I'm 30 and have been self conscious about my...
I'm 30 and have been self conscious about my forehead since I realized it was huge. It has really taken a toll on my confidence. If I have to ever wear side swept bangs again I will scream. Loud. My brows are also starting to sag and I look mad, so I would like that taken care of at the same time by getting a brow lift.
Right now I am starting my consultations. I plan on having virtual consultations with:
Right now I'm leaning towards Dr. Aharonov since he can give drastic results in one stage. If Dr. Kabaker says he can lower my hairline to my liking I will choose him, but I think he will say I need an expander.
I want to have this surgery in April 2017 but will do it in January if I choose Dr. Kabaker, since he's retiring. I want to book everything in October since I think it will be cheaper. I plan on traveling alone, so I may have to pay for aftercare too.
I will update once I have all of my consultations and choose a doctor. I turn 31 next summer and it's time to be confident. I feel silly even talking about how much I dislike my forehead but I know you all understand!
Maybe an Expander Won't Be So Bad After All.....
So today I had my virtual consult with Dr. Mayer. After having me move my hairline/skin, he determined that I would need an expander to get my desired results.
I just hate the thought of making 2 trips AND having to walk around with an expander. I work from home so trying to camouflage it isn't really an issue; It's just that ANYTHING can happen in the 3 months I have to have it in.
I think that his scars look really good and are not noticeable. I just need to make sure my hairline won't look so harsh if I go to him. I would like to keep a little bit of the widow's peak so that my hairline will look more natural.
The quote for *my* particular case (including all fees) is $11,400:
Expander insertion- $3,500
Hairline lowering + brow lift- $7,900
The expander insertion will be done under local anesthesia in the office. I would arrive on Monday and leave Wednesday. I can be alone for this part and will not have to consider aftercare.
At this point I do not think I will consult with Dr. Kabaker. With the amount of lowering I need I am sure he will say I need an expander. Dr. Mayer is also less expensive so this makes my choice between the two easy.
I will still have a consult with Dr. Aharonov because I need him to explain exactly how his way is different and just as safe as having a gradual expansion. Having this done at one time would be ideal. I can justify the cost of going to Dr. Aharonov if this can be done safely in one step with minimal damage and permanent hairless.
If I decide to go with Dr. Mayer I will get the expander in early December and have it removed in early March. I would need to do it when it is cold so that I can hide under winter hats and not look out I'm of my mind.
I know this is a long post but I'm trying to think it all over as I type. : ) I'm getting restless.
For those of you that have had ANY surgery- Do you know if cosmetic surgeons usually offer cash/non-financing discounts? I will being paying this way but am not sure if it is in poor taste to ask.
So.... It's Gonna Be Dr. Mayer
I had my consult with Dr. Aharonov today. He was very pleasant and I got a good down to earth vibe from him. Unfortunately, he said that he would only be able to lower my hairline about an inch. Like I stated before my scalp is very tight. Who knows, he may be able to get more but I don't want to wake up and still think my hairline is too high. I need it lowered at LEAST 1.25 inches. The cost is $14,500 for both the 1-stage lowering and the brow-lift.
So at this point I'm going with Dr. Mayer.
I am just trying to figure out the logistics of it all before I make my deposit. Unfortunately I am being told that I HAVE to stay for 6 days AFTER the procedure so that he can remove the stitches (I live in GA). Also, I have to find someone to stay with me or pay $795 for aftercare. Then there's the issue of coordinating time off of work and finding someone to do the injections. Unfortunately, someone else has to do it or the port can be damaged. I was told keeping the port external is not an option and it has to go under the scalp. : (
My next update will be when I have my expander inserted. I will definitely have pics of that to share as well as more hairline and eyebrow "before" pics.
Date Is Set!!
So I decided to get this done a little earlier. I am flying out to on Nov 14th for my pre-op appointment and returning home on the 16th. I'm actually not nervous like I though I would be. I'm just growing inpatient and so tired of my forehead. I feel confident that my result will be good and that I won't have any permanent hair loss.
I am also considering having a fat transfer to my naso-labial folds. The folds are very minimal but they are enough to bother me. I'd rather have something more permanent than fillers. I want to see if I will be a good candidate. If I am I will get it -if his policy is on fixing any lumpiness that may occur is fair. That will be in a separate review if I get it done.
I am just ready to get this over with and get the ball rolling!
Next year is going to be the year of slice and dice for me.
Definitely on my list of things to get:
I thought it would all happen this year (New_Start2016)
but unfortunately it didn't so a name change was in order!
I'll update in November!!
I Switched to Dr. Epstein
So I am scheduled to have the tissue expander placed with Dr. Epstein in Miami, Fl. Dr. Mayer is still my first choice but the fact that I cannot inject the expander myself just proved to be too much of a hassle. Dr. Epstein will leave the port external so I can inject the expander myself.
His office is 9 hours away so I will drive down on the 14th and have my procedure on the 15th.
I wish there were more reviews on RS but it seems like everyone kinda disappears after having this procedure done with him. I'll come back and update next week.
Expander Is In
Monday I drove down to Miami and had my pre-op appt & then surgery on Tuesday. I was awake but the only painful part was the injections used to numb the area. After the expander was placed I took a nap and then used Uber to go back to my room. I wasn't wrapped up or anything so I just put my hat back on. I took my meds and went to sleep. I woke up in pain so I took more of my pain medicine. After that I felt ok- just tightness.
The next day (Wednesday) I had a post-op appt where I was shown how to inject the port. After that I drove home and I had to actually take some of the liquid out of the expander because it felt way too tight. I drove home with no issue and was ok taking Aleve. The drive was about 9.5 hours and when i got home I noticed that my left eye was starting to swell so I put on my ice mask took my meds and went to sleep. When I woke up my eyes were darn near swollen shut. I look like I lost a fight! lol. Anyway I have to start work Monday so I hope it goes down by then. I don't feel any pain right now- just soreness where the tubing enters my scalp.
So the swelling was completely gone by Tuesday night. After that, the skin around my eyes was sore for a day or two. Now there is bruising around my eyes.
At one week I was completely off of OTC pain meds.
Overall I feel good. I know for future reference that due to eye swelling I need to be off for a full week even though I work from home. I am SO happy that I was able to make it home before the swelling got bad. It was nice being able to recuperate in my own place.
Yesterday I did the first injection and was able to get 3CCs in. It is pretty simple and the external port is so convenient.
Today, I went to the minute clinic at a local pharmacy to have my sutures removed. It was covered by insurance so I only paid a copay.
I think I'll have the second surgery sometime in January and I will definitely stay in FL for a week. I'm excited and can't wait to be done with this so I start having other procedures done.
I'll update again in a few weeks.
So It's Been Awhile!!!
12 Mar 2017
4 months post
Hi guys! Sorry I haven't been on much but I really haven't had any updates to give!
I still have the expander in : (
I sent in some pics in January and was told I still have a way to go before I was ready for the second stage. Turns out even though I was injecting every other day I wasn't injecting enough. I was putting in around 3CCs each time when I should have been putting in closer to a full syringe (10CCs).
This really hasn't been all that painful. Since i started injecting more each time I just feel tightness and occasionally I feel sharp pain. Also itching where the scalp has expanded. Lots of itching!
The second stage is scheduled for April 6th. It could have been later this month but I cannot take leave from work in March. I am excited to have this done and I am counting down the days!!!
Some Pics Of The Expander
12 Mar 2017
4 months post
Here are some pics. As someone who always covers their forehead I don't see how I would have been able to do this if I had to work onsite everyday. I don't think many workplaces allow headwear outside of religious headwear.
I just took some pictures tonight. As you can see it looks like I have another centimeter or so added to what needs to be taken off because of the stretching around my hairline. So now I want about 4 to 5 centimeters removed starting where my hairline is thick.
22 Mar 2017
4 months post
So this is typically how I wear my hair. I have different colors and patterns and usually throw on a black one when I have to run errands. There are a lot of ways to do the wraps. I learned by watching YouTube videos.
IT'S FINALLY OUT!!!!!
TToday I had the tissue expander removed : )
Dr. Epstein and I agreed on how low I wanted my hairline to start and how my eyebrows would be after the brow lift. He drew his lines and after taking my pre-op meds which included 2 Valium and an Ambien I was ready. Like last time, the most painful part of this entire thing was the injections used on my forehead and scalp- mainly my forehead (anesthetic +Epi). Last time the forehead injections were bad but only 2 were done. This time it was more than two and it was very painful for me. I thought I had a pretty high pain tolerance but I guess not! The scalp injections weren't too bad.
After that everything is a blur. I think I had my hair washed after the procedure and then I went to the post-op area and had a nap. When I was fully awake I realized my head was wrapped and I had a drain coming out of my scalp.
I don't know what my result looks like yet since I am wrapped up. I may have been shown but like I said everything is a blur- the most I remember is hearing someone saying they were gonna wash my hair and I think I may have used the restroom- I really don't know.
Right now i'm in my room icing my scalp since it's the only part uncovered. I started to feel forehead pain before I left the office so I took two of the prescribed pain meds and have been taking one ever 5 hours or so. Now I don't' feel any pain except for when I try to lift my eyebrows. My scalp is numb where the expander was and I don't feel any kind of neck pain or pain on any other part of my scalp that isn't numb.
I'm Sooooo Happy I Did This!
I absolutely love my hairline so far! I just tried to put my hair in a ponytail and it just feels so good to know that soon I will be able to wear my hair in one without having to cover my forehead. I couldn't have imagined a better result! It's midnight so I'm about to hit the road before the swelling gets too bad but I just wanted to post photos. I will post more when I have the stitches removed.
I also had a browlift but it is way too soon to tell anything because my forehead is a bit swollen. Overall I am over the moon. : ) I'm gonna keep my fingers crossed that I don't loose any hair or have shock loss!
3 DAYS POST OP
I'm 3 days post op and I feel pretty good. My eyes didn't swell shut like last time. They are swollen and bruised but i'm happy I can see! This time before surgery I have been drinking a lot of pineapple juice and taking arnica montana for the last two weeks. I have also tried to reduce my salt intake.
I stopped taking the prescription pain meds the day after surgery. During my drive home I took 1 Aleve two times. Since then I haven't taken any pain meds since I'm not in any pain. I only feel forehead/ eyebrow pain when I sneeze.
I don't think I mentioned this but when I had the tissue expander in after a while I had feeling in the area that was expanded. Right now i'm completely numb in that area. Occasionally I feel like there is an itch that I cannot scratch.
I love the position of my brows right now so I hope they don't drop too much over the next couple of months. I want microblading done so I think they're in a good position.
I washed my hair today and it was a dry tangled mess. I added a picture of my current middle part so that I can keep track of it. I forgot to do this before the expander placement. I was expecting it to be a lot thinner/wider since my scalp was expanded so much.
It's Been Two Weeks
20 Apr 2017
5 months post
I had my stitches taken out Friday (8 days post) at a local urgent care center. I tried the same minute clinic as last time but was told go to urgent care because it is more complicated. That was a hassle because the first two I tried kept saying that insurance wouldn't cover because it is a part of the global package even though I tried explaining to the receptionist that it isn't in this case. I finally found a clinic that knew to charge it to my insurance wth an E/M code.
My swelling went down fairly quickly since my last update and my bruising is gone.
Right now my scar is flaky and tender to touch in certain spots. There is a dent on the left side on my hairline- i'll update whether or not it goes away over time. Some parts of my forehead are tender to touch.
It's still too early to tell with my brow lift so I will not give a final yay or nay for 6 months. My brows raise funny but i know that happens and will likely subside. I will definitely update.
I feel a bit bummed out because I can't really do much with my hair right now. I haven't had a relaxer in a while so I really don't have many styling options that look polished. Braids are not an option right now. I'm in hats now and will go get my hair done once my scar no longer feels tender. I cannot wait to start trying new styles!
One Month Post
My scar is no longer as tender or flaking anymore.
The dent on the left side of my hairline looks a little better but it's still pretty noticeable.
I went to the dermatologist for a facial peel last week and while I was there she recommended I start using something called Silagen to help the appearance of the scar. I've been using it twice a day since then.
The hair around the scar is very thin/gone. I see very short hair coming through but the density isn't there. I have Rogaine but have decided not to use it. The instructions say that I have to use continuously in order to keep the hair growth. I want to see if the hair will come in on its own. Has anyone that had this done used Rogaine? what was that like? Did you stop using it and what happened with your hair?
Six months post I will see where I am as far as my scar and the thin areas. At that time I will decide if I want to get hair transplants.
11 May 2017
6 months post
I want to get hair transplants to round out my hairline and bring the side/temples forward. Please keep in mind that I probably would have had this part done no matter who did the surgery since the temples aren't usually moved forward.
I want this done once i'm six months post op.
If the front hairline doesn't fill in by 6 months post op I will probably get transplants added there there too- I don't want to though so my fingers are crossed!
I have attached pics that gives an idea of what I want.
I have a couple of doctors in mind to perform the procedure- one in New York and the other in Florida. I'll start a new review when I start having consuts in July/August.
I'll update my progress again at 3 months post op.