55 Years Old and Tired of Looking Like I'm Frowning - Asheville, NC

I am 55 years old and tired of having loose skin...

I am 55 years old and tired of having loose skin around my mouth and jowls. When I have a neutral face, I look like I'm frowning.

Over the past couple of years I have lost 55 pounds. Because of this, (and at my age), I've noticed that I have much more loose skin than when I used to about five years ago. because my diet is so good and sustainable, I've managed to keep off the weight for the last year and a half. And I intend to keep it that way. No more yo-yo-ing weight. So to celebrate the success, at the beginning of January this year, I had a mommy makeover. I decided to get my breasts lifted and also the skin on my stomach tightened up. The excess skin was likely a result of losing so much weight. As well, I've always been large in the chest and being overweight added to that. My breasts never really did go back to a nice tight shape. So I had the mommy makeover and it has been a success so far. My breasts are not shaped like they should be completely yet, but it's only been three months and the bottom part needs to drop a little to have the right shape. (In any case, I'm going to post a separate review on that.) But in the meantime while the iron is still hot, I decided to do a facelift as well.

My facelift is scheduled for May 4 , 2016 in Asheville, North Carolina. I'm going with Dr Harley based on the wonderful reviews and before and after pictures that I've seen on real self.

Here are my "before" pictures. I'll post more later.

They are very ugly and I would never post these pictures normally. They are in harsh lighting conditions and most without make up, and I assure you I normally look much better than this. But for the sake of "before" pictures, I think this might be the best way to just post them.

Weight loss has played a part in sagging facial skin

Although I have been overjoyed that I have been able to lose 55 pounds since May 2014, it does have its consequences at 55 years old. Here's a picture of what I looked like before my weight loss and then after. In January I had a breast lift with augmentation. I used to be huge in my boobs, but with the weight-loss they were quite deflated and sagging. I also had a tummy tuck at the same time in January because I had extra skin in my stomach. I had an extreme amount of personal problems last fall and through the end of the year. Miracles have happened since the end of November in my life. That's when I decided to take care of myself and needing a boost in my self-esteem I decided to go for the two surgeries. (The mommy makeover and now this facial work. If somebody told me I would be doing this 2 years ago, I would never have believed them.) I have no regrets so far. I really needed this, due to such trauma in my life. But all is well at this moment in my life, and I'm very happy.

Hats / Caps emphasize sagging face

Here is another photo of me in a knit cap today. I noticed this last winter that any hats or caps really create a focus on my sagging face. It seems too hard to believe that I will be fixed. Keeping fingers crossed that it's not too good to be true. Also worrying about the fillers that will also be injected and the Botox. I hope I don't have any adverse reaction to the fillers. I saw a few nightmare cases about Some fillers though not with Dr Harley. I haven't heard anything but glowing reviews on his work.

Depressed tonight

Looked in the mirror this eve and thought "who am I trying to fool. I'm old and there is no magic bullet." I hope I'm wrong. Going thru emotional stuff so likely this has me down. In any case, a trip to NC will likely do me good. I want to just escape myself but I guess I have to bring "me" along. Sorry I am a Debbie Downer today. I'll be better tomorrow with a different focus.

Getting excited & nervous

My surgery is 1 week away! I'll be flying to Asheville next Tues and surgery is Wed. Even though I'll have to be gone 10 days and hate to leave my 4 dogs in my husband's care (even though he loves them), I have to say that I'm going to enjoy being in a place where no one needs me to do anything. I am always busy, busy at home.

When will I be ready to check town out?

Just wondering if anyone who has had surgery with Dr Harley can tell me when I may be well and eager to check out Asheville or get a lymphatic massage or have dinner or lunch out? How long can I expect to want to stay in bed or the room?

I'm only having the Biltmore lower facelift and neck. No eyes.

Getting excited! 4 days until Biltmore Lift

I am packing for my trip on Tuesday to Asheville, NC. I looked for the biggest sunglasses in my pile of cheap sunglasses to hide the most of my face if and when I go out. (I'm not having my eyes done, so I'm not sure it will make a difference.) Anyways, getting excited! (I'm also looking forward to some down time at the hotel to not have any home responsibilities.) I'm also praying that all 4 dogs of mine remain healthy while they are at home in my husband's care. Say a prayer, please for me and also my dogs! :)

On my way to Asheville!

I am in between flights on my way to Asheville! The first flight was delayed and so I missed my connecting flight. That means I will be missing my preop appointment time. But, I called Juanita and she assured me that everything will be fine. They (she and the staff and maybe the doctor, if he can get out of his meeting quickly) will meet with me this afternoon and give me any prescriptions I need. And I'll just go in a little early tomorrow for my surgery.

All ready for tomorrow!

Just talked to Juanita and she is a really nice lady. Got my prescription and going to fulfill it. Having fresh fruit and an asparagus salad to keep things fresh. I'm not eating meat for several days because I want to be easy on my body so that no extra energy is needed to digest it. Here is a pic of Dr Harley's office. Very cute and quaint.

The Dat of sugurgy

This is day one and I'm just giving you an update. Surgery went well. Have a little bit a pain in the jaw area which is been alleviated by the painkillers. Very important note to don't eat things afterwards sitter chunky. Smooth purée's and soups or baby food is in order. You can open your mouth more than an inch. and chewing hurts.

It's the same day as surgery.

Everything went well. I didn't feel any pain during the surgery. I do have some pain in both sides of my lower jaw. But I'm taking painkillers. I can't write very well so I'm going to keep this short.

Going well... day 2

Sorry I didn't post so much yesterday. As you can tell from my last post my head has been a little fuzzy. My thinking is what I'm referring to. More than likely it's due to the cocktail of drugs that I'm still on. It relieves the pain and makes me sleepy and a little fuzzyheaded. I haven't had any pain, so I'm not even sure if the pain pills are necessary, but it does give you that warm fuzzy sleepy feeling so that's why I'm taking them. And of course I have to take the antibiotics. Everything seems to of gone well with the surgery. I like what I'm seeing in the mirror. I do see some recessed pockets around my jaw line which I emailed the doctor a couple pictures to find out if this is normal due to the swelling. If it is, then it will go down in hopefully a short amount of time. If it doesn't go down, I'm sure (hoping) that they can use the Juvederm to fill it in. Other than that, I feel good about the results. Again, I'm just nervous about the recessed pockets in the areas just under my cheekbones and the jaw area. You'll see the pictures to see what I'm talking about. But it is only two days since surgery so I should give it time. Dr Harley has been wonderful and a very warm person. As well, the team at TLC for my aftercare has been beyond expectations. They are wonderful and caring people will take care of every need that you have. I have had Molina and Melanie for two 12- hour shifts each. I also had time to spend with the owner of the company, Susie. She is an amazing person with a great big heart. I couldn't ask for more from this group of people. I am still fuzzyheaded. Yesterday I was very fuzzyheaded and losing things even though this is not a gigantic hotel room and I'm usually very organized. Even with that, with the fuzzy headedness, I've been looking for things often. It's so important to put things back in exactly the same place, or you'll be forever looking for things. I'm sure that the valium or some other painkilling drug is making my brain not work completely right. But nothing serious. It's just good not to take on too much serious work on your computer for the first few days. Because of the absentmindedness. My mood is good but I'm very sleepy almost all the time. My face doesn't feel to numb.Some spotty numbness here and there and in front of the ears. But it's not uncomfortable. The first day (as I think I noted in one of my last updates), I slept not only from 11:30pm, but I slept the entire next day without waking until 7:30 pm. It was so funny because I went downstairs to the reception desk and asked "why is breakfast not out? I thought it started at 6:30 AM and it's 7:30 now." then to my surprise, she said it's not 7:30 AM but 7:30 PM. What a trip! LOL. Anyways, as soon as I hear back from the doctor about the recessed areas under my cheekbones, I'll post an update on what he says about that. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it's just the swelling in that it will all even out. Sorry for the unsmiling pictures. But I think that's the best way to capture how it really looks. Of course I'm wearing no make up either and I'm under fluorescent light.


Everything is going well, so far. I called Dr Harley and sent him a couple pics to find out his thoughts on my hollow-er cheeks. I asked him if this was just swelling in some areas, but not in other adjacent areas. He said that he feels this is the case and that he thinks my healing is right on track and everything will even out soon. Also, the couple lumps near my upper lips sides is likely the filler. He said I can massage that in so it moves into the right places. He said not to worry about that as we can move it around, and/or add more or whatever it takes to be perfect. But that said, I love what I am seeing, minus the two things I have to wait and see on.

I am off the painkillers and anti-nausea pills since 11am. I'm still taking the antibiotic though. I am SO deadbeat tired though, that I can barely keep my eyes open. Usually I am full of energy. So I guess my body needs rest. Even my eyes are closing as I type this letter. It is so nice to be away from home in a hotel room. I'm close enough to people to not feel lonely and to feel safe AND I don't have to do anything except rest and get better. I can lay in bed as long as I want and don't have to be in service for anyone else.

I'll post more tomorrow and will include photos.

P.S. I heard that at least one other patient is here in my same hotel who did surgery yesterday. Does anyone know who they are (or what nickname they are using)? I'd love to meet them.

I am sleeping very well each night. I often feel like my mind is operating in that state between being awake and just falling asleep. So I think I'm in a conversation or thought but then it changes into reality which is nothing like i'm thinking. Weird. Probably a side effect of the pain meds.

I will take more pics tomorrow after I get to take a shower.

Still swelled but seeing improvement

It is Day 4 from the surgery day. My surgery was on 5/4 and now it's 5/7 so I guess that would be considered day four. I still have a lot of swelling in my face. The only part that concerns me is that one side of my face (even though it doesn't look more swelled), feels more swelled and when I smile my smile is higher on the side that is not so swelled. I'm just hoping that my crooked smile corrects itself. I don't want to look like I'm a stroke victim later. But of course I'm keyed up and have anxiety which is natural. I probably haven't been icing as much as I should. But I continue to do that nevertheless as I think about it. The lumpy bumps that I noticed around my mouth from the fillers seem to be flattening out a little bit more now. So that is a good thing. I keep massaging them to try to bring them down completely so that there is no bumpiness there. Hopefully it's working, and I'm not just imagining things as I often can do. Anyways, it's natural to be ultra vigilant and look for imperfections at this stage of the game. It's just the anxiety that we all have inside of us.

I still have bruising around the corners of my mouth. And a little bruising under the chin, but that's about it as far as bruising goes.

My head is still cloudy. I haven't been taking the painkillers because I haven't needed them. But I have been taking the antibiotics. I misplace things in my room all the time even though I'm trying to put things back in exactly the same spot all the time. It's driving me crazy because I like things to be organized and I like to know where everything is at all times.

I'm getting a little cabin fever today, so I think I'm going to walk cross the street and go to the outlets. But I do understand that I still have a groggy head that I need to be careful of with my purchases and when I bring out my credit card and such. It would be very easy for me to make bad decisions at this time or to forget something important in one of the stores. To that end, I'm writing down anything that I need to remember, or things I need to talk about with anybody else, or anything else that's important. Even a list of items that I need to buy at the store. Because it's gone out of my head just as quick as it comes in often.

Though I think I look good post surgery, I am still very anxious about the crooked smile. I just wish the swelling would all go down so that I could see what my face will really look like. And I'm hoping that I'm not going to be nitpicky when I look at it.

Anyways, I'm hoping to meet up with the other gal who is here for plastic surgery too. I believe she came in a day or two after me. It would be nice to get together and just have some talks together and heal together while having short visits/talks. I don't know who that is though.

So I guess I'll take me and my anxiety out of this hotel room and walk over to the outlets for a little while. I'll check in later.

Here are a couple of pictures that I took of me today after my shower. I did put on make up. One picture is just serious so that you could see the corners of my mouth, and the other picture is with a smile. You'll see that one side of my face has a higher smile then the other side. That's what I'm talking about when I say crooked smile.

Side views from Day 4

Here are my Selfie side views. Keep in mind that I am still swelled up. Also, I noticed that my left eye is watering a lot more than it should. Likely also due to the swelling.

More pics day 4

Here are a few more pictures taken inside a Taco Bell. As you can see things are good but not perfect yet. Smile is lopsided still, hopefully due to the swelling.

Day 5 Update

Well, it's looking better every day. I still have the bruising around the corners of my mouth and also under my chin. I am still swelled up. Because of the swelling, my face feels very triangular. And with the swelling it does feel slightly numb underneath. One side is more swelled than the other. My left side. Really the only part that bothers me and that I'm scared about is that when I smile my left side does not smile as high as the right side. I hope this is due to the swelling and that will go away soon. I don't want to look like I am a stroke victim. I'm just hoping it's the swelling and that there is no nerve damage. As you can tell, my mind is running the gamut with worry on that note. But, time will tell. I have to just be patient. You'll see the difference when you see the pictures I am posting here. It is more pronounced in person than in the pictures. I will continue to ice, which feels good. Though I don't know if it helps. The lumpiness from the fillers seems to be evening out, though even that is hard to tell because the bruises in the corners of my mouth are exactly where the fillers were injected. So once the bruising is gone I can get a better idea of what things look like. The drooping skin and Jaw lines looks like they will look good when I am healed. So that's a good thing.

Day 6 update: Biltmore Lift

It is day five. I am still just a swelled up as I always have been. I really have no pain at all in this whole process. But my skin from my I corners down underneath my chin is still very taunt and swollen. I have been icing, so probably not as often as I should. I guess it's because it feels like it doesn't help. It does "feel" good though to have the cold ice packs on my face. I have been taking the Arnica tablets as well as the ointment. That doesn't seem to help the swelling either. But who knows? Maybe it does. As someone else mentioned in their review, it seems like my crows feet are more pronounced when I smile. I really didn't have too much in the way of crows feet before. But now I do. But that I am positive is a result of the swelling. Because from there downward, my face is swelled up so when I smile, of course it's going to have a crows feet. But I anticipate that when the swelling is gone the crows feet will also be gone as well. Before I leave North Carolina, I am going to get Botox in my four head to get rid of the small lines in my four head. And between my eyes. So I guess I can anticipate a little more swelling yet to come. But it's all for a good cause. Feeling good about myself. I'm posting pictures of my face which includes a shot of me smiling. My smile is still lopsided. It's slightly better but still about close to the same as it was the last couple days. That is because the swelling on one side of my face is definitely more than the other. I can feel it. It may not look like one side is more swollen than the other, but under the skin I can feel that it's definitely more swelled on the side of the lower side smile. I've also posted pictures of the incisions under my chin around and also in front of and in back of my ears. The stitches itch just a little bit, and sting just slightly when I wear my glasses but other than that it's not too bad. My face feels a little V-shaped like an alien, but I just have to be patient. To others it doesn't look so bad, but to me I know what I should look like and I don't exactly look like myself. It doesn't help to have the lighting in this hotel being mostly fluorescent light. It's certainly not conducive to making you look great. I'm staying at the Fairfield Inn and they have been doing a wonderful job. It has been quiet and I've been on the sixth floor and I have no complaints other than the fluorescent lights. It would be nice to have some ambient lights, especially in the bathroom. It would make a person feel a whole lot better about themselves. LOL.

Sorry last post was Day 6 Update

I meant it was Day 6 update on my last post, but it seems that there is no way to edit your post on this website once you post it.

Day 6 Evening Update: Lonely and Bored

I kept busy most of the day today, but did do some work in my room too for a few hours. I have to say (even for this independent-natured woman)... It's damn lonely here! The day was overcast. There's not much happening outside or around, it seems. My face is still so swollen feeling that I feel like an alien. My brain is ok but a little foggy because of the swelling so I don't trust driving too far or any major sightseeing. I'm not really tired either, so sleep is not coming to me tonight. (--Coffee at 5pm didn't help, I'm sure.) I did go the the office of TLC and talked some with Susie, Laura and Melanie and that was nice. (Lovely people!) ...But, I'm still lonely. I miss my hubby, my 4 dogs, my friends at home, and my normal routine at home. I guess it's good that I don't have pressure to entertain a friend if they came with me or sightseeing with hubby, so I guess I just have to bear out the loneliness and boredom. I'm working some on my laptop doing website development (which is my business), but how much can you do of that until that gets boring too??? I brought my ukulele to practice but I'm not that good, so that only goes so far before I annoy even myself. Anyways, just being restless and complaining. It can happen when you come from out of town... so don't be surprised. The highlight of each day is eating. (And I eat healthy so that is a challenge too, not eating the wrong food OR getting as big as a house!) Tomorrow is Tuesday. I leave on Friday. I better get a change of attitude!

Day 7 Update: Ok, but still swelled

I spent most of the day in my hotel room doing website design again. It helped to lift me out of my depression. Because when I work, it makes me feel somewhat in control again, (and I'm good at what I do). Anyways enough about that, my face is still swelled and it wasn't too too bad while I was sitting up in my bed all day working on my computer. I did go to the clothing outlets across the street for a few hours at about 4 o'clock. it was kind of fun but my face felt like it swelled up a lot more when I was out and about. I think there's less swelling when I just hang out in bed sitting up most of the day and just stay close to the hotel. So I'll probably do a lot of that tomorrow. I do ice up, though not constantly but throughout the day. I don't know that it helps with the swelling, but it does feel nice and cool on my face. The bruising is going away so that is nice. My jowls are gone, and hopefully they will stay gone even after the swelling is gone. I expected it to. My face still feels very alien. For me, healing is a little bit more intense. Because, as many of you know I had a mommy makeover in January. I have still been recovering from that. I'm still numb in my stomach and my breasts are still swelled up too. Not unmanageable, but definitely swelled up. I was quite large (and I had lost a lot of weight) and had to have a lot of skin removed and implants put in to give them a little boost up. They actually may need to be revised at some point, because they turned out a little on the Boxey side. But I have to wait a few more months for that. So my body has various levels of swelling in all different parts. Good thing I am in good health otherwise and I eat a healthy diet. I had a lot of emotional trauma in this last year, and I think a lot of the psychological damage has a lot to do with my transformation with plastic surgery. I just needed to feel good about myself. I'm getting there. I'm healing in my body, in my mind and in my soul. Thank you all for so much support. It means a lot to me. Here are pictures from today. They don't look much different from yesterday though.

Day 8 AM Update:

Woke up feeling much better today. I feel like my head is coming back. Psychologically I feel upbeat and optimistic. My head is clearing. I actually feel some strange tingly sensations in my left cheek (which is the cheek that is more swelled up) like the feeling is coming back. So I think the swelling is starting to go down. I think my smile is going to even out soon. Here is a picture after just waking up with no make up. But as you can see, I don't have all those lines from the corners of my mouth downward. So it looks like my surgery is going to be a success especially once the swelling is down. My goal was to get rid of the lines from the corners of my mouth downwards, into the jowls area. And that is what I got. I will be going in on Thursday to have Botox/Xenox put in my forehead and in-between my eyes to get rid of those little lines there. I'm liking what I'm seeing. All of these pictures don't do me justice, because I'm not wearing make up in most of them. I'm also used to putting a little Photoshop softness on my pictures, so some of the pictures that I see it myself are quite jarring to me! LOL. (Not to mention in most of the pictures I'm not smiling, because I want everyone to see that the lines are gone in my mouth area.)

Day 8 Before and After Shot (so far)

Here are two very raw pictures with before and after, so far. Day 8 post op.
No make up, and no hair done. So I'm sure I'll look much better after that. Some nice lighting would help too.

Day 8: PM Update

I felt really upbeat today. Stopped feeling depressed for today. I had lunch with another gal on this website who also had plastic surgery though not with Dr Harley. We had fun and will tour the Biltmore Estate tomorrow morning. It's nice to connect with others and make new friends. Takes depression right away. :) Here are a couple shots from this afternoon with makeup. Smile is still lopsided and face swelled but so it will go for awhile...

Back home: 10 days post surgery

I'm back home as of this evening. Back in CT. 2 days ago I got my Botox 1st time ever) by Dr Harley. It really stung getting the needles. 50 units in forehead, between eyes, and crows feet. Little red bumps after but they went away in a couple hours. It's mostly evened out now but a little slight bump here and there. It will even out likely by one week. My smile is still lopsided since the surgery but getting better. Dr Harley said it is either one side is weaker and more swelled than the other or it is a nerve in one side that got affected somewhat. He feels it won't be permanent but says it should resolve in 1-3 weeks likely. I am relieved yet still a little worried about it. I'm trying to downplay it when I smile by overcompensating on the lower side and not smiling as big. (If your wondering about my chin, that was lopsided before from a childhood fall.) Anyways, tired now and still a little worried about the lopsided smile. I'll keep you posted. Dr Harley said this is not unheard of, but not typical either. (Just my luck, huh!)

My doggies are happy mommy is home

My four doggies are over the top happy I'm home. All of them cried and made a ruckus when I came in and they all wanted to snuggle next to me all evening. Here's some shots... They are all rescues and now so spoiled and loved. My boy Virgil (the Basset Hound) is actually a rescue from North Carolina a couple years ago. He is my southern gentleman to my 3 girls.

11 days post surgery

It's been nice today being home so that the healing can continue. I cuddled up on the couch with the dogs. Later in the day of course I had to run out and run some errands and get some good organic vegetables and fruits from the grocery store for my healing. I also went to a sacred Native American concert put on by a master flutist who is in town who I know through a friend. He is a powerful person who heals through his music. It felt very healing and I was very calm afterwards.

Here's some pics from earlier today. My smile is lopsided still, but I feel like it's getting slowly better. I like the side actually that is more swelled up when I smile. It has less laugh lines. I was thinking that even if it doesn't right itself in time, perhaps I could get more fillers put in on the side that rises higher (The side that is less swelled), if it turns out to not be swelling but a nerve problem. This way it would even things out. But it's way too early to make decisions like that. I have to just see if it's swelling first. And if it goes down in time.

12 days post surgery: Getting a bit more healed very day

I am still swelled in face, one side a bit more than the other. Still a bit V shaped in face due to swelling. Lopsided smile gets a little better each day. So hopeful on that. Husband saw me for the first time today in 2 weeks (as I was in NC, then he was on business). He thought the work looked amazing and saw the sagging jowls were gone. He said to have patience on the crooked smile. (All pics with makeup.)

13 Day Post Surgery: That "God-Awful Hat" (before & after comparison)

Here's a quick comparison photo. Before and after. Notice the difference in the lower smile area. The sagging lines are gone. Note: My chin was lopsided before from a childhood accident, and is still lopsided so that is something that is not in question. Anyways... My smile is still a little higher on one side since the surgery. But it's getting better every day, though slowly. I know this is a God-awful picture. It has no make up on either photo and it is certainly far from a glamour shot. But I wanted you all to see the bold truth with no special filters, lighting or makeup. And I also wanted a close up and focusing right in to my face. Thank God for makeup for my normal photos! (I certainly wouldn't post this picture to Facebook! LOL) The only question left is: Why did I buy this hat? Anyways... So far, my verdict is: Assuming that my smile will even itself out on both sides, I am very happy with the surgery results. I do have a bit more crow's feet bunching when I smile since the surgery, but this may very well be due to the swelling that is still in my face. It also is likely because one of the areas that they pull up may as a result actually accentuate crows feet area, but just when you smile. (But that's not over-the-top either.) In my opinion it's a small price to pay. In any case, I did have Botox put in my crows feet area a week after my surgery. When I'm not smiling, of course I don't have any crows feet. And as you well know from my last updates, I do still have some swelling in my face but it's not over-the-top. One side inside of the skin feels more numb and swollen than the other side. But from the outside they both look even. Slightly swollen overall is how I would say it "looks" based on what I know I normally look like. But I do like what I'm seeing.

16 Days Post Op Update

Love my jawline. Still feel a little swelled on right side and more swelled on left side. Not sure if it is swelling or the nerve issue on the left side. Smile is still lopsided but a little better. I guess I have to be patient. Getting more feeling in that left side with some occasional zings in there, so maybe the nerve is slowly coming back. When I smile, it doesn't look as lopsided as it "feels". Feels like I am lifting a weight when I smile on the left side only. Can't wait until it is healed completely. I just get scared that it won't heal. Anyways, I have to be patient.

Almost 1 month post op

It's almost 1 month post op. All is going well. No infections or pain. A little tenderness around top of ears when wearing reading glasses. My left side of face is still feeling a little thicker, as I had some nerve damage which has caused a slightly (at this point) lopsided smile. (Dr Harley said that this is likely to right itself in time). Happy with the results, but still anxious about smile. It feels more lopsided than it looks to others. That side of the face has less feeling though that is getting better all the time.

More improvement

My smile is slowly even-Ing out. Not all the way there yet, but tiny improvements every couple days. Feels like a little more play dough in one cheek than the other. I've been having little jabs of pain in and around my ears but it may very well be just a cold in my ears. Ibuprofen seems to help. I love my jawline now and my neck looks even better, even though it wasn't what I was worried about prior to the lift. Dr Harley did the lower facelift and neck (under chin and jowls). But neck looks a little smoother too. Nice bonus. Here are some pics of me getting ready for bed. I put my hair in a roller because it stays nicer for the next day. I thought this would be a good time to do some face shots to post.

Hardest part is keeping my mouth shut

I think that for me (an over-sharer) that the hardest part is keeping my mouth shut when my friends notice the great results. It feels like when they say they are dissatisfied with excess skin on their own face and neck that I want to help them by telling them they can fix it too. But I know that this would be insensitive and may offend them. It seems like if a person can look good again and the risk is minimal, why not just do it? But I guess I have to keep my advice to myself.

6 weeks post surgery

Not many updates to give. My lopsided smile does get better but it's a slow process. Looks almost normal but still feels a bit thicker inside that one cheek. I did have some periodic stabbing quick pains in my ears last week, but that is gone for now. It may have been a cold and not related to surgery. Incisions are healing, but still have that bunched up feeling behind the ears. Face is still numb from the outer cheekbones to the ears but that isn't a big deal. I know my jawline and am SO glad the excess skin has been tightened. I love the way I look much better.

Update: 4 months later

Just wanted to give everyone an update after just shy of four months post surgery. As many if you recall, my smile was a little lopsided after the surgery. It has steadily been getting better and is almost back to normal. But still not quite there yet. I would do it all again in a heartbeat though. I love my new look. The nerves are regenerating on that side of my face. One side is still slightly more numb than the other and feels a little thicker. That's the side that doesn't go quite up as high. But the lopsided smile is mostly just noticeable to myself unless I pointed out to others. The doctor had told me sometime ago that he has seen this happen and it has persisted as long as a year for one woman. Most of the time it's much shorter than that. I think mine will probably be rectified within the next two months.

Feeling Good, and smile is back 100%

Just wanted to let you all know that at 4 months post surgery my smile is completely even. I had a bit more of a healing (unlike most patients) before in that my smile was slightly lopsided. As Dr. Harley reassured me, this would heal in time. It did. One side feels (inside) slightly thicker and more numb than the other side, but this continues to feel more normal all the time. My full smile is completely back. (Most people didn't notice my lopsided smile before unless I made a point to show them. It was minor.)

Muscle twitching / light spasms now

OK, so it's post surgery by a little over four months. On my last post just a week ago, I mentioned that my previously slightly lopsided smile (which was only minor) has finally righted itself. Although it had always felt a little more numb and thicker on that one side up to about a week ago, I have gotten a lot more feeling back in it of recent. It's still a little more numb but a lot more feeling in it now.

But now that there is so much more feeling back in that cheek, I am getting twitches in that cheek and muscle spasms which occur every second or two. It doesn't hurt, but it feels both irritating and disconcerting to me.

Whether it be part of the healing process because of the nerve irritation that I occurred during my facelift or possibly muscle damage, I don't know. In any case, I don't know what it is but I intend to call my doctor tomorrow to find out if this is temporary or permanent. Is it part of the healing process or something that I have to live with at this point?

Right now, it's not overly apparent that it's twitching when you look at me, but when I do look closely at myself I can see it twitching.

I can really feel it twitching when I'm laying back in bed and watching TV. It's there all the time during the day time too, but when I'm not focused on it, I notice it less (but it is still there). And in the few days since it started, it's certainly getting worse and more often. (It's been about 1 week now.)

It is just over 4 months post surgery. Beyond the lower facelift, I also had Botox and fillers put in my face at the time of the facelift (though the Botox was one week post the facelift). I'm wondering if it could be that the Botox has worn off, which it feels it has, and that this area was managed by the Botox possibly until now and now that that is gone, that's why I'm feeling and having the muscle twitches in my cheek. But I don't know if he even put Botox in my cheek. I have read on this forum that other people have had muscle spasms or twitches as part of their healing process. The doctors who responded also mentioned that Botox can help manage this. But I'm afraid if I get Botox put in there and this twitching is part of the healing process, will it paralyze the muscle and cause it not to heal?

My biggest questions are: what is causing this? Will it be temporary? If yes, how long can I expect this to go on? Will it get worse before it gets better? Is it recommended that I get Botox in there to paralyze the muscle or will this halt any healing process that may be going on?

In any case, I plan to call my doctor tomorrow and find out the answers to my questions. I will keep you all posted.

Update to show healing of ear and chin scars

Someone requested that I post some pictures of the four-month post surgery view of what the scars look like on my chin and around my ears. I have to say they are minimal. Initially there was a feeling of bunched skin, but the doctor said that would go away. That bunching has minimized quite a bit. There's a little bit of bunching around the ears still but it's not that big a deal and gets more flat as time goes on. Zoom in on the pictures and you'll see what the scarring looks like. It's certainly nothing that concerns me at all.

The only thing I'm concerned about is, as I said in my last update, I am just this last week experiencing a constant little twitching in one of my cheeks. The details of this are in my last post. I have a call out to the doctor to find out if this is just part of the healing process. I will keep you posted. Both on what he says and what actually happens.
Asheville Facial Plastic Surgeon

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