67 Yr Old Widow Ready for 2nd Lift to Match Inside Enthusiasm for New Adventures in Life - Upland, CA

My first face/neck lift was in 1997 at age 46, and...

My first face/neck lift was in 1997 at age 46, and I was having a wonderful professional and personal life - just felt I needed to look like the vigorous youthful person I was married to - a wonderful professor and athlete 19 years my senior who looked like he was in his late 40's. Why do women seem to show their age sooner then men. It was a wonderful experience and my husband supported me (even though he had told me I looked better each year we were married) I felt I was aging faster on the outside than he. Fast forward 18 years - I have been widowed 13 years and most all our friends and family are out of state or country and even though I am still working and loving my profession - I am getting ready to slowdown and want to resume the adventures and travels we shared. Problem is I feel insecure and unattractive traveling alone - I probably have been hiding my loneliness by working and helping family when I can - But his oldest daughter has encouraged me to recapture that joi d' vivre we shared and start to do things for myself. So I am biting the bullet and doing this for myself - I should not let society and strangers make me feel inadequate - my husband always complimented me and encouraged me. But I often feel kind of on the outside fringe of life - modern society does not seem to have much use for 'old looking' people. It should not bother me but It does. I have been lurking on RealSelf.com and find a sense of community and understanding about enhancing or rejuvenating our physical appearance/ lives as we age. I also feel compassion and happiness for others who have the courage to take these steps to do something for themselves. I am 3 weeks out of my second face/neck lift, upper/lower blepharoplasty and CO2 fractional under laser treatment. I thought I wanted anonymity but decided to 'give back' by sharing my joyrney and hope it might help others. I am still resolving from some minor hiccups but will come back later this week and begin posting photos/narration of the various stages for my procedures. Time to sign off for tonight. BBS (be back soon) :-)

Neck & jowls pre

I chose Dr. Edward H. Park - a double Board Certified PS who....

I chose Dr. Edward H. Park - a double Board Certified PS and partner of Dr. Sorosky who retired eight years previously. He listened carefully to my concerns and answered my kazillion questions about the safety and efficacy of a 2nd facelift. I also asked about a brow lift to balance my freakish eyelids left mismatched from a ptosis surgery on my left eye traumatized by detached retina surgeries 5 years previous. He made me feel confident by explaining I did not need a brow lift and it would be a waste of money. He then took almost an hour to explain how he would do a necklift for my loose platysmal bands - plication and imbication of my mid face and cheeks - and VERY minor upper lid revision with minor transconjunctival lower bag mod to make the eyes more youthful and less tired and dragged down with a Mixto ( fractional laser) underneath to rebuild collagen and minimize fine wrinkles. Despite my being fair and freckledI I have always felt like I had a long 'horsey' face with a soft baggy lumpy appearance. My Welsh Swedish roots seemed to condemn me to early aging and dragged out appearance. I really appreciated his customization to my particular facial shape - long and confidence in my thick healthy skin. I have never smoked and have used sunscreen for over 40 years. Dr. Park did not pressure me and was very confident that he could give me a result that would rejuvenate my appearance. He had guessed my age as mid fifties but upon learning I was 67 said he was sure I would get results to enhance my inner beauty to match my youthful energy. A week after my consult and reading all the reviews here - I called his assistant Laurie back to arrange for the procedures to be done on April 28.

At my return appointment I mentioned my allergies and

At my return appointment I mentioned my many skin allergies as well as history of herpes zoster on my face from any trauma - sunburn - dentist - fever - stress. I am a researcher in my profession so knew that often PS would prescribe prophylaxis Rx of acyclovir/ valtrex prior to and after surgery. He was very confident that the Rx would prevent an outbreak or at least minimize any lesions which may appear. But being allergic to lanolin, mineral oil, glycerin ( all emollients found in most dressings and ointments) - I was very anxious about the laser under eyes and peri orally. He agreed to do the mouth area 4 months later since I was having so much done and the lower chin/mouth wrinkles would benefit from the lift and a later laser treatment would be better tolerated.

Cost is individual to the patient but

Cost is individual to the patient but he considered me a returning patient and reduced my fee by approximately $3,000.- in fact I considered his price to be fair - and was not interested in getting a cheaper price . He wrote the reduction on my contract to my pleasant surprise So I never felt he had tried to pressure me. The $1,800.- for the Mixto CO 2 fractional laser of mouth and neck was promised for when I returned in 4 months after this surgery.

Aftercare concerns...

I had some serious aftercare concerns as I live alone with no close relatives. Also with my previous facelift Dr. Sorosky allowed me to recover overnight in his wonderful accredited surgical facility attended by an RN before sending me home the next day. That was in 1997 and had only cost $300.- additional. Since I was having twilight sedation (also like before) and perhaps due to staffing or changing liability insurance Dr. Park would release me within 1-2 hrs after my surgery. He estimated the surgery would take 1 hour for the blepharoplasty plus 2.5 - 3 hrs for the face/neck lift and 1/2 hr for the under eye laser - about 4-4.5 hrs total. Alas my dear husband would not be there to help my aftercare and driving. His assistant Laurie had the name of a nurse (Terri) who wold be able to drive me home, set up my bedding and Meds area and stay as long as I wanted - even overnight up to 2-3 days. I knew from previous surgery I would have no pain during or after but the concurrent blepharoplasty had me worried about limited or no visibility due to swelling in the 24 hrs after surgery. Also I have a three story townhouse and had to set up a recovery area as close to kitchen/bathroom as possible. She charges $29.- per hour with a four minimum which I considered very reasonable and I ended up keeping her for 8 hours after surgery and forced her to take additional cash for the gas ( in Calif edging back up close to $4 gal and I lived 30 miles from the doctor. I am so happy I did this as there are only 2 accredited aftercare/nursing facilities in the LA San Bernardino area - one in Pasadena (35 miles from dr) and one in Santa Monica (48 miles fr dr) I still would not be allowed to drive for 2 weeks - so it was scary and worrisome. My next post will cover Dr. Park's wonderful office / surgical team and the professional and comforting communication process before during and after my surgery. BBS

Pre eyelid closeups

I forgot to post my pre surgery eyelid photos and I might as well show my swollen 3 week pic

Swollen 3 week eyes but already look

Swollen 3 week eyes but already look more youthful and less scary - also no makeup - ATTENTION eschew as much salt/ sodium as possible - sleep elevated and on back for at least the first month ( easy for me as I am a calm back sleeper)

Chipmunk cheeks - great pumpkin head arrives....

Chipmunk cheeks - great pumpkin head arrives days - Oh yeah forgot dr prescribed arnica tabs one day prior and for a week post due to swelling. Also on liquid diet for 2 weeks - could hardly open mouth around straw for 8 days - cholase gel tabs - prunes/ prune juice - pineapple chunks/ juice - protein drinks - I think my baggy Irish skin swells up very easily . My recliner became my bed for a month. I also wore ace wrap 24/7 for first week - then at night for next month ( my intention)

Dr Park is conservative but very talented and skilled surgeon

Dr Park is conservative but very talented and skilled surgeon - at 8am they took me into the OR where he marked me - sitting up and laying down - he promised me to keep my demise dimples and take an extra 'stitch' on th right side of mouth cheek which naturally turns down - the IV drip for the Demerol and the auto leg comp were put on And the wonder began...he injected my eyelids with lidocaine and began cutting the uppers - by now I was in LaLa land and talking to him and his surgical nurse -Erin ' back and forth once in awhile I felt a tug or he asked me to open close blink - this is what is so great he can operate on live tissue seeing how much the muscles pull or even where the locus of movement originates- Not possible on general intubation which also distorts the face - neck - and mouth. He the began the lower lids transconjunctivally , and I could smell the cautery but again not feel anything. In and out of dreamy floating - he told me the laser was next - for so reason I started to feel warmth - as soon as I squeaked his surgical tech Tiffany a _ lovely tall blonde 'Tiffanydid something and the sensation was gone - BTW she has such a light comforting touch and kept adding cool saline water to the gauged eyelids throughout the procedure as we progressed. Tiffany was constantly adjusting my head holding clamps talking soothingly to me - and I kept talking to Dr Park thanking him and his nurses - This must be what it feels like to be on a good high :)
Next thing I remember was some cutting sound like through canvas and he explained we were on the platysmal neck muscles then the mandible and malar cheek pads - I asked him if he was using Dr. Sorosky' s previous incision lines and he said yes but they were so fine and well healed not much cleaning up to do. Then he said he saw 2 deep plane sutures on each placated cheek flap and was amazed how well they maintained the previous underlying structured lift. He mentioned that closing was going well but both he and Erin kept remarking on my 'beautiful skin' ?? He later explained most aging skin looses its volume and elasticity - but mine was particularly thick and fully vascularized (good blood supply) and people in their 60's usually have smoked or damaged their skin with too much sun exposure. I guess I was lucky to have never subjected my skin to those risks. Anyway my 'lumpy' 'baggy' 'thick' skin seemed to be a pleasure for him to work with. I just hope it will be elevated a bit more so I can minimize those jowls for a more youthful neck and jaw/ neckline. He seemed very confident as we closed up and Surgery was over in a wink - I was in OR by 12:30 noon. Tiffany installed my helmet/bandage and I did not even realize I had drains til I got home at 2:30pm by Nurse Terri's drive. Kind of a Mr Toad's wild ride because her car was in the shop and we used her husband's huge hard suspension truck for transport. Although still drowsy I felt every turn- pothole - braking on the 30 mile ride home - plus I get carsick - so I was praying not to upchuck - I probably would have strangled due to 'Frozen' tightly wrapped mouth and neck. No pain - Just tight frozen groggy dizzy Swollen eyelids.

A couple of pics at 29 days out....

Here are a couple of pics (no makeup – only mascara and lipstick) of how I am doing at 29 days:

Tomorrow I will begin posting update pics profiling

daily progress for first 7 days then weekly till..

Asked Dr. Park for a risky procedure in the future and he wisely counseled me....

I had read tabithanash's heartbreaking account of the hypopigmentation and scaring of her chest neck with CO2 lasering and was sooo thankful because I had asked Dr. Park for a risky procedure in the future. He wisely and ethically counseled me against it. Luckily Dr. Park told me immediately when I asked for lasering of my chest/decollete area - that there are not enough appendages/blood supply in the lower neck/chest like on the face - he did not think the results would not be good or even enough to justify the expense. Also I have very fair/freckly skin so know they have to dial down the laser strength - I appreciate him not trying to get money out of me - but he let me down with a scientific and experience based reason. I guess I will try good old Retin-A at night to try to reverse some of the heavy sun damage on my chest. I am thankful she posted herheartbreaking review. I hope someone on here can further support her efforts to reverse this damage. Seems like she on the right track now. Her post made me re-evaluate this potentially damaging procedure and my doctor confirmed it.

One more week til I can color ....

One more week til I can color my roots - at least the grey shows my hair is still growing! A little worried about submandibular gland swelling but dr said it could be 2-3 mos - oh well I am patient - overall results good!

Nice neckline / chin

Nice neckline / chin - June 3 Day 35

Pre-op neckline

Pre-op neckline Gobble Gobble

7 weeks along and still have numbness....

I am 7 weeks out and still have numbness and tightness in the cheeks in front of the ears and down along the platysmal band. I like to think he did a good job of lifting and plication for I can wait - the little pings and pops my nurse told me means the nerves are reconnecting - Yay! Even now my PS said no massage or ice or heat on my cheeks as you do not want to create a hematoma - the deep tissue/collagen building goes on long weeks after the scars seem to settle - so yes patience is the name of the game.

Bleph (upper/lower) progress Apr 27 thru June 10...

Bleph (upper/lower) progress Apr 27 thru June 10...I have added a collage of my eye progress

Wow! Botox for my 11s ...turned out great in 2 days - hope for it to last for 4 months?

Wow! Botox for my 11s turned out great in 2 days - hope for it to last for 4 months?

3 Months - a bit worried...

At 3 months I am still very pleased - just a bit worried about the malar pad swelling under my eyes and also still some residual swelling on the left side of my face - where more of the platysmal band was pulled BUT I know it can take 6-8 months for all swelling to resolve. My enemy is still salt - I need to drink more H2O. Patience is a virtue....

Sorry - hit update before second picture posted

This side view shows the swollen malar pads under the eye and my left fat jowl which I am worried will fall...

I really bruised bad....

I wanted to share some [warning] pics of my bruising - I really bruised bad for first 4-5 days - then it magically disappeared - not at all painful - I just have very thin blood....

Some recent pics -

(I am almost blind in left eye due to detached retina/ptsosis surgery) Wanted right eye to match a little better so I do not feel so self-conscious. I am lucky he did not take out any fat on upper lids - just tried to make them more symmetrical - eyes still may need a browlift

Not sure about hair color...

should I continue the weave highlights or go back to darker auburn - always thought older women were aged by darker hair - but sometimes the highlights wash me out. I am really fair and right after surgery the nurse kept saying "Boy are you white!" - yeah the curse of the Irish - either white and pasty or red and inflamed :-( (But the doctor kept saying yes she has such good blood supply and thick skin :-O

Some views of ear and hairline incisions...

hard to believe no pain - just burning from my allergy to bacitracin and aquaphor - as soon as I started using benadryl and cortisone cream the burning stopped! Again curse of the fair Irish skin...

some more before/after

It is now 3 months - still have some swelling and concerns about unevenness but 95% happy with my results.
Inland Empire Plastic Surgeon

I chose Dr. Edward H. Park - a double Board Certified PS and partner of Dr. Sorosky who retired eight years previously. He listened carefully to my concerns and answered my kazillion questions about the safety and efficacy of a 2nd facelift. I also asked about a brow lift to balance my freakish eyelids left mismatched from a ptosis surgery on my left eye traumatized by detached retina surgeries 5 years previous. He made me feel confident by explaining I did not need a brow lift and it would be a waste of money. He then took almost an hour to explain how he would do a necklift for my loose platysmal bands - plication and imbication of my mid face and cheeks - and VERY minor upper lid revision with minor transconjunctival lower bag mod to make the eyes more youthful and less tired and dragged down with a Mixto ( fractional laser) underneath to rebuild collagen and minimize fine wrinkles. Despite my being fair and freckledI I have always felt like I had a long 'horsey' face with a soft baggy lumpy appearance. My Welsh Swedish roots seemed to condemn me to early aging and dragged out appearance. I really appreciated his customization to my particular facial shape - long and confidence in my thick healthy skin. I have never smoked and have used sunscreen for over 40 years. Dr. Park did not pressure me and was very confident that he could give me a result that would rejuvenate my appearance. He had guessed my age as mid fifties but upon learning I was 67 said he was sure I would get results to enhance my inner beauty to match my youthful energy. A week after my consult and reading all the reviews here - I called his assistant Laurie back to arrange for the procedures to be done on April 28.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 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
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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