Great Lower Face and Neck Lift with Dr. Michael Kreidstein - Toronto, ON

A little background; I'm 52 years old, 5ft 5" and...

A little background; I'm 52 years old, 5ft 5" and 120 lbs. I have very fine, thin skin, but take very good care of it and always have; no sun; no smoking and therefore I have no serious wrinkles but I was starting to sag at the jaw and neck. I've had a few rounds of botox and some fillers over the past few years, that combined with a good skin care program has kept me looking younger than I am . Although these minor "tweeks" can make a big difference, I don't think they can really help with the sagging lower face or that extra skin around your jaw/neck that starts to be noticeable after 50. As far as aging goes, I've really found 50 to be that line in the sand.

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.

I love your story so far. Thank you so much for sharing it! It sounds like you gave this a lot of thought and that you're on the mend. Your husband's remark made me chuckle and cringe at the same time. Men! ;0)

I hope you'll keep us updated as you continue to heal.

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Day 5 post op before having first round of stiches removed

These were taken just before I went to have the stiches removed 5 days after my surgery; the remaining external stiches will be removed 12 days post op. Notice how he didn't do stiches in front of my ear but along the ridge of my ear so any scar after will be less noticeable.

Before pic

First, sorry for the seriously greasy hair in the post op pics but I have so much antibiotic ointment in there.

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.
I had my surgery on 26 Nov 2013, so you'll be a week ahead of me. So thank you for your review. I'm a Canadian living in London and the same age as you. I was also very apprehensive about the facelift. I too have no wrinkles as I wear factor 15 almost everyday and don't have sun on my face but my face sagged (jowls & neck). I'm all yellow right now and hoping all the scars heal properly and lathering on the antibiotic cream - so greasy. How are you doing now? Happy with the results?
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Hi there, oh boy the first week or 10 days is not fun; I hope you're healing well. I just had the last of my external stiches out on Tuesday, and it's actually 2 weeks today; hard to believe. I still have a little bit of yellow at the very outside of my face/under neck and a bit of swelling and of course numbness but can go out looking totally normal; I have all one length hair to my shoulder so that helps in hiding all traces. I'm finally looking and feeling pretty much back to normal; it takes a lot out of you; I told my doctor how tired I was at first and he said you need to really take it easy and sleep a ton to let the body heal. Even thought I got the stiches out on Tuesday I continue with the gross antibiotic ointment but at least I don't need to use the antibacterial soap any longer. Once all traces of scabbing are gone I'll move on to the silicone gel to help eliminate scars (I think in about a weeks time). My surgeon did the front stiches on the inside rim of my ear instead of in front of my ear which is great, so there is no trace in front. I can already tell you that I am thrilled with the results; my skin looks so much smoother even though I didn't have any real wrinkles to speak of and didn't really think of that aspect of it much before the surgery, all sagging is gone and my cheek bones appear more defined already! (I'll try and post some more pics in the next day or two). It's funny but I really only started to look like myself again on Tuesday (can't put my finger on it but just didn't look great, even with makeup on and hair clean). The one thing I did was stick to his every and I mean every instruction for the two weeks pre and post. I think I'm going to celebrate tonight and have my first glass of wine (or two!) in almost a month. I hope your next week goes well and that you continue to heal and see improvement. Feel free to ask me any questions you have about my experience. Cheers from Canada!
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Thanks so much from your note. It made me believe that I'll finally feel normal at some point. I get your point about something not looking right and glad you got to the point where you feel you look normal. I feel a long way off from that. I look really weird to me. Like a different animal. A cat maybe! The swelling I guess makes my face wider at my ears. I'll look up the silicone stuff you mentioned. Good you have no scars in front of your ears - I do but I think they will be impossible to see as I barely see them now. I've been using my juicer to get bromelain out of pineapple etc. Good for healing. Just making anti-oxidant cake (beetroot & chocolate)... so bored at home.
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Two weeks post op and very happy!

Well it is two weeks post op and here are the latest pics; all external stitches are out and the bruising has faded, still have numbness and still some swelling but I am loving the results and healing well. I got the stitches out 2 days ago and PS was very happy with the progress/results. I have followed all of his pre and post instructions to a "t' and I think that has helped with the healing. On his approval I did start Bromelain 5 days post op as well as my Vitamin C for preventing a cold, and now that it is 2 weeks post op I can go back to my regular vitamins and supplements.


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

Loving your awesome updates! I know you weren't planning to update this soon, but I'd love to know how you're doing two weeks later.

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Thank you for sharing your recent experiences, ladies. I've been considering having something done for my neck creping. I'm turning 56 in Feb. and am fit, but in the past year I woke up one morning there it was.....I'm so self concious about it. I've been doing a lot of research and want to choose the best procedure with optimal results. One Laser skin specialist recently said I'm not ready for surgery and to consider Fraxel which will cost almost $5,000.00 for 4 treatments and take months to show improvement, if any...... I don't want to spend that much and just chance it, so now I have a consult with a female board certified plastic surgeon here in Edina, MN next month to discuss a neck lift. I know it's going to be a healing process, after having bilateral mastectomies 6 years ago, which I understand. I just wanted to get some feedback from other women who had this type of surgery recently and I really appreciate yours. It sounds like I may be able to return to work after 2 or 3 weeks from what you said. Does that sound about right??? I work in customer service and hope that most of the swelling would be gone by then. Thoughts? Thank you so much and hope you're both doing and feeling better and better each day! Thank you in advance. K.
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Hi there, I know it's a big decision and I guess every surgeon has different views on the right time; the fellow I went to didn't believe in "preemptive" surgery but at the same time said it was better to do it when it wouldn't be shockingly noticeable. I had a lower face lift and neck lift and I am thrilled with results; that being said no one has noticed except to say I look great or that my skin looks really great (which is exactly what I wanted!). I was very nervous about the surgery, but it's the only thing that can really get rid of the sagging and that dreaded "chin rolling into your neck" look. I spent almost $10,000 and I feel it was totally worth it, to be honest I was starting to spend at least $3,000 to $4,000 a year on treatments and creams which didn't really give me the results I wanted. Recovery; I'm not working right now but I would have been good to return after the two week period. At the two week period I still had some swelling at the side of my face and some bruising. Two keys things allowed me to be out and about within 12 days; all one length hair to my shoulders; it can go a long way to hiding the light bruising and swelling that still remains at the 2 week point and I also live in Toronto, Canada so it's chilly this time of year and I wore turtle necks while the bruising was still slightly visible. I also followed my Doctor's pre and post instructions to the "t" so I had no complications, but trust me the first few days after surgery you'll be thinking "there's no way I'll be better in that 2 week period!". Hope this is helpful.
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Six Week Post Op Visit

It's been 6 plus weeks since surgery and I'm thrilled with the results. Had my final post op check up with PS this week and everything is great; still some numbness and a touch of swelling remains on the left side but it looks great. There are no signs of the incisions in the front of my ears and above and I have started using a silicone gel on the scars behind my ears but that is also coming along nicely. So glad I went through with this!
Thanks for posting this. I could have written this myself. I'm 52, 5'4" and 123lbs, in very good shape, good skin care, don't smoke and haven't ever and so on. My line in the sand was 50 also. I seemed to be fine until then and I've been a little surprised (although the doctor says it's slight) at the jowling and the wrinkles showing up on my neck -- especially in photographs or bright light. I've scheduled my surgery for late February and am nervous. I will probably be a basket case as it gets closer. I'm worried about feeling claustrophobic afterwards because I'm very claustrophobic and the idea of bandages and tightness rather freaks me out. Did you have a lot of tightness in your neck area? I have a lot going on -- we're moving April 1st while our house is being remodeled. I walk my dog four to five miles every day and lift weights several times a week, plus spinning. I'm worried about my dog mostly, but my husband is going to take my job doing that while I'm recuperating. When could you be active again? Did you take Arnica in advance? Thanks for your review. It helped me a lot to read it.
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Oh -- and when I spazzed out at 50, I got an upper bleph. I needed it as I have a lot of eye area. I loved that when I was younger, but not so much when it started getting crepey and drooping. :) The blepharoplasty made a huge difference and looks so natural. It's easy to put on eye makeup again and it looks great. The same doctor will be doing my lower face and neck lift.
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Hi, I'm not sure where you live but I'm in Toronto so doing the surgery when the weather turned colder was really such a plus; hiding out at home for the first week and then turtle necks for a bit until all the bruising was gone. My 2 week pre-op routine was no meds but Tylenol, I had to stop all my vitamins and no wine/alcohol for 10 days before. I asked about arnica before surgery and my surgeon said no not to take it but did recommend bromelain after surgery. I didn't feel like the dressing was tight or claustrophobic; it's gently packed and I didn't need to wear any type of "compression" dressing. I was really surprised at how mild the bruising given the extent of the surgery, by day 10 I was out for lunch with some makeup on and a turtle neck ( I also have shoulder length hair which helped a lot). I love walking my dogs as well, but if are "pullers" and large give it time. I did not exercise other than good walks for at least 2 weeks after and then started very gently, you really don't want to take a chance of compromising results after all of that. It's been 2 months and I don't have tightness in my neck but the very far sides of my face still have some numbness and I'm "aware" of the incisions in the area behind my ears. Overall, I'm so glad I did this but I was so nervous (I can't believe I actually did!) I think the most important things are; a great surgeon, following the pre op instructions to a tee and being very careful in the two weeks following. I hope your surgery turns out great, I have absolutely no regrets and feel much better about the 52 year old face in the mirror.
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Toronto Plastic Surgeon

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.

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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