I knew I couldn't afford $30,000-$40,000 for a...
I knew I couldn't afford $30,000-$40,000 for a facelift and my surgeon who had done liposuction and upper lid blepharoplasty retired. So when I read an article in passing that you could have the Chief Resident (with a LOT of experience doing them-- maybe more than most doctors around) at Mt. Sinai Hopsital in NYC (Dr. Jablonka) under a professor and knowledgeable doctor's care supervising (Dr. Taub) I thought I'd check it out. Ran into a woman day after hers in the waiting room and she looked and felt great. She raved about Dr. Jablonka and said he'd done all her friends. I had to wait a month for an appointment and he will soon be gone for 3 months, but it's worth the wait. He corrected my upper eyelid blepharoplasty, did a lower lid belpharoplasty (this is usually $6,000 alone) and did a facelift and necklift. I'm 2 days after surgery and feel great. Yes, there's bruising and swelling but I can tell he did a great job. I look natural with no more frown! So happy. Not only that, but the anesthesia team, the nurses, intake, everyone was so nice, they even gave me heated blankets while waiting and knowing I had nausea from anesthesia told them this and I had none after for first time ever! I do recommend staying at Hotel Wales 7 blocks from hotel first night with a friend (about $254) because you'll sleep all that night, they check you in in less than 5 minutes and you have to go back next morning for drain removal and bandage change. Next visit tomorrow, stitches out next week, dr. answers my texts and emails with any questions, first rate service.
55 Year Old mom turned her frown upside down with $3416 facelift at Mt. Sinai
Thought I'd title it correctly. I'm sure everyone will be booking him now. No need to go overseas when you have the best in NYC uptown for a fraction of the cost!
Here are Facelift pics of Day 1,2 and on Day 3
I'll be updating them. Yes, it's cheap, but that doesn't mean it isn't good! It was GREAT! Why pay $30,000 when you can pay $3216 + $200 consult fee. The $3216 covers anything he can do at the same time (and is going to take care of some age spots I have and give me some botox shots I ordered, too-- all included!)
It's Friday (Facelift & Bleph, Neck Lift, Brow tack was Tuesday)
Going to see the dr. today for a checkup. Thought I'd post what is day 4 (3 days after my surgery). Yes that's a bruise but dr. says it's normal and from what I can find, yes it is-- why I'm documenting for people so you're not shocked when it happens to you. That is surgical tape over stitches above my nose (needed a little lift there). Feel great. Hard to sleep sitting up or back though (used to side). Icing my eyes. Dr. said not to ice the facelift but I found after a bleph on my upper lids 12 years ago ice was key around the eyes to feel better and reduce swelling. I also am using Cooling eye drops, Arnica gel (though dr. said no proof that helps), and put a little A&D ointment under my eyes at night.
3 Days After Surgery (Day 4) Post-op some stitches out, hair wash, bandanges off!
I put coconut oil, shampoo, and conditioner in my hair and brushed it through. Lost a little, but expected (and hardly have any as is) where there were stitches. Felt so good! I am wearing a compression strap with doctor's permission because it feels better, and putting cooling eye drops in my eyes. Also makeup allowed on face but not eyes or anywhere still stitches. Not bad for 3 days. Face numb by ears, which is expected, and stitches in and around my ears. My skin feels 10 years -- make that 20 years younger! So tight I love it! I know I'm bruised but with sunglasses, a summer turtleneck and a scarf I can go to the bank or take the dog out. Not bad since surgery was just Tuesday. Next Tuesday all stitches out. Will keep icing eyes (feels good with swelling) and putting A&D around them.
Day 4 (3 Days post surgery) without chin strap
I know bruises, swelling, settling, but this is only 3 days after surgery. And my hair is clean!
Day 5 (4 days after Operation)
It's Saturday morning. Surgery was on Tuesday. Put arnica gel and eye drops in my eyes. Wearing chin strap I bought online from medical supply place. Feels good. Not much pain at all; mostly numb around ears. I used to have extremely deep, deep creases around my eyes. There's one on either side that doesn't want to come out, but the Dr. ordered me a bottle of botox which is also included in the cost (and said he'd take care of my age spots somehow, but didn't want to acid them since my skin was very thin). Healing nicely. Look forward to another shower and headwash today. Can wear makeup lower half, not around eyes. Did laundry in my building laundry room last night with chin strap and sunglasses on. It was a slow Friday night. Just relaxing this weekend, letting myself heal and continuing to ice eyes especially and face a little as that also feels good and brings down the swelling. Going to put A&D ointment around my eyes again, too. That also softens up the tightness. Note the marks on my face in the pictures is just chin strap impressions. I took off in case people want to see without strap. The impressions come out after minutes of it not being on. And the crusty stuff around my mouth is just arnica gel drying up and flaking off. Sure I'll look better with makeup, but none for the eyes 'til next week-- summer weight turtleneck is good though. Hope this is helping people. I really looked around and couldn't find day by day pictures, progress, what to expect. Ask me anything!
Before Pictures in Spring
These are "good pictures" of me. I had deleted all the awful ones. Started looking like my dog (who is cute with wrinkles).
Saturday Afternoon ("Day 5"/4 days after surgery)
I don't want to scare anyone with the bruising, but my neck used to sag. And I have a couple of summer weight turtlenecks and a big pair of sunglasses and wanted to show you all without makeup on (can put as much as I want on my neck and lower face; he pulled my neck from the center.) You have to see what you're getting yourself in for though, realizing it goes away and what you're left with is a couple of less inches of skin and I used to have a permanent frown. So happy. I also used to have protruding veins in my forehead on either side that are now gone. I love that! My neck has hyperthyroid glands and protruding bones as is, so I knew what to expect and not to regarding that. I'm not going to look 20 again, but I can deal with 40 instead of people asking me if my two boys (10 & 17) are my grandkids!!! And next time I think I'll take a picture about 20 min. of having the band off (it leaves line on the skin for the pics), but it feels good to wear it.
Day 6 (5 days after Surgery)
Have been waking up in the middle of the night every night. Hard to sleep on my back even with wedge pillow and pillows under each arm, but don't want to mess up any of the great work (maybe I'm paranoid). I did sleep on a large bag of ice around my neck last night. So, now my eyes feel puffy (I usually ice them). My neck is horribly bruised and really tight (the goal, right). Just took a shower, washed my hair, put q-tip in my right ear and bunch of dried blood chunks came out on it. Won't do that again. Put eyebrow pencil on (so this is pre makeup), and face cream (A&D ointment and some Kiehls). Feels better to have the chin strap back on. Believe it or not I have to go show an apartment to someone with my large black sunglasses and headscarf on in a few hours. Hey they're going to see the apartment-- not me. They won't see any bruises or scars. My neck feels like a 17 year old, though. I am numb and tight behind my ears. Got to say my sagging ear lobes (from earrings) are no longer sagging, either. Another nice plus. Dr. Jablonka didn't overlook anything. I also used to have 2 protruding veins bulging on either side of my forehead which are not bulging anymore. There are 2 large wrinkle creases that took 55 years to get there-- one on either side. I pull them up with the compression garment hoping they'll just work themselves out, but 2 wrinkles out of what were 20 on either side (and deep) I can certainly live with! Still happy. Just tired. My body needs time and rest to heel. Can't say enough about ice. And taking the medication they say in doses and on time (don't be a trooper if you need the pain medication, even in half dose). The steroids I missed a dose and felt horrible. Now I'm taking them religiously. Well, will update this afternoon. Just beat up, but can see these results are going to be exactly what I want. I'll get my hair done next week. You guys get the unvarnished photos without makeup and haircut (bangs, even though I don't NEED them anymore).
Day 6 2pm (5 days post-op) Sunday
I feel better. The bruising is horrific, though. Yes, it gets worse. Purple, blue, brown, yellow. Hard to imagine. But it's OK. I know it will go away. I realize I forgot to show the staples on the back of my hairline (look good; coming out Tuesday) and the closeup of around my ear (also coming out Tuesday). This was NOT a small surgery and I don't want anyone to be misled of that. He did a lot! (but I needed it). And the doctor responded first thing Sun. 9/11 at 9am to text saying no problem with blood on q-tips because no sutures IN ears-- just around, so look forward to cleaning out my ears. And all seem to be healing rather nicely. Will be glad when all sutures are gone Tuesday. Don't know if I'll be able to lie on my side then. Not taking chances, though. I did run a couple of errands-- to fruit store, bank, Lowe's, with headscarf on, and showed apartment to client. One more showing later and I'm done for the day. Way Too much. I suggest a good week of R&R (have cleaning person here I hired through TaskRabbit and had groceries delivered from Peapod). Didn't realize I am not used to running around, even a couple of blocks, but good to get the blood flowing because now I want to feel as young as I'll look-- before I wanted to look as young as I felt. Time for the two to catch up with each other! On the way!
Day 7 (6 days post op) Monday morning (surgery last Tuesday)
I'm tired because I'm up in the middle of the night a few times. Insomnia. I got up, showered, put A&D ointment around my eyes and eyebrow pencil only on and am icing. Feel better. I feel great at night. Middle of the night OK. Morning tired as can be. I definitely should've done the frozen baby peas bags, because those silly expensive "pearls" ice packs aren't any better than bagged crushed ice. Last time I did my eyes bagged frozen peas were perfect. Ice everywhere feels great with morning puffiness. Bruising is awful, but I think getting better? Not sure. I slept without compression garment and dreamt for first time in a week last time I went to sleep. I felt the compression garment might be impairing blood flow to bruising and healing. Not sure, as it's not medically "proof" but rest, ice, relax, heal. I did too much yesterday and have a couple of errands I have to do today. Just grateful it's 73 degrees instead of 93 degrees today in NYC. Feel tight and numb around my ears. Cleaned all the dried blood out of my ears and q-tipped with a little A&D ointment around the edges. I can't say enough about soothing A&D ointment (vaseline basically with vitamins in it; used it on my kids, cuts, and my dogs when they had their eyes lifted). Ice and A&D ointment. And DON'T PICK! I feel where I picked some dried blood off my right eye stitches still in yesterday. BIG MISTAKE! If I have to put gloves on I will never pick again because time heals all wounds-- NOT PICKING! Bad girl!
Get your Rx's filled either before or nearby hospital
I forgot this important update! My friend had to run back to Brooklyn Heights to pickup my medicine doctor had ordered at time of surgery (day of) from Pharmacy I specified (over an hour round trip at least). Obviously, should've done so to an uptown pharmacy and had them delivered to hotel. And you'll need ALL your medicine right away. Keep this in mind! Don't want to leave anything out. You need ice and your medicine and I love the tip about writing out when you took meds. Very elaborate times and dosages on some and my eyes blurry so I read the steroid one wrong for a day. Have someone else read and write down instructions I'd say.
Day 7 (6 Days after operation) about 5pm
6 Full days after I woke up from surgery. Feeling a little run down when I do a simple errand like to the bank, but drinking lots of water, bathroom breaks normal again, eating lots f fruit and feel tight and numb around my ears and cheeks. Stitches and staples all out tomorrow 1pm. Wanted to also show you closeups of my eyes. I can tell I have some healing to do, though, but am going to try to start walking my dog myself again and getting some more air and light exercise (just walking). Need to feel as good as I'm going to look. Don't have makeup on for these photos. Just A&D ointment and lots of it around the eyes, put arnica gel all over my face at lunchtime. Wish I had a great cheap place to get veneers n my teeth now! Any suggestions? I can tell that yes, the bruising will start to dissipate instead of increase, he said I can start massaging after stitches out to get blood flowing and heeling/feeling in face. I have been eating normal since night of surgery. Took one bite of sandwich too fast and nearly barfed that night but an hour later ate it like there was no more food on earth and felt human again. Will likely post in am and after stitches out. Once I get out without headscarf and sunglasses, too, will post attempts at makeup though I don't seem to have bought the right types despite research to cover purple and brown or blue colors in my face.
Day 8 (1 Week after surgery) A.M.
First, if you do winter instead of summer, turtlenecks and makeup could've had be back out and about with rose colored glasses without a 2nd look today. I feel great today. I finally got almost a full night of sleep. I woke up at 4am for an hour, but fell back to sleep. Up now, getting kids ready for school. It's amazing what sleep can do. I got rid of the bed wedge and sat upright in one of those "reading" bolster pillows with a pillow behind my back, one under my head laid back on it (on a towel) and a little decorative pillow under my chin to keep my chin up. No more compression garment; not as much ice. Want the blood flowing. Also, don't get angry during this-- my son said I turned yellow when I was yelling (my younger one didn't want to go to bed)-- he said "you shouldn't be yelllow". Well, this is post shower, just eyebrow pencil and light A&D ointment on and around the eyes and light face cream (Kiehls' men's facial fuel; very light) on face. I'll put some makeup on my chin, face later; not eyes. I think I'd like them to heal without makeup interfering. I feel like I've turned a corner, though, and am getting stitches out today. Cleaned all the blood out of my ears. Can't wait to get areas cleaned up after stitches and staples up. Going to put light A&D ointment on them for tightness, reduces itching and picking, makes them feel better and heal. Can't say enough about basic A&D ointment. I also use Kiehl's Blue astringent or Cucumber toner on a baby wipe and lay it on my eyes to cool them down. And lots and lots of Clear Eyes Cooling Comfort Eye drops. Eyes always dry. I ordered some actual lubricating eye drops from Walmart.com today. Don't forget to put that in your kit! I ordered a bunch of compression garments and pashminas, but honestly, the one simple compression strap was enough for a couple of days, and 1 pashmina scarf or the LV head scarf I have with a safety pin has worked start to finish with a big pair of sunglasses. In NYC I just look like I have a headscarf on ala muslim or Audrey Hepburn.
Doctor to address any & all questions today at 1 week post-op visit
I'm going to ask if there's anything more I can do about the 2 deep creases on either side of my eyes (they were horrible before so this is great anyway, but I'm aiming for perfection) and bruising areas around my left eye. Also, may want to lift my side temples some other time. I had told him to be conservative, though, and wasn't even going to do my eyes or brow above eyebrows at all! I was scared. That would've been stupid of me. If you're going under the knife and gotta take time off, do what he can safely at the same time. Everyone is scared of getting stretched or overdone, but I'm not. This is my face 15 years ago (at least). It won't be perfect-- it never was. But it's more a reflection of how I want to look and feel. I looked sad and tired all the time and as a result felt sad and tired all the time. I look forward to a vacation sometime with my new face and someone NOT asking me if my 10 year and 17 year old are my grandkids!!!
Day 8 (1 week post-op) with face makeup/sunglasses
First, let me say I'm not putting makeup around my eyes (the suture areas are sensitive) so sunglasses will have to do. That said, a summer weight turtleneck and some makeup and yes, you can go out. And I suck at putting on makeup (was never good), so just did my best. Still get stitches out later. After my upper bleph years ago I bought light sunglasses I could wear inside at work and no one was wiser. They just didn't see the marks up close behind the rose / tan color. Just light enough to disguise. Wish I had kept them-- can't find them anywhere!
1 Week after Operation: Not All Stitches out
I thought all would be removed. Just around the eyes entirely out now and the front line of ears. Behind my ears and staples around back of my hairline will come out next Tuesday lunchtime. I'm eating too much salt and feel it. Going to stop that. Also, don't be an idiot like me and tell him not to do what he wants. He wanted to do a temporal brow lift at the same time (where my 2 creases are) and although either filler or botox will take care of it, I could've/should've had it taken care of at same time for 100% perfection. I didn't expect perfect and was scared of being stretched or dear in headlights and think-- I almost didn't have my eyes done (that would've been real dumb!). Also, my eyes are still healing, so are uneven. Won't know how they are for good until all done healing. Of course you can see the one is swollen and bruised. I hear this Dr. is here only until June (gone next 3 months) in his 6th year of residency. Get him NOW! (He said he's answering emails from all you guys now and is suddenly busy). He thinks I'm healing great. I might (that's a maybe, maybe not) need or want that temporal brow lift and he asked me how I liked my eyes (do they need adjustment?) If they do that can all be done later. This is plenty for now, and as much as we'd all like to be 100% perfect, that wouldn't make us human. I did get a huge added benefit, though. I used to have protruding neck glands which he and I both can't explain but they're now gone as a result of this. So I didn't get a temporary brow lift, but I got something I didn't expect! And, my bad-- he told me to do it. Listen to your doctor(s) people! They know a lot more than we do!!! It's their darn jobs. I am my own worst enemy. Overall, though, a little botox since I haven't had any in 6 months at the end of the month (and he'll be acid peeling some age spots on my hands and face, too) will go a long, long way. More than I ever could've dreamed of, honestly!
8 Days after Operation
Feel better after a shower. Just have eyebrow pencil on. Going to take it easy today. Face from ears to chin is numb. A week can't go by fast enough-- really want all stitches out and to go to get a real hair cut (and hope hair dye shortly thereafter because the grays are sprouting).
Before Pics (in June)
Thought I'd post a couple of "before" pics when I went on vacation end of June, so you can see indeed what an improvement. My eyes weren't even open! My neck saggy. My face nothing but lots of skin. Boy am I happy I found these awful pics cleaning out my nightstand.
8 days after Surgery (PM)
Just updating pics with no makeup. Feeling better. Still numb around ears and side of face. Can't wait until next Tuesday when stitches out. Nothing but rest, sleep on back, arnica gel or A&D ointment on wounds. That's it. Time will heal. I could go out with makeup and a scarf, though hot in NYC today, so I didn't (and sunglasses).
9 Days after Surgery (Day 10) A.M.
Was up in the middle of the night. Can't seem to get too comfortable sleeping on my back (what can I say? I'm a side sleeper naturally). Also, when I did get up in the middle of the night, I feel like there's something like an eyelash in my right eye and all the eye drops in the world didn't seem to soothe. I went to bed a couple of hours just got up and can function now. Oh, another tool for your kit-- make sure you have eyelash curler tool. Simple, but keeps them out of your eyes. Last night I slathered A&D ointment and arnica gel (a different type which seemed to have some vapors in it) all over. I think the different arnica gel pot vapors are what bothered my eyes. Won't be doing that again. I have a LOT more feeling in my face, but sides and under chin are still numb. Hearing and sight has never been affected (except when I had total head bandage and couldn't hear TV well). Overall, feel good, but WON'T be going to my 10 year old's welcome breakfast at school tomorrow morning-- no way. And still just taking it easy and enjoying keeping really strange hours at night and not going to work much (work at home a lot in real estate via computer and run a pet care service anyway). I am excited on a side note about something I saw on Ch. 4 the other night about a 20 min. procedure to get rid of my far-sighted glasses for good. I'm on my way! (Gotta save another $3000 for that). And, if I need adjustments at all next Spring, I have no problem accepting that and having another surgery. Yes, you don't want one. And, I wouldn't have had to get one if I had said yes to the dr. recommended temporal brow lift (so it's my fault), but if my eye needs to be corrected a touch after healing (feel the right one a little more closed, but it also had more work and has a couple of stitches working themselves out that are deep) and a temporal brow lift, it'll still be a deal with this dr. and his kind, wonderful care. And, since he'll be doing the acid peel at no extra charge he didn't do at the time of surgery (scared my skin was too thin, but now he sees how I'm heeling he's going to do it in a few weeks) on sides of face and hand age spots. Also, look forward to a full bottle of botox (also at no extra charge) across my whole forehead and sides of eyes. I usually get that because I hold all my tension in those areas and it FEELS better. Didn't really always do it for the look. It relaxes me more than a Yoga class. Another plus-- that was included! This dr. and hospital is the best!
9 Days after surgery (Day 10) with makeup and sunglasses
Thought I'd put some makeup on. You can go out.
I had more stitches around my eyes; almost all gone
I thought I had heard he said they'd come out, and they started to work themselves out so I gave them just a little help. My eyes feel much better now. They were too tight and dry. I didn't pick too much, and probably shouldn't have at all, but I am 100% sure he said they'd "work themselves out on their own". Think they were disolvable or easy to remove. Feel great now, though! Some at the outer edge of my right eye bleph bothered the hell out of me. Felt like someone was tugging my outer eyelid down over my bottom one and rubbing the eyelashes in my eye.
9 Days after Surgery- 4:30 PM
Feel much better. Got a lot of the feeling back in my neck and face. Went out with makeup and a simple jersey headscarf a la Audrey Hepburn with sunglasses and makeup to take my dog out and pickup my child from school bus. A woman in the building said I looked 25. I couldn't stop smiling at that! I never knew it was possible to be this happy and do something entirely just for me and have such wonderful results. Today I don't think I need any adjustments really. I removed a couple of the light stitches under my eyes (that were bothering me and working their way out anyway-- my body didn't like them) and I feel 100% better. Not sure if that was the right thing to do, but seems since I did and put Neosporin on where they were they're healing up just fine/better anyway than when they were in. Made an appointment to get my hair done on Friday Sept. 23. Can't wait.
10 Days After Surgery - Morning
Feel much better after a pretty good night of sleep and a shower. Still heavily bruised on the one side of my face, but picked up some long jersey scarves on ebay and can easily go out without anyone being the wiser with one wrapped around my neck and sunglasses on. Not ready for a social event though.
Day 10 Headscarf
Go on eBay and buy an assortment of jersey scarves, pashiminas, etc. Not too many, but just enough. Put that in your toolbox. I like this pink jersey knit one the most lately.
10 Days after Surgery 4:30pm (Day 11 I guess)
Exactly 10 days ago I was waking up from surgery. I feel like a new person. Happy, giddy even. I got more energy now I started walking my dog and stopped laying around, too. Need to stretch and get moving again. I have a LOT more feeling in my face. Significant. Don't worry-- no pain. It was completely numb ear to jaw, though, no feeling. Now I can feel it. Honestly, I don't think I've felt pain during this once. I wish everything in life went this great and everything I needed was at such a discount (dream on). I feel like I've hit the lottery anyway! $3416 for a facelift I love! That's the LOTTERY to me! And I've got to say I think this is the FIRST thing I've done for myself in I don't know how long. Just for me. Feels great! Also feels great I don't have to break the bank on expensive creams and lotions trying to erase wrinkles that were NEVER going to come out without a facelift. I highly recommend this to everyone. Just make sure you get my doctor. I can't guarantee anyone else will do as exceptional a job. Heck, even Madonna has Billions, right? And her facelift was questionable. I always wanted a Helen Mirren!
Day 11...gotta go take a shower; took a nap instead
Big clump of dried up hair, blood, maybe stitch came loose from behind my ear last night. I let things come out on their own, but cut it away. Have lots of A&D and arnica gel on so excuse the pre shower pics. BTW thinking of flying in for this? I found deals on Expedia for one person $1601 for 2 weeks hotel, flight, and 3 people (bringing son and friend). That's cheaper than hotel. And Times Square. I would definitely suggest it. You'll still come out ahead. And what matters-- best Dr. ever!
12 Days after Surgery- Morning
I will take a shower soon, but with very little makeup attempt, most of the bruising is gone. You'll need full coverage for a section, but my eyes just a little concealer and I suggest some opaque glasses to wear like reading ones and no one will even notice. Another thing to put in your tool kit-- needle nose scissors and pointy tweezers. This is because there has daily been the occasional stitch around my eye (or last night noticed in the edge of my ear) that the other resident in his first year didn't clip and the doctor told me "would work themselves out". My body never rid itself too well of supposedly dissolvable stitches, so occasionally (it's already healed) a string will break loose and I'll have to clip. Last night I noticed when cleaning my ears there was a little knot I had to clip off. As I said, these parts are ALL HEALED so I'm not screwing with anything. And, yes, you can leave them, but if like me an eyelash will drive you crazy (I curl mine daily to keep out of my eyes) so I string or stitch definitely so-- just clip whatever part comes loose. I can't wait until Tuesday when supposedly all stitches and staples are out, because honestly after I get my hair done Friday I think my journey is pretty much over where I have to tell anyone I had work done or surgery if they ask. But I'm an open book. I think every woman in my building should get one! I wish I had years ago. A LOT more feeling in my face and chin, though my glands/under my chin, the side all the way to the ears is numb. Expect that. No pain at all. Indeed, I didn't have ANY pain-- ever. If I did it was managed by the pain medication easily after the surgery. Look forward to meeting many of you on your trips to NYC and going to start putting together a list of what you need in your "tool kit". By the way, the Hotel Wales had a mini fridge I assume we could've put frozen peas in, but ice bags for the eyes is wonderful. I had stopped, but even after doing 5 min. yesterday eyes feel better. So keep icing eyes-- doesn't hurt. And many of you have private messaged me. I don't mind, will answer anything, and appreciate the support! I'm an open book. I just want everyone to have the same great experience I had without breaking their bank and putting their best face forward for years to come. And you're going to love Dr. Jablonka. Yes, he's young. But what a gem! I've looked at other posts of people's sutures and get scared by what other drs. have done. I've got to say most of my great experience is due to his skill, care, and careful suturing. The other part ice, A&D ointment, sleeping on my back with head up (can't wait to stop that) and rest.
12 Days After Surgery- I dyed my hair. Yes!
With plenty of A&D ointment over what staples and sutures I had left (bottom of back hairline and behind ears) AND covered with gauze taped over it, I died my hair. If you're like me, the grays were sprouting like crazy. I usually dye every 10 days. So, there's still dye on my skin (I'm fair) but feel like a new person with a little makeup. Note-- I don't like makeup and don't know how to put it on. I'm sure plenty of you would be a lot better at attempting to cover bruises or go out. The feeling of it just bothers me and irritates my eyes especially-- always has. But I find NARS concealer blotted and dabbed, covered by NARS makeup with SPF on top, topped with a dusting of NARS (again, love that stuff only) powder is about just enough.
A huge plus-- you will actually see better!
I keep forgetting to share this. 13 years ago I had an upper lid blepharoplasty (this Dr. corrected it). At the time I was AMAZED by how much more I "saw" of the world. My eyes were opened. Well, now they're even more opened. It's really an amazing plus!
12 Days after Surgery out in NYC
Thought I'd show you outside in the light what you're really looking at. Not bad. Didn't get a second look. I think I ordered the sunglasses for $10 on eBay. They do the trick.
Dr. booked in Sept.; end of Dec. you can make appointments for January
Someone emailed me that the dr. got back to them and is now booked for the remaining time he is here (Sept.) before leaving for another hospital for 3 months. He will then not be able to book any appointments for consultations in January until the end of December (he returns to Mt. Sinai in January and I believe is there until June). Once you meet him, like me, just pick a date right then and there he gives you the option of (I wish I had picked a week sooner!) and get ready for a new you! Me, I'm trying to think is there anything else I've ever wanted to do because this is the only dr. for me!
Thinking of traveling to NYC for this...great deals on Expedia.com
One woman I was researching for found 3 R/T flights from Phoenix, AZ and hotel for 2 weeks in Times Square for $1600. That's a deal. But, if you're just looking for Hotel, I actually just found the Hotel Wales that I stayed at for $200/night average for a 2 week random set of dates in March on Expedia. I cut and pasted. You will be well enough to spend your last 5 days of 2 weeks sight seeing. A headscarf in NYC is par for the course. There are also Central Park Hotels and other Times Square Hotels, ranging from normal, to those with breakfast, to those with free wifi and everything in between. You can do hotel and surgery for $5,000 it sounds like. For you non New Yorkers, too-- I'll give you car service phone #'s, great cheap restaurants to eat at and anything else you need. You do NOT need a car in NYC. Subway or taxi (or car service) gets you everywhere.
Day 13- Stitches out tomorrow
Just a few pics after throwing some makeup on. Gotta get the kids off to school. Then I'll come back, shower, and try to get some things done. Trying to get some energy back after sitting around watching TV a lot. Feel out of shape and put on 4 lbs. since surgery. Don't want to Rob peter to pay Paul as my mom would say. Gonna watch what I eat. Fixing my face doesn't make it an excuse to go to pot otherwise.
Day 13- Morning after a shower/no makeup w/closeups
For exactly what you're looking at Day 13. Before makeup (because with makeup you really barely if at all notice).
List of what you need
FIRST NIGHT: A comfortable pair of pajamas / lounge suit you can zip up or button in the front because you won’t want to put anything over your head for days. Juice, a turkey sandwich, lots of water, ice, your medicine (keep when taken and how much on a pad because you may forget/lose track and for the first day my eyesight wasn’t great), and sleep (I slept 12-14 hours). Forget about checking your computer or phone—you won’t until the next morning!
A Bed Rest Pillow (with arms)
Walmart.com has them ranging from $15.87 on up. I like the cotton duck washable one for under $30. I sleep in this with a pillow tucked behind my back and my head tilted back and up. Sometimes a bolster pillow or long king pillow under my arms.
I bought a WEDGE from Amazon, but can’t say it was any better than the Bed Rest Pillow. If I had to do it over again, I might skip the wedge (a 45 degree angle big and wide).
A GREAT PILLOW
Memory foam, cooling, for tucking behind your back or lying on.
2 tubes 2.6 oz. each. I’m just starting on my 2nd one.
Clear, no smell, feels good putting on wounds.
A&D Ointment Tube
1.5 oz. $4.98
That’ll last you and then some.
Put on wounds and around eyes with or without arnica gel. Really promoted healing.
Neosporin 0.5 oz. $3.97
For putting on any wounds that are sore, hurt at all, or when stitches are removed you’ll need to put this on any area that has been tinkered with at least a couple of days.
COMPRESSION CHIN STRAP (don't waste money on the one that goes around the neck, behind the head-- never used) $17.95 Simple strap with velcro. I'd get 2 if I did it over again so one could be washed and hung to dry in between.
A REALLY GREAT SHAWL (with safety pins). Someone gave me the gray Louis Vuitton one, but if you want to buy yourself the perfect facelift gift you can find it around $500.
PASHMINA SCARF ON EBAY $15 (I overbought-- one is fine)
Cotton Jersey Scarf (Wore a long one for a day tied as a headband over my staples since everything else could be covered with makeup)
CHIFFON SCARF (ordered them, but they haven't come in yet).
NYLON GOODY OR SCUNCI HEADBANDS & HAIR TIES (Like keeping my hair up off my face) and Rubber hairbands
NARS: CONCEALER, LIGHTWEIGHT MOISTURIZING MAKEUP, POWDER with a good makeup brush. MAKEUP FOREVER I picked up one tube for the stubborn bruise base on ebay due to a youtube recommendation. It's light, but covers and then I put stuff on top of it.
KIEHL'S BLUE ASTRINGENT or CUCUMBER TONER (put this on baby wipes over my eyes and cooled them down wonderfully). I pick up both of these from eBay.
KIEHL'S FACIAL FUEL (I know it's for men, but it's lightweight moisturizer, very hypo-allergenic, you're going to want to moisturize, has SPF and feels great.)
LARGE SUNGLASSES (you can wear inside and outside with thin ear stems)
I like the lightweight big aviators I got on eBay for about $10.
TWEEZERMAN Tweezers & NEEDLENOSE SCISSORS
To get out or clip the errant stitch or end that works itself loose or “doesn’t dissolve” if you get your eyes done or if assistant misses the end of a stitch at the edge of your ear and it drives you nuts not to get rid of it yourself
Don’t pick too much! But if a string is hanging in front of my eye I’m going to clip it.
SPA BELLA COOLING EYE MASK
2 @ $2.98 each
Put in the freezer and rotate. Feels good and put me right to sleep nightly. Woke up not feeling puffy.
PACK OF GAUZE (outtake gave me this), COTTON BALLS
Cotton balls for in ears when you bathe (I bathed morning after)
Gauze for over wounds when you slather A&D ointment or arnica gel on them and don’t want to get it on your bedding (or when you can’t wait past 12 days to dye your hair!)
A GOOD SOFT, RUBBERIZED BRISTLE HAIR BRUSH (nothing fancy, just soft for if you brush over your staples carefully).
FROZEN BABY PEAS IN A BAG or GALLON ZIP-LOCKS with crushed ice
I iced my neck. Felt good. Dr. didn’t say to and didn’t say to ice anything but eyes, but I was “hot” at night. Anything to get comfortable.
SOUP and Low Sodium foods…pass on the salt.
I felt every time anything I ate had any salt on it at all.
DON’T SMOKE. DON’T TAKE ADVIL. DON’T TAKE HERBAL SUPPLEMENTS OR VITAMINS WEEKS BEFORE PROCEDURE.
I DON’T DRINK anymore and think I healed better because of it.
Feel like having a glass of champagne to celebrate!
If I forgot anything I'll try to add.
Day 14 & Dr. Andreas Lamelas will be doing consultations (& surgeries) in October
I get my stitches and staples out today! Can't wait. One of my staples hurts a little. I put neosporin on it. It just doesn't want to be there anymore, but I don't take staples out-- that's a doctor's job. Dr. Jablonka emailed me today the Dr. Andreas Lamelas, his co-resident with years of experience, and an expert, skilled surgeon will be doing surgeries when he is gone in October. So, if you have an apointment, you may get him. Honestly, anyone Dr. Jablonka recommends or is at Mt. Sinai's Plastic Surgery Dept. (he called him "excellent" and "incredibly skilled" I would recommend and put myself in their hands, and in googling Dr. Lamelas and seeing he went to Temple (I'm a Philly girl originally) looks great to me. Indeed, of course I'm thinking "what else can I or do I want to do?" I have a flat ass (non existent) and D breasts (used to be B's before kids) and I think most men would kill me if I got rid of the D's, but maybe I can take little off my waste and accentuate my ass to make me more hourglass than flatass. I just want to be the best I can be now. You know I felt 20 years old today. Men on the street smiled at me (can't remember the last time that ever happened-- even in NYC!). I went back to work walking some morning dog clients and felt true joy. A little out of shape and run down after taking 2 weeks off, though, so looking forward to having the way I feel catch up with the smile on my wrinkleless face (note, those wrinkles under and around my eyes are awaiting botox due to "the way" I smile-- have been told this by many people-- has nothing to do with the surgery; has to do with my cheekbones)! I will post pics after the stitches and staples come out later.
Dr. Andreas Lamelas
Dr. Andreas Lamelas is a plastic surgeon in New York, New York and is affiliated with Mount Sinai Hospital. He received his medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine and has been in practice between 3-5 years. He is one of 46 doctors at Mount Sinai Hospital who specialize in Plastic Surgery and has been doing (& will be doing while Dr. Jablonka away this fall) surgeries and consultations for all my "friends" so, as Dr. Jablonka said-- they don't have to wait!
If I want something else done I'm not going to wait. I love being happy!
3 - 5
YEARS IN PRACTICE
2 Weeks After: Stitches out, staples out
Guess I'm done. Neosporin and keep it clean and just keep healing. Still numb, but can massage area now. This was the best decision I made in my life! I'm seeing him once more on Sept. 30th just a followup, but nothing until botox he ordered (but takes 6 weeks or so to get through hospital red tape) and acid my age spots. Likely January. Also told him to leave room for me for breast reduction. Can't add to the ass or take away from no fat on stomach, but will reduce my D's to be more proportionate. Looking forward to being the best I can be. Will also ask when I should be doing the temporal brow lift and if that's separate surgery (assume it is). Don't pass on anything he wants to do at the same time like I did. He knows what he's doing.
Call 212-659-8554 to make Consultation Appointment
The phone number for the 17 E. 102nd St. Mt. Sinai Center for Advanced Medicine, 6th Floor Plastic Surgery Clinic is 212-659-8554. You call that to make a consultation appointment, which is $200. Dr. Jablonka will not be around the next 3 months, but his highly recommended co-chief resident (same track/time as Dr. Jablonka I believe) Dr. Andreas Lamelas will be doing consults and surgeries the next 3 months. Then Jan.-March it's Dr. Jablonka. Then Apr.-June it's Dr. Lamelas. Then I think 2 new chief residents are hired/accepted to the clinic for their 6 year stint. All under the same professors/teachers I believe. All the same clinic. But if you want someone at the end of their 6 years, get one of these guys now or ASAP. Because after June it's different doctors. Honestly, with the kind of care, consideration and expertise I've been given, I won't hesitate to use Mt. Sinai's plastic surgery for anything I'm having done with whatever dr. is recommended. They really have their act together. So that's the number. You can call to make a consultation appointment, and chances are it will be in Oct. with Dr. Lamelas. Then, if you choose to go forward and schedule your surgery with him I'm sure you'll be in great hands. I trust Dr. Jablonka's opinion of the skill of his co-chief resident. It's like partners in business (plus on Facebook page looks like Dr. Lamelas walked away with some sort of award...) Look forward to Mt. Sinai taking care of me, but after Spring I think I'll be done. Proportionate and 20 years younger looking. And with regards to my glands, there's little to nothing they could do about them, but the lift reduced them dramatically. I'm sure over the next few months things will be settling, bruises going away, but feels good to have no more staples.
Day 15- Day After Staples removed
It didn't hurt to get them removed, but a little sore in spots and dry around eyes and behind ears (where some dissolvable stitches are supposedly still dissolving out on their own). First, you don't see anything behind your ears at the "seam" because your ears if they stuck out like mine are (yipee!) flatter to your head, along with lobes that used to hang down from years of wearing hoops, now look forward to wearing my diamond studs. Not yet, though. I cleaned where stitches and staples removed with tweezers and purell and slathered it pretty heavily with neosporin first, A&D ointment, and Arnica gel. I suggest bringing neosporin or A&D to your appointment. The ride home they bothered me, even though it was short. They've all "calmed" down now, I showered, rested, and again, I can't recommend this enough to anyone even thinking about it. I feel like I spent the last 15 years in a fog and wore a medical condition and psychological stress of having an autistic child and caring for my sister with mental illness (& everyone else's problems like we women do) on my face. It's been erased and I feel wonderful! I can't say that enough!!! Oh, and with makeup you can't even tell I had a facelift. These are eyebrow pencil only post shower photos.
Day 16- just brow pencil photos
Thought you'd like to see what exactly the real pic is, because with makeup you can't tell. Everyone says how great I look and I've never been so happy in my life. My glands are a little swollen (they always are due to a medical condition anyway) and now moreso because both of my kids have colds and I think I'm getting it, but fighting it. Had THE BEST night of sleep since the surgery last night. Slept a full 8 hours. Feel amazing today. So, I'm going to put on some makeup now, because I do look a little pasty and MUCH BETTER with a nice foundation and some powder for sure. Sorry-- thought you want to see exactly what you look like out of a shower with nothing but brow pencil Day 16 after surgery.
Day 16- Basic Makeup
What can I say? Didn't want to leave you with pasty no makeup photos. Foundation, powder, some face cream. I need lessons in how to put brow pencil on, obviously.
15 Days after Surgery- evening (better at makeup yesterday)
Gotta practice. Obviously better yesterday than today!
Day 17- Got my hair done
I slept great 2 nights ago but didn't sleep well last night. Hot in NYC. Also, very excited about everything and hard to contain the excitement and just calm down and get back to normal. Had my hair done today. Feel a little under the weather due to both of my kids having colds and I think they've given to me. Can't wait to feel and look normal again at the same time. Face still numb and tight like it's banded on either side of my face and where staples were removed are bumps that are healing. All going great though and have run into a lot of people and neighbors who said they don't recognize me, I look wonderful, and I couldn't be more happy with the decision I made to do this. Best gift to myself-- ever!
The first one to get surgery done at Mt. Sinai I have a "care package" of everything I no longer need
I have several pairs of large sunglasses, pashmina and jersey knit scarves, the chin compression strap, a wedge pillow and more. I am having all cleaned, of course. So the first person who schedules their surgery is more than welcome to all of it (just PM me and I can leave at hotel for you day of surgery, ship to you, or with your "significant other" that day) and I hope you continue to pass it on to who is next. I definitely suggest "the list" I provided, too.
Got $650 Bill from Mt. Sinai Pathology- will be calling in morning
Opened my mail to find a bill for 9/6/16 date of surgery from Mt. sinaia Pathology Hospitalists for $650. First, says it doesn't have my insurance info on file (if insurance covers it) and 2nd, since I was "self pay" and wrote them a check day of surgery for "total" I figured it covered everything, so will be following up as to why I'm getting a bill for anything. It is under a Dr. name I don't recognize, but refer provider was Peter Taub, the supervising doctor at time of my surgery, though, so was maybe just misfiled. Don't worry-- I'll get to the bottom of this. Honestly, I kind of expected some sort of bills to start coming or be straightened out after the initial consult and surgery self pay, so stay tuned. I'm sure most if not all can be straightened out and it's still a "deal" but eyes wide open all the time (plus $3416 was all I could really afford like many of you and $650 I could use toward my 17 year old's college fund or next surgery!)
I feel great! Back to work, open house at apartment in DUMBO Brooklyn, and feeling about as happy as can be. I had no idea how transformative this would be. Truly amazing.
Got a wonderful compliment from a client
Went to see a client today who I didn't tell before I had the work done, because I was sure she'd try to talk me out of it (didn't even tell my sister yet). She said I was right, but couldn't believe what a truly amazing job my dr. did on me. This is, honestly, one of the wealthiest (and nicest) people I know and she said she has seen a lot of her friends, some with "billions" (with a "B") get some screwed up, stretched face lift jobs and mine is the best she's ever seen. I feel truly blessed and can't say enough about my dr. who was more than a cosmetic surgeon-- he knew about particular muscles in the face and which ones pulled, lifted, tied, stitched, would lift particular areas and not one part of my face looks manipulated or fake as a result. All natural, even though it's not. And, it improves every day. Still cover a little of the bruising with light makeup and put eye drops in my eyes and ears to chin are numb, but get a little more feeling each day. It's the new normal. Nothing hurts though-- never has. Just numb.
3 Weeks after Surgery
No Makeup pictures. Just in case you're wondering what 3 weeks exactly since I left surgery is.
I have a follow up at 1pm with Dr. Jablonka today. He just wanted to see me once before he is out of there for a few months. All is well, healing, but I'm going to make a botox appointment (haven't had botox in almost a year and now where I don't have it and didn't have work done/ my forehead and sides of my eyes) is definitely noticeable to me. Will put brow lift on my age 60 to-do list (55 now and had this 5 years too late). Put on 5 or 6 lbs. though. Was so happy I was eating too much, so gotta stop that, start exercising again, and get healthy inside and out!
At the beach in Cape May, NJ...forgot to take off my sunglasses for pictures, but happy to take some pictures and not see the bags, wrinkles, and former self. Love my new face! Look forward to lots of pictures on vacation, etc., when I go out now. Am increasingly impressed by job Dr. Jablonka did on me. Need a little botox and filler in areas, but will take care of when I do acid peel in January. Hard to believe just a little tweek for perfection. Never thought I'd say that in my life and had to live with my face the way it was-- baggy and looking unhappy all the time (even though I wasn't).
1 Month & 8 Days Later Still Happy!
Still happy. Still numb, but gets a little better each day (from side of eye to side of chin on both sides). Expect that. An odd feeling (none in some places). But, I told a neighbor I was tired this morning and she said "you don't look tired." Funny-- everyone used to tell me I looked tired all the time (even when I wasn't). Still haven't gotten botox (haven't had in about a year) and can definitely use it around my eyes! But at least I don't need it everywhere :)
A Bill for $24,273...I'm not worried; last one I got they canceled out & said they'll likely do that and will call me back i
Wow-- it WAS one expensive surgery. Just not for me. I called and told them although Dr. Taub oversaw the surgery, it was done via the clinic and Dr. Jablonka and I was self pay. Last bill I received they canceled out, so I'm pretty sure they'll cancel this one out, too, since Dr. Jablonka told me I should never be billed for anything. And, for those of you into details-- what this really would've cost for just the dr. had it NOT been the clinic: Code 15829 Integumentary System, Rhytidectomy (FaceLift) $20,000 15822 Blepharoplasty $2073 15820 Blepharoplasty (other eyelids) $2200. Yes, would've been $24,273 for the doctor. I did hit the lottery with this one. Because no way I could've afforded $24,273 (for the dr. and that's not even the hospital costs). So, they told me "if it was done at the clinic we'll just cancel it out, but we'll call you back in an hour." So, if you want Dr. Taub himself, guess that's the costs, though he oversaw Dr. Jablonka's work on me, so I'm just fine for $3416.
Now I'm learning what I had done
A lot of people on this site are much more knowledgeable and I knew what was done with the blepharoplasties, having had upper eyelids done before, but found this on the rhytidectomy (and the integumentary system is cheeks, neck, chin, etc.):
Rhytidectomy; neck with platysmal tightening (platysmal flap, P-flap)
Synonyms: Incision, stretching, and suture of neck skin
They called to say $0 due
Called back to say disregard the bill. They'll adjust to $0. As promised what I paid day of surgery is all I'll ever pay. Yes, tens of thousands of dollars of work done on me well for $3416. Period. Yipee!
2 Months after Surgery
Thought I'd post an update today, which marks 2 months exactly after surgery. All is well. Face still numb on both sides. Guess you either get used to it or it gets better. Can't quite tell the difference.