54 Years Old and Want a Tighter Neck and Jowls! - Madison, WI

Just paid for my lower facelift! Nervous and...

Just paid for my lower facelift! Nervous and excited! After two+ years of chickening out, I'm going for it. Two weeks to go. Yikes. It's amazing how fast my lower face has dropped since I turned fifty. The only people who know I'm having it done are my husband and sister. I told them it's a neck lift. That sounds less scary, right? My husband is not thrilled with the idea but he's supportive.

Had my pre-op today

Had my pre-op today. I'm officially freaking out. My feelings are all over the place. I feel guilty for being so vain. I'm worried that I'll look too good. Seriously. I don't want to look 30. I want to look my age but with a smoother neck and jaw line, that's all! I am a grandmother. I'd like to hear from anyone who's felt similar or who can calm my nerves!

No turning back now!

Soooo relieved to be on the other side! My neck, especially the right side is very painful and feeling tighter by the minute. Taking oxycodone and valium. Thought I would take a nap but not tired enough yet. Sitting upright in bed with pillow support behind my head. That part is comfortable. Neck not so much but tolerable with the meds. My gauze stays on until Monday. Must ice as much as possible until then. The drains are removed then as well. My adorable hubby is going to be my on-call nurse all weekend. This will be more involved than he or I anticipated, but he's a sweetie. I'm a lucky girl. Especially since he's been "reluctantly" supportive of this. In his words, whenever we've discussed my complaints about any aspect of my looks, he thinks I have "distortive view issues" (our something like that!). That's just me. I think I'm a textbook product of our culture, having a beautiful mom who was constantly dieting and complaining about her weight. Then as she got older, always lamenting her sagging skin! To top that off, having two knockouts for sisters. We are very close in age, and I always struggled with them having beautiful hour glass shapes from my mom, while I get the apple shape from my dad's side. I am my grandmother! Big boobs, no waist, no butt and skinny little legs! Okay so much for my life story. The surgery went well. Everyone was amazing. No pain, just a little pooch with the iv and a burning sensation when the anesthesia was administered. Because of the general, it seemed to last less than a minute, but it took about 3.5 hours. Dr. Marcus assured both of us that I will look like "me" but better, and not looking like I had any work done. I was really glad that my husband finally got to hear all the details about what I've been privately obsessing over all these months!!! By the way, I did tell him after the preop that it's technically a "lower face lift" (not a "neck lift" as I had originally told him). And anytime I've brought up the subject before today, he's very quiet about it. Have to wait for the "big reveal" until Monday. My biggest worry is that it will be too drastic of a change! The way my neck feels I imagine two big Frankenstein screws twisted into my neck! I will post pics. Thanks to all your well wishes.

Day 2

Well, since my last update, I've been nothing short of miserable. I think my biggest mistake was not taking the anti nausea pills right away. I should have known better. I always get sick to my stomach when I take opioids on an empty or nearly empty stomach. Not only that, the effects of the anesthesia must have contributed to the nausea. I wasn't able to keep anything down, not even the anti nausea pills which were taken after the fact. I ended up vomiting a total of four times. Doc said to try just the valium and to keep down water through the night and that worked, thank goodness. The valium was taken every,3-4 hours but I needed it. It doesn't alleviate the pain under my neck and all around my head but it makes it somewhat tolerable. I feel like I'm in a torture device. Hoping today will be better and I'll be able to tolerate the oxycodone. Fingers crossed, cuz I also have to start my steroids and antibiotic.

Day 3

Happy to report that yesterday was mostly comfortable thanks to being able to eat and keep down the oxycodone and the valium. I slept a lot. Eating is tricky because I can't open my mouth very wide, so it's softer foods that don't have to be chewed much. Scrambled eggs with cream cheese, pureed beef soup with low sodium Ritz crackers, butter pecan ice cream and key lime pie. Yes, I'm sorta spoiling myself with those! Drinking mostly plain water and some ginger ale. Doing nothing but laying upright in bed and going to the bathroom! Tomorrow I get this contraption off and will get to see my new neck and jowls. I sure hope I'll be pleased. I am really nervous about it!!! So today it looks like more of the same as yesterday. Thanks again for all your support out there!!! I hope my experience can be helpful to others as yours has been to mine, so far. I'm also doing the arnica tablets. I hope that they will help with the bruising, especially after throwing up so much on the first day.

4th day out

Got my drains out and bandages off. I have yucky swelling, especially a nasty bump in front of my right ear that makes me look disfigured. I asked my doctor if it was permanent and he laughed and said that would be impossible. As we all know swelling is normal but this right side of my face looks like one of those implants that lady gaga did that one time. You can't really see it in the frontal pic cuz my hair is covering it. You can see the disfiguration in the profile pic. Washed my hair and hubby is making sure my stiches stay clean and bacitracined and gauze. Supposed to wear a support for a week as much as possible. No biggie, cuz I just plan on chillin! Not a fan of my bruised up deformed chipmunk cheeks, but when I saw my profile in the mirror, I was happy as could be!!! It's what I've been dreaming of for so long, and now it's here!!! A smooth line. I love it!!! And my neck, albeit bruised, is smooth. That's right, I said smooth! And where did those jowls go? It's been a rough few days but I'm seeing a real light at the end of the tunnel!

Swelling and numbness five days later

Seems like my swelling is worse than yesterday. I'm annoyed but I know this is very early in the healing process and patience is what it's all about. I see my doc in two days and will get my staples out. The numbness is from ear to ear especially In the jaw. In front of my ears it feels like cardboard. Mind you, I'm not complaining because I know this is all part of the process and it could take months before I feel normal again. Mostly looking forward to the swelling going down so I can look less like a moon face. Having said that, I'm digging this business of doing nothing but lounging around the house and hiding from the world, lol! Would love to hear experiences of post-surgery swelling and numbness from anyone else.

8 days out

Still very tight and swollen - feels like I'm wearing a tight stretchy collar around my neck, but not painful. Under my chin is swollen which kinda bugs me - got the slight double chin look going on. Hope the skin there doesn't sag after the swelling goes down. Bruising is slowly fading. Had my staples out yesterday and Doc says I look GREAT for one week. The chipmunk cheeks will continue to go down. He reminded me that it takes months until the final "after" look is permanent. Still am THRILLED with my smooth neck and jowls - Woo Hoo!!! I put on makeup over my bruises the best I could, and made sure my hair hid it (in front of my ears). Went to the grocery store. They ID everyone - all ages - who buys alcohol (stupid, but I'm used to it). I was getting wine so she asked to see my ID. She looked at it and starts to punch in the info, then she says, "Can I see your ID again?" I showed it to her and she says "There's no way you're that old! I thought I was reading it wrong!" So I told her she MADE MY DAY! That hasn't happened to me in a few years. YAY!!!

9 days out woke up with stiff fat swollen neck and jaw

Why is this happening? I look fat under my face and it's really swollen under and in front of my ears. Going to drink a ton of water and ice the area. I know it's early in recovery but this is discouraging.

Two weeks tomorrow

Felt more energetic and upbeat today. Went shopping by myself and didn't get wiped out. Still hesitant about getting together with friends yet. Since I'm wearing the same tee shirt as my before pic, thought I'd take a two-weeks post pic. The lighting is different, but in spite of the swelling my neck and jowls are so much smoother. I see my doc tomorrow and will ask him what he thinks my swelling timeline will be. Hopefully on the short side. I still have bruising but it's fading and I can conceal it pretty well with the bruising concealer and my own foundation. Numbness is still there but I'm finding that most of the time I don't even think about it.

Almost two weeks

Two weeks out

Swelling up, swelling down, swelling up, swelling down. Tightness all the time. Numbness in front of ears. Worth it? Every day I'm thinking, yeah. My neck and jowls are so much better. I got a little thrill just having the fleeting thought that I'm not going to have to be self-conscious again. What liberation! Had my two week checkup yesterday and doc says I look great. I asked about the swelling, especially under my chin, and it's just a matter of time. It's normal, and there's a reason they usually don't take their after pictures until three months, and the official after pictures are at a year. At least that's how I understood it. Sooo, I will trade my old lady neck and jowls for annoying tightness and swelling any day!

Week 5 still swelling. Ugh

Took some pics today. I see no difference on and under my jowls since my last pics. Guess I'll just have to either jutt out my chin or smile constantly. Please let this go away!!! Am I being too impatient???


I'm officially saying WORTH IT! Just seeing the lower half of my face lose twenty years, how can that not be worth it!!! My swelling is g-r-a-d-u-a-l-l-y going down. Still feel numbness and tightness but I can tell it's still healing and that's normal and good. Dr. Marcus is the man!
Dr. Ben Marcus

I'm glad I chose Dr. Marcus. He's the nicest guy, spends as much time as you need with you, and really wants to give you what you need. He's also very experienced, board certified, teaches and specializes in the face. The surgery wasn't an easy experience, but he and his team were amazing. To finally have a neck and jowls that I don't want to hide anymore, it was definitely worth it.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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