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.

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.

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

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!
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
Was this review helpful? 6 others found this helpful

Comments (32)

Sort by

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.
  • Reply
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.
  • Reply
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.
  • Reply
Thanks for responding! That's very helpful. I will be sure to nix the wine 10 days in advance. I hope I don't have to wear the compression thing either and just get bandages. That would be wonderful. I will ask my doctor about that and the Arnica before and Bromelain after -- he may tell me not to take anything before also. I'm in South Carolina and although it would be what y'all consider close to shorts weather (lol), I can get away with wearing a turtleneck the few weeks after my surgery. I have two good friends in Toronto and they tell me to hush my mouth when I wish for snow. :) My dog is a Golden Retriever. He doesn't pull, but is definitely large -- 79lbs. My husband will walk him for as long as I need him to. He's really good about being helpful and is a good caregiver. I know I have a great surgeon. He's very detail oriented and is conservative in what he does -- which I prefer. I'm happy you have had such positive results and I know I will also. I'm sure I will be nervous right before.
  • Reply
my doctor is Brian Evans in London Ontario, he is a very nice guy, two weeks ago he saw my neck and said I may need a revision , it is loose on one side and its noticeable , I don't know if he ll charge for the revision , hope not , I have 3 yrs to pay the loan off that I used to get this done , I also took out most of my thread lift from 8 yrs ago , but he had to leave a couple he couldn't get them out , too deep , maybe that's what is hurting ,im going to ask him on jan31 opp . but my loose neck when I look in the mirror is worring me , I keep thinking im going to look in the morning and see my jowels too !!!!
  • Reply
I got my upper & lower eyes done too . I can tell if theres a big difference . I haven't been any where for someone to notice any difference on me , I have a half inch scar on my left eye where the crows feet are , he said that .ll flatten out . hope so , I can really see it . I started to put Kelo scar on it , Dr said that stuff don't work , but im putting it on there and my chin scar anyway , soon as I learn how to put some before and after pics on here I will , maybe ill get some better feedback so ill feel a bit better
  • Reply
Well I hope that he doesn't charge you, it's just so much to go through and a significant amount of money to then have a difficult recovery. Hoping he can do the revision and so you are finally happy with that side of your neck. It's weird that something specific is hurting you, if there is an infection hopefully antibiotics can help. Thank God, the jowels are gone! Post after your appointment on the 31st and let me know how it goes, if he is going to charge you then I'd get a second opinion. I really hope everything goes well, it's stressful enough having the surgery without complications. Hang in there, I'm sure at the end of the day it will turn out fine.
  • Reply
Oh yes, the 50th Birthday, that was a stressful one!!
  • Reply
My PS recommended the Kelo as well; he said you just need a tiny bit; thing is my incisions are all behind my ears so I can't really see them; nothing under my chin. That being said it feels sticky and a bit itchy, then again I have super sensitive skin. I just ordered this stuff from Amazon called Queen Bee eye cream even though it's an eye cream I've heard that it is very good for healing scars, red marks left from blemishes......... so I'll give it a try. I think healing can take a long time and I know it's upsetting and worrisome when it doesn't go as well as you anticipated, especially when it's your face!
  • Reply
It's funny because I went out with girlfriends and had an awesome 50th birthday celebration. The signs of aging showed up shortly thereafter. lol I started a thread here to review my experience. I'm sure it will show up soon if you care to follow my progress. I'm glad you've had such nice results!
  • Reply
It doesn't seem like he should charge for the revision. I can't imagine he would.
  • Reply
Wow I didn't get any antibacterial cream from my dr , I'm going on my 5 th week and my left side neck lift is loose just under my jaw he said I may need a revision , it was lose right from the start I thought it would go away but hasn't , my rht side face is discolored from top to bottom of cheek ,broken veins too , and I'm still sore both sides and my neck ,ouch , I need to wear the compression sling so it will feel better , also when I eat the first bite makes me cringe like I ate a lemon , he said he never heard of this , I have when I had a cracked tooth and it was infected a long time go , I'm still a bit bruised on both sides of face and neck , I hate th loose neck that's all I see when I look in the mirror from front and the side , yuk
  • Reply
Hi Roxy, I'm sorry that your recover it's going as planned. I'm not a doctor but it sounds very odd to still be bruised after 5 weeks. You may want to get a second opinion before doing a revision with the same doctor. My face was quite slack as was my neck, yet I had only very mild bruising and no broken veins after surgery. I'm 8 weeks post lift, the sides of my face are still numb and the incisions are a bit tender when pressed but it doesn't "hurt" at all. I only have my experience to go by but happy to answer any question you have. I really hope everything turns out well for you and you get the results you were hoping for.
  • Reply
The loose neck is only on my left sd under my jaw , and that side is still sore to touch on my jaw bone and behind my ear , both sides are still tender ,I'm not back to work yet thank god , I don't know if heavy lifting will make me worse, because when I bend down it hurts and I need to wear this compression garment 100% , the dr said to wear it at all times ( you don't want that side to fall ) I still can't sleep on my side it hurts , is this normal it's been since Dec16,2014
  • Reply
I meant Dec 16 '. 2013
  • Reply
Well my doctor told me NOT to lift anything heavy or bend over; nothing that could make your face red or put strain on the incisions for at least the first 2 weeks. I never had to wear a compression garment, just light dressing until the stitches were all removed. I think it seems odd that you are still experiencing issues at 6 weeks (but I'm not a doctor). I was feeling pretty good at the 2 week point, only sore to the touch point would be if pressure was put on the incisions which are healing great but are still tender and sleeping on my right side is more comfortable than the left. I'm wondering if you should get a second opinion from a top surgeon as it seems it's taking you a long time to heal and having to wear a compression bandage 100% of the time is very limiting. With makeup, my longer hair and a turtle neck I would have been good to return to the office at the 2 week point. Let me know how things go.
  • Reply
I wasn't told to do anything , I went back after 5 days to get bandage off , and drains , then I came back again the following week , but never any instuctions as to what I shouldn't do , I just used common sense and didn't lift or strain , when I got out of bed and I still do this > I put my hand on the back of my head and lift it so I dnt over use my neck muscles. I could deal with everything going on except when I see the loose skin hanging down on that one side. my rht side cheek looks discoloured and flat . when you walk can you feel your skin on your face move and on your neck move too
  • Reply
That's very odd; I went back 24 hours later for him to remove the dressing and put a new one on. Before the surgery I got very specific written instructions on what I could and could not do for the 2 weeks post op. I did check your doctor out on and he's got very good ratings but I still think if you're not happy you should see him on the 31st and then get a 2nd opinion before more surgery (especially if it involves paying more). It's been 6 weeks so to still have discolouring seems odd. I noticed that there is a surgeon in Toronto who specializes specifically in face lifts and has excellent ratings, I would also highly recommend my guy. I hope things go well on the 31st, try and not stress out!
  • Reply
I know there are some better surgeons in Toronto , it was traveling back and forth for check ups in this bad weather too , so my dr is an hour and half away and I checked him out first as well and his ratings are good , were you told to wear that compression garment at all times too ? I went back the very next morning he took the bandage off and drains out and in 5 days later at home he said for me to takeI the dressing off , I didn't get any instructions or cream to put on only the compression garment, I just wish the neck wasn't loose on one side like this ,it is very noticeable , I put pics on last night don't know where that at ??
  • Reply
Hey there, I didn't have to wear a compression garment and I didn't have drains, just the dressing. I went back the next morning and he redid the dressing then some of the stitches out after about 6 days and then final stitches out after 10 day. I'll keep an eye out for your pictures and hope all goes well on the 31st.
  • Reply
I didn't have any stitches to take out they were all self dissolving
  • Reply

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.

  • Reply
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.
  • Reply
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.
  • Reply
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?
  • Reply