44 Yrs Old

On August 3rd, I will be getting something done...

On August 3rd, I will be getting something done that I have been debating since my early twenties. The bane of my existence has always been my under-eye hollows (aka tear trough deformities or what I like to call them...my Crop Circles)

So, as I aged, they of course became worse and all the fillers in the world wouldn't rid me of them permanently. Fast forward to today. My cheeks are too low on my face, my eyes are hooded, complimented by a saggy bag of wrinkled skin beneath and a sunken area that gives me a corpse like appearance. I know Zombies are popular these days, but I don't want to look like one.

Forget turkey neck. Mine has taken on Pelican proportions. I do Zumba 4 nights a week, only weigh 137 pounds and I am 5 5" so it's not at all from weight. It's just how my face is built.

I am getting a mini-face lift, upper and lower blepharoplasty, and some fat transfers. This will cost somewhere around 32,000.00. The hospital and anesthesia alone costs 6 grand.

I will begin to post photos soon so stay tuned for the transformation!

I'm so glad you started your story on RealSelf! I love your term crop circles. So accurate! As far as price goes, I imagine prices are higher in NY than some other parts of the country.

Here's a list of supplies for recovery that you might find helpful.

I'm looking forward to following along on your transformation. It's so great reading stories that start pre-op and go all the way through.

Thanks Kanobe. It better be worth it. That's a lot of money to dish out=)

The Check is in the Mail...

Too late to chicken out now. The check was delivered to hold my surgery date. Best part is this. As I was driving home, I am on the phone with my husband (hands free!) and I say, "Well, babe...the check is in the mail. Too late to turn back now." And just then a giant 4 X 4 truck passed and on the back lift gate, in giant white lettering it read, "What was I thinking?" Oh, that makes me feel better about getting elective surgery. LOL. Here's a lower face shot to see what I'm working with....
Good luck & thank you very much for journaling your story.  I am 47 and beginning to consider all that you are doing.  I will find your story & information very helpful.  Please keep us posted over a years time frame.
I'll let you know how it goes=)
Hi uwildk... glad you started a thread on this. I don't care how old, how fit... our genetics play a big role in our faces aging process. I knew that if I didn't fix my upper lids I'd probably have a hard time seeing out of them in another 10 years! :) So, I'm happy for you to have made this decision. How does your PS do your mini lift? I'm always curious ; if only because it means different things to different people. You've got some time so keep posting and asking questions!

The date draws near...

Rule #1- stay away from the Internet. My GOD I keep reading horror stories of things going wrong. And of course, they can. I mean, we are getting our faces cut apart. But there are so many wonderful stories and photos as well. Everyone say a little prayer my surgery will go swimmingly!
You're going to do great. In terms of pain, this is way more bearable than giving birth (I've done both). Best of luck and feel free to reach out.
Never had a baby. Now THAT seems real painful=)

Hang in there! Just a couple more weeks.


Less than a week to go...

Well, it's almost here. My mini-face lift, upper lower bleph, laser and fat transfer.

The house is being readied. My husband is doing a great job cleaning every nook and cranny. He takes direction very well and wants me to heal fast. I expect he'll retain at least 80% of the "how to's" of cleaning. As long as I don't have cat hair in my stitches I'll be happy.

Tried to find button down pajamas today. No luck. I'll try again this week. And this time next week I will have been one day out of surgery. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't anxious. Of course I am. I've never had surgery before (save the tonsillectomy when I was 8) And I worry about my already low blood pressure while in anesthesia.

I was cleared by my cardiologist, opthomologist and got a clean bill of health otherwise. So, I'm ready. I think. Please everyone- I know you don't know me but do say prayers. I feel so selfish asking for them. I mean, this IS elective. But nonetheless, if you can find the time, keep me in your good thoughts if only for a moment.

So here I go. Saturday August 3rd. I will post ALL the before's and afters, after. This way it will be in a nice constant stream.

And, while my hubby and I were at breakfast this morning- we were waited on by a very attractive 45 year old waitress. I'm 44. It dawned on me just how much older I looked than my age. She and I both exercise, eat right- don't smoke. And yet, I look 7, maybe 10 years older. Her skin is tan; tight as a drum under her neck and jaw line. Mine sags down, a bulbous pocket beneath my neck and I have the beginnings of marionette folds and jowls.

Her upper lids are open. Her eyes, bright. Underneath she has faint and I mean faint wrinkles. Mine are deep crevices. My bags are midway down my face- set just below a deep tear trough. They make me look as if I had been crying (or beaten) all night. The only thing that keeps my upper lids up are my lashes. My eyes are hooded.

Really, breakfast was just one big affirmation. She had the better anti-aging genes while mine were...well. Let's just say mine weren't top shelf. Not to say I'm unattractive. I am an attractive woman. I am just aging badly. And that's not really how I envisioned the way I would age. I thought it would be graceful. Instead, I figure if I did nothing, I may look decades older than I really am. And really, that's rather unfair.

So, I am NOT doing this to look younger but, just to look my age. A rested 44 year old. Not a crying stressed out an potentially beaten 54 year old.

Age has nothing to do with this. It's HOW I've aged.

You'll see =) Thanks everyone!!! WISH ME LUCK!
uwildk... all my prayers going your way for Saturday's big day!  You are so normal in every way you are feeling.  One thing on the low blood pressure...that may be to your advantage.  The last thing you want is blood pressure spiking.  I went in with a pretty low blood pressure and was happy for it.  And listen... do not feel as if you need to justify why you're doing this.  This is a gift you are giving yourself. It doesn't matter why you are doing it, you just are doing it and that's the way it is!  You will do great, it sounds like you have good support in a great husband and a good PS who really cares how your finished look will be.  All the best!  F.G.


It's almost here. Of course, my mother reveals to me that she'll probably pass out when she sees my face right out of surgery. My husband will pass out for sure. He did when I cut my finger on a cat food can lid. So this should be interesting. The two people charged to care for me will be out cold on the PS floor. Should either one drop, I'll snap a pic. Post it here.

I did have a picture of Spencer (my cat) printed up today so I can bring him into surgery with me.


An Eye (Close Up)

Hooded upper lid, baggy bottom one. Sorry for the horror movie white out. You get the idea. Remember, I am 44 years old.
Well, I'm one day out of surgey and I have to say there is not much pain. A throb here and there, and my eyes are blurry. Ill write more as I can. Thank you everybody!
uwildk... glad you see you popping up here post op!  The blurriness is really annoying and made me nuts for about three days or so.  But it should all settle down by today or tomorrow hopefully.  I'm looking forward to hearing about your experience and your results.  Happy healing.!
Gosh uwildk... you're right!... that's kinda creepy! :)  I wasn't sure if I'd be out here before your surgery... How're you doing?  Like I said, you do not have to justify anything.  It's kind of funny/odd but until about one year ago, I never had a problem with my pictures people would take.  Stress , genetics... whatever... takes it's toll on each of us at whatever time it wants.  So whether you're 44, 34, 54... or God forbid my own age... it's really a question of what is appropriate at the moment.  I'm very excited for you because this is a very uplifting experience and I'm suspecting you'll be very happy about the results. I'll probably be out of touch with a busy next 3 days, but just know that I'll be thinking of you. 

day two

The worst part of this is sleeping upright. Otherwise this is not too bad. I only took a half of a pain pill. Just to sleep. It looks worse than it feels for sure.
Uwilk, hi and I'm so glad you aren't in pain. Do you have bruising and swollen face? Stupid question ha ha. I don't have a recliner so I bought one of those large pillows that has arms, it's sturdy, helped me to stay upright. It's only $ 22 online or I think maybe Walmart /target. Now I am sleeping slightly upright, just my head is up.how did your HB & mother do when they saw you? You may scare them right now but in a few weeks they will be staring at your beauty! Jjwolfe
Hi! I didn't bruise really. It was so strange. I mean, minimal to none. I've been drinking Pineapple juice every day. That may be the trick. But I am swollen up like a swamp monster. =) You know, JWolfe...you are BRILLIANT. I didn't think of that pillow arm thing. I will send the man tomorrow to get one. How are you doing????
Uwildk, I'm hanging in there but my eyes are a real problem, they still won't close so my ps did a procedure called Tarsorrhaphy , the outer corners of the eyelid is stitched together... It's awful but temporary, well see later this week when the stitches are removed, I m worried that I may have to have more surgery to correct it. The rest of the FL is ok, I'm still lumpy , swollen and bruised. I am so glad it's going well for you, you can problaby see the neck result and dont you just love no double chin & turkey neck? You are so young , you will look fabulous when some more time passes. Did you find the arm pillow? Jwolfe

One Week after Facelift, Bleph, Fat Transfer and Laser

It is rather amazing that, considering the amount of cutting, excising, injecting, burning and repositioning, the human body is so incredibly adaptable. I have had ZERO pain. Zero. I have taken the total of 1 and a1/2 Vicodin taken over the course of the first 3 days (mashed into powder and put into chocolate pudding) just to adjust to sleeping in a chair. Because I cannot sleep upright apparently.

My face laser is not raw or red of seeping. My eyes are healing nicely. I am still pretty swollen in the cheek area (I was given 2 steroid pills to help with that) I have had virtually NO bruising. I am already to that pale yellow color in the neck. No black, no green or gray except for the incisions in the hairline. A hint of those colors.

I am unsure of how this will turn out- of course day 7, still swollen does concern me, however the results are hidden within it. My husband said it immediately took 10 years off. I can see that as well. And my PS laughed when he saw me the first time afterwards. "Oh my god," he said, eyes wide and grinning. "You look like a little girl." That was pretty funny. We will see. I have been taking tons of pics to post. I will do so as I near my transformation. Thanks everyone!

Another Post Op Shot

Be honest- look at this. How old is this face? What is your best guess?

Another Shot

The bottom of my face pre surgery.
Uwildk, yes and now you have to match your shirt colors to the yellow, red and black and blue in your face!  lol   I'm glad you haven't experienced any pain.  I didn't either which was on the mark with what my PS said.  And hopefully your sleep is better!  Happy healing!
Actually, the swelling does concern me. I know it goes away but as is, I clearly cannot go to work. I'm technically only 9 days out. I'm thinking 3 weeks? Who knows.

Oh yeah.. This is a great shot....

A Picture is Worth 1,000 words. Or in this case, just one. YUK.

Here is another before photo. As you can see I look 150 thousand years old. Just so you know, I am not without fault for this. I never used sunscreen, I smoked until I hit 40, and I didn't know how to take care of my acne as a teen. The only plus side was I have always eaten extremely healthy. Even when I was a smoker. So....this was an expensive lesson. However, I don't believe the laxity of my skin was due to that. I still feel (and my PS feels) that was genetic. Take a gander...

Such a Lovely Photo os me...before

Another Horrific Before Picture...

44 years old. Rested.
Uwildk... so I know you're not happy with the before pics, Lord knows , neither am I with mine. But now you get to focus on the after stuff and how gorgeous you're going to be!  As for swelling, yes, you should plan at the 3 week mark you will have a remarkable change in overall mental and physical feelings about all of this.  While the swelling and bruising might not all be gone, you'll see a dramatic difference.  What you should post are some pics while you're going through all of this.  It's very helpful to everyone to see your recovery and results.  You're going to look great!  Hang in there. :) 
Added 3 pics. Look! OMG!
Maybe they didn't get attached and saved?  :)  I'll check after my work day.  You are going to be gorgeous!

Some Amazing After Pics

Here are some after pics. My midface is taking the brunt of the swelling (it looks as if I have Cher's cheekbones at the moment) So I wont post the swelling pics until after I start healing better. But...look.

10 Days Post Op

Some more post op pictures

You look GREAT and healing so FAST! Thank you for sharing! Kathy
Your neck and jaw line look beautiful!

Day 11...

Day 11- the swelling in my cheeks is finally starting to drop to the sides of my neck (now I look like an angry cobra) and a rather large bruise developed on the left side, but nothing unexpected. I see the PS tomorrow for another post op eval. Ladies- I have to say- at this point, I see such a dramatic difference over the old me and the new. While I am still swollen, I am hopeful the final results will be exquisite. Anything is an improvement over how I was aging.

My best friend of 36 years visited me today. When I showed her the pre-op pics, and asked her to honestly tell me the age I looked in those pics, she answered- "You look at least 10 years older than 44. Maybe 55 year old." I think she is correct. She also stressed I looked like a 55 year old who drinks a lot. Funny thing, I don't drink alcohol. Never have. And since I am a business professional, that was tough to hear.

So- I'm on my way to healing! Can't wait to post more soon!
wow. you look amazing. congrats!
Cannot believe your 2nd day pic! You are the only person I have seen look so wonderful right after surgery. Did you have swelling/bruising? Looks like you had virtually none! All the Best!
Funny, the swelling occurred day 3 in my cheeks. And it was pretty bad (I looked like a cartoon Cher) It's finally dropping down now. But really, other than one brussel sprout sized bruise on my upper left neck, not a whole lot of bruising. The laser was amazing too. No pain, no blood or seeping. I am really amazed on how easy this was.

Day 13- All's Well

Day 13 the swelling is dropping, which is good. The Aquaphor in my hair is stubborn. Proving to be harder to wash out because my hair is long and I was really slathered in it for having the laser done. The big bruise is still on my neck but it will go away. My PS sees me every week and photographs/monitors my progress. And I have yet to put make up on as my skin is still peeling a bit.

My mother admitted yesterday that I look 1,000 times better than before. She was so afraid (and loudly opposed) of me doing it. Now that sees seeing the result, she's happy for me. I'm happy for me, too! And I'm happy for any woman who is starting their Plastic Surgery Journey. It is one of the most important decisions of your life. Surgically altering the way you look shouldn't be taken lightly. But once you decide to, go for it.

I strongly suggest the following: Do NOT try to save money. Although spending more does not guarantee a great result, you are hedging your bets by using a more qualified surgeon. I could have done this for a fraction of the cost, but at what cost? It was my face. Not something that could be hidden if it got screwed up. My surgeon, while young, is TRIPLE board certified. That means something. And he has NO malpractice cases against him. Do you homework.

Would you explain a "fat transfer"? Where do the docs get the fat and where do they put it??? Kathy
Hi Kathy. The PS transferred a small amount of fat from my belly to fill in the hollows of my face. As we age we loose facial fullness/fat. It's normal. The reason they use belly fat is that belly fat does not dwindle away as easily as, say, the fat on your arms. Notice when we loose weight, the last place to lose it are the thighs and the belly? That was explained to me as being "stubborn" fat. The fat there is more resilient to absorption than anywhere else on the body, meaning, it'll stay put for the most part. They use a needle and take some fat out, then graft it (in my case mostly under my eyes) to fill in the voids that caused the bags in the first place. So, the fullness was restored to my face from my stomach. Also, in 30 years, at least 25% of this fat will still be in my face so I wont get that elderly gaunt look as rapidly. Hope I answered your question! Ask for PS about how/if it can benefit you. My face had extreme hollows under the eyes so I needed it. There are also chemical fillers on the market that work well too.
The fat cells and plasma are separated, the fat cellonly are injected.The plasma is discarded

DAY 14!

Day 14- back to work tomorrow. Played with make-up application (as I still have swelling on cheeks and some minor eye discoloration) So far, so good! I will post more pics at the 1 month mark.
You look beautiful, great resukts!
wow you look amazing!
Very nice, they will think your daughter went in to work for you.

I Think It Was Worth It. 6 Weeks Post Op

I do believe at this stage in the healing process it was indeed worth it. My skin is tight and refreshed, my jawline is good, my eyes are healing fairly well save a small webbing on one. My forehead spasms occur less and less. I definitely look 12 years younger, for sure.

The overall results allowed me at 44 years old! to strut the runway as a model during the first ever Faces of Fashion Week in NYC. Something that on August 2nd I would have NEVER been able to do (unless we were having a faces of horror week, then I would have headlined=)

So far, I am happy.
Great result! I am getting a MACS lift, upper and lower bleph and fat transfer to cheeks as well as brow lift, I hope my results will be as dramatic as yours.
Thank for sharing. Am happy that you are happy with your results. Not everyone have a got outcome.
Your results are amazing!! Such a quick recovery!


Hi everyone! I wanted to thank you all for the support. I am taking this account down for personal reasons but I will be back. Thanks again and best of luck!
We will miss uwildk...thank you for sharing your story! I'm scheduled for January 17th for neck and bleph cannot wait and you have been an inspiration! All the best to you!

Thank you so much for sharing your story. So sad to see you go, but hope all is well on the personal front.

Well we hope you DO return! :-)) Thanks for all your info and sharing your journey with us! Kathy
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon

Our initial meeting- outstanding.

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
4 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
4 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
4 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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