The following post is PART 3 in a series of blog posts by Sue Teague, a Retired RN and plastic surgery patient who had a brow lift, lower eyelid lift, neck lift & face lift at CosMed Plastic Surgery Center in Mexico.
*Click here to Read Part 1 – How I selected my plastic surgeon
*Click here to Read Part 2 – What to Expect the First Days after a Face Lift
Common Sense, Consultation and Self-Care
Week ONE after my Face Lift in Mexico
Pity the people who are subjected to the sight of my mug! One week post-surgery and I am not yet ready to go out in public. Thank goodness for reality TV and my dog who loves me no matter how I look! Normally, I am moderately active but I am aware of being a little “off my feed”. I am still taking my pain meds “as needed” for an afternoon headache due to uncomfortable skin and muscle tightness which gives me a good excuse for a short afternoon nap.
Dr. Quiroz had previously instructed me to “consult” on Day 7, so I emailed a set of digital photos showing the progress of the facelift healing. My sister helped me take close-up views of my incisions and the sutures inside the hairline (if you have the brow lift), in front of both ears, behind each ear and the nape sutures (with the neck lift).
The skin behind one ear is slightly reddened and mildly tender. I boosted the oral antibiotics with a dab of topical antibiotic cream. It is on a “watch” for progression; it is far better to aggressively treat an infection in the early stage than wait.
Nursie Alert: infections come from contact with hands so keep your hands clean and away from incisions.
Incisions continued to drain necessitating frequent washing. Wedge a Kleenex behind the ears to dry. The skin still feels very tight, waxy and numb. Note that the bruising just below the skin surface is “old bruise” i.e. yellowish and diffuse. My face is very sensitive to pressure. I let shower water run over my head to clean the unhealed sutured areas so there is no need to apply any pressure. Using clean tissue behind the ears to dry the skin prevents hand contact or the possibility of introducing infective stuff from towels/washcloths. This is part of my Nursie Germ Paranoia.
I am still sleeping on my back in the “drainage” position and continuing to “be a robot” turning my head and body together “as one”.
Remember, you will not be at CosMed by this time (probably) and will use common sense and self-care, along with consultation!
Just a week post-surgery and the face is dramatically:
…the “11” (eleven) is gone from between my eyes
… folds are gone from above my upper eyelids
…the deep under eye line is gone. (This was especially prominent in the Virtual Consultation profile photo.)
…the eyes appear to be more open; the “hooded” effects of relaxed skin/muscle at the outside edges has been lifted (blue arrows). (They are still disproportionately widened below due to incomplete healing.)
…the nasolabial folds extending from the lower part of the nose to the bottom of the chin are missing and you can see a slight difference in upturn of the lip and mouth line. The cheeks do not look as flat.
…the pouching/sagging on both sides of the lower chin have disappeared and this improved the shape of the face.
Holy Cow! I can see my “real face” beginning to emerge!
I noted that my gray hair was really showing, due to repeatedly washing the “surgery mousse” out and daily head cleansing. I now need another hair coloring badly but was advised to hold off coloring until much later.
Dr.Quiroz phoned me back after looking at the photos and advised that the sutures around eyes could be removed.
The folks at the Walk-in Clinic for suture removal regarded me as an oddity; I am currently on the north coast of California in a small town and was greeted with everything from “You GO, Girl!” to “I don’t want to seem judgmental but why would you do such a thing (go to Mexico)?” I took the latter comment as “bland curiosity” and took no offense. I am sure this will be an ongoing part of my public drama, as I will need several visits for suture removal in the coming weeks—not to mention social chitchat. One would be wise to prepare ahead for social interactions and have a nice “canned” reply. My reaction is matter-of-fact. I have learned by now that you can seldom change attitudes and what people are really seeking is a validation of their own beliefs about something. Generally, humor gets one over the social hurdle and sometimes the less said, the better!
Did you miss her first posts?
Part 1 – How I selected my plastic surgeon
Part 2 – What to Expect the First Days after a Face Lift