Trying Thermitight for Lower Face, Upper Bleph

I have genetic heavy lower cheeks, which have...

I have genetic heavy lower cheeks, which have gotten a bit worse with age. I wasn't ready for a facelift since I'm not even 40 yet, so after a LOT of research I decided to try the new procedure using radiofrequency energy, ThermiRF. There are several applications of this, but the one I tried is the ThermiTight for the face. I've also considered a LazerLift but decided against it after several consults since it seems that Thermi is safer, especially in terms of damage to facial nerves.

I found a doctor in NY who was one of the first adopters of Thermi (it's only been around for a couple of years for this specific use, to tighten skin and melt fat), had a consultation (I did see several other doctors but settled on Dr. Halaas because of her experience with this new technology), and signed up.... I was nervous. If you read about the procedure, they insert a small needle into several places on your lower face and then a heat probe goes through it. It's "minimally invasive", but invasive nonetheless. I was told there will be significant swelling, but bruising is unlikely. So far this is mainly used for lower chin and neck tightening, but there have been good results with the jawline as well, so I decided to give it a shot.

I've also been wanting to do my upper eyes and this doctor does this procedure a lot, which is great, and I saw many, many of her before and afters which I liked, so I decided to combine.

So I went in today! I had everything done under local. They did give me a Valium, which was not half as exciting as I hoped :), but it did calm me down. We had a long consultation about how exactly I wanted my eyes to look, because I didn't want a drastic change. The doctor was very receptive and really listened. We had a lot of back and forth before settling on what I hope will be my end goal.

The procedures themselves took 2 hours max, maybe less. The upper bleph was a piece of cake, whatever tugging there was I didn't mind at all. Thermi was a bit more uncomfortable just because the probe gets inserted into several places from one tiny incision by the ear, and the heat from the probe was somewhat unpleasant, but again it was nothing crazy and was over pretty quickly.

I was supposed to have someone pick me up, but they were running late, and I actually felt so ok an hour after we were done (I just stayed in the operation room icing my eyes), that I was allowed to go home on my own in a cab. I didn't feel woozy or anything, no real pain, only a slight burning on my upper eyelids. I did have to wear a bulky headwrap to control the swelling from Thermi, which I get to take off in 24 hours and replace with a small head bandage (4 days, but can wear at night only).

I warned my boyfriend that I will look crazy, so when he came home and saw me, he was actually surprised and said "it doesn't look that bad at all!" The swelling in my cheeks seems to be increasing and I expect it will take more than a few days to settle, but that's ok.

I'm trying to ice every 20 minutes and I am checking myself in the mirror, which you are not supposed to do, but I'm kind of curious to see the progress of red around my eyes... a bit like makeup!

So far so good. Hoping I'll be able to sleep on my back.
Don't know how I will sleep tonight

Trying Thermitight for Lower Face, Upper Bleph

Day 1 after the procedure! I slept surprisingly well, only woke up once and decided to ice for a little bit before going back to sleep. I bought a 12' wedge pillow from amazon, put another pillow on top and then put one of those round flight pillows on to make sure my head doesn't turn to the side. Even though I never sleep on my back, this time it worked. I have no pain whatsoever so I didn't even take any Tylenol (I did get Vicodin for the surgery itself).

It's not pretty in the mirror, but I'm not complaining. I read enough reviews on this site - thank you everyone! - to be prepared for the worst, especially on days 2-3. I do wonder how long swelling from Thermi will last, I do look like a crazy chipmunk underneath the wrap (which is how my boyfriend started calling me, who also asked me this morning not to do any more PS... but he is bravely looking at me, and bringing me soft foods! :)

I actually well see enough to be on the computer and am totally fine walking around and doing some chores. I don't want to overdo it, and do need to keep reminding myself to ice every 20 minutes (which is SO boring!). They gave me steroids to keep the swelling down, but since the pills are for 6 days, I'm assuming that's at least how long I'll have to deal with it. I re-wrapped the bandage since it started to slip off after sleeping on my back, and there seems to be very very mild bruising in the jowl area where the doctor applied more heat, but nothing too bad.

Off to ice!

Trying Thermitight for Lower Face, Upper Bleph - Day 3

Woke up with some swelling under my eyes, I guess the fluid is going down. I tried to cut down on my salt intake and stick to yogurts and protein shakes, but had some 'normal' food for dinner, maybe that was the culprit. Icing throughout the day but less than yesterday. Hard to follow that 20 mins on, 20 mins off rule. Still, I think I see some improvement. But I'm staying at home for now, don't want to scare the neighbors!

Trying Thermitight for Lower Face, Upper Bleph - Day 4

Nothing major to report. Swelling seems to be going down a little bit - a little being the key word. Less numbness in the face. Some red around the eyes is changing to yellow. No discomfort. Put a hat and sunglasses on and took the dog out for a walk today. No one flinched :) But my boyfriend is still asking, why you want to do this to yourself is beyond me. And also asking how long this will last... I do hope I can get stitches out tomorrow, but it might have to wait till Monday.

Trying Thermitight for Lower Face, Upper Bleph - Day 7

Little improvements day to day, at this point I felt I looked ok to go out in public for dinner - I just put some concealer on the bruising that settled along lower lids, since it's not close to the incision sites. Yellow around the eyes, but hard to notice when I have my glasses on. Can't wait to get stitches out tomorrow.

The lower face still feels a little numb in places and a bit dense, but I swear I'm seeing a difference already ;) Maybe it's wishful thinking, I'm still swollen, but at least I don't look like a crazy chipmunk anymore. More of a regular chipmunk...

Day 8

Stitches are out! The only part that's red is the one that had visible stitches, which is about 2 cm on the outside of the eye. I think in a few days they will be totally fine with makeup on.

Day 11

I think I'm back to my 'normal' state with the lower face, will wait for the 4-week mark to judge improvements. Eyes are better - much less bruising. Today swollen from too much sushi and soy sauce last night :)

day 13

Eyes healing well, the scar is obviously still there and some small traces of bruising that are easily covered up with makeup. I tried putting my contacts in a couple of days ago and they felt really uncomfortable, so I'm still wearing glasses for now.

5 weeks

So the eyes are doing good and I'm actually wondering if I was wrong about the conservative approach and should've taken more off... but really no regrets so far. The red line is still there and I need to cover it with makeup (and I think if you look closely, you'll easily see it, but so far I've met my parents a number of times wearing glasses and they have not said a thing).

I am not completely sure about the lower face though. I think I see some improvement, but it's slight. Maybe it would help to see a professional photo taken from the same angle, which is why I asked my doctor's for the before and after pictures they took on my follow-up visit, but they are being strange and are not sending them to me. So judge for yourself.

Problem is, I have a big event coming up in two weeks so I am considering doing Voluma to improve the contour, but that will obviously distort Thermi results. I guess I can ask the doctor to take photos after Voluma and see if there's any improvement down the road.

Difference at 4 weeks?

Or not?

Before & afters for side profile

Here are photos of the side - I can see some difference in the neck, and maybe in the jowls, but it's a bit harder to tell since the angle is slightly different.
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon

So far, great! Really, really like this doctor. She is personable, intelligent, professional and clearly has a lot of experience. Her staff is very nice too.

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
3 out of 5 stars Wait times
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