The following post is PART 5 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
*Click here to Read Part 3 – Week One of the Healing Process after Face Lift
*Click here to Read Part 4 – Unstitched at Last! Weeks 2-3
I am very happy that I still look like ME—only better! I estimate that my appearance has been improved to how I recall my face looking at age 50. I am 63 now. I believe I appear more rested, more relaxed, less tense and angry. More…and Less!
My facelift has been both More… and Less than expected. My expectations were modest. I expected to get an improvement in my facial appearance, but I also was somewhat apprehensive about “overcorrection”. We have all seen the photos of overly tightened skin of celebrities that completely changed their appearance. This is what I mean when I say “less”—for my facelift, I hoped for a Less is More result.
Day 30 After Face lift in Mexico
First, let me tell you my experience at 30 days. This is a side-by-side photo which shows my pre-op face and my face at Day 30. Swelling is gone. The neck remains very tight and I am aware of constant neck discomfort. However, the low level headache and accompanying muscular tension is manageable with Tylenol. The eyes feel “too open” and I have some dryness; again, this is manageable with artificial tears and naps. The brow and scalp areas are numb. Sometimes I “explore” my head and it feels like rapping on a cantaloupe, producing an odd echo. These sensations are all known as parasthesias and are a normal consequence of disturbing the nerves serving the skin. There is a slight asymmetry in the area underneath my chin, but I realize it is too early to be concerned to the point of complaint or action. The face needs at least 6 months to settle.
As a result of my surgery, I became very interested in learning about the healing process after a facelift. An interesting fact that I discovered was that healing was framed in several different contexts by doctors. It was approached more from a “when will I look (socially) normal” than from “when will my face feel normal?” The answers to these questions are quite different and the feeling aspect to recovery is much more complex and variable.
I opted not to blog at Day 60 since I noted very small changes.
Day 90 After Face lift in Mexico
Here is some candid, non-close up photos at Day 90. I was on a cruise with 4 girlfriends; all of them up to 8 years younger than I. They lamented that the oldest among us would look the youngest. That was to some degree true, upon close observation of faces. No one is as aware as I am at this time with facial condition! I found myself mentally mapping out how elements of facelifts would look on each of my girlfriends. Mostly, I had a blast on the cruise and made sure I stayed well-hydrated.
Around Day 90 I noted that “stuff was happening’” on my scalp as a result of the brow lift. The brow lift involved a large muscle and skin repositioning and many nerves were disrupted. Up until this time, I simply had altered sensation, similar to running your hand over a healing incision. Now, I am having a sensation of prickly movement. It is not quite an itch, but similar and my impulse is to scratch. But, scratching is not satisfying. It is a pseudo-itch that is not relieved by scratching or rubbing. The good news is that it is a healing sensation; typically low intensity and intermittent and, most of the time, not noticeable.
By Day 90, my eyes feel and look much more normal and I can feel a gradual lessening of the neck tightness, though it is still noticeable and there is still some ridge-y, cord-y feeling right under the chin. The neck has smoothed out significantly in the last month.
Day 120 After Face lift in Mexico
At Day 120, I am feeling pretty good about my facelift. Here is a side-by-side of my Pre-op face and a current close-up under the same conditions i.e. camera, lighting, room etc. Note that I attempted to assume a neutral expression on both photos. I think the difference is astonishing!
The neck tightness continues to diminish and I would rate it a “3” on an Annoyance Scale (like an ant bite that won’t stop itching). The neck muscle is still softening and the tightness greatly relaxed. The scalp creepy crawly feeling is still there. I understand from my research that it will remain for many months and gradually diminish as nerves regenerate and restore normal sensation.
As you might recall if you have followed the Blog, I told no one at my home in Florida about my facelift. When I returned and saw all my friends after a 4 month absence, I knew that the positive comments I was getting were attributable to the facelift. The comments were mostly a variation of: “Travel/Vacation/Cruising/California (fill in the blank) must really agree with you; you are looking great!”
I am very happy that I still look like ME—only better. I estimate that my appearance has been improved to how I recall my face looking at age 50. I am 63 now. I believe I appear more rested, more relaxed, less tense and angry. More…and Less!
This will not be my final post. I sent an email to CosMed a couple days ago inquiring about skin resurfacing. I got a phone call from Dr. Quiroz this morning, and he was kind enough to explain personally that he would like me to consult with his associate in dermal matters, Dr. de la Fuente. This will be Part II of my Facelift since a facelift cannot correct deep lines and certain wrinkles.
Heck, I might even have a wee bit of filler in my kisser!