Hey all! I did it. I scheduled surgery, and I...
Hey all! I did it. I scheduled surgery, and I would love some support and encouragement, because I'm super-nervous! Also super-excited! I'm a little scared, but at the same time, I can't wait. :)
About 3 years ago, I lost 70 lbs. Have maintained for 3 years, but how have loose skin on neck, plus have always had a double chin, and a weak chin, and that hasn't gone away, even with the weight loss. Of course, a weak chin wouldn't go away, but I was hoping the weight loss would result in a more beautiful jaw line than I ended up with. Anyway, I'm 48, and feel like I'm too young to look this old. I've spent months researching plastic surgery, and finally took the plunge, met with a recommended plastic surgeon, and am now about 6 weeks pre-op. I'll share some pics.
I'm taking 3 weeks off work to recover in private at home, since I don't want everyone at work knowing that I'm doing this, plus I have a physically demanding job. I'm also undecided whether to tell my family. We're planning a big family vacation in February, and my doctor says that if I choose not to tell them, nothing will be visible by then. I hope he's right!
Anyway, anyone who has had this done, I'd appreciate hearing about your experience. Here are before pics. For those who have posted their own before and after pics - thank you!!!! It's been very helpful to look through, and read about different people's journey with this.
Re-done before pics.
Just went through some pics - these are clearer before pics. Yuck! Even with makeup, and smiling, the old looking neck can't be hidden.
Surgery went great. One minute I was being wheeled down the hall on a table, chatting with the nurse, and the next thing I knew, my doc was hovering over me saying "Everything went great." I don't even remember closing my eyes!
It's been a little scary the past few days with all the swelling and distortion caused by the swelling. But today it's 5 days post-op, and I'm starting to see what the results will be. I look so different! My neck wrinkles are totally gone, and I have a chin, for the first time in my life. It looks like I'll have a very strong profile, with strong features. I've never had that, so it's going to take some time to get used to the "new me," but I think I'm going to be really happy - once I'm used to what I'll look like. I'll post some pics from each day so far, and try to label them all.
How I'm feeling now - pretty good. Don't really need pain meds now, although at first, the chin/jaw was really hurting. Doc said that's normal. The facelift part was surprisingly not painful. Lots of numbness though, and it feels like that will take some time to go away. I also can't lower my lower lip. I couldn't really open my jaw until I took the jaw tape off, 48 hours post.
Things I'd wish I'd known ahead of time: Jaw implants are painful at first. Facelift, no biggie. Jaw implant, definitely sore and achey, and needed pain meds. Also, with jaw implant, soft food diet for 5 days! I wish I'd known that ahead of time, so I could have stocked up on soups and mashed potatoes, etc. As it is, I'm subsisting on smoothies, which are healthy, but getting really super boring. I spent a few weeks stocking up and getting ready to be a hermit for about 2 weeks, so the info about 5 days of soft food only would have been good to know. Also, I couldn't open my jaw wide enough to brush my teeth until I took the jaw tape off. Um, gross. That meant drinking smoothies but not brushing teeth for a total of 3 days. If I'd known that ahead of time, maybe I could have had some mint tea on hand to help with that. Not sure there's anything else I could have done about that part. I've never gone 3 days without brushing my teeth, and I have to say, not going there again!
I'll keep posting post-op pics daily for a little while, and then I'll try to post updates every couple of weeks/months until the full effect shows. Doc says expect that to take about 6 months.
1 Day post op
1 Day post-op pics. Not home yet.
Another 1 day post-op pic
Yikes - looks scary! I was more or less prepared for that, after looking at other people's post-op pics here. And the chin and jaw hurt! Thanks goodness for pain meds. I didn't know that chin implants hurt more than just facelift. Wish I'd known that.
2 days post-op
Back home. The yellow tape on my incisions is this weird sticky petrolatum tape. Has to be changed once a day for 2 days, then open air with anti-biotic ointment. My hair is all gooey around it, but I'll wait until I can take the jaw tape off before showering. That'll be after 48 hours.
Still 2 days post-op
Changing the dressings. It looks bad, but I think it looks messier than it really is. The incisions are a little sore, but not too bad. It's the chin that really hurts.
Early look at new neck and jawline.
Lots of bruising still, and swelling. But I have a new jawline! My jaw actually looks like my brother's now, and it's strange to look at these selfies and see my brother instead of me. But I wanted a chin, so there you have it.
5 days post-op.
The stitches come out in 2 days. The jaw tape is gone, and the swelling is way down. Still feels very tight, and still lots of numbness. The jaw doesn't hurt so much anymore. I can get by without pain meds most of the day. This is my last day of soft foods only - YAY!!!!
I didn't know ahead of time that a chin implant meant soft foods only for 5 days. That would have been good to know.
I think I'll end up loving the results. Right now I'm still getting used to my new chin/neck/jawline, but I think I'll be really happy with it.
I'll ask when the stitches come out what size implant the doc ended up using. We discussed it, and I said I wanted a well-defined chin and jawline, but still feminine. Looks like the doc did a great job with that, but it'll definitely take some time for me to get used to it! I was really worried for a few days while it was still super-swollen, but now that the swelling is going down, I think he did a great job, and picked the right size. I thought it was going to be too big at first, but now I can see that it'll be a nice profile, and won't look un-natural.
8 days post-op
Stitches came out yesterday. I was a little disappointed because I'd expected the incisions to have healed a bit more, but this was major stuff, and doc says I'm right on track where I'm supposed to be. Still lots of bruising numbness, but I have good energy, and am starting to go a little stir crazy. I definitely don't feel comfortable going out in public yet without a big winter hat pulled down over my ears. Hoping I'll feel ready to be seen at work week after next.
8 days post.
Same pics, but cropped differently to show jawline and chin instead of incisions. This part is looking great. It's around the temples and ears that don't look ready for public yet. Also, you can't see it from the side, but the sides of my face are still swollen, and they're very tight and numb.
Doc explained (both before surgery and post-op) that he over-corrects, because over the next few months, my skin will relax into the final result, and I won't look tight and pulled after that. In fact, I may have a few wrinkles back. But it's obviously going to be nowhere like it was before the surgery!
9 days post, hair covering incisions
These pics look amazing to me. The side view/profile looks great. From the front, I'm still swollen - the swelling goes out sideways, which is why you can see it from the front, but not from the side.
Anyway, I'm really stunned that this is my profile now. The swelling will go down.
All of that said, my doc explained carefully, several times, that over the course of about 6 months, my skin will relax, and some of the wrinkling on my neck will return. Right now, it's pulled super-tight, because he "over-corrects", knowing that the skin will relax, and some of the wrinkling will come back. It makes sense the way he explained it. So the pristine profile I have now is not going to be there in 6 months, but it will still look great compared to what I looked like before. I can definitely see that.
The incisions still look a little messy - still bunched skin, and not really healed yet. I'm hiding that with my hair in these pics. But given these were taken only 9 days post... um. Holy. Cow.
I'm officially changing my opinion to "worth it" from "not sure." I'm sure at this point. I'm totally going to love the final result.