I was dismayed to see how much my skin started...
I was dismayed to see how much my skin started sagging after menopause. I retired from my long term job young, at 52, and as happy as I was to retire, it was hard to take the physical changes. I tried ulthera, which appeared to help a little for a few months, but I looked the same after a year. I tried fillers, but it really didn't affect the sagging of jowls or my neck. So I booked an appointment this coming June with Dr. Clement in Nashville. My mother had work done with him, and she looks wonderful, and she had a great experience. I'm pretty scared of the whole idea, but I'm taking the leap!
Dr. Clymer, not Clement
The name of the doctor I will be seeing his doctor Clymer, not Clement! Not sure how to edit but wanted to correct.
One month away...
I am now one month out from having my lower facelift. Getting kind of scared--I find myself having fears of having an infection or having nerve damage. I won't dwell on those thoughts, but it is a bit scary. I'll post some "before" pics soon.
Getting closer to time...
I am less than 3 weeks out--June 14th is the date of my surgery. I will eventually put in some pictures of before and after, at least of the "trouble spots". I am kind of nervous because I have a cough left over from a cold, and I'm about 3 weeks away from the surgery. I may have to see my GP for antibiotics to ensure I am well for the procedure. I do have some concerns about how to handle the post-op time as far as people noticing a difference, but I confess to having found a bit of a solution. At some events, I will wear a tape that is designed to give a look of having some lift, and it really makes a difference! Therefore some people will not see such a dramatic change once I come back.
June 14th is coming fast...
I have had a persistent cough--afraid it could interfere with my surgery, I went to my GP for antibiotics. Excited but scared...reading what I can to have an idea of what to expect in recovery.
Three days until surgery
I'm flying from the West Coast out to Tennessee tomorrow morning. Tuesday the 14th is my surgery. it has helped so much reading about others'experiences here RealSelf. Right now I'm not even nervous, although that may change Tuesday morning! I am going to have incisions in front of my ears and behind them, and one on my chin. I paid a little extra to have platelet gel added because it is supposed to reduce bruising and improve recovery time. I still admittedly am not fond of the idea of going under anesthesia, but it's probably safer statistically than it is to drive my car down the street! I will update right before and then after the procedure.
Tomorrow is the big day!
My surgery is tomorrow morning. I am in a hotel close to the surgery center resting and reading. Here's one more before picture of the trouble spots that I am addressing. I'm definitely a little nervous, but glad the day is here so that I can move forward.
A couple hours after surgery...
14 Jun 2016
Day of treatment
It uploaded sideways, but here I am...so glad to be on the other side! Details later, and all of the support I have experienced from the Realself ladies means so much to me
Day 1 --doing well
Everything went well; I was in 5 hrs and have experience no pain at the incision sites, but the wrap caused pain under my chin. I feel very tight in my neck. Dr. clymer and the Cool Springs Surgery Center staff were wonderful. Here is a side shot; even through the bruising, ink, and stitches I can tell I will love my new look--jowls are gone!
Rough morning, I was a bit squeamish and sore, but I'm feeling a lot better now. I can't eat much, so I smashed up pineapple and hard-boiled eggs and sort of spoonfed myself like a child. I have been taking the pain pills, but cutting them in half because They can be too strong for me. I have had help cleaning the wounds and rewrapping my face. Not ready to go out dancing yet! But so far, so good. I don't think my bruising has been very bad, either . I have a follow-up appointment tomorrow. Thank you, everybody, for all the great support!
Day 3 post op
Comparison of neckline! I had a check up today, and the staff washed my hair, and the doctor said I'm progressing well!
Day 4... Feeling better
I slept better last night because I took a Resteril (sp?) that my GP had prescribed, after getting the OK from my PS (I did not mix with a pain pill). It's tight to smile, but I included a smile shot. Still quite bruised and swollen, but I can see the subtle changes and it's really exciting!
Day 6 Post Op
I had some stitches removed today, and I'm feeling pretty good about everything. I do have some swelling and bruising quite definitely, but it's getting to the point that soon I could hopefully conceal it when the need arises to be in public.
Pic Day 6
Bruising, but cruising along
Day 8 and doing great
I got all of the staples out today and just have a few sutures left. My swelling is still noticeable, and my bruising continues to change colors as it fades and results.but I'm doing well and I am so glad I pushed past the fear and have this surgery!
Day 9...to quote Adele, "Hello from the other side..."
I continue to feel better every day in most ways. I admit I am disappointed that I am so swollen because of needing to be in a public situation in two days with relatives who do not know I had the surgery. I'm very happy with the overall outcome. I am probably just being impatient, and I am happy to report that my bruises improve significantly every day. One question I have is this: has anyone noticed postoperatiely that their vision is blurred? I think it is from the swelling, even though I had nothing done around my eyes, but I notice when I read that it's much more difficult, and it's more difficult to see the computer screen. Regardless, I washed my hair today and used Dawn as recommended by the nurse, but it did not get all the grease out of my hair from the Polysporin! I am going to do some light shopping today. I'm away from my home town, so I should not run into anyone I know!
Old face and new...
Before the surgery, I liked my look when I smiled. But when I wasn't smiling…here are some comparison photos
Day 11...and the relatives are coming over!
!i'm feeling good. My stitches are all out, and the scar under my chin is practically invisible already. I have some bruising on my neck, so I'm on the sides of my face, but the main giveaway is the swelling. I was able to use make up to disguise the mild bruising on the sides of my face, but here is a shot of me getting ready to see everyone. Do you think I'm going to get away with it? ????
Smile shot comparison from April to now
I definitely look different from the last time I saw these relatives.
Day 16--all is well except the swelling!
Each day has gotten better since my surgery with regard to the bruising, my energy level, the stitch areas healing, etc. I "passed" 2 days ago with a friend, but my ex-partner came over yesterday and did notice my face was swollen. I am not sure if it's the heat, my increase in activity level, or a Toradol (spelling?) shot I had yesterday morning to cope with back pain, but I swelled up like a balloon yesterday. It's uncomfortable, but I am trying not to get concerned because I know it can go up and down. I feel my recovery is going great overall, but am anxious for the re-emergence of my jaw line under the puffiness!
I think the back issue (which I also had 8 years ago) may be precipitated by sitting up every night. A friend suggested using a pillow under my knees so I did that last night. My PS did not prescribe icing except for my eyes, but I admit I have iced the past 2 days just to try and address the swelling. Still wrapping at night, and adding some time during the day as well. I have a lot of confidence in my PS so I will see how plays out, but if it doesn't improve over the weekend I'll call the office and consult about solutions.
Day 20 update
Day 20--My bruises are almost gone, incisions sites look good. But my swelling increased about day 15, and I attributed it to a side effect of a Toradol shot I had for my back that day. But that may have been a coincidence; I'll contact my Dr. office tomorrow to consult. It is probably normal, but I confess to having the blues a bit. Even with this swelling, however, I look a lot better than before the procedure! Has anyone else had swelling increase after the second week?
Age 51 vs. age 53...pre-lift, did Ultherapy cause such a change?
I went back to some photos I took when I was 51 (close to 52) before having Ulthera. Less than 2 years later, I looked so much worse. I had lost some weight (maybe 5 pounds) and another year of menopause had come and gone. I always thought the Ultherapy just didn't really work and I had just continued to age, but when I found these photos I had to wonder if Ulthera had a negative effect; I read on RS about women who perceived that it diminished the fat on their face. I'll never know because there are other variables, and I was probably headed for a facelift, anyway. But I thought it would be good to share these just in case there IS something to the claim that for some, Ulthera causes problems.
I spoke with the nurse at my PS' office about my swelling and sent her photos, and she said it was normal. So I supposed it's just a matter of time passing!
I was going to wait to update until my swelling went down to show a more final result. But I'm posting a couple of pictures including one to show how well the stitches are healing.
I went to church and...
I woke up quite swollen, but decided to go to church anyway and see how it went. I am happy to report that no-one said, "Hey, did you get a facelift? It sure looks like it!" I did hear, "Your haircut is so cute! You look great!" Whew! I'm at day 26 and "passed" at church. I think the swelling is more obvious to me than anyone else. I prayed a little extra this morning ;)!
4 1/2 weeks out...
I was worried that at 4 weeks because I continued to swell, even though the bruises and incisions sites looked good. I called the PS' office (which is 2000 miles away from me!) and asked for telephone follow-up appt., and sent my doctor photos and a video of me palpating the area. I was getting freaked out, afraid I had a seroma, afraid I had some kind of infection inside. He reassured me that all looked well and prescribed a second round of a Medrol Dospak.
I am still swollen, but no one is asking me about it, and the swelling shifted to mainly below my chin. Sometimes I think I catch a glimpse of a jawline! My neck gets lumps in it, but they aren't bad, and I gently massage them with Arnica oil. Just talking with my doctor helped me not imagine the worse when I was frightened that the swelling wasn't going down as fast as I thought it should. I had heard "you can still be swelling up and down for 6 mo. to a year" but thought it would be minor swelling!
Has anyone tried lymphatic massage? I googled it and tried a bit of it, but don't know if it did anything. I am still extremely pleased with my results, but am naturally anxious to see the final result. I don't think unless someone saw the scars by my hairline anyone would know I had a facelift. I just hope when the swelling is down, I don't show too much in the way of wrinkles; I always like the ones by my eyes and didn't want the doctor to try to do anything about those, but other parts of my face had areas that may be filled out by swelling now and come back :(. Has anyone used fillers for smoker's lines? I didn't have anything done to that part of my face (was afraid of the Co2 laser recovery time). Ladies just a few weeks/days out--it gets better!!
My new neck...
I have been focusing on being a bit bummed about prolonged swelling, but today I decided to celebrate the new neck Dr. Clymer gave me. In fairness, the "before" picture showed me at my worst--I chose an unflattering position (ladies, you know the one--chin tucked toward the chest!). But I am incredibly pleased with the change. I do get those long lumps, but it's not too noticeable and they come and go.
Seven weeks out
I tried to post before, but it looks like it didn't update. Here are recent photos from 7 weeks out. I still have under chin swelling, but no on notices and my chin looks a lot better than it did! I am excited to see my jawline emerge and the way my face is sculpted along my cheekbones. I still am elevating some at night and sleeping on my back. My numbness is going away bit by bit and I am beginning to feel "normal"...just much happier with my looks!!
Three Months out--pleased with results
20 Sep 2016
3 months post
It's just been over 3 months since I had a facelift and I am incredibly glad I did it. My doctor's technique left me looking very refreshed, but not one person whom I have not told has guessed I had cosmetic surgery. Seeing the final results will take a few more months and I'll post an update then. Ladies considering such a procedure: I encourage and support you. It's not easy psychologically or socially for a few weeks, but with the right doctor, what a difference it can make! We deserve to feel beautiful!