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Lower Facelift (Neck Included), Lower Lids and Eyebrow Lift - Metairie, LA

I was 61 and felt "dragged down', especially in...

I was 61 and felt "dragged down', especially in the neck area, so I decided to go for a consult. After seeing one patient's great presentation, I opted to go for all of it. (I had already had my upper lids done many years previous.) The operation took over 6 hours. It has been a tough recovery in that I did not involve many "supporters", other than my husband and sister. My face was badly bruised (for first 2 weeks) and extremely tight and uncomfortable for many months afterward. However, it looked "normal" within several weeks, and I was able to go in public. My doc said I did very well with few complications. Results are so subtle that most people did not know anything was done. The few who did said that I had a "good result" and I've been pleased aesthetically. However, the pulling itching tightness has been very difficult to handle. At 10 months post op I am still a bit uncomfortable and self conscious. My concentration is off and I'm not really enjoying myself at parties. It seems worse at some times than others. I've tried gentle massage with coconut oil and that gives some relief temporarily. Also, taking a low dose of Atavan makes me relax and feel a bit better. Although I much prefer my neck now, and I am told I look 40 something, I do question whether I should have done it, as I worry that I will feel uncomfortable forever.
Metairie Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Lindsey is extremely professional, competent, and has a good bedside manner. He came to my home the next day to remove the shunt and some of the bandages. He provided about 6 sequential post op office visits and responded quickly when I called him in a panic on one occasion. When he released me, he was sorry to tell me that I was his only patient who was still having discomfort 6 months post op., but said there was nothing more he could do for me. Unfortunately, he did not have any recommendations either, but told me he thought it would improve in time. It does seem to be slowly improving, and, at 10 months post op, I do feel much better than I did at 3 months. ( I just want to feel normal again.)

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 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
3 out of 5 stars Wait tmes
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Just back-tracking on some reviews. I had my surgery in January and I wrote in my review "if you won't be able to stand having a helmet on your head 24/7 do not have surgery done" I do understand the numbness and tightness and really did not know I was going to experience this feeling -- but even though still numb around ears side of face --I am giving one full year. I am very happy with my results and incisions -- just don't think recovery is explained enough until post-check-ups with nurses. Just to add one more comment -- the tightness should really be brought up beforehand -- truly believe some people could go "nuts"
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Agreed! Best of luck.
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Fixmyface, I was really scared too and was constantly reassured by the staff that those were very unusual and unlikely results. And I had had no problem with procedures in the past, so I went ahead. Your results must be more dramatic than mine. I can see how affirming it would be to get all those comments! I don't, but I'm aware that my neck, in particular, looks much better. And a few close friends do compliment me. For now, I'm trying to stay positive and stop focussing so much on my discomfort. Afterall, reople live with much worse pain! But it's so good to have people like you to commiserate with.(Hugs back!)
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Shrinkmom, how long has it been for you? I've lost 35 pounds so maybe that has something to do with it...but like I said I need revisions. I had some issues prior to losing the weight, more needs to be taken off my upper lids as well as this pouch issue under my chin/jaw area, it just looks odd. For the longest time I felt that all that money for what, I mean I didn't regret having it done, but I felt that I could have looked better, but he said it's better to not take enough off than too much as you can't put it back on. So that's fine. My neck looks the best too lol, but my eyes albeit they are better than before, still look tired/old to me, because the outer corners have loose skin. You know the only thing I can remember about my PS telling me about prior to surgery was blindness lol! I looked at him and he said "I've never had that happen and you aren't going to be the first..." I think he told me worst case scenerios and that was it. I know it's hard to not focus on discomfort. I felt like I was a whiney thing for awhile there, but I had to keep reminding myself, I didn't look like I was feeling, so I was able to not obsess as much, but there are days when I do feel like climbing out of my skin It is good to have people to commiserate with here!! When I first had it done, honestly, I felt more optimistic and happy than I do as time went on for the longest time!! I started to realize that my face wasn't going to look as great as he told me and my sister in law and brother and that upset me a lot...and when the pulling and swelling was forever constant, it was disheartening as well. We will get through this!
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Fixmyface, I'm 10 mos post op. Many have said it takes a good year to recover so I am not freaking yet. When did u lose so much weight? I have opposite problem of being underweight at 5'7, 114 lbs. skinny people tend to look older but I can't seem to gain no matter what I do. Good luck w/ revisions! I won't do it again as I'm 62 and doc said he gave me 10 years! I'm also now realizing that inner beauty is more important and that , as trite as it sounds, happiness is the best "make up". But I did share your dream of wanting "perfect" results. I'll settle for "good". People have said I look closer to 40 something, so that's ok. And I can relate to your feeling self conscious as though others can see the tightness and pulling u feel! In truth, (you know) not at all! Good luck and keep us posted. (Hugs!)
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Ah, I used to be a skinny minnie...Also if I was stressed, I would lose more weight, but soon as I hit mid 40s, stress caused weight gain. Sigh! I was on anti-depressants which never did anything but cause the weight gain, so enough of those. I suspect they never worked because it was the lousy marriage making me so depressed, got rid of him and I'm great! My mom can't gain weight either and now she's got cancer and it's even harder. People think I'm in my 40s now, and on really good days, some thought I was in my 30s, but with the weight loss, I see more sagging. Just noticed that the other day. :-O I don't think there are perfect anything, but I really couldn't afford the surgery, but for my self-esteem, I needed it, so I want to make sure it's all good for all I spent.
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Oh, I wanted to comment on the "Skinny people look older" I go running and there was this guy who looked really young. Early 20s maybe if that.... he was quite heavy, but kudos for him for running and he put me to shame. My butt dragged running up hill, but not him, he plugged away at it. Anyway, I saw him a few months back and he lost weight, but still heavy, but he was still at it. Well, I saw him last week and about ran into a tree, the man lost all that fat and was so fit and trim. I don't think he had any fat on him, but just a nice build...but what shocked me most outside of how great shape he was in...his face! I thought before he was maybe 20, well, his chiseled looking face, he looked to be in his 40s!!! He didn't look awful by any means, but I was just so shocked that the fat caused him to have this baby face and losing the weight gave him a very nice man look (older)
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Interesting story. I believe it. In my case, the post op swelling actually looked good on me. I want to gain about 7-10 lbs. but having hard time doing so. I have gluten sensitivity and mild IBS, so eating can be a challenge. Additionally, I lost my mother recently and I 'm working hard to keep my dad going. Stressful! So I've just accepted that I'll be a skinny broad for a while!
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Fixmyface, Interesting! None if us are ever really satisfied with our weight, but sounds like you are doing well now! So sorry about your mom. I hope she bests it!! I eat very healthy and exercise but can't get past 115, which at 5'7" is a bit too thin! May try a supplement but its probably more a function of stress in my life. Joining meditation class next week. Good luck to you.
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I'm at 8 months myself and I feel that tightness under my jaw like TruBlu mentioned. Honestly, I can't imagine it ever going away and that's it a part of my life now, sadly, but maybe it does stop. Heat, humidity, salt all play a part in how 'bad' it will be. Some days not so bad, but even today, I tilted my head ever so slightly and I felt the tightness of the muscles down the sides of my face. I always feels as though I have something constricting around my face and neck. It makes me feel subconscious wondering if I look as weird as I feel. That said, I don't regret having this done and I'll be having revisions as much as I dread that again, but I need them... I look so much better which allows me to feel so much better about my appearance. I look almost how I feel, youthful. I was so ashamed of what aging did to me that I could not hold my head up and when I still feel like that 17 year old it was hard for me to see that thing in the mirror and worse that others saw that old thing as well. So that said, I have no regrets, but the discomfort gets a bit much at times. My surgery was 8 hours, so that's rough on the tissues and muscles
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Fixmyface, Yes, I have all those sensations unfortunately . But, unlike you, I'm still not sure I did the right thing. Have you tried remedies to ease the discomfort? I heard muscle relaxers can help but haven't tried. Ativan helps me. I'm happy that you really do like your results. But you must be quite a tough one to consider revisions! Let's still hold out hope that we will feel increasingly comfortable over time. The docs don't mention these possibilities. However, a beautiful 20 something assistant had quickly read a list of possible side effects to me prior to surgery - after paying - only I guess I didn't really hear it! Good luck with revisions.
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Mine didn't even have anyone or himself read me a list of possible side effects or what it would be like after. I read here before and read horror stories, but I trusted my PS enough. That said the day of the surgery I was terrified lol. I'm sorry you aren't sure you did the right thing. That's got to be hard. I just remember how ashamed i felt prior and more and more I get compliments, really nice ones and from the first day I went out after surgery, I held my head up, which is something Id not done in decades. I hope you find relief soon. (((((HUGS))))
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shrinkmom, I've tried a few different muscle relaxers (Skelaxin, Amrix and Baclofen) and none of them worked for me. I'm 16 months post-op from a minimal procedure (mini-FL and neck lift) and I'm still uncomfortable every day although it's getting better. So far the only things that worked for me are Xanax and Klonopin, both of which are benzos so I rarely take them. Interesting, isn't it, that long-term discomfort is never mentioned as a side-effect? I now have a healthy distrust of doctors and will NEVER allow anyone to ever come near me again with a scalpel!
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PLM 11 .Yes, I hear you! I feel the same way at 10 mos post surgery. No more elective surgery for me! But don't disbair,, it will probably continue to improve. Mine is, just not as fast as I'd like. And I do the very mild Benzos too. (Mostly Atavan) I'm not even worried about addiction at this point - I feel we can deal with that later. Light massage and ear lobe rubbing along with lots of restorative sleep are also helpful . Haven't tried Lyrica, but some say helpful. Are you pleased with your results? I am slightly underwhelmed in light of all the discomfort, but neck is greatly improved. Hang in there with me! (Hugs)
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PLM11 and shrinkmom, I find it incredible that there are seemingly just a handful of people that end up with these lingering side effects. I don't believe it. Some people would not ever admit to having discomfort after an elective surgery just to save face if you will, LOL! More power to them and suffering in silence. I am not one of those. I whine loud and clear and often!! I have morbid visions of my PS standing with his foot braced against the operating table as he pulled my neck muscles so nice and tight, LOL!! I wish he hadn't eaten his Wheaties that morning, dang!! I'm finding the use of "medicinal weed" helps significantly;) That and a couple shots of vodka and I'm good to go... usually straight to bed! At least I can most times get a good nights sleep without feeling like I'm gagging. I am supposed to have work done on my eyes by a different Dr. and fraxel lasering but I am not having anything else done til I start feeling relief from all this. So I am half baked so to speak! You gals keep in touch on here ok??
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I have found also that my PS staff doesn't really want to hear my concerns or make suggestions to ease some of my discomforts. This forum has been my best resource! I was told by another doc not to take it personally - that most surgeons are like that :(
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In all fairness, regarding my PS, I live two hours' drive from his office, and I think he 1) believes that time will resolve my concerns - I'm just past 8 weeks - and, 2) he and his staff don't want mee to have to drive 4 or more hours round-trip for him to tell me that. I think most of us are impatient for recovery to be completed - I know I am - but that's really my issue, not my surgeon's.
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Hi Angiemcc, I thought I HAD posted my story. I even proof read it and submitted it.?? Not sure what happened. If not found, I will rewrite in time. So many interesting things being discussed. But I'm tired and will write soon.
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I'm sorry you're still dealing with discomfort! It looks like you're already getting some nice support from others in the facelift community. You might want to check out this post in the facelift forum where folks are discussing how long FL recovery REALLY takes. Please keep us posted!

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I am right at 6 months post op. My right ear is still numb and tingles badly when touched but maybe not as bad as 2 months ago? My biggest issue is the tightness under my jaws like a hat tied on way too tight! I thought this would have eased up by now but if it's possible, it has gotten worse. I have discussed this with my PS but all he has said is that it's impossible for me to choke to death, ( ok, that's reassuring! ) and there is no way the tightness can affect my vocal chords BUT I disagree with him on that one. Sometimes it's so tight that it affects my swallowing and sound of my voice, WTH?? He just sort of blows me off and then tells me I'm the only one of his clients still having issues at this stage? I don't believe it. I think this is a dirty little secret clients are not told about as it doesn't affect everybody but enough people that it needs to be talked about at the first consult. I don't go back til the end of October and if I feel better than I'll consider myself blessed! I'm not kidding myself though, I expect this to last for a while and I have to find ways to cope with it. It does suck though. But I am pleased that my turkey neck is gone and my overall look is much better, but dang!!, what a price to pay.
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Trublu. I know exactly what you're talking about. Smiling can even be an effort. Worse at times than others. You? The docs just want the $ and the superficial results. Not enough warning from the get go. He told me I had thin skin, so maybe that is a contributing factor. I'm also 61. But, even though my neck looks better, it seems I got more compliments before! But I guess that's a function of feeling better back then. Honestly, it is slowly improving so hang in there TruBlu! We can encourage each other. It's quite an alienating experience, so I'm grateful for RealSelf.
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shrinkmom it is alienating. I am not the same person I was before this but I am trying hard to find me! I won't even go out if the temp is over 85 I cannot take the heat. For some reason heat just sets my facial nerves into a fit and it feels like an iron mask has been clamped on me. Oh well, enough complaining :)). It will all go away sooner or later and this will be another thing I will look back on! But no fond memories!!
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Trublu, Yes, I agree. the heat does make it worse! I live in a hot humid climate, so I'm anxious for the weather to cool down a bit. But it's also alienating in that you feel so different and so preoccupied with yourself - at least I do - and you just can't or shouldn't talk on and on about it with those who are not in this subgroup. Some are jealous because they don't have the option of the surgery. Others think you're crazy for doing it - I don't even tell them. My husband just tells me that it will improve...so it gets a bit lonely...at least that is my experience. I'm generally fairly happy go lucky, but not when I'm worried about possible nerve damage. All I can hope for is that it will continue to improve. I can live with it feeling a bit different, just not TOO tight for TOO long. I am an optimist by nature, so we'll see. Yes, let's hope we will be looking back on this one day in the not too distant future!
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Shrinkmom, You sound discouraged and frustrated! I am only 8 weeks post op and of course I still have tightness in my neck. I am now getting feeling back in neck places that had been numb and have been surprised at the new feelings of tightness. A warm shower helps most of the time, but it is nowhere near what was normal before my FL. For me for now i guess this is my new normal. I hope your situation continues to improve as the next few months pass.
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thanks Bski, You are a "baby" in the process. It improves everyday , at least in the early stages. And I'm hoping my tightness will relax at some point and smiles will come easier. Some have recently told me that it can take 15 months to feel normal, but don't worry - that is not the norm. You'll probably do better. Keep us posted.
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