My Lifestyle Lift Experience

I had a midface lift five years ago when I was 48...

I had a midface lift five years ago when I was 48 years old. During that time, my plastic surgeon did not advise a full face lift as I did not have problems with my jowls yet.  My jowls have been catching up and I wanted a balanced look and more importantly, I wanted to prolong my rejuvenated look. 

After watching the LSL infomercial, I called to make an appointment in VA.  I wanted to know if they do the threadlift and I was pleased to know that this is not a threadlift; rather, this is an actual "nip and tuck" kind of procedure but only for an hour.

My experience was very pleasant from the receptionists, to the physician's assistant and to the doctor.  However, a surgical assistant seemed too unhappy doing her job at such an early hour at this clinic. 

In any case, my board certified face/neck plastic surgeon was an amiable young doctor who accommodated my sudden change of schedule  as I did it while my spouse travelled out of the country.  He earned extra points for that! My surgery was done very recently, middle of January 2009.

The only time I felt discomfort was when I was given the anasthesia shots around my ears. I did not have a neck procedure.  The procedure went so fast that I actually wondered if he actually pulled something--in my rather nervous state of mind, I was convinced that he cut me and just stitched me back up again. However, my skin felt very tight when I left the clinic. 

The other surgical assistant was very nice and bandaged me up and gave me specific instructions. The pain started hours later while I was resting at home but I managed it with the prescription and I had no other problem. I also took the antibiotic and drank plenty of pineapple juice. 

I removed the bandages on the second day because it was tight and was annoying me.  I noticed right away that the stitches were fine and I could tell right away that my doctor did a very good job.  I had the stitches removed on the 7th day after the procedure.  I was told that some sutures behind my ears will go away on their own. I asked about my funny looking ears, looking like they were pinned down and he said that will go back to normal; how about these hard areas of my neck--I said it looks like he left two cotton pads in there, he said that would go away too, and the hardness, numbness, and swelling - that will go away too. 

Now, I had to tell him that I did my own research and although I could intellectualize the process would he mind telling me exactly what he did to me because I told him, that I am not convinced he did anything because it was so fast and I told him that had I asked just before the procedure, I was afraid I would get too spooked and leave so I said, now after the fact, I want to know what he did and he explained that he realigned the tissue underneath and as he pulled, skin pulled as well and then he cut the skin and stitched back.   

Prior to my procedure, I actually saw an Internet animation of how a lower face lift (which, LSL is)  is done on a website for plastic surgery so I have a very clear idea of what should have taken place, only that this was a quick procedure, compared to my first procedure which took hours and I had to be off work for 6 weeks. but I still wanted to know if my doctor did what I saw on the Internet . 

Going back to the LSL, I recuperated at home for a week and I  went back to work the morning after my stitches were taken out (7th day post op). I let my hair down and I had still a noticeable swelling but I was not uncomfortable at all.  I feel some pain sometimes, much like the time he gave me the shots for the anasthesia but I can live with it.  I am still swollen but the swelling on each side of my neck is gone, my ears look more natural and my scars are not visible. My doctor advised me to buy Vitamin E or use Mederma. I opted for the vitamin E, which I snip and I apply the oil directly on my scar. I have used the same routine when I had my midface lift 5 years ago.  I drink a lot of water with a squeeze of lime juice. 

Is there a marked difference that I can see? Thankfully, I did not get that "What did you do, you look awesome or different or anything comments?" And the reason is I did not have a dramatic problem. I went for "maintenance" and my results are very subtle. However, when my husband returned from his trip--I had to of course avoid his touching my face because I was worried he would be able to tell--he commented that I looked pretty, looking at my face. That horrified me! WHY? Because I do not want him to think about what I have done if any, or is his being away the result of such "serenity" on my part?  Now, maybe you have already noticed, I have a great sense of humor and this has helped me deal with the little glitches that come my way.

I know that I am still waiting for the swelling to die down completely and everyday I look forward to seeing a little change leading to my final results.  As in the past, it does not happen over two weeks.  Final results vary and in my case, I always give it six months.  The results may not be too obvious but your photos will not lie and I have been taking my own to see what I looked like before the surgery. I think I have just extended the life of my rejuvenated look!

Pros:  downtime is very minimal (1 week compared to my 6 weeks for general anasthesia midface lift previously); you can lie about it and no one can tell, it is much cheaper than the mid/f lift, which cost me $15K; you can drive yourself!

Cons: None, so long as you have reasonable expectations, go to a board certified plastic surgeon, do your own research about the doctor and the procedure--use the Internet, google him/her, etc.; do what the doctor tells you to do, and be patient about your results.

Do not get this procedure done if you cannot give up smoking, alcohol, etc, or you hear voices in your head --it will not cure these bad habits and problems.  Do this for yourself, not for anyone.  When you go for your consultation, ask questions or at least ask them during your post-op if you are too scared to ask during the consult.  Keep smiling.

 

Washington Facial Plastic Surgeon

He takes time to answer your questions and he truly cares. When he saw me for my first post-op visit in the lobby, I can tell already that he was giving me a "doctor's look" looking at my face to see if his handiwork was successful. He took time to answer each question and understood me when I said "you are the doctor but understand where I am coming from," I am worried about this and that (I had a list on my Blackberry) -and he took time to address each question I had.

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
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would love to see before and after pics
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For 'anesthesia' they gave me one valium, promised more if I needed them, but everytime I asked, they said they were 'almost done'...... for 3 hours. They gave me so many facial injections I was having heart palpitations and shakings hands, which they said was 'a normal reaction' from having so many shots. Because the surgery took over 3 hours (not 1 hour) they had to keep reinjecting me to keep me numb. I never got another valium, glass of water or anything to help relax me, and they started the procedure less than 5 minutes after the valium was in my mouth - certainly not even close to enough time to allow it to help me relax. It all made for a rather traumtizing experience. A different person would have not lasted thru the, sights, sounds, smells, dozens of shots, discomforts, pains, and 'normal reactions' that I was forced to experience - fully alert, no 'full relaxation' as promised .
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My experience was so similar.....a few pills....started in with the shots before they took effect....I was kicking my feet and crying because of the pain. TRAUMATIC is the word.
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Yes, I am aware of that type of anaesthesia. They used that on me for my Thermage and Fraxel peel procedures. I think the success of the procedures is also hinged on the general state of health of the person. Some people are best suited than others to get that certain procedure. For instance, I probably would not have done this LSL if I have a history of keloids. Certainly, the choice of doctor is also paramount. Not every surgeon is a plastic surgeon specializing in face lifts. Yes, the risk I took is HUGE but again, it is not a risk that would have killed me. And the only possibility of disfigurement in my standard, is if the doctor is not a board certified face and throat plastic surgeon. There is a reason why it is often said that people who go under the knife for cosmetic reasons have to be brave. I cannot argue with that statement. The risk was worth it to me. And therefore, this decision is a subjective decision, and hopefully, an informed one.
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Becca, You may have had adequate results with LSL, and I'm glad you're happy with them. But given that 63% of respondents here were dissatisfied, and many reported major scarring and disfiguration, I'd say you took a HUGE risk. Nothing is worth that kind of risk to one's face.
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Yes, indeed, I consider myself very lucky and yes, I knowingly took a risk but the risk of death from anaesthesia was out of the equation and that was a big factor in my decision. I also went in knowing how I scar, how I heal,how I handle pain (as I have previously stated, I have had a mid face lift in 2005). As I have also said in my previous posting, I was just happy that I was not disfigured because I really did not see a dramatic results as "shown on TV." I went through the stage where I could see my ears were looking weird, and I can still see the "seam" right outside my ears as they are still red and the area seems thicker, like if you fold a piece of paper, it looks like my skin was folded there (in fact it was) but I see improvement from constant massage. I only started to appreciate my results after I had my other doctor give me fillers for my naso-labial folds this March 2009. Let me state that the LSL did not magically transform me; the fillers did. And I do not know why my memory keeps lapsing -it is true that if the jowls are out, maybe the eyes still have bags, or the midface is saggy and one procedure does not correct them all. I keep forgetting these things! As for the risk, I would like to think that I did my homework before I did this procedure and I intellectualize my reactions to my post-op look; I know it is reasonable to expect a marked change or that it would be normal for me think that I have done myself a horrific service. I went through the "OMG what have I done now?" to "oh, okay, I see what it has done." I also know from previous plastic surgery that if I am patient, my results will start to come out, sometimes slowly, but surely. Having said the above, I can only say I hope the others will also heal eventually and like what they see when they look in the mirror. Have a nice spring to all. Do not forget to put SPF15 moisturizer on your face and on the "healing skin", vitamin E works like a charm, it also allows you to massage it gently without creating friction against the skin/seam. -Becca
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Becca, Again, I'm glad that you had good results, but the risk you took was HUGE. Are you aware that the anesthesia they use now is much safer? It doesn't 'put you under'--it puts you to sleep--and you can go home the same day. Surgeries are performed close to emergency facilities should something go seriously wrong, which it rarely does. I can't imagine anyone going for elective surgery for one's FACE when 63% of Realself contributors are dissatisfied with their results. I would definitely NOT want my daughters to go for surgery with a 63% rate of disfigurement. WOULD YOU?
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how long ago was your surgery? I swear...my surgery area has been a bit swollen, but the Dr. I saw said it was the lymph nodes in that area and an inner ear infection...but I swear it feels like my stitches are coming up.....I am nervous....surgery was 15 mos ago.....
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TO MCKEN58: RE: SWELLING AND STITCHES COMING OUT Many of the stitches will come out through the skin, mine were like small pieces of plastic fishing line for lack of a better description. Over a year later, and I had still had them come out from time to time. The lumps I have now are a result of: 1- cellulitus infection the first week after the surgery, (when they kept telling me my swelling was 'normal') and 2- from the other stitches around my ears(I presume more fishing line). It it is 'thick' swelling, you might be stuck with permanent lumps. If it is puffy or warm swelling, you might have and infection or hematoma (pooled blood) and should get it checked. good luck PS - and how inept is the doctor to tell you the swelling is due to 'an ear infection'..... I have never seen anyone get swollen from an ear infection - ear infections are down inside the ear, not outside on the neck or face
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Not only that, but if swelling on the outer area of the ear were due to an EAR INFECTION, then a competent surgeon would tell the person with swelling that they needed to go on antibiotics RIGHT AWAY or risk permanently losing their hearing)! My heart goes out to you, MCKEN58. The doctor sounds beyond "inept"--he sounds like he knew in advance that he was doing sloppy work on you and is lying to you now to shut you up. What kind of people, including the man's staff, would knowingly risk disfiguring a woman's face out of greed? I hope you at least file a complaint with your State's Division of Consumer Affairs (or whatever your state calls this regulatory body), and with your state's board of medical ethics (although these boards are notorious for 'taking care of their own' over 'looking at the truth.' However, your complaint will still go on record permanently). Personally, I would go even further than that--I would send a letter to every plastic and cosmetic surgeon in the area,plus every med. center's plastic surgery dep't, complete with your surgeon's name and your photos (photos are the most critical part)--be sure to tell them that he told you he thought the swelling was due to an ear infection. They WON'T FORGET your surgeon's name, I'm sure of that. ONE POSSIBILITY that may help ALL of you out there--pay a highly reputable surgeon in the area the $100-$200 consultation fee, have this highly-regarded surgeon write up a formal evaluation and send it to your surgeon. DOING THE ABOVE FINALLY GOT my sloppy blepharoplasty surgeon to do a surgical correction. My lazy Plymouth Meeting PA surgeon had given me 'Botox' injections instead to 'correct' my surgery when I expressed dissatisfaction about it, and she charged me $500.00 for it on top of that! Surgical corrections should not cost you a penny!
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the lumps are the result of cellulitus infection (when they kept telling me the swelling was normal, and then panicked when they finally agreed to see me in person and found it was actually cellulitus) and the plastic (fishing line) stitches under the skin
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I suggest that you break Vitamin E capsules and massage the lumps gently. My doctor advised me to do that. The lumps are quite normal when you scar after (unless you are talking about keloids)surgery. The lumpiness of the scars around my ears went away but only because I religiously massage them with Vitamin E oil. The lines are still pinkish and I notice that if one looks closely, the "seam" is obvious but I figure if one wants to look at them, I have one thing to say and there is no surgery without scars--I had the time and I have the money, so there! :-) All in all, I am pleased with my results from the combination of procedures I did with my LSL and I hope that you will come to that place as well when you can be pleased with your results. My surgery would only be two months old and a couple of weeks.
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PS- I do not smoke or drink, and followed all post care instructions to the tee. wearing the ace bandage around my head, using ice packs, rubbing in the medicines. so nothing on my part cause the lumpy scars around my ears. 8 other medical surgeries on my body have never left this type of scarring on my legs, stomach and breast where I had them. (all medical, not plastic surgery)
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I did not pay the additinal $6000 nor have the follow up work just to get what was promised to me from the original procedure plus corrections of the defects caused by the original procedure. You CAN NEVER get to speak to the doctor on the phone, and tyring to see him again in person is next to impossible, it took me several calls to get an in person appointment with him, which is when he made the $6000 repair offer... I am so sad, especially since that money was not easy to come by, and I used it as an 'investment' in myself, and it was like throwing good money since there are no appreicable results and I am left with lumpy burning scars around my ears in addition to no improvement in appearance.
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J K in VA, I'm sorry that happened to you. I'd be really upset and sad, too, if I spent a lot of money on myself and didn't get decent results. What I can tell you is that reputable plastic surgeons will perform corrections if necessary, on surgeries they'd performed, WITHOUT CHARGING YOU FURTHER. Maybe you need to point out to your doctor that you're aware that responsible surgeons don't charge extra for corrections.
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I think I can imagine what you mean because I did not think I had a "noticeable" change. I was dissappointed and only thankful that at least I was not disfigured. However, when my swelling went down, I would pull my skin back like I used to do before the procedure, and I could no longer pull anything back. My jawline is more defined. The naso-labial folds did not go away. Those before and after that they had for the infomercial, I am convinced had additional procedures to have those kinds of dramatic results. Because look, if you look at me today, after I had 3 oher "comprehensive procedures" to complete the look, you would see that I looked like I did in 2003! (I was looking at my 2003 photos last night) I am sorry about the scars, are they in front of your ears, like you cannot hide them? I massage mine with Vitamin E and I have no visible scars. However, my previous experiences have me waiting for months until the redness dissappear. I use Vitamin E and the cheaper Oil of Olay MOisturizer with SPF15. The ones behind the ear, they are a little lumpy to the touch but they are hidden behind my ear and I keep putting Neosporin on them. I am wondering whether your friends do not see a difference in your looks because we are our best critics and we do not see the change?I say this because like you I went from not seeing any change and regretting what I have done but I just came back last week from a visit with friends who I have not seen since last year and they all commented on how much younger I looked. Then a minute ago, I looked at the photos I took on Christmas day, 2008 and last month's photos taken around the first month anniversary of my procedure and the difference is remarkable. Of course we heal differently so I wish you luck and I hope your final results are still to come and that it is what you wished for! Do not forget the vitamin E (just buy them over the counter, break the capsules and apply the oil on the scars). That works! If my sister asks me today if she should get a LSL for facial rejuvenation, my answer is NO. She should get both the Mid face and lower lift (mid and LSL), and fillers for the folds and botox for the frown lines and a peel to the skin. LSL is not a stand alone procedure, it is not what they say it is! It is not the cure-all. It is just one component of the whole set of procedures for rejuvenation.
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Dear Becca, Regarding your sister--instead of telling her what she needs yourself, tell her to go to a NON-LSL Plastic Surgeon for a free, or $100, consultation regarding what he--a qualified Plastic Surgeon--thinks she needs. The $100 is well worth it. Do not go to a Cosmetic Surgeon--these surgeons aren't nearly as qualified. ...and why you would recommend LSL to your OWN SISTER when LSL has a 63% disapproval rate on this site and multiple lawsuits against them is beyond me. Just because you beat the odds doesn't mean your sister will! THIS IS YOUR SISTER'S FACE. Don't encourage your loved ones to take the same high risk that you did. Tell your sister to go to a highly-regarded Plastic Surgeon in the area instead. Any surgeon who works for LSL is someone who can't make it on his own in private practice--a RED FLAG.
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If you decide to go ahead with your procedure(s), let them know you will be really pro active in your after care, and proactive in expecting results that they promise. they usually talk everyone into having additional procedures (neck lipo, eyes, etc)
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I know the lady doctor has left the practice (appaled by their policies and procedures) If you are choosing one of the doctors left there, I think the older guy is maybe a tiny bit better based on talking to others who have had work from all three doctors there. just remember - they are really there to make money, and once they get your money, your chances of ever actually seeing the doctor again after your procedure are slim to none, no matter how severe a complication might arise.
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Hello J K in VA. I'm planning to meet one of the doctors this week to discuss having the midlift procedure and am interested in what you think and what doctor you would recommend if any. Any help is GREATFULLY appreciated. Many thanks, Eric
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the doctor you had always promised to fix my LSL, but after 6 months of following up, he said he couldn't do it there and to come to his private practice for correction - at $6,000 additional!
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I am curious --what needed to be fixed on your LSL?
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Dear JK, You should NOT have had to pay your surgeon $6,000 additional to correct your unsatisfactory results--there should have been NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE WHATSOEVER! ASK the plastic surgeons here on Realself.com about the extra $6,000 you were charged--do they think it was ethical for your surgeon to charge you $1,000s extra for a 'touch-up' correction procedure for surgery which HE HIMSELF performed? I doubt it. Find out, and then go DEMAND YOUR MONEY BACK. I did (from the surgeon who gave me a bad blepharoplasty). And ultimately my surgeon DID refund me the $2300 I spent on her bad blepharoplasty work so I could go find a surgeon I trusted to correct her mistakes. Be a squeaky wheel. I was. I got my money back. You can too. Get the opinions of surgeons on this site and print them out. Then confront your surgeon with their comments regarding whether or not it was ethical for your surgeon to charge you twice over for HIS OWN work!
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You drove yourself??? That is a huge NO NO! Did they tell you to expect 1 week of downtime? They told me to expect 1 to 2 days at the most, and I could go back to work..... it took 3 weeks, and I did excellent home care and follow up as you did.
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They said one week. I went back to work exactly around 7 days after the procedure and I looked swollen. I also was anxious about the stitches at the back of my ears. I was convinced they would not heal. As you know, my procedure was January 19th. The stitches behind my neck are now very faint and my ears look normal. In fairness, the LSL did a subtle change to my jawline but it did not remove the naso-labial folds. Rather, I had to get fillers for the naso-labial folds, which dramatically changed my "results" from "I do not see a big difference" to "Wow, I love the way I look!" I stil have a little numbness around the ears and at times, I feel a "pull" that hurts momentarily. I have no visible scars unless I ask you to look closely at my ears. I put vitamin E on the area as advised by my surgeon.
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