I had read many reviews on here and felt prepared but you really have to experience it yourself!
I had a lot of pain (disclaimer:I have LOW tolerance). Waiting for the full four hours before taking meds again was too long for me and pain would break through full force. The second night following the surgery was the worst for me-very painful and I was in tears.
After day 2, I was primarily bothered by the tightness of the neck-it would awake me throughout the night and I would have to get up and place more ice packs on. I stayed on pain meds for 4 days..then went to Tylenol..but continued to need sleep aids.
I am 49 years old and (according to most people) did not NEED anything, but I felt differently and wanted to address my concerns sooner rather than later. I had loose skin forming under my neck, crepey skin at bottom of neck and I had a little looseness in lower face. I could have waited, but I did not want to.
My doctor (who is great and comes highly recommended) gave me a necklift/lower face lift and did not lift cheek area or alter my eyes, since he felt they were in the right position and did not need to be tampered with. I had almost NO bruising and minimal swelling.
I am undecided about the outcome because I am not one to be smug or assess things before the final result. As of today, I feel it was worth it but will keep you posted!
On day 7 post op, the scars around my ears were already virtually invisible. On day ten I went out to dinner and it was not obvious that I had work done. I currently have only dissolvable sutures left and will re post in a couple of weeks. FYI I used a stocking (tights) and I filled it with small ziplocs filled with peas..I wrapped that around me and it was very comforting. If you are not a back sleeper then buy the neck pillow that has a hole for the ear-you will want it at some point.