54 Years Young, Scheduled for Facelift Early 2016 - Portland, OR

Hello all. I've been thinking about a facelift...

Hello all.

I've been thinking about a facelift for a couple years now. The appearance of light jowls several years ago combined with a lifelong loose skin under my chin started me thinking about it. This year I selected a surgeon who works only on the head (face and ears). He has a great reputation, I liked his demeanor, and I have a personal testimonial from an acquaintance whom he treated.

My skin tone is still good and my jowls are still minimal. I've never had super-tight skin under my chin so that is hereditary. The facelift will be a "full" facelift, as opposed to a mini- or some other kind. The surgery is some months off so I need to get a complete understanding of what a "full" facelift means in my situation. This procedure will be performed under general anesthetic in an office surgi-center that is adjacent to a world class hospital.

I have hooded eyes, also hereditary, and the surgeon mentioned an upper eyelid surgery would open my eyes. Looking at my 80+ year old mother's eyes, I agree that is a valid suggestion. However I will worry about that at a future date as I feel the facelift will give me the most mileage right now.

My hope for both the facelift and later eye procedure is to look like a more refreshed, rested version of me. I will post some BEFORE pictures soon, and will also post back with AFTER pictures and with specific details on the on the procedure. In the meantime, here is a quick thank you to everyone who has so generously shared their results and photos. This information has helped me immensely as I prepare for this big step!


I finally got around to taking some BEFORE pictures. It was no easy exercise trying to hold the camera just right and get the lighting consistent.

I've done a bit of reading about Pixie Ears as a side effect of some Facelifts. Here are a couple of BEFORE photos showing I do not have them.


Here is a BEFORE photo laying down. Hey, I look great! I don't need a Facelift!

I read somewhere that your results should look somewhat like you look when you are laying down. I'm not sure if that's actually true, but it seems a good way to visualize a possible outcome.

I struggled with the "show entire face" versus "don't show entire face" photo. In the end I decided I have benefited from the honestly and humility of other RealSelf uses, so here I go with my with BEFORE full face photo.


This photo was taken from above. Hey, I still look pretty good . . . from the right angle.


Yikes! This one needs no explanation. Now I remember why I'm doing this!


For as long as I've worn eye make-up I've been vexed by my mascara smearing onto my upper eyelid. I had a consult with another surgeon about 10 years ago but decided to pass for a variety of reasons.

Dr. Magilke recommended that I have at least the upper Bleph done in conjunction with the Facelift. Initially I pooh-poohed his suggestion, thinking it imprudent to tackle too much healing at one time. Now that I've done some research on the procedure, I've decided to have it done along with the facelift.

Dr. Magilke also suggested the lower Bleph. I'm having a hard time visualizing the results for the lower Bleph. Plus I'm concerned about incisions for the lower. I have tattooed eyeliner so a lash line incision might look kinda funky. Not sure what to do on the lower Bleph but I have several months to research and decide.

2nd Consultation, Now Adding Eyes

Had a second consultation last week.

I'm definitely going for the upper eyelids now, and probably the lower. I appreciated the doctor's honesty when he told me I would not see "dramatic" results with the eyes, but I would appreciate the results in the future as I continue to age. I concur as the drooping upper eyelid is genetic and I see my future in my mother's eyelids.

Better Eyes in 2002

I stumbled across this picture from January 2002. This was just after LASIK, when you must wear the protective "strainer" eyewear to keep from touching your eyes while you sleep. I was astonished to see how much my upper eyelids have dropped in the 14 years that have passed!

Other Real Selfers have commented that their drooping eyes feel tired at the end of the day because of the effort required to keep the eyes open. Less than a year ago I wondered how this must feel. Now I know. Each day, noonish, I start feeling the weight. It is a strange sensation. I am looking g forward to better days.

Pre-Op Next Week

Pre-Op is next week. Will move funds soon after. April 12 is just four weeks away. It's becoming real.

Pre-Op Done, Date Set

My pre-op was yesterday. Before photos taken. Procedures agreed upon. Prescriptions filled. The date is April 12. It's starting g to feel real but not 100% real just yet.

I have scheduled three weeks off work. I need some proper vacation time, as it's been ages since I've had a block of restful time off. But I will also do some work from home as I feel up to it (there are deadlines, always deadlines).

Wish me well, Real Self friends. I will update when I have new photos.

What to say when returning to work?

I would love to hear how you RS ladies (and gents) have handled returning to work and responding to colleagues who see that you look “different” but cannot determine why. I work as a consultant so I was hoping to schedule this between engagements but this engagement is running on. It's a wonderful client and I love them, so that's great, but now I have to be concerned about the possibility of “explaining” to those with whom I've worked for the past six months.

I will be out about three weeks. I've ordered bold new eyeglasses (I normally wear contacts). I may change my hair from a dark golden blonde to dark strawberry blonde. My husband doesn't like that color (I've had it before) but hey, it's temporary. I may also change the style. I need a few spring weight turtlenecks to camouflage my hopefully better jaw and neckline. Also hoping I can lose a few pound and attribute any change in appearance to weight loss, tan (bronzer), and rest. In short, I'm hoping a few simple distractions will . . . distract. Am I kidding myself?

Or should I just come clean and say “HELL YES, I went under the knife. What of it?” I'm not ashamed but I figure it's nobody’s business. I am actually planning a retirement career in aesthetics so I guess that is a segue to the conversation . . .

In the car.


Happiness is two black eyes.

Right eye became swollen and bruised first. About 24-hours later the left eye caught up. Symmetry . . . That's a good thing, right?

Goodbye turban, hello chin bra!

Eyes were weeping profusely with the turban. Happy to report the weeping stopping almost immediately after it was removed this morning. Eyes feel better even if they don't look great just yet.

Some Post Surgery Observations

If possible, snap a couple selfies before all the swelling and bruising sets in. Ideally this would be on the car ride home. I was very happy with my immediate post-surgery look and the nice pictures were reassuring as I turned into the “Lopsided Creature from the Black-Eyed Lagoon” over the next few days.

I underestimated how wiped out I would be for the first few days after surgery. I was nauseous due to the anesthesia and pain meds (in spite of anti-nausea meds) and it was a vicious cycle for a couple of days. Be sure to have some bland, soft foods and non-acidic juices on hand . . . the kind that aren’t too nasty if you vomit them up. Just sayin’.

Speaking of meds, you may need a stool softener as most pain meds cause constipation.

I did not have a lot of pain but I did have a lot of general discomfort and the feeling of pulling, pinching, itching, and so on. For a couple of days I found I could not get comfortable no matter how I lay my head. My back and neck were also unhappy from the first several days of laying around. Here too a vicious cycle because we need to keep down and quiet help our healing but the rest of our body doesn’t like it.

I knew the incisions would wrap around the ear, but I sort of forgot to consider how swollen my ears would be and that they would be filled with dried blood. I had ear surgery in 2004 for my protruding ears and the swelling today feels every bit the same as it did after that. I now understand what others mean when they say they feel like there is cotton in their ears.

I use a Water-Pik and a Sonicare as part of my normal daily dental routine. In particular the Water-Pik is great for the early days of recovery because you are not going to be able to open your mouth wide enough to floss. The Sonicare is a great toothbrush with or without surgery.

Be extra kind and thankful to your caregivers. My husband, the Most Wonderful Man in The World, is a saint. And our dog, a little rescue Chihuahua, made sure my lap was warm at all times and gave lots of comic relief!

Those are my immediate observations. Will update when I have more to contribute. Here is a thank you to all the ladies and gents who went before me and generously shared their stories. Your willingness to share helped inform my decision, and I’m hoping my story helps others in the future.


Eyes are getting better. Swelling now moving to lower face.

Starting to Look Human

Starting to look human again. Clean hear feels so good. There is still lots of matting in the scalp. This too shall pass


On the drive home from church. Yes, I wore the sunglasses in church.

Sunday at Starbucks

Sunday at Starbucks. It felt good to get out In the fresh air even if I did feel like Angelica Huston in the car scene from "The Grifters."

My Mother Didn't Notice . . .

. . . True, she's in her 80's and her cataracts are giving her a lot of vision problems. Still not sure if that's a good sign or a bag sign : )

Thursdsy -- 10 Days Post -- on the way to Costco

A trip to Costco with make-up. Up close you could see the black eye but from a distance you could not.

On a side note, I may switch my make-up from Bare Minerals to Colorescience. Diane Ranger started the mineral make-up revolution in about 1976 with the product that is now known as Bare Minerals. She lost the company early on and later founded Colorescience. FWIW.

Walking the Dog Today

My ears are still stollen and stick out. I suspect they will continue to stick out a bit after the swelling goes down but I can live with that.

Returned to Work

I went back to work earlier this week. Just as many of you wonderful folks predicted, nobody said anything. Well, almost. One person said something to the effect of "New glasses, new hairstyle, new clothes . . . You look younger!"

I had lunch today with my close friend and she didn't notice. She too liked my new glasses, which conveniently hide my still black-eye. I will tell her, but I wanted to see if she would say anything.

Now at this point I suppose I could despair and take this all as a sign that I wasted a ton of money, but I know that isn't so. I'm delighted with my natural looking results. I can tell the difference and so can my husband.

I have also come to appreciate how the mind can play sneaky tricks on us. It's been a scant 3 weeks and I've lost all memory of my former appearance. So I'm grateful for the advice from you all to take lots of BEFORE picks so as not to lose track of one's results. That makes a huge difference in my mental state and level of satisfaction : )



Speaking of satisfaction, I will be going back for upper and lower Bleph in 2017. I don't "need" much. Just the tiniest bit on the upper lids and a bit on the lower. I could have done that with this surgery but I just didn't feel comfortable heaping too much healing into a single event.

I'm also going to get Botox in the 11's in about 4 weeks. I've done that off and on for awhile. They are looking especially good right now sans Botox and I'd like to stay that way!

I might consider fillers in the cheek area and lips to restore some youthful fullness, but only f I thought the result would appear completely natural. I never had especially full lips so it would probably look a little weird on me to go that route now.

A Few Random Selfies

I hate selfies. I hate taking them. It's not easy to take a good selfie. I suck at taking selfies.

Jawline and Chin Incision

Hard to believe surgery was 3 weeks ago yesterday! Incisions are healing nicely. Will post some close-ups soon.
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon

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