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I Have Wanted/needed/hoped to Do This for Years! - Orlando, FL

During my routine annual exam 3 weeks ago, I asked...

During my routine annual exam 3 weeks ago, I asked my dermatologist to do some Botox magic on my neck. He said Botox wouldn't help BUT he gave me the business card of a plastic surgeon he recommended. I would never trust online reviews or the Yellow Pages, but him? Definitely.
I made an appointment the same week, and asked my hubby to help me set a budget limit. He declined, saying he knew it was something that has bothered me for years, and I would know if the price was worth it.
I am having a neck lift done at 8:30 in the morning. I am SO excited. I have frozen peas, flexible straws, a wedge pillow and Arnica on hand, none of which my doctor mentioned, but I have gleaned from reading your reviews! So - thanks to all of you who put pictures, candid evaluations and advice out there for people like me. I intend to do the same in return.
Wish me luck - better yet, say a prayer!
Pam

Surgery day

Everything went well and I am home now. My head is wrapped like a mummy, but I have no pain. My mouth is extremely dry. No nausea. I can see some bruising sticking out under the wrap on my lower neck but nothing (of what I can see) on my face. My lips/mouth area a bit numb and smile is crooked, so hot soup is out. Really, I am not hungry anyway. I took a travel neck pillow with me for the ride home (another online tip) and it was a smart idea. I ended up having drainage bags so will have to go back to the office tomorrow for their removal. I'll find out then why they were needed after all, and whether he did the under-the-chin incision or not.
Hubby took pictures, thinks if am crazy for wanting them. I will have to move them from his camera to my computer to post later - right now I feel more like taking a nap!

Surgery evening

Swelling has gone done a lot now. The pain medication has worn off, and now I can definitely feel where work was done behind my ears (as if someone is pulling my hair very tightly in those areas) but that's about it discomfort-wise. I ate a bowl of soup tonight, and have not felt any stomach upset whatsoever. My throat is sore and there is a raw place on the inside of my bottom lip, so I'm thinking they inserted a tube down my throat once I was out, and removed it before I woke up! I plan to take a pain pill before going to bed, setting another next to the bed in case I wake up during the night.

Day One - Post Procedure

Just home from having the drainage tubes removed. That stung a bit! but it is good to have those tubes gone. Ingenious method though - they look like hand grenades and the suction works regardless of gravity. Very little drained, but Dr. said my blood pressure spiked a bit and he wanted to be safe. I will remove the bandages myself in the morning and can shower and wash hair then. I was given a 'face bra' to wear as much as I can from then on. I return to the Dr. on Tuesday to have stitches removed, and again on Friday to get the staples out. Sounds like fun! I feel so much better than I look but still have the mummy wrap so there's nothing new to see today so no pictures.

Day Two, helmet off, ready for a shower

I am anxious to get the helmet off and take a look! Pain is minimal. Actually, it's more of 'discomfort' than 'pain'.

Day Four

It feels like my head is in a vice even when the 'face bra' is off. My ears feel so funny - like they are plastic fake ones, sewn on to my head! I slept relatively well last night (took pain meds before bed). My face is still puffy and the bruising is still present. The stitched areas seem to be healing nicely and my hair is going to cover most everything quite well. I go in tomorrow morning to have the stitches removed and plan to go to work from there. I have a sit-on-your-hiney-all-day job and my doctor thinks it will help keep my mind off everything else as long as I take it easy!

Day Five - Off to work

I will enjoy not wearing that face bra all day. I finally figured out that a soft cloth between my chin and the strap helps immensely. The strap was forcing the swollen parts of my neck to the sides of the strap, and was quite irritating. I will get the stitches out in about an hour, then on to the office. I feel great, actually, and it's so nice to be wearing real hair and makeup today. :-)

Stitches out, back to work

The doctor is very pleased, called it 'perfect bruising' and 'as expected swelling' and removed the stitches. I return on Friday for the staples to come out - he will be out of the office, so his assistant will be doing it. I've been putting a cotton ball behind my ears so the staples don't press on them with the neck bra in place. I'll be glad to get them out.
Work went well - it was good to be distracted, actually. I must admit that I love my job, it may not be as good an idea for someone who does not.
The doctor wants me to wear the face bra as much as possible, but reading so many reviews by other doctors who don't recommend them at all once the bandages are out, I feel I will be doing well wearing it 15 out of 24 hours and not guilty.
I am meeting four close friends tonight for dinner - a once-a-month routine that would raise more eyebrows to miss than to show up with a discolored neck, so we'll see how that goes! Obviously I feel super, as well as super lucky to be feeling so great.

Day Nine

The bruising is fading, but I still have swelling/puffiness. I had the staples out yesterday and can't get over how 'weird' my poor little ears feel. Not pain, exactly, but a tightness (which is what I wanted, right?!) in my neck and behind my ears.
I think my doctor did a fantastic job with the stitching and hiding the evidence! I am sure I will continue to improve as the swelling subsides, and especially that the 'lump' under my chin and jowls go away as well. I am very pleased with the smoothness of my neck area. I have started using Bio oil (supposed to help healing, smooth skin tone unevenness, etc.) which also helps the stiffness a bit.

Three weeks later

I still have some swelling, and my neck and ears are still numb. I don't think anyone would suspect that I've had surgery unless they knew what they were looking for though. I am still using peroxide and Neosporin daily behind my ears, and Bio Oil on my neck three times a day. I have to be very careful using my curling iron - my ears don't feel the heat!

One month post op

My ears are still numb, but I am starting to get some feeling back in both ears and my neck. I am feeling pretty down though (so rare for me) because while my neck looks so very much better, I still have a 'lump' under my chin, and no also visible improvement at all in my jowls/jawline whatsoever. Did my doctor not think it was necessary? or did I not make my desire or hopes clear enough? Am I still swollen enough after just one month that more tightening may still happen? I would be sick to think that after all that $$ and all of this discomfort, that he and I were not on the same page as far as expectations go, because I certainly could not afford to do this again. Ever. My biggest issue has always been the excess skin on my neck, which he took care of quite well! Maybe my facial structure wouldn't allow him to address both at once. And he promised I wouldn't link like Joan Rivers - but none of my friends, my brother, or my hairdresser can see one bit of difference! I am reading things now that make me think doctors can hear 'neck lift' and think it does NOT include jowls. So sad today. And scared that it was my own fault for not being much more specific. Is this a common or typical feeing after something so radical I wonder?
Orlando Plastic Surgeon

Surgery in the morning!

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