Just Had the Lifestyle Lift - Happy So Far - San Ramon, CA

The basic lift costs $4850 which takes care of the...

The basic lift costs $4850 which takes care of the lower third of the cheeks, the jowls, and the jawline. I also opted for a platysmaplasty which was $1000 extra. I did not need the second $1000 option, liposuction, which is recommended for those with a double chin.

They say no intravenous anesthesia is required, but whatever oral pills they gave me (at least two Valiums) knocked me out to the point where I don't remember a thing of the actual operation. The multiple injections of the local anesthetic are the most painful part of the whole procedure, but no worse that what you'd experience in a dentist office.

They won't let you drive home afterwards, so either bring a driver or take a taxi to a nearby hotel (I did the latter). 24 hours later you report back for the surgeon to examine the incisions. All was well so I was sent home for 10 days until time to get the stitches out. From what little I could see between bandage changes, my jawline is much firmer, the jowls are gone, the cheeks look more even, and even the nasolabial folds are less deep.

I'll report back here after the swelling and bruising go down. I was sore the first 30 hours after surgery, but the vicodin to care of it. By 40 hours I felt well enough to work from home, and even made short trips to the grocery store.

2 Comments

I don't know how to add more text and photos to my existing post, so I'll just continue in this comment. Day 3: Yea! From now on I only need to wear the bandages and ace wrap while sleeping. Day 4: Not enough pain left to justify taking more Vicodin, although the discomfort from the tight sutures is unpleasant. Still lots of bruising evident, the worst of it in my neck, but a scarf (in the middle of summer?) would cover that. One ear lobe looks a bit messy. Also, there is considerable fluid accumulation under my eyes, which is similar to what I had with my upper eyelid blepharoplasty one year ago. One thing that is disconcerting is that you have very little touch sensation around the ears and jawline. I understand that will come back in due time. I get the sutures removed on day 12, so I’ll write more after that happens. Note to 140Sanon: The upper lids by themselves are not a big deal (I had that done one year ago), but added to the rest of the surgery may just make you feel that much worse. After surgery, all I wanted to do was sleep, but even that is not easy because you must keep your head elevated. After the face/neck lift, only the scalp, ears, and neck were bandaged. You can eat, but not anything too chewy because chewing pulls uncomfortably on the sutures by the ears. The stitches are relatively small, but you can see a crusty-looking red line connecting them, and for the first three days the bandages have to stay on 24/7.
  • Reply
I will have surgery with Dr. Gray in the next few weeks. Thank you for writing the post. In addition to what you had done I will also have my upper lids done. How did you feel the day after surgery? Was your head wrapped and were you able to eat? It sounds like you still have stitches. Are they small and even?
  • Reply

Please see updates published as comments.

Please see updates published as comments.

4 Comments

No, my upper lids were done by a different doctor. They look nice enough, but now I have a problem with Dry Eyes, requiring frequent application of lubricant drops. Then again, who knows if the blepharoplasty caused it since it didn't become apparent until four months later. When the nurse changed out my bandages the first time (the day after the face lift), I remarked that I didn't have any on hand, so she gave me a full pack of them. I don't know if that is standard practice. I don't think gauze bandages or elastic wrap are on the list of things we were told to get.
  • Reply
Hi Rich. Did Dr. Gray also do your upper lids? How old are you. You mention bandages at night. The requirement for those were crossed off my list and am now thinking I need to buy some. I decided I only wanted to feel "bad" once and that's why I am doing everything at the same time. I have a fairly high tolerance for pain, although this is my first elective. I am enjoying your progress and it sounds like you are doing well. Thanks for the continued information.
  • Reply
Forgot to mention, I am a 67 year old male. I wouldn't be bothering with the cosmetic surgeries, except that I became widowed a few years ago, and am now actively trying to attract a new lady companion. :-)

Day 12: I just had all the stitches removed. It...

Day 12: I just had all the stitches removed. It was a fairly painless process. I took my last Vicodin this morning, but I didn't really need it. They replaced the stitches with skin-colored band-aid-like strips; not too swift looking. Women with long hair can easily hide these, but us short-haired guys can't. They're designed to come off in the shower in 4-7 days. Meantime I'm to avoid any strenuous activity or jerky head motions. I still have a few discolorations: a red one under one eye and a blue-green one on my neck, but these are getting less noticeable every day, and can be easily covered with makeup.


15 Comments

I'm writing this to give anyone confidence in this procedure. I have worked in marketing for 30+ years and am extremely skeptical about advertising claims so I did my homework and then some. I have seen and read every horror story on the internet. Frankly, this surgery is like any other elective cosmetic surgery, but without the general anesthesia. That being the case, it holds less risk, not more. I had the LSL done 5 days ago in San Ramon. I am 57 years old and before 2 years ago had always been pegged for younger than my years. The jawline and neck started going and before my LSL, I looked sad and/or angry all the time. Like everyone, I was anxious about the surgery. What would my healing process be like? Would I really see a difference? How much pain would I feel after? How long? How long before I would be able to go out in public, etc? The first night my bandages slipped off in my constant efforts to get comfortable against the wall of pillows. I went to the bathroom to redress the bandages, afraid to look. I turned on the light, opened my eyes and was shocked. My jaw line was where it was over 10 years ago and my neck was smooth, with no hint of the two lines that would eventually lead to the turkey neck. I was a bit sore around the neck, and my cheeks in front of my ears were numb. But I couldn't believe that I had my face back! I had minimal swelling and bruising. Some, yes and I'm not sure if it was b/c I was using the Arnica Montana, eating pineapple, staying hydrated and eating uber healthy (I'm always a healthy eater. My biggest challenge was sleeping "sitting up" as if in a recliner. I haven't slept well since the procedure because I am a side/stomach sleeper. My back pain wakes me up every night. Before the surgery I examined every photo, testimonial, and experience I could find. One of my concerns was when you sign the release forms they state that you accept your ears will be longer after the surgery. This being the first mention of it (I'm not crazy about the "Consultant" role or the person who was my consultant, but I'll address this in the next paragraph), I was more than taken aback and asked about it. The Consultant said yes, they repositioned the bottom of the ear when they pulled the tissue back, and most people didn't see a significant change. Well the photos I saw DID reveal a significant change. Hello...Dumbo called and wants his lobes back. I called the doctor with a slew of questions (I kind of froze during the initial consult with him and forgot most of my questions) and he put my fears to rest. He has had a successful private practice for years in the SF Bay Area. I had researched him. He said yes, the lobe was temporarily detached and reattached. Sometimes when they replace them they aren't symmetrical with one another as they once were but he has never "lengthened" them. I can happily say that while my right lobe seems maybe 1/32 to 1/16 lower than the left one, I am still happy that my lobes are in line with the base of my nose - which is the norm (trust me I have taken a lot of anatomy classes for art). People differ in this of course, and ears do grow as we age. You just have to know what you will accept and have a very honest talk (ask LOTS of questions) with your SURGEON not your CONSULTANT. Now, about my Consultant. They are the CLOSERS, if you will. They are not medical professionals. Approach them as if you are buying a car and they are the closer the salesperson has brought in, and save the real questions for the doctor. After you sign for the procedure, you will likely never hear or see your Consultant again. They have moved on to the next sale and crossed you off their "to do" list. This is the only part of the LSL I don't like. But having worked in marketing I "got it" early on, and didn't form any unrealistic ideas about her role. The first time I met my doctor, she sat in and I asked the doctor about subsequent weight loss (I have lost 25 lbs and will be losing 30 more as my goal). He answered my questions to my satisfaction and left, then she jumped in and gave me some flier and card with her ALTERNATE business selling some kind of weight loss formula/consultation. It was inappropriate and unprofessional on her part. I'm sure LSL doesn't care because it's not a conflict of interest, but I found her tactics repugnant. She was never reachable after I signed up for the procedure, but expected me to call her for weight loss consultation? Huh? Thankfully my doctor was the saving grace in all of this and he is the reason I would recommend this procedure to anyone. Any of the postings that you read saying procedures aren't done by Board Certified Plastic Surgeons are bull. He is even removing my sutures. Techs may assist but they don't perform ANY of the procedure. He called me the afternoon of the procedure and I saw him the day after. He makes himself available to his patients, LSL or private practice. The only difference is that with LSL you are initially supposed to call LSL first so they can page him. This isn't a "new" procedure. It's something he's been doing for years but with the patient under general anesthesia, not local and oral. That's the only difference. As a patient you have to have your expectations in line before you decide to do this. You will still look like yourself. Just refreshed with some years shaved off. It will not stop the aging process, it just "resets the clock". You will not look like anyone else. If you want radical plastic surgery this is not the procedure for you.
  • Reply
Twoguyzanon, your LSL experience in San Ramon was essentially identical to mine. For me also the most difficult part was getting sleep in the recommended position. After three weeks I gave up and slept on my sides, as I was accustomed to. Today marks two months since I had the procedure, and I'm still well satisfied.
John, thank you for your reply. Good to know you are still satisfied. My chin still feels "hard" to the touch, but I know this will dissipate in time, so I'm not worried. I get stitches out today and was so hoping I could go back to sleeping normally but I guess not, according to your experience. For me, it has been hands down the most difficult thing about this process, the irony being one needs to be rested when recovering from any surgery. I simply can't get to sleep and stay asleep in that position. I'm going to ask the doc today if he has any recommendations, as I'm sure it's a common complaint.

I'm currently 7 months post-op. The facelift...

I'm currently 7 months post-op. The facelift continues to look very good. Some small areas of reduced touch sensitivity remain just in front of the ears, but it gets gradually better month after month. All in all a worthwhile experience.

1 Comments

i was going to get this but i have a question.how long before they put your eyeballs back in?
  • Reply
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon

The only negative comment I have is that the young woman who removed my stitches was not very thorough, as she missed about 6 pieces.

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
4 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
3 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
3 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
3 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
3 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
4 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
Was this review helpful?