RealSelf is one of the resources I used to...
RealSelf is one of the resources I used to determine surgery vs combo of non-surgical options. The goal was "the less blood and money, the better". In the end, I rejected the Thermage, botox, and filler combo. Also decided to have the facelift/brow lift/under eye surgery locally rather than epicenters for plastic surgery (LA, Phoenix, etc.) at one time rather than piecemeal approach.
After a good amount of research & two local consults, surgery is scheduled for Sept. 7th. So far, I'm pleased w/ all the pre-op info & preventive meds and herbal (to minimize swelling & bruising). I'll keep all the RealSelf readers on my journey.
One week post-surgery for lateral brow lift, neck...
One week post-surgery for lateral brow lift, neck lift, face lift, and lower eyelid. I’ve posted a few photos. One gap in RealSelf photos was more detail on the surgery process. I’ve included a photo taken just before leaving to the hospital. Also included in the photos in the pre-op room with my hair pulled up into mini-ponytails, shaved sections and black lines on my face all courtesy of my doctor. There are post-op photos in addition to Day 1, Day 3, and Day 7. The drains were in only for 24 hrs and removal was painless. The first couple of days were uncomfortable but not painful. Didn’t need pain medication after Day 2. Except for two small parts, most of the bruising has turned to delightful mellow yellow and green tones from the original dark red. Still swollen but it is diminishing daily. Only two physical complaints thus far: it really hurt when the doctor cut / pulled out the eye stiches (I took a pain pill when I got home!) and one eye is droopy and red. In theory, that should gradually correct itself in the next week or so. The other complaint is sleeping / sitting straight up and ‘forbidden’ to do anything other than sit around for three weeks. I’ll post again at Week 2 and Week 3 and include my experience and recommendations for choosing a doctor, preparing for the surgery, and the healing process.
Photo at 18 days post-surgery is posted. At day...
Photo at 18 days post-surgery is posted. At day 20, the doctor gave the thumbs up for returning to full activities including exercising. The ugly but comfy rented recliner is on its way out the door since I don’t have to sleep sitting up any more. Bruising is gone. There are still numb areas. Scabs from the stitches and staples are gone. I’ve been going shopping, running light errands, etc. since day 4, going out to dinner and lunch since day 6 and went back to volunteering at day 18 with no one asking if I’d been in a horrible accident. It is amazing what a little bit of make-up and a happy satisfied face can conceal! I’m very happy with the results thus far.
A few observations:
• Do what the doctor tells you to do. I felt like I could do much more than I did but following through with his directions regarding not carrying anything over 5 lbs, no housework (no sacrifice there!), etc. made the difference.
• The herbal medicine package the doctor “prescribed” definitely sped up the healing. I’m fair skinned and bruise easily so I attribute the minimal bruising and quick fading of the rest to the herbal medicine. If your doctor doesn’t prescribe it, get it yourself. It is a Healing Support Program by VitaMedica and is a combo of Bromelain and Arnica Montana.
• Be patient. You can’t expect to feel 100% great after a major surgery (mine lasted around 4 hours under general anesthesia). I had neck lift, lateral brow lift, face lift and under eye lift. Considering all the cutting, pulling, staples, stiches, etc. I didn’t expect to be a “younger me” overnight.
• The biggest ‘bang for your buck’ was the neck lift. There was minimal brusing and swelling plus the results were immediate. The under eye procedure was the worst of the four. I wasn’t able to wear contacts for nearly two weeks and wearing glasses was uncomfortable because of the stiches around the ear. It was the only procedure that hurt. The rest was not painful, just uncomfortable and annoying. Putting cold gauze pads over the eyes was like heaven. Using Hypo Tears drops also helped.
• Don’t assume that all the good plastic surgeons are in big cities. After lots of research, I discovered an excellent doctor in my town, Tucson. He provided a handbook with loads of information and helpful recommendations and went over each page with me and my husband, he was very clear about outcomes and temporary or permanent impact of the surgery (bruising, swelling, numbness, etc. and had a supportive and kind staff.