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  • Carly (member name: diditall) has been on a quest for youth for the last 10 years. At one point, she couldn’t recognize herself in the mirror and wanted to reconnect with her real self.


    Carly Facelift

    See Carly’s Before & After Plastic Surgery Pictures Album.

    After intensive research on the internet and on Make Me Heal‘s website and after consulting with four different plastic surgeons, Carly chose Dr. Louis W. Apostolakis from Austin, TX and, on March 2007 and underwent a number of plastic surgery procedures performed together, namely, Face Lift (Sub SMAS lift), Neck Lift, a full coronal Forehead Lift, upper and lower transcutaneous eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), Naso-labial folds filled in, and a lip augmentation. Although her face lift results are still taking shape and have not fully settled in, she already looks 10-15 years younger than her true age and no one guesses that 50-year old Carly had help from the scalpel.

     

     

    Carly was amazed by how little people know about the immediate recovery process and the way one’s bruised and swollen face looks right after the surgery. By seeing pictures of patients during the recovery on the Make Me Heal’s Plastic Surgery Pictures area of the website, Carly was prepared for the worse. Based on her experience, Carly strongly recommends: “Make sure you have a trusted person to stay with you day and night for at least two or three days. The first two days you’ll only be able to get out of the recliner to use the restroom, and you will need a ride to the doctor on day 2 to have the huge pressure bandages removed. By day 5 you will feel well enough to do whatever you want, but you will tire easily. Expect to look horrible for at least 2 weeks, and don’t expect complete healing for 6 months.”

    Carly used Dr. Louis W. Apostolakis from Austin, TX for her surgeries.

    Make Me Heal: When did you first have the idea to have your procedure(s)?

    10 years ago

    Make Me Heal: What were your motivations behind your decision to have the procedure(s)?

    Carly: I didn’t recognize myself in the mirror anymore. I looked like at someone I was familiar with, but it wasn’t the real me.

    Make Me Heal: How long did it take you to make a decision and was it an easy or difficult one to make?

    Carly: I had been thinking about it for years. Several women in my family had already undergone plastic surgery so it was an easy decision. I just wanted to wait till the right age to do it, because I only wanted to have the surgery one time. I was afraid that if I did it too young, I would want more surgery later.

    Make Me Heal: Did your family, friends, and any other people in your close circle give you support, opposition, or did you make this decision without considering them?

    Carly: I really didn’t consider other people feelings when I made the decision. This was completely my choice and I didn’t feel the need to have anyone support me in it. My husband wasn’t crazy about the idea, but I had been talking about it for so long he was resigned.

    Make Me Heal: How did you research the procedures and come to decide on these particular procedures?

    Carly: I used the internet to do my research and I interviewed 4 different doctors over a two year period before I made up my mind. It was important for me to find a board-certified FACIAL plastic surgeon. I wanted a doctor who only worked on faces. I also decided I wanted the most radical kind of facelift. I did not want to have a minor procedure that would need to be repeated in a few years. I wanted the whole thing taken care of at one time.

    Make Me Heal: Please discuss if you used any of Make Me Heal’s resources.

    Carly: I did use Make Me Heal’s resources. Mostly to find out how I would look during recovery. My doctor was very vague except to say I would look like I had been in a car wreck, very swollen and bruised. After the surgery I realized why he wouldn’t show me any pictures of someone a few days after their operation. I did look horrible and I can imagine that many women upon seeing my pictures would have second thoughts about going through it all. The advice on the forum from others who had the surgery was invaluable.

    Make Me Heal: How did you come to choose your doctor?

    Carly: I chose my doctor through internet research. I consulted with a total of four surgeons over a two year period before making my decision.

    Make Me Heal: Please discuss if you have any role in deciding the type of technique used for your surgery by the doctor.

    Carly: I chose the surgeon based on his technique. Some surgeons just don’t like to do the 8 hour facelift. I had one doctor try to talk me into a threadlift on the forehead and a mini facelift, but that wasn’t what I was looking for. Dr. Apostolakis specializes in the type of surgery I wanted. I was able to choose the anesthesia type – local w/ sedation. I could have chosen general anesthesia, but that would have required a hospital stay.

    Make Me Heal: How did you prepare for the surgery?

    Carly: My doctor provided a little kit with all the home preparations I required. I did run out of cotton swabs, but the kit furnished plenty of everything else including prescription sedatives, anti-nausea medication, and antibiotics. I was off work a total of 12 days. I returned to work with some swelling and bruising. I didn’t try to keep the surgery a secret. My home has a small video game room that I set up to be my recovery room. Thanks to advice from Make Me Heal, I made sure I had everything I needed within arms reach of my recliner (I was instructed to sleep inclined for 6 weeks after surgery). My necessary items included the phone, tv remote, books, medications, after surgery wound care supplies (eye drops, antibiotic ointment, hydrogen peroxide, cotton swabs), lip balm, water pitcher and glass, and mirror. My husband dropped me off at the Dr.’s office the morning of surgery. The operation lasted almost 8 hours, and the sedation took 2 more hours to wear off enough for my husband to pick me up and take me home. I looked like a mummy all wrapped up. My husband took off work the following day so that he could care for me and take me to the Dr. to have the big pressure bandages removed.

    Make Me Heal: How were you feeling the night before the surgery and on the moments before the surgery itself?

    Carly: I was a little nervous and excited. I had complete confidence in Dr.Apostolakis because of all the research I had done before. Nevertheless I understood that this surgery had real serious risks and I was worried. I did pray that God would guide the hands and minds of the Dr. and his staff. Also, the doctor had provided sedatives for me to take the night before and the morning of surgery. That helped a lot. The nurses were very friendly and reassuring.

    Make Me Heal: How was the recovery process?

    Carly: As of today, 13 weeks after the surgery I am still recovering. My face looks beautiful and at least 15 years younger. The scars are still a little reddened, and there is still some numbness around the incision areas. My right eyebrow was completey paralyzed until about 2 weeks ago when I was able to make it move a llittle. Dr. Apostolakis assures me that it will “wake up” completely within 6 months. He offered to use botox to paralyze the other eyebrow so they would match, but I said no. I want to have SOME expression on my forehead. LOL. I was warned that it would take a full 6 months to completely heal.

    Make Me Heal: Please discuss what side effects you experienced?

    Carly: The only side effects have been the paralysis of the right eyebrow (which is slowly getting better) and the numbness.

    Make Me Heal: What were the worse parts of the recovery?

    Carly: The worst part of recovery was how tired I felt. It took a full month for me to get all my strength back. And of course, I looked absolutely terrible. It didn’t keep me from going out when necessary. When people stared I just said, “This is what an air bag can do to your face.” No incisions were visible – I just was very very swollen and very very bruised.

    Make Me Heal: Did anyone help you during the recovery?

    Carly: My husband and daughter waited on me hand-and-foot the night after surgery and the following day. I was not able to eat solid food because my mouth wouldn’t open wide enough due to the swelling from the lip implants. I drank milkshakes from the neighborhood drive-in for 4 days. After that I was able to eat tiny little pieces of food.

    Make Me Heal: Please discuss the pain or discomfort you experienced during the recovery?

    Carly: I never really experienced pain and didn’t even use the prescription pain medicine. I did suffer extreme discomfort – first from the tightness of the bandages, then from the tightness of the swelling. My whole face was completely numb for weeks (there is still some numbness). The only place on my face that was not numb or swollen was my nose. I have had other types of surgery (not cosmetic) and the recovery from those was very painful. This was not.

    Make Me Heal: How well prepared were you for the recovery from physical, emotional, and mental respects?

    Carly: I was fully prepared for all aspects of the recovery because of the research I did online.

    Make Me Heal: What are your top recovery tips to other patients?

    Carly: Find out from your doctor what products you will need to have at home for wound care. Set up your recovery room in advance and make sure all your necessary items are within arms reach. Don’t try to sleep in bed. A recliner is perfect. Your back won’t ache, and it will help with swelling. Make sure you have a pillow and blanket. I even covered my recliner with a sheet first.

    Make Me Heal: How long did you take off from work?

    Carly: I was off from work for 12 days total, including 2 weekends. That was all the vacation time I had left. I returned to work swollen and bruised. There was no way I could hide what I’d done. If I had been able to take off work for 2 months, I might have been able to keep it a secret. I look so dramatically younger now though, I doubt it.

    Make Me Heal: What did you tell your co-workers about taking this time off?

    Carly: Before the surgery I told them that I was having surgery to remove an osteoma on my forehead. This was true. As part of the forehead lift, the doctor did remove a small osteoma that was visible near my hairline.

    Make Me Heal: Did anyone notice your cosmetic procedures at work and what did you tell them if they asked about it?

    Carly: The surgery was definitely noticeable and most of my coworkers were against that I had had such major surgery on my face. I have worked with these people for over five years now, so they weren’t really surprised that I did it, just surprised at the extent of the surgery.

    Make Me Heal: How happy are you with the results?

    Carly: I am very happy with the results.

    Make Me Heal: How has your makeover impacted your life from personal, social, career, and other respects?

    Carly: I did not expect a great impact in any of these areas and there hasn’t really been one. The thing most impacted was what I wanted – how I looked to myself in the mirror. I wanted to see myself on the outside the way I feel on the inside. The surgery accomplished that for me.

    Make Me Heal: Would you have done anything differently if you had the chance?

    Carly: I would have liked to be off work longer. Other than that, I think I did everything right.

    Make Me Heal: What is your final word of advice to other people considering the procedures you had?

    Carly: Make sure you have realistic expectations. Don’t expect that surgery will make you more popular or more loved. It can however give you a little self-confidence boost. When you know you look good, you project that in your behavior and attitude. Never try to find a bargain when interviewing surgeons – always get the best money will buy. Make sure the doctor is board certified in his specialty. Ask for referrals from your family doctor or OB/GYN, or eye doctor. One thing I did ask the surgeons was who in town they would pick to do their own surgery. I made it very clear that I was going to consult with several doctors. If they recommended another surgeon in their group, that didn’t count. I persuaded them to recommend someone outside their group practice. If they couldn’t do that, I took them off my list. Make sure you have a trusted person to stay with you day and night for at least two or three days. The first two days you’ll only be able to get out of the recliner to use the restroom, and you will need a ride to the doctor on day 2 to have the huge pressure bandages removed. By day 5 you will feel well enough to do whatever you want, but you will tire easily. Expect to look horrible for at least 2 weeks, and don’t expect complete healing for 6 months.

    Make Me Heal: Was Make Me Heal beneficial to you along your journey?

    Carly: Yes, it was the only place that I actually saw pictures of people a day or two after surgery.


    carly recovery facelift

    See Carly’s Before & After Plastic Surgery Pictures Album.


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