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Time for a Change - Lutherville Timonium, MD

I've been through a lot in the past 2 years and...

I've been through a lot in the past 2 years and between the stress and menopause it has kicked my butt physically. Menopause especially. One day you are 50 something, doing great and proud you are holding your own: then sha-sham, you've turned old! I worked to hard and long to at keeping my appearance to look like that! I have thought about getting a face and neck lift and a breast lift for several years but this year I found myself obsessing on it. So here I go! After several different doctor consultations, I choose the one that I think best fits me. So the journey begins........
I am having a face and neck lift with rhinoplasty and a breast lift. Yes, it's quite a bit but I am confident both the doctor and I are up to it. I was extremely hesitant and nervous until I found this website and gained more confidence from the courageous women posting their stories and pictures AND, the doctors who graciously volunteer to answer a pleura of questions for us. I feel I am more prepared and actually getting a little excited!
I am 2 weeks out today and getting all physical exams and tests done. I will keep you posted along the way. I am glad you are here with me. Your support continues to be an invaluable part of this whole experience...cyber hugs to all!

Verdict still out. Feeling anxious and depressed.

Eleven days out and still many reservations if I chose the right doctor and procedure. Two things appear to be problems which my daughter noted as well: one side of my face is larger than the other and my eyes are smaller and slant now. The doctor says to give it more time. I still have every other stitch around my ears, staples throughout my temples and corner eye stitches that will be removed this week. I am hoping this will allow my eyes and left side of face to relax into shape. Procedure has turned up my lips slightly too. I will be very VERY happy if my eyes open wider once the stitches are removed and if my left side reduces to make sides more even. I will be more elated if the check apples reduce somewhat also. I hope I made the right choice. This is so stressful!
The new nose: it is very swollen and will take some time to know that it will actually look like. I think it will be okay but it appears to be shorter and a little turned up which are 2 things I distinctly said I did not want. My daughter thinks it will be cute so we will just have to wait and see. I think having a nose job at the same time as a facelift is too much change all at once. I feel that results will be good but wish I had a nose I could identify with right now. When I look in the mirror all I see is Barry Manilow! Please God let this change!! Prayers for a more natural result needed!
The neck is perfect and the breast lift came out very good. It made my breasts a little smaller which I expected, but they have a nice shape.

Neck View

Day 9

Took this Friday (9 days post op). My nose was less swollen then. I have been more active in the last 2 days which is not helping matters I guess. My eyes are more itchy and irritated very day. I can't scrub my hair yet with all the staples. I have such thin hair that it requires heat to style but not until the staples are out. Can not wait until all the stitches and staples are out!

I can't feel a thing

Burned the side of my face on a heating wrap that I had on the side of my face thinking it would help the swelling. I am going to drive myself crazy worrying about the unevenness of my face. Eyes bother me too but know there will be no improvement until I get those darn stitches out. I took pictures because I see something totally different when I look in the mirror. What is up with that?!

2 Weeks Post Op

Finally got all the stitches and staples out yesterday. The stitches holding my eyes up drove my Sjogren's insane! My itchy eyes and impaired vision have improved over night but now I have a lump of fluid under one eye. Lips and eyes improving daily. The face is going to take some time to relax. I hope it does! I feel to tight and pulled. Dr tells me to relax. He is going for the 3 month result so to give it time and trust him. And, I am trying to ignore the nose for now until it does it thing over the next 3 months at the very least.
I am off to the pharmacy. The burn on my face has a bluster and was told to put a burn cream on it. I am usually not this dumb, what an idiot!

4 Weeks

I went to the doctor's Thursday, a 4 week mark. Things are progressing nicely, as the doctor would say and I think so too. Am I camera ready, yes; think I was camera ready last week too though. Here's the hitch, how I look in the camera is one dimensional. I can take a good picture but I can also take a bad one. I can tell you I don't think I look as good in person. Much has to do with the swelling in my nose and more has to do with my hair loss. Neither most others will have. As for my face, yes it's camera ready and that is where it looks the best. In person there is a lack of movement in my jaw and neck. I think my jaw needs to drop a bit to look better. Cheeks still tight especially when I smile and mouth tight when try to open wide, i.e eating a sandwich. I can move the jaw where I want it but doctor says do nothing, the body is healing and he doesn't want me to force anything and ruin the ultimate result. He has been right so far so I trust and do want he says. He says 6 weeks is the magic number for facial swelling and at 3 months, 99% of his patients are happy with results and I expect to be there too.
I am comfortable around people that know me best. They are very supportive and think I look good. Other than that, I feel people are staring at me. At work, people will say there is something different: they do not say I look good. Hoping all that awkwardness goes away and "I" like the way I look and own it!

In a different light.

Timeline

Menopause and stress kicked by butt. I'm kicking back!

5 weeks_3days

They say one more week for face swelling to be resolved. I feel my face is pretty much where it's going to be. My nose continues to improve. I have more good days then bad. Since I last posted, my daughter that took care of me the week after the facelift came over on Christmas day. As we were talking she asked, did you have a facial, your face is glowing and a bit red? I say "it's from the facelift and the red is the burn healing." She replied, OMG, I forgot you had a facelift." hehehe, really she is a bright girl! I also saw my sister this weekend. We haven't seen each other since the summer. I told her I had a facelift before she arrived. So sitting inches from me after dinner, she asked, "so what did he do, you look the same". I chuckled and said, you mean I spent all that money for nothing!! None of my family thinks I needed a facelift. That's very nice of them. The comments are not what I expected; I thought more people would say you look good or great but I get: something looks different or you look the same or like yourself. I think most people are amazed at the doctors work and the comments have started to give me confidence that I don't look strange or like I've had a facelift which is a good thing. The different comments I think are mostly because of my new nose. My nose seems to be improving regularly OR, I am just getting used to it. My prayers to the facelift gods to heal me well, are working. Now I just hope the hair fairy will let my hair grow back in! Happy New Year RS friends! -Poppy

closer look

Lutherville Plastic Surgeon

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Comments (54)

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Poppy....I saw your Q about the neck issue.....do you have an incision under the chin? Seems docs could not figure that out. Have you been noticing a difference in the right side (more lax) all the way thru the healing process....grace60
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Thank you for sharing your experiences. I am 5 weeks post op after facelift, temporal lift, revision nose job, and fat transfer to the cheeks. At this point, I am worried because my eyes look slanted and the cheeks look too big. I hope that the swelling will go down, making me look "normal" again. I agree with you in that doing too many things at once is not good. There is too much trauma for the body to heal. Did the shape of your eyes change over time once the swelling went down?
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I think you look wonderful and SO MUCH YOUNGER. I am scheduled for April 2014 and hope mine comes out as well.
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i have two words for you: juliette binoche.
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You are making me want to get my nose done! I don't see the lopsided on you but I'm still posting from my phone. Going all the way to the basement where my pc is, not feeling all those steps just yet. What I can see looks great, good for you taking control of your life that way!
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You look fabulous...the nose is great, you look very natural, a great job way done!And things will continue to change for 6 months...it took the full 6 months to get the feeling back in my cheeks and neck. I didn't have my eyes done, just because the people who's looks have really changed seem to come from the eyes. This coming year I will be adding brow lift when I have my LBL, as my PS says that will take away the tired look with out changing the look of the eyes...
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Poppy, I have received the same kind of comments on my mini facelift/neck lift. My family says that I look refreshed. People who don't know say ' Your hair looks cute.' when I haven't changed my hair. I have to admit it is not quite 3 weeks and when I am out in public I am still somewhat conscious that I had work done. But, as for you look good. Enjoy your new look.
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Hi Poppy-I've been reading your story and looking at your pix and I have to say you look terrific! I remember that for the first few weeks after my surgery I didn't know for sure who I'd see in the mirror! Somedays I would feel that I was starting to look alright, the next day there would be swelling and bruising unexpectedly and I thought I'd never look normal again! I had my surgery about 4 months ago, and at this time everything is pretty much settled in. You just have to go along with the changes and expect the unexpected!
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You look great! Looks like you are healing well.
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I am planning a face lift in march. I understand the apprehension and fear. After looking at several before and after shots, I realize how critical we are of ourselves. I think your after pictures are fabulous. I hope I will remember this comment of "crictical of self" in my post ops!!!
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Hi Jenkie-I would be happy to remind you not to be critical of yourself after surgery. You clean your wounds and ice your face and try (TRY!) not to obsess too much. I guess that's a big part of post-op. Let's face it, it is our faces and there is some insecurity about how we will finally look; you just have to give it time.
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You look great ! I am a little behind you. My surgery was Dec. 11. I understand the anxiety and obsessing over symmetry etc. But, you look wonderful. Happy New Year!
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POPPY!!!!! You are lookin' good girl! Keep your patience going! :-)) Time is your friend! :-) Kathy
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Poppy, glad to hear that you can see good changes already; I imagine it's hard to believe things will resolve until you actually see it for yourself in the mirror. Your nose will probably reduce by what will seem like a third...altho it will swell every morning even if just slightly for nearly a year! But you will really like the shape; I can see it now but YOU will just have to see it in the mirror....in time. You look younger just like I think you wanted AND you look just like yourself. Are you getting to a point where you can somewhat agree? :) grace60
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I agree with grace60, I think you already look beautiful. I think you are going to be really pleased. Very nice results!
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Hi RL, Did you have a deep plane FL without fillers? Did your face movements feel restricted at first (if you looked in the mirror)? I have a hollowness under the cheekbones that gives me that too tight facelift look. Hopefully, it's swelling that will go down and muscles that will relax to a natural look. Still worried.
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No, I had a fairly garden variety SMAS lift from a talented PS. I have never used B-tox or fillers. After my lift I could definitely feel swelling. My face felt a little tight over the cheekbone area. I never had that tight neck sensation a lot of people complain about. A lot of people on this site have commented on that and it does get better, if you read their reviews... I think your cheek bones look wonderful! I think most of the issues you mention will resolve themselves. IMHO you really look fantastic for where you are in the healing process. I had my lift in Aug. and, even now, things are still changing a bit.
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Hi please give yourself more time! You look fantastic honestly! I had lipo, then face and neck lift upper and lower eyes and a mouth peel, then breast augmentation all between 9/12 and 7/10. Face lift and breast aug all within 2 months. Now I have to have breast revision 1/2/14. I have learned a lot. I am in the wealth management business and felt that I needed to look younger than the 59 yrs I was. I also work out now 3 times per week. Every thing takes much longer to resolve than we want or think. For example just this week I can feel my neck and it has been since mid May and still have mild numbness on one cheek. I am very happy with all my results and people tell me I look great which is gratifying but they have no clue about what I had done. So go with the flow even though it is very hard. Just my 2 cents!
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Poppy, you are gonna look sooo good when all the swelling subsides… I can see it coming. You are going to be gorgeous (already are, but I can tell you are still swollen…)! Keep up the good healing and relax and enjoy the "down time."
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Poppy, Here's an idea .....go to iamkathy01 review of her facelift. She too had stiches put in the corners of her eyes. Look at her eyes on day 7 and then look at them on day 21 post op. HUGE difference in the slant of the eye. Your eyes will not look in a couple of weeks the way they look today. Check it out. :) ...grace60
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Hi Grace, You are right. Once the stitches came out, eyes are feeling and starting to look like they used to.
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I am curious, didn't your doctor provide info on the recovery phase and what to expect? I question putting heat on your face since most docs instruct to ice the face (but not to put ice directly on the skin). Also, numbness and uneven swelling are pretty par for the course and usually resolve themselves as you heal. Healing is a long, drawn out process...You look wonderful! Hang in there!
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Hi RL, At the one week follow up I mentioned I was still icing my face. The medical assistant mentioned warm compression if anything at all now. I was panicing this weekend over the lopsided face so I thought I's use a hot compress. I had one of those heat wraps you put in the microwave. Obviously it was too hot for my face and I felt asleep on it! Dr saw it yesterday and said it will be alright but today it blistered. Call the office, dr was out and Medical Asst said to put some burn cream on it. I am not fond of the medical assistant. She provides no information until you draw it out of her. So I went to Walgreen's and talked to the pharmacist. She told me to put Neosporin on the burn.
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Interesting… warm compresses are a new one for me—never heard that before. Anyway, feel better! This, too, shall pass!
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Poppy, so how did the nose surgery go....I saw your other comments about the facelift but not really anything about how the you feel about the rhinoplasty...grace
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