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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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Neck looks fabulous - I agree sounds like you paid for a neck lift
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Will you posts some new pictures? I think you can get "tweaked" in about six months with what they call a "mini-lift" that will address the jowels. There are videos online with surgeons explaining the different kinds of lifts...full facelift (the Joan River's look), lower facelift, necklift and some surgeons have come up with their own names like my surgeon has something called the "RT Mini Lift" which addresses the lower region and jawline. I believe that's what he gave me eventhough I called mine a "necklift," only because he had to excise fillers under my chin. I was a little confused as to what to call it in my review so I called it necklift/facelift revision. My jowels were addressed in my first lower facelift 14 years ago and after that experience I said never again, until the area under my chin started getting botched worse and seven years later I did it again. But that surgeon didn't excise the bulky implant under the chin and the lateral tightening didn't last so I had to do it one more time, the right way. It really put me behind paying off my house mortgage but I made choices based on what I valued the most. Since my neck is on view in my job---I stand while people sit and look up at me---I decided to put money into my neck. So right now eventhough you say you will never do it again, you should probably never say never!
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A full facelift does NOT have to make you look like Joan Rivers! She's had dozens.
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I agree 100%
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I do plan on doing this again in the next 10-20 years. Whatever I need to stay looking as young as I feel. I'm not going down without a fight!
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Puffer me too- My oldest said Oh I guess at 67!youll do it again- Did at 47 57 & heck ya I am- I'm with you!
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To tell you the truth, for $5500, I think you paid for only a neck lift. When I mentioned I only wanted that, my PS said he never does the neck without the lower face, I'd be disappointed if I did only the neck . So glad I did, too! My scars are similar to yours but the front goes to the top of my ears & into the sideburn line (towards the middle of my face) about 2".
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Disappointed.
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Guess I'm going to have to resort to trying to lose ten pounds!!
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Unfortunately, that just makes the skin sag more... Please don't be disappointed, you got exactly what you paid for & your neck looks fantastic!
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You look lovely and so natural. I hope my face settles down before I have to face too many people. I don't want some to know but these LIPS!!! Congrats and I'm glad you are feeling well!
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Your chin and neck look great! &=) Since you mentioned seeing your friends soon after your procedure I was wondering if you could share with me their response to you having a "beauty surgery". I'm considering a forehead lift. And I am back and forth on whether I should tell my friends or just hide out for a few weeks. I feel like some of them will think I am vain and frivolous. I live a small town in the Bible-Belt and we're all supposed to be "good Christian women", you know, "unconcerned with the things of this world."
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None of my dearest and closest has said a THING to me about it! I just had coffee with one yesterday, and was fully prepared to tell it all IF she asked, but she did not. I honestly believe that I am/was the only one who noticed my saggy neck! I didn't have anything done to my face, and in am still a bit puffy, so I don't know that I look much 'different' let alone 'better' to anyone but me ( and my hubby). In fact, when I told my hairdresser (had to - I couldn't have her raking the comb through stitches or staples) she couldn't tell any difference - until I showed her my before profile picture and my 'new' neck. She was shocked and acknowledged the difference was huge! My brother didn't say anything, and he sure wouldn't hesitate if he'd thought I had work done, trust me! My surgeon did an outstanding job hiding stitched areas. I plan to tell anyone who asks me about it, because I think those of us self-conscious about our necks will notice others, and I waited years for a doctor recommendation from someone I knew and trusted. Beth Moore has (to my eyes) obviously had work done, as has Joyce Meyers and Kay Arthur! I feel God gave surgeons their skills - we shouldn't feel guilty using them! Keep me posted on your decisions and progress? Good luck!!
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Thank you NannaLove for your candid reply!! Yes, I too had noticed Beth, Kay and my favorite Joyce were looking very very well for their ages!!! Funny you should mention them ~ I had the same thought as you ~ these obvious spiritual giants could do it, why not me? But I am most encouraged by your experience ~ no one noticed?? That is what I am ideally hoping for. I want the work done, but I want the results to be very natural looking. And I'm worried about the scarring
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...I was happy you had shown your stittches behind the ears. I had not seen photos of that till I saw your post. Does your hair cover it all well? I am also considering a Mini Lift or neck lift (if I can work up the courage! and the money...lol) My hair is shoulder-length and I frequently have it in a ponytail. Do you think scars behind the ears will show? I'm sorry if I am wearing you out with questions :) Thank you so much for your feedback! Blessings ~ Sassy105
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NannaLove...love your thoughts here. I was also around friends who said nothing about my neck. Then when I returned to my Sculptra injector for a final correction and asked if he noticed a dent from where Alloderm was removed from my neck and what he'd suggest to correct it he laid it all right out with the appropriate response... "...YOU are the only one who notices because YOU have spent YEARS noticing under YOUR chin...(emphasis mine)..." I instantly recognized what he was saying and admitted my own hyperscrutiny. Then he looked at my arms and said, "Sculptra is also injected into arms to correct dimpling." I quickly responded, "Don't care about my arms, just my face...." So your own pet-peeves are afterall very personal and any surgeon who helps you keep your surgery decision "secret," by not overdoing you, is worth gold for sure!! High five to both of us for succeeding!
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I know nothing about what stitching would be involved with a forehead procedure, but my guess is that all the 'magic' happens behind the 'curtains' - your hair!! which will grow over and cover the scars, eventually. It really is remarkable - we are truly 'fearfully and wonderfully made'! I wonder if I brought it up, if the girls would say, "Oh, I thought so!" But in the end, I think we are overly critical of ourselves, and our friends see us with their hearts. Unless it's something you've talked about bothering you before, they probably don't see it, and may not see the difference. And they each probably have a pet peeve of their own that you don't see, either!!
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I will very happily take more closeups later today (now at week 3 1/2) but will tell you now that my hair easily covers the staple line on my scalp, and unless you are looking for them, doubt if you'd notice the stitched areas around and behind my ears, especially as the raised and redness continues to fade. A ponytail might be more tricky initially, but not after time I shouldn't think. Will post pics when my favorite cameraman returns from his errands this afternoon!! P.S. I am not feeling worn out with questions. It is exactly why I made the decision to post here - to be a resource like the one I wanted to have before/during/after my own decision to do this!
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Exactly! And I have never been more certain that it was the right choice for ME, or so glad I made this decision only FOR me, since I am the only one who cared before, or notices afterward!!! I would have had the same response you did about arms, "Who cares?" LOL When my surgeon promised I would not look like Joan Rivers, I knew we were on the same page
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Care Credit offers a 2 year, interest free loan of up to $10,000. Couldn't have done mine without it!
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Thank you NannaLove!!! Can't wait to see more pics &=)
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