At 66 years of age, I decided it was the right...
At 66 years of age, I decided it was the right time for a facelift. I had the upper/lower blepharoplasty (eyelid) in December 2013, and was pleased with the results. My PS followed up with me from that surgery for a full year, and I began discussing the possibility of a facelift at some point. After losing about 15 lbs over the past year - I decided the weight loss looks great on your body, but not so much on your face!! I started seeing more loose skin around jawline and neck, and I didn't like it. The PS thought a lower face/neck lift would be the appropriate procedure. He did a SMAS plication with general anesthesia. The surgery lasted about 3 1/2 hours. Everything went well, but it did take me a lot longer to wake up from this surgery than the eye surgery. I was in recovery for about 3 1/2 hours. My hat is off to you ladies who do the facelift and eyelid surgery (and even other procedures) at the same time!! I like my pain in chapters!!!!
I have had minimal bruising and swelling, and have felt really good from Day 1. As most have said, there is no pain, just some discomfort. I took 1/2 pain pill about every 4 hours for the first 24 hours (as suggested by post-op nurse). Then I occasionally took tylenol for the next 3 or 4 days. I'm now at Day 6 and don't even think about needing anything for pain. I started taking Bromalaine, Artica Montana, Vitamin C, and VitaMedica Recovery Support vitamins a few days prior to surgery and continue to take them.
I returned to doctor office on Day 1 for removal of the bandage, and have been wearing the ace bandage (except for showering) since then. On Day 5, another visit to doctor office for removal of stitches in front of the ears and below the chin. Supposed to go back on Monday (which will be Day 11) for removal of remainder of stitches.
I am looking forward to not having to wear the ace bandage (although I will admit it becomes a sort of 'security blanket.') And I think after Monday, I will only have to wear it at night.
Thanks to all of you for your reviews, pictures and posts that have been so informative in making the decision and going through the surgery. I will keep you posted on my progress, and I will be happy to reply to any questions.
Day 7 and Day 8 Update
I'm now on Day 8 and still feeling great. My pictures don't look much different from day to day now. Bruising that was around lower neck is subsiding every day, and I don't see much if any swelling now. I took a pic of the incision under the chin today. It's a little bumpy, but I think that is to be expected at this early time in healing. I washed my hair for third time today, and I think I finally got all the gook out now. Feels better for sure. I'm still sleeping with head elevated and trying not to turn or bend my head too far. As someone else said, you have to turn at the waist when you drive. I go back to doctor on Monday and hopefully will get remainder of stitches and staples out...(I have staples in the scalp area - wonder if those will hurt coming out?!!) Until then I still wear ace bandage. I'll update again after doctor appointment on Monday. Wishing everyone a good weekend.
Day 9, 10, 11 - and all stitches and staples out
Today is Day 11, and I saw the doctor who removed all the rest of the stitches and staples. He said everything looked great, and was pleased with my progress. I can increase my activity - said that walking 3-4 miles a day would be fine, but to hold off on playing tennis for another couple weeks. I'm to put an antibacterial ointment on the scabbing/incisions. The incision under the chin still has a glue strip on it (that is why it is bumpy), and I'm to put Vaseline on it and wash with soap and water, and it should gradually come off. Will see the doctor again next week. And I only have to wear the head wrap at night -- Yea!!! Best wishes to all of you who are getting ready to have your surgery -- it will be easier than you think!!
Two Week Update and Side by Side Photo
Yesterday (Thursday) was two weeks post op. Just a little tingling and tightness. Still not moving (turning) neck so much, but driving is a little easier (thank goodness for 'lane assist' and 'back up camera.') Have gotten back to walking a few miles a day. Generally feeling normal. I found an app that is really good for comparing side-by-side pictures - called 'Framatic'. This picture was from 1 day before and 2 weeks after. Good luck to all of you in recovery and nearing your upcoming surgery date.
3 Week Update
Yesterday was 3 weeks, and I saw the doctor for another post-op. There was one little stitch that was still under my chin (he missed it the first time), which he removed. He said I still had a bit of swelling in my lower cheek. Also said there are no restrictions on my activity now, and I don't have to wear the ace bandage at night anymore.
Prior to the surgery and again today, we discussed that a facelift is not able to correct nasolabial folds and the corners of the mouth. His recommendation is some filler for those areas after about 6 more weeks.
I still feel some tightness in neck and numbness in front of the ears, but feeling more and more normal. When you can go for a few hours without even thinking about having had the surgery, you know you are getting back to normal!! Best wishes to all of you in your recoveries.
2 Month 3 Week Update
15 Aug 2015
3 months post
Thought I would update with a few pictures, now that it has been 2 months and 3 weeks since surgery on 5/21/15. Everything is healing just fine. I still have some numbness in front of the ears and along the jaw line. Incision under chin is still red, but a lot smoother now.
I went to the PS's spa for a 'Hydrafacial' this week. However, no one had informed me that I needed to be off of Retin-A for a week prior to the procedure. So I will go back next week. Have any of you had a hydrafacial before? Would be interested to hear of any experiences with it. I was not familiar with it (it is complimentary after my surgery). Sounds sort of like microdermabrasion.
I still enjoy reading all the success stories on this site, and seeing the transformations. So happy for all of them.
6 Month Update
21 Nov 2015
6 months post
Hello, I had a request for an updated picture of my scar under the chin; so I thought I would update with some 6 month update photos ( has been exactly 6 months today since my May 21 Lower Face/Neck surgery ). Everything is healing nicely....still feels a little tight in the neck area - but I consider that as a reminder and hope that everything is staying 'put'!! I'm sure that things have softened a bit, but overall, I'm pleased with the results, and just hope it lasts for several years. I did have a touchup with the Botox between the brows and in the crows feet area in August, but that is wearing off a bit. My PS has mentioned the Fraxel Laser treatment several times (he says that a lot of patients add that treatment about 6 months afterwards) -- but from reading some negative reviews and seeing pictures of the recovery and downtime of that procedure, that is a little scary to me -- and frankly, I think my skin looks pretty good as it is; so I am not inclined to do that at this point. I have discussed Juvaderm with the staff that does the injectables, and am considering that in the area around the mouth/chin. Does anyone have any experience with that? I really want to look as natural as possible, and don't want anything that will change that.
This site is such a wonderful resource for those that are considering any type of cosmetic procedures, and I appreciate all of you that have posted and commented. I still like to read about the experiences and results of this journey.