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SMAS Facelift and Necklift with Dr. Verret - Plano, Texas

After years of researching procedures for...

After years of researching procedures for facelifts (mini, SMAS, lifestyle, etc.) and now at 56 years old, I finally settled on a doctor and had my lower SMAS face and necklift. I am documenting on RealSelf in hopes that it will help someone make a well informed decision. Without all of YOUR help here, it would have been more difficult for me to make a good choice. Also, I was able to read answers given by Dr. Verret, and read reviews about him before I selected him as my surgeon.
When I tell you I have been looking into this for years, I mean at least 5 years. I have had approximately 7-8 consultations with different surgeons. There were a number of reasons that I selected Dr. Verret over the other surgeons in Dallas/Ft. Worth. For one thing, he is double board certified and ONLY does faces! That was important to me. I wanted a surgeon that did this type of procedure all the time...not a doctor that did more breast augmentation or body work. When I consulted with him he was very honest about what type of results I could expect. He answered all of my questions and he didn't push me to do any procedures I wasn't comfortable with at this time (my eyes). I knew I could go into surgery with this doctor and feel as comfortable as I ever would with anyone.
I booked the surgery and had the procedure on 9/5/2013. I am adding pictures and will document progress as I go through the next 4 weeks of recovery. It helped me so much to read some of your experiences, see your photos, and know a little more what to expect as I go along. Here's to all of you for helping all of us!! I have posted my BEFORE and DAY OF/DAY ONE pictures. I will post my progress for the next few weeks as my face changes and the swelling subsides. I am actually shocked that I don't have any bruising on my face. My neck is bruised but my face is not.

Days 4 & 5

I didn't really expect that the first three days with this procedure would be as uncomfortable as it was. They don't tell you about your EARS. It's not really a normal pain...it's like fire ants pulling your ears off. I took pain meds that were prescribed and it got me through it fine. On day four, all that ache and fire and throbbing just seemed to stop. I still have some strong sensations in my ears and neck from time to time but basically I feel great most of the day. I don't care much for sleeping upright but I don't want to swell anymore than I have already so I'm diligent about staying propped up.
I have cleaned the incisions as directed...a little painful at first but getting better. I actually have a tough time seeing the incisions. My ears look huge and swollen but the actual incisions are pretty well hidden. These come out in three more days.
I have kept the bandage in place 24/7 only removing it to wash my face and snap a few pictures.
I'm amazed that I don't have more bruising. I can't see any bruising on my face...just my neck. Time will tell on the final results but as far as I can tell, Dr. Verret did great work. I am not having any problems and everything has gone exactly as planned. As I mentioned before, he made this procedure very easy on me and I have felt very safe and confident throughout the entire process.

Incisions

I took a picture of the incisions around my ear. I think my ear is very swollen but if you look behind my ear, you can see the neck incision in my hairline. It's hard to see but so are the ones in my temple area.

Day Six - 2 more till sutures are out

Let me tell you: You get really tired of this bandage around your head. That and sleeping sitting up.
Ok. Now that's out of the way, I still have itching around my ears and neck along with tightness and pinprick sensations. I feel like the nerves in my ears and neck are frayed and raw...which of course they are. I do have some numbness in front of my ears but it's not bad and it's not completely numb anywhere. It feels like when you've had Novocaine during a dental procedure and it's wearing off. You get "jolts" of sensation that come and go. That itching is healing...I'm sure.
I think the thing that bothers me the most is the swelling. My face looks like a balloon to me. I have to lay off all salt. I forgot about that till I read some posts here!
If I didn't have to wear this bandage for a few more days (then it's just at night for another 7 days), I think I could go out pretty safely and not scare anyone. A scarf would do it for the neck bruises.
I thought to mention that I have not had any other cosmetic surgeries in the past. This is the first one and I did a great deal of reading and research over the years to understand what type of procedure I wanted and needed. Part of my decision to consult with that many PS (7-8 over a number of years) was to get a consensus on what procedure would be best for me. It became really clear that a SMAS facelift and full necklift was what I needed. Believe me, I tried to get away with the "mini", weekend, quick, lifts but not one of the PS I consulted with told me that would be the best choice. Everyone of them said SMAS. If you look at my "before" pictures, I have jowling and crepyness in my neck but I kept thinking I could get away with a lighter lift. As I look back on the decision, I see that the recovery would have been pretty much the same and I had more laxity in my face and neck than I was willing to acknowledge. (denial..ha,ha). I almost had this done two years back in Virginia because I found an exceptional surgeon in Richmond that I would have trusted. I thought about going back to him for this but when I found Dr. Verret, I knew he could do this right and I didn't have to travel.
As part of this update, the surgery center just called to see how I was recovering and if my surgery had gone according to my expectations. My doctor followed up with me yesterday to answer a question and for every step along the way, someone has followed up with me appropriately, kindly, and in a timely manner. Nobody has dropped the ball. Job well done.

Behind the ear sutures

Best pictures I could get. I am afraid to bend my ear! lol.

Day 7 update

It has been a week and tomorrow the sutures come out. This has been a long week and for some reason I'm "dragging" today. I woke up at 4:30 a.m. and drank some coffee around 5:00 which made me really nauseous and ended up taking a phenergan because I was so afraid I would be sick to my stomach but wasn't. I have no idea why that happened but it didn't help starting off my day that way! I think the point may be that sleeping comfortably isn't easy sitting up. I know I'm not sleeping in any regular pattern and I'm not sure what affect that will have long term.
I am beginning to see how my neck and face are starting to settle out. I keep telling myself not to make and judgments...it's too early. Swelling, bruising, incisions that are still healing...all of these things will change and morph as the days go on.
This is a process. We think of it as an "event" and we build up and prepare for that event and then sleep through it. What we have when we awaken is a process...and a rather lengthy process at that! I think that may be the most important aspect of this as you consider a FL. I'm simply one week into recovery and I see a year of changes ahead of me. The numbness, the ear twinges, soreness, swelling, scarring, all play a part of this experience. I would do it again, absolutely. I thought I would be most happy about my neck, and I'm sure I will be when it heals, but I actually love having smooth tight skin on my face again. I couldn't anticipate that; I didn't know I missed it so much.
I always knew I would do this; I have never had an aversion to correcting the aging process if possible.
I'm still a bit worried about the resolution of this procedure. Will I have dimpling? Will my neck look "swept"? I'm not certain that everything is "perfect" at this point but I just have to go on with the process and wait and see. That's why you absolutely MUST trust your surgeon. Things can go wrong and they do go wrong and you want a doctor that has "been there, done that" frequently.
I get to work from home the rest of this week and next. I think I can go out as soon as I am released from the "hostage head bandage" tomorrow. I think the swelling is better today and I can see a little definition in my face.
I have some fullness under my chin that I do not believe will resolve itself. Dr. V told me before surgery that he could take most of it out, but my anatomy was such that I would still have fullness there. It won't affect my actual jawline, and it's not fat, so the lipo didn't fix it even though he did some lipo there. I went in knowing that , and sure enough, he was right.
He also told me that the horizontal lines on my neck would not correct with the surgery. I think they will be much better but they won't be gone. He was really up-front about what I could expect. I like that in a doctor. No surprises or expectations that can't be met.
Thank you to all of you who have posted and written to me in support. I have read some wonderful stories here.

Sutures OUT and follow up was GREAT!

Again, choose your surgeon carefully. I realized again today why I trust this doctor. He knows what he's doing. He had a plan for my face and it's all coming together on schedule and it's just what I expected and wanted. I had some questions, some concerns...and his answers to me reflected that he had thought all of this out and knew exactly what my face was doing as it healed. I don't know any other way to explain it except that his answers were better than any of my questions. This is a good...very good PS. A little discomfort taking the sutures out...all good. I'm extremely happy about my progress. Best wishes to all who are in the healing process!

Sorry no pics but will post soon

I think this is one, if not the best decision and investment I've made in my health...so happy with the results. My face looks just like I wanted. I am waiting on my neck to "clear". I had a great PS. I was out of the house by day 7 and I'm at a restaurant at day 10. I could not be happier with the results. My boyfriend told me tonight that my swelling was almost gone and my face looked beautiful. I have to tell you, I don't obsess anymore about my face!!!! I hardly look except to do my makeup and I simply stopped seeing any of the problems that plagued me every day in the mirror. I am really at peace with this. It's great. Will post pics soon. Very busy being happy.

Two weeks 5 days post

I am pretty much free and clear as far as re-entry into the world. Nobody notices that I have had anything done, my bruising isn't noticeable and my swelling is minimal. My next door neighbor who knows me well, didn't even notice...I had to tell her, and she still didn't really see it. That is exactly what my PS said would happen (he has a habit of being right...thank goodness!). I see a huge change and I love the freedom it has allowed me NOT to obsess about my neck anymore. I can take a picture now and not freak out over my neck and lower face. I have numbness that is improving in my ears and upper neck. The feeling is coming back now and it's a little unpleasant but I adjust daily. I haven't liked touching my neck the last few weeks because it's tender and weird and numb and it doesn't feel right. The last few days have been much better and the feeling is returning. I'm back to normal skin care and the clairasonic on parts of my face now.
I wanted to mention that I started taking Wobenzyme at about 5 days into recovery. I took 5 tabs 3X per day AWAY from any food. This was for swelling and inflamation. It dropped my swelling out fast. I purchased them at Whole Foods but they are probably cheaper online. Don't take with food as they will act as a digestive enzyme instead. Please consult with PS before, of course. I am only using Vasaline on my incisions as per doctor's instructions. I don't have any real scars to deal with because you can't see any of them so it's just the healing.
I don't think I need to post more pictures so these will be the last ones I think. I am extremely blessed to have had such an easy recovery. I really believe this was due to my PS. I had a major facelift...SMAS and full neck rejuvination and I had almost NO bruising to my face. Amazing. There is certainly tightness, numbness, swelling...etc. all the things expected for this type of surgery but I really believe if you have a skilled PS like Dr. Verret, you can recover quickly and beautifully. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have questions and best of luck to all of you that are on this journey.
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon

I couldn't be happier with the care I received from Dr. Verret. He was extremely professional, kind and has a great bedside manner. He made me feel that I was totally safe in his care. He called me the evening of my surgery to check on me and his follow up all along the way was excellent. Although I am only a few days into the healing process, everything is going according to the plan he explained to me. I feel confident that I will have excellent results! I am close to 3 weeks post and this procedure has been a dream! I could simply not be any happier with Dr. Verret and the results. I would highly recommend Dr. Verret to anyone that wants perfect results! He will be doing my eyes when I get ready!

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 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
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (46)

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Beautiful result! I read your posted question about sedation with a full SMAS facelift, but didn't see in your review here what your doctor used? Would you mind sharing that information and how it went?
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Great results - I really emphasized with your review and progress. I felt like we went through the same process. You are further ahead though. I too did a lot of research and got an excellent surgeon. He did a browlift fist four years ago, so I felt confident to do the facelift and neck lift. They really don't tell you about the EARS, you are so right. I had icepacks on them for the first 6 days to take away the itch, as you said like ants running across your skin and ears - that's just what I told my friend. My neck has been a breeze really, very little bruising or pain of any sort just tightness. I did stay indoors for 3 weeks only out twice in that time. It is good to read and see that you had such a good result.
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When I saw your pics and read your comments, they seemed more like the results and progress I was experiencing. I still have some tightness; the itching (normal they say) comes and goes. I take a natural supplement called Wobenzyme (I take it away from food) on the days the inflammation is worse (which causes the swelling and tightness). It helps a great deal. I take 5 at a time so I don't take every day. From what I can see with your pictures, you had an excellent procedure and I'm so glad your results are beautiful. For me, the procedure offered me freedom from worry about my neck and jowls...that's really all I was after! I am very happy that your results are so good!!! (BTW, your surgeon did an excellent job on your stitches...you won't see yours either).
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So good to share experiences! I looked up Wobenzyme and it looks like a great idea. I made juices with pineapple for the bromelain which is an anti-inflammatory. But my doctor gave me two shots of steroids after the op to reduce inflammation, no drains. I also slept on a big wedge pillow with pillows on top of that to ensure the swelling went down. I was upset about the jowls for about 3 years, then someone took an awful photo of me showing the jowls and put it on facebook and I was really upset. That outweighed the fear of having the surgery. My surgeon does the 'Ten Years Younger' programme, so his work has to be top. He is actually in New York speaking on SMAS at the moment. He also meets with a very small group of surgeons that specialise in natural looking surgery. So he is a find.
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You look terrific! I think you were smart to do it before you got much older. My results look great but the recovery is still taking time--perhaps more than if I had done it 15 years ago. My neck is still causing discomfort (sort of a stinging sensation) at times ,mainly in the early morning and evening, though my swelling is pretty much gone. I'm beginning to get feeling back but it still doesn't feel normal yet and it's been 9 weeks, I think.
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Thanks AEllen. My neck is still tight and stiff although most of the swelling and bruising is gone. I'm sure it just takes time for the feeling to come back. I don't feel like I have completely recovered from the surgery and being put under.
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I have all kinds of things going on with my neck and EARS...I still can't sleep on my side because my ears hurt with any pressure on them...my neck is tight in places and I experience weird and uncomfortable sensations. I don't think these will resolve in the next week...I anticipate a slow go with that part of the recovery. I'm tolerating this well because it's early. I may not be so forgiving about the discomfort 9 weeks out. Who knows? But I do know that I needed to push the years back a few...for a variety of reasons...and this did it for me. So, no pain/no gain and I think the trade was worth it...mostly for me it translated into more time AWAY from hating my neck. I have some of those "buckwheat" type pillows that you can "dig" little holes in and rest your head...away from your ear. Only relief for a little while but a little "normalcy" is worth a lot when your sleep has been disrupted! I'm just committed to "speed recovery" lol.
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I had two days of extreme sadness recently. No reason. Physiological I'm sure. I attribute it entirely to being put under anesthesia. That, no matter what anyone says, is the most critical aspect of this whole experience. I'm through it because I recognized it for what it was and I have a good support system to talk me through. But we tend to make light of these things and you are right to acknowledge the recovery phase. BTW, you look really amazing and if you gauge the cost of it all by your results...you are on the PLUS side big time. Really! WAY worth it!
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Hi lvb2013. It's been since July 11 for me and though I look great and the swelling under my chin is almost nonexistent, I still get little needle prick pains behind my ears now and then, and my neck gets very tight during the night and takes a while to start feeling semi-normal after I get up. And if I get a lot of exercise it still swells a little bit. I'm beginning to get sensation back in my neck, but limited to a tickly feeling when I run my finger across it. I once heard that it takes four months to replace tissues, so I'm figuring on at least that long. Guess we just have to be patient, huh?
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I've had "down days" now and then too. I've attributed them to just wanting my neck and ear areas to feel normal again. Though not really uncomfortable on a scale of one to 10, it's just continually feeling the tightness in my neck, even with having my mobility back. Kind of like a buzzing fly or a dripping faucet that just won't go away!
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I think I remember my PS telling me that the nerves all had to reconnect and that it would be 3-4 months before I could expect that to happen. I'm very surprised about the numbness, tightness and some "off and on' shooting pains (hate the "needle prick pains!") as my face and neck come back to sensation. I am most fascinated with my ability to almost totally IGNORE this information before I had the proceduce, given the fact that I researched facelift surgery for years before doing this. Further, I have 2 advanced science degrees and I should have been concerned about all this... but, ya know, the desire for the result simply blinded me to the recovery. It's definately "a pain in the neck" but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat! I have a strong feeling that this will be a long recovery till normal; I think all we can do is "go with it' and be glad we achieved the results we wanted!
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Lvb2013__So true!! I too have two advanced science degrees (!) and though I intellectually understood recovery would take time, I never really thought about any discomfort that might be associated with that recovery. I'd read about numbness and was prepared for that. But these needle pricks?! And I still have a stretchy feeling on the side of my neck where the hematoma occurred, which makes it feel weird when I turn my head to the right. I'm just thankful that outwardly none of this shows. But I, too have no regrets. I feel so much younger! At nearly 69 that means a lot. And I do so enjoy it when people who don't know I had a facelift tell me how great I look--and they don't know why. At least some days I can almost forget about the weird feelings in my neck. And it is reassuring to know you've had the needle pricks too. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences. And you really do look amazing!
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I also have a couple of advanced degrees - mine are in education, tho - not science ;) And I also heard before surgery but did not process the information about recovery time. I'm wondering if either of you had witnessed first hand anyone who was going thru the recovery process. I hadn't, so my own recovery is my first experience with it.
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This is very interesting...really. I suppose the decision to have a FL is actually an almost purely emotional decision. Even though I would have said I was one of the most "informed" FL patients that I know, I believe I actually only considered the anesthesia risk, paralysis and OMG, turning out UGLY and weird as my top three recovery issues. I have to laugh now that I didn't even pay attention to recovery issues other than that. On the other hand, for pre-FLifters reading this, everyone's recovery is unique and although there are similarities, many things vary having to do with time, sensation and results. I've been seeing my PS almost every week since post because I have a friend that had a CO2 full face and neck procedure done with him yesterday and I've been going with her for support. He mentioned that my recovery was really excellent but that numbness, hardness, swelling and bruising vary greatly with each patient. He told me today that if I was getting feeling and sensation in my ears and neck at 4 weeks, that was a great indication that I would recover all sensation over time. I think I mentioned that I couldn't even stand to touch my neck the first 3 weeks because of how numb and sore I was (I love that...how can you be NUMB and SORE at the same time?) but I have been! I was terrified of having a hematoma!!! So sorry for you. I honestly believe that all of this will resolve for us with time. And the best thing is that we are really, really happy with our results!
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I actually have two close friends that had FLifts. However, although they were close friends, I did not actually witness the day to day recovery process of either. One friend had a terrible result and I was depositioned in a trial concerning the outcome. I had gone to most of her pre and post appointments with her so I was a first hand source. Her face and eyes were misshapen after the FL. Actually, because I have seen a number of very bad FLifts, I was extremely cautions about my PS choice. I decided to post my recovery and results on RealSelf because I was very grateful to the women brave enough to share their experiences here...both good and bad. My other friend, with good FL results from years ago, went with me and has supported me through this whole process. She has been an excellent source of information whenever I start worrying about how much my ears hurt or lumps or swelling...etc. She had the same experience and it's very reassuring! She just had CO2 laser yesterday with my PS...can't wait to see the results of that!!!
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I only knew of one woman who had a facelift-- about 10 years ago. She's now 65 and looks really good--much younger than her age. She's pretty much forgotten about her recovery time now and couldn't tell me much. (Maybe it's a bit like childbirth, where the pain is forgotten after a time, with the results being paramount?). At any rate she was my inspiration to go ahead and have it done.
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Hi lvb2013-- you described it perfectly when you said you had pain and numbness at the same time. To me it feels like the pain is deeper than the numbness, which makes sense since it's the skin that's separated from the rest--which gets traumatized and bruised by the pulling and tugging of the underlying tissues. I've found my level of discomfort varies a lot with time of day, being worse in the morning and evening, better in mid day. The underside of my jaw is still very tender, as is the area right below my ears. It's reassuring to hear that if we have feeling at four months, we're likely to have full recovery of feeling.
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I had my facelift on May 14. I can tell you that 5 months out I still have issues with my neck, swelling and extreme tightness. I am working out 3 days a week with my trainer, and in ptherapy for my neck as I really do not like the numbness and tightness and swelling at this point. I am 59 very active also work full time and am very fit so I am told that I hold all my tension in my neck which is causing it to still have issues. I am happy I did it, but it takes a long time to resolve. My cheekbones are almost back with feeling but getting a facial recently is a weird feeling. My new issue is upper eyes when open look great but when closed or looking down there is a big line of scar tissue that has built up. It is worse when tired. My ps says he thinks they look fine and that he can't fix them as if he did when I got really old I would not be able to sleep with my eyes fully closed. I am thinking of getting a second opinion as he is somewhat arbitrary about things. He is 71 and while still considered one of the best sometimes I wonder. ( he refuses to do brow lifts for example) . Anyway getting off topic when all I wanted to say is this recovery has taken way longer than I thought.
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Uh hu. I'm now 6 weeks post. I have had the most WICKED week with nerve pain in my neck. Again, it's like a nerve pain, itch, tingle, random tightness, pinpricks...gee, you name it...I've had it this week. Annoying and disconcerting. So, it seems that this recovery doesn't just resolve itself and end like most things. It sort of drags on and makes you jumpy when you least expect it. I thought I was so over this and that it would only get better. Hey, news flash! I think this is a PROCESS that is not well explained or documented...not that it would have really changed my decision but you should go in KNOWING that it might be a long road to recovery. Ya know, I don't really think it's a perfect science...71 years old "best doc"...or my really "on top of it" young PS, you just have your individual experience...and so it goes. My ears and neck are driving me crazy this week...fire ants crawling...swelling on and off...the incisions way back from the neck lift are itching...jeesh. I'm still taking the stance that if I IGNORE this long enough it will resolve itself. Hate to hear 5 month out stories like yours...numbness and tightness still going on. I think it's good to share the experiences because at least we know it's "business as usual" and we can get through it! Nothing I have is really PAINFUL...just annoying. It's the kind of thing you actually CAN ignore for a minute if something WAY more interesting is going on at the moment..lol It's worse at times, better at other times. Sometimes this week it felt like the stitches in my neck were pulling so tight I would snap...for no reason. Just lovely! Thanks Dsail for sharing...I needed it right now!
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Not a problem! I had another facial tonight and my face has developed tiny red broken capillaries which have not gone away and my facialist agreed they were not there prior. I will have to wait until a year for my vein md to try and remove. Ugh but, she commented that the flift looked really good no scarring except still red on my neck . She suggested something for the scar tissue on my eyelids so I will ask my ps. So I felt better that despite all the issues someone thought my ps did a good job. Hang in there and you are right this is a process and overall I look better than before!
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You look fabulous!
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Thank you so much! Feedback and comments on this site gave me the courage to finally do it !
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My incisions were done like yours. I'm now at 8 weeks and you can't see where the cuts were made in my ears unless you look very very closely. I'm really pleased and I'm sure you will be also. The cuts behind my ears and in my hairline are taking a bit longer to heal--still itching sometimes, and a little bit pink, though fading gradually. You looked pretty darned good to start with -- though I can see what what you wanted to "fix". ( I had the same issues, though waited 15+ years, until a couple of years shy of 70, to do anything about them -- while they got a lot worse and started making me look like an old lady!.). You look really good now--and I expect to see still more improvement in the next two or three weeks as swelling subsides. You do seem to be recovering fast!
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What nice comments! I really appreciate the feedback, and yes, I don't think I had fallen completely apart at this point...so it was the best time to fix it in my opinion! Actually, I would have done it sooner but the "time&money" mix never panned out perfectly for me. Every time I had the time in my career, I was afraid to spend the money and every time I had the money from a great paying job, I didn't have the time! I'm so glad you commented on the incisions on the inside of the ear...I saw my PS today and mentioned some of the comments about the ear incisions...he just said there was no reason NOT to hide them inside the ear and I would never even know I had a scar there when the redness fades. Gotta love that! I am so excited about what to expect as the swelling goes down...getting my sutures out today confirmed that Dr. Verret knows exactly what he is doing and had a great plan for my face...I see it coming true every day! Thanks so much for writing and all the best with your recovery!
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I can see a noticeable difference in the amount of swelling lvb!
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