Friday, July 16, 2021

Face Lift - 9 months post-op

I am so sorry that it has taken me FIVE months to post an update. I had some medical issues requiring surgery and so I had to reschedule my 6-month post op visit with my surgeon until last month. Then I kept forgetting to take new photos! I'm healthy and healed up now, though, so that is all that matters! 

Dr. Hall and I are VERY happy with my results. When I saw him a month ago, I still had some loose skin under my chin, but that laxity has made some major improvement over the last four weeks and looks really good. When you read that it takes A FULL YEAR to see results from a face/neck lift, they aren't lying! I still have 3 more months to go and Dr. Hall told me that he expects to see even more improvement by then. 

Today, I am in the red top with my hair pulled back for my 9 month post-op photos. The others with my hair down are from 5 months ago. Here we go! The first photo is comparing my BEFORE with my current photo. What a difference ... I look so much more refreshed and I am in love with my pretty neck and chin line!


 


There isn't much of a noticeable difference in this comparison photo.



I can see that my jowls are less noticeable in this comparison, so the chin line has a smoother appearance.



My current profile is a bit less "bumpy" under my chin.



Maybe a little less swelling under the chin in this comparison.



The scars in front of my ears have healed really well and are less noticeable than 5 months ago.



Not much change in the scar in front of this ear.


My neck area is all smooth with no lumps or discoloration. I truly thought that those lumps would be there FOREVER, but they did go away without any intervention from Dr. Hall.


Here I am all smiley and happy because my result is so natural! I will do a final comparison post once I have my set of photos from Dr. Hall. His office staff takes pictures of me every time I go there so there are LOTS of photos as I am still have Nanolaser skin treatments and Jeuveau (Botox) between my eyebrows. These are two treatments that I will not give up after this year.  

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Face Lift - 4 month post-op

Time for another update on my face/neck lift as it has been four months since my surgery. Not much has happened in the last month. I did have a second BBL and NanoLaser treatment a few weeks ago. My skin definitely looks better! I am still dealing with the ups and downs of swelling under my chin and I do have a couple of areas of loose skin that seem to come and go with the swelling, too. I've determined that what I eat does affect my face swelling so I'm working on eliminating those items. Part of me thinks that more skin and/or muscle could have been lifted during the surgery so that I wouldn't be dealing with extra skin, but I'll discuss that with my surgeon at my 6-month post op visit in April. Most of my previously numb areas have some feeling now. I have to be careful washing my face and applying skin care or foundation as moving my skin a certain way is still uncomfortable. There must be some sort of healing going on in those areas.

Now, let's review my current pictures! My phone takes VERY different pictures when taking them by looking into a mirror vs a selfie (top). The width of my face is actually somewhere in between! LOL

 

 

These pictures show how my scars look, both in front of and behind my ears. The redness has really disappeared this month, and I expect it to continue to lighten over the next few months as well. 
You can also see my profile which looks so much better without my excess chin!

 

 

 

And now we have a bunch of comparison photos. These are 
Nov 2 vs Feb 2, so three months apart.
(Above) I can see that there is a bit less swelling under my chin.
(Above) It's hard to see much in this comparison, but I have had Jeuveau for the lines between my eyebrows (also know as "the 11s") in the right photo.
The current photo is on the left and my chin & cheek area look thinner. Both are selfies.

Finally, a Before & After comparison: The lines on either side of my lips are better and my cheeks have been lifted a bit. Obviously, my neck and chin area are way better! And, no frown look between my eyebrows. I still have a bit of "jowls" on either side of my chin, so I do think more could have been lifted, but there is definite improvement in my neck and chin. Overall, I'm probably 90% happy with my results. I'll update again after my April 6-month post-op with my surgeon!










Friday, January 1, 2021

Facial Laser Treatment - BBL and NanoLaser by Sciton

One of my self-care goals for 2021 is to establish a good skin care routine and get some laser treatments for my skin to get rid of some redness and "older" skin. In November, my plastic surgeon had a special day where he was discounting services offered at his office. I ended up buying a package that would have me receiving regular facial treatments in 2021 so that I could establish a good baseline for my skin. After that, I'll just have to receive these same laser treatments every 6-12 to maintain my baseline.

I am choosing to have two different Sciton laser treatments. Neither of these treat the surface skin directly, but use heat and light therapies to go deeper to where problems can start. I started both of these treatments about two weeks ago. 

The first one is called BBL (broadband light) therapy. "BBL treats a wide variety of conditions. For skin rejuvenation, Forever Young BBL removes age spots, freckles, redness, small vessels and more. Forever Young BBL can alsobe used to reduce unwanted hair and control active acne. All areas of the body can be treated."  I wanted to remove redness, small blood vessels and darker spots. The treatment didn't take long. Side effects include initial redness and swelling. The redness went away in about two hours. The swelling decreased more and more each day with all swelling gone in a week. I had my treatment on Thursday and was still a bit swollen on Monday. I am having two treatments, one month apart. My 2nd treatment is mid-January and then I'm done with BBL for a year. My doctor has offered free BBL to treat the redness in my neck so I may have a 3rd treatment, if needed.

The second treatment I am having is called NanoLaser. "It uses light energy to instantly remove the top layers of the skin at a depth that also accelerates the skin’s own renewal process by activating special messenger cells. Microdermabrasion and chemical peels often don’t get deep enough and other lasers leave a layer of heat-damaged cells that interrupt the ability of these messenger cells to communicate with deeper layers of skin. Only the NanoLaserPeel from Sciton has the precision to work at just the right depth, creating beautifully smooth, luminous skin." This is not a chemical peel or dermabrasion, so there is no change to the surface of the skin. Only real side effect is some peeling. 


BEFORE TREATMENT - no makeup or filters 


AFTER TREATMENT - 1 hour


AFTER TREATMENT - This is about 2 hours after and you can see the redness is disappearing

The BBL treatment was uncomfortable for me. Numbing cream is not generally used with this treatment, but I do believe it should be offered. I am going to ask my esthetician if she will use it for the next treatment. (I've had SkinPen microneedling and Excel-V and it felt similar to both.) Each zap feels really hot and like a rubber band snapping your skin HARD. Cheryl made up to three passes on each area (only 2 on my nose and chin as she said they looked pretty good) with each one getting more intense. She was great though and told me what she was doing every step of the way and let me take a breather if it was getting too intense. This treatment only took about 30 minutes. She was supposed to do my neck where I still have redness from blood that has not been absorbed by my body, but I think I'm still too sensitive there, so we will try again in a month and I am to take Advil prior to getting there. The BBL causes swelling for a few days. I am to take 800mg Advil every 8 hours until swelling subsides and sleep elevated for a night or two. I really want to do the BBL treatment on my sun damaged chest, but my skin is VERY sensitive and I'm not sure I can do it. If I choose to do it, she recommends late summer when the skin is at its reddest so that she knows where to aim the BBL.

The NanoLaser has 3 settings - microdermabrasion, light chemical peel and deep chemical peel. Because my face was already hurting from the BBL, I chose the lightest setting. I will go deeper over time. The Nano takes off the top layer of skin. I had some light peeling for a few days around my mouth/nose and near my eyes. I expect there will be more peeling the deeper that I go. It didn't really hurt. I could feel it, but she hands you this hose which blows cold air and you aim it at your face as she's lasering it - it really helps lessen the heat! It only took about 10 minutes for this treatment.

After both treatments, she put EltaMD Laser Balm all over my face and gave me samples to take home. I am to keep it covered for 24 hours. It is basically Vaseline. I cannot wear a facial mask (Covid) for 48 hours, so I need to keep that in mind for future appointments. The mask will irritate the skin. I felt like I had a bad sunburn for the first hour or so after the treatment finished. Two hours after and it just felt tight due to the swelling.



DAY 1 - This is the day after and you can see the dark spots that were treated. Hard to describe, but the dark spots came to the surface and flaked off! No more spots!

I am waiting to take some before/after comparison shots once I've had multiple treatments. One thing that I did notice is that the BBL helped lighten the dark spots under my eyes. When I put on makeup, my skin is so smooth that it goes on easier. I plan to have the microdermabrasion level done again in January. After that, I'll go deeper with each treatment, probably two at the light peel and the final two at the deep peel level. My esthetician thought this was a good plan since I do have 6 treatments to do.


Face Lift - 3 months post-op

I can't believe that it's been three months since my surgery. The swelling is pretty much gone, but it does come and go - often in the same day! All of my incisions are looking good and the redness is pretty much gone. The skin is still sensitive and numb in areas and I can't "scrub" my face, moving skin up/down or side-to-side as that hurts. I wash my face gently and pat the skin dry. Here are some updated pictures with descriptions.

Had to get my license done with our new address and was surprised to see my new neck appear in the photo!! These pictures were taken two years apart and I am the same weight in both pictures.


This was my goal photo - high school senior picture
I think we came close. I still have some extra skin on the sides of my chin, but some things do have to change after 35 years, right? LOL!


These are close-ups of the extra skin on each side of my chin. My doctor will assess this issue at my 6-month follow up in April. Honestly, I'm not sure that I'll do anything about it because it's more a factor of how my bone structure slants up and not back.  I am leaning towards having a revision in 10 years when things have "fallen" again, so don't want to have too much surgery in the same area. I have also found, since taking these photos, that if I'm eating "bad" (lots of sugar, dairy, or gluten), my face and abdomen swell. So, my food sensitivities are playing a part in my swelling.

 

The photos below show how the swelling under my chin comes and goes during the day.  I am usually more swollen in the morning (top) and it dissipates as the day goes on (bottom). This is one reason that I'm willing to believe that, by my 6-month follow up,  this issue may have resolved itself and I won't be swollen anymore. 

 

So, all in all, still extremely happy with the results. I'll post again in April after my 6-month follow up for sure. Until then, I'll be sharing my experience having facial laser treatments and Jeuveau (like Botox) in separate posts. My goal for 2021 is to get my skin in tip-top shape!