Lower Facelift/Lower Blepharoplasty

50 is nifty. Well at least that's what they say....

50 is nifty. Well at least that's what they say. While I am a very happy, upbeat person, I felt for some time that my looks were starting to age me beyond my still "young" age frame! For as long as I can remember, I have hated my eye bags and my neck that was heading south. I knew from the genetic standpoint that things were definitely not going to be kind to me. From my grandpa to my parents, we all had/have a leaning towards the bags that increase with time. I felt that it was probably a good idea if I was to have any work that it would be while I was a little younger and with that in mind, that I would possibly heal a little easier. On to the surgery......

I had my lower face lift and lower blepharoplasty on March 14th. The surgery took 4 1/2 hours to do (wow, worse than I thought!). I chose to stay at the hospital the first night after surgery so I could have my pain managed and help where I needed it. That was a good idea! While I wasn't necessarily in pain from these procedures, I felt that even though I would have help at home, this was the way to go for me. I was a lovely sight the first time I looked in the mirror. Head wrapped around with gauze and a head compression device, eyes actually looking pretty good with stiches underneath, and my all time favorite look which was drains coming out from each side of my head that kinda made me look like a science experiment! Gladly took the vicodin from the nurse to help take the edge off and get some sleep.

Next morning, PS came in to reassure me and take the drains out. I was released later that morning with my pain pills in hand and looking forward to being in my own bed. Not going to bore you with all the minor details of going home, will now move to my recovery so far.

I am now 10 days post-op. When I talked to my PS about the recovery time from these surgeries I was told that I would probably feel pretty decent after 2 weeks and that was the amount of time I would need to take off of work. I actually will end up with 17 days off, so I thought I will be ready to slide right back into life like nothing ever happened to me. Well, now I think I might know better. While I felt not a lot of pain from these surgeries, I have and do feel the discomfort. Probably the worst part of the lower face lift is the tightness. It radiates from around my ears, down the jawline and under the chin. I lose sensation from right above my jawline to half-way down my neck. It is definitely still swollen, but the bruising that turned my neck yellow is starting to go away. Basically feels like your skin is three sized to small for your head! I had most of my stiches out last Thursday, with the last couple coming out on Wednesday. Swelling in front of my ears seems to be subsided more each day, but still not a pretty sight. I am glad I have hair to cover it!

My lower bleph has been a different story. My bags are definitely gone, yea! My scars are awesome. Can barely see them at all already. Just a little lump on the inner corner of one eye that I think is due to stiches. Still bruised and swollen a little around cheekbone area, but much better than I thought it would be. My PS definitely did great job. Now to the frustrating part. I developed chemosis about 1 week out from surgery. Starting with excessive watering and then swelling in the lower white part of my eye. Come to find out, this is not an odd occurence with lower bleph procedure and it happens to about 11% of people. Leave it to me to be one of the lucky ones! My PS has been awesome keeping tabs on me, even calling me on the weekend to check up. It seemed to be starting up on my other eye, so PS sent me to eye doctor to get things checked out. Don't have an infection, no foreign bodies in eyes, but almost like an allergic reaction happening. Currently on a cocktail of antiboitic, steroid and antihistimine drops to see if this helps. But, from what I read, it could/should resolve on it's own, but a time limit is completely up to my body I guess. Ah, the price of vanity!

This sugery is certainly not for the faint of heart. You will have up and down days and question yourself. My fear is that I won't be well enough to go back to work when I think. I believe that while you are given a time frame on when you should be back to presentable, that is definitly the short side of the story. I keep reading that you don't see final results for at least 6 months. Do I wish I wouldn't have done this to myself? Well at times yes, but just for the frustration part. I am pretty confident that one day I am going to look back on this and be happy. The hard part is the waiting....

Day 12 The swelling on top of the cheekbones is...

Day 12

The swelling on top of the cheekbones is going down and just a little bruise left on cheekbone below left eye. Chemosis seems to be resolving, but eyes are still irritated and get scratchy at times. Going to keep up with eye drops and going back to eye doctor in a couple days to see next step. Don't want to stay on steroid drops long since there is glaucoma in my family. Crossing fingers when I do stop drops that I won't have a reoccurrence when I head back to work.

Ears and neck still swollen. This part seems to be going in baby steps. I guess I expected this would go down faster than it has. I can see I will need to keep my hair down to cover my ears and take the focus off of my neck. Neck is a little lumpy, which PS said probably would happen. Back tomorrow to get the rest of my stitches out and the professional opinion on how I'm doing! Now I kind of wish I would have taken 3 weeks off. :)

Two weeks out today. Saw my PS yesterday to have...

Two weeks out today. Saw my PS yesterday to have the remaining stitches removed. He said I could now start some light massage to help dissipate the swelling still hanging around on my lower face. The tightness has calmed down too. I will be able to start using scar cream in another week, although all my scars look pretty good already. It's interesting how this process is turning out. As the swelling goes down, some new things start popping up. The lumpiness under my chin now feels more pronounced. Doc told me to do small circular massage to start trying to break that up. My eyes are feeling better, still a little irritated which hopefully will get better day by day. Still have small pockets of swelling where the eye meets the cheek.

I guess the frustrating part is that with this procedure as you heal, you go through so many stages in the recovery. I think my perception was that I would be swollen, the swelling would go away and all would be right with the world! A lot longer and more difficult than I imagined. But as with everything in life that doesn't go exactly how you plan, this too shall pass!

Went to eye doc today to double check on my...

Went to eye doc today to double check on my chemosis issues. Swelling is down, but not completely gone in right eye. He thinks I was having some type of allergic reaction because it helped to have antihistamine drops in my eyes. Also keeping me on steroid drops to continue to bring down any residual swelling. He tested my eye pressure because of the steroids and I have glaucoma in my family. Everything looked great (whew!). Put me on a ointment at night because he believes that my one eye is not closing all the way when I sleep. He asked if I had dry eyes before surgery. I always thought my eyes were sensitive because I have a tendency to blink a lot. Maybe I did and didn't realize it. Unfortunately dry eyes and lower blepharoplasty can cause extra problems.

Started massage yesterday to hopefully move some of this swelling down and out. Very light touch, suppose to get lymph system flowing and get all the junk out of my system. We'll see, I'll try anything to get this process moving along. All of a sudden going back to work is a scary prospect. :/

Well it's been three weeks as of yesterday. I...

Well it's been three weeks as of yesterday. I went back to work on Monday and I was nervous I wouldn't be ready. Actually, it went very well. I haven't been tired or noticed any increase in the swelling I still have since I've been more active. I do sleep like a baby at night after a full day! My tightness continues to get better. Still swollen and numb lower jaw area and neck around scar. Tightness has relaxed a little more ,yea!! I'm starting to feel tingling sensation around front of ears. Must be nerves starting to reconnect. Still lots of lumpy areas on neck which drives me crazy. Massaging to hopefully help break up. It's funny, anyone who didn't know I had this surgery hasn't asked if I had anything done. But, I've had people I know comment that my hair looked nice (it was a wreck that day lol) and others say to me that they can't believe I have a 25 year old daughter! I told my PS at my consult that I wanted to look like me, just refreshed and he delivered on his promise. The lower facelift doesn't make you look like you lost a lot of your age, but just makes you look "uplifted". I could have done a upper face and brow lift, but I do understand I'm still 50 and i embrace some of the natural aging process I know I'm never going to look 30 again and don't like the look on celebrities who do too much and look nothing like their old selves. My scars all look pretty good now. PS told me to start scar cream at 3 weeks so I'm doing that now.

Went to eye doctor to check my swelling issues from lower blepharoplasty. He says all the swelling is down and I can start backing off the steroid drops. I'm so happy. My eyes still get a little dry, so I use refresh drops during day and gel at night. Can't even see my scars anymore. My bags are gone and it looks great. Very smooth. I had a skin pinch with blepharoplasty, so he took a little skin off after removing fat. Helps with wrinkles, but doesn't get rid of them completely.

All in all, I'm glad I'm past the first rough weeks. I know it will be quite some time for lumps and swelling to completely resolve, but I'm in it now to the end results show and I for one can't wait!

One month! Doesn't seem that time has passed so...

One month! Doesn't seem that time has passed so quickly since my surgery. Saw my PS today and everything is going good. I'm still swollen in front of ears and lower face. He says it will start to thin out more in the next few weeks. The lumps and bumps under my chin seem as if they are dissipating a little. He again suggested I continue massaging the areas that are swollen and help it go down by letting the lymph drainage system help. I found a great video on YouTube for self lymph drainage massage. Her name is Heather Wibbels and she does an excellent job training you to do this. After I do it my face doesn't feel so tight. I did notice this week that I over did it at work and my face swelled up more. Gotta be careful for awhile longer.

I'm so happy with my eye results. Lower face just more of a long haul thing than I thought it woud be. My PS showed me my before pix and I couldn't believe how much better my eyes look. I'm going back in a month and he is going to take more pix so I can compare and see the results from all angles.

I totally feel like myself again, except for the numbness and swelling. It's way better than two weeks ago though, and I think every week will bring more results. Yes it was rough at times, but yes I'm happy I did it. Getting my hair cut and colored tomorrow so I think all will be even better!!!
Detroit Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Youn is a well known plastic surgeon around the country. He has been on many television shows (Rachel Ray, Dr. Oz, The Doctors etc.) and is very highly rated by professional publications and patients. I was lucky enough to have him in my backyard! He was very professional from the get go at my consultation through my surgical procedures. He never tried to sell me on more than what was bothering me and said I would still look like me after surgery, but more refreshed. I had an allergic reaction in my eyes after surgery and he kept up with me over the weekend every day to keep up with my issues. Very professional. His staff is also very nice and helpful. Office sent flowers a couple days after surgery. Nice personal touch. Would highly recommend him to anyone!

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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