52 Yrs Old, Biltmore Lift (Lower Face/neck Lift), Possible Bleph. Asheville, NC

Finally called & scheduled my consult date,...

Finally called & scheduled my consult date, July 27! Didn't realize Dr. Harley was so far booked out...I asked to be on the cancellation list since I'm only 2 hours away (Charlotte). I kept putting off scheduling, thinking I could get some weight off & then book but I feel the time is now. I am in the beauty industry (Esthetician) & I know I may have more of a tendency to focus on flaws but the jowls & neck have really gone down hill in the last couple years!! I know I use good skin care including a great retinol, c serum, copper peptides, etc. so I know my skin has all it needs to thrive but the lack of elasticity is pretty bad. I really feel that going through the change causes the skin suffers the most. I've started taking some vitamins to work on this internally (Collagen, Hylauronic Acid, etc) hoping to slow this aging process down a bit. I'm excited about this journey & have been so encouraged by you ladies that have shared their. Let me thank you all now & welcome any advice & tips!

I have a surgery date!

I had my consult with Dr. Harley yesterday! He & Juanita are as wonderful as everyone has already stated. Dr. H. seems to be a very kind & humble man, soft spoken & not in a hurry. He answered my questions & went into details. He said he did recommend a Bleph for me but we are waiting to see if the Botox he put in could give a lift instead. I have had my 11's botoxed before but he injected the whole brow line in hopes of a lift. I'm excited to see if that works for me!

There were a couple of dates in August available for surgery but I went with Sept. 22 nd, 6:00 in the morning! I will be stocking up on supplies (arnica, bromelian, etc) in hopes of keeping the bruising down. I will need to be back to work within 10 days so I plan to be compliant with the protocol.

Looking forward to future updates!

I have a cleft in my neck!

Something new every day...I knew my neck had that creepy hanging skin but now with so much laxity I'm creating a cleft....ahh the joys of aging! Lol! Chalk up another reason to get this surgery done!

My tired face

I've been waffling back & forth on having the upper Bleph done. You can see how my right eye isn't that bad but the left is completely hooded. My concerns are with possible complications such as dry eye...I also wear contacts & don't want t be stuck with glasses long term. It seems to make sense to go ahead & get it over with now...thought about doing a brow lift at a later date as well. My surgery is set for 9/22 so I need to decide soon.

10 Days to go.....

Thought I'd post a current pic of me smiling since in all the others I look like a grump. Lol! All the sagging & jowling aren't quite as prominent when I smile :). I've stopped taking fish oil & baby aspirin (hope I don't have a stroke!) in prep for lift. Next week I'll start Bromelain & Arnica. Reservations are made for The Baymont Inn (5 min from Dr. Harley's office). My 70 yr old mother is coming with me & we plan to do a little antiquing the day before surgery. I've got a feeling once Mom sees how I manage with the surgery that she may sign up! I'm bringing my Magic Bullet for blueberry/pineapple smoothies. I'm concerned about keeping the swelling down... I've seen some pics where the swelling looks painful. Any other suggestions from those of you on the other side welcomed!

The smiling pics

Here's my no makeup pic. It looks like mascara but I have lash extensions. You sure can see the jowls from the side view. Hope to post an after pic with that gone!

Cost for Biltmore Lift with Upper Bleph

I've tried to update my original post on cost for those interested. For some reason there is a tab for updating but when I save the info it doesn't change. So it's $6400 for BL & $2400 for upper Bleph. A total of $9000 for my surgery. There is also a $500 deposit required to hold your surgery date.
My surgery is THIS Thursday (9/22) at 6:15 a.m. Feeling excited, little anxious, a lot selfish. I think about the vacation my husband & I could have.... He has been so sweet about this. Won't say I NEED the surgery but he gets me. I don't have to show him the before pics because he remembers what I looked like as young woman. I have realistic expectations & honestly don't expect to look like a 30 year old. Just don't won't to feel BAD about the sag on my face. Thankful for all the support...at home & with RealSelf. It's reassuring to go back & view others who have been there & done that. :)

Warning - Picture overload!

So maybe I'm obsessing a little....I will be busy working this week so I won't be able to dwell on the surgery (leaving for Asheville Weds!) but I want get some before pictures in good lighting,pointing out all the things I'm hoping will be resolved with this surgery. The symmetry is off on my eyes & jowls. My Left eye is hooded more than right & I have heavier jowling on right side than left. My goal is to do side by side "afters" showing a fresher me!

Close up for upper bleph

Hello from the other side!

It's done. Back in the room. Sipping on a little coffee. Only complaint is a headache & annoying feeling when I blink that my eyelids don't close due to swelling. Doc said ok to take extra strength Tylenol along with pain meds but not due to take prescription drugs until 1:00pm. I was awake during the surgery & able to speak but felt no pain at all. It only took about 3 hours for BL & upper Bleph. I go back tomorrow at 9:30 to remove drain. The drain needs to be emptied a couple times before then & my sweet Mom is being an excellent nurse! Will keep you posted with any updates. Time for a little nap!

Update Morning After

Hey Ladies THANKS to all who have wished me well!! I started trying to respond to every post & then it became cumbersome so here's my morning after experience: I feel fabulous! No pain whatsoever. I have not taken any pain meds since I got up (around 5 a.m - fell alseep early last night. ) now I WAS a bit miserable last night..my head felt like it was going to explode. Mainly because this head wrap feels like it's digging in my head. It's elastic & I imagine the swelling was making it tighter...I kept pulling it away from my face to give relief & that seemed to help a little...finally pulled all the cotton they wrap inside the elastic OUT & that helped a bunch. That & the Hydromorphone I took Did the trick! As far as eating I was able to open my mouth barely enough to put in a fork. I ate 1/2 a baked potatoe (a little too much chewing) & yogurt with blueberries. My mom went to a Mexican restaurant with a friend last night & brought back some refrained beans with sour cream. I never thought refried beans ever tasted so good. Lol! I leave later this morning to get the gang wrap removed - yippee!! I will go ahead and take a pain pill in anticipation of the draining tube sliding out. Yuk! Will keep you posted!

Quick pic before heading home

FYI: Kelly did get after me for taking the cotton around the face out last night. She said it can cause more bruising, etc by taking out too early so don't follow my lead in that. Pulling out the drainage tube was not bad at all. Dr. Harley comes back in and gently expresses as much fluidas he can. I'm feeling fine & don't plan on taking any more pain medicine. The face is numb & I can tell I'm starting to swell a little...feels like I'm wearing a mask. So far no bruising but I have seen others who didn't have any at first & ended up with some later. Keeping my fingers crossed! I am loving seeing a smooth jawline so far!!

Day 3 progress

These pictures are taken right after I woke up this morning & iced for 20 min. I am still very swollen & hope things will look better after I start moving around & get some good fluids in my system. I haven't washed my hair since surgery & plan to take that project on later this morning. Not sure how drying the hair is going to work...I've always flipped my head over to get volume & that's a big no no! It kind of hurts to smile right now..pushing the checks up just makes things worse. I stayed in all day yesterday & I think I'm starting to get cabin fever. If it weren't for the tape holding my "antennas" down between my eyes, I would probably go out to lunch with my family this afternoon. Funny note - my 16 year old son has yet to notice anything different about his mom! Lol! My daughter notices everything but my son thinks I just went antiquing in Asheville for a couple days! :)

Day 4 Observations

Took it easy around the house today doing some light cleaning/laundry, kid pick up/ drop off, cooking, etc. I decided to fix up a little in case i ran into someone & had to speak. I didn't bother putting makeup on but since my eyebrows are barely there (much like my nonexistent eyelashes) I penciled them in & put on some lipstick. You can see in the pictures I have yellowish bruising showing up directly under the eyes. There is also a bruise on the neck that I think came from the compression garment & some under my chin where the scar is. I have some close up pictures of the sutures too. Just keeping it real for all those curious. I'm really pleased about the side profile showing a new sharp jawline! I feel I still don't quite look like myself from the front. Partly because of the swelling & it appears one of the apples of my cheek is higher than the other when I smile... I'm guessing it's not permanent since it is only day 4 so I need to be patient & not obsess. My eyes look quite different in a good way but I'm also used to having lash extensions which gives a different look.. I think I'll stay away from the mirror for a while...atleast until I get my stitches out. :)

Day 9

I got my stitches out Thursday and let me tell you I feel like a new person having them gone! It was not too bad except for the right Bleph stitches..it felt like they had settled in real good and it was a little snagged coming out. It comes out in one long suture. I know I'm giving details you may not want to hear but if you're like me, the more details, the better. Lol! Also after I got home there were 2 stitches that were poking through the skin & I just took my tweezers & pulled with no problem. I am thrilled to say that the left lid is no longer hanging lower than my right! Thank you Dr. Harley!!! You can go back at some before pics & see what a difference! I was able to wear my contacts for 1/2 day yesterday with just a little dry scratchiness towards the end of the day. I plan to go a longer today & I feel I will be back to full day soon. As you can see it looks pretty red/purplish with Bleph scar. I bought Dermablend stick concealor & it does a good job hiding. I am very happy with the Biltmore Lift! I had mentioned before that I saw an unevenness with the apples of my cheeks..with the swelling you see many strange things that seem to disappear. I still have more swelling on my left side than my right...both cheeks are hard to the touch...i know what I see today will only improve in the next few weeks. Try not to panic if you see something odd. Every day that passes it gets better! I do want to mention that the scar tape is awesome. I bought Mepitac from Amazon. My paperwork says to use as much as possible for the first 8 weeks. When I'm home I have it on... I can see a difference. I also put it behind my ear so if I wear my hair up it the scars wont be as noticeable. That's all I can think of for now. Will update again in a few days.

2 weeks post op

I wanted to give pictures showing what my scars look like without concealor or makeup at 2 weeks. All I have on is moisturizer & sunscreen & really it's not that noticeable unless my hair is behind my ear...even at that only the horizontal scar at ear has a slight bit of scabbing. Everything else is fading nicely. Thank you silicon tape!

At 2 weeks I am back to regular work day...started back 2 days ago. I sleep with my head elevated on a wedge pillow but do miss sleeping on my side. The first thing I do when I come home from work is wash makeup off & put a little colloidal silver gel on scars & back of ear - everywhere there was stitches, let air dry then cut my silicon tape to size and apply. I even run errands with the tapes on & nobody seems to notice.

I had not mentioned to anyone at work that I was having surgery & no one has said a word to me about it...I HAVE had some longer looks from the gals but I think they're not sure what's different...I also started parting my hair down the middle and styling a little different & maybe they think it's my hair. Lol! That's fine with me. I can share all my personal info with all you ladies on RS with no problem but I just really didn't want to feel "examined" by everyone when I got back & thankfully I think I have avoided that.

I am very happy with how things are looking. still have swelling more on left than right. The left scars are fading slower too. You kinda have this hard feeling under the skin...it's weird...Your face just doesn't feel it's attached to you. All temporary & improving daily.

On a side note my Mom (also my nurse while in Asheville) told me she is calling to schedule her consult for BL & Bleph! I'm so excited for her. She has always wanted her neck in particular done. With all she is having it will be dramatically different. I kind of like the thoughts of having a tuneup on myself every 10 years. I don't think I mentioned on here before but in my early 40s I had a mini lift with a local surgeon who did the procedure in office with just a skin pull up..no muscle tightening. I was one of his first patients. It was when it just become popular. It did perk up that droop that was just starting at the time. I like the thoughts of having these "tune ups" every 10 years or so. Maybe I can fool everyone into thinking I'm just aging gracefully. Lol!

Heres the rest of the pics

The picture on left was just one month ago!

Every month I take a selfie & post a pic to my Instagram with specials we are offering at the Spa. This morning I posted our October specials & I went back & looked at the previous months pic for comparison...the thick neck is trimmed up & the jawline is nicely squared...I wish I didn't have my reader glasses on but I can also see a big improvement with the upper Bleph! I am so pleased that it looks as though I've lost atleast 10 lbs & 10 years since the last photo!! Thank you Dr. Harley !!!

Pictures of upper bleph for liftingisforgirls

No cover up. 18 days post op. At this point the scars are flat on the corner extensions but somewhat raised in the center with some bumps here & there. I am happy with how they are healing. They are easy to coverup with makeup. Liftingisforgirls - Are you worried they aren't going to fade? I feel they are fading nicely. I was told I could massage gently to work on the bumpiness I see on the lid. im working on that & using the scar tape as much as possible.

3 weeks post op

I tried to get some "afters" in the same pose of some of the "befores" for comparison. It's harder than you think to get exactly the same! Still have a little swelling on the left side (only I can tell). Just a bit of tenderness under the chin & eyelids. Other than that I feel back to normal. :)

4 weeks post op

This week's update is that everything is softening up & the nerve endings are coming back to life. For those of you who haven't had surgery, your flesh under the skin feels as hard as a BRICK for the first 2 - 3 weeks or so. Hence that beautiful tight jawline immediately after surgery. Now when I touch my checks they are soft & the jawline is soft too so not so sharp jawline now...I have to keep going back to my befores & remind myself where I came from. That being said I am thrilled to have a fresher version of myself! I don't focus on my jowls like I did before surgery when I look in the mirror & my husband has admitted he is glad I had this done! He has always said that he loved me the way I am but he enjoys the new improved version too:). Probably won't have much more to say now that I feel back to normal so best wishes to all who's surgeries are coming up & thanks again to all the ladies who journaled their experiences. It has truly been a huge help to me with mine!!

Behind the ear picture for Las919

This is behind the ear scars at 4 weeks. It's funny to me how the scars on the left side of my face didn't heal as quickly or as pretty as the the right side did. The swelling even hung on a little longer to the left than the right...I know eventually it all will catch up! If I wear my hair up, I use dermablend.

Silicon scar gel AND Silicon tape work amazing together!

I am 6 weeks post op this Thursday & started using silicon scar gel last week. Amazing improvements! I spoke with Dr. Harley & he said I could use the gel, let dry then apply tape. The first morning after I did that, some of the little white bumps on one of my lids disappeared overnight! My routine is now mornings, apply gel, let dry, then concealor right in top. The silicon kind of works like a makeup primer & my concealor stays put all day! At night I use the ball tip to apply and massage lightly, then tape on top. This is working really well for me. Also I really don't want to put a lot of eyeshadow on right now so Im really loving my Bare Minerals nude beach. You can put right on top of that dried silicon gel and because it's still kind of purplish looking on the lid, it just looks like a nice light shadow. I like the fact that Bare Minerals is natural with no preservatives, etc.
Also wanted to mention that silicon gel is pretty pricey. I found the one in the picture at Walgreens (generic 100% Silicon) .4 of oz. for appx. $ 22. The instx. say you can use massage roller for 60 - 90 seconds :)

That last picture was too far away.

This is an up close of the upper Bleph at 6 weeks.
Asheville Facial Plastic Surgeon

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