I didn't realize that I started looking at options...
I didn't realize that I started looking at options three years ago. It was probably after having a blepharoplasty from my ophthalmologist - my lids were so bad that it affected my vision. After that, I felt great. I no longer saw a tired person in the mirror. That changed my outlook on PS. However, the thought of have a facelift scared the .... out of me. So, I have read, researched and realized that it will make me feel so much better going into the next couple decades (I plan to live to be at least 100 :-) I have decided to go with Dr. Harley, because of the reviews and photos. I live in Oregon, so I will have to stay about 8 days - my best friend who is also an RN will come for the first few days. Now I have to decide whether to save up or take it out of my not so large retirement fund and get taxed up the yin yang. Suze Orman would say "NO, you can't afford it." I so appreciate all of the before and afters. Just got finished taking mine and deleted half of them, because they were so bad. So, thanks for your chutzpah! Ok, I guess this is really making a commitment. Here are the before photos -- Yikes!
more befores - not at 2:30 am
Wanted you to see what I usually look like when I haven't been streaming or reading reviews on this site.
I have a date scheduled!!! It six weeks to the day...
Yesterday I had the phone consult with Dr. Harley and today spoke with Juanita and scheduled the surgery for Feb 17th! Dr. Harley as everyone has described him so far. I've been a nurse since I was 22, so I've met lots and lots of doctors along the way. I found him to be without arrogance and willing to answer any question - and I am sure he answers the same questions over and over. It has been an interesting process on who to tell and who not to tell. I chose to tell my brother today when we talked. This was a big step. Our relationship has grown over the last 10 years during the period when I was traveling back and for the to see my parents before they died. And I thought if I want to continue to deepen the relationship, I need to be honest. I feel better having done that. Six weeks is not that long....it will be here before I know it. And I have been building an art studio in my backyard and it should be finished by then. New beginnings - yes!
Ok....is it normal to freak out after you made the appointment for your surgery - bought plane ticket, etc?
In the last two days, I have had a barrage of negative thoughts about the surgery and about me for having it done. Have others experienced this? I think what it at the bottom of it is that I'm afraid that I am abandoning my Self (the self the big S - who I really am) in exchange for some hope of looking younger, prettier version of me. I need to know if this a normal reaction and what happens after the surgery. Do you feel like you are more yourSelf. I don't want to feel like I am masquerading as someone else.
If you had a professional Blue Peel, I would love to hear from you....
I've been researching the Obagi blue peel and unless Dr. Harley advises against it, I am going to add that on when I have neck lift. I have read all the reviews on the site, but if there is anyone else who had their surgeon do it, I would like to hear from you. Not really interested in the home peels right now. I am particularly curious if anyone noticed a changed with lines around lip line. Other than my neck, that is what bothers me the most. I'm also wondering how long it took to remove the blue dye. I am really hoping to explore Asheville, but won't be able to if my face is blue-green. It seems to vary a lot, so I'm wanting to get an idea of the usual amount of time. Thanks!
Yikes - just took some more before photos -so bad I can't even post them!
It is three weeks to the day and it couldn't come a day sooner! I think I'm aging by the second. It's kind of frightening to realize how delusional i've been. I'm no longer worried about vanity or being politically incorrect. I need this and I need it now!
I leave in 8 days for NC. Have others felt their life was on hold while awaiting surgery? I am so tired of looking in the mirror and contemplating every flaw (and there are many). I am not second guessing the decision and have so much faith in this surgeon.(Dr. Harley). I am wondering about the lower bleph. The neck is #, peel #2, and bags #3. It's so weird - these bags showed up this year. I'm.certain they were written into my genetic code: Age 71- gets under eye bags -ha, gotcha! I promised no more selfies - I lied. Ok, here are bags and today's photo.
SOS - Positive energy, while light, prayers needed!!!
Thanks to an error in judgment my darling dog and a meddling neighbor I had a very bad fall today on a gravel road. My knee is twice its size and the pain has been excruciating. But of course my main concern is that it could screw up leaving for NC next Monday. I am doing everything I can think of to heal. Unfortunately I had to take some ibuprofen to try to get the swelling down. Worst case scenario is all bruised from the plastic surgery but that's the least of my worries at this point. Anyway if you can send some positive energy this direction -picture me healing quickly I would so appreciate it! Thank you!!!
My doctor said I can travel...
The swelling has gone down about 40% - I'm black and blue from above the knee almost to the ankle. So as Sandiamos told me,(self described as a half-full kind of girl) maybe this will keep me from worrying so much about my face or some such thing. I think she's right!
So anyway three days to go and I'm off. Monday's flight Tuesday's Dr. Harley and Wednesdays the surgery.
Leaving home in 6 hours...
Hi everyone - thanks to all of you who have supported me to get this far in the journey. I've been feeling extra anxious and overwhelmed today and just want to get out of town. I was fine packing for a trip stressful, but this time it was over-the-top. I was beginning to wonder if I had personality changes attributable to Alzheimer's. I know that sounds kind of crazy but that's where my head is today. Part of it is that I had to make sure everything is OK for my son who is going to be staying here while I'm gone. He is 28 and had Asperger's.- He is a wonderful guy and loves my dog, Gabby. If I write everything out that needs to be done each day, he'll do fine. It's just an extra step and can be distracting. And "the leg" started hurting again, which scared me because of the flight. When i finally realized i don't have to go to bed tonight, i calmed down. So now I'm taking a break - if i get tired, I'll take a nap, set the alarm, and take off at 6 or 6:30. I drive an hour and then pick up a shuttle which takes me two hours to the airport. The connections a little bit tight but I have my boarding pass so I just need to check my bag. It's a pretty long flight so I should have plenty of time to sleep both on the bus and the planes. Then I stay at the Greenville airport and leave for Asheville the next morning. And it's snowing, which we don't get very often around here. It's supposed to warm up on Tuesday and continue to warm up the rest the week. So I appreciate having a place to Ramblon about any little thing that's going through my head. I didn't mention that I've also decided that I'm going to be the one case that Dr. Harley can't do anything with ha ha I'm that special! Anyway thank you all again and I'll see you on the other side.
Just had meeting with Dr Harley...
He is awesome - Very present, honest. He allowed my friend to be on face time so she could ask questions. She wanted to know why not laser instead of a peel. He gave thoughtful responses. He was clear with me about my age being a factor in terms of laxity and lack of collagen. He said he thinks I will have a good result, but wanted me to be realistic. He knows that I've been on Real Self and a lot of the women are much younger and he wanted to make sure that I understood there is a difference with age. (he probably picked up that I have a Peter Pan complex like the commercial of the kids flying into the reunion -my favorite commercial). We are going to do the under eye bags and the peel. I used the Uber driver, Ian (thank you Kristen!) to pick me up from the doctor and take me to my hotel and Susie from TLC wants to come by and bring the blender and pillows. She or one of her nurses will pick me up in the morning at six at 6ish - have to be to Dr. Harley's at 6:15. So I am ready to go and yes, now I am excited! Again thanks to all of you you got me through some rough days since the fall I so appreciate you being there and I will pay it forward, I promise.
! hey all-I'm doing fine. The procedure was appraise. To Santa Fe pillows and Melina is an excellent CNA. I dr. Harley just called to check up on me so I'm not sure what I wrote him but anyway the only thing I have this little jawkii pain it's a mild it's like an aging. I'm pretty happy so I'll send you a photo sick and Sue talk to you later
Just lost my update
I'm gonna let pictures speak for themselves right now.
Day 2 post-op
Hi everyone thank you for all of your well wishes again thank you. It really does mean a lot. I was pretty out of it yesterday so anytime I try to respond it took me several attempts and sometimes I just had to give up . I had one hydrocodone yesterday and a half of an Ambien to go to sleep which gave me a solid three hours. I can say I feel much better today, more alert, but I'm still a little fuzzy. When I found out I could wash my hair in 24 hours I was ecstatic so I've washed my hair twice but I'm extremely careful. I took a shower this morning and that felt wonderful. I really tried hard to take pictures of my ears but that was very challenging and only one year really came out very well my stitches are quite elegant. Dr. Harley is the best. The main discomfort I feel is a hardness around my jaw - it's not really pain. I can't open my mouth all the way which is not really a problem for me because I love to eat and I haven't lost my appetite - have to be on my deathbed to lose my appetite. Actually went down to the lobby at around 1030 and got the end of breakfast I just wanted to get some yogurts and I had a biscuit but no gravy and no eggs. The yogurts I took up to my room to put in smoothies. If any if anyone is questioning whether they should stay at the hotel that Susie recommends the Fairfield Inn it actually is a very good place to stay there extremely low-key very helpful when you need it but not intrusive. When I came down with my weird colored face slathered in appointment now and acted like there was anything wrong. I didn't run into any fellow travelers probably because of the time a day so at this point I'm starting to get a little sleepy and will probably take a nap and then you do some reading or watching mindless TV. What you see in the photos on my face is probably a little bit of bruising from the lower I Bleph and the rest is the PO which is starting to turn colors. For those of you have asked doesn't look like it did remove any of the wrinkles around my mouth which is what I was told it would not do. I was hoping for Macek but it didn't happen. However I'm extremely pleased with my neck and soon I'll get to see what the field it in terms of my uneven skin color. Dr. Harley said it's good to have a series of three so that something I might need to do at home if I find someone I can trust. Doing my lower eyes was probably the most important decision I made because I don't think the results would be as pleasing without that. If anybody has any specific questions feel free to ask or if you want me to do any gymnast sticks to try to take other photos I'll do the best I can without bending. I've become very good at squatting with my spine straight despite this leg injury which by the way is getting much better here OK enough blabbing on I will talk to y'all later.
I know this was one of my biggest questions and there were too many answers that I found. There were a lot of women who it on their own at home which I was in about to do. But there were a few who fit the criteria that I was using. Anyway I'm right smack in the middle of it but I want to feel people in but it's been like so far to help you make a clear decision. I had both a lower facelift neck lift and a lower bleph. The last thing that was done was a 30% TCAP hill and Dr. Harley told me he was going to be conservative given I was having the other two procedures. I had also talked with A couple women knew told me that the vertical lines around my mouth would not go away. That really helps me from having unrealistic expectations because that was my greatest hope. So I let that go and I was just looking forward to having more vitality in my face and a more even complexion. I was warned not to peel any skin just to let it fall off and I have followed that letter. I know that can create scarring wishes last thing I want to so if a piece of skin felt loose I would just puts some A&D Ointment on it to prevent me from messing with it. This is day three and I will say there's been a lot of movement and I'll attach some pictures to show you. It still makes me a little nervous because I'm afraid I'm going to have patchy skin. When it's all finished I'll put up another photo and tell you how it all ended up. By the way the actual process was no big deal. There is a little bit of heat - the nurse held a fan it was very tolerable. There might of been one second when I felt like shouting but that was it.
Dr Harley's Beautiful sutures!
I've been trying to get a couple shots of the suture lines so you see what great work he does and finally was able to do that except behind the ear I can't quite get that shot.
After that I might include a couple updates on the peel which I am now realizing is amazing and it is only the fourth day hello barbara! Thanks for all the reality checks and kind words I agree he he has taken years off my face and neck I am extremely grateful and happy.
Fourth day after TCA peel, lower bleph, a flower face/neck lift
I'm still trying to figure out how to change the not sure two worth it on Dr. Harley. When I first wrote this review I was in the thinking about it stage so I couldn't say it was worth it yet but by all means this is 100% worth coming 3000 miles and spending I have an added it all up yet but the surgery was $10,100. There have been a lot of questions about the TCA peel as I had so I thought I would post pictures today so you could see it right out of the shower and then after I put a tinted moisturizer on. I've been extremely careful not to do any peeling at a time and I've use the A&D ointment longer than was necessary. Dr. Harley recommends 48 hours and then it's OK to switch to another moisturizer but I really feel they needed the A&E ointment and it's extremely soothing. It also prevented me from wanting to peel anything. So below are the photos and I'll add a caption for what's going on.
Ok - A little early to put on make up but I gave it a try anyway
Vee sent me a message saying she was looking forward to seeing me when I could put on make up. So since I'm almost completely peeled I thought I'd give it a try. I don't have any cover up so it's kind of a mixture of Neova SPF 50 moisturizer with some make up. And my face is still swollen so my mouth looks a little weird in my cheeks are pretty wide. And I imagine when my face isn't so swollen some more wrinkles are going to show up. But this gives you a good idea of how the jawline. I'm super pleased. I think Dr. Harley is fantastic. He looks at each person's face and figures out what to do. It's interesting when you're sitting with him because after you ask him a question about your face you can see his surgeon brain working. As soon as I post these photos the make up coming up and I'm gonna clean my face again. And I know I don't have to put on A&D Ointment, but I really like how it feels, so I'm putting it back on.
DAY 6 of TCA peel, no make-up, day of art galleries
I wanted to give you a little update on the progress with the TCA peel. This is day six including the date it was done. The pink that you see is what's left to peel off. I haven't had the pink skin after appeals it just goes right to my kind a yellow color skin. Apparently that's not typical so I don't know if you can count on that. And I have no clue why that's happening. A couple cool things have happened as a result of this peel. I had a small age spot on my left eyebrow which made it impossible for me to properly put on a brow and as you can see I have almost no color to my eyebrows. So this spot me the eyebrows look really weird. That spot is gone there are a couple more areas where there is discoloration that have disappeared - there are still a couple I'm waiting to see what's going to happen. The lines above my upper lip have softened. I had brown melasma above my upper lip and that seems to have lightened.The pores on my nose are much smaller and overall the texture of my skin is softer. So like centgirl, I'm a believer. My skin was looking dull almost grey and now it has a freshness to it. FYI, I did use Retin-A for about a month before the peel and I was noticing a softening in the texture of my skin. But nothing like this peel is given me. I understand you can get the same results by using a lower concentration faster recovery and a series of three or four so that would be an option for someone who doesn't have the luxury of time. The photo was taken right before I dictated this after a pretty exhausting but wonderful day and again there's no make up so you can see exactly how much more needs to peel. I was out in public today originally thinking I was getting some Jane Iredale make up to cover the spots but the salons were closed on Monday. So I just decided to go out anyway. I had on my 50 Neo the tinted moisturizer and lipstick. No one could've cared less.
Day 7 - looks worse today...Patience is a virtue I often lack!
Yesterday was on top of the world happily going through the art galleries unbothered by my speckled face. Today when I woke up, the blotches were much worse than I was expecting. I thought it might be close to the end - Aha- good things come to those who wait? Well I know because I was in your shoes couple weeks ago scouring everyone's photos trying to see what the peel was going to do or not do. Here is what I learned so far:
1. A peel will improve your skin texture.
2. A peel will probably soften some of the lines you have, but not the deeper lines.
3. The peel will remove some age spots and not others - same with melasma,
4. The peel will give you a much fresher, healthier looking skin.
5. When they say it can take two weeks to heal that's probably accurate. I'm not there yet so I'll let you know!
Stiches. Are Out!
Sadly today was my last meeting with Dr. Harley and his staff. However I am extremely happy with the results of the three procedures that were done: 30% TCA peel. bilateral under-eye fat removal, and the lower face and neck lift. I don't know if I'll ever post Dr. Harley's before pictures -mine are bad enough, suffice it to say that the results are remarkable. I feel like I have my face back. I know that sounds a little strange but due to twists and turns in life and my reactions to them I think my face changed in a negative way. Of course genetics also played a part as did normal aging. I was looking to have a fresher look, a more neutral expression, and pretty neck with a soft contour. The results exceeded my expectations. The peel has not quite finished doing its thing, but my skin has a freshness that I can't recall since I was very young. My expression no longer scares me or other people which it did it at times (thought I was angry when I wasn't). Like others on this site, I can't help but sing the praises of Dr. Harley. If you're considering these procedures definitely check him out. I'm more than happy to answer any questions you might have especially coming from an older woman's perspective.
These are for you Lizzie…
I cannot believe what a chore was trying to figure out how to do my ears but this morning I found out if I did then lying down in bed that was a lot easier than what I was trying to do yesterday. The ugly black thing at the bottom of the lobe is the Steri-Strip.
Re-entry and thoughts after TCA Peel
Hi all - Will march is the major month for surgery at Dr. Harley's office. I'll be following everyone closely and wishing you all well. I just wrote a note to Vee filling her in on the re-entry.
I am still absolutely thrilled with the results. My healing is going extremely well the suture lines are looking very good. My face continues to heal from the peel. I did go to an aesthetician (find they can pronounce this) cosmetic surgery clinic about an hour away. I thought I would share this with anyone else who's doing TCA Peel. In their clinic they recommend a product from Skin Medica after peels. It is called TNS Recovery Complex. The amount you use is minuscule. And although the bottle is pricey it lasts about six months. It immediately felt like the right thing for my face. Please read up on it if you think it's something that might be helpful.
I am going to be having lighter peels on my neck and décolleté in a month or so and that should help unify the texture between my face and my neck and chest.
Again, given I am 71, I think the results that Dr. Harley achieved are nothing short of remarkable. I'll enclose a photo from this morning.
Here you go Texann....
OK, so here's some profile after photos without make up - because I can't wear any yet. And in one of the photos, you'll see the scab that I so much want to pull off the bottom of my chin - but I'm not doing it. It's healing beautifully and I don't want to screw it up. I'm not a good photographer - I find it really hard to do these on my own. There was someone who posted an update today talking about the awful before and after pictures that some of us post. I am definitely one of those people. There's no consistency. However, I did use The truth mirror app, so this is the direction from which you would see me. Remember I am 71, so I don't get to have the beautiful smooth results that some of you get. However I am not complaining-is still a major improvement.
OK put on a little make up today - couldn't wait any longer
Well I'm just going down by the river to take Gabby for a walk, but I just felt like putting on a little make up. I'm supposed to wait another couple weeks and most days I won't wear it, but I just felt like it. I am looking forward to the make up consult with the Jane Iredale person at the end of the month. Also I think it's good for somebody in their late 60s or early 70s to notice how much you can expect on your neck lift. Of course my neck was pretty extreme. And also the other big changes for me were the under eye bags and the marionette lines. By the way the scars are healing amazingly without intervention.
Changes from then to now!
Well, like several of us have talked about, sometimes we get used to her new face. And we wonder variety of different things. For example, "Do I really look any better? Well since tomorrow will be three weeks since the lower face and neck lift, Iower eye bag removal, and TCA peel, I thought I would pull some old photos and see if I could find some similar ones from after the surgery. A note to the purists: I know these are in all different lighting conditions, the angle is not exactly the same and I don't know what else. But what I can see is a difference in the contours, some of the wrinkles, and of course a major change in my neck. So here goes:
Scars 31 days after surgery.
I haven't used any Silicon Strips or the other products to reduce scarring. I probably will get something this week to put on my chin. As I mentioned before due to my age and how bad my neck was, my skin is probably a little more gnarly than most under the chin.
The last photo is just a forward shot. You can see that there is some laxity in my neck, which I was worried about. It is disappointing but that's the reality of being over 70 when you have this done. You can also notice that my skin is still in the healing phase from the peel. I will be putting some side views up as requested by a couple people. The jawline is softer in a good way.
7 weeks later...
Hi just wanted to give a quick update for those of you who've been asking how things are going.
The swelling on the sides of my face and chin are almost gone. There is still a little bit of numbness in the those areas. One of the things I worried about before I had the surgery was the numbness people talked about. I haven't found it to be a big deal, because now I understand it's just part of the healing process. The suture lines have almost disappeared and the little bit of lumpiness I had on my chin is gone which is a relief.
Oh yes-most of us deal with lumpiness behind her ears and it does take a long time to resolve. I'm at seven weeks and I would say they are 75 to 80% back to normal. I can still feel a little lump at the crease behind each ear.
My skin does not look as baby pink as it did right after the peel, but the overall quality of my skin is much improved and the color is more uniform. If you're thinking of doing an intense peel (either a 30 to 35% TCA) you really have to have over a month for a complete recovery of the skin. So if you're in a position where you need to wear make up on a daily basis, it's probably better to do a series of lighter peels.
I've mentioned another posts that I went to a cosmetic center closer to home for a makeup consultation at the end of March. I've been using The epionce skin care products and Jane Iredale makeup. I'm sold on the make up - it's so easy to apply and most of the products have physical sunscreen which allows you to go outside without waiting 20 minutes. My favorite product is ther translucent powder that I can put on when Gabby wants her morning walk. The products are very light and I don't have a feeling that I'm heavily made up.
Everyone who's a ways down the road in the recovery says this, but it's worth repeating. Don't get worried about the day to day changes. (Easier said than done:)
The body has an amazing ability to heal and we just need to allow it to happen. If there is a major complication going on you would know it. And your surgeon Is always available to get a reality check if you need it - if in doubt I would call or go in rather agonize over it yourself.
The advice I would give to anyone in my age group is don't let that be a barrier - do it sooner rather than later. And for younger people - meaning in your 50's - if your neck is bothering you but you're waiting until you get older - don't bother - get it done! Figure out a way to work out your finances. I've noticed everyone in my age group will say I wish I had done it sooner - I agree. We finally had a couple days of sun in Oregon so I took a couple photos in lighter clothing! And I put my hair up so you can see the contours of the sides of my face better.
If you follow this board, you'll notice that those of us who have gone to Dr. Harley are extremely satisfied. He had a real challenge with my neck and I think he did the very best a surgeon could possibly have done.
Ill be seeing my family for the first time next week so we'll see what they think!
13 weeks - no make-up - just got up
Disclaimer: any products that I mention our from my personal use so I have no affiliation with any cosmetic company.
I haven't been on for quite some time with an update. I feel I have a commitment, particularly to women around my age who are thinking about doing something like this. These photos are obviously without make up;-) they were taken after I had been up about a half hour. I had the lower face and neck left, under eye bags, and the 30% TCAP peel on my face only.
The only thing I've done since the surgery is try to take the best care of my skin possible. For the last five weeks, I've been using Dr. Dennis Gross's alpha beta peel daily regimen at night. I'm starting to use Retin-A again, although I haven't been very religious about it. But I am going to begin using it more regularly either every night or every other night. The other thing I just discovered that I'm really excited about is Shakai's borage lotion for the skin. It seems to be more effective than some of the super expensive products that I bought right after I got back and started using after the peel was complete. I don't go out without using a physical sunscreen.
I'm very satisfied with the results that I've had. Of course I wish I had done it at age 50, but I was the type of person who never thought I would have any cosmetic surgery. I'm just grateful that I finally did something.
At this point I'm trying to decide if I want to use Restalyne Silk for the wrinkles around my mouth. When I got back I was a bit distressed with how different the texture of my neck and chest was compared to my face. But since I've been using the daily peels that doesn't seem to be an issue.
I took these photos with the truth mirror app on my phone because I don't get a reverse image that way.
It's been a little over six months...
Hi all. It did take a full six months for the numbness to go away - in fact, as i touch the sides of my face, there is just a trace left. I look back on the entire process and can't believe I really did it with a leg swollen twice its size from the fall. However, life is back to the new normal. My art studio is just about finished - I'm already in it and working. Ok, what is true about this 70+ woman's results six months later. Well, the swelling helped and I was sad when it went away. The good news - the serious marionette lines in the lower part of my face did not return. My neck is not perfect - but remember what it looked like before!? I am pleased. The best response I had recently was from the census taker (off year random sample). She was this "down home" farmer and after she asked my DOB, she said, "Well whatever you're doing, don't stop doing it!". Having the lower eye bags done was the best decision. Unfortunately, my Swedish upper eyes are starting to droop again ( had those done about 4? years ago) but they have a ways to go before they bother me. Kind of makes me look more like family again. Sorry Grace 60, if you're still around. I'm not submitting no smiling photo for you. I never looked good that way even when I was young. You can still see my neck and face - I just don't look like my best friend died. To all of you older women contemplating this, do it, do it do it! Oh yes, I LOVE having a jawline again.
It has been a year!
This is going to be brief, because I really don't have too much to add to what I've already said. I continue to be happy with my results. Given how I looked before and how I look now, I cannot complain. Do I wish I look 45? Of course! My advice to anyone in their 50s and above-if you're thinking about it do it now! And I think I look more natural now than in the first six months there was more a softening of my jaw, which I prefer.
One year later!
I just read a review and for some reason When I clicked on update nothing happened. So I'll try again. I am still happy and satisfied with my results. Yes I wish I were 45, but at 72, I cannot complain! My jaw line has softened, which I prefer. And the marionette lines on my chin have not come back.