I have been hating mirrors for the last while &...
I have been hating mirrors for the last while & decided that it was time to do something about that. My younger sister had CO2 laser treatments to renew her skin & I knew after watching what she went thru that I couldn't commit to doing that. Her results were great, but I wanted a gentler route to hopefully similar results. I researched on here & other sites and chose Dr. Bonaparte. I have had my consult & my surgery (facelift, neck lift & brow lift) are scheduled for January 29th.
In the meantime I have had my first of two Venus Viva treatments & so far I am very pleased. I have a lot of wrinkles for my age (according to my skin assessment) so I'm not expecting miracles. Nancy at the PS office is the gal who did my first treatment & she was great. I felt very comfortable with her & as we chatted the time passed quickly. I've attached some before & after photos.
I am looking forward to this journey and will post along the way.
If I can answer any questions I will certainly do so.
I know it's early (it can take up to a month to see full results) but I wanted to let everyone know that this treatment is relatively easy & today I have no more swelling and minimal redness.
Still lots of wrinkles though!
I went for my Pre-Op today & was very impressed at how thorough it was. I watched videos outlining the procedures that I am scheduled for (a little scary; but better to be informed).
I have all my instructions, RX's for meds (pain & antibiotics); and a requisition for blood work & an ECG (which I will get done tomorrow). The nurse took my vitals (BP and HR) and everything seemed fine.
The only issue is that I have a reaction to Epinephrine which is commonly used in local anesthetics. So the OR nurse who did my Pre op will speak with Dr. Bonaparte to see if I can still have the
surgery in their private OR or maybe it will have to be done in the adjoining hospital. Either way I hope my date of January 29th doesn't change. This reaction started about 7 years ago at the dentist & I used to dread going. Now they inject me with the 'old' freezing. It supposedly doesn't last as long but I've never had a problem with it. It's a pretty awful feeling...like your heart is going to explode out of your chest.
I also received a vial of Arnica Montana pellets which are to be taken to help with bruising and swelling. Hey whatever helps..I'm in!
So now it's just a waiting game.
p.s. started a strict diet on January 4th (right after I ate thru all the bad stuff in the house!)
19 Days & Counting
I am noticing that some of the smaller wrinkles on my face are softening & I assume this is due to
the Venus Viva treatment. I am also using their regime (with their products) as well as dieting and exercising regularly. And since I made the decision to go down this road; my attitude has taken a 160 degree turn. I feel happier and more positive. Anyway, whatever the reason I feel great!
2 More sleeps
I am nervous & excited at the same time. I have been pouring over before & after pics on the internet. Hopefully my results will be as satisfying as some that I have seen through my research.
I have started taking the Arnica & I will have pineapple slices as a snack.
Managed to lose 10 pounds & the one thing that I am looking forward to (besides getting the surgery over with) is a glass of wine! But I guess that will have to wait at least a week post op.
My surgery is scheduled for around 8:00 AM on Friday which I love. No time to get anxious!
I have everything ready at home. My nurse (aka hubby) will be on duty 24 hours a day (he has even agreed to sleep on the pull out sofa:-)
I think I am more concerned about the aftercare. As in showering, changing dressings, keeping sutures dry & clean, etc. Any advice from those that have been there would be appreciated.
I will post a couple of before pics that I have.
29 Jan 2016
Day of treatment
It's 6am and I am getting ready to head out. I am so glad I have early morning surgery.
I am surprisingly calm. Maybe even a little excited:-)
I had 'the green light' from the PS to take an ativan last nite if I had trouble sleeping. But I didn't have a problem at all.
Okay. Here we go....see you on the 'flip' side!
29 Jan 2016
Day of treatment
Thanks for all the well wishes this morning. It means a lot to me.
Got to the PS office at 7:15am. Met with the two nurses who would be in the OR with me & they prepped me. Then the Anaesthetist Dr. Champagne came in and explained that she would be using 'twilight' sleep which was fine by me. Easier to recover after.
Dr. Bonaparte marked me up & then it as on to the OR.
And then it was 3 1/2 hours later:-)
Everyone (well not the janitor) said I was going to be really pleased with the results. Altho it's
impossible to see what with all the bandaging! The only issue was a small hematoma that developed on my neck which meant I had to wait until Dr. B's next surgery was finished so he could assess it.
Which he did around 4PM & said I could go home. He told me that I could contact him anytime over the weekend & if it was necessary he would meet with me.
Only sore part is my neck & jaw. Apparently he removed both the neck cords & lipo'd as well so it
feels awkward to eat or even talk for long periods of time (hubby is doing cartwheels as I type this:-)
Something to keep in mind...have lots of Boost on hand!
And boy am I ever already bruised! At least my neck and shoulders...can't see anywhere else yet.
All in all; it was a very positive experience. The staff are exceptional. Thanks to Sandie & Pat...
p.s. feels great to be home
1st Day Post Op
I never thought I would be comfy sleeping on my back @45 degrees but I had a good sleep last nite.
The pain that I'm having is manageable with the meds I have. I seem to be swelling; but nothing too
major. I can still see wrinkles but I knew that would happen. I plan on going for some fillers and maybe more Venus Viva treatments in a month or so. The toughest task is removing all the dressings & applying polysporin 3X per day. It's the getting it all back together in the same way thats hard. It's like trying to put the pieces of a purchase back into the original box once you've taken it out! I am posting some pics that we (hubby) took today. I must say that after you've been with someone for years; you start to take them for granted. Then you go thru something like this & they step right up to the plate for you. I guess I'll have to keep him:-)
2nd Day Post Op
I'm feeling really good this morning! Another good nights sleep. Yesterday I swelled up quite a bit; but this morning most of the swelling seems to have gone down. And I'm feeling more like 'myself'. I have very little pain today; just some mild discomfort at the areas where the screws for the brow lift are pulling a little bit.
Day 3 post op
Yesterday started out well but ended up being a rather yucky day. I just didn't feel well most of the day. And I was even second guessing my decision to put myself thru this!
But today I got to shower & wash my hair. Well...attempt to wash my hair:-) I have so many screws in my head right now that I'm afraid to get close to the fridge magnets! But it does feel a lot better to be able to do those simple things.
I have ditched the bandages; 72 hours are almost up! Hope I don't swell more because of it. My poor face (in particular the right side) is very swollen. Ah well, this shall pass I am sure.
I have a follow up appointment with Dr. Bonaparte this afternoon & hopefully I'll get a passing grade.
I had lost 10 pounds prior to surgery & I'm down another 3 pounds since then! Now if I could get someone to drain my beachball sized head I'd probably be at my weight loss goal:-)
I had to revert to one of the big boy painkillers this morning (have been only taking Tylenol since Saturday morning) because my jaw and neck were very painful. I also took an Ativan last nite before bed to help me to relax enough to get to sleep in an elevated position & on my back (I Hate that part of the recovery). So I am feeling quite good this morning!
I have also taken my surgeons advice & I am wearing my chin strap during the day for support.
I am the type of person who wants everything immediately (or yesterday if possible) so I have to make myself slow down & realize that my surgery was less than 5 days ago & that healing takes time. Especially for someone in my age bracket having had 3 different procedures.
I also have to stop comparing my results to those that are on day 4 or 5 post op and looking almost back to normal.
So...I am looking forward to today. It's sunny & mild and I can see blue skies!
What a difference a couple of days can make! I no longer look like a cyclops & I am starting to see my face return to a normal shape. So for those of you who (like me) have days of major swelling and bruising after PS don't be discouraged. It does get better. My jaw pain is lessening. And I have lost another 3 pounds! Tomorrow I get all the staples removed (I'm going to count them!) and hopefully after that I will be able to use some makeup & hair products. A lot of the sutures seem to have dissolved already so that's a good sign that I am healing quickly. One of the biggest challenges for me was sleeping elevated & on my back. I'm not a big 'pill' taker but I did decide to take Ativan the last couple of nights before bed & it helped tremendously. I seriously believe that sleep is an integral part of the healing process. Plus it keeps me from getting really bitchy:-)
I stopped the 'big' boy pills & had been taking strictly Tylenol for discomfort but the past couple of mornings I've had to take one of the prescribed pain pills due to heavy jaw pain. I usually prefer to just grin & bear it....but even grinning was tough! Anyway, that's what they're for & I'm no martyr.
I am so glad that I prepped lots of 'soft' meals in advance. And healthy ones at that.
I've managed (strictly by accident) to lose another 3 pounds so I am now 2 pounds shy of my goal weight!! I haven't been this close in many years.
I won't post pictures today. I want to wait until I can put on a bit of makeup and fix my greasy hair.
Cheers everyone...have a great weekend. I know I will!
Staples & Sutures OUT! Week one officially over.
All my sutures & staples were removed today! I must admit that some of the staples in my head 'stung' a little when being removed but nothing too major. No problem around my ears since they're both still almost totally numb.
I can now use hair products...Yippee!
I still have plenty of wrinkles. I had done enough research & read enough times that a face lift will not get rid of facial wrinkles but a gal can still hope. At the very least I think they have softened somewhat. In any case, my quest will continue & I will probably do some juvederm & Venus Viva.
I am still having a terrible time with my jaw. Chewing anything creates pain & swelling particularly on the right side. I have an appointment on Monday with my PS so I will address the issue then. The only upside is that I'm not gaining any weight which I was worried about because I have been pretty much a couch potato for the last week.
I am a nice shade of yellow. Would've preferred something more on the tanned looking scale but it is what it is! I bought some heavy duty sunscreen today since the nurse warned me that the incision sites should be protected from the sun.
All the little nerves in my neck & face are getting reacquainted at nite while I'm trying to sleep. It's like little zaps of energy. Quite an interesting sensation actually....
I am about to pour myself my first glass of wine in a month; so cheers to all my fellow RS'ers!
Trying to upload a new photo
Hope this one works. The last two attempts didn't!
Feeling closer to normal today. Still swollen & numb in areas but I'll survive! Having some family over for a visit today so makeup and hair were a necessity. Still having trouble getting all the polysporin goop out of the hair:-)
Have a great Sunday everyone & to those still in those first few days...it gets lots better quickly!
Day 11 Post Op
Wow! I cannot believe how great I feel. Actually with the exception of the swelling in my neck I feel pretty much back to normal.
Had my second follow up appointment with my PS yesterday. Even he was amazed at the difference a week has made. I feel totally comfortable going out in public. Don't even need any cover up makeup (thank you Arnica & pineapple). I should mention that fresh pineapple has become my new obsession.
The PS drained some of the fluid that was causing swelling & pressure on my right cheek bone and the relief was instant. My cheek continued to expel fluid for the rest of the afternoon & evening (I actually thought we had a ceiling leak at one point....no seriously I really did!) So this morning that swelling is pretty minimal.
Only down side is; now that my jaw isn't sore I can chew. And we all know what that means:-)
I have to wait another 3 weeks & then I will start on the Venus Viva treatments. I think I'm also going
to have some Juvederm injections in the lines around my mouth. And I was thinking about getting a little bit of filler in my lips. Ah, the never ending quest. I'm just glad my husband doesn't read RS:-)
Day 12 Post Op
Today brings some neck swelling with it. And a small amount has settled once again into my jaw area on one side. It's not painful; just annoying:-) That noose around the neck feeling! So I will not post any side view photos until that has resolved.
But on the good side; I am loving how my upper chest area looks. No more crinkly, old lady skin!
And I have lost about 15 pounds thru all of this journey. 10 pre and 5 post op! Yippee...welcome back old jeans:-)
Hope everyone is well. To those who are healing keep positive & those who are waiting I wish you all the best!
Before & After
First before & after! And it will get better!
One more before & after
This one really shows what a great job he did on my neck! Couldn't be happier...
2 Weeks & 2 Days
Well it seems that I have an ongoing Seroma on the right side of my face (even extending to under my chin). It's basically fluid that collects between the layers & isn't being drained. I have had it manually drained 2x now but it keeps reappearing. It's a PITA:-) It makes my face & chin feel very swollen (because it is) & it is uncomfortable. Has anyone else ever had this happen? I'm assuming it will eventually dissipate....I just wonder how long eventually is!
Ah well..I knew I wasn't getting away with all this as easily as it's seemed:-)
3 Weeks Post Op
My neck is still somewhat stiff & my right ear feels like it's on someone else's head and I have some minor swelling under my chin. I also have developed a seroma close to my ear on my cheek caused by my salivary gland going into overdrive when I eat anything. I had an appointment with Dr. B on Friday & he drained it (3rd time) only to have it come back as soon as I ate something. I guess I will have to have a drain put in next week if it doesn't go down. None of this bothers me; as long as I know it isn't anything major I can deal with it. And my PS is always there when I need him. Other than that I am healing really well..I can hardly see the evidence of scarring anywhere.
He also said that I could start my laser treatments beginning of March so this picture is my new
I absolutely love my neck & neckline!! An added bonus that I've noticed is that my ears don't stick out as far anymore. It's always been an issue for me; never ever wore my hair away from my ears. Maybe now I can!
All in all I'm über happy & glad that I did the 3 procedures. I had some tough days (emotionally worrying that I'd made a mistake) but those feelings have disappeared.
Now for the next part of this journey. I'm looking forward t it.
Stay healthy everyone....
p.s. And now for a dumb question for those of you who had this type of procedure...when did you start wearing earrings again?
11 Mar 2016
2 months post
Today was six weeks post op. It's actually hard to believe; it seems to have passed so quickly (well...with exception of the first week...we all know what that's like!).
I went to see Dr. Bonaparte today to discuss what comes next. Yikes...here we go again. Don't tell my husband:-)
I was considering the Venus Viva which is a non invasive laser treatment but Dr. B said altho I might see slight improvement it would not address all those deep wrinkles that I have. So it's the Fractional non ablative Co2 laser in my future. I swore I would never do this; but this particular new type of Co2 laser is less invasive & he will give me some sort of sedation (twilight) at the outset.
I'm not afraid of the procedure; but I have heard some horror stories surrounding the needles required to freeze the areas to be worked on! So the less I feel, the better...my newest motto!!
I am so happy with the results from the procedures that I've had to date and I trust my PS fully.
I have posted a six week after and a couple of days before picture.
Cheers everyone...enjoy your weekend!
Two months post op
18 Mar 2016
2 months post
Well it's been two months since my surgery & I have to say that I am extremely happy with my results. I still have a lot of those danged facial wrinkles (don't let the lighting in the picture fool you...they're diminished but still there) and hopefully I will be able to address those in the future.
It's my neck & chest area that I am thrilled with! And of course no more jowls, and those frown lines between my brows are almost gone.
Other than some numbness involving my right ear and part of my right chin I have no leftover issues!
And that issue is resolving daily. My scars are barely visible. I went to my hairdressers this week for the first time since the PS and he was amazed at how little scarring there was. He said he's seen a lot of post ops (I betcha lots of hairdressers do & never say anything:-) and he deemed my surgeon A-1. Me too!!
So gals, I won't post again until I go for my CO2 laser. But I will be here lurking & wishing each of you the best of everything that you wish for.
This site is so supportive & I have met (in virtual reality) so many wonderful women. Without them this would have been a much more difficult journey.
The only thing missing here is a 'flow' chart so we can keep track of everyones journeys:-)
Updated face picture
19 Mar 2016
2 months post
Someone had questioned my lack of wrinkles & I didn't want to leave anyone with the wrong impression about my results. I think the last post op picture I posted didn't give a true image of my facial wrinkles. So I decided I'd do one more that will give a better image of my face. I did have the Venus Viva treatment before my surgery & I have been diligent with using the Vivier Skin Regime. I do think those 2 things combined with the PS have helped to soften some of the edges but I still want to do the CO2 laser treatment sometime in the near future.
Have a great Saturday everyone!
12 Apr 2016
3 months post
Hi everyone. I haven't posted in a while so I thought I would 'check in'. I am very happy with my results. I still have some swelling under my chin. It seems to be dependent on what I eat (salty nacho chips) or do (helping a friend move furniture yesterday). So today as per the after picture there is a little more volume than normal. My neck is still 'tight' which I don't mind as I think he did such a great job! And my right ear is still numb (it's really weird to put in an earring when there is no feeling in that area...careful is the buzz word for that!) But I know that's all to be expected & I'm fine with it.
I actually like the little zaps that I get every now and then in my chin area...I take it to mean that the
nerves are reconnecting.
Of course now I'm looking for my next 'fix'. As in laser for my facial wrinkles. I'm still torn between the one that basically emulsifies the top layer (or two) of your skin or the one that pokes holes in an effort to produce more collagen. My sister had the first one & her results were amazing...but the downtime is more and the procedure itself more painful. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
I am happy to see that all my peeps are doing well & happy with their results. Without all of you this journey would have been a lot more difficult.
Stay tuned for round two:-)
19 May 2016
4 months post
Hey gals...I've decided to start a 2nd review to follow my laser resurfacing journey. Hopefully some of you will join me!
I'm not sure if following my name will bring you to the correct review..but Laser Resurfacing should.
From then (Jan 29th) to now (June 7th)
It's been more than 4 months since my original procedures & 3 weeks today since my laser treatment. So I thought I would share a few of my thoughts.
The upside: I love my skin texture & colour (from the laser treatment), my neck line & my wrinkle free chest area (from the surgery). A lot of my facial wrinkles are gone! All my age spots have disappeared and my skin tone is wonderful (once again the laser). I would do the laser again in a heartbeat but maybe have them do the deepest setting possible on those stubborn wrinkles around my mouth area. My recovery time from all the procedures was minimal (by my standards anyway...everyone is different) My neck is probably the biggest surgery improvement....I am so pleased with that part.
The downside: I still have numbness in my right ear and part of the right cheek area. I also have tightness in my neck. And some of my wrinkles are still there:-)
I have posted a picture that was taken pre any procedures & one today 3 weeks post laser.
I sometimes look at my after photos & I am concerned that I am portraying the results in a better light than what they actually are. So I had my hubby critique the after photo & he said it looks like I look. I hope that makes sense.
I will try and copy this onto my laser review as well..hopefully it will work.