Facelift Review 2018: Recovery, Side Effects, and Results
Before and afters
I wanted a facelift for the usual reasons. At 64, my neck felt a little loose as a natural part of the aging process, and I was mulling over my options. A friend of mine and I started talking about the possibility of a facelift, and we both decided to explore the option together.
Deciding on Dr. Machida
We found Dr. Brian Machida online and he seemed pretty good, so we decided to go in for a consultation together. Dr. Machida met with us separately, explained the procedure and answered our questions. I liked him right away. He wanted to pray with us, and as a Christian, I responded to that. It made me feel immediately comfortable with him. I feel like that made for a valuable connection and was a big reason why I decided to go with him for my facelift surgery.
Admittedly, I had some reservations about the process. I was worried about how natural it would look. I didn’t want to come away looking like I’d stuck my head outside of a 747. Dr. Machida assured me that it would look natural. He and his nurse both reassured me that he didn’t do that sort of thing. He concentrates more on a neck lift and goes easy on the face, unlike more traditional facelifts.
Of course, I did my homework. I did check out some other plastic surgeons, and even found at least one other that I liked who recommended fillers. But I wanted the facelift, and Dr. Machida’s personality and approach really appealed to me. It didn’t take me long to decide to do it, and I went back in for a second consultation in preparation for the big day.
My Facelift Procedure
A few weeks later, I had the facial plastic surgery. I was given some instructions in preparation for it. I do enjoy a glass of wine every night, and I was told that I needed to cut that out for about two weeks leading up to the procedure. I was also given these pills that were supposed to limit the post-surgical bruising.
I’m not going to lie. The actual surgical procedure was intense. When I went in, they gave me all of these pills that were supposed to help me relax and eliminate the pain. I thought that I might get put under with general anesthesia and was concerned that I wasn’t. But I trusted Dr. Machida.
It was a little unnerving - being awake for the event. I didn’t feel any pain thanks to the local anesthesia, but I did feel a little pulling and movement as Dr. Machida tightened the loose skin and underlying tissues. He also removed some excess fat with liposuction. The procedure lasted for maybe an hour and half with only mild discomfort. Afterwards, I rested for a bit and then my husband took me home.
Recovery and Side-Effects
I was sent home with painkillers, ice packs, and cream for my scars. My face was also thoroughly wrapped with drains in it. I had my first follow-up the next day, but the drains stayed in three days later at my second follow-up.
I was told to wear the wrap all the time and follow certain instructions in regard to cleaning and the like. Dr. Machida was very adamant about this. I ended up wearing the wrap non-stop for a week, after which I could take it off when I went out but had to wear it at home and at night. That continued for about a month. I was also told to limit my sun exposure during this time.
There were definitely side effects. I had some bruising on one side of my chin, although it did go away quicker than I thought it would (possibly because of those pills). There was also some rather uncomfortable swelling, but it was nothing drastic. Honestly, none of the side effects seemed particularly bad considering I had surgery. The healing process was gradual and sometimes challenging, but ultimately smooth and drama free.
It’s only been a couple of months of recovery time since the cosmetic procedure, so I don’t feel 100% back to normal yet. I have some numbness on my face still. However, the scars at the incision sites look great. Everyone tells me that they are healing really well. The scar cream Dr. Machida gave me probably helped a lot, although I didn’t always remember to use it. At this point, I’m almost out of the woods. Every day and every week I feel better.
Overall Results and Advice
After having gone through this whole experience, my one recommendation to prospective facelift patients is to know what you’re getting into. If you aren’t put under for the cosmetic surgery, it can be a little unnerving and not for the squeamish. That being said, I’m so happy with the facelift results - very satisfied with my more youthful appearance now that the excess skin is gone. It was absolutely worth it. Dr. Machida is amazing. He really cares about his patients. He’s willing to answer any questions and put people at ease. Honestly, he’s just a really nice guy and a good cosmetic surgeon.