Some Tips for Those Considering It - Birmingham, AL

*** Want to clarify point Number 3. I say do it...

*** Want to clarify point Number 3. I say do it the winter because the air conditioners in the house and car circulating cool air around your head during the summer months will cause you head to feel like it's tightening up. This tightening feeling is VERY uncomfortable. The weather outside won't effect you much because, let's face it you won't be going outside the first few weeks anyway due to bruising and swelling, but you will be making trips to the Doctor for follow ups in the car.

Wanted to add this...it's a reply to a...

Wanted to add this...it's a reply to a question about the pain.

The pain had nothing to do with how he performed the surgery. He is a very gentle Doctor. The pain is different for each individual..if I had only had the face lift done, I don't believe it would have been as painful. The most pain was only during the first two weeks. The endoscopic forehead lift is what cause the most pain and the fact I had a full face lift done. I had incisions from the back of my hair line to my sideburns on up to the top of my head. When the skin is lifted off and stretched back into a different place the nerve endings are effected...this is what causes the long healing period. It takes time for the nerve ending to reattach, so in the mean time there is a very uncomfortable tightening feeling over the top of the head and a feeling as if you have a brick for a forehead...any movement of the forehead causes the nerve ending to cause pain, which happens when you aren't expecting it. Like if a fly or water hit you in the face. You automatically make a flinching expression and that causes your forehead to move, causing pain. But as time goes on the pain lessens greatly. Now at 2 months the only problems I have is the numbness from my eyebrows to the top of my head, which is getting feeling back a little daily. Now if the scars would stop itching, though they are healing nicely. For those that highlight your hair at home with a cap...word of warning. I thought I wasn't getting through the plastic of the cap, when in reality it was my scalp and I couldn't feel it...scratched up my scalp before I realize it. Ouch! LOL!

Today makes 4 months for me and thought I'd...

Today makes 4 months for me and thought I'd update on how it has been going. Scars are healing nicely and each week there seems to be some improvement facial wise. You don't realize that you are actually still swollen in places until you notice there are changes still taking effect even after 4 months.

As for the discomfort, my head still feels numb from the middle of my forehead back..but I can now feel my eyebrows. I still have those hot needle sensations over my scalp and a feeling of something crawling across my forehead at times. No amount of rubbing will make it go away...and I'm guessing it's the nerve endings trying to reattach.

On the down side from that,  it looks like there is nerve damage on my right side behind my ear to my jaw line...Dr. says it may be an infection of the underlying suture's, so he put me on antibiotics (as of right now it hasn't helped) ...but if it turns out to be nerve damage there is nothing he can do and says aspire might relive some of the pain and swelling..."but hey you look good" was his response. I'm just hoping it gets better over time, because this constant pain is causing me to be depressed and I haven't been a fun person to be around.

For those that are thinking of having these procedures done, (Full Facelift, Endoscopic Forehead and Lower Eyelids just to name the ones I had done) they are not a walk in the park for most of us. Really do your research. You can have the best Doctor out there and still have complications. Learn what these complications can be and take them into consideration before having them done. Wish I had looked into it further myself. I am still happy with results, but not sure it will be worth it if I have to live with this nagging pain for the rest of my life...so I'm lower my overall satisfaction from excellent to very good.

I thought I’d write some helpful tips....

I thought I’d write some helpful tips. I’ll soon be on week 4 after surgery so it’s still early for me, but I do think I have some helpful insight that might help someone thinking of going through this.

I had a Full Facelift with Endoscopic Forehead and Lower Eyelids done. I’m 43. This last year I had just lost 50lbs which left a lot of unwanted loose skin under my chin and neck area and growls along my gall line. My skin had lost a lot of elasticity and made me look tired and worn out all the time. (Look at before Pics)

First off when they say it’s not painful just a tightening feeling, I think that depends on what you consider pain. I think giving birth was less painful. For the first week up til the 3rd it was very painful at times. Many times I wonder why I put myself through this! Sudden movement or turning of the head can cause severe pain. If I had known what if was going to feel like I might not of gone through with it. My head for the first week felt like it was so swollen that the only thing holding it together where these sharp tight metal spikes that they call staples. Once they were removed, my head did feel somewhat better.

Second week it til now (26 days) the pain and tightening has gradually improved. It hurt the first week just to chew my food and swallow. My adam’s apple swelled up to 3 times it size and hurt the most and is still a little swollen. My head now feels like a hard lumpy cantaloupe that is numb from the middle of the top of my head to my eyebrows. This is from having the Endoscopic Forehead done, I imagine that having just a facelift wouldn’t feel as bad.

I just wanted to give some tips for those that are thinking of having it done.

1) Get your hair cut and colored a few days before you have the procedure done. It will be 6 weeks before you will be able to have either done again. Plus you will lose some hair from them cutting on you. My hair style afterwards looked like it had a few chucks cut out of it.

2) Don’t try going through this alone. Have a close friend or nurse stay with you the first week at least. My husband took off two days...that was not enough! You will need their help, if only to help take care of the incision areas. You won’t want to and shouldn’t do much the first week...let someone pamper you.

3) Cold air blowing around your head will cause your head to feel like it’s tightening up. So it might be a good idea to have the procedure done during the winter. Added bonus you can wear turtleneck or high collars shirts to hide some of the bruising and no one will think anything of it.

4) Sleep in a recliner for the first 2 weeks. Trying to lie still on prompted up pillows in a bed does not work out very well. If you do sleep in a bed, have your spouse sleep somewhere else, especially if they toss and turn a lot.

5) Use the sleeping & pain pills…that is why they gave them to you!!!

6) Keep cold compresses on the swollen areas for the first two weeks instead of just the first few days. I did this and most of my swelling was gone after the first week and my bruising was almost gone after the 2nd week…Dr. was very surprised.
(See pictures) Still have a few areas that are a light yellow at 26 days but not noticeable.

7) Take at least two warm showers a day…it keeps the incisions from crusting and feels wonderful!!!

8) Keep the chinstrap on as much as possible, if you are given one. It isn’t comfortable but it does help keep the swelling down. I used one across my forehead too, like a head band to help with swelling there also.

9) Things to buy before hand that will help out a lot.

a) Make sure you have a couple of button up PJ’s for the first two weeks.

b) Have a hand held mirror to hold up behind your head and look into your bathroom mirror, so can see where to apply the ointments and peroxide to the areas behind your ears and neck. Especial if you don’t have anyone helping you.

c) At least 4 Clamp Hairpins, to hold your hair out of the way so you can see to apply ointments and peroxide. They also come in handy for styling your hair, especially if you have a short hairstyle that requires blow-drying…because you wont’ be allow to blow-dry your hair for at least 3 weeks.

d) Buy the Large size Peroxide and Q-tips & Baby Shampoo. You won’t believe how fast you’ll go through them.

e) Buy a Hot Water Bag to put Ice in. You can use wash clothes soaked in ice water, but you will have to change it out every 20 minutes. A ice bag will last most of the night. Again, keeping a ice pack on the swollen areas the first two weeks really helps to bring swelling down.

f) Buy some Dove Soap for washing your face after the first week. Skin will become dry at first and this will help, since you can’t use harsh soaps or lotions.

I hope this helps someone out.

Now I have a question for those that have gone through this already. How long before I get feeling back in my forehead and under my chin??? It’s really annoying!

Now after 5 months, it turns out not to be nerve...

Now after 5 months, it turns out not to be nerve damage. Thank God! So I'm raising my overall back up to Excellant. Still have numbing and tightening above forehead, but that's almost gone.

Been one year and still have numbness on top of...

Been one year and still have numbness on top of forehead and around right ear.

Now at 16 months, the numbness over the top of my...

Now at 16 months, the numbness over the top of my forehead is still there. Sometimes it hurts just to brush my hair...feels like needles points. Wondering if this ever go way???


List Pros & Cons, Advice you can offer others

List Pros & Cons, Advice you can offer others

Update: Okay, it's been 22 months, will be 2 years...

Update: Okay, it's been 22 months, will be 2 years come April. Forehead is still numb along with scalp on right side and wrinkles are starting to show again around eyes. Everything else is still looking pretty good, especially the neck and jowls. I'm now 45 and was told I still look in my 30's so I'm happy. Now if I could lose 20lbs from what I put on over the Holidays. :)

I'm now at 2yr. 3 months and the healing process...

I'm now at 2yr. 3 months and the healing process is still continuing. Still feel a tightening from ear to ear over the top of my scalp at times and the right side of my head is still somewhat numb. This is not a permanent fix either..after the first year the aging process starts again. As you can see from my recent photo, there are lines around my eyes again.

This is for those thinking a face lift is a cure...

This is for those thinking a face lift is a cure all. Your Doctors should have warned you that a face left is not going last for years and is not a cure for wrinkles. It's more of a starting over process...If you have a face lift done say at around 50 and it make you look 10 years younger, it's like being 40 again and the age process starts all over from that point on, but those are only the very lucky ones...most people only look about 5-7 years younger after surgery. After the first 9-12 months the aging process starts again, no matter how tight the face lift was. That's the reason a lot of women go back in for tucks after 5 - 10 years. My doctor told me to look at it this way..."No matter what, you will look better than you would have if you hadn't had the surgery done." Maybe not those exact words, but close.

Now been 3 years and 3 months. Still no feeling in...

Now been 3 years and 3 months. Still no feeling in the top of my head, so I guess I'll never get that feeling back. Have a spot were hair has not grown back in. Aging process has began.... but hey I still look better than I did before I had the surgery. Ha! New Picture has been added. Discovered an old trick for those laugh lines that I though was a family joke...it's called "Preparation H Cooling Gel" ! LOL!! It's not permit fix but it works great when you want those laugh lines around your eyes and mouth to disappear.
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