bath and put the hair off till the weekend. I am still keeping it in a pony tail and have the ace wrap around my chin with some gauze pads over my ears, under it. I cannot imagine going out in public without BIG dark glasses that do not rest against the tender area or some kind of head scarf that covers my ears. Even then I hope no one will notice me. I must say that my chin looks great though. My eyes are still swollen and red so it is hard to tell but I think the bags are gone under them - just a lot of redness from the laser right now.

I get my sutures out next Weds and return to work next Thursday and Friday for a half day each. I may have to wear dark glasses at work and a scarf but we shall see. My husband has been great - getting ice packs for me, drinks, pillows etc. You really need someone the first few days. I did a load of laundry today but am spending most of my time in a recliner. I got books on tape from the library or TV - it is hard to read for too long.

Chewing is a problem so I have smoothies with fruit and yogurt, cottage cheese, omelet, soft cooked veggies.I had a bran muffin but had to break of tiny crumbs and ate a tuna sandwich with tiny baby bites.

There is just pain and stiffness if I open my jaw too much so I do not want to do that yet. I will add more later on but that is it for my second day post-op. It can only get better !!!

Today is May 19 , 2008 and my surgery was May 7,...

Today is May 19 , 2008 and my surgery was May 7, not May 8 as listed above. Anyway, I am feeling more like my old self now starting on about May 14 after I had my stitches and staples out.

Aftercare - I wear the chin strap - ace wrap- at night and still sleep on 2 pillows. I still use Aquaphor (new best friend) around my eye area where laser was done, and on my scars applying with a Qtip.I sometimes tie a cotton bandana folded about 3 inches wide placed under my chin and tied on top of my head when I am just around the house. This is more comfortable than the Ace and sometimes I wear nothing for periods of time during the day or when I am at work. Glasses do bother above my ears so I am wearing old stretched out ones if I wear them for very long. I am not to do any heavy upper body lifting or upper body strenuous exercises for another week or two due to possibly straining the neck and facial muscles. I normally swim laps with goggles but am not sure I want goggles pressing on my newly done eyes this summer. I may just do water aerobics instead.

Appearance - My eyes are healing well - pinkness is fading out from the laser around my lower eyes which was the most painful part of the whole experience. My face lift scars are very fine and run from my temple along my ear line and under the ear lobe and behind and then a short way into my hair - about 1 inch. My scars are longer than many I have seen at the seminar at my Dr. office, because I am older and there was more to lift, I think. I am 60. But my saggy neck area and chin are firm and tight making my profile nicer again and I am happy with the results so far at 12 days post op. I still wear dark glasses when I go out to protect my eye area and am very careful combing my hair not to touch the scars which are tender. My best friend saw me today and studied me carefully and said I look rested and refreshed and good. I have taken pictures all along and it is good to have my own set of Before and After to compare. If I am out of my strap for too long, my face starts to feel tight so I wrap it again and even put the ice packs back on each evening for a while. I just want this to last as long as possible.

As far as how long it lasts, my doctor said the average amount of skin they remove from the cheek area is over an inch. So, you are that much ahead of the aging process. Of course you will continue to age and your skin will continue to sag as you grow older each year, but this definitely turns back the clock and I think it will help me age further more gracefully and be happier with my appearance.

Dr. Douglas Halliday, E. Syracuse, NY

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Comments (8)

I'm curious why you waited so long to put this info. up? You did a wonderful job & gave good details about your experience. How are you doing a year later?
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I too am in Upstate NY and am considering the procedure in Syracuse. It's been a year now since you've had your surgery. Just wanted to know how things are at this point with you if you could update. I really found your blog very helpful! Thank you.
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Hi Libomshi....I wondered what place you were going to in Syracuse and if you have done the surgery....I am 60 and only in the 'thinking' stage right now. Thanks for input : )
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WENT FOR THE FIRST VISIT TODAY. SCHEDULED TO SEE DR. HOPE I AM DOING THE RIGHT THING. NOT MANY GOOD REPORTS. NOW I AM SCARED. SHOULD I DO IT. ALL SAY VERY PAINFUL.
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Good for you - read my earlier posts so that you can be fully prepared about what to expect for the first week. I slept in a recliner with a neck pillow, ate soft foods, and put ice on a lot and used the ointment on my eye area as directed. I even waited a few more days to wash my hair. My scars are very fine pink lines and are very close to my ears at 2 mos after my surgery. I feel fine and am planning a Luau for 30 next week and I am doing all the cooking myself. My pink eye area from the laser is fading but not gone yet and I am very careful to wear sunglasses and a sunhat. I am glad I had it done - take your own before and after photos so you can compare and remember just how you looked and why you made this decision. I am glad I did. Good Luck !!!
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Hello! I'm getting the life style lift 7/24. I am SO excited about it. I have the same dr as you had. I have heard nothing but wonderful things about this Dr. Please keep me posted how your doing.Thanks for all the info.
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It is now June 24, about 7 weeks from my lifestyle lift and upper and lower eye blepharoplasty with laser. My upper eyelid scars are not at all noticeable and the only problem is still redness under my eyes where the laser was done to tighten up the baggy under eye area. I have to wear #70 sunscreen and cover-up daily. My face lift is still holding up well with slight relaxing and not that tight feeling that you have so much at first. I do get a twinge in my neck sometimes and wonder if it could be related to carrying a shoulder bag that might be too heavy. Not a good idea for a while. You really do not want anything heavy pulling on your shoulder/neck muscles for a long time. I do wear the ace strap most nights until it bothers me - if it is hot weather that strap will be miserable unless you have air conditioning. I am glad I had the surgery in early May when it was still very cool here because you are in the heavier wrap for the first week. My doctor is also going to start doing these in Palm Beach a few times per month - we are in Western NY area. He is a very good surgeon and I think that makes all the difference in your outcome. You really must try to see and speak with former patients. The office should say that they will give your name to a former patient who is willing to do this, and ask them to call you. This protects their privacy and yours if you are both willing to meet and or speak to eachother. My doctor had a seminar at his office which is where I was able to see several other patients and speak with them. Hope this helps anyone who reads it.
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You have given a very good detail about your experience.Sounds like you were in good hands and hopefully you will be happy with the end results. I have been told that 6 mos. is the true end result.... I am always amazed that some people write how horrible they look so soon after surgery.....it is not a speed course, plastic surgery, so you must wait and see. My doctor was very frank with me when he said,"The minute your surgery stops, gravity starts, once again, to pull your face down".
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