What to expect after a mid face and neck lift?

I'm 57 and gravity hasn't been my friend over the years. I have a lot of saggy skin in my mid face and neck areas, and I recently went to a couple doctors for consultations. Both of the doctors that I saw agreed that a mid face and neck lift would take a few years off my face, but I don't know how I am going to handle everything post-op. Would you describe your recovery as a nightmare? I've read that people overestimate the pain following a surgery, but I wanted to hear it from other patients before I decide to give it a try or not.


F, 59, Ohio

Tags:woman age 55-64 midface neck lift loose skin

So I have had both procedures, I had my neck lift first to help get rid of my loose skin and then after that I had a mid face lift surgery. After having my neck lift I felt like my neck movement was restricted and I didn't feel comfortable eating solid food for about three weeks after my procedure. My recovery time was a little longer than expected because my cosmetic surgeon left a small drainage tube in my mouth to help get rid of excess fluid following the procedure. For my mid face lift my surgeon did a great job concealing my scars along my hairline and with sutures in my mouth that dissolved a few days after the procedure. One thing that you have to get used to after these cosmetic procedures is the swelling and bruising of your face, which last for just over a week after your surgery.

I had the money to do a mid face lift and a neck lift at the same time, so I just got them both done during the same procedure. My skin was really red and tender for the first three days. I couldn't eat solid food for the first week because my neck was so sore. Honestly, after I got over the first week my recovery went a whole lot smoother. The stitches in my mouth dissolved and they actually healed really quickly. I was really paranoid about the scarring so every night before I went to bed I applied anti-scarring creams and ointments to my scars and now I have no visible traces of my surgery. Post-op, my doctor told me to avoid strenuous activity during the recovery process, so I swapped my yoga class for brisk walking and I feel like that helped my swelling go down to make sure I kept my head elevated.

The procedures that you mentioned can take anywhere from 2 to 6 hours. (I've had that vast difference in the time frame quoted across the board at the four different clinics that I visited for consultations.) I think what it comes down to is how "quality" you want the procedure to be. How much attention to detail is your specific procedure going to require? That being said, I've had other minor procedures and I've been under general anesthesia for a couple of hours. It was a walk in the park. Easy peasy. Recovery wasn't too painful. I didn't even use most of the prescribed pain medication. I was up and going in a few days. I was not prepared for the four hours of general anesthesia that was required when I had a traditional facelift. Holy moly. The nausea. The headaches. Generally feeling like I had been hit by a truck. Perhaps it's just because I'm older. It was like recovering from pneumonia. No matter what you tell me about how excited I should be about getting to kick back and binge watch all my favorite tv shows, I'm never going under for that long again. That and the swelling and redness just lasted forever and ever and pushed my tolerance to the brink. I'm happy with the results of the procedure, thank god.

For me, the healing process was just uncomfortable and boring, not really painful. I was initially really worried about the pain because I'm a wimp, but with the pain medications they gave me after my face and neck lift, I barely felt anything at first. It was really boring staying in bed for the first couple days after surgery, but they told me that I needed to avoid physical activity to give myself time to heal. Once I was up and moving around, the biggest pain was just chewing, but I switched to softer foods and that helped to reduce the pain. There was some lingering pain every now and then for about a month, but the worst of the pain was over within about four days.

At 57, the natural course the aging process had taken its toll on my face and neck. I started to see a lot of sagging skin along my neck and mid face. After I spoke with friends and several facial plastic surgeons, I decided that having a neck and mid facelift would be the ideal solution. One of my biggest concerns with plastic surgery is not knowing exactly what the results will look like, even with your surgeons' history of before and after photos.

I was also worried about side effects and if I would be a good candidate for the procedure. With my head full of questions, I spoke with a plastic surgeon and just asked a lot of questions before the procedure. I learned that there was going to be pain and bruising for the first week after the procedure. I took some time off of work to have it done, so I didn't really worry about my appearance during the early recovery period. My swelling started to dramatically decrease after four days. For the first week, I just rested. I had to sleep with my head elevated for a couple of weeks. After the surgery, I took pain medication and kept my face and neck iced. It took about nine months to see the full results. I'm glad that I had the surgery and love the fact that I look years younger.