I Was 52 Years Old When I had My Facelift
I am currently 55 years old. I was 52 years old when I decided to have facelift surgery. I am a mother of 3 children, who are all grown now. I have 2 grandchildren and I wasn't ready to look like an old hag grandmother yet. At the age of 52, gravity had taken a toll on me. I considered myself to be somewhat attractive in my youth and I was finding it difficult to accept the realities of aging as I got older. My face shape went from being a nice smooth, happy apple in my youth, to a sad-looking pear with fine lines and excess skin in my old age. Laying on the beach many times in my youth and suffering some sun damage, certainly didn't help either.
About 10 years before I had my facelift surgery, I had a tummy tuck done by Dr. Benson Timmons of Piedmont Plastic Surgery. I was happy with the results of my tummy tuck, so I decided he would be a good plastic surgeon to see for my facelift surgery. I had actually planned on visiting him a year earlier than I did, but I wasn't exactly 'excited' to have another surgical procedure. Before my tummy tuck, I had never had surgery and I had hoped I wouldn't need it again in my life.
When I met with Dr. Timmons, he went over the best strategy for me to wind back my facial aging clock. He told me I was a good candidate for a neck lift, lower facelift, mid facelift and lower eyelid surgery (lower blepharoplasty). The neck lift would help with the bands and loose skin on my neck, the lower facelift would shape my jawline and the mid facelift would restore the youthful look of my cheeks and the area below my eyes. The lower eyelid surgery would eliminate the bags beneath my lower eyelids. I don't remember the exact price I was quoted, but all-in it was around $26,000 and this included the surgeon's fee, general anesthesia and the pre and post-op appointments. It wasn't a cheap procedure, but I had amassed a little bit of wealth after many years of working as an attorney.
Before my surgery, I had a pre-op checkup with my internist to make sure I was clear for surgery. Happily, my doctor didn't find anything wrong with me.
Out of my 3 children, I only told 1 about my surgery. The other 2 are hypochondriacs and I didn't want to worry them. My daughter, the child I told, volunteered to take care of me the week of my surgery.
The day of my surgery I arrived at Dr. Timmons surgical center at 7 am. Dr. Timmons had told me since I was in good health, didn't have any previous medical conditions and was not overweight, I could have the procedure at his surgical center and not a hospital. I was happy about this, because there's something about the look of a hospital that just automatically makes me feel a little depressed. I was quite anxious and was given a Xanax to calm my nerves down. It certainly helped, because I was so relaxed after I took it.
The procedure itself didn't start off any different than my tummy tuck. I changed into a gown, was hooked up to some monitors (heart monitor, which tracked blood pressure, heart rate and pulse), Dr. Timmons came in and spoke with me, and then it was off to surgery. I was quickly put under anesthesia and I don't remember a single thing after that.
3.5 hours I woke up and to my surprise, I was not in much pain. I think this is because they inject a local anesthesia/painkiller (fentanyl) into your face during surgery. I was all bandaged up though (see photo I've attached). I looked like I was in a bad car accident and went through the windshield. I was also gladly surprised to find out that I didn't have any drainage tubes attached to my bandages.
Not long after my procedure, I was allowed to go home. My daughter chauffeured me home and stayed with my for a whole week.
When I got home, I was exhausted. I slept until early the following morning.
The first day after surgery I did experience a bit more pain. I was given oxycontin for my pain and I took it every few hours. It helped a lot. I also began to have more swelling and bruising. My body was clearly healing from the dramatic events of the previous day. I knew going into surgery that having the underlying muscles of your face cut and sutured was going to leave me looking pretty beaten up. I just had a big surgery and knew my recovery time was going to differ quite a bit from the chemical peels I've had in the past - :).
I also experienced some nausea, but had anti-nausea medication to help with that. And I needed to take Keflex, to prevent any infections from developing.
On day 2 of my recovery, I went back to Dr. Timmons. He removed the massive amount of gauze I had around my head and replaced it with what looked like an ace bandage. The ace bandage made me look less mummy-like. Dr. Timmons told me my recovery was going as expected and I could already tell my neck looked much smoother. The bands on my neck seemed to already be gone. My eyes were very swollen and bruised and I had some pain at the back of my neck. Nothing severe though.
After around a week of healing, I started to feel much more like my old self. I looked good enough to go outside and could put makeup on to hide any bruising I had. Most of the red and purple color bruising had gone away and I had lots of yellow bruising remaining. I could now tell my sagging neck was completely gone, my jawline was more defined and my eyes didn't look so tired anymore. I lost some weight too, because I was only able to eat yogurt. I also want to say that my mouth and words weren't coordinated after surgery. My mouth would move at a different rate than the words coming out of my mouth. This was due to the swelling I had around my mouth and face.
It has now been 3 years since my procedure any I have no complaints or regrets. My face looks rejuvenated and while I don't look 21 again, I didn't want to. I had realistic expectations when I decided to have a facelift procedure and I only wanted to look better for my age, not like I was in my early 20s again. Dr. Timmons is a great cosmetic surgeon and I am completely satisfied with my facelift results. My self-confidence has been restored!