Face Lift for my 48th Birthday! - Miami, FL

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*Treatment results may vary

After years of fillers and a...

After years of fillers and a waste-of-time-and-money Ultherapy treatment last year (I have a review of that fiasco, click here) I am having a face lift! Nek lift, lower and mid face and upper lids to be exact.

I am going with my beloved PS Dr. Leonard Hochstein who did my breast lift/reduction a few years back (click here to see my review, "New Boobs This September").

Surgery is 1 week away, pre-op is Monday. Watch this space for lots more details!

Only 5 days away...

I've uploaded more before photos for documentation purposes. How did my lower face end up looking like a 70 year-old's? Unbelievable.

Okay here are the photos

I take it back. I don't look 70, I LOOK 90. WTH???

Turkey Face Went to Her Pre-Op Today.

The usual:
- Blood work & EKG (all done in my doctor's office)
- Completed payment & other paperwork
- Signed a million consent forms
- Was given a fantastic SkinMedica kit with all the creams I'll need
- Talked to Dr. Hochstein about the procedure, expectations, etc.
- Got my Rx for Keflex (antibiotic), Valium, Prozac and one other for nausea/vomiting

That's it. Nothing else to do now except wait until Friday and try to stay away from mirrors until then.

Less Than 24 Hours to Go.

Jennifer from Dr. Hochstein's office called to give me my surgery time (745a) and go over the basics:

- Bring Rx with me (Zofran, Keflex, Valium)
- No food or water after 12 A.M.
- Shower with antibacterial soap especially upper body and around head/face.
- No lotions, perfumes, deodorant, jewelry, etc.

I have picked out my outfit, went grocery shopping, made my "bag" for tomorrow with my meds, ID, money, etc.

I will be up at 500a tomorrow and will leave home at 645a to be there in time.

My mom is accompanying me but our housekeeper is driving. She'll be here early to help get the house in order before we leave.

Am I having surgery or going to the Moon?

Anyway, I'll see y'all tomorrow night or Saturday morning, or as I like to call it now: Fifteen Years Ago!

Day 1 Pinost Op

Everything went extremely well. It's the morning I'm after and I got up, made coffee, let the dogs out, etc. but straight back to bed to rest.

I'm taking Ibuprofen 800mg for pain and Valium at night to sleep. Otherwise the pain is minimal.

I am uploading pics of me right before going in, in my Dr. Hochstein robe as well a some taken right after and some today.

I have to take this moment to say that Dr. Hochstein and his staff make you feel like you are the only and most important patient they have. Like a lovely, caring, fun military operation if you will. Even the operating room is gorgeous. Wish I could have take pics in there too!

ONE VERY IMPORTANT POINT: The Doctor FORBIDS you from talking for 24-48 hours. He's so adamant about this he even called me at home at night and yelled at me for for answering the phone! I suspect there's a very good reason for this.

See you tomorrow!

More pics

Next steps.

I go to the doctor Monday morning for check up, gauze removal, etc.

Day 2 - With bandage off

I took the bandage off to re-wrap it and decided to take some pictures. Wow. That is the the only word I can out together. Just.. wow.

Day 3 - Redness & Concealer Recomendation

While I'd had very little bruising I did wake up wit a bit of blood pooled underm y eyes. Ice packs helped with the swelling but the best camouflage for the discoloration is a combo of Giorgio Armani's Master Corrector 2 (a peachey/orangey color) and Lancome Dual Finish Matte Bisque II Powder. The peachy shd of the concealr counteracts reds, purple snd greens. Not cheap but a miracle product.

I want to run through the streets screaming!

In a good way.

I went for my first post-op check-up today and all looks great. I will be back for stitches/staples removal this Wednesday. Until then, some fun photos.

Day four and I'm over the moon.

No wrap just occasional ice. Stitches off tomorrow.

more. look at that chin!

I feel very lucky to have access to Dr. Hochstein.

Day 4 - Swelling

Things should look great once these balls of swelling subside.

I had to post this thought...

This surgery didn't just take me back to where my face was 10 or so years ago. It has given me a face I never had. That tautness, the lips turned up, the cheekbones - all of that is new. So that's nice huh?

Day 5 - Hello Mickey Rourke!

Yikes, swelling and bruising but going away.

Eyes too swollen to remove sutures

They were able to remove the sutures on the front of the ears but no go on the eye lids. Way too much swelling today. I will be back Friday to try again when the staples are due to chime out.

So nothing but water and sitting up for the next two days!

One Week Mark!

So today I had all stitches/staples removed. A lot of what I thought were stitches is actually scabs so when I wash my hair and give my ears a good scrubbing everything will look much better. I have an appointment to see Dr. H again in 3 weeks so until then it's just taking care of my face like a new born baby, using sun screen and that's that.

New pics posted. Next time I post will be with hair did and full make-up!

Please ask any and all questions, I am more than glad to answer.

Also, Dr. H has his own free-standing three-story building including a separate place where out of town visitors can stay overnight with 24/7 nursing care. I am lucky to have him in my home town but if I didn't, I would find a way to get to him.

Looking forward to hearing about everyone else's journey! This was SO SO SO SO worth it.

These pictures tell the whole story.

Dr. Leonard Hochstein. 305.931.3338.

That is all.

Re: Ibuprofen

Dr. Hochstein's Patient Coordinator just read my post and noted I said I was taking Ibuprofen. This is a MAJOR NO NO. No Ibuprofen/Aspirin for 2 weeks before or after surgery. Tylenol is ok. I just wanted to clarify that .

Wow. I'm just... Wow.

I got a boost of energy and curiosity so I did my hair and make-up.

These pics are not retouched. No filters, no touch-ups. Just tons of makeup covering up swelling and bruising. One week after surgery.

I'm very happy.

Day 9

Hi Ladies (and maybe a few dudes?),

First I want to say thank you for the wonderful comments from all of you on my surgery and appearance. I know we do this for ourselves first and foremost but I don't think anyone would disagree that we also like to look good for the rest of the world.

Yesterday I put on 6.6 lbs of foundation and concealer and ran around all day. By 3 p.m. I wanted to gouge my eyes out with a spoon so I came home to rest. Today I plan on staying in and doing NOTHING. I got so many great comments and must have given out Dr. Hochstein's cards 10 times. Some of the funnier comments were "Whoa, you've lost so much weight!" and "Hmmm, do you have a boyfriend?!" No to both. But most people who know me were along the lines of "OH MY GOD YOU LOOK LIKE A PHOTOSHOPPED VERSION OF YOURSELF!!! I WANT ONE NOW!" And I have to say the swelling under and around my eyes is still very pronounced. It may take at least another week until that swelling has gone down. As it is now, my eyes are healing at different rates and I look completely insane. And it got worse as the day went on - my body's way of telling me I need to put the cuteness aside for a bit and get to the business of repairing this horrific, violent thing I paid to have done to my head.

That is one thing I learned about plastic surgery after my boobs: it takes a good 6 months for all of the healing to be behind you and often one (eye, cheek, boob) etc. will take a totally different healing path than the other.

I took some pictures this morning so you can see what I look like when just out of bed (and perhaps the reason I'm still single). I will post pics the next time I get made up to go out.

I hope you are all doing great in whatever stage of the journey you're at. (The grammar could be better there but I'm tired).

Day 10



A thought: I think the Ultherapy treatment I had last year made my neck worse. It seemed to melt after that.

Well, it happened...

Nurse at doctor's office today, looking at my chart: "You're 48?!".
Me: "Yes. Why?"
Nurse: "Huh. You don't look it. You look like you're in your 30s."


2 weeks and 3 days - Updated pics and Healing Update

So now the underlying muscle from my ex-jowls up to my temples is starting to come alive and is hardening a little and also starting to lose its numbness - all in all just uncomfortable but you can tell the body is simply doing its thing.

You can see the swelling in the new pics (no, I do not have a canary in my mouth) and I think it's working to my benefit because I look 12. Let's see what I actually look like once all this youthful volume subsides. ;)

Only area of slight concern is last pic - will hair regrow there? It looks like a wig right now. According to everyone who's had a FL the hair should grow back but I need to ask Dr. H about this next week.

On the plus side, I got hit on by a college student today. So there's that.

3 Weeks - Let's Talk HAIRLINE CHANGES

So I've hit the 3 week mark and here's the latest:

- All bruising gone (since about week 2)
- Swelling has almost disappeared so I look more like me now
- Lumpy numbness on sides of face, from temple to ex-jowls
- Eyelids still numb and a bit swollen (mostly at the inner part where my PS removed fat)
- Still some scabs must mostly on the tips of my earlobes and incisions inside hair.

Speaking of incisions: make sure you have a detailed conversation with your PS about your incisions. You will want to know - in clear detail with visuals - where your incisions will be placed as they relate to your existing hairline. In many cases, to get the best results, some incisions will be made that will alter your hairline. Make sure you are prepared for these changes.

Mine has changed slightly (my sideburns are higher and the back of my head, behind my ears have changed). It is all very evident (to me) because hair had to be cut to make the incisions but will be almost imperceptible since my hair grows out. Just make sure you have a "map" of where your doctor will cut and what that means for your new hairline, especially if you wear your hair up a lot.

New pics in a few weeks!

It's so nice be in my 30's. Again.

So I wanted to post a picture with no magical lighting or makeup so everyone can see what things look like at nearly 3 months. Also a close-up so you can see the tautness.

I just started a new job and it is slowly dawning on me that people think I am in my early 30s. I have to giggle at the comments from people my age "When I was your age..." Um, okay then! I am also CONSTANTLY getting comments from women asking what I use in my face, what I eat, etc.

I still have some itchy numbness from temple to jawline but swelling is gone. Scars behind ears have totally integrated and I forget I had this procedure. Until I look in the mirror or notice the young guy that delivers the mail staring at me. ;-)

One last P.S. The eyes. I can't imagine not having done the eyes. Look into it.

These pictures were taken 2 months apart.

Yes, they're both me. The picture on the left is what made me finally go forward with the surgery.

New pic, just for fun.

For those of you who have said they can't see the bags under my eyes, here's a photo that shows them a bit better.

Almost 3 months out

So here's me doing a Glamour Shots photo session in my car! Starting to enjoy make-up again. Nice to look in the mirror and in photos and not see any shadows or creases, just planes of smooth, taut skin.

I still have a little numbness on the outer edges of the face. All scarring has healed and the "folds" of skin behind the ears have completely integrated.

On August 19 I will be having a slight revision to the sideburns, Dr. H is going to lower them a bit. This is a matter of taste, I think mine are a bit too high. He is doing this revision free of charge but I do have to pay the anesthesiologist's fee of $1500.

Totally thrilled and I recommend this to anyone. Having said that, do look into the differences between an SMAS facelift and a Deep Plane facelift. I think it is an important distinction that has major impact on the results. If you do decide to have a Deep Plane, make sure you are going with a surgeon that is EXPERIENCED with DP. It is a lengthy and difficult procedure.

Have a lovely day!

Sideburn Revision 8/19/14

Here is a before and after pic. Most people don't have an issue with the re-positioning of the sideburns, however, I am so pleased with my results that I have chosen to have them moved down slightly - I want to get as close to perfection as I can. This is my face for the next 15 years, after all.

Pictures of me in my early 20s.

Someone asked what I looked like in my 20s so here are two photos. No amount of surgery can replicate that baby fat or innocence in the eyes, buuuuuuut, I think the contours Dr. H gave me during this surgery have yielded a better facial structure than in my 20s. Now about my ass...

Dr. Hochstein's Out of Town Patient Instructions.

He can do consultations for those not in Miami, over Skype or phone. Read more here...


Questions? Call sweetie pie Jennifer at 305.931.3338.

Sideburn Revision Scheduled for Tuesday, Aug 19

I just posted a picture showing the scars of my surgery. You can see the sideburns are a bit high (I chose this potion vs going through the hair). My darling Doctor is going to re-position them for me, at no cost. Will post after pics.

Before and After of Sideburns.

In the left is before my facelift (which took place on on May 9) and on the right is the after picture. The idea is to cut around the new (too high) sideburn and pull it down. Scars will be visible now (in front of sideburn) but done in a way that the hair will slightly cover them. Also, my scars fade to nothing.

I should have chosen the second option in the first place.

Revision scheduled for 8/19/14.

Sideburns Revision

I went in at 3:30 and was home by 6:00. Very quick procedure, see stitches.

When the stitches are out I'll post a before and after pic.

And now I'm done. But wait, maybe a little lipo? Hmmm.

Sideburns Revision Scars - Healing nicely!

Scars almost disappeared, staples out this Wednesday.

Four months

Silly pictures just to show progress 4 months out.

Next step is a little filler under the yes (in one pic you can really see the hollows). My new cheekbones have made them more visible. Oh, and a smidgen of Botox to kill that worry line across my forehead, and my head transplant will be complete!

Healing update: still a little numbness and itchiness in front of ears.

I will take good pics of the sideburns revision tomorrow and post.

Sideburn revisions was a total success!

Dr. Leonard Hochstein gives Real Housewife New Boobs and Tummy


My doctor, Leonard Hochstein is going to be on tv tonight!

On Bravo at 8:30 and again at 9:00 on a show called "Don't be Tardy for the Party". You'll see him do a consultation and then operation for a Mommy Makeover! I thought some of you might be interested since you've heard me talk about him on here for a few years now and many have complimented his work. Tune in!

6 Month Update.

Hi Ladies,

I'm posting a really bad 6 month picture with no retouching, no make-up, no tan, grey hair not colored and very little sleep, for proper perspective. (What can I say, I've been busy!)

I would say 95% of the numbness and swelling has resolved. Every once in a while I rub my eyes too vigorously and it's sensitive but overall it doesn't feel puffy and weird anymore.

The scars are visible if you look closely in some areas but I try not to even bother looking at them, preferring to enjoy what I have.

It has now come to my attention that most people perceive me to be in my mid 30's (many women in their early 50s saying things like "I have a daughter your age." Etc.) Funny as I will be 49 in a few months.

A very positive side effect of this surgery is that I don't obsess over my appearance like I used to. Most days I forget to check myself in the mirror, a welcome change from the pre-facelift days when I would literally drive marveling at my melting face in the visor mirror. Liberating. I also feel a lot more confident going without makeup, another liberating benefit.

Let me know if you have any questions. I hope you're all doing well in your journeys.

P.S. I mentioned earlier that I was considering fillers, etc. but to be honest I have been so happy with my results I'm just not that concerned with my face anymore. Good moisturizers, lots of clean food and sleep are my Juvaderm right now.

Pictures of Behind Ear Scars - 9 Months Post-Op

Hi Ladies. I am uploading some pics I took today (bright sunlight, NO make-up) so you can see how the scars look behind the ears. They are completely flat but still white in color. When I want to wear my hair up I simply put some makeup on them and/ot let some soft hairs fall out of the pony tail.

A minor inconvenience all in all.

Hope everyone's doing great!

10 months post-op!

Hi everyone,

I wanted to post a quick update for continuity. At 10 months all is great, the only sign that I ever had surgery is a tiny bit of numbness near the lash line, but otherwise I often forget I'm not actually 35!

I uploaded a recent pic with no retouching (although I have to admit, it was taken under very flattering lighting!)

I will be going back to Dr. Hochstein's office very soon for a consult regarding my lower eyes (I am starting to see bags there and the fact that the rest of my face is so taut highlights them even more). Botox on the forehead is also in the plans this summer (I look 35 from the eyebrows down and 50 from the eyebrows up).

I hope you're all doing great! Stay perky!

Recent pics - 1 year post-op

Hi everyone,
The 1 year anniversary of my facelift is about a week away so I wanted to post a few pics. Th cell phone camera distorts my face when I use the forward-facing camera feature (I don;t look that much like Jimmy Durante in real life) but it does provide pretty good detail. I have included a close-up of my eye lids so you can see the scars are gone.
The 1 year mark is really important as I feel that with most plastic surgeries this is the time the healing is complete and you can really judge the long-term impact and success of the surgery.
As you can see, everything has held up well. My face is still taut and smooth, no nasio-labial lines to speak of.
I recently did a bit of Botox between the brows and on the outer corners of the eyes to "open" things up a bit. More Botox is scheduled for the upper forehead this week to get rid of that horrible horizontal crease up there.
While the bags under my eyes (much more visible some days than others and depending on overhead lighting) continue to bug me, I'm putting that surgery off a bit longer.
The one thing I really do want to say is once you have a facelift it pays off to invest in the best products you can afford. What I'm wearing here:
- SkinMedica Retinol at night
- Lytera Brightening Cream at night
- Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair at night
- Estee Lauder Advanced Time Zone before makeup (better than LaMer and Chanel!)
- Armani Luminous Silk Foundation (Better than Nars, Make Up Forever, YSL, Sisley and Chanel). This foundation, pricey as it is, has changed my life.
- Chanel concealer (again, I've tried them ALL)
- Benefit Roller Lash Mascara (After trying everything from Dior to Dolce & Gabbana to Lancome)
- Anastasia Brow Pencil
- Rouge d'Armani Sheer Lipstick (They hold more water than any other lipstick and make your lips all pouty and juicy, but not gloppy)
That's all for today! Thanks for reading.
Miami Plastic Surgeon

This is my second procedure with Dr. Hochstein, so there is an added element of comfort. He's great, his office is great, the staff is marvelous, etc. EDIT: I came back to post about the staff. I won't name them because I know I'll forget at least one but next to his hands, his staff is his best asset. What an unbelievably kind, smart, professional, thorough group of women.

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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