I flew into LAX with my father and we went to a pre-op appointment at 4 p.m. at Dr. Aharonov’s office. I had already met with Dr. Aharonov in person a few months before, so we just went over how much lowering he thought would bring my face into balance. My scalp was pretty tight, but he was confident that he could move it to where we had agreed upon (we both agreed on the same length of lowering). We went over paperwork that included my permission to use pictures, the risks involved with the surgery, possible side effects, etc. I signed the paperwork and he took before pictures of me from multiple angles. Later that night I stopped all food and drink after 7 p.m. I have naturally thin hair and a significant cowlick, so Dr. Aharonov’s main concern was how visible my scar would be later on. I, however am not too worried about this because I was shown pictures of completely healed patients with “noticeable” scars, and to my eyes, they were hardly noticeable. I would rather live with a tiny white scar line that may be visible in certain parts than a large forehead.
Day of Surgery:
The morning of the surgery I took a shower and used antimicrobial scrub that Faye had given me the day before. I used the antimicrobial wash on my neck, shoulders, face, and hair. I kept it on for 5 minutes, rinsed and then repeated. I then let my hair air dry and soon was on my way to the surgery center (which is right downstairs from Dr. Aharonov’s office). When I entered the center I had to fill out more paperwork and was given 3 Tylenol with a very small amount of water. I changed into a gown and met Dr. Aharonov, who drew lines on my forehead that served as guidelines for where he wanted to lower my scalp to. The nurses quickly hooked me up to an IV and I was guided into the operating room, got on the table, and before I knew it I was out.
Once I woke up I was bandaged and a nurse wheeled me out to the underground parking lot where my dad was waiting to pick me up. I was pretty out of it for most of that afternoon and night. I was not in too much pain and ended up only taking ibuprofen and not the heavy painkillers (although USE it if you need it). I was only sick to my stomach once (after eating for the first time) but was able to eat and keep everything down with no nausea from the next morning on.
NOTE: It is very important to stay elevated (even while sleeping and especially the first 24 hours). I used a wedge pillow and stacked other pillows on top of that. It is also very important to ice CONTINUALLY for the first 24 hours (although I ended up icing throughout the week). Since there are bandages, I only was able to ice around my eyes and the back of my neck where the bandages did not reach (this is what Dr. A told me to do).
Day After/Rest of Week
My bandages were removed the day after the surgery. I was thrilled with the results. I believe that Dr. Aharonov was able to lower my hairline by about 1 inch (a little over 3 cm). I had a good amount of swelling and bruising around my eyes. He gave me antibacterial ointment and told me to apply the ointment about 3 times a day to keep the incision moist and that I could and should start showering later that night. On the sixth day after my surgery, Dr. Aharonov took out my stitches and staples (the staples were a little bit painful to take out). He told me that I no longer needed to put any ointment on my incision. He said my only job was to put sunscreen on the incision and in about 1 week I could start using facial scrub with little microbeads to scrub the incision. I flew home the next day.
Sensations: Of course, the top of my scalp was totally numb. Due to my swelling, it was difficult/ slightly painful to eat and chew because the muscles used for chewing were swollen, which made it hard to open my mouth and chew. Everything felt a little “tight” just because of the swelling. The biggest pain and nuisance for me was the tightness in the back of my neck/head area. For the first week I had VERY limited Range of motion in my neck. I could not turn it very far side to side or look down very far. Dr. Aharonov said that I would slowly but surely regain range of motion in my neck and that I would look and feel better every week.
Although I still had a good amount of tightness and restriction in my neck, my swelling was much better, and the bruising around my eyes was easily hid by makeup.
My neck range of motion is much better and the bruising around my eyes is practically gone (I have been eating pineapple, which is good for bruising). I have noticed that I am losing a bit more hair than usual after my showers when I lightly comb out my hair. I am not sure if this is “shock loss” or not. If it is not shock loss, I may (or may not) still experience shock loss later on. Either way, there is no noticeable thinning on my head. I feel confident enough with the appearance of my scar to cover it with makeup and wear my hair sort of off my face (I don’t really have to cover my scar too much with my hair). It is a little raised and red, but this will also resolve with time and it is barely noticeable when I use makeup to cover it up.
Week 4/ 1 Month: The amount of hair that has been coming out after showers has started to diminish and slow. My bruising is gone and I have been feeling really good! My neck range of motion is pretty good, although my actual neck muscles feel a bit tight still and sort of like they are strained. I am sure that this will resolve with more time.
2nd Month: Every week is better than the last! Before going anywhere I make sure to use at least 50 spf sunscreen on my scar and then apply some makeup over the top of it. Neck is still a little bit tight but range of motion is much better.
3rd Month: My neck is almost 100%! I can also feel tingles along the top of my scalp occasionally (which I am assuming is some nerve sensation at work) although a small portion of my head is still numb. The best way that I can describe it is “less dead”. Initially after surgery and for the first month my scalp felt completely “dead”. There was no feeling whatsoever – I could not feel the lightest or hardest of touches. However, now at month 3 I have a bit more feeling (there are still sections of my scalp that I can’t really feel anything, but the numbness is not so “deep). Even so, the numbness is barely noticeable and is not really a concern to me.
My scar is looking better with every month! My hair is on the thin side naturally, and I did seem to have a centimeters worth of thinning on the left portion of my scar line. While you can sort of see some darkness along the scar line in the right light, I do not think that anyone would EVER think that I have had surgery (none of my friends have said anything) and it honestly does not bother me. I am just so unbelievably happy with how everything has turned out so far. I feel so much more confident and secure in myself.
I do have a few ingrown hairs along my scar. Dr. Aharonov told me to use an exfoliating scrub along the hairs, or to use Tend Hair (ingrown hair treatment – can be bought at local store).
My updates from here on will probably be at the end of every month or so -just a quick update because at this point there will probably not be much more change in my condition except maybe (and hopefully) for some hair growth where it thinned out. I will be happy to answer any and all questions however! I will check Realself as frequently as I can. I will also add more current pictures soon since the two that are up are from awhile ago.
All the best!