It has been 8 months since my face and neck lift. There are many aspects of this journey that I was not ready for and many that I was…
I am still numb along the sides of my cheek area, and at times still feel pulling around my neck. This is quite common. To my dismay, my neck is not as tight as I had hoped, there is residual laxity. This can happen. The neck is the most difficult area to treat and one of the most common areas of complaints. There is fine line between too tight and not tight enough. Achieving a natural look is the goal of every facelift. Sometimes, the surgeon pulls as much as he can during the surgery, only to find that as the patient heals, he/she, has not pulled tight enough. There is no way to predict this. When this occurs, you either have to live with it, or have revision surgery. I have chosen a revision after my year mark… Sounds like another blog topic . 🙂
Here are some things that I would like to share:
- Do your research. Ask lots of questions. How many procedures has this surgeon done? What is his/her revision rate? Read about the medical procedure, familiarize yourself with the medical terminology and the various techniques used in facelift surgery. Understand what your surgeon will be doing; the expected results and what the policy is if you are displeased with your results. If you are not clear, ASK questions until you are comfortable with the surgery, your surgeon and your decision.
- View Before and After photos of current patients. Ask to speak to a couple of them before you make your decision. Do not rely on here -say or pictures alone.. Try meeting in person with the patients before you make a final decision.
- If you choose a surgeon out-of-town, prepare for a different post-surgery experience than you would have had from a local surgeon. Your local surgeon will schedule more post-op visits. Ask the surgeon, if he is out-of-town how he handles his post-op patients. Know this in advance, so you are not disappointed or angry with your surgeon, post-op.
- Expect to take more time off than your surgeon suggests especially if you are over 50 years old. Although you think you are in excellent health you are not 35. Your body takes longer to heal, it may take 4 – 6 weeks before you really feel yourself.
- If you are staying out-of-town, hire a nurse for the first 48 hours, unless you have a friend or family member who is calm about how you are going to look, right after surgery. It is worth the extra money and will give you peace of mind.
- Ask your surgeon to please not change your ear lobes, unless you want them changed.. If they do after surgery, make sure that your surgeon is aware of this and will fix it for no charge. Your ears are swollen- no earrings for awhile.
- Take care of your skin pre-surgery. Use the right combination of anti-aging and brightening ingredients so you will look radiant after surgery. Have a chemical peel if you need to rid of brown spots. Another option is to combine laser resurfacing with your facelift . You are spending all this money on your facelift, your skin should reflect your refreshed look.
- Try not obsess about how you look right after your surgery. Healing takes time and everyone heals differently. If you look into the mirror everyday and question every little flaw on your face or neck, you will drive yourself and your family crazy. Give yourself time. You will see your face evolve and one side may evolve differently. Be patient. Don’t freak out if you are not looking like you expected at first.
- Discuss any issues of concerns with your surgeon. You are NOT being a pest. You only have one face and you paid good money for your facelift. If you are not getting the response you need, be persistent. Go to his office and wait if you have to. A good surgeon will be concerned about your concerns and will address them.
- Don’t be surprised if you feel depressed after surgery. This is something that many surgeons do not discuss with their patients and they should. It is normal to feel this way and for some this feeling persists for many months. Seek help. Talk about it with others.
- Sharp pains after surgery is a normal healing process. The nerves are re-generating. Don’t be scared. You may also experience itching.
- As the healing process progresses, you may see things that you do not like. Sometimes they resolve. Give it time. wait until 6 months before you share your concerns with your surgeon.
- Having a facelift does not mean you will never have to use fillers again. NOT TRUE! If you are having a facelift plus fat transfer then you will probably not have to use fillers. If you only had a facelift and you are middle age, chances are that you will still need fillers. A facelift will not address volume. The lines around your mouth will not change with a facelift. You may need fillers there or laser treatments.
- You will remain numb for a long time.. not to worry. The feeling will come back. If you have any concerns about this ask your surgeon.
- This is a huge decision. Know what you are getting into. Prepare yourself and your family.
- Costs vary depending on where you live and who is doing your surgery. Facelifts can start at $10,000 and go over $20,000+ including OR, anesthesiologist, Nurse, Hospital and pre-op tests.
Some surgeons are willing to discount procedures, due to the economy. I predict that as the economy improves these discounts will diminish.
I would love to hear your Facelift or cosmetic surgery experiences or any tips that you would like to share.
Thank yoou for sharing
I wish I had not had a neck lift. After 10 weeks, the tightness across my throat is still almost too much to bear, and my face looks oddly too thin. I would give anything to go back in time and have my old face back. It was not a good decision. I deeply regret it. Don’t believe the false information that healing only takes a few weeks. That simply is not true. If you make this bad decision, you can expect many months of suffering. And most likely, your surgeon will avoid talking to you when you ask for help recovering.
The tightness in your neck is very common. It does go away but may not go away completely. It’s been 10 years since my FL and I still experience a tightening feeling every so often. Having said this it is also the surgeon’s skill affects your outcome as well as how your body heals. Your face will continue to heal and change over the next several months. Unfortunately, many surgeons today do not prepare their patients enough and some practices have very poor follow-up. Be proactive and talk to your surgeon about your concerns. You are his patient for life and he needs to be there for you throughout your recovery. I tell it like it is to my plastic surgery clients and prepare them throughout their journey sometimes filling in huge gaps of communication between practices and patients.
You may also feel sharp little pain near your ears, your nerves are regenerating. If you feel too tight, it will loosen up after a while. Hopefully once that happens you will be happy with the outcome. Your FL may last longer than many facelifts today because it’s tight. Keep in mind that a facelift alone does not increase any depleted volume due to aging. Many surgeons preform fat grafting at the same time as a FL. Good Luck. Best, Michele
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Improving ones self is a natural desire of every individual. The need to look better is a subconscious longing to boost self esteem and changing the way you look will always have an effect on how you feel about your body and yourself. And this is where cosmetic surgery goes in, they answer the basic “needs” for some to look beautiful in the outside.
Great tips for anyone seeking cosmetic surgery of ay kind! I especially like you mentioning tips for someone who is traveling out of town for surgery. Ladies (and gents!), this is NOT going to be your “budget vacation”! Put yourself in the best hands before, during ,and especially after your procedure.
I also think that it is really important for your surgeon and his staff to talk to you about how
you will “feel” after plastic surgery. I’m not just talking about physically either!
Really helpful list for your readers !
Thanks KR for your comments. Such an important point.. how you will “feel” after your surgery. I think this is a neglected area, and show be addressed.