Getting a Mini Face Lift_55 and Missing "My" Face. Bethesda, MD

Since menopause my face changed quickly with jowls...

Since menopause my face changed quickly with jowls and loose skin on my neck giving me a little "waddle". I've had a few people recently think my (younger) husband is my son. That didn't used to happen. So, I'm having a mini face lift to look more like "me"...a younger me! Thank you to those who helped me by posting. Now it's my turn to help others by posting my pictures and experiences. ki

Before Pictures and Thank You

I have less than 2 weeks to go. I'm very nervous and come to RS almost every day for reassurance and advice for what to do and expect, especially for the first week or two after. Here are my "before" photos. Thank you ladies of the RS community.

The Horribly Ugly Before Picture

I didn't even want to post this, but this is the ugly truth I'm hoping to change. I may as well put it all out there. My mini lift is next Wednesday!

I had my surgery today!

I and very sleepy, so this will be short. I'll add more later, but I wanted to get the picures up. I'm am not pain. I'm a bit concerned that it won't look any (of very different. I don't really look like I had surgery. We'll see.

Day 1 Post-Op Less than 24 hours after

I made a lot of typos yesterday still recovering from anesthesia. Here are pictures less than 24 hours after surgery. There is a lot of swelling, but not much bruising. My neck feels tight and behind my ears is sore, but I am only taking acetaminophin and that works. I can see the difference, but of course I an nervous about what it will look like when the swelling goes down!

Day 2 Post-Op A Little Less than 48 hours after

I can see why a lot of people don't post the 48 hours after pictures. The swelling! The elephant ears! The linebacker neck! I want to post them so others can see in case they have the same issues in their recovery. I texted these pictures to my coordinator, Joanne, this morning and she texted right back at 7am to tell me they look normal and to answer other questions. She could have waited until office hours, but that's now how Dr. Richard's office is. They are very responsive.

I wonder if the swelling will stretch out my neck, face, and ears and make them sag. I wonder if the odd bump on my left side is ok. I wonder how those elephant ears can be mine. I'm trying not to worry. Still no pain. A sore, but that is manageable with acetaminophen. Itchiness though and of course it feels tight. I hope the swelling resolves quickly. I'm going to try not to look in the mirror much today.

On a brigher, more hilarious note,..

Here is a picture of me in second grade and me yesterday. It took me a minute to figure out why that picture of me yesterday looked so familiar. lol

Swollen ears.

I'm frustrated with the swelling. I do realize that it has been less than 72 hours, but patience does not always come easily to me. I was not expecting this much swelling or my ears to be so swollen. I hope that the swelling doesn't stretch everything out only to have sagging skin again when the swelling goes down.
I think Dr. Richards did a good job with the stitches around my ears. Here are some pictures taken yesterday, which would be the 2nd day after the surgery.

Day 4 Post-Op Another Swell Day

Four days later and I'm still swollen, most noticably on my neck. You can also see some yellowish bruising. My ears have calmed down, thank heavens! They still have some swelling, but I no longer feel that I could give Dumbo a run for the largest ear to head ratio. My biggest worry at this point is that my neck skin will sag when the swelling goes down. I may go see the doctor tomorrow just to ease my mind. My post op is on Wednesday, but he did say to come in if I felt that I needed to at any time and that is part of the service I paid for. I know it's still early in the healing process. And I know I am not a very patient person sometimes. Any of you ladies have similar swelling that went down? If so, did it make your skin all loose and sagging? Thanks!

One Week Post-Op and Seroma

I have my one week post op appointment to day and I will have some stitches removed. I went to see Dr. Richards on Monday because of my concern with fluid under my chin (it makes me look like I have a double chin or like a bullfrog or a pelican) and redness on my ear. I didn't want to wait until my appointment today. I've attached a picture. Don't freak out or write alarming comments, please. I'm stressed enough about this. But, it's only a week out and I am going to insist that he treat it now and not wait. Yes, I know the issues with a seroma.
Dr. Richards wrote me a script for an antibiotic even though he said he didn't think the red spot was infected. He felt the fluid sack and said he thought it would resolve. It seems like a lot of fluid to resolve on its own, so today I am going to ask him to aspirate it unless he has a very good reason not to. For that reason, I'm glad I'm on the antibiotic. This fluid (I am almost certain it is a seroma) is the only thing I'm concerned about so far with my recovery. But it's definitely disappointing and worrisome. But rather than dwell on that, I'll take action to resolve it.

Day 8 Post Op _ Fluid/seroma update

I saw Dr. Richards yesterday for my one week post op. He took out some stitches above my ears. If felt weird, but not painful. I was as careful as I could manage to keep the stitches free of dried blood and stuff so that they could pull out more freely and minimize pain.
He also looked at the fluid "bullfrog chin" that I've had growing since day 2. He tried to aspirate it, but no fluid came out. (ouch, by the way) He massaged it and put a compression bandage on it and started me on oral steroids. Within a few hours that fluid that had been there for 5 days was almost gone. (see pictures). The steroids will also help with the other (much less dramatic) edema in my face and neck. So, it looked like a seroma, but wasn't! He said it was common for something like what I had to develop, but since he's been doing a couple of these a week for 20 years or so, he knew just what to do.
So, THANK YOU for "holding my hand" through this, RS Ladies. And I hope this post will give others who many have a similar issue some wait-and-see comfort and helpful information.

Post Op Day 8 Pictures

The swelling in my chin (especially), neck, and face is slowly going down. My ears are healing, but I don't want to clean them too riggorously, so dried blood could probably be washed off...if I was certain that it didn't have stitches in it or that it would bleed if I scrubbed it hard enough. So, I'll just leave it for now.
Feeling presentable, if I put my hair down to cover my ears and swollen neck. Still have a ways to go though. Still on antibiotics and steriods for 4 more days.

10 Day Post Op and candid photos

I don't have the front, right, left "mug shot" type photos for today, but I do have two candids that were taken this morning. Still swollen and my incisions are still healing, but I'm feeling pretty good. I can't go to the gym yet, which is frustrating, but I knew that. I'm happy with my jaw line and neck so far...of course now I look at my eye wrinkles and age spots on my arms and so on. Sigh. I don't want to start getting a lot of procedures done, but I can certainly see how it could become a bit of an obsession.
I will go back to work on Monday and have strated going out and about. Someone who knows me and my 32 year old daughter said today "I never realized before how much you two look alike!" lol Gee...I wonder why. :)
I go back to Dr. Richards in a couple of weeks to get cleared for regular activity. I'll post the before and after pictures then.

Almost 3 weeks post op. A candid picture showing swelling.

Tomorrow will be 3 weeks post op and I will try to post a front, right, and left photos. For now, this candid taken by my 8 year old with my phone shows the lack of jowls and turkey neck, but also that there is noticable swelling under my chin (where I seemed to have had the most throughout - except the early elephant ears days). The doctor says this will all go away within the next few weeks. That would be great.

Post Op 3 Weeks

We took these at 9pm which is late for me, so I look tired, but here they are. I don't wear makeup, all the photos on my review are no makeup. I am pretty happy with the healing of the right ear. The left is slower. And the swelling under my chin is what I am most unhappy with. Still, for 3 weeks post op, I feel pretty good and I think the healing is going reasonably well. I know from the other reviews on this site that it takes time and I need to be patient and hope for the best.

Before and After at 3 Weeks Post Op_right side pics

Even with the swelling under my chin (which I hope goes away - yes it's making me a bit neurotic and I know it's only 3 weeks post and the doctor said it would all go away - I'm leaning toward "worth it". I'm off for a family vacation today. We'll see who says anything about the difference and if they "know".

5 Weeks Post Op Before and After Photos

5 weeks. Seems like 5 months. The attachment of my earlobes at the bottom is still a bit red and under my chin is still a little sore. I still have some swelling in my face, a lot under my chin, and a little hardness and numbness in front of my ears. All normal, according to Dr. Richards. He says all the lump under my chin is swelling that will resolve over the next month or two.

I'm pretty happy with it. People mostly say I look "radiant" or "glowing", when they comment at all. I usually tell the older women that I had a lower lift and let the men and younger women just think what they will!

Request for advice and a big THANK YOU.

Thank you all for the support you've provided. I'm not usually much for online support, but this community has certainly taught me a lesson on that attitude! I am wondering if I should have had my lower eyes done at the same time, but that is past. For now, I'm trying some serums. Elemis Eye Duo first. If you have any advice on serums for face/eyes, I'd love to hear them. Thank you all again.
Bethesda Plastic Surgeon

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