Recovery ups and downs to successful face and neck lift

Today I plopped down the deposit and committed to...

Today I plopped down the deposit and committed to a date. I feel like I have done my homework. I have consulted with 5 plastic surgeons and went with the one that made me feel the most secure. Three of the five were good, but I had to make the decision to go with the physician that seemed to fit with my personality and goal. You can never ever be completely sure, but you finally have to make an educated guess. I have had breast augmentation, tummy tuck and some laser work, so I am fully prepared for what comes next. There will be 2 months of second guessing, feeling self absorbed, self involved as well as the waking up in a cold sweat wondering what I have done? Will I wake up from the anesthesia? Will I be scarred for life? I guess it just comes down to how important it is to me. My husband thinks I am a little crazy. He asked me, do you think you will feel different about yourself? That is a good question. I think I will feel more at peace and more confident. I have a long 2 months to go! The plan is a lower face lift, neck lift, and possibly upper eyes. I have to get the okay from my eye doctor since I have chronic dry eye. Even if she says go for it, I am not positive that I will. I will have to think a little more on that one.

What not to do when planning a face lift./ Bleph Decision

I have confided in a few people about my up coming face and neck lift. Now I knew that it was better not to discuss with most people unless I wanted to hear:
1. You don't need it.
2. Why do you think you need it?
Then there is the look of:
1. You have a screw loose.
2. There is nothing wrong with your face now.
3. Vanity is thy name.
So far only one person ( my hair stylist) has been actually happy for me. I decided not to tell anyone until I put the $$$ down and penciled in a date. And so far I have only told 4 people. I am not telling anyone else. I am happy with my decision and while I am not completely sure why other people want to rain on my parade, I am not giving them a chance.
I have decided to hold off on the upper bleph. I saw my eye doc and then I also saw an ocular plastic surgeon. I have decided that since I have the complication of chronic dry eye, I would want to use the ocular surgeon. I am sure my PS would do a fantastic job, that is not it. I just think once you throw in a complication you are better off going with a specialist. I would either have to have the Bleph 4 weeks before the facelift or wait a couple months after. I decided to wait. Maybe once I see the face lift I will feel it is enough. Having two separate surgeries significantly increases the cost as well.

Photos pre lower facelift and neck lift

About 6 weeks from surgery date. I am not nervous at all. I am highly anticipating the day...I am ready! Here are a couple photos of what I want changed; my neck and jowls are what really bug me.

28 more days...

I sure hope all the good care that I have taken of my skin pays off. I know that nothing can help sagging skin but a face lift, but no face lift can make up for bad skin care; I think that they go hand in hand. It seems that the women who show the best results with their procedures are the ones that have given themselves loving care through out the years. Once the lift is done, if the condition of the skin isn't good, results can be sub-par. At least that is my hypothesis. I am sure others have an opinion on this and I would love to hear it.
Today I got my hair colored and a straightening treatment. I have hard to handle hair so I figured having it straight would be easier as I go through the healing process. I am still excited and can't wait for the big day. I am still very surprised that I am completely at peace with my decision and not worried in the slightest...at least not yet!

12 more days!

I should be having my face and neck lift on the 14th. I have had my pre-op and I would be more excited if I could get over my sore throat and post nasal drip. I have been to two Drs and have tried just about everything. I started with this the week before Thanksgiving. I am so tired of feeling sick!
I have been on antibiotics for 3 days. I sure hope it kicks in. I would be very disappointed if I have to post-pone. Please say some prayers for me!

9 Days and counting

I just got back from My GP for blood test. My white blood cell count was a little low 2 weeks ago so had to retest. If its not back up. I will have to cancel surgery! I will know tomorrow. I thought I would post a couple pics

Surgery Postponed!

Get this: I was at the surgical center yesterday waiting for my pre-op apt. My GP called me as I was waiting on my turn and tells me my white blood cell count has gone up and I need to postpone my face lift until it goes back to normal. Talk about disappointing. Of course my white blood cell count has me worried as well. Just when I was almost to the finish line I hit a wall!

Waiting...

I am waiting to get the results of my latest blood test. This will be number 3 for me. Normal white blood cell count is 10,000 or under. Last week I had one test at 15,000 then 3 days later at 12,000. My surgery scheduled for 1/14 was cancelled. If the latest test comes back okay there is a chance that I could still get the surgery on Thursday. I am on pins and needles! I am supposed to hear back by the day of today. Keep your fingers crossed for me. (Whispering a prayer wouldn't hurt either)

On and on it goes

Well, my next stop is a hematologist on 1/22. Who knows when I will get my procedure. My white blood cell count remains high so I need to find out why. It does not help me feel at ease knowing the Dr. I need to see is in a group of Cancer Physicians! I guess I should be thankful. I never would have known anything was amiss without the pre-op blood work. I hope they will be able to tell me something on the 22nd.

Back on the schedule

My latest CBC was in the normal range and my endoscopy came back normal as well. Cannot tell you what a relief it is. So I am back on the schedule for2/2. Not so bad just 18 days later than I had planned.

Ten more days

I'm stuck in the house thanks to the cold weather. My husband is out of town. I am trying to lose about 4 pounds that I gained while I was ill. I hope I can before surgery. I am concerned about not being able to exercise post surgery. I know how quickly you lose muscle ( also know how long it takes to build it!)
I have to do another pre-op despite the fact I did one 1/6. I am paranoid about taking another blood test. My last one was good but I am worried about it going back up. What would I do if I had nothing to worry about?
I feel like I have been ready for this FOREVER. I hope nothing goes wrong this time and Feb 2 will actually be my day. Oh, I forgot- I am also having a very dark vein under each eye removed. Dr. Linenberg is going to tie off the vein then clip it. I found a youtube from "The Doctors" demonstrating the procedure. I think it will make a big difference. The veins are impossible to cover and they make me look perpetually tired. I hope you can see them in the photos.

Final pre surgery photos with make-up

Tomorrow is my surgery

My bag is packed and I am as ready as I can be, I guess. My surgery has been moved from 7:30 to 11:30. I hope I don't get too thirsty. The reality is starting to crash in a little. Its a whole lot easier when it is a concept than it is when it becomes an actuality. I have the usual thoughts going through my head. What if I don't look any different? What if I look too different? Am I ready for the pain and healing? I am pretty tough but those cuts around the ears are really painful.
So I am a bit apprehensive. There is also the thoughts of making a big mistake and having no one to blame but my full time buddy, Vanity. So if by chance you are reading this could you do me a favor and send up a little prayer for my safety and a good result? I would appreciate it. Talk to you when I get back.

I am home!

I can hardly believe my facelift was yesterday. It happened so fast and what a relief to be on the healing side. I had a couple of hitches yesterday. My surgery was at 11:30 ( long time without water)
I don't remember anything after going into the ER and waking up in recovery. I spent the night so I had to wait till 6pm to get a room in the hospital. I had a few icechips but I didnt get a glass of water till. 8pm!! I wish I would have just gone home. They finally brought me "dinner" white bread turkey sandwich, 3 mini juices and an orange! They were terrible about bringing my pain meds. It took an hour from the time I requested them. And to think I paid for that!
Anyway I equate my pain level to having the mumps. Last night was no fun but today it is controlable with Oxi. Doc removed my bandages this morning. I did not have tubes and he told me I did not need the head bra. I am pretty swollen but I think I will like my results. He also removed the two huge veins under both my eyes. I am almost more excited about that! I came home took a shower and washed my hair. I am now laying in bed. The first pic is from yesterday pre surgery. The rest are from today. So far this has been way easier than I could have imagined. I know, however it will get worse over the next couple days. Thanks everyone for your prayers and good wishes!

Whoa! 2 Day Post Surger Note and Photos

I feel like me from
the bottom of my neck on down. My head and neck somehow do not belong to me. I woke to a stiff neck where movement feels like I am stretching and burning tendons. I would not call it pain, just discomfort. The sides of my face are numb and tingling. My ears are hot and feel like a couple blobs. None of this is unexpected. I have a little pocket of fluid near my ear front that makes a little squeek if I tap it. Everyone says day three is the worst. Bring it on! I just want to get past it. My doctor has me on SinnEch and Prednesone for swelling. I am also taking bromelein, 2000 mg over a day and taking buffered vitamin C powder to aid in healing. I will tell you this, A few years back I did full face CO2. The facelift is a walk in the park compared to that. Last evening my husband told me that I looked good enough that he thought I could leave the house without scaring people. We were both very surprised how good I looked compared to other 24 hour photos We had seen. I was also expecting much more fatigue since I had general anethesia.
Today I definately could get some curious stares.
What is going on in my head:
1. Will my final results be what I want? I want a tight neck with no chin bulge. i know I might not get exactly what I want; everyone is different. I sure hope it is though. My neck appearance from the front looks really good. The ropiness is gone.
Right now I have no marionette and nasal labial lines but I know it is doubtful they are completely gone. I am sure fillers will be in my future since lifts alone don't iradicate volume issues, I will just need less.
2. Jowls- oh jowls!! I have been pumping fillers in that area for years. When it wasn't enough anymore I knew I had to get a lower facelift. Right now they are gone. I will be so disappointed if they return.
3. Annoying throat congestion due to tube in throat during surgery and the cold symptom that I had going into this. It is driving me crazy! Feels like a glob stuck in my throat.

4. How long before I can workout without bringing on swelling. I don't want to lose all my hard earned muscle. It felt weird not getting on my gym gear and preparing to head to my class this morning.

All you ladies out there who have been stradling the fence, don't be afraid! So far this experience has been very tolerable. If $$$ is the issue go to carecredit.com you will find an extensive list of Plastic Surgeons who offer 0% interest for 12-18 months! What I did was research doctors on the list, checked out their credentials and health grades then went to see 5 of them. So my surgery tab is divided over 12 monthly no interest payments. That enabled me to get my surgery now instead of in a year from now. You will be surprised at how many docs are on the list. It was super easy to get the credit card. Not only does it work for surgeries, it also works for fillers. How great is that? You just have to make sure you pay it off in the alloted time or you will be slammed with huge interest charges at the end of the term.
Well that's it for now. Now I must figure out how I will productively spend today indoors and mostly on the sopha!

Day 3

Feeling a little blah with upset stomach this morning. I am still puffy but not at all like I had figured. My bruising has been limited to my lower neck. So far I have nothing on my face except where the veins were removed below my eyes. I am not sleeping well. I am using a wedge but I am having a hard time staying on my back. I have been waking up at 2:30. I listen to some podcasts and doze in and out til about 6 am. I still have an irritated throat with the constant need to hack and clear my throat. Believe it or not this is what bothers me the most. The last pain med that I took was yesterday around 3. I am hopeful I can just use tylenol now. I have the feeling back in my right ear. From the front I am pleased with my outcome despite the swelling eliminating my cheek bones still. I do have considerable pressure and swelling below my chin. I sure hope that it wont stretch out my skin there.
My doc told me no ice and no chin strap. I think I will go to movies this evening with my husband if I feel okay. I am getting cabin fever! You know what is funny? I did not realize how much ptosis I had in my left eye. My eyes look different sizes. Oh well, I will worry about that in a few months.
Here is what I have been doing for bruising and I think it really helps
2000mg bromalein divided into 4 doses over the day
sinEcch as prescibed
2000mg vitamin C buffered crystals 2x a day
Prednesone as directed.

Ear,neck and head pain

I knew that this has been too easy! We went to the movies tonight and suddenly my chin incision felt like one of the stitches was being tightened. Yikes! It drove me nuts. When we got home I relented and took a pain pill. About an hour later the right side of my neck, into my head and around my right ear it started to feel like everything is being pulled and tightened. Even around my eye hurts. It kind of comes in waves. I am also getting sensation back in right ear area, left side of neck and right side of jaw. So I am guessing the pain is due to all this happening. Of course I go right to the worst case...brain blood clot! Anyway my anxiety level is making it all worse. Anyone else have something like this during the healing process? I can't get comfortable. I would just love to lay on my side and not on this horrible wedge flat on my back. Ugh...

Recovery Day 5

The healing process can get you down. Now that the excitement of the actual procedure has died down it seems that healing is achingly long. Yesterday and last night were pretty swellish for me. I have also been dealing with a terrible headache that runs from the back of my neck, around right ear, temple and eye. It doesnt last more than an hour but boy it hurts! Today its the numbness at my temples and the feeling that my ears are trying to squish my head together. I also do not see any physical progress. I know I have had it pretty good and no one escapes healing. I just have to. Find away to get it off my mind. Or should I say my ears!!
A friend has suggested radio frequency to reduce swelling? Has anyone tried it? Tomorrow neck and front ear stithes come out.

Reflections up to this point

This whole experience is such a roller coaster. I am glad I have been writing this all down, because I am afraid later I just might not remember it as it really was. I go from sheer elation to doubts and questions like, "will I ever feel my left ear again?" " Everything is going to fall real quick and I will be so sad." then there are moments I think,, "I look better than I could have even imagined."

Its a little exhausting and a lot of self absorbed! I know it is all part of the process.
I also think I did not realize just how good of a Plastic Surgeon I decided upon. There are tons of good and bad Docs out there and truthfully you really do not know what you fully are going to get until it is over. You use all the tools you can to make an informed decision, but some of it is just an act of faith on our part. Today while speaking to Dr. Lincenberg during my appointment , I realized he is such an artist. During my lower face lift and neck lift, he did not remove any fat but moved it to where I needed it. He improved my cheeks and created a girdle under my chin to support everything above it. I got more than I asked for because that is what he does. We all hope to get a doctor like that. I am thankful that he is the physician that I chose. I also had two very pronounced blue veins under my eyes that no one else wanted to touch. Dr. Lincenberg urged me to let him take care of them and he was so confident. Oh my gosh, I am almost more excited about having them gone than I am the face lift! I always looked tired because of them. It almost looks like I have had a lower eye lift now that they are almost gone. We should know in a couple months if I will need a little more work there, but so far it is just a little bruised. Anyway, this post today is about being thankful. There were times during the investigative process that I was tempted not visit as many docs as I did. It can be confusing and takes a lot of time. I am so glad I did not short cut this process. I urge everyone out there who is still looking for their Plastic Surgeon, take your time and even if you think the Doctor you have been seeing for years for fillers will automatically be the best surgeon for you, take the time and speak to others. You only have one face.

Day 6 photos

Almost forgot!

Photos day 6 post

1 week post

Will NOT post photos today! I had a momentary lapse of reason yesterday. I ate an entire pint of salted carmel gelato, popcorn and BBQ chicken wings for dinner! I felt terrible and now I look like a puffer fish. Oh well, I think I got it out of my system.
I slept on my side last night and that helped me sleep better. Yesterday I got some filler in my lips at my first post op apt. I like the look. I will share later. Off topic. If you love Cappuccino you should check out the Keurig Lavazza. I got it for Christmas and it is my favorite coffee maker. Makes perfect Cappuccino with foam as well as lattes. I think it is around $199.00, which isn't bad for a Cappuccino maker that does foam. Have a great day everyone!

Day 8 lymphatic massage...Ahhh

Just got back from lymphatic massage. It really, really helps. I feel like a lot of pressure has been removed. The therapist said it should help with tissue repair (regaining feeling) She suggested a 2X a week schedule for now. If it helps, I am in..

Does my chin look too swollen?

It is day nine since my face/neck lift. I don't think The swelling has gone down at all in my chin area. Does this appear to be normal for this stage?

Head in a vice- day 10 my ranting, raves and fears

Everyone, thank you so much for helping me out yesterday; you guys are the best and I am so thankful! I was worried but feel better knowing I am not alone. But...I had a horrible night. My head feels like a walnut in a cracker! My temples are throbbing, my cheek bones, the top of my head, behind my ears. I had to take a pain pill last night. I woke up wondering if I should call the Doc, then your comments on yesterday's post eased my mind. But should my whole head be hurting? My poor chin is ultra sensitve to the touch. I want to feel my ears!!!! Okay, I guess this is one of those depressed days, huh? But seriously to all of you contemplating a face lift, I would do it all again tomorrow. I think I will be so happy once I get through this. I am going to do some rambling now because I need to. I miss working out. It has been 2 weeks since I lifted weights and I can feel it and see it. I spoke to a trainer and he said to keep protein high, carbs not so much, take BCAAs to maintain muscle and glutamine. According to him I should not lose muscle. Of course he is like 30. It seems like at my age it leaves a whole lot faster than it takes to get it.
Question: when did you alums feel like joining the universe once more; 2 weeks, 3 weeks? It seems like I can do one or two things then I am pooped or swelling! Thanks for letting me get this out of my system.

Day 11 post surgery

Put on make-up and got out of the house! My husband and I went shopping and had a Valentine's lunch. Great idea! No crowds and had a martini called Citrus Savant-- so good. I didn't get any weird stares, even though I had on way more make-up than usual. It made a big difference getting out into the sunshine. Getting some new tinglings on lower face, so bring on the healing. Happy Valentines, everyone.

Day 15 post surgery

Good Morning! Feeling good. On Monday the remainder of stitches removed, Tuesday hair color, yay! Today I am going to workout with my trainer. My Doc said I could try today, without weights of course. I can't wait to get my endorphins back. I think it will go a long way to making me feel normal. My Doctor gave me a tip going forward. I asked him if the ugly neck ridges will come back once I resume weight training. Sadly, the answer could be yes! It depends how I lift. It will help if I remember NEVER to tense up my neck and keep that area relaxed. That will mean lighter weights probably. That is a-okay with me. Beauty over brawn right?

I have another lymphatic massage today as well.
Now for what I am not happy about: While feeling has come back to right ear and slowly coming back to chin, my right eat on the outside is numb. It feels so odd. When I lay down it is terrible! I can't lay on that side and the ear feels a bit throbby and warm. It is so creepy. I also have varying degrees of numbness on the sides of my face but I think that is slowly improving. My Doctor said it is not a worry till month 4. If my ear doesn't get feeling I hope I can get used to it. I am worried.
Everyone who has had a face/neck lift: How long did it take to lose the numb ears?
Sending good vibes to all of us healing and those preparing to take the journey. Oh, I will post photos later today. These are from yesterday after hair color. There is a story about the cupcake photo. They are not real! I have a cake plate I love but never have anything on it because I would eat it. So I made these out of foam insulation and the icing is wall filler with paint. Zero calorie cupcakes!

Photos Day 15

3 weeks post surgery

I can't believe it has been 3 weeks! In some ways it has gone quickly and in other ways it seems endless! I just have not managed to get back into a routine. Yesterday was day 3 with working out. I made the mistake of doing some upper body work, nothing crazy but I did lunges holding 8lb weights, curls with a piddly 5 lbs each hand and some tricep pushdowns using crazy light weights. I also did some planks and ab work keeping my head on the floor, no crunching. It all seemed good... Till I got home! My neck and
Chin area became very tender. No real swelling but it was painful. Thank goodness I kept it light. It doesn't look lke II did any damage. Anyway, I won't be doing that again anytime soon. It is a bit depressing. Frankly I am going to be reluctant to lift much upper body. Did I trade in a flabby neck for flabby arms?
I have been catching myhusband eyeing my results. He is amazed at how refreshed I look. He now says it was a really good thing! It is so nice to have him look at me that way. My husband is just about the greatest guy on earth. He never ever would have asked me or even agreed with me that I needed a little "boost". However, his apreciation is real and that makes me happy.
I am still pretty much bored out of my mind. I just cannot get a flow down. I need to figure out what is keeping me from getting back out there! I can't figure it out. That being said I am very happy with my results.

Worried!

Last few days I am feeling pulling and tenderness on chin and neck. Very swollen and it actually hurts in a throbbing way.It has been 7 was since my lower facelift and neck lift. This morning I am seeing some gobbler reappearing. Going to See PS at 4:30. What do you guys think?
See before pics next to today's.
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon

I visited 5 plastic surgeons before deciding on Dr. Lincenberg. I was told by my Dermatologist and my ENT that he was very good as well. He is soft spoken and has a confidence that made me feel completely at ease. His staff is great! Kerry was funny and easy to relate to; just like a good girlfriend! Vera was also very helpful. Beautiful office with little wait time. I am so glad I went with Dr. Lincenberg. He is a no pressure guy with a great personality. His professionalism and confidence made me feel very secure with my procedure.

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