Tired of Looking Tired and Looking at my Not So Nice Neck and Jowls. Aliso Viejo, CA

It seems I started aging overnight, last 3 yrs(?);...

It seems I started aging overnight, last 3 yrs(?); having a long illness took a toll. But I want to have my outside match my younger inside self :) My eyes look tired and the jowls and neck area really age me. And so I've been roaming this site forever. I've read many reviews and stories, looked at hundreds (maybe thousands) of pictures. I have appreciated every review, good and bad. I've also done a lot of researching on my favorite surgeons. My hubby was very upset when I first told him I wanted to do this; his comments were, "I love you just the way you are", "you look beautiful", "you don't need it", "we don't have disposable income", "there are more important things than that..." I stood my ground. And finally, "I'm against it and so if you insist on going through with this you're going to have to save for it on your own!" And so... I've been saving and saving $, penny pinching really. First things first. :) And... I finally decided on Dr. Miller as my surgeon and have scheduled my SMAS and bleth for 4/12/16 :) Yeah!!! Although there are many good surgeons, my decision to go with Dr. Miller, besides his attention to detail was that he is one of the very few surgeons that show healed incisions after the surgery- flawless; no hair distortion nor loss of sideburns. Most surgeons "after" pictures have their patients covering their ears with their hair, I just don't trust that. I most often wear my hair up and want to continue to do so without the tell tale signs of surgery.

There are many cosmetic surgeons in Chicago, but non that I felt would do as well a job. There is one, Dr. Epstein, his work is excellent, but with one horrible review I just couldn't take a chance especially when it comes to the face. And so there's the added cost of travel and lodging etc.; another issue with hubby. He had just come around recently and was balking at the travel to Ca, but after seeing and reading Epstein's review, he gave me my blessings and safe journey to Ca.

As of today, date is scheduled, deposit has been paid, hotel reservations have been made and airline tickets have been purchased.

I'll post pics in the near future.

Trip approaching :)

Time does fly! From starting to save the funds for the procedure (2 yrs) to actually getting everything ready for the upcoming trip to CA. I was concerned because I tend to be anemic but my hemoglobin were decent enough to get a go :) My labs etc were done and sent to Dr and in exactly 7 days from today, I'll be having my procedure done. I've been nervous now and then but as the date grows closer I'm just excited!!!

Getting ready

I'm getting ready and making sure I have everything I need during the trip. I looked everywhere for a wedge pillow and nada, so I'm ordering one from amazon along with a boomerang pillow (it looked so comfy) and am having them shipped to the hotel; one good thing about this is I don't have to lug them around getting there. Is there anyone having a procedure with Dr. Miller that same week?


Not the best pics, but it'll do for now. I'll have to post more later.

Ugh! Wifi issues

Wifi keeps dropping and i keep loosing my update, same thing with my message replies. I was about to "post" this last time with pics and poof! Gone! I'll try again tonight.

A week in (9 days actually) post op

Feeling fine :)

The day before procedure i had my scrips filled. That night I also spoke to my anesthesiologist- all good. The day of surgery i had my "before" pics taken :/ good grief! I mean who takes photos without makeup? not me. Can't wait to get rid of that 'ol girl in the pics. lol Dr. Miller took the pics and then drew on my face. He was very kind and attentive. Sandi was there all through my prepping: I trully appreciate all her support. Everyone was very kind. I was given something for nerves, but by the time i got to the or table it was- lights out! The procedure was 7 hrs long. Yes it's a long time, but he is meticulous and this is the reason I chose Dr. Miller. The first night of the surgery you are required to stay at the clinic, this is very important and something I appreciate as I was in their care for almost 24 hrs. I had a nice nurse with me throughout the night, she offered to bring me breakfast that morning. I wonder how many people actually eat breakfast the next morning.lol One thing I really appreciate is Sandi coming in really early the next day to check up on me and just sitting with me to just chat...I felt very comfortable and well taken care of. Dr Miller came in around 8am and checked everything out. There was a bit of swelling on my right cheek which he promptly aspirated. Sandi and Dr. Miller saw me all the way to my car :) Talk about service!!! My daughter drove me to my hotel and everything was actually better than expected. The only hiccup was that night when i took my scheduled pain reliever, I was prescribed Percoset but turns out this drug doesn't do much for me and so i was in pain for most of the night. this issue was quickly resolved with a vicodin script.

i read somewhere where someone said it's the worst 7 days of your life. lol Not. I expected more pain, but really it's just discomfort from swelling and the discomfort of having to sleep at an upright position with your head at an angle. About 5 days of that. ugh. And you swell! I would get up every 2 hrs or so and walk around with cool wet face towels around my face. This really helps.

I couldn't see much of anything the first 2 days. My eyes were swollen and had stitches holding eyelids somewhat closed. I resembled an alien, large swollen reddish blue eyes. I resemble a lemon head now.

I saw Dr Miller that Friday 3rd day after procedure, he said everything was coming along just as expected. Some stitches were removed. The worst was over. My daughter took me on a ride around OC and it was back to the hotel.

I saw Dr Miller again on Monday, he removed most of the stitches and mentioned that I may be healing a bit slower than the average due to medications I've been on and which I had to stop taking 2 weeks prior to procedure. Everyone is different. The worst thing I could've done was to expect to heal as quickly as other women I've been following on RS. Nothing to worry about, but sucky anyhow as it's Thursday and I have to walk around doing the "arab" thing as my girls call. I'm due to fly home in 2 days and I'm still bruised and swollen. Granted not as it was like last week, still. On the other hand, I was having issues with my hemoglobin count and was afraid I would have to postpone my procedure; this case scenario would've been worst.

As of today, the incisions are looking great! So far so good. The bruising has subsided a lot but i still have some around the eyes and mouth area and swelling around the eyes and face. It really hasn't been much time and
I'm sure I'll be happy with results.

I've had a horrible time with the wifi in my room and have finally ventured out into the lobby to use their computer. Of course the girls at the front desk are all in their 20s and do double takes when they see me. lol.

As I mentioned before, I could've saved $ by going to a surgeon back home along with saving on the trip expenses, but i had my heart set on Dr. Miller, his work I feel are bar none. He made me very comfortable, he was honest about what he could for me and steered me away from an endoscopic brow lift which he felt I did not need and explained that the cost for such procedure would meet my expectations in the long run. I will look into the reg brow lift when I need it, hopefully many yrs from now. :) I did not know that this procedure didn't last very long, maybe as long as the weekend lft or short scar neck lift. Good to know! By the way, other surgeons were ready to do the brow. :/

I'm debating about staying here until Tuesday (because of the swelling) or heading out on Sat. Dr. Miller feels I can leave on time. My girls think I should go and so does my beau at home, he's been counting the days until I'm back home. :) :) But that's because he hasn't seen this bruised up lemon head. lol I have my last appt tomorrow.


I've been feeling a big hum drum and so haven't updated blog. sorry. But all is done and so far so good.

I love Dr. Miller and Sandi, he's great and she's the nicest person you'll ever meet and just as beautiful. They made me feel very comfortable and were very accommodating, I was glad I went with this surgeon.

The first day I spoke to Dr. Miller about what I found my issues were, the only thing he said there was no need for was the endoscopic brow lift because I just didn't need i;. I'm glad because I now agree, I don't need it. We agreed, the high smas/neck lift, upper and low bleth with some fat grafting to the cheekbones, nasolabial and eye area; the eye area is the fat that moves out of place and leaves the hollowness in the lower eye area. He explained everything to me, I was shown around the clinic and given my scripts which I filled that day. The anesthesiologist phoned that evening and everything was good to go.

The next morning, 4/12, day of procedure, I was met by Sandi who was there to make sure I was comfortable and to offer moral support. Everyone was very nice. Seriously. Once you're there, it's all about you. I was given something for nerves just in case, but as soon as I was on the bed- I was out up until sometime in the early morning and was being looked after by night nurse who checked on me regularly. She even offered me breakfast that morning. lol. I wonder how many people take her up on breakfast. Sandi was there really early that morning making sure I was comfortable and sat with me until Dr. Miller arrived. I am very grateful for Sandi, she made everything flow seamless. Dr. Miller arrived to check on me and everything was going according to plan. Dr Miller and Sandi wheeled me into our car :)

I felt great up until that night when it was time to take my pain meds, I was prescribed percoset (strong stuff), but it didn't really work on me, it took about 45 mns to kick in and only lasted 2 hrs. It was not a good night. We contacted Dr. Miller early the next morning and he prescribed me vicodin and everything was good again.

For the first 2 days I really couldn't see much, everything was blurry due to ointments and antibiotic drops. And I swelled, but kept it at bay with cool wet towels. The nights were the worst because then I really swelled and was very uncomfortable; I would get up every 2 hrs or so to walk around with the towel to alleviate the swelling. The worst had to be the first 4-5 days because i just couldn't get a good sleep and any sleep did get was very uncomfortable. I had my wedge pillow, boomerang pillow and 4 more pillows and still wasn't comfortable. On top of that, I usually sleep on my side. But once I started sleeping 6 hrs or more things started to change for the better even though I looked like a beat up lemon head.

I had the procedure done the April 12 and returned home on the 23rd. I asked Dr. Miller if he though i needed to stay longer but he said everything looked good and he didn't think it was necessary. My last office visit with Dr. Miller was Friday the 22nd, everything looked good but he did mention that I was a bit slow in healing. The thing is, I've been on methotrexate for 2 yrs and they slow things down, everything tends to heal at a slower pace. i.e., a cold that should last a few days will stay with me for twice as long. He had me stop the meds (ok'd by my doc) 2 weeks before my procedure but it seems the effects stayed in my system for a longer period of time. That is not good. I was hoping to be further along in healing than I am now, but I still have some bruising and swelling and some healing issues (will post pics). But I'm coming along.

Slow progress.

After reading so many reviews I was really expecting to be further ahead. Everyone is different.

speed bump

dark bruising that didn't seem to want to go away, Biafine didn't seem to help it.

Finally coming along :)

I haven't posted because there really wasn't much to report... But as of this past weekend, it's finally moving along! Much of the swelling has dissipated with swelling lingering at the outer side of the eyes (temples?), not up high but just between the hairline and the eyes. And the eyes... :) Loving how they are looking; I still have a little residual bruising very low but I think it'll be gone within the week and the incision area is smoothing beautifully. The lower part of the face or area where buccal fat pads were reduced has lingering swelling but is doing much much better and my neck is coming along beautifully, no more melting neck. It is still somewhat tight, but this is to be expected and I massage often. The incision under the chin has thinned and is looking a lot better, in fact my hubby hadn't even noticed it was there until I showed it to him! He says it's really not noticeable unless I pointed out and of course it'll eventually fade and... make up will help. Regarding make-up, I always wore it but now when I wear it it feels like mud; maybe my pores haven't completely kicked in but I can't stand the feeling of it on my face. Has anyone had the same experience?

The area behind the ears healed, I ended up with a small scars behind each from where the scabs were and some darkening in the skin but Dr. Miller has assured me that this will be addressed and eventually heal beautifully. I trust him and am not concerned at all. I'm really happy with the results thus far and can't wait for the final results.

It has been a slow progress for me, but then everyone heals at their own pace. Another reason for my slow progress in the swelling area is that I am not able to take any aspirin based products, so drugs such as Advil that would help speed up the process, I could not take. I tried Naproxen, but it irritated my stomach something awful and so stopped using it. The only things I've been doing and don't know it has actually helped the process is fresh veggie and fruit juices with lots of pineapple, blueberries, parsley etc to help with the swelling; one good thing about the juices is that it's helped with my anemia :) I drink them several times a day. One out of two isn't bad.

Dr. Miller would like to see me sooner than later for a follow up and to address the back of the ears so I'm flying out the 1st for an appt on the 2nd, I'll be having my peel then too. I thought I would be staying for the week for the process but was advised there was no need, so I'm flying back Fri morning. Once again, I'll be hiding at home, this time looking like a burn victim. lol.

I took pics a couple of days ago and will post them soon.


It has taken long but I'm happy with the results I'm seeing.




I had the follow up with Dr Miller on the 2nd, it went really well. He gave me some shots to help with the swelling: under my jaw, behind the ear/neck area, one in the side of neck where drain was in and in the incision area to my right eye. He also gave me some bleaching cream for the darkening of the skin behind the ears. He also gave me another 5 day methylprednisolone pack to take to aid with the swelling. He said everything was looking really good but that I needed to do better stretches on my neck, and here I thought I was doing a great job :)

That day I also had the medium peel, The Perfect Derma Peel; this is the peel for people with olive and or black skin. It went ok. I was expecting it to be something horrid but it wasn't, somewhat irritating/burning to the skin but not unbearable, I had red blotches around the face though. I had it done Thursday about 11 a.m. and began to peel Friday night. It's been peeling pretty good, I thought it was going to take a few days more before I saw any peeling. The peeling really comes off in the shower, it softens and by rubbing your face lightly in circles it just comes off. I think I'll be done with the peeling in a couple of days. Thus far, I see nothing. The peel is supposed to help with pores, hyperpigmentation due to pimples etc and fine lines. The areas that have peeled show no difference. I'll give it a full week from when I had it, but just don't see it happening. The thing is, that on the pamphlets and advertisement they show 2 women with issues in their skin and after (supposedly) only one session their skin look fabulous; there is no way that these two women got these results with just one session, they had to have had a few :/ which means that the cost to the peel ends up being a whole lot more than the one session and this is not good considering I have travel and accommodations to pay for all my follow ups. So far, not a happy camper...but we'll see by next Thurs.

On the upside, the injections took rather quickly and the swelling has gone down noticeably, I'm even going out of the house now. :) I still have a little bruising under the eyes, but not too bad, I can cover them with concealer.

I am scheduled to see Dr. Miller again Aug 4th for my second follow-up. I'm really pleased with Dr. Miller, his follow up care is bar none. And the results I'm seeing... a much younger is very close :) Can't wait!


It's taken me awhile, but the results I'm seeing are simply amazing! I'm loving the much younger me and can't wait until all the swelling has subsided. I'm not wearing any makeup as I want to show actual results; with makeup I look fabulous! lol I use the face cream that came with the derma peel but also use vitK as well as the skin is really dry especially around the eye area.
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon

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