Facelift Advice From Eleven Days Out - Washington, DC

I am a 57-year-old, 112 lbs/5'5" in good health...

I am a 57-year-old, 112 lbs/5'5" in good health and I run (before the surgery) 2 miles most mornings and do a small bit of weight work each night. So I thought the facelift recovery would be fairly smooth, as was my Blepharoplasty two years ago. Specifically, my recent procedure was: Platysmaplasty with Submental Lipectomy and an S-lift.

In retrospect I learned some things I'd like to share.
First, you absolutely should sleep on your back with your head above your heart at least for two weeks. I was so glad I had a zero-gravity recliner with electric tilting, which cost close to $3K but I have always craved one. If you don't want that expense, you can get the bed wedges at the healthy back store. A friend did not follow this advice and her ears still hurt a year out. Second, I recommend having a nurse for the first night at least. You need to keep the face constantly cooled with ice packs and/or cold compresses so that's a lot to ask of an already freaked-out husband. Your assistant must be prepared for contingencies, like when I started vomiting from the pain meds that I didn't know I have an allergy to, or when the icemaker got jammed in the middle of the night. Third, and this I only just learned two days ago. Swelling is a constant problem and the steroid pack didn't seem to help me much. Ice packs worked while they were on but you can't keep that up steadily for days on end. Suddenly two days ago I read that the body has to absorb the fluid. It seems counterintuitive but once I started drinking lots of water, like a cup or so every 40 mins, I started improving more rapidly. Maybe it would have happened anyway but I credit the water.
Finally, if you don't like to touch dead-fish skin (I could not bear it), get yourself a spray moisturizer that really atomizes the cream so you don't have to spread it with your hand. Keep the skin moisturized.



A friend who had this surgery with the

Day 13 update

Skin still dead-fish, gradually (sooo slowly) getting more feeling in face and chin. Started back running this morning, at a slightly reduced pace, but could have run full out. Just didn't feel like it. I'm going to try a super-gentle electric face brush to clean and moisturize the dead-fish skin. I just can't bring myself to touch it even though the doctor recommended massaging it. Unfortunately I am coming down with a cold (that's why I started running early, hoping to head off the cold.)

Sad

Well, it's the two-week point and I'm really depressed. I had attributed the puffiness behind the chin incision to swelling, but now that puffiness is descending into a double chin, with a tight garrot where the chin line meets the neck. It feels awful too, because the chin line skin rubs against the neck skin when I look down. I will go see the doctor but I imagine he'll propose some minor fix but the fact is the surgery traded one problem for another, and turned my family life upside down.

14-day mark

Note the photo from yesterday afternoon.

Photo showing my new double chin

17 days out. Considering next steps.

Thank you all for your comments, they have been very helpful. I am in conversation with the surgeon. The specific problem I have is that there is a choke-point around my neck.

He did describe what he did: while it feels as though there is a cord around my neck, in fact it is a single stitch in the midline connecting the two sides of the platysma, and sutures tying the platysma to ligaments behind my ears on each side. He states that he placed only self-absorbing sutures, but scar tissue will take the place of the suture. There is not likely to be any loosening except that any residual swelling is making it more noticeable to me. However there is little to no swelling today and the chokehold is impossible to ignore, especially when I swallow.

I'm requesting the surgeon's operation report, and I am going to request a second opinion from another doctor. I don't know if this can even be fixed, so that is what I will be trying to find out.

It's been three years, thrilled with the results

Dr. Hopping did an amazing job but it took me about six months to realize it. I was so full of anxieties I'm even embarrassed to read about them here. But I can say without reservation that the results are amazing, I look fresher, more energized and definitely more than a decade younger than I did before. Yet Dr. Hopping's work is very natural, utterly undetectable, with none of the signs of a facelift that you sometimes see. One caution if you are a runner: I believe my sagging face and neck had been exacerbated by a decade of running, so I never run without neck support. I use a gaiter (like what bikers use) but I put it on like a hood, and then wear a cap over it. It supports my chin and the sides of my face and yes it looks ridiculous or like I'm wearing a hijab (I'm Irish!) but I'm protecting my investment! I highly recommend Dr. Hopping!

I have an inherited saggy neck that became...

I have an inherited saggy neck that became pronounced when I neared the 50-years-old mark, and I believe this was exacerbated by my daily runs. I looked so old that people on the bus would give me their seat on a frequent basis, really depressing for someone as healthy and fit as I am. I chose Dr. Hopping after a work colleague confided that she went through it over a Christmas break that year, and she looked and said she felt amazing, recovery was a breeze she said. Recovery for me was fraught with uncertainty: would the tightness at my neck be there forever? Would I ever regain feeling in the sides of my face. Two years on, I can assure everyone that, yes, these problems go away completely after about three months. And the results are quite amazing. Unlike the reputation for facelifts that they make your face look "fake" or "a little weird", mine is not in the least bit noticeable; I just look like the younger me.

Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Hopping has a really wonderful manner, soothing and upbeat. The procedure was done right in his office surgery room, and they set me up with an overnight nurse for the first night (extra fee of course). I underestimated the trauma that recovery involved, which is the only thing I could say that is even slightly negative about Dr. Hopping. I am a deep worrier and I think he was surprised at my fearfulness during the several months until full recovery without symptoms of tightness and numbness. I need not have worried, everything settled down beautifully, but make sure you know before you go that the healing process can be slow even if you're very fit. He did a wonderful job, I look at least ten years younger. His procedure completely avoided any unnatural outcomes that are sometimes associated with facelifts. I just look fresher, more energetic and in turn I feel that way. I recommend Dr. Hopping with great enthusiasm.

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
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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