On a tight budget, I saved up to get rid of my...
Still on the fence about type of anesthesia to use
Getting serious and very excited about losing those jowls
Tomorrow's the day I have been dreaming of for at least 10 years!
The day after surgery
Bled more than usual
Less Than Thrilled with Lower Facelift/necklift
Dr. Thomassen is a kind hearted doctor, a capable Board Certified surgeon who I felt safe with. He got rid of my hideous jowls. But if I had it to do over again, I would see if it could be done without touching my cheekbones. My neck looks amazing, he did a spectacular job on that. However the two sides of my face are now completely different, to the point I had to ask him if he had a student do my left side while I was sedated. (He did not.) My left side has a noticeable scar at the earlobe, off of the natural fold, while the right side has no visible scar at all. The left side has a hollow under the cheekbone that is quite distressing to me, (he said, "you had that before the surgery." No, I have gotten many closeup pics in my career and never had this problem), while the right side has a little more smoothness in the cheek. Overall, I miss the look of my mid to upper face prior to surgery. Yes, the lower face is now better - but at the cost of my upper face, and uneven results. I wanted more of the heart shape I had when I was younger and instead I have a shapeless narrow look.
The initial consultations had been such that I felt he knew exactly what I had wanted, while I now recall he didn't seem to remember things I had told him (and I don't remember him writing them down, actually). For example, I absolutely did not want a line of demarcation on my cheekbones showing where my surgery begins, and that's what I got, on my left side. When I brought it to his attention he said, "that's called your cheekbone." He couldn't see the ridge of flesh (that's especially visible under stage lights). The hollow of the eyes Is more stark. The right cheekbone (the better looking side) has adhesions that cause my face to look lumpy when I smile. I was advised to massage it to break up scar tissue, but all that did was make it hurt. As long as I don't smile it looks smooth. He did do a scar revision on the left ear at no charge. I will have to get fat transfer at some point to round out my cheekbones the way they used to be. Maybe I should have just done my neck. By the way, before surgery make sure your long hair is tied up, not just stuffed into a shower cap. Mine was a solid, blood-caked mess that I couldn't wash for several days after surgery. One more thing - as I was set up in the operating room, the anesthesiologist was asking the team for supplies, "do we have egg crates?" to situate my arms, and they looked for them while I was lying there. Not the thing you want to hear as you're about to go under the knife. You would think all the supplies would be in place! I don't regret doing it because I had a deadline to meet, but would have preferred more precise communication beforehand, more respect as a client, better lighting in the exam room, more professionalism overall, and a prettier aesthetic result.
Taking Time to Make My Next Move
The "line" of demarcation on my cheekbones, combined with the adhesions, makes fat transfer a necessity, however, I am now scared to do anything further to my face for fear of not communicating effectively my desired results and ending up with giant "apple cheeks" instead of that smooth cheekbone contour. I'm trying to get used to not smiling too hard, and using highlighter to disguise my sunken area under the eyes. I can't apply blush like I used to, because the lumpiness and lines show up more. I find myself noticing people's smooth cheekbones and remembering mine. But I'm ok, enjoying having a better jawline for sure. Not one to panic. Maybe by the time I can afford to do the rest that needs to be done, I'll be ready to do it.
Six Month report
My upper face used to be the "good" part (I could count on good, pretty photos under overhead lighting). I used to have to smile "a certain way" to eliminate jowls and smooth out my neck for pics. Now I have smile "a certain way," or not at all, to avoid the puckering on my cheekbones, lessen to hollows under my eyes, and minimize the "hole" under my left cheekbone. When will it end?
I didn't expect to look like Sofia Vergara, but I never knew this could happen. I am really concerned how I'm going to trust a doctor to do a fat transfer the way it needs to be done, not just slap it on and keep fingers crossed.
If I'd Only Known
If I Knew Then
No worries about safety or knowledge with Dr. Thomassen, but just be very thorough with him about your expectations. I would have liked to hear about all available procedures in advance, for optimal results! I would say try to see a prior patient of his in person, if possible. Or maybe he should get some imaging software to give a better idea of how it would look. I would hope he would see this review and advise his staff not to insult patients with uncalled-for threats of cancellation, and instead institute a policy of "friendly reminders". He should also be the one to answer questions directly, not his staff.