Write a review

Where to Begin...big Decision - Minneapolis, MN

I went in for a free consultation as I was...

I went in for a free consultation as I was thinking maybe facial resurfacing would help my 'signs of aging'. When the Dr. met with me he said I needed 'much more' than that if I wanted to see any great improvement. His suggestion was a full facelift, eyes, and forehead, followed by the deep CO2 resurfacing a year later. I left shocked and depressed.

After Facelift

Progress through months after surgery

Facelift progression results

It has been 4 months since my Facelift (upper and lower, and lower eyes) with Dr. Tholen. It seems every week I look a bit different, so I'm not really sure what the 'end result' will be. However, I look so much better than I did. I have very Irish skin, so wrinkles and sagging were coming faster than I could find make up to cover up. I had originally just thought I needed laser resurfacing, but after the initial consultation, it was obvious that that alone would just give me a smooth, yet still sagging, face. I plan to have the resurfacing after I am completely healed from this procedure.
Tholen or Ness?.?

So far I have had consultations with Dr. Tholen and Dr. Ness in Minneapolis. Both agreed I needed a full facelift and resurfacing but had different approaches to the problem areas. I will probably see a couple more doctors too. Nice that consultations are free. I have a second consultation with Dr. Tholen next week and have a list of questions to email Dr. Ness. Both took a lot of time with me when I was at their office. I have also asked hundreds of Drs. on Realself (and thank them all for taking the time to answer our questions when they have busy schedules and will probably get no business from us since they are hundreds of miles away. ) It helps soooo much to get their advice. Can't rate anyone yet, but will keep you posted.

Was this review helpful? 2 others found this helpful

Comments (29)

Sort by

Ckiesch...well I am truly surprised to see you all healed up and looking great! Was the recovery relatively easy. I know the downtime wasn't an issue but did you find you were prepared for everything the surgery involved? Glad to hear you are doing well and getting ready for the laser to finish the work in progress. ...grace
  • Reply
Hey Ckiesch, if you want a good idea of what you can achieve with simply a facelift and necklift, take a look at my review. Just scroll down a few from iamkathy01's review and you should find it. Or click on my user name and go to my page and find it there. I am not advocating you don't do what you think is best for you, I just took the approach of fixing what bothered me the most with a very talented and artful plastic surgeon. (I debated doing eyes, but my PS didn't think I needed them and in the end decided not to). I am extremely pleased with my results. See the final befores and afters at the bottom of my review, just posted this week.) My goal was an extremely natural look. I also decided I could always go back for more if other things started to bother me, but for now I was going to concentrate on the things that I didn't like about my aging face. Granted every one is different, but just another opinion on how to proceed. Sometimes less is more.
  • Reply
Hi Kat. I know what you mean about the cost of fillers etc. I went in about a month ago to get the 2 lines between my neck and mouth filled and it cost $1100! She said each side had 1/5 of a tsp. for that price I could have had GOLD injected! And then she started talking about the other areas of my face she could fix....cheeks, above my lips, forehead. I was like ca-Ching, ca-Ching. That was when I came home and started researching facelifts. At the price of fillers, and having to have it done every few months, it's like leasing a car and never owning it. I decided it made more sense to just do the face and not have to pay out or worry about it anymore.
  • Reply
I thought I would need some fillers or fat transfer, doctor advised it at surgery time. I decided to just go with face and neck lift and followed up with Radiesse. I have been very happy with my decisions and with doctors.
  • Reply
I am considering doing some laser resurfacing on the eye area. I just need to figure out a schedule for doing so.
  • Reply
Oh yeah, my first liquid lift floored me at the cost & it didn't hardly do anything for my lips even though for the first 3 days I was in miserable pain & looked like a duck!!! The next few times I got less botox because of the headaches. It's time. We have to do this for us!!! I so want the Co2 after a lifetime of freckles it would be nice to see it cleared out!!! Can't wait to see what you decide!!
  • Reply
It helps so much to have others to discuss this with and get their feedback, so thank you for encouraging me. I don't know one person who has had a facelift, no friends, relatives or colleagues have had one so this discussion site is VERY beneficial to me.
  • Reply

Yay, it looks like you're getting some great support already. I'm so glad you started your story on RealSelf and I hope you'll keep us updated throughout your process!

  • Reply
Very true girls. I am traveling 3 hours to my PS because I just wasn't getting the vibe from anyone closer. When I went for the consult I had my lips done which pulled out a boat load of lip wrinkles now I'm more excited then ever to get my lower facelift. My Nan passed away at 90, (never smoked or drank) but her eyelids hung down over her lashes like rubber bands which caused her to be blind. I had my lids done 13 years ago but can see myself having it done again because of the bad nordic skin thing. Carol if you decide for the spring you will certainly be ahead of me. I have to save up a little first and plan it out too because of the farm. Hopefully I can temp thru the holidays. Personally I couldn't think of a better place to recover then Florida! :) Alot of warm fresh air, walking & shopping!! Okay I'm jealous! Are you getting a brow lift too? How about your eyes? I think the brow lift scares me the worst. I am considering just getting some Co2 (the old school kind!!) on my forehead & around my eyes when I get my neck/facelift done. Just worried it will scare the Hubs. LOL Let us know what you decide!! Glad you are taking time to select a surgeon!! XOXO Kat
  • Reply
You will "figger" it all out :-). I am such a chicken that I decided if I was gonna do it, I was gonna do it ALL at one time. I had a friend tell me yesterday that it TOTALLY floored him I was doing this because of my fears of sedation! He knew I was SERIOUS! :-)
  • Reply
Hi, what helped for your mouth wrinkles? I will maybe do some surgery in the Spring, depends on how far along we are i moving and selling this place.
  • Reply
I had a round of Silikon 1000, it's used off label. I just couldn't take the needles, swelling & cost of Rystlane every 6 months.
  • Reply
My wrinkles around my mouth are pretty deep so I need some major laser resurfacing there and the one doctor who saw me said the fractionated type laser would not take care of mine. I would need to go with the more extreme CO2 laser. From what I've read from people who have had it is that it doesn't hurt, but it is a time consuming recovery ...not in length, more in what you have to do on a daily basis to take care of the skin as it heals. The one doctor I saw and probably trust the most says it needs to be done after the facelift. It can't be done at the same time which is what I wanted.
  • Reply
The PS I am going to use does it both at the same time (old fashioned ablated Co2). I'm just a chicken so I'll probably do that later. Plus anyway if there are any bad scars from the FL the laser should fix them right up. I was originally going for just the COs but ehhh....I need my jowls & waddle gone, CO2 isn't going to fix that slack mess sooo time to go under the knife (YIKES!!).
  • Reply
Yup, I originally just went in for the resurfacing too. But after consulting with the PS I realized what he was saying about my neck and jowls. I really didn't think that part of my face was that bad as most people my age seem to have it much worse, so in comparing, I was on the better half. But then when you look at before and after pictures , I could see that I looked like all the other 'before' pictures. I really wish I could have the resurfacing done at the same time and just be out of commission one time, but it does sound like there is a lot of after are with the resurfacing procedure if they don't do the fractional one, which my doctor didn't recommend. I had not intended on doing anything with my eyes or forehead , but then the PS said if I don't do it he guarantees I will be in after the bottom of my face is done because now the 'top' will look old compared to the bottom. He also recommended a bottom Blepharoplasty. It's adds about $5000 onto the cost. I never expected to be spending this much on my face. That 'free consultation' opened the door to a bunch of issues of was not even aware of. Why does the brow lift bother you? It's hard to get a good look at you in your picture, but you look pretty young and I don't see many wrinkles. I doubt you need as much work as I do. Keep me posted.
  • Reply
Nah, I'm old, that picture was after a liquid facelift. That works wonders but at $1,500 a pop & only lasting at the max 9 months I've spent about as much as my neck/facelift is going to cost. My waddle is what bothers me the most, not so much as it's there but the texture of it is terrible, it really belongs on a rooster!! Ugghhh!! I don't know what I have against brow lifts, I'm just afraid of looking like some of the "our age" actresses that have had work done & now look shocked. If not done right it can change the entire look of your face. I agree with your doctor, fractional, not so good for older skin. Are you comfortable with the PS you went to? Is he going to do a full lower lid lift or just a pinch lift? Happy Friday!! :)
  • Reply
We go to Phoenix in the winter so I may get the laser done while We are down there. That way I will just reappear in the spring look I Nguyen even better.
  • Reply
I had the CO2 done on a facial scar from a burn. The injections before they did the laser was the most painful. Recover was not a problem, keep it clean, moisture with satisfied, and no Sun. All was pretty easy. PS recommended at least two treatments, which I have had.
  • Reply
What type of laser sod they use? The main doctor I went to didn't think a fractionated laser would be enough in my case because the lines around my mouth appear to deep. The traditional CO2 is what he recommends as it only needs to be done once...but the after are is a lot more than with the fractionated type so I'm unsure. Have narrowed my search down to 2 doctors, but approaches are pretty different so I am having another consultation with both now that I have researched all these procedures.
  • Reply
Old fashioned ablated Co2 is the way to go at our ages but sadly that stops at the jaw line. I was thinking of having it feathered out with maybe the ablated or probably a deep TCA peel so there isn't such a line of demarcation at the jaw. Speaking of TCA peels, I purchased one, going to do it in a few days here. :)
  • Reply
Take your time, read lots of stuff here and then jump on in! Lots of great people here to support you! I had my work done on Monday of this week, and I can see a new me under there! :-)) Welcome to RealSelf! Kathy
  • Reply
What procedures did you have done?
  • Reply
I had my neck, jowls, face, upper and lower eyes and fat transfer done! Oh and a brow lift and my bottom lids adjusted (can't remember the name!)
  • Reply
That's what I'm supposed to have done too. Let me know how the fat transfer works as my 2 doctors had different opinions on that in my case. Not sure why but one said I wasn't a 'candidate' for a fat transfer....and a doctor on realself agreed...so I need to investigate that further. So you just had this all done 4 days ago? How's the recovery so far? Will you need laser resurfacing? How did you decide you needed a facelift? I had no idea I even needed one. I just saw an ad for a 'free consultation' and thought what the heck, I'll see if there's anything they can do about the wrinkles around my mouth. Sure wasn't prepared for the diagnosis. Wish I was in your place and had already had it all done? Stay rested...and keep me posted.
  • Reply
What were the docs opinions about the fat transfer? Yup the surgery was on Monday- 6 hours, general anesthesia. Recovery has not been bad- stopped the drugs and went to tylenol on Tuesday sometime. As long as I keep taking it every 4 hours I am good. It is more SORE then pain, and mainly my neck! No laser- at least it has not been mentioned. I wanted THE MOST to get rid of my chicken neck, turkey waddle, or what ever you want to call it. Close behind that came the bags under my eyes and then the drooping lids, until before I knew it...... it was a "happy meal" :-). Just because they have "diagnosed" you as needing this, you have the option of NOT! That is the beauty.... until YOU want to do this for YOU don't do it! I am the worlds biggest chicken tho and for ME to have done this it is BIG :-)) Kathy
  • Reply