July 10th I had a lower face lift by Dr. Athre. ...
July 10th I had a lower face lift by Dr. Athre. My case was particularly difficult due to a birth deformity on my chin and neck, numerous radiation treatments as a baby, previous surgeries from age 5 onward, some poor work by another surgeon, and of course aging (I'm 63.)
I'm 20 days from the surgery and you would never know I'd had surgery - except I look better! The first few days were uncomfortable and I was swollen but I was optimistic with what I saw. I didn't need much pain medication, and none after the third day. I did take the arnica supplements and used the arnica salve as recommended. I've used arnica salve on bruises for years and find it heals them quickly. I gently massaged it on my bruises a couple times a day - felt good and I know the bruises faded quicker. I still use it to gently massage the whole area including the scars.
Two weeks out I looked like I'd been in a fight, bruising around edges of face, below ears, under chin and front neck - even two black eyes! I did take the arnica supplements and used the arnica salve as recommended by the doctor. I've used arnica salve on bruises for years and find it heals them quickly. I gently massaged it on my bruises a few times a day - felt good and I know the bruises faded quicker. I still use it to gently massage the whole area including the scars. Some bruising - compared to the neck I had - seemed like an improvement - ha ha!
As it came time to remove the stitches, pain near the lower ear was becoming quite uncomfortable. But as soon as the stitches came out it lessened immediately. I am a side sleeper and so sleeping was a little tricky at first.
One more thing, Dr. Athre's skill in placing the incisions where and how he does surpasses any plastic surgeon I've experienced before. Three weeks out and they are almost invisible and getting smoother and flatter every day. Also I can now easily insert my earrings. I used to struggle so much to find the hole and get the stem in straight. Now I can do it without a mirror. A nice and unexpected bonus!
Had my hair done yesterday and my stylist didn't even notice the scars when she washed my hair - and I've been going to her for 8 years! She didn't know I'd had the surgery and just said I looked "happy and rested" after my vacation. Yes!!!
I am quite happy with the results to date.
Two months post-surgery - still wonderful!
It's been almost two months since my surgery and I am still quite happy with Dr. Athre's work and skill. I have a little numbness in front of my ears but it continues to lessen. The left side sometimes is itchy which is normal indication of further healing.
Recently I've noticed that my left cheek bone has become somewhat more defined so it better matches the right cheek bone. I think this definition helps give the appearance of more symmetry. Although my face will always be assymetrical - and if you notice, most everyone's is - this has been another pleasant surprise and another example of Dr. Athre's artistic and surgical skills. The neck lift brought the neck scarring up under my chin so it is much less noticeable.
The scars around my ears are now flat and no longer red. There is one little skin node on the left side behind my ear but is not noticeable under my hair. I know from experiencing these in previous surgeries that massage will flatten it out and each week I notice it is becoming smoother. I still use arnica gel to massage the scars and find its consistency and glide factor over the skin, using a very small amount, further helps.
So, to date I am still thrilled with my experience with Dr. Athre. I forgot to mention before that his office staff always responds quickly to any questions or concerns I have and Sandy, patient coordinator, is always a wealth of information and very positive.
My case, as Dr. Athre has said, was very challenging and these areas really cannot take more surgeries due to the previous radiation and surgeries. Anyone undergoing plastic surgery must be patient, you will not look like you did before. It takes some time to adjust to seeing yourself with your new face. Hopefully it is a subtle difference; improvement but not perfection. Except for one surgeon I used whose skills were not impressive, even though his credentials were, all my procedures were the standard at the time I had them done. Plastic surgery has come a long way over the past 50-some years.
Because he studied my face, spent time with me and really put a great deal of thought, artistic and surgical ability into his work, not to mention experience, I would not hesitate in the least in recommending him to anyone considering facial plastic surgery.