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Recovery Phase, - Westport, CT

I'm just turning 58 this May. Each time I've...

I'm just turning 58 this May. Each time I've looked in the mirror I get a surprise at the profile looking back at me since it just didn't match what was in my head. So with husband's support and telling me "life is too short", I went ahead and scheduled my traditional facelift and upper bleph eyework for the 16th. He is not going to do any lipo or fat fillers, but the work should fix the sagging jowls and neck area; not to mention the droopy eyelids.
I'm trying not to get myself all worked up about the recovery time but I'm getting real anxious about returning to work in 14 days. I really don't have a choice in my position. I'm typically a good healer but this is out of the box on work. I am extremely confident in my PS and know I'm in good hands though.. so that's the upside.
I'm hearing people talk here about "electrode-like shock feelings in their face, and being in a tremendous amount of pain. That just wasn't my understanding of post op with this procedure... I get the numbness, bruising, tightness and swelling and expect that part. But am I being realistic?

I'll be thinking of you tomorrow!

I can understand ur concern! U may not be up to full blown performance after 2 weeks. I am also in finance service. Luckily most interactions over phone. I had to go in for some meetings right away. My ears hurt first 2 weeks. Had to use speaker phone. Other than that was mot a problem. The more u stress will be worse but i understand completely. My boss kept calling to havee come in to meet reps...i had to keep wiggling out of these meetings. When he finally saw me i think he figured it out...not sure. Men do not want to discuss these things lol. This site was a good support.
Hi. You are getting close. I just wanted to address your worry about recovery. Don't forget that the people that are having trouble with their recovery are the ones that will most likely be reaching out for support on these forums. Those that have an easy time are less likely to post. So keep that in mind. You may be just fine to go back to work. We will all (I am sure) be thinking positive thoughts for you. Unfortunately, there is no "standard" when it comes to recovery. We are all different, and our ideas of what is easy or difficult is also different. Until those first few days are over, you are going to be in the dark as to how this will affect you. So relax as much as you can until then and take it one day at a time. We are here for you and may be able to offer suggestions. Right now, take the arnica and bromelain and buy the arnica gel, too. It can't hurt. And, who knows--it might be worse if you don't use it. Let us know how it's going.

Post OP Day 1

Well, I made it! I'll apologize in advance for any typos since I'm having the same hard time seeing like a lot of people post op.
Everything went well. I had a 6 hour surgery and home by 7pm last night. My eyes are pretty red and swollen from the bleph but I actually have eyes now! I trotted off to the doctors with my hubby today and he took the drains out... thank goodness! I'm pretty swollen through my face but the doctor is very pleased with everything especially my neck area which he's telling me that he spent a lot of time on. I called him an artist! He's really been great as well as his staff through this all. Anyway, I have minimal bruising, but he's warned me that tomorrow it should get worse. All in all, I am following everything to the letter to try to avoid as much of the swelling and bruising as possible. Not too much pain either which is surprising to me, but my doc said I shouldn't have much... So I did one pain pill last night and just some Tylenol for the achy feeling of the stitches and the ears. Thanks for all of you r support once again. This site has been tremendously helpful to me!

Photos Before and After

I decided to share these because it's was very helpful to me in managing my own expectations. So I hope it will be to others as well. I'm only on Day 1 as you see, but feeling ok; not a tremendous amount of discomfort or bruising. I'm expecting more tomorrow so it won't be a surprise when I wake up tomorrow with new 'color'.
You are going to have fabulous results ;). I see most wear compression bandage/chin head strap after original bulky dressing is removed. My PS doesn't do that, not sure why or why not. Like you, I have almost no bruising. Yea!!!! Glad to hear your ears aren't too bad !
When this is all done consider eyebrow tatoo. Its henna if done right is natural but makes a huge difference. I have similar coloring to u...will try to send u pics.
That's so funny, because I was thinking about that, but I keep changing my hair color ! am a dark blonde and went red over the winter and now al lighter blonde again. lol... so I'll figure it out! Would love to see the pic.

Day 2

Oh my goodness I almost feel human after my first shower!
I've updated my photos without the compression bandage. I look like a proverbial chipmumk with full and swollen cheeks! But I'm loving what I see so far with my chin and neck and my eyes although quite red are finally open again! I have pretty much the same thing everyone else is describing, ears pain and tightness and the incision sites are dull and achy too. Most of it seems manageable so far with Tylenol, so I'm going to keep doing that for now.
You are looking really great and not very swollen at all. Now that you have a couple of days under your belt, I am sure you feel relieved that you know how your particular healing journey will progress. Personally I enjoyed waking up to see what changes, either good or bad, had occured. Keeping my fingers crossed for a quick recovery for you!
Sofarsogood, yes, thanks... it's a little relieving to see how this is turning out. I'm still expecting more bruising as the swelling moves downward and still trying to manage my expectations. I have to say I'm starving! I'm trying to stay with soft foods and limit my jaw movement, but I would love to eat something heartier. What kinds of foods did you eat and move to after a few days? I can use a few ideas!
Oh I can relate! I lost a few pounds but you don't look as if you could afford to. I ate soup mostly, then pasta. At one month I still have a little pain on one side, so opening my big ole mouth is not that easy. Maybe you won't bruise at all (said in a whisper so as not to jinx it for you)

Day 4 Post Op: Yellow Is My Color!

Yes, I have turned glorious yellow under my eyes and on each side of my neck! Wow! So much for no bruising. I'm totally experiencing no pain, just the tightness and swelling which has moved down under my neck; all expected. I am so glad this site prepared me for this.
I'm off to the doctor this afternoon to have my sutures out of my eyes. Very pleased with how I think they're going to look. My assessment of my PS' work is so far excellent. It's hard to get past the swelling jowls in my face, but at the same time, my neck is looking good. So far, I'm pleased. I am sure hoping that this yellow tones down by the day after Memorial Day when I'm scheduled to go back to work. Otherwise, I'm going to have to do a heck of a job with makeup cover! Will check in later.

Day 4 Pictures

Your healing is going so well glad u avoided the major pain so much of us had at the beginning. Seems like u should be ready to go back to work on day 14 given your recovery so far. Good luck!
Thanks secretps. I'm mostly having swelling and great yellowing bruises. I surely hope that I can get back on the Tuesday after Memorial Day; it's only 6 more days. If I'm going to hit my own wall of emotions it will be this week. My doctor warned me about that at my visit yesterday. But I'm keeping busy with sedentary "projects" like creating playlists from iTunes, and doing some photoshop books of the grandchildren. I mean , you can only watch so much TV! But, I know when the process is getting to me. I start getting a headache, my eyes get real tired and dry, and the stitches and staples are pulling.. so it's time for another Tylenol. I think you were the one who recommended the laxative? Thank you for that! So in that way I was prepared too. My doctor is adamant that the reason people have late bleeding and hematoma's is that they start to feel better and just do too much. No outdoor walking, no housework, just to the bathroom or kitchen and still elevate my head and DON"T bend over! I guess that about it.. so in other words be a slug for a two week time period. I hate that part, but I don't want anything to go wrong!
I think it was on day eleven, I felt good and had no bruises. I went to the mall to buy a hat and walked around quite a bit. By the time I got home, I was completely exhausted. That evening I developed a bad bruise on my cheek. It has taken forever to go away. Here at nine weeks, I can still see vestiges of it under my cheekbone.

Day 5 Post Op

Well another day closer to total recovery is my mantra these days. I'm doing well, I have absolutely no pain, and no need for Tylenol.
For any one considering this I would highly encourage you to manage the downtime expectations because this, in my humblest of opinions, is the worst. And it's what can get us into trouble by doing to much too soon. You know, the mind is willing and the body says NO by swelling and bruising. So my most exciting thing today was texting my husband and telling him I walked around the house for 10 minutes and then later with the most exciting news!...I took a shower!! lol
Anyway, I have yellow all over my skin, and some new bruises on my lower jaw and neck area. I'll put that picture up. But I see the doctor tomorrow to take the stitches out around my ears and temple. I am really looking forward to that. They itch a bit but that's a good sign.
By the way, when I'm done, I'll post my doctor and my review who I think is just amazing. I'm so thankful he is the one that has done my work ; both elective and required as I've had other procedures with him. Cheers!
You look great. I still have bruises as 5 weeks and they were not bad when they first showed, just yellow and light purple. You are correct to listen to what your body tells you. Careful driving....I was unexpectedly woozy at 2 weeks.
Good advice ; thank you! How far along are you in your healing? My numbness is localized to my jaw and in front of my ear and little down my neck behind my ear. I'm just wondering about the rate of regeneration and getting my feeling back at this point.
Wow I can already see the difference in your neck, it looks great! I think that we are all finding the intense necessary downtime is more than expected. Yellow is usually the color before your normal color returns so love the yellow. Best,

Post Op Day 7

I'm happy to say I've just come back from having a lot of sutures out. It felt so good to have them out! Doctor and Nurse both say I've healed quite well which is a great feeling. He'll take out the rest of the staples and sutures on Sunday.

Best of all, I am thoroughly pleased with everything and the way my eyes and face are settling post surgery! I'll post a few pictures in a bit. I have no idea how or even if people will react or not. I'm still getting used to this new me too. But I can tell you this was so worth it and an amazing experience.

I'll post some pictures in a bit.

Post Op Day 7 pictures

I have just let my hair go natural since the hairdryer is forbidden with the numbness still there. It's kind of fun not to have to do the whole styling thing!

xtra pic

front view
Wow!!! Amaxing
lol... you are too kind! I'm happy. It's wonderful to see all these transformations on this site. How are you doing?
Great...getting my hair done tomorrow. Will maybe put pic up. Still a bit of swelling not bad at all. Went in to doctor for 5 week checkup. He said 2 levels of healing. First is fast. The second part is slower and I will continue to see changes over 8 months. Very little scaring. One under chin and 2 hash marks buried in side burns. Ones around ears not noticeable. Have to look very close to see. Left cheek still has a knot that is slowing disolving. Your pics are sooo amazing!! Thanks for sharing.

Day 8 postop sutures

Thought it was interesting to see the recovery of the suture area. I'm convinced that in another week these will be hardly noticeable. I have to give credit where credit is due with my PS.
Looking good!
I was just re-reading that you were using a lot of the Kefir drinks. I've been drinking them for awhile for their probiotics and believe that post operatively it's so good to get that good stuff back in our systems after wiping it out with the "cocktails" of meds we've been given. I have a hard time finding just the plain ones at my local store, but even the flavored ones (although a little too much sugar for my taste) have the same qualities.

Day 9 Getting out

Today was an interesting first day out in public.
Because I was desperate for coverup makeup, I ran to Sephora's. I did a little research and discovered that a lavender primer neutralizes the yellow bruising. Thank goodness for the young woman who helped me at Sephora's! She hooked me up with the primer, concurred on the lavender against my yellow skin color, and scrupulously read labels with me to make sure there were no retinols etc , which my PS does not want me to use at this point. (We are planning our own skin care system with the Obagi line after I'm fully healed but not yet) Anyway, I came home with a full bag of goodies. It was a great experiment.. the lavender primer worked pretty well, I just need to put on more of it in certain areas of my face. The rest of the items , foundation , powder worked well over it without looking like pancake stuff.
It was a day of being "normal" again... running to the mall...poked through a clothing store on my way out... It felt pretty good!
So having done the whole makeup thing, my husband suggested we go out for a late lunch early dinner and I thought; why not? So off I went with a scarf covering up my neck. It too went ok. I'm feeling a little self conscious about anything showing since I still have sutures and staples in plus the scars around the ears are still quite obvious.. but it too was ok. And a sign of everything getting back on track and life going on. All in all a good day. Now as long as I don't wake up more swollen tomorrow AM!
Was wondering what everyone is using for scar treatment. Want to minimize scars at sideburn area...I cant remember if my doctor said vitamin c or e would take color red out of scar.
Kanobe, I'm doing anything at this point. But I'm seeing the doctor to get the rest of sutures and staples out this afternoon and it's on my list of questions to ask. To be continued!....

Day 10

Well... got all the rest of the sutures out and much to my surprise I didn't HAVE any staples at all! My misunderstanding! lol Anyway, the stitches came out fine, but I woke up this AM with a hematoma down the side of my neck. It came as such a surprise after I was humming along as the Poster Child of facelift recovery. Honest... I've been as boring as boring can be doing nothing to avoid raising my blood pressure; so I'll just blame it on my husband. ( Joking) So, my PS drained it and I'll go back on Tuesday. Oh well... hopefully I can go back to boring again and back to recovery. :)
So sorry to hear about your hematoma. That is surprising, especially at 10 days out. We don't need any setbacks that's for sure. I don't feel like my swelling has changed much from yesterday, but black and blue bruising has now appeared under my chin--yeehaw! I'm bored to tears as well. I have almost finished every episode of Weeds. That's the good news and also the bad news cause I have no idea what to do next. Thankfully I start work again on Tuesday, but from home. I really don't think I would be ready to go into an office yet. I do think working will get my mind off of the fact that I really can't go anywhere or do anything. Take care!
Thanks Allie996. Yes, this was the first time through the whole process that I've felt ... well... a little down. But I'm a "pick myself up by the bootstrap" kind of person. It was quite large on my neck though. And my husband had some fairly graphic terms for how much the doctor got out of it which is better off not shared here. He kept asking me if I had done anything to raise my blood pressure. Which I can't determine was anything at all! Go figure. I'm back on the recliner sleeping though which does not please me but will do everything to keep this to a minimum. Oh my gosh isn't there just garbage on TV?!! I'm bored to tears with it all. And I'm looking at my perennials outside itching to dig in the dirt and no that there is not a prayer's chance of that happening for a while! :) So I'm right there with you on what to do next. LOL.. Thank goodness for the support here on this site from all of you. You take care as well.
I'm so sorry for your setback....but it's minor in the big picture. Like everyone says....it changes from day to day! No staples??? Wow I had staples, with sutures underneath them. Only sutures on chin and around front of ears though. Lucky you....the staples are miserable. Rest up and be boring. :)

Makeup Attempts

Since a lot of us are heading off to work tomorrow and talking coverup of all those ghastly bruises I wanted to share what I finally decided on... I don't have it don't perfect yet but will work on it more today. I just wanted a more natural look but obviously it can be done any way you want. Not every makeup line is good for everyone, but for someone else here it may be an option. The product is Make Up Forever Professional ; HD High Definition Primer (to go on over the color of the bruise they have different colors for priming whatever issue you have) and the HD Foundation over it. Developed by a Paris Artist for Actresses when TV switched from Analog to High Def. Because they learned pretty quickly the HD showed EVERY little flaw on the big screens! lol... that sold me! Hope this helps one of you out there.

Makeup Addendum

oh and btw.. I have done NOTHING with my eyes in the photo and don't have my eyebrow pencil since my Mom ran off with mine to get me a new one in the early days of recovery... that will be a whole other topic! LOL... Phase 1: Face, Phase 2: Eyes & Eyebrows! :)
Financegirl, I thought I saw a message that you are off for the week too? I was at PS office and they called me back so didn't read it all....and now can't find it. What happened? Your hematoma was bleeding? It's in the stars, we are NOT meant to be back before three weeks. LOL. Hope you're well. ;)
Leval59 , Yup... took a shower and it opened up. Doc was great.. I called him on his cell....and took me right in. Where it was drained is in a very compromising spot. But everything else is good, my healing of the sutures, the FL , the bruises are going away... so this is the only thing. I did the same thing as you... called out for the week. It's really for the best. 12 days is just too soon to go back. I know it and I feel it. I'll go back to see him on Thursday AM. This will give me a total of 18 days till I go back and to get this squared away. (Sigh) Back to the recliner for us!
I agree and tell people if they are contemplating this to take three weeks. I called office, because I didn't know if it was in normal range or something to be concerned with, they said to come in to check it out. I don't have any damage either, he just said that the fluid is staying trapped there. Showed me how to massage it to help drainage, and to take Motrin now to help with inflammation. He said my preparation for returning g to work was too much.....which is nothing compared to my job! He also said he would eval in two months to see if he might need to take more on the left side. I love that he is honest with me, and not running from any potential problem areas. I am so glad that your problem didn't affect your outcome. Recliner bound again is right! My daughter came by and said. "YOW.... That's swollen! LOL

Day 15 Post Op

Had my follow up with my Doctor yesterday. He has been ultra cautious with my hematoma that appeared on Day 10 (weird) and seeing me almost every two days since then. I've got the go ahead from him to get back to work on Monday and some other light activity. Still no exercise for about 28 days. BUT... what a relief!
So where am I at?... I have same numbness and hardness that everyone else has in front of the ears. It extends down into the jowl/jaw area and down the sides of my neck. Oddly enough , I've never had that choking sensation that a lot of people experienced and have full feeling again under my chin. That may have to do with having no lipo?
I still have some major scabs which he's advised me to gently massage to loosen and help them remove. That more than anything drives me crazy because it itches, I forget and then feel them. Thank goodness for longer hair! Which, btw... is ultra long and growing fast! It will be a while before I can get it cut. My PS is extremely cautious about compromising the skin with any kind of hair dryer or curling iron. And at this point so am I! So I just picked up some kind of product that helps put the waves and curls IN my hair to give it a little more styling. I got the pre-requisite sunscreen to layer under the primer and the foundation... sometimes it seems like so much stuff on my skin!
So last night was the very first since surgery I have slept almost laying down AND in my own bed! What a relief! I could even turn slightly on my side although laying flat on my cheek area wasn't to great and I just didn't want to.. but my goodness I had a full night of uninterrupted sleep in my own bed!
So things are good. I am going out with my husband and another couple for my inaugural public outing tomorrow night! This is my one friend who knew I was doing this... so it won't be as big a deal and I don't have to skirt around the issue of what did I do. In the end my anxiety for returning to work with the xtra time off I took will resolve the issue...I've lost about 6 lbs or so since I've been gone ( In know.. I don't get it either) my hair is significantly longer since almost 3 weeks ago and they know I've been doing nothing but relaxing for a post surgical complication. So.... it will be interesting. :)
I am very pleased overall with my results. I think it did exactly what I was looking for in all this; less tired and sad looking. 100%+ thrilled that I chose my Doctor for this. It is a huge leap of faith and trust to hand one's face over to someone and let them have at it. If I have any piece of advice for anyone contemplating this; it's to find the right PS.
If I can throw some makeup on later, I'll try to post a new picture! Have a wonderful day all!
My PS does not do lipo under the chin,neck with a FL, stating with this procedure it's too traumatic. He, instead cuts it out if needed. I haven't had that super tightness in my neck either that so many say they have. Maybe it is because neither of us had lipo?
So glad you are feeling good and positive Financegirl :). My hair needs to be shaped too, but like you, I don't want her tugging on my hair just yet. LOL
You look stunning, and for what it's worth, I think your hair looks fabulous wavy. Soooo lucky!

Post Op Day 15 pictures

Not so much change visibly from my last post... I just feel different with less swelling. :)
You look 35!
Leval59.. see that's what I'm wondering about some of the more involved multiple procedures. I don't think I could have handled laser or chemical peel on top of the FL. Even fillers, my doctor would not do. I asked if about that when I was there yesterday he said I'm not ready for them yet. I think he just is extremely conservative in his approach. I'm ok with that. Yes, I think it's maybe because we didn't have the lipo too.
Sofarsogood... thank you... it's so weird isn't it to look at ourselves almost as we were 10 years ago?! I still can't quite get used to it and actually I'm a little self conscious about it! I went out for lunch with my son & daughter in law and mom today. I was catching them staring at me.. very strange ! lol well I better get used to it... work is coming up Monday fast! As for hair.. the receptionist told me to get Beach spray! It worked! I was agonizing over either pincurls, soft rollers , finger twisting .. anything to give it some body! Usually I flatiron it for work... but no hairdryer, no iron for a while. But this really worked! I just hope it doesn't dry it out too much!

Day 15 xtra update

Well.. today was a good test for how I handled being out almost a full day. I did have lunch with my son and his family and my Mom. Then off to do a little poking and browsing at some stores. Before you knew it, it was 4:30PM! But I don't feel bad, and not too tired.. so I'm feeling like Monday ( my first day back at work) is going to be ok.
One thing I mentioned below was that I was catching my son and everyone looking at my face. That was the weirdest feeling!
The upside was for as hot as it is in the Northeast today, I didn't seem to have a problem when I got home with any additional swelling.. I'm hoping it stays that way!
Wow! You look fantastic!
Thank you so much! It's just great to feel so refreshed from all of this.
You are SO beautiful! The gift of your experience is priceless. Thank you.

Before photo

Just thinking about you and hoping it's not too tiring for you. Looking forward to hearing how it went
Popped in to see whether you are all ready to get back to work. I expect you will be tired, but you will be a really great looking tired! So glad for you that you were able to take the extra week. I think I speak for most everybody when I say it makes a HUGE difference in how you feel. Good luck!
Hi Sofarsogood! Yes, I am ready for tomorrow. In fact, I ran into work today and went through 100's of emails and did some advance work. I'm in agreement with you and the others that the additional time made a real difference in how I'm feeling. So the next hurdle will be facing everyone at work saying 'what happened' 'are you ok?' lol I just have to suck it up and "deal". :) Thanks for asking! I'll post my update tomorrow at day's end!

Day 18 Update/ Back To Work

Well I am currently on my recliner with my feet up after a full day! Cat on lap and TV and laptop in position! lol
I cannot believe how nervous I was to go back to work today. It's silly really but perhaps some of you reading this will recognize the feeling that with all we've invested emotionally and physically into this procedure it was, its own way, a life changing event. I believe I can approach people with more confidence and I'm more approachable in turn.
Thank goodness my hair grew fast while I was out recovering! I was also glad that I left it naturally wavy today. So that and some additional weight loss had people looking at me a little differently and I don't think they could figure it out. :) A couple of people asked me if I had cut my hair. Some people knew I was out unexpectedly with my hematoma and so asked me if I was alright and wanted to know what happened. Others who knew nothing said nothing, or asked me if I had a great vacation and what did I do and was it fun. If they only knew! :)
So the hair questions were easier enough to divert. The people who asked me about my health and what happened, I decided to tell them I had some work on the old scarring on my skin and had a complication with a hematoma. I told them while the story of what I did was too long to go into right now, the hematoma occurred and I was ordered to stay elevated and off my feet and out of work. That ended all of that. lol I had one woman asking my a lot of questions (and it seemed to me staring at my face intently) about whether I had gone away and whether I played golf etc. Thank goodness the phone finally rang!
So the first day of "school" is over and out of the way and life will get back to a more normal pace. I admit I am tired. I was mostly having difficulty staring at my computer screen and my eyes were blurring but also my neck is very bruised and sore where the hematoma was and it's difficult to turn my neck between that and the tightness from the lift. But I have survived it. My suspicion is that there will be many more 'firsts' for all of us with people we haven't seen for a while, Maybe client's who are frequent drop ins and perhaps events at work with co workers who will ask what's different. We've gone this far through all of this , so this stuff should get easier and easier.
I am thrilled I had this done. I'm delighted with my doctor's work. So all in all... a success!
So glad to hear your first day of work went well, and like you say, it will get easier from now on. Thanks so much for writing even though you must be tired.
Thanks Anli1974. Tired but still feel good. lol... at least my fingers still have energy. Do you think I can get my husband to cook dinner? :)
Wow! You look at least fifteen years younger!!!

Day 21 Post Op

At Day 21, I believe I'm through almost all of the recovery process. I'm back at work since Monday. I'm doing my floor exercises in the AM; thank goodness! As far as my healing is concerned I have minor scabbing behind my ears and a bit in the tragus on one ear. As I had a traditional facelift I did have some soreness in my scalp in areas that were stitched and that's virtually gone so I'm seeing a hair appointment in my near future! :) Swelling is significantly reduced and predominantly on sections in front of my ears down to my jaw . Other than that I have a little bit of soreness on each side of my neck and that's it! Oh.. and I still have shading of bruising on one side down my face and jaw line, but it's fairly well covered with my hair. So all in all, I'm happy to say that I've progressed significantly this week. I've thought a lot about how I've scrutinized my face these past three weeks and those prior to the FL. I know I've mentioned before what a self absorbing process this was; a lot of picture taking and angling the face this way and that to see our new profiles. In addition, in the healing process there's the thought once everything settles whether...horrors... is going to 'take' or fall back down again!? I'm planning on some finishing work with some fillers for vertical lines on my lips and horizontal lines on my forehead. I'll try it and see if it's worth it, but I can't really see me going back with great frequency. I'm happy with my results right now.
I had a guy come up to me at work and said, 'c'mon , tell the truth you went to some spa out in California, you look way too good!'
"Nope", I told him..." It must be the new makeup I got".
So for me, this is good. I'm really not looking for the proverbial fountain of youth. This process was worth every cent I paid and accomplished exactly what I wanted. I am one happy camper! Now if I can just get clearance to exercise and golf with my husband again! Have a great day all. :)
Love the most recent pictures you posted. Looking fab!
You look amazing!!!'

Incision Lines at 3 weeks

I thought for those wondering what their incisions might look like this far out that pictures might be helpful. One side is slightly more noticeable than the other but both sides are healing well and before you know it they'll be a distant memory! This weekend will be interesting as I am traveling with my husband to see my mother in law for the first time since I've had this done. She does not know I've done this and I'm not sure I want to tell her. We'll see what the reaction is. Whether I can explain the difference as weight loss, longer hair , new makeup just remains to be seen! I'll let you know on Monday post return. :) Until then I'll mostly be out of touch but hope you all have a good recovery weekend. For those who are anticipating your own FL surgery coming up may your weekend be relaxing and calm!
Hey Finance Girl! Your profile is awesome! Looking good. Do you still have tightness and pain when you yawn or sneeze at 3 wks out? Good luck with your trip. I wouldn't tell her--unless she asks. I'm not planning on telling my sister unless she notices or asks.
Hi mgrother! So absolutely no pain , no problem yawning or sneezing. For the most part, although I still have some numbness and tightness in my neck and jaw, I'm not even aware of it during the day! I'm now 29 days out, I'm pretty much doing everything except all out exercising and golf. I don't think anything is noticeable to other people, except I'm aware that I still have some minor darkness where bruises are fading. I really think that's part of my being so fair though. :) But other than that... I am back to my old self!
I am having a FL in Thailand July 3 and these pictures are sooo helpful so I know what to expect. I will be flying home 2 weeks after the procedure, I hope that is enough time. Will be resting in a nice villa afterwards with room service and a nice vegetarian restaurant. Any advice? Should I schedule any follow ups with my local doctor after I return? I usually heal fast. Also, just turned 60 and want to turn the clock back - I am looking forward to the results.

Post Op 31 Days- Back To Normal

It was an exercise in normalcy to have my haircut yesterday! It was suggested by my PS , who gave me clearance, to use the Salon located in his same building. What a great idea! The stylist was well acquainted with all of the nuances this far out when dealing with facelifts post op. My concerns about my own stylist tugging hard on my hair, his use of high heat of the dryer on areas of skin still numb and flat iron were totally avoided. I didn't have to deal with explaining everything in a public venue either. It was a wonderful experience. Everyone was great. They were extraordinarily gentle throughout the entire process and it was a great cut. I will definitely go back. Normal has begun today! I am cleared this week for everything. So my husband , who was in mourning without me, will have his golfing buddy back. Last night we had a picnic on the city green with friends watching Aaron Neville and sharing some great wine. It's really good to get to this point on the other side of recovery. It feels so long when one is in the throws of early recovery but now it feels short as I'm looking back and seeing how quickly our bodies can heal.
So how do I physically feel? I have some minor tenderness in the suture lines in my scalp. Still some swelling and numbness in my jaw and in the front of my ears, however, I can literally feeling it 'softening' up and not being as flat and hard as before. My upper eyelids are tender from the bleph. And my neck on the right side which had the most swelling and lumpiness has improved 90%.
My friend last night is reconsidering her decision to just do some fillers and considering her own facelift too based on my experience!. :) It was a nice feeling to have the guys take a picture of us together and feel like I didn't hate myself in it! Mentally, this has given me such a boost in my confidence as well. So all in all, what I was seeking in results mentally and physically have been achieved. I am thankful for my PS, my husband throughout this process and my health.
I know I've mentioned this in prior posts, I'll be doing what I've started to refer to as "finishing" work with my PS....I am scheduled for a filler for vertical lip lines and maybe the NL folds as they are reappearing as my FL swelling has decreased. We talked briefly about a non ablative Fraxel treatment ; at least I think that's what it is...but I can't afford more downtime like I just had. So we'll see. Obviously, I am all in favor of plastic surgery and doing what one thinks is important for themselves. But to be clear, I really don't mind being 58 years old. I'm not really seeing myself doing a long term maintenance thing. So I'll give it a go at least this once and see what it does. I have to believe that taking more care of my skin will be a better approach for my lifestyle and pocketbook. To that end, I am religiously using an SPF 50 medical grade sunscreen under my moisturizer. I wear a great SPF 60 hat I found pre FL last night at the concert. It is so wide brimmed it covers my neck as well. And so of course, I will be the most pale individual out on the golf course this year! lol In the end this was too much to go through not to take care of the work. :) Hope everyone is well and either well on their way through their own recovery as you read this and for those pre FL or in Recovery... hang in there. The other side of recovery is around the corner!
You look beautiful! Congrats! Life is short. Be and feel beautiful, you deserve it and btw you look nowhere close to your age :) xo!
Thanks so much nik07!  :)
Financegirl, did you get the fillers/injections done last Friday? How did it turn out?

Finishing Work

I'm off to my PS for what I am calling the "finishing work" today. I cannot recall what the product name is for the filler but he mentioned it was something new he was using. I'm curious to see how this works as much as anything. Honestly, I'm ambivalent about this as I am concerned about the maintenance of fillers. But I've gone this far, so I'll give it a go and see what happens! I'll post more following the appointment. To be continued, yet again.... :) Here's to everyone facing their own surgeries and to good results!
Great, looking forward for your results with filler.

I'm filled!

So...I arrived at my PS just a little bit nervous! Not really quite sure what I was having done except I knew that we talked about finishing off my FL with fillers. Can I tell you exactly what he used? Absolutely not! The product was something that was just recently approved here in the U.S.A but had been previously used in Europe. All I knew was that I was going to have this done to correct some of the more extreme vertical lip lines I had and perhaps more. But , I really have that much trust in my PS that nothing was going to be overdone and his eye for symmetry was good. As he said, it was really going to be subtle and that's what I wanted. So, I put myself in his hands. So how was it? Well....I have an extremely high tolerance for most anything, but I have to say that the upper lip sites that were injected did made me sit up and take notice. :) My PS did my vertical lines around the lips, the NL folds and on the sides of the mouth. Here's the most wonderful thing. What many of you might not see in my photos are more extreme areas on my face that are a result f acne scarring. (Makeup works wonders for that!) But I did have one area on the side of my mouth that my PS filled that lifted the scar beautifully! Even he was impressed. So at this point, I have a couple of minor bruises from a couple of injection sites that my husband has assured me that it's so minor it won't look like anything tomorrow. We'll see. I have to attend an event for my son tomorrow which is outside. I'm praying my makeup will cover everything and no one will know the difference! I'm most likely not going to have a chance to take and post photos until Sunday but I promise I will! Have a great weekend everyone!
You look fabulous! Thank you for the detailed account.
Bunnyman, thank you!  Appreciate your checking in on my review.  :)
You look so young and pretty.

Bruising From Fillers

Go figure... I am just one of those with significant bruising from the fillers I had done. And, honest, I did not take aspirin prior to the appointment on Friday. Sunday, I shot off a picture to my PS who was great and called me almost immediately. He said it's not what they typically see and yet it does happen. But he believes it will resolve fine. It seems slightly less deep in color today but even the makeup isn't going to do the best coverup for it. Oh well. I'm going to have to suck it up at work and hopefully no clients come it this week. I had a function to attend to for my son over the weekend on Saturday and had the glorious moment of meeting the Chief of Police who I'm sure thought I was a battered woman! While everyone is telling me it's not noticeable, they are being kind because it is. For some reason I can't take a photo of this to show you as my phone camera is giving me fits. ( My husband TOLD me to buy an Iphone!) Anyway, my PS is seeing me this week for a follow up and he'll check me out then. I'll keep you posted. :)


Ok...had my husband take the pic on his phone. ( more ammunition to get the iphone instead!) :)
you really look great, financegirl!
58 you say . . You look amazing more like 28!!!! I know whats next on my list :) your inspirational well done you
lol... Lubylu thanks!  Not sure if I'd like to turn back the clock to 28.  There is something about my age that has it's upside too. :)  (Just not the aging face!) 

Filler Update

It was a weird experience having my inaugural experience with having fillers artistically injected into lip lines, an acne scar and other problematic areas like the NL lines. I can see why a PS might cringe at hearing stories about spas and salons that do this kind of work. So I had about maybe 8 different injection sites. The worst, for me was a particularly deep vertical lip line yet oddly enough the real bruising came out on the area around my mouth. After a week everything has diminished except that one area and instead of a deep blue/black bruise it's fading to a lighter red; much easier to cover. My initial thought was that I'd never do this again. My thought now is that of course I'll do this again! I think the difference to those areas is really natural and finishes the work on my face really well. I'll be interested in seeing how this lasts. The next time I'll be prepared for the bruising and pay more attention to the things I'm drinking an eating prior to have this done. Off to exercise; thanks for reading!
Hi FG! I am considering filler, recommended by my PS for the deep marionette line on my right side, and I was wondering if you have the name of the product your PS used.
Hi Bski... it was Boletero  (sp?)  I can never, for some reason tell if it is with an "A" or an "O".  lol   But it's a very subtle look.  I'm happy with it.  I am going to post some additional pictures today and my comments regarding fillers later.  After the fillers around the mouth and for the ML by the nose, I had the Botox don on my forehead.  While it smoothed out the lines there and wearing my hair back is now kind of fun... it has give me a slightly heavy brow; more so over my left eye.  I did talk to my PS about it and as he said it should resolve in a couple of weeks and it has improved.  But one of the real delights for me with my FL was the upper bleph which really had opened up my eyes for the first time in years.  It totally got rid of my very tired look and I really have enjoyed that part.  So going backwards with the Botox was less enjoyable relative to my eyes.  Oh well.... anyway, the fillers for the M.L are easy to tolerate the injection after they numb your face.  It was a little tougher around the lip for the vertical lines there but really did give improvement overall.  Good luck!
Thanks for the info, FG. I've learned so much from you! And, btw, you look absolutely exquisite.

Three & 1/2 months out...But Who's Counting!

So here I am at 3 1/2 months. (yes I am counting!) It's been a while since I've updated my progress so I thought after giving all of this filler work a chance to settle in that I'd post my latest pictures.... especially after the horrible one of the bruising I've left out there! I have been incredibly pleased with my FL results. My PS and I have accomplished exactly what we set out to do with a minimal amount of processes involved. At this point in the recovery phase I have the same little obsessions as a lot of you out there. For instance, there's a part of me that wonders if this is the morning I'm going to get up and find something dropped or see my old neckline reappearing. Ugh! Me and myself, we then have to have a good stern conversation with each other and just get over it. Fact: the aging process will continue from the point of our facelift once again. My PS has said that to me many times over and I've seen it posted on the Q & A sections as well. So I have to tell myself to just cut out the obsessing. :) As far as the recovery is going, I have mentioned to someone else that I have swelling on my lower jaw that doesn't increase ever but just seems to be very slow at going away. There is still numbness in front of my ears that continues to gradually be decreasing but also just slow to go away. If I gently tap my fingers on the numbness I can feel a momentary tingling; to me a sign that improvement is continuing. There are times when I'll get a little pin prick sensation or a shooting 'zinger' in an area of the face. In addition, my neck under my jawline feels tight but good... not a strangling tightness. Absolutely none of this is bothersome. In fact I have embraced this as the whole FL being done right and so the healing continues! My husband and I played golf the other day and accidently connected my jaw and his head together bending down and getting up. Ouch! That didn't tingle , it hurt! I was wondering if I disturbed anything but I didn't get a bruise although it seemed hard enough to me to have one. I do have this little niggling fear of hurting my face in some accident. :) At all costs, I think, protect the face!
As for the fillers, I think it has enhanced most everything. The bruising was tough to take around the mouth. I did not like having to do the whole cover up thing for work! Nothing would work on those bruises but the heavy dermablend; not even my 'favored' Makeup Forever! So it was layered like a cake around my mouth until they faded away. The Botox, on the other hand was a breeze with no bruising whatsoever. The one caveat with the Botox, it did seem to give me a slightly heavier brow on my left side. My PS did say that could happen and it did. It will resolve and I actually do see some improvement. That's really a minor disappointment for me because I don't have very large eyes to begin with. The upper bleph was such a dramatic change only to look a bit heavy lidded post Botox. Yet, as you'll see , no horizontal lines on the forehead any more! In my work industry it's all about the risk and reward. So there's a little trade off here in this process which is about the risk and reward too. THAT was a little learning process that I went through in having more work done to my face. I'll remember those little trade-offs to manage expectations of the results I'm looking for in the future. I guess that means I'm still growing up if I can still learn. lol So I'll post a few pictures to give you the current look. I'm happy and life is good! I want to say it's been wonderful to communicate with everyone publicly and privately and I appreciate the kind words you've all said as I've gone through this process. Like so many others have expressed, it's been a great support group and it has enhanced my experience tremendously! To all of you out there a very heartfelt thanks!

Photos 3 1/2 months out

Finance Girl! LOVED your reviews here and LOVED your results! Have to say your bruising with fillers is something I experienced and will never do them again unless I stop my baby aspirin and FISH OIL, FAR in advance! I laughed at your meeting the Chief of Police, because I had nursery duty at church the weekend I had my bruising and I figured everyone picking up and dropping off babies figured I was a battered wife! LOVE all your comments and support you provide on this site! Big Hugs To You! Kathy
lol... thanks so much Kathy!  I was mortified to come face to face with the new chief of police my son had JUST hired!  ugh... what a presentation I made. :(  My mom kept telling me it was not that noticeable but I know she was just being nice.  On another note, I was at an outdoor client event last night and people kept telling me how good I looked and was it the hair cut, hair color , did I loose weight?  I said yes to all of them... lol... It is absolutely hysterical to know that people know something is different but can't quite put their fingers on it and start just picking an option!  :)  Just wait till you experience THAT Kathy!  I'm not sure what to do re: the mouth fillers again.  I'm seeing the doctor next week for a follow up and I'm going to ask him about it... like you , I'm going to stop all things for more time prior to anymore work being done.  Hope you're well!  FG
You are SO WELCOME! I had such different results from Juvaderm (no bruising) and then the Restalyne that I THINK if I were having it done again I MIGHT just go with the Juvaderm. They told me the Restalyne is a thicker agent and therefore they use a bigger needle, but then again it could have been the fish oil and aspirin! I stopped taking both of those in prep for a colonoscopy and will not resume until AFTER the FL! I just want NONE in my system this time around. And I am telling my hair on a daily basis, GROW, GROW, GROW! :-)) That is wonderful about your outdoor event last night- that is the result I want- people thinking I just am really well rested, or had a hair cut or color! AWESOME! You go gurl~! Kathy

Weird Moments Post Facelift

So on a beautiful Friday afternoon today, before a long Labor Day weekend, my husband and I figured we'd take in 9 holes on a local golf course. It was , of course, jammed packed. The single player in front of us suggested we play as a threesome since it was so backed up. It was around the 5th hole ...my husband was just getting ready to tee off and he stopped , turned around and said to the guy, "I know who you are...you were my wife's anaesthesiologist!" Glen, the nice guy single, turned to me and said, " what did you have done?" "Uh", I said... " I had a facelift" Talk about awkward moments. Who would have ever thought? Glen was an amazingly nice guy who admitted later he couldn't place us either but THOUGHT that he knew us. In the end, after we finished and left, I realized he was the doctor who, despite my saying I wanted to go home post surgery,told me that I wasn't convincing him and needed to stay longer for observation because I was feeling like I was going to pass out. Momentarily I was having a hard time concentrating on golf thinking , geez...this guy has seen more of me than I really wanted.. but in the end we all had a great time and it made for good levity throughout. When we finished, I told him how nice it was to meet him... AGAIN... and thanked him for his expertise. Not for anything, these guys/women who administer the anaesthesia during our procedures are as much of an artist as our PS. They get us through without trauma and pain. I know that my own PS commented ahead of surgery that his particular team was the best and I was happy to relay that information and compliment to Glen. This was such a weird, chance meeting. Add to that that I played pretty well which felt good. :) All I can say is that you never know who you're gong to meet and when! To all of you out there post FL, hope your healing is going well and have a good Labor Day holiday. Cheers..FG
Wow, I initiated this discussion and then never checked back in the actually read all the information provided above. Well, I did have it done, there are tiny scars, two weeks out, about half an inch coming out from each corner. They are barely visible. I'm very pleased with the result. The heavy (frown) lines around my mouth are gone, but it's looks completely natural.
My goodness you look amazing. You had a VERY successful lift. I am going in for one in June, and am very nervous. I am having a mini with SMAS plication and brow lift. I certainly am hoping for a great result similar to yours. Thanks for the review. Oh, and I hope you get this:))))
Thanks! I just had a revision a year after the initial surgery. I guess some grafted fat didn't survive, anyway had more put in on the right side and a mouth corner lift. I think I look better. I found that after the dust settled there were several odd lumpy areas caused by the surgury. A person is naturally asymmetrical and the surgery and scarring creates new weirdnesses. But overall of course I still look much better than I did.
Westport Plastic Surgeon

I wanted to update my review post op because I am truly astounded at the ease of my recovery and so happy with my outcome. Further, I am more and more impressed with the artistry and skills of Dr. O'Connell as my healing continues. I have had virtually none of the pain and issues that other people have described. Although I realize that some of this is dependent on my own health, I also have to attribute this to Dr. O'Connell's approach to handling the surgery itself. He said himself, he is very gentle. In addition, I know that he takes whatever time is necessary to create the optimum outcome for his patients. There is no doubt that this is an anxiety producing procedure; it is after all our face! So, in that regard, I would not hand my face over to anyone else. I also have to say that I've had both required and elective procedure's done by him. Each time he was forthright and assisted me in managing my expectations about the outcome. He allowed me as the patient take the lead on what I wanted to accomplish yet was open to suggesting options and providing his medical opinion. There's no high pressure sales here. His priority is always is on the best outcome for the most natural look and for that he has an artistic eye. It was always my feeling that my surgery was a team effort between myself, Dr. O'Connell and his staff. That alone took this experience to a new level of trust. It was helpful through each phase of the process, once my decision was made to have a facelift, to know that everyone was readily available to me for pre and post op for questions and concerns or to see Dr. O'Connell if necessary. Picking a PS wisely is so critical for one's outcome and experience. I am so pleased with my results and my recovery that I would highly recommend Dr. O'Connell if you are considering plastic surgery.

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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