Mid 40s Yr Old with Prematurely Aged Neck

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I'm so nervous about having my neck done by Dr....

I'm so nervous about having my neck done by Dr. Harley in late April. I have lack of HGH due to an illness i have called CFS and i have prematurely aged overnight in my neck. I'm in a new relationship and do NOT want him to find out what I'm doing...but I can't just disappear for one week without riling up much suspicion. Anyone have any ideas of what i can say? tooth surgery? how would that account for the chin scar? I want NO ONE to know as this is my private business.

I'm also worried about disfigurement and nerve damage. Anyone have any type of experience like this?

Morning or afternoon appts?

For those of you who have seen Dr. Harley, what time did you have your appt? Early morning at 6:15 is frightful to me - i'd never sleep the night before. so i booked a 1 pm. however, i'm worried that Dr. Harley may be sharper in the morning....any feedback on this?

Pic uploaded of before

this is not a 45 yr old neck! prematurely aged and so embarrassed!

6 days to go before surgery - nervous, but excited to get rid of this!!!

Here are some pre-photos done as best as I could while remaining anonymous. in many of them, I am slightly looking down (like if I were on the computer or cooking or bending over someone....ugh)! when my face is forward, it's not as bad. it's just the slightest movement downward and I look 20+ years my age.

New USERNAME to those who have been following me - please take note and keep following me!

I need all the support I can get! Thanks

4 days to go!

For those of you who had TLC or a relative/friend with you, what did the friend/relative do during the night? did they stay awake with you? I'm sure TLC did. is it to keep you from sliding down your pillows and to take the medication properly? my friend will stay with me, but she has to work the next day and won't be up with me the entire night. i'm used to sleeping on my back in one position due to sciatica, so i doubt I'll fall/slide down. i also have a big sleep system that keeps me up. Thanks!

Tomorrow's the Day!!!

I"m soooo nervous! i go in at 1pm tomorrow. Please keep in touch with me in case I need any support! thank you

Made it through the first night.

I am amazed at those who say they felt no pain. i deal with sciatica pain and my pain was so bad last night it surpassed that pain even with max dose of hydromorphone! i am also amazed at those who say they don't remember anything - i had 6.5 valium and STILL was awake during the whole thing (but it was totally fine as I felt removed from it) and then went home slept for 3 hrs and then had the roughest night of sleep ever due to pain. i even took another valium, pain meds, nasuea med - finally around 4, i slept til 8.

Getting my bandage off soon this a.m. i am hoping it's healing properly and I am in less pain after the mask/bandage is off. Kelly and Dr. H said it looked great - here's hoping for good results and less pain from here on out!

BTW, i didn't realize until just before i downed my cocktail of meds that three stitches are permanent under the chin (inside). i was a little freaked out by that as i don't want a foreign object in my body with an already compromised immune system - but Kelly seemed to assure me that it was totally fine - made of nylon and the body just ignores it or calcifies around it. other wise without those stitches, you apparently can get bands that run down your neck from that muscle.

anyone here who's done this have a problem with the stitches under the chin long term?

Day one profile pic

I also wanted to add Dr. H said that the nylon internal permanent stitches are common in many surgeries. I hadn't cleaned up the blood yet from the drain. my neck looks great, but I look deformed (as we all do at first i think) like an alien head on top of a thin neck.

Day two - feeling better - slept well

I love my profile, but still have that "joker" face with pulled smile and bigger face than neck. I changed pain meds and took 1/2 at bedtime at 9 am, then 1/2, plus a valium at 2 am and slept til 8 thank god. i needed the rest - although very hard to sleep sitting up. my neck is getting injured/sore!

Four days post

It appears that my swelling might be coming down a bit - or I'm just getting used to the look! I'm starting to yellow now down the sides of my neck and even a blue like triangle from my neck all the way down the my chest (very faint and doesn't show up on the pics - but I see it). i'm wondering if this is normal? or internal bleeding (i guess that's what a bruise is though).

I've been icing, no salt - only protein shake for breakfast, kefir (to replenish probiotics) for lunch and homemade pureed soups (carrots, celery, onion, chickpeas, bone broth, shredded chicken, rosemary, and kale) whipped up in a mixer like baby food. I still cannot chew without a lot of pain and swelling to follow. Resting, resting resting - i have no choice due to exhaustion. Last night was the first night I only took one tylenol (no more narcotics) and no more valium. only bendaryl to sleep as I want me brain chemistry to balance back out. feeling a bit better today as yesterday I was having panic attacks due to the stress of this and all the benzos i think.

i'm not sure, but think i'm getting some feeling back under my chin and sides of my face and tightness is slowly getting better (it's a feeling like you have a face mask on).

Two weeks post

it seems i'm healing well. i still have the hard knots next to my ears/jaw and a new hardness appeared on friday (which I saw Dr. H for) and he said it was the platysma muscle hardening up - i guess due to swelling and trauma. he said it softens. but what it feels like is a very hard lump/band starting at my trachea and moving out 1-2 inches on either side. it's barely noticeable to look, but to feel it's like swollen lymph nodes would feel. the tightness is still there in my neck - like i couldn't look up to the sky totally and numbness is still there but a bit better. i'm wearing the silicon strips and using a scar cream. Overall, and so far, I'm very pleased with the results. My scars are healing fast - and that made me think "oh, well I'm healed" and went out for a big night on the town which set me back one week (also due to CFS). i realize and forgot the true healing and major surgery was underneath the skin and just b/c your external stitches are out and wound healing, we need a lot more time to take it easy. here are updated pics. on my right there is that pinch near temple that i hope goes away. but i think i can hide these w/ make up and my hair for awhile.

Need help/advise from veterans

Since last thursday, i've felt this tight swollen band across my throat as I stated in my last post. it's getting noticeable and creating creases along my neck. Did anyone else go through this? I'm 15 days post. see pics and please comment. it's like a hard knot on either side of my throat that goes about 2 inches on both sides.
Dr. H did see me briefly and felt it on friday and said it was the platsmya muscle (sp?) and it hardens then softens over time. but this is getting noticeable and creating wrinkles and lines along my neck! Did anyone else go through this?
Thanks for any input!

One month post

So far I'm very pleased with the results and have gotten compliments as well on my looks. i do have so much more self-confidence now and so far am happy i did this. i'm still very sore though in my neck and sides of face and cannot look up to the sky yet. the tight bands around my trachea are still there - apparently they are scar tissue that will soften over time. i am worried about the swelling of it when it dies down, will there be excess skin? numbness is about 50% resolved. I actually got back together with the boyfriend above and being in the medical field, he noticed my scars on my face - like one tiny little speck of a scab!! and did say "when did you get that scar - i didn't notice it before....hang on...let me see the other side of your face....did you get a face lift?!". i about fell on the floor as i did sooooo much to hide this from him including breaking up with him. and he saw one little scab and totally knew what i did! i did reduce the term face lift to "removed excess skin from my neck from my weight loss and CFS when I had the benign tumor removed from my neck." he didn't judge or think much of it and just supported me...and keeps saying "now I can see your face from the 20s and 30s pics of you". anyway, i couldn't have kept that as the scars are still not gone and he's too observant... the pics are of today just after I got out of the sauna, so i'm probably redder than i normally am.


I've been meaning to do this update for months now. I am overall pleased with the results - it's not perfect as I still have a little tiny gobble just above the adam's apple that has been there since just after the surgery...and it looks pulled. But it's 80% improvement on what was there before and I have gotten many compliments on how young I look. I'd recommend Dr. Harley and his staff as they are very accommodating and wanting to give you good service and he is good at what he does.
Almost all the numbing in and around my ears and face near ears is 95% gone. Where incision was on chin is about 55% gone. I have more flexibility than i did, and am almost able to bend my neck/head back as far as before. there still is some extra skin i wish wasn't there on my neck but you can't get perfect. also almost all of the scaring is gone - all that's left is a small scar under my chin and on my left ear just looks like a crease. i still have "bumps" behind my ears but they have lessened. I'm very glad I did this surgery as it gave me so much needed self-confidence again. I do wish I'd have done my eyes at the same time...but then again the recovery from just the neck was a lot. I also do not recommend doing any other major surgeries anytime near this one. I had a tooth/jaw deep surgery one month after the face that hasn't healed properly (chronically infected and bone not growing back). I believe it was too much for my body to try and heal...
I'm very glad I did this
Asheville Facial Plastic Surgeon

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