I researched facelift doctors for almost two years. It’s a huge decision since the results are with you, everyday, for the rest of your life. You can change your hairstyle, your career, your house, almost anything-- but your face is with you forever.
I’m from Texas and looked into plastic surgeons within the state. Then I stumbled across Dr. Harley on realself.com, and—WOW!!! His results looked fantastic, more natural, not overdone or underdone, and more refined. His reviews are consistently outstanding. So, I began to consider traveling to North Carolina for this procedure, even though I disliked the inconvenience of traveling.
I took photos of my face and neck, and had my phone consultation with Dr. Harley in November. I liked him immediately. His Biltmore Lift is his signature procedure, his facelift surgery less invasive (2 hours compared to 4 by most other surgeons), and all done under local anesthesia. The recovery time is much faster. Dr. Harley impressed me as being very intelligent, setting realistic expectations, and highly experienced. His practice is accustomed to arranging out of town/state/international patients. He was confident I was a great candidate for this procedure. As you can see from my consultation photos, a more defined jawline, lifting of the jowls, and lifting of the sagging neck could make a big impact. That’s what you get with The Biltmore Lift.
By March, I was ready to book my surgery. Be prepared that Dr. Harley’s office is slower to respond to calls and emails than is typical in the corporate world. I accepted this as being typical of a top doctor; and medicine is different than the business world. His staff is excellent. I booked my surgery for May and paid a $500 deposit toward a $6400 Biltmore Lift.
Now my main apprehension was not to get sick before the trip. I had an extremely intense work schedule for two months leading up to the procedure, very long hours, lots of work stress, and am prone to sinus infections. So I took lots of zinc, vitamin C, limited my social activities and prayed to stay healthy.
Travel: I booked travel through Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards partners and found some great deals. Our daughter, a medical student, offered to go with me. We flew into Charlotte, rented a car and drove two hours to Asheville. Gorgeous scenery, no traffic, an easy highway drive. We booked a suite with a kitchen and living room at The Residence Inn, very close to Dr. Harley’s office. Excellent rooms, great beds, very quiet, great location, free hot breakfast, some snacks in the evening, very VERY clean and well maintained, very nice staff. We highly recommend this hotel.
One thing I didn’t realize—Asheville is gorgeous! A charming, upscale, tourist community nestled in the mountains. You instantly de-stress here. Don’t miss a tour of the Biltmore Estate before your procedure.
In person consultation: Dr. Harley’s office is a charming, cozy house. His lobby looks like an upscale living room from Southern Living magazine. Unlike every other doctor’s office I have ever been in, there are no brochures selling other procedures, no display cases full of skin creams and products. Obviously they are not here to sell you anything. You feel at ease. Juanita is warm and welcoming. Dr. Harley looks younger in person, but he immediately inspires confidence. He reminds me of some of the tech geniuses I work with —unassuming, very sincere and extraordinarily intelligent. One concern of mine was to be cautious with the pain meds (I am in long-term sobriety). Dr. Harley arranged a plan that worked perfectly. Now off to Walgreens to fill my prescriptions and wash my hair. I’m ready for the big day.
Surgery Day: Dr. Harley gave me cocktail of Tylenol 3 and Valium. I remember curling up in my daughter’s arms, then nothing until Dr. Harley and his nurse Kelly woke me up after surgery. That’s it??? I’m amazed it’s over. My head is wrapped in a compress with a port for drainage. Back to the hotel for sleep. Incredibly, I never felt any pain. NONE.
Post Surgery: The next day, Dr. Harley and his nurse Kelly remove my bandages and port. WOW! I have cheekbones again! I have a defined jawline again! No bruising! Amazing. Just mild facial swelling and fine sutures along my hairline and under my chin. I actually feel like I am dreaming this all happened.
For the next six days, I follow a regimen of antibiotics, ice packs, arnica, regular Tylenol, and a little Valium so I can sleep sitting upright. Very important--DO EVERYTHING THEY SAY TO DO IN YOUR POST OP INSTRUCTIONS. Dr. Harley said following his instructions to the letter helped me get a great recovery. And you can see I did! Everyday I look better and better.
You cannot fly for seven days after your surgery. While this initially annoyed me, I now see this as wise advice. I am grateful for the rest and taking a break. Also very grateful to my daughter, the future doctor, who has been taking great care of me.
On Saturday I begin to see yellow bruising on my neck for the first time. My sutures are healing beautifully.
This surgery was essentially painless, easy, and with a remarkably fast recovery, thanks to Dr. Harley.
Suture removal day: Totally painless, and done in 15 minutes. Dr. Harley, Kelly, and Juanita are really impressed at my recovery. I am simply amazed! I have essentially no bruising or swelling at this point.
The next day: When I see my before and after photos, I am amazed at the results. I love the way I look! Now I feel so much more confident. I was so tired of looking tired. The outside me now matches the inside me, all thanks to Dr. Harley. The man is a brilliant doctor, and a man of integrity.
I cannot recommend Dr. Harley more highly to anyone considering this procedure. He is a special and extraordinary doctor. This is one of the best things I have ever done for myself in my life ---and you should go for it, too. You’ll be thrilled you did.