A little background; I'm 52 years old, 5ft 5" and...
I first started thinking about a face lift around 2 years ago when I turned 50; I had consultations with two Plastic Surgeons in Toronto; one a very high profile surgeon with offices in Toronto and New York and the other, well regarded but not as high profile. The first PS agreed to do the surgery; he also suggested I purchase a Clairsonic, skin care program and some injectables from his office. The second surgeon was more conservative and thoughtful during the consultation and suggested that I hold off and come back and see him in 18 to 24 months time as he doesn't believe in "preemptive" surgery. I felt more comfortable with the second surgeon; Dr. Michael Kreidstein, so I waited the 2 years and returned this past fall for another consultation with him. At this point he agreed it was time and suggested a lower face and neck lift. I asked him if he thought I required any other work and he said no, which I agreed with.
So I felt very good about my decision...............until a few days before the actual surgery, when I started getting really nervous, no not just nervous, I was terrified!!! His office is very strict about rescheduling unless there is an emergency, which is actually a good thing as I would have been rescheduling it for years! I emailed him several times in the days before my surgery with questions and he was excellent about getting back to me right away (even on the weekend) and addressing all of my questions/concerns.
The day of surgery came and I was so nervous I felt sick, once I got to the office and spoke with the various staff members who would be participating in the surgery I felt much, much better. Dr. Kreidstein, walked me through the surgery and put me at ease. The staff is very professional but also very approachable.
I woke up about 4 1/2 hours later in the recovery room (surgery was 3 hours); the nurse in the recovery area was great, she was very comforting and reassuring. She was a little bit older than me and told me that Dr. Kreidstein had performed the same surgery on her earlier that year, well she looked amazing; very natural, firm but not pulled at all.
My husband picked me up later in the afternoon and I went home. I slept propped up on the couch the rest of the day and night; I felt very nauseous and uncomfortable that first night; some pain, but not a lot. Had gravol, Tylenol 3 and antibiotics, and a large padded dressing all around my face/head and I didn't even bother to look in the mirror. I was given Dr. Kreidstein's personal cell number and told to call him if I had any concerns after hours or on the weekend.
Day 1 Post Op: Went to Dr. Kreidsteins office and had the large dressing removed; he seemed happy with results, he put antibiotic ointment on and a lighter dressing, which I was instructed to continue to do at home over the next few days. With the big dressing gone, I got a better look at my face when I got home; not a lot of bruising which surprised me but swollen and lumpy at the sides of my face; yikes!!! The swelling I could deal with but the weird lumpiness completely put me into a major panic and my husband didn't help by telling me I looked like a burn victim. I emailed Dr. Kreidstein asking if I should be concerned and if I should ice it; he emailed back right away and said it was normal, not to ice it but to just keep it dressed and only to become concerned and call him if one side was significantly larger (i.e. double the size) than the other. So I just left things alone and followed instructions; applied antibiotic ointment, redressed it and slept on the couch again, propped up, took my Tylenol #3 and gravol.
Day 2 Post Op: Feeling better today and less stressed as the weird lumpy look is significantly better, have numbness and swelling which is normal. I had my first shower and it felt so good to get the dried out blood out of my hair. Used the antibacterial soap as instructed and then applied the ointment and dressing again. I didn't blow dry my hair, skin is numb so there is a chance you could burn your skin. Still tired and not feeling great; took my gravol and Tylenol #3 before bed and continued to sleep propped up on the couch.
Day 3 Post Op: Continue to heal, slight yellow bruising is coming out but nothing really bad, area around stitches is numb, swollen and ears are itchy but much better than I had thought it would be. Still uncomfortable and feeling tired, continue with dressing and ointment; getting a bit excited as I think the results are going to be excellent!!
Day 4 Post Op; Still very swollen but the weird lumpyness is pretty much gone, yellow all around the sides of my face and neck. Sides still numb and feel "weird", but it looks way better than I thought it would at this point; I am so pleasantly surprised. I'm going to Dr. Kreidstein's office tomorrow morning for follow up and removal of the external stitches.
Day 5 post op before having first round of stiches removed
I didn't get proper before pics, but here's one of me in the summer looking down at something and you can see the dreaded "chin rolling into neck" look.
Two weeks post op and very happy!
Another week to 10 days with the antibiotic ointment, until all scabbing is gone ( so yes, I still have greasy hair). After that I will move to silicone gel to help fade the incision lines. Although you can tell from these pics that I still have some healing to do but I will say when I got out now, I look like my "old" self only much, much better! I'm lucky for two reasons; I have hair that is all one length past my shoulders and I live in a cold climate (well cold in December) so between the long hair and the turtlenecks I'm good to go! So if you are just starting to think about this procedure, start to grow your hair and schedule it for the cooler months.
I'll post again after my final follow up appointment with my PS which is in early January, I must say I am thrilled with the results
Six Week Post Op Visit
Comments about Dr. Michael Kreidstein: He is an amazing surgeon; highly accredited and experienced. When you go to his office it is a medical practice; it isn't a posh spa environment, they don't offer you green tea and the receptionist is not "done". I was very comfortable; I found him and his staff to be very professional and approachable. He makes sure you understand the procedure, the pre and post care and expectations with the results. He is very available to answer any questions/concerns both before and after the surgery. So far my experience with him and his staff has been excellent. I would return to him if I decided to have another procedure in the future and I would absolutely recommend him 100%. I'm still recovering but I can already tell the results will be excellent and it has been so much smoother and less traumatic then I thought it would.