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Facelift, Upper and Lower Eyelid, Necklift -- I'm So Glad I Did This! - San Miguel de Allende, MX

I'm 65, healthy and relatively fit, but after...

I'm 65, healthy and relatively fit, but after seeing some photos taken at family get-togethers this winter, I realized that I looked older and tired than I felt.
I live near the beach in Mexico, and I swim and boogie board and take long morning walks almost every day. I wanted to look the way I feel. I don't want to look years younger, I just don't want to have these jowls and this double chin/turkey neck.

Around the same time that I was thinking these sad thoughts, I heard about two friends who had recently gotten facelifts and who, according to mutual friends, looked fabulous -- younger and happier, but not over-processed (what I think of as the Joan Rivers look) .

The town where I live has only one plastic surgeon, and he has what I guess could be called an "unpredictable" record. One of my friends went to him for her surgery, but from stories I had heard over the years I just didn't feel the same confidence in him that she has. The other friend went to Mexico City for her surgery, and her surgeon has a very good record, but I have never spent much time in Mexico City and I wanted to recuperate in familiar surroundings.

After some online research I chose Dr. Carlos Barrera, whose clinic is located in Celaya, Guanajuato. Many of his patients come from San Miguel de Allende, a beautiful colonial town close to Celaya. Since I had spent time in San Miguel over the years I felt like I would be having my operation and recuperation in familiar surroundings.

My surgery was performed on April 30. I checked into the clinic in Celaya the day before the procedure so that they could do a pre-op checkup and I could have a face-to-face consultation with the doctor.

My surgery lasted approximately 4 hours. Dr. Barrera does not use general anesthesia, he uses a local anesthetic in addition to IV sedation, which I think is also called twilight anesthesia. It worked perfectly, I didn't feel a thing and when I woke up from surgery 5 hours later. I felt great, no nausea, no pain.

I spent three nights altogether in the hospital in Celaya -- the night before my surgery and two nights after. By the third morning I was bored and ready to leave. My drains and bandages had been removed the day after my surgery, and on the last morning I removed the light gauze wrapping that had replaced the bandages, took a shower, packed my bag and went back to San Miguel.

I can't say enough good things about the very professional staff at the clinic, they were kind and cheerful and always eager to help. On the last morning Dr. Barrera spent time with me discussing what I needed to do for the next 5 days, before he comes to San Miguel to remove my stitches -- pretty much I just need to get lots of rest, stay out of the sun, and avoid caffeine and alcohol.

So far, I feel very very happy about my surgery and I think I made a good choice in doctors. I've had little pain -- the occasional extra strength tylenol has been enough to take care of the slight discomfort and tightness. My face is swollen, and it's numb on the sides of my cheeks, but I was told to expect this. And I feel like there is a strap under my chin, but I'm not using a chin strap.

My eyes have bothered me the most, but today, the 4th day post-op, I can tell they are much better and my eyesight is back to normal. I have been putting eyedrops in my eyes every few hours, but I'd probably be doing that anyway since I suffer from dry eyes when I'm in a dry climate.

I have photos, but apparently I didn't bring the cable with me so I can't upload them right now. I'm going to see if I can get a cable today, if so I will upload photos.

I will get my stitches out tomorrow -- exactly one...

I will get my stitches out tomorrow -- exactly one week after my surgery. Today was my best day yet, I went for a long walk (2 hours) and sat in the Jardin (central plaza) and basically had a "normal" day. I feel some tingling and the occasionally little stab of pain, but I've been assured that this is nerve regeneration and is therefore a good thing.

Stitches came out this afternoon. The doctor says...

Stitches came out this afternoon. The doctor says I am healing very well, and everything looks good. I'm to follow the same routine for the next month -- keep wounds clean and don't put anything on them.Best of all, I can drink coffee and alcohol! I've really missed my morning coffee. I forgot to ask him about taking my multi-vitamins and aspirin and fish oil -- I had to quit those 2 weeks before surgery. I'll see him again Friday and will ask then.

I'm adding a photo taken today, I am now 14 days...

I'm adding a photo taken today, I am now 14 days post-op. It's blurry because I cropped it from a larger picture taken with friends here. You can see the small bruises under my eyes, but no double chin!

eyes

Several people have asked about my eyes. I have been so happy about my neck and also just about how I feel in general that I've sort of ignored my eyes -- the bruising and swelling around the eyes has been going down every day but I hadn't really seen any improvement from "before." Then this morning I was putting on suscreen for my morning walk and looking in the mirror and I thought "wow" my eyes look good! Maybe tomorrow I'll try to get some photos that show my eyes. I still tire easiy and need a nap every day, but in every other way I'm feeling very good, 17 days post-op.

19 days post op

eyes and ears

I'm posting photos of my ears and eyes today. My eyelids look SO much better now. I can't see any evidence of my facelift in front of my ears -- still have scabs behind my ears but they are starting to fall off. I am still slightly "lop-sided" -- when I look at my eyes open one eyelid looks more swollen, and my smile is still slightly lopsided. But it's early days yet and every day I feel and look more like myself, only better.

one month update

I'm still a little swollen but I see improvement almost every day. I've been back home 2 days and I've already had one person ask who my surgeon is so she can pass the info on to a friend who lives in San Miguel -- she said at first she thought I had lost weight but then I told her about the FL and she realizes that my improved neck and jawline make me look younger and thinner. It is still uncomfortable sleeping -- my ears feel hard when I press on them so laying on my side is taking some getting used to. But any discomfort I'm having is definitely worth the results.

Recliner substitute

I don't have a recliner, and for the first 4 weeks after my facelift I was either staying in a B&B or at friends' houses. When I got home the swelling was still noticeable on the sides of my face and I think maybe that was because I tend to sleep flat on my stomach. So I've moved into my hammock for sleeping and I notice a definite improvement in swelling.

photos

ok, I'm still not ready for prime time -- I see some asymmetry which is getting better every day, but still there. And my cheeks and neck are still a bit swollen. but I did take some photos this morning. I hope they're clear, maybe it's my camera? And I'm also adding my before photos, the ones taken at the hospital. yikes, they're scary!

new photos

party tonight

Just a brief update, at a party tonight the two women across from me couldn't stop staring at me. They both kept repeating "you look fabulous. " One of them hadn't seen me for a few months and didn't know about the FL. The other had seen me a week post-op, so she had seen me swollen and bruised. Everyone at the party said I looked amazing and several asked about the doctor and the hospital... so I am feeling really good right now! Also it rained and we haven't had any rain since October, so that added to the good mood at the party lol.
Dr. Carlos Barrera

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
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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