Write a review

Neck Lipo - 35 and started to get a fat pad under my chin - Los Angeles, CA

Okay, I am almost three weeks post-op from a...

Okay, I am almost three weeks post-op from a corset platysmaplasty and submental lipectomy (removal of fat under my chin). I am having a hard time with my recovery and am looking for any way to connect with anyone who may also have some experience and can comment on whether what I am going through is normal, or not.

I haven't decided if this was "worth it" or not, yet, as I am not sure if these scars are permanent or long-term or just part of the healing process... I will probably know soon. I will continue to update this as I go...

Okay. So, the background: I am 35 and started to get a fat pad under my chin, which I hated. It was a small double chin. I researched doctors in my area (I live in a well-off part of Los Angeles) and found a double-board certified doctor with tons of accolades and awards for facial plastic surgery. he's been on TV, etc.

I must have visited with him in his office 4 separate times for consultations before I decided I was ready for the surgery. He was very nice and his staff was great and they clearly made craploads of money (it's a nice office/location) and he was extremely confident we could fix my neck exactly how I wanted it to be: no more fatty chin. He suggested we do a platysmaplasty and get rid of the fat pad under my chin; it seemed like a good plan at the time.

It was very expensive, but I have heard that in this business, you get what you pay for. There went my entire savings account! But I didn't mind, because I was finally going to fix this issue that made me so very self conscious.

The surgery itself was fine, the first 1.5 weeks were fine! I wore my head wrap garment day and night and followed all the rules. I was totally swollen and had black and blue spots everywhere, but I was fine with it because I knew the outcome would be a nice neck (I haven't had that since I was a little girl!). I waited until 1.5 weeks, then I was told I could take my compression garment off and just wear it at night.

That's when I realized something was very wrong.

It wasn't swelling under my chin; it was thick, hard, painful scar tissue. Excessive scar tissue running under my skin, down my incision to my adam's apple. Dimpled, lumpy, rumply, indented cellulite-looking hard scar tissue.

This was not part of the deal.

I was told I would be back to work in 5-7 days, and look "normal" again except for some minor swelling after 2 weeks and my tiny incision. I most definitely do not look normal. I can tell I have some swelling still, and my incision is red, but I was prepared for both of those. What I was not prepared for is the thick ugly horrible and painful scar tissue all up and down the front of my neck. I no longer have smooth skin; it is as if I have terrible cellulite under my chin. I traded in a smooth fat pad for a hard, lumpy pad of scar tissue: profile is the same as before, just far uglier now. I'm horrified.

I called my DR. and came in to see him. He said very casually, "Oh, you're developing some scar tissue. Are you massaging it? Are you putting a scar gel on it?" I replied no, because he had not told me to do either. How would I know to do either of those things? So he instructed me on how to massage the area and sold me a 67 dollar bottle of scar gel (really? he couldn't throw that in for free considering he was the one that scarred me for 4500?). He told me "this is normal and will go away". When? He couldn't say. Only time will tell.

I massage the entire area three times a day even though it makes me sick to my stomach to touch my neck and the bumpy skin. It also still hurts, mostly because the scar tissue is so tight; if I turn my head to look at the sky I feel as if I am being strangled. So I start googling. I come across this site and makemeheal.com. According to mass experience with scar tissue, it lasts MONTHS, usually about a year, . That is, when it goes away. It does always go away. Sometimes you have to do a lot of laser techniques, ultrasound, or even have revision surgery to fix it. My Doctor did not mention this.

Right now I'm angry and feel very much that I would like to go back in time and just live with my chin fat. I feel deformed and disfigured. The past two weeks have been extremely hard on my physically and emotionally (and monetarily), but because I knew I'd have a nice neck at the end of it all it it gave me the courage to do it. Now I have no nice neck; I have what may be years of scar tissue and future surgeries ahead of me. I will probably never have the neck I want. And in addition, I will have scars to remind me of my mistake.

I meet with my doctor tomorrow, again ( I insisted on another appointment where I will be demanding some more concrete answers and a cortisone injection, as I hear that is something that can help) to let him know I am NOT OKAY with walking around deformed for 3, 6 or 12 months to "see if it goes away on its own". I realize plastic surgery comes with risks, but if doctors were upfront and honest about recovery times, the likelihood of scarring (very likely if you get lipo on the face or neck regions) would have been something I was prepared for. Honestly, I would have opted to not do the surgery. Which is probably why they don't tell you. They also are not upfront about recovery. They say things like, "after two weeks you will feel great and only have a tiny teeny scar you can cover with makeup" but the minute you are done with surgery they insist that it takes a full three months to look normal, if not a full year. Change of tune.

For anyone thinking of platysmaplasty and neck lip or lipectomay, know: massive excessive scar tissue is very clearly a big risk. Just google it and see the many many posts on this site alone about people with this very same issue. It is not "normal", it is considered a complication of surgery, and it happens more often that you would think.

Okay, I will be updating after my meeting with my doctor tomorrow morning.

I saw the doctor this morning, and he injected my...

I saw the doctor this morning, and he injected my scar tissue with cortisone, which is supposed to help reduce the tissue. He told me he is confident that everything will resolve within 6 weeks. I hope he is right. My doctor is very patient and kind; I feel bad saying bad things about the surgery because he is a truly nice guy and I know he is top in his field and that my results are not because of his negligence; I am just unlucky.

I feel much better after meeting with him this morning and am willing to try to relax for the next two weeks or so to see if the shots make a difference, or if it starts reducing on its own.

The truth is that even if you think you are prepared for surgery, it is way more painful mentally and emotionally that you realize. Something psychological happens when you undergo surgery, the drugs from anesthesia, and the resulting healing process. You definitely do not look great right away. It is a long healing process which is emotional and difficult. Don't let anyone try to tell you differently. If you read this thinking, "Yeah, but not me! I'm different!" you're wrong. You too. You just don't know it yet because you haven't actually had your surgery yet.

When it comes to my expectations of what my recovery time would be, I was told what many people are told: 5-7 days, or 2 weeks for full normalcy. (google these boards and realself.com and you will find dozens of people with frantic anxiety-ridden posts about their thick neck scar swelling and tissue after 2, 4, 6, and 8, 10 weeks and beyond).

You will not (repeat: NOT) look and feel normal after a platysmaplasty after 5-7 days. If you have neck liposuction or a lipectomy too, you will need at least three weeks to look "normal" enough to leave the house without people stopping and asking you what kind of horrible accident you were in. I did not have skin removed or taken up behind my ears, but I can only imagine that that will add on to the healing time as well, so expect to wait even longer, possibly a month or 6 weeks, before you feel confident enough to roam amongst humans again without little children running and screaming at your appearance or your Mom crying when she sees you. If you are unlucky, like me, and have excessive scar tissue build up, expect to wait at least 6 weeks from the day of your surgery to look normal, but be ready to wait as long as 6 months or even a year or a few years if you have severe scar tissue, hematomas, seromas, or any kind of complication at all. If you work, and have to go back after 7 days, you will have to tell everyone you had surgery. No one will be fooled. I would recommend, based on my experience, that you take two full weeks off of work and then be prepared to look as though you had plastic surgery when you return. A dab of makeup on your red chin incision is not going to conceal the swelling, unevenness, or (god forbid) any lumpy complications from scar tissue. If your goal is to go away on a "vacation" and show up refreshed and looking healthy when you return, set aside two full months (and even then, if you have complications, you won't look normal yet). Barring complications, two full months seems like the right amount of time to heal from a normal, successful neck lift.

Am I trying to talk you out of surgery? No.. I am sure that in "the end" (whenever that is) I will love my new neck. When is that, though? In a year? If the doctor had told me I'd lose a six months or a year of my (fading) looks and confidence to correct what was a relatively minor imperfection, I would have chosen not to have the surgery. That doesn't mean you will or should make the same choice, however. It may be worth it to you, and you may one of the lucky ones that heals in a month and never has any scar tissue. There is no way of knowing; it is a gamble you must take.

You hopefully won't get this kind of scar tissue, but you will definitely have a red scar on your chin, swelling that could last several weeks, and you will not see your new neck for a while. This is hard, no matter how you slice it. Even if you feel strong (I did) just be prepared for the emotional aftermath and take those "depression after surgery" hand outs and websites seriously. It is apparently quite common to feel anxiety about the outcome and despair at not seeing what you expected to see...no one is exempt. If you are filthy rich, don't have to work, can hire a maid and a nanny and sit at home for three months watching movies and healing, then your emotional experience may be a lot better. If, like me, you have some kind of occupation and need to visit the store to buy your own groceries, get used to questioning if you made the right decision. Once you do it, you can't turn back, so prepare yourself for any negative complications and know what they are and be realistic about the healing time. No one told me what a realistic healing timeline was, so I hope that this can tell you and help you make your decision.

I will continue to update and let everyone know how my excessive scar tissue goes with the cortisone.

When I woke up in the morning after getting the...

When I woke up in the morning after getting the cortisone injection, it seemed as if a lot of the thickness had already gone down! I was very happy! However, now it is the end of the day and it seems to have swelled back up again.

It isn't really swelling; it's scar tissue. This is incredibly depressing on so many levels. Another woman who had a neck lift who is experiencing the same problem posted on realself today; this seems to be really common and I am shocked and appalled that my doctor did not mention this could happen. I would never have gotten the surgery.

Okay, I am hearing from a few people on this site...

Okay, I am hearing from a few people on this site in reaction what I have posted so far, and I am hearing a lot of similar stories: People come out of a neck lift with high hopes and then those hopes for a new neck are dashed by strange, weird and unsightly rippling, bumps, ridges, lumps, knots, and weird-looking swellings that are not gone after the first few weeks.

The doctors seem to concur that all of this is within normal parameters.

Which is why I am wondering why I didn't hear a single word about this possibility from my doctor before the surgery. I mean, if it s so common, why not at least warn a patient? Why not say, "Okay, SO, if after the surgery, in the coming weeks, you develop weird bulges on your neck that make you feel like you have ALIEN parasite snakes crawling around under your skin, that is normal and do not freak out and get suicidal and go posting like an insane woman all over Internet message boards, okay? Just massage."

I think we all know the answer to that.

Also, the cortisone seems to have helped *a bit*. It's slightly less bumpy.

I know I haven't posted any pictures, but if you want to know what it looks like, it looks pretty much exactly like jenanne's photos: http://www.realself.com/question/lumpiness-and-mottling-weeks-after-necklift

I will post pics as soon as I can! This is silly but I lost the chord from my camera to my computer. Yes, my phone can take pics but I am one of those people who lives in the dark ages who does not have their phone hooked up to the Internet.

Thank you so much for keeping it real and posting your story on RealSelf. It does sound as if ridges after neck and facelifts are not unheard of and that time and massage will help.

Please continue to keep us posted!


Added several photos today; the photos are of my 4...

Added several photos today; the photos are of my 4 weeks post-op, and two days ago the cortisone injections reduced the scar lumps and bumps by about 40-50%, so what you are seeing is 40-50% less and smaller and fewer than what it was just 5 days ago.

I am sorry I don't have an image from one week ago, when it was twice the size and giant and scarier.

In any case, I am still disappointed in this lumpiness and bumpiness. When you look at it, it looks like I have very bad cellulite under my chin. Except that the cellulite is HARD.

I started using ScarAway silicone strips on my incision and they are making a very drastic difference in the appearance of that scar. After one week, it is already less red and less raised. I will continue to use them. Too bad they don't work on scar tissue under the neck!

I have more pictures coming: profile shots from before the surgery and two weeks after the surgery from my doctor's office; waiting for them to send them to me. We'll decide if the surgery made a positive impact on profile or not despite the unsightly scar tissue.

I have to say - google "neck lift+lumps" and about...

I have to say - google "neck lift+lumps" and about a hundred different forum threads all over the English-speaking Internet pop up with with frantic people begging for someone to tell them what the lumps and bumps under their chin and on their neck are after their neck and face lift surgeries.

How can this be? How can Plastic Surgeons be that unwilling to discuss the truth with their patients? 9/10 times, the person writing the forum post follows up by saying their doctor told them it was normal to experience uneveness, bumpiness, lumps and worse for weeks to months after a face and neck lift. WTF? Even the doctors on Realself all tell you how absolutely normal and expected it is.

If it is so normal and expected, why haven't any of those hundreds of people online, or myself, ever heard of it? I mean, we GOT THE SURGERY, why weren't we informed that we'd have lumps and bumps afterwards? Why?

I'm a bit angry. It seems standard practice to withhold this information from patients.

Either it's normal or it isn't. If it's normal and expected, I expect I should have heard from my surgeon, before the surgery, that this would happen to me. I didn't. If it Isn't normal and expected, I wish doctors on realself and elsewhere would stop pretending it is normal to placate the scared and angry people asking questions about their recovery.

Hi Necky, Thanks for presenting a real, true insight into your surgery. I just viewed them and as you said, they PS don't tell us that it can "forever" to heal. If it were them, they would be annoyed at the down time, too. Hoping your recovery goes smoother now. Hang in!
Have you posted your photos? I guess I don't know how to find them.:) Thanks, Cassielin
Hey Cassielin! Haven't posted yet. My surgeon took a bunch before pics and some after pics at 2 weeks, I have asked his office for them and will be posting. I also had a digital camera malfunction which I corrected earlier today so will be posting some pics today...

So, after about a month, this kind of thing really...

So, after about a month, this kind of thing really grates on your soul. Surgery, and all the regular physical and mental stress that entails, coupled with feeling disfigured and disappointed, plus the normal stresses of life happening shortly thereafter, is just really really hard.

My neck swelled up again worse than ever, worse than before the cortisone. More scar tissue has formed since and it is bulky and textured like cellulite.

I'm purposefully isolating myself from friends and family because I am ashamed of my neck; I feel lonely and totally ashamed of how i look. I hate my neck far more than I ever did before my surgery. I have given up on ever feeling attractive again; these scars are going to be here for a long, long time. I should get used to being ugly.

The awful thing is, I PAID someone a lot of money to do this to me, on purpose.
it gets better. don't worry it takes about eight months to heal properly. you will look and feel great.

I saw my dermatologist today and asked her for a...

I saw my dermatologist today and asked her for a second opinion; she says she thinks it is mostly swelling and she is confidant it will go away. She said that in her experience, a doxycycline hyclate prescription makes post-surgical swelling go down much faster. Perhaps I will try?
I am so very sorry you're having to go through this bad experience. Just wanted to say I totally understand where you're coming from because my experience almost mirrors yours! You can read my posting under "Lumpy bumpy neck lift after 4 weeks". It's so sad when we do our homework in finding a supposing good surgeon and then end up with problems we never dreamed possible! I recently had corrective surgery by a new plastic surgeon and a neck lift this past Jan. 23rd.(same day as you). I am healing very well and my neck looks much better. My PS did reassure me the lumpiness will go away and it is. But, because the first PS created so much scar tissue from the lipo I will probably always have an indentation under my chin that can not be corrected without fat injections. I also used the silicone pads and they seemed to help flatten out the scar tissue after about 6-7 weeks using them for 12 hrs. a night. My first PS also used the cortisone shot, but in my case it softened the scar tissue, but atrophied any fat tissue I had left and then my neck began to sag (not pretty). Yes, I too have gone through that VERY angry stage and I think it's pretty normal for what we went through. I hope things will continue to improve for you. My heart goes out to you for what you're having to experience. Best of luck.
try to find my doctor. Dr. Elliot heller. He is a genius with a heart of gold next time I know he is very popular and EVERYONE is happy with his work. NYC. Good Luck!
Granbury Grammy, Yours was one of the first stories I read when I first came on here, looking for answers. Thank you so much for reading mine and commenting; just knowing other people understand what this feels like is helpful to me. I am going to remain hopeful for now (I also have no other choice! Way too soon for corrective surgery)...

I had originally planned to get some perlane and...

I had originally planned to get some perlane and sculptra shortly after my surgery, but now that I am 5 weeks post-op and can do it, I am terrified. I have gotten Perlane before with no problems, but something in me has changed after this surgery.

I have panic attacks more often, I am nervous and anxious all the time. I have trouble making decisions. I don't trust myself. I am unhappy. I am scared of getting perlane now, something I did many times in the past.

This surgery has made me really unhappy...

I am still terrified to see my family as I know they will know what I did and be upset for me and at me that I have such bad scarring. I am insecure, in general, about my neck and lower my head and don't look people in the eye.

At 5 weeks I should have smooth skin, not hideous bumpy skin. I'm so upset and sad.

My shame and sadness is forcing me to isolate myself, in general, from friends and family. I literally can't go to talk about this with anyone.

my primary care physician says my dermatologist is out of her mind, prescribing doxycycline hyclate for post-op surgery swelling. So I guess I won't be trying that.

My skin is slowly regaining feeling; the numbness is going away and I can feel that the whole area under my chin is still sore. After 5 weeks??? I have never had an injury this bad in my life. It's shocking how little doctors prepare you for this stuff.

I had a full facelift, liposuction and fat replacement in my face Thursdsy, March 21. I went to work the following Monday...3 days later. I was in surgery 5 hours. I do wear my head gear and have some swelling and some bruises. Under my chin. Is a ridge which I believe will be absorbed into my face. Some areas are hard and after being up for a few hours my face looks better. It has been 9 days since my surgery. I am thrilled with my progress and love my new heart shaped face. I think this surgery is similar to having babies. Everyone's experience is different. Some bounce right up and look and feel as if they never had a baby. Others have complications from day one that cause depression and pain and frustration. Most of this is all gone by 6 months and we are all on the same page then. I believe most of you will be quite pleased in another month or two. Time helps a lot.. Good-Luck.

The thoughts and feelings you are expressing sound very much like you are suffering from depression. Please speak to your family doctor and see if you can get something to help you with this. Don't be ashamed of this, it is very common with post-surgery. Depression can be very debilitating and needs to be treated. Keep faith that your neck will get better as time passes and get out of the house, get fresh air, sunshine and exercise. Keep talking on this site if you don't feel you can talk to anyone else but don't hole yourself up. Be well.

So, I think I have PTSD. I have such bad anxiety,...

So, I think I have PTSD. I have such bad anxiety, I had a full-blown panic attack in the dermatologist's office. I can't handle anything changing about my face right now - it put me into full blown horror mode. I feel like a freak. I feel like I ruined my life. I am 6 weeks into recovery and my neck looks exactly the same as it did at week three. Why no change/recovery?

I also think I have body dysmorphic disorder. I am going to seek treatment asap.

All in all, I definitely would not recommend this surgery to anyone, based on the last 6 weeks.

My Dr. did absolutely zero screenings for whether I would be a PTSD risk. Apparently, it is common for people to have severe anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after this kind of surgery. here's an academic study in which psychological complications were found to be far more prevalent in patients undergoing plastic surgery than physical complications: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10513902

" Most surgeons (75.8 percent) reported that screening for depression was important, but only 18.8 percent identified screening for post-traumatic stress disorder as important, even though 86 percent had diagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder in their postoperative patients."

yeah. 86% of 281 plastic surgery patients developed PTSD symptoms in this controlled, scientific study. I guess I am a statistic now!

I did learn a valuable lesson, if nothing else: your life and day to day happiness is not dependent on what your chin looks like. Life is too short to spend weeks recovering from debilitating, unnecessary surgeries that are sold to us as a product by doctors who have devoted their lives to superficial, non-healing procedures.
I am sorry this has happened to you. If the doctor had told you that the scarring and other complications was normal and most likely to happen, would you have had the surgery anyway? I can almost bet you would have. Did you do any research on this type of surgery to see what possible complications could occur? You seem to be very concerned about your appearance for someone who is 35 years old. I would be interested in knowing how your chin looks at the end of the 12 month period. I hope everything smooths out for you in your neck area.

I am so sorry to hear you are having such a dreadful time. I am booked in for a neck lift on 2nd May so your story has given me quite a fright. Can I ask if you have had surgery before? Your scarring sounds like it could be keloid scarring I have had several abdominal surgeries and have never produced keloid scarring. I wonder if this means it is unlikely that I will on this occasion. I have an appointment in 3 weeks time with the plastic surgeon (he is a highly qualified cranio-facial re-constructive surgeon who I'm told is meticulous). I will certainly be discussing this with him. Good wishes for a speedy recovery.

Hi AndraP I had a lower neck and face lift on March 12 . . . you can look up my experience. I have a fabulous surgeon thru the Cleveland Clinic . . . but the truth of this surgery is that while 2-3 weeks is what the PS tell us is recovery until you can go back to work, the reality is under your chin/jaw line is going to be lumpy, bumpy and have what they call "diminished sensitivity" which is SO weird feeling. Many of us on here have done extensive research but yet most of us feel we really did not understand the extent of the recovery. Hopefully sharing our experiences will help others be mentally prepared for the recovery because it truly is very, very difficult.

So, I feel like *maybe* the scar tissue and...

So, I feel like *maybe* the scar tissue and swelling is going down. It's still there. But maybe it's lesser than before. This is week 6. I am not sure if I am feeling better or if I have just *gotten used to it* and so have resigned myself to looking horrible.

Isn't it bad that I can't tell the difference? I can't look in the mirror and accurately gauge whether there is healing progress or not. That bothers me.

I am having this weird horrible issue which is that now that my neck is done I keep seeing things everywhere all over my face that need fixing. Things that didn't bother me much before but now are driving me crazy: frown lines, crow's feet, marionette lines... before my chin was my only major issue, I thought.

Is it Body Dysmorphic Disorder? Just aging? Stress? who knows.

The downside: even if my chin heals, clearly I will never be satisfied with the way I look.
I feel the same way . . . as my swelling goes down I am seeing the marionette lines come back a bit more . . . ugh! But I think it's a woman thing - are any of us ever really happy with how we look?
Hi Necky, I feel and look the same from what i can tell , i know it's been only 15 days since the surgery , but my neck still looks like it's deformed and swollen. I want to to be isolated from this embarrasment and having to expain that i was a dumb ass for doing this to myself. I've never been this depressed in all my life and I'm 45 years old and i should of known better...etc. All we can say is we got to hang in there and let God bless us and let the healing begin to take it's place. I hope you start healing very soon!! Take Care
Hi Tommi! If the doctor had told me... that's a good question. I may not have done the surgery, at least not right now. I have so many things going on, like a new home, a new job, sick parents, family drama, etc. that if Ihad known the extent of the scarring and healing process, I may have waited for a different point in my life or not done it at all. I did a small bit of research, but not enough. Most research results in finding things written by doctors who are trying to sell you the surgery, so most materials say 2-3 weeks of swelling, back to work in 5-7 days. If I had spent a few months on this board I would have learned differently. I am very appearance-oriented. I wish I weren't. But I think anyone who gets surgery that isn't reconstructive is fairly concerned. I think I had a mid-life-crisis moment when I turned 35 and saw myself changing. Doctors, two separate ones, have recently told me I am "getting old" and that is why certain things are going wrong with me - knee doctor and gyno. It freaked me out. I envisioned a life for the next 40-50 years of just BEING OLD, that youth and fun and life were over for me and that more than half my life would be spent as an OLD PERSON with increasing sickness and visible aging signs. That's how my doctors made me feel. It scared the heck out of me and made me feel that life is fairly fleeting and unfair and so I decided to buy a few more years of visible youth by getting rid of my double chin. Does that make sense? I am sure I sound crazy and vain, but it's the truth. That's how I felt. I felt desperate for an answer to making life livable and not terrifying. Unfortunately, this was not a good solution for that particular problem.

Week 7 now - lumps are fading a tiny bit. Numbness...

Week 7 now - lumps are fading a tiny bit. Numbness is fading too, so now I have pain under my chin where everything is still raw and tender. However, I still look like I have a bag of large cottage cheese under my chin.

I won't lie; I'm getting used to it. I don't cry anymore when I look in the mirror. I just sigh loudly and accept that I look F****** weird. I definitely don't think my neck/chin look prettier than before.

I am holding out hope that month three will be the magic number for lumps and bumps fading. I can finally see my family again when they go away! Been avoiding seeing anyone as I feel really foolish for doing this to myself.
My first 2 weeks were my worst experience ever, so I totally understand your feelings - I've been there. It goes better and better, try not to worry and give it time. Keep us posted on progress xx
You were not vain Nicky, you were human. And a woman! Keep the faith. Be patient, time is on YOUR side, remember. And bravo for posting such a honest story, and being out there warning people when you could not give a d*mn about others and only worry about your own recovery. You'll be rewarded for this with a perfect chin, I say ;o)
Ditto Necky and OhGirl :-)

It is week 8, and I am on the brink of a severe...

It is week 8, and I am on the brink of a severe crisis in depression.

I don't know what I thought my neck would fix - would it make me feel young again? Make me feel pretty? I guess that's what I thought.

I don't. I feel angry and confused and I hate my life more than before the surgery, if possible.

I need some serious professional help but can't afford it; my health insurance is quite bottom of the barrel and I can't seem to get an appointment with a psychiatrist. Imagine if I'd taken my neck lift money and spent it on psychiatry instead!

This life is sad, too long, lonely, and ultimately you go through everything alone. I'm not sure how to get better from here, on the inside. I don't feel that I have a lot of options.
I'm sorry this happened to you. I think mental health is a very important factor in determining whether someone is a good candidate for cosmetic procedures and I agree that your doctor should have done a more thorough screening before agreeing to operate. I had a neck lift with lipo and the results and healing were beautiful. I am lucky, but I also was in a healthy place mentally with plenty of loving supportive people around me & I'm sure that gave me better results. My doctor was wonderful as well. I hope you continue to heal and your scars eventually disappear. Try to think positively.
Thank you so much for posting your experience. I absolutely identify with everything you have written. My original neck surgery was in September 2012 and the results were not good - extremely prominent platysmal banding and much worse than when I started out. As a therapist, I knew to massage the area and use silicone gel on the scar, but it did not improve and I became more and more anxious, depressed and felt "isolated" (only my husband knew I had this procedure and didn´t approve in the beginning, so I didn´t get much support). I had to pay to have a revision 5 months later - under a local and sedation - which took almost 3 hours. It was traumatic. 8 weeks down the line, I have a large scar with the lumps and bumps you speak of and still have prominent (but reduced) platysmal bands. PTSD is a very apt description of how I feel but I have to say I do get some comfort from your comments as I began to feel, with this depression and anxiety, that perhaps I was over-reacting, being too vain and must have body dismorphia. For me this was my "last chance" to snatch back a few years by looking a bit younger to match my inner soul (I´m over 60). Now I feel I have to fight off the "Death Eaters" that want to suck the joy out of my life on a daily basis - thank you Harry Potter for the opportunity to describe how I feel right now with this depression!!! Hope it goes soon. Thank you again for sharing your experience - you have a great advantage without realising it maybe.......you have youth which means you will heal much better than older patients. You are right about the surgeons - they don´t give enough information to prepare patients regarding recovery - mine didn´t even say to come back for a check up. His follow-up care is zero. Keep the massage going - and gentle stretching exercises I found on this website helps too.
I'm so glad I had the opportunity to read these experiences before committing to surgery. I am so so sorry that this has happened to all who have had unsatisfactory results and hope you can take some small comfort in knowing you have saved others from going down this route. I cancelled my surgery scheduled for May 2 some 3 weeks ago and have since consulted a cosmetic physician for advice on neck lipo and a tuck beneath the chin. He told me honestly that he was not prepared to do it because he could not guarantee much improvement if any. He told me that scars are unpredictable and that some shrinkage is inevitable and it isn't always even. He suggests we treat the face to lift the skin that is sagging into the neck. Now this is not that noticeable although I am 61 but he is encouraging me to have Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injected followed by Thermage. I've looked into both. PRP is still unproven from what I can tell (it's also called the Vampire Lift) but the cost is not exorbitant so I might give it a try. I am not sure about Thermage however. I read where it's really painful and some clinics sedate you. He didn't mention sedation. At this point I'm thinking of doing the PRP twice over 3 months and then assessing the results. Years ago I had Aquamid injected which is a permanent filler and not approved in the US. I have never had a problem (great result BTW) but a very small percentage have and it can happen years after treatment when the immune system decides it doesn't like it. I'm a little nervous the Thermage could kick start something like that. Honestly I sometimes wish they had never invented these procedures so insecure people like me did not have this to resort to. Thomasina and Necky, I hope you end up with the result you are seeking. It seems that time does make a huge difference. Best of luck!

9 weeks now, and realizing that some of the bumps...

9 weeks now, and realizing that some of the bumps have gone down. However, the scar is thick and angry and red and looks like I cut myself really badly and then didn't get stitches. Using scar gel, but amazed at how sloppy and jagged this scar is. It does not look like the work of a skilled plastic surgeon. Buyer's remorse.

Super depressed, that's how it goes.
I read your posts and I can feel your pain at not getting what you expected. I had a great neck lift 10 years ago and thru the years I have noticed that when I start to get a few more wrinkles setting in I start sleeping in a soft white neck brace at night. It keeps the neck smooth and since you are still healing it would be a good time to try it. I sleep on my side and like most people that makes me tuck my chin. Please try it for at least a week before you decide it's working or not. Like I said, even 10 years after the lift I still get some smoothing affect. Another thing, find some one who has good skills with injecting gels to smooth these areas. It's cheaper if you can find a nurse in an office that provides skin services like a dermatologist, but some plastic surgeons have them too. A plastic surgeon's office is likely to cost more. You really have to do your research to find someone like this but it seems you have already strained your finances. Whether a doctor or a nurse in a doctor's office, please ask about Restylane. It's the thinner version of Perlane, I have used both. With the Restylane gel being thinner it's possible to push it around the bumpy areas to help get a smoother look, it can be manipulated with your fingers. I've had lumpy looking scars for a neck surgery corrected this way. And definitely use the soft foam neck brace ( for sleeping only) to make sure the Restylane stays molded where you have put it. I have many years of getting Restylane and Perlane injections. Also try Clobetasol Propionate, its a prescription cortisone cream that was recommended to me by a dermatologist to get rid of red bumpy scarring from a prior face lift. It works better than any other, all my other skin doctors and surgeons now use it after seeing what it did for me. BTW, CVS makes a scar guard strip that is great for reducing scars and its a whole lot cheaper! This is just advice from a person, I'm not a doctor nor am I representing myself as any sort of medical professional! I really hope this helps. But I do believe you think it's worse than it really is. One last thing, to hide some of this until things improve try a little heavier foundation Super Stay makeup foundation by Maybelline is great. If you want to go heavier try Estée Lauder foundations for oily skin, more expensive but it won't move and gives a very smooth velvety look. I discovered this after I had a bright red face from a skin peel and my Aunt died a week later, had to find a way to not look freakish at the funeral...lol! It worked! Good luck!!!!
Sleeping with the neck brace will keep you from tucking your chin and keep the skin in a "smoother" position so it can mold to the neck muscles better. If you can find it in your finances do try the photo facial laser, it tightens the skin. It make my brow lift look SO much better after 3 to 4 treatments. My skin was a little loose after an endoscopic brow lift. I had the forehead of a 20 year old and with some maintenance treatments 15 years later it still looks good!
What sensible and encouraging advice you have given Sara3269 - thank you. I share the same problem as Necky - even after a neck lift revision 3 months ago. I will certainly try your suggestions, particularly the neck brace. I have also read that laying on the bed with the head and neck extended over the edge for 5 mins each day gives a gentle stretch which is beneficial to obvious platysmal bands to the front of the neck.

Three Months

Three months! still have bumps. Still have red scar. Slowly recovering emotionally - now on antidepressants. Boy, what a weird, strange, draining ride.
Necky, try this! I work in a public school & was talking to a coworker about learning to ride a motorcycle & that I kept getting muffler burns. She suggested 'Bag balm' and brought me in her little tin of it for me. I used for a couple of weeks & the scar literally disappeared. I returned hers & purchased my own tin of it from Walmart of all places & have used it on at least two more burns, one a really bad one that had gotten infected & you would never be able to find them on my body. My second experience, which may be TMI for some, had to do with my boyfriend. Because He often got sore/raw from a wild night of pleasure lol, I recommended he use the bag balm & let's just say that he healed up much faster & we could get back to it sooner as well. He came to swear by it too. Give it a shot, it couldn't hurt any!?! Good luck hon. I was almost convinced to do lipo on my chin, but I'm thinking it over again thanks to your experience. Best wishes :) JG
I know a lot of people on this site use the scar gel. I had an ugly long red scar (about 4 inches long) on the side of my neck for a cardioectomy (sp). My primary doctor sent me to a dermatologist. He used to work at the Mayo clinic and just worked a few days here in Michigan (he has family here). Anyway he recommended Mederoma -an over the counter cream. While it did not take away the scar I now have a faded white scar that I honestly am so used to and most people don't even notice it! My daughter-in-law fell and landed on her chin which required stitches. She went to Northwestern Hospital in Chicago and they recommended the same thing! Perhaps that might help lessen the redness or completely make it a white scar. I wish you the best in life. Please try and get professional help. You may need some medication to get you over the hump. I can tell you in all honestly that it will get better. I hope that this might help you because please know I have changed my mind about having surgery because of you. The side effects are just too much to endure. I even had side effects from Botox after only one visit! I shall age gracefully - wrinkles, sagging jawline and all of the rest that comes from aging.
You stated that what started the emotional downward spiral was being told by doctors that you were "old" at 35. This is nonsense. Sexism is alive and well in medicine- I really doubt they'd say that to a 35yr-old man- no-they'd say he was in his prime. Sounds like this is the root issue that has made the physical aftermath of your surgery much harder. When I was 33, I hurt my shoulder at work and saw a doctor for ongoing pain, which had stopped me from running. (Couldn't swing my arm) He told me I was "old", too- and said it was like being an old car-still runs but not like a new one and I just had to live with it. I had never been compared to a beater before. I took his word for it and found out much later that he should have ordered an MRI and then fixed the problem, but he couldn't see past his own bias. Anyway, do not take that bs lying down. You are at a great age. You're a woman now, not a silly little girl. Most "old" people are NOT sick or infirm. I am 57 now and I no longer care what silly men think, even old MDs who ought to know better.

Wish I could delete this review

So, months later, I wish I could delete this review. I was having severe depression and was not handling post-surgery pain and recovery very well. I still see my Dr. and would recommend him to anyone. I am on anti-depressants now and - guess what? I feel amazing and love my new neck, which is now fully healed and smooth.

Unfortunately, this site does not allow us to delete reviews, but if I could, I would totally delete everything in the above. It is not accurate, relevant, and does not reflect reality.
My neck is a mess!! I had my first surgery in July 2013, a revision in October it's now February it's still a mess!! Wish I could see your pictures!!
I'm glad you are now in a good place Necky. Antidepressants can certainly change your perception and after 20 years on meds I know from first hand experience. They saved my life for sure. But your experience is still relevant and the timeline shows that time does heal all wounds, even surgical ones! In retrospect physical suffering never seems so bad, but your posts did represent what you were experiencing at the time and how post plastic surgery is not all smooth sailing. I think anyone going in for PS needs to be aware of that. I was lucky and my PS went well with no complications but it isn't always the case even with the best doctor.
Redondo Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Marcus is a good doctor. He's not cheap, but he is worth it. I had my first plastic surgery procedure with him and it was not easy for me- but my results are amazing. He is patient, kind, forgiving, understanding, and smart. He is very knowledgeable and I would recommend him to anyone who is interested in facial plastic surgery, injections, or other procedures involving the face and skin.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
4 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
4 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
Was this review helpful? 8 others found this helpful