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About a year or so ago I noticed that people...

About a year or so ago I noticed that people started asking me what was wrong. I looked disgruntled and tired when actually I felt fine and happy. If I'm not smiling I look so crabby. Last August I had a ruptured implant so I had my 30 year old boobs lifted and replaced my 36G to a 36D. I chose Dr Prada after a couple of consultations I knew he was the Dr for me. I believe my breasts look as good as they can considering my age. When I went back for my follow up I asked Dr Prada what he thought about my face. I've never had more then a facial and my skin care has been hit and miss. I asked about a next day lift and wanted to know if it's like a lifestyle lift. Not exactly... It is a less invasive lift to the neck and lower face. He suggested fat transfer as well and he only does fat transfer to the lips if women request it. (More swelling etc) I looked through the before and afters and there were not that many. At least not compared to breast work but as I was flipping through I saw an out of town friends picture. I knew she had her lift a few years ago but didn't realize we had the same Dr. She is very pleased and this kind of sealed the deal for me. I'm a little nervous that I did not consult other Drs to see what their plan would be but I do feel confidant in Dr Prada's hands. So I'm scheduled for May 28. I will be awake and this really freaks me out but it's less expensive and safer from what I understand. The surgery will take 3- 3 1/2 hrs. I worry about the top half of my face looking old although Dr thinks I don't need my eyes done. I realize this type of facelift realistically will last 5-7 years if that but I figure I will see how I feel about doing anything more later. I've read that fat cells can die (why the hell do they stay alive on your butt) and your lips may not last more then a few months for the trouble. It's hard to find reviews on that subject.
Well I'm on vacation all next week (yes in the sun) and then when I get back I hope I have found some advice on RealSelf to get prepared. I'm having a microdermabrasion two week prior. I have had good luck with arnica and bromalian so will start that a week before surgery. Any advice from you wonderful ladies would be greatly appreciated.

First of before pics

Here is a recent photo. I think maybe I should have my eyes done too. Opinions welcomed.

Getting nervous that a mini lift will not be enough

My emotions are all over the place. One minute I'm excited and can't wait and the next minute I'm concerned that a mini facelift will not be enough. My preop is tues. I have asked the office several times if Dr P tightens the underlying muscle and was assured yes he does but as I'm reading reviews I see that are different degrees of tightening depending on the doctor and procedure. As I don't see myself wanting or able to afford doing this again in five years I'm wondering if I should reconsider a full lift. I realize I need to discuss again with my ps but I'm so close to surgery date to be having these second thoughts.

Another recent photo

Makeup does wonders

The bare truth without makeup and good lighting. Ugh!!!

So it's really hard to post these before pictures.

Can I lose 10 pounds in a week?

My vacation weight needs to go. I'm not one for fade diets but I need to be my ideal weight before surgery next week. My pre op appointment is tomorrow and I would like some advice on final questions to ask if anyone has ideas. I'm very nervous at this point and ready to postpone. I'm also feeling really guilty about spending the $$ on myself.

PreOp today

A couple of pics I took this morning without makeup.

Pre op completed

Well ladies I'm in! No more second guessing. Dr P spent a lot of time with me to today listening to my concerns and answering questions. The bottom line is that I don't need a full facelift (in his opinion) and I trust him and his expertise. He does do muscle tightening and showed me the portion of the face he goes out to compared to a full lift. He is an expert in his field at fat grafting and I'm feeling very confidant. I have my RX filled. The surgery will last about 3 1/2 hours. I will leave with a bandaged head and should expect a lot of swelling. The next day I will go back to have two small pin drains removed from behind my ears. Back for stitches out a couple of days later. I understand I will have a head band (apron) after bandages come off and will wear that 24/7 for a week and then at night for the second week. Next day lift... NOT!! My PS doesn't really like that term as each patients surgery is customized. I will update my experience each day but I imagine it will be hard without being able to put my glasses on. Does anyone have advice on wearing glasses? I can't see without them and doubt I will be able to put contacts in. I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for this roller coaster ride. I have the support of my husband and daughters but the rest of my family and oddly my friends will really give me grief. My daughter-in-law is due mid June and I'm praying she does not have her baby early. I can't imagine going to the hospital with a big pumpkin head and Donald Duck lips! Oh yea... The mother-in-law is here!
Last thing. I wish they would have shared my before pictures with me but they could not? I wonder why? They just said something about privacy and that they can't share via email. Hmmm....

More close ups before

More close ups of problem areas. Having breakouts before surgery! Nerves?

Making a list

And checking it twice. Today I will start taking arnica. I have been eating clean all week and drinking lots of coconut water with pineapple juice. I have my tote bag ready with all my meds, kindle, sanitary cleaner, wipes, water, mints etc...
I need to buy a neck pillow and bags of frozen peas. I know I will be sent home with an ice pack but I'd like to be prepared with different options. I don't have a recliner so I will set up camp in the extra bedroom with lots of pillows. Is a recliner pillow really helpful? I will check them out.
I have to say I am more nervous with this surgery then any other. You can't hide your face and there is always a risk of something going wrong. I'm also terrified of the dentist and they often have a hard time numbing me. What in the world was I thinking to agree to a local with oral sedation. Twilight I might be able to handle but awake for three to three and a half hours! I must be insane! Oh and did I mention my fear of needles?

Big girl pants are on

You will be happy to know I'm no longer whining and in a state of panic. I have the best husband in the world! He is so supportive. I'm as ready as I can be so hopefully will sleep tonight and dream of the smooth side. I will post tomorrow evening and let you know how it went.

I'm home!

I'm groggy but I want to update before I forget the details.
I took a Percocet and Valium at 9:45 and arrived at the office at 10:00. I was supposed to get Botox on forehead but they decided to wait until after surgery at one of my follow up appointments.
I was taken back to the treatment room and given another Valium. At 10:30 I was prepped and marked and then told to lay tummy down. After receiving the local injections the fat was harvested from my hips. Around three tablespoons. Then I was the numbed on the right side. The injections were not as painful as I had anticipated. The surgery lasted about an hour and a half on each side of my face. When I felt pain I was given more local and my PS agreed my body absorbs it quickly. I was fully awake but relaxed and could hear the cutting and feel the pressure and pulling. It did not bother me as much as I thought it would but not so sure I would ever do it again. I have a lot of pain in my ears and the swelling in my lips and cheeks is horrible as you can see by the picture. I was offered water after the surgery and the nurse would not let me have a pain pill until I ate something. She offered me a granola bar. Holy crap I have trouble sipping water through a straw so I could not get any of the granola bar down. I'm now home icing and trying to get a pineapple protein shake down. My ears are on fire and I just want to sleep. That's about it. Tomorrow I go back to get the small tubes behind my ears removed if everything looks okay. It feels very squishy around my ears. Well ladies... That's it for now. I can't wait to hear how it went for KAD.

Follow up visit

I went to the doctor this morning to have the bandages removed. Everything is healing fine so far. My neck looks great. It's hard to tell with my swollen egg shaped head but as the swelling goes down I anticipate I nice but subtle change.
The bandages were put back on but my hair is still a tangled mess with dried blood in it. I will not be able to shower and shampoo my hair until Sunday. At that time I will use polysporin and put bandages back on. I realized why I got so sick yesterday. In my drug induced haze( that's what I'm using as an excuse) I took all six pills of my first day of steroid pack???? along with another antibiotic and a pain pill! I'm still not able to eat yet so I'm doing protein shakes, ice cream, applesauce and yogurt. Eating is a struggle but I force it because of all the pills I'm taking. I'm still in a lot of pain. My ears feel like someone took a hatchet to them and my jaw really hurts. Brushing my teeth this morning was difficult. I'm trying not to talk too much or move my neck and face so everything sticks! Im icing 20 minutes every hour that I'm awake. I'm amazed at women that have no pain. I had five babies naturally but maybe my threshold for pain has changed. So far I'm staying on the pain meds and it dulls the pain somewhat but geezz this hurts!! Also, wearing eyeglasses is a real pain for me. I stretched them out over my bandage but they are making indentions on my face so I try not to wear them too long at once. I love to read so this is a big issue for me. I hope you all are healing well and for those of you going to surgery soon I wish you well. Tune in tomorrow...

1 day post

Swelling is down a bit. My iPad takes a grainy picture.

Day of recovery

Good morning friends. I slept pretty well last night. My doctor is stingy with Valium so I had to resort to alprazolam which leaves me feeling more groggy. Valium is so much better. I slept sitting up but found myself slumped forward so I need to figure out how to keep my head leaning back. I'm trying to sleep at 45 degree angle but it's hard not to be too low or too high. Silly huh?
I can't wait to shampoo the crusty blood out of my hair. It itches and Sunday seems so far away. This morning I had coffee with a straw and yogurt with a baby spoon. I'm more uncomfortable today rather then in pain. My lips look so ridiculous. The top one is bigger and the nurse said the doctor does it that way so it will right later. Okie dokie then... Not sure why that would be? Fingers crossed for a more comfortable day. I can't tell you all how much it means to the support here on RS. Poor husbands back is still out. He slept on the floor last night and I move around from bed to bed to chair like Goldie Locks! Lol our dog Murphy is so confused.

3 Day Post

Not much to report. I have too much time on my hands obsessing over results that's for sure. I've also developed an overnight addiction to gelato. My husband bought a freezer full instead of the sugar free Popsicles I requested. Oh well.. Worse things right? I seem to have still lost five pounds. I slept well but must be moving around as my head gear is a wreck! I can feel the bandage is really stuck on the left ear and I'm worried about removing it tomorrow. Hopefully, all will be well. My duck lip is better today as a marble will now roll off instead sitting there looking pretty. The lips don't bother me as much as the ski slope between my top lip and nose. So what I didn't know about a facelift is that you tend to really scrutinize your face afterwards. Well at least I seem to be doing that. I even posted a question to Dr about a nose job! Haha... I suppose I did not get a neck lift since there is no cut under my chin. I just hope my fear of the surgery not being aggressive enough does not hold true. I would hate to come out of this with an $8000 inflated head. Ok ... So apparently I'm having a "what have I done" moment. This too shall pass.

4 Day Post

Mug shot of the day. I shampooed my hair first thing this morning and I have to say it worried me a bit. I was hard to get the crusted blood out of my hair without hurting my stitches. I'm letting my hair air dry before I bandage back up. This is my first look at the stitches and I can see they will not show at all so I'm pleased about that. I applied polysporin. My ps said no peroxide. I felt very dizzy, stitches are stinging after shower, mild headache and nauseas. I'm so tired of yogurt and protein shakes. I feel so hungry but nothing sounds good. I have to say it feels great to get the bandages and ace wrap off for a bit. I'm realizing today if I would not have had my lips done I would feel a lot better about going in public sooner. Right now I look like a housewife of Hollywood gone bad!! Haha
I will keep sharing pictures but please be kind. Sending healing thoughts to all my face lift sisters in recovery and getting ready next week. It really helps to hear from you all and know you are there.

Mug shots

A few pics ...please run away

Day 5 post

Trying to stay positive but post surgery blues have kicked in. If you have read "this too shall pass" review I'm very much in the same place mentally. It's unsettling to look freakish, asymmetrical, bumpy, lumpy and the trout lips are the worse thing ever. Yes, I expected this all and tried to prepare myself but it's hard and I'm grumpy. I'm wearing the ace bandage 24/7 as required so no way can I venture outside my yard. I'm sharing these feelings to give an honest review of my experience and the ups and downs that you may or may not experience. To be cont....

Day 6 Post

Feeling much better today thanks to all the good vibes you all sent my way. Lips will probably disappear before I know it. Lol I hope the before lines around my mouth stay gone after swelling subsides. I don't feel any stiffness or tightness in my neck at all. Is that a good thing? Hmmm

Too much time on my hands

So looking at pics and hoping to look 50 again... I can dream right?

Day 7 Post

I just got back from my dr appointment. My front stitches were taken out and steri tape added. The back ones in the hairline will come out next week. I'm healing very well and just need to be patient with the swelling. Thank goodness I only have to wear my head harness at night now!!! I didn't have a pretty hat and scarf like some you ladies so I disguised myself the best I could. See my pic.
Have a great day ladies and gents! One week down feels great!!

Day 10 post

Swelling down some... Put a little makeup on today.

Day 12 Post

I thought I would let you know how my first day back to work went! This morning I when I woke up I had strange rings around my neck. I took a picture. They started to fade later in the day so I think my ace bandage bunched up last night. I do have a soft diaper in between and it really helps for comfort but I must have been sleeping with my chin on my chest last night. I'm going to try just two pillows tonight instead of 45 degree angle. It freaked me out to see rings on my neck! I shopped and cooked today for a client but over did it. I was there four hours as sometimes the kitchen is a mess and I have to clean up before I start cooking. I over did it today and could feel my face, neck , ears and stitches start burning and swelling. Bruises are popping up different places and turning lovely faded colors of green and blue. I'm not good with makeup. I don't even own a concealer. When I have a special occasion my daughter does my makeup. Guess I need to watch a few videos. Anyway, I came home, took the last of three pain pills and have been resting. I get the rest of my stitches out tomorrow and will see my ps for the first time since surgery. My observations at 12 day post.
Still very swollen
Face feels tight and sunburned.
Swelling comes and goes much like it does with a TT.
Intellectually I know final results are weeks/ months away but emotions are high.
I'm keeping the steri tape on the front part of my ears for as long as possible.
If my ps removes the tape tomorrow I will post a picture of my scars. I'm healing well.
I'm realizing the swelling has caused my nose to look weird. I even posted a question to the dr page about needing a nose job ( drug induced state)
FYI... There is no option to remove your picture once posted there :-( ugh
I have gained back the 7 lbs I lost right after surgery.
I'm still struggling to sleep on my back and wake up often with nightmares about pumpkin patches, ducks and trout fishing! Hmmm
I don't know what I would do without you all. Thanks for the loving support. It helps the healing process so much. Hugs to you all!

Chuckle for the day!

I may have a Mona Lisa smile for the rest of my life!

Day 13 Post

All the rest of my stitches were removed today. I'm healing well. Fears about the swelling have been calmed and I feel great! Thought I would share pics of scars. I hope you all did not mind my silliness yesterday!

61 years Old Today

Made my first appearance in public today. My son was born on my birthday so there was no getting around it. My daughter in law said nothing but my son (42) said oh my God what happened to you!! Unfortunately by lunch I was more swollen then this picture shows:-( I said I had filler put in my wrinkles and I'm still swollen. No one said a word and we went on to enjoy out birthday lunch.
I thought I was starting to look like myself again but I guess I still look like a chipmunk:-(oh well

Lip talk

I will post a full 3 week update tomorrow and a picture with make-up. Yes, ladies NewMe is going to try and apply make-up! Haha I feel so much better about my lips that I want to share a before and after. Things are coming along...

3 Weeks Post

Well I promised a face with makeup today but it just never happened. So here I am fresh out of the shower.
So here is how I'm feeling at 3 weeks.
My ears are still very tender and more so with activity.
I'm not working out yet because of the swelling.
I have numbness around my ears and temples but my face is feeling softer and not like a mask. My face was asymmetric before and looks like it still is:-(
Happy with the neck but worry about a little pooch under the chin.
Oh the lips!!! One minute they are great and the next minute I look like a blow fish. Lol
I really need to cut back on salt.
I'm not sleeping well with out a sleep aid. (using just two pillows) now but my ears cannot tolerate sleeping on my side yet.
Energy level is still low.
Starting scar gel yet tomorrow.
Sorry for the short sentences. I have 4 dozen lingerie cookies to make before sleep tonight!!
Take care all my lovely friends. To those of you post happy healing and to those of you preparing know that we are here to support while you wait.
Makeup? Yea well maybe tomorrow! Hehe

Me at age 51

I don't know how well this picture will upload but I was surprised at how much difference 10 years makes and my face kind of looks like me now in the picture. (Minus the lips) haha

New picture

New picture with makeup ( how did I do?) and happy news! New granddaughter was born this morning! Sister to five brothers! Boy is she going to be spoiled!!

4 Weeks post

Tomorrow I will be 4 weeks post and I'm finally starting to feel less swollen. My lips are so much better now. I'm feeling good with the exception of itching, burning and tingling especially behind my right ear. It is so much more swollen and the scar is really puffy behind my ear and into the hairline. My energy is still low and have not gone back to the gym yet :-(
I so appreciate all my real self sisters and your support! Xoxo

5 week post

I'm a day early but had my follow up appointment todayl. I was more worried about my breast then my face but all okay there too. (See my breast review) There really is not much change from last week. My ears feel better every day and the scars in front of my ears are fading nicely. The scars are thicker in the back on my right ear so I'm massaging . So I'm cleared for everything including hair color! Hallelujah !! I go back in three months and at that time we will discuss resurfacing options. I hope you are all feel better with each day and to those of you getting ready you are in my thoughts for wonderful results. ((Hugs))

6 weeks post

Hello Real Self sisters!
It's actually six and half weeks post and here's I'm feeling and looking.
My cheeks hopefully are still swollen causing heavy marionette lines. I'm starting to see my wrinkles back around the corners of my mouth. It's sad that after paying so much I will need fillers. Underneath my chin is not as tight as I had hoped so my fears about not getting a full and more aggressive face lift are becoming a reality. Ok, I'm don't mean to be a downer. I'm just being honest.
Now for the good news. I'm feeling great and can sleep on my side again although I do worry that it's not great for your face. When I sleep on my back I think it's better for the face but worse for my boobs as they are drifting to the sides. :-( I'm trying to wear a supportive bra at night but think its a little late to help. Oops forgot this is my facelift review. Anyway, scars are healing nicely and numbness is getting better around my ears... Not gone but better. I'm feeling good and have my energy back. Now if I can just get back to the gym and lose the seven pounds I packed on in the last six weeks. I'm such a yo yo.
I hope you are all doing well. Hinting to husband that arm lift is going to happen but have not set a date. I just could not stand the slightest bit of disappointment with that surgery and I'm not batting a thousand right now.
Take care all. ((Hugs))

Still struggling with swelling? I'm just not sure...

7 weeks post and struggling with results. I'm I swollen or is this the way I will look after fat transfer? I really just can't get used to this new look. My face looks fat.

8 week post pics

Hi everyone. I thought I'd post some pics of progress. I will need fillers and I'm not sure if I can wait until my official after photo in Oct. The area around my mouth is really bugging me. Other then that things are going really well. I still have numbness around my ears and scars still burn, itch at times and there is some thickness of scars behind my ear. I hope you are all doing well.
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon

I have faith in Dr Prada and his staff. My experience with my breast replacement was amazing and my scars are minimal. I'm hoping to be just as pleased with my mini lift. More on this review later.

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Comments (814)

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Your lips are beautiful and at least you won't have to pay for filler every 6-mos! Will the bumpiness go away? I do not see where you have lines that need filler. I think you look great. But we all are our own worst critics.
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Thanks for updated pics,you look good and are still healing. Hang in there ;)
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Thank you Bella! Feeling so much happier about the results!
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I have a question? Did the doctor say after the mini face lift with neck and fat transfer that you would still need filler for nasolabial folds? I am curious as i am 43 ;( May need lift real soon.
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Bella, of course he doesn't think I even need it! Lol He said that I can have the fat transfer tweaked but not until I'm fully healed. His opinion is that I look great as is but if I want fillers or more fat it's an option. I want to try a filler first. I don't think I need much and don't want to look overdone so before I do anything more permanent I want to try a filler.
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Thanks so much for info.
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You look great, and I think a LITTLE bit of restylane around your mouth will go a long way. Don't over-do it! I was surprised how much a difference mine made and was worried I'd gone duck-face! Yay for great results! :)
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Cemlaw, Thank you! I planned on getting juvederm for around my mouth. Really only a couple of small areas bother me. I'm starting to look like my old self again minus a loose neck. Do you like restylane better and if so why? So many choices... I will be getting Botox for the first time too!
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Ooooo I've been getting Botox for 5 years! I do a very low dose and only get it 3x a year instead of 4x (every 4 months instead of every 3 months). It keeps you from getting that startled look, or "Botox Brow." Make sure whoever injects you does so at the hairline and not mid forehead or your brow will droop. I went cheap ONCE and was NOT happy! My Dr did Juvederm in my nasal-labial folds and then Restylane around my mouth. He said the Restylane breaks down slower and since we use and move our mouths so much naturally, it lasts longer there. It could last as long as a year. I smoke, so mine will break down quicker. I was a little "ducky" for about a week, but then it looked totally natural. Some days I think it's already all gone, but then I look at old pics and realize I've just gotten that used to it. I had such thin lips before... now my upper lip is just more uplifted, not "fat", if that makes sense? I'll go back in Feb for round #2.
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Isn't Botox done in between the eyebrows? I will ask about restylane too. Thanks
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One "round" of Botox is between the eyes, along the hair line, and in the crow's feet next to my eyes.
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Oh! And I misspoke- I had Perlane and Restylane, NOT Juvederm!
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I think you look amazing. Per my doc, some small wrinkles actually look normal and he thinks it helps to make a face have character, softness and reality. I'm with you though... Always looking for perfect!!! Your neck and jawline are beautiful, what a difference.
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Anon, thanks! Feeling like my old self again. I think the lips added softness to my face. The balls on my cheeks are going down. Honestly my cheeks bones were so prominent I'm surprised the doc put fat there but it's looking more improved every week.
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Newme, you look great! Thanks for the update and pictures. Lilygirl
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Liliygirl14, thank you! Better everyday! Trying to get the nerve to do my arms but it's so scary.
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I don't see much anymore either. I kind of actually miss some of that swelling, made my skin look wrinkle free. Still have lines on side of mouth, but I don't think a facelift can affect that--must need fillers for that.
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i think your face has some fullness to it more volume,which is good ;) you look great. rejoice and celebrate. again,it's only 2 months so,i guess you can decide in 4 more months if it was worth it.
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Check in with your doc, but I think the fat transfers do "reabsorb" somewhat over time so they probably plump you up a little more than the final result they are looking for. You are looking great though -- I wish I had your jawline! ;)
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It's the cheek lift, I have the same look, You look gorgeous!!! MY Md says 6months before , the actual results..... Patience, LOL Right!!!!
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Oh beautiful lady - think you just have to give it more time huni like Reno says. I don't know much about fat transfer except that a certain amount dissipates with time. Have you mentioned your concerns to your Dr? I think both your photo's are lovely & hope that when the swelling settles down which is probably causing the fatness you mention that you will be happy :-) I am just hanging out for the 3 month mark :-) big hugs x
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Hi newme - I'm sorry you're having doubts, but you really look very nice in your photos for this early on. I know that photos don't always convey subtleties in contour that you may be seeing, and I do understand concerns with not feeling like you look like yourself. For me, that feeling resolved around the 3 to 3 1/2month mark, when everything seemed to settle in and soften a bit. I can't remember (and don't have time right now to go back and re-read everything) where you had the fat transfer, other than your lips - did they add fat to your cheeks? I'm asking because you did already have lovely high, full cheeks before. I would assume that the combination of residual stubborn swelling and fat that will continue to gradually reabsorb to some degree will resolve most of your doubts. What do friends and family say at this point? I was still uneasy at 7 weeks, so I'll bet it's just still too early to judge your result. Hang in there and be patient awhile longer - this can be an emotional roller coaster for some time. And, know that you look beautiful and youthful in the photos we can see!
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Reno... I had fat injections in the lips ( pretty much gone) around my mouth and in my cheeks. I'm just not sold on the whole transfer idea even though a lot of PS think it's the bomb! I get the idea of looking better not pulled so tight but creating volume and getting it right seems like quite a challenge.
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I guess I was scared of fat transfer at the same time as my lift for that very reason - there just seem to be a lot of uncertainties involved - how much stays, where best placed, etc. I think of it as sculpting, and I think the desired contour and amount depends so much on the aesthetic judgment of the surgeon. I thought that your cheeks were full before - but I also think you look great now and that most, hopefully all, of your concerns will resolve over the next couple of months. I do agree that as with most things, the pendulum always swings too far one way, then the other - before finally settling in the middle. Right now, it's volume, volume, volume. Volume replacement is an important component to rejuvenation, but certainly needs to be customized to individual anatomy and aging issues. Take heart in the fact that you were beautiful before, are beautiful now, and you definitely shaved off years. Keep the faith, you are still healing. Sending a hug your way.
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You're swollen and everything hasn't "settled" yet. My face looked oddly rounded after I had my fillers and it shows in my passport photo. I'll post a pic of how similar I looked once I get a chance to dig it up! I think you look fab though. When you fill the face back in, be it with fillers or fat transfer, your impression might be it looks "fat" because we've become used to how our faces look once we start losing the natural volume we had when we were younger. Our faces hollow out, which is also why we wanted the lift to start with! Things will keep changing :)
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