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Really Scared/Unhappy with necklift scarring

Really Scared/Unhappy with necklift scarring

Postby HHkins » Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:20 pm

Hi everyone... I've never posted here before but I have been reading for a long while.

I am 35 and was developing a double chin. Otherwise, I'm quite thin, but it's a hereditary thing, a combo of fat accumulation and lax neck muscles. It was getting worse, so I decided to get a platsymaplasty with submental lipectomy.

I used a great DR who is double board certified and who teaches facial plastic surgery at USC.

I am two weeks post-op and I am really upset with my results. If I didn't have massive scar tissue formations, my neck would look great! Unfortunately, I have thick, unsightly and rippled scar tissue formations and my submental scar looks reallly thick and huge.

My Dr. says everything is fine and not to worry, to just massage it every day. But it hurts to massage the tissue! It's really tight and thick and I can't bend my neck to look up at the sky - my neck is so tight!

Is this normal? My Dr. tells me it is normal, but I am scared that this scar tissue will be there... forever. I used to have a double chin and I hated it, but now I have scar tissue that makes me look like a burn victim or accident victim.

I know I am only two weeks out - can someone let me know if they had a similar experience? Did it go away? Did it stay? Am I crazy? lol any help appreciated...
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Re: Really Scared/Unhappy with necklift scarring

Postby Jessamy » Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:56 am

Hi H,
I am in the process of considering this surgery at the moment so very interested.
Who was your surgeon?
I am only researching at the moment, but two weeks does seem like it might be a little early to judge....
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Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 1:25 pm

Re: Really Scared/Unhappy with necklift scarring

Postby HHkins » Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:37 pm

I can PM you my dr's name... I don't want to publicly badmouth him at this point as I am not sure if this is normal or a botched surgery.. But I can tell you that I am coming up on 3 weeks and I do not look or feel normal or healed.

If you are considering this surgery, be aware that you will not be able to return to work in 5-7 days. Well, you will be able to stand up and walk around and talk and eat, but you will not look normal and everyone will know you had surgery. At almost three weeks, I very clearly still look like I had surgery. I would suggest taking aside a full month if you can from normal activities like work or social events. If you can, a full two months. I am so embarrassed to go into work and have had to cancel social events that i was promised I could attend after two weeks.

This is not an easy surgery; please ask your doctor for a full, honest disclosure of what the recovery period is and please please tell them you met a sad woman on a message board who had the same procedure and at the 2.5/three week point she has lots of thick scar tissue under her chin right under the submental incision. Ask your doctor what your risk of developing this scar tissue is and what he can do to prevent it from happening to you. I don't want you to have to deal with this. It is scary.

Healing from surgery is scary and weird enough; you don't need extra complications making it awful. Good luck and please let me know how your surgery goes, okay? I'll keep you updated on my lumps and recovery.
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Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:08 pm

Re: Really Scared/Unhappy with necklift scarring

Postby HHkins » Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:05 pm

I saw the doctor this morning, and he injected my scar tissue with cortisone, which is supposed to help reduce the tissue. He told me he is confident that everything will resolve within 6 weeks. I hope he is right. My doctor is very patient and kind; I feel bad saying bad things about the surgery because he is a truly nice guy and I know he is top in his field and that my results are not because of his negligence; I am just unlucky.

I feel much better after meeting with him this morning and am willing to try to relax for the next two weeks or so to see if the shots make a difference, or if it starts reducing on its own.

The truth is that even if you think you are prepared for surgery, it is way more painful mentally and emotionally that you realize. Something psychological happens when you undergo surgery, the drugs from anesthesia, and the resulting healing process. You definitely do not look great right away. It is a long healing process which is emotional and difficult. Don't let anyone try to tell you differently. If you read this thinking, "Yeah, but not me! I'm different!" you're wrong. You too. You just don't know it yet because you haven't actually had your surgery yet.

When it comes to my expectations of what my recovery time would be, I was told what many people are told: 5-7 days, or 2 weeks for full normalcy. (google these boards and realself.com and you will find dozens of people with frantic anxiety-ridden posts about their thick neck scar swelling and tissue after 2, 4, 6, and 8, 10 weeks and beyond).

You will not (repeat: NOT) look and feel normal after a platysmaplasty after 5-7 days. If you have neck liposuction or a lipectomy too, you will need at least three weeks to look "normal" enough to leave the house without people stopping and asking you what kind of horrible accident you were in. I did not have skin removed or taken up behind my ears, but I can only imagine that that will add on to the healing time as well, so expect to wait even longer, possibly a month or 6 weeks, before you feel confident enough to roam amongst humans again without little children running and screaming at your appearance or your Mom crying when she sees you. If you are unlucky, like me, and have excessive scar tissue build up, expect to wait at least 6 weeks from the day of your surgery to look normal, but be ready to wait as long as 6 months or even a year or a few years if you have severe scar tissue, hematomas, seromas, or any kind of complication at all. If you work, and have to go back after 7 days, you will have to tell everyone you had surgery. No one will be fooled. I would recommend, based on my experience, that you take two full weeks off of work and then be prepared to look as though you had plastic surgery when you return. A dab of makeup on your red chin incision is not going to conceal the swelling, unevenness, or (god forbid) any lumpy complications from scar tissue. If your goal is to go away on a "vacation" and show up refreshed and looking healthy when you return, set aside two full months (and even then, if you have complications, you won't look normal yet). Barring complications, two full months seems like the right amount of time to heal from a normal, successful neck lift.

Am I trying to talk you out of surgery? No.. I am sure that in "the end" (whenever that is) I will love my new neck. When is that, though? In a year? If the doctor had told me I'd lose a six months or a year of my (fading) looks and confidence to correct what was a relatively minor imperfection, I would have chosen not to have the surgery. That doesn't mean you will or should make the same choice, however. It may be worth it to you, and you may one of the lucky ones that heals in a month and never has any scar tissue. There is no way of knowing; it is a gamble you must take.

You hopefully won't get this kind of scar tissue, but you will definitely have a red scar on your chin, swelling that could last several weeks, and you will not see your new neck for a while. This is hard, no matter how you slice it. Even if you feel strong (I did) just be prepared for the emotional aftermath and take those "depression after surgery" hand outs and websites seriously. It is apparently quite common to feel anxiety about the outcome and despair at not seeing what you expected to see...no one is exempt. If you are filthy rich, don't have to work, can hire a maid and a nanny and sit at home for three months watching movies and healing, then your emotional experience may be a lot better. If, like me, you have some kind of occupation and need to visit the store to buy your own groceries, get used to questioning if you made the right decision. Once you do it, you can't turn back, so prepare yourself for any negative complications and know what they are and be realistic about the healing time. No one told me what a realistic healing timeline was, so I hope that this can tell you and help you make your decision.

I will continue to update and let everyone know how my excessive scar tissue goes with the cortisone.
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Re: Really Scared/Unhappy with necklift scarring

Postby dangerouscurves » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:14 pm

Sorry u r unhappy. Keep massaging and you need more healing time. Good luck.

Multiple plastic surgeries, rhino,FL,TT,lipo,fat grafting,
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Location: West Coast

Re: Really Scared/Unhappy with necklift scarring

Postby JackieBr » Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:37 pm

Sorry to hear about your situation. I was unlucky too, but in a different way. My surgery was almost three years ago. Looked good, no scarring, but neck tightness developed into chronic pain that I still experience constantly. I had no problems before the surgery. If you read the fine print, chronic pain is one of the risks in the disclosure form. However, it is always downplayed as very rare. If so, I was very unlucky.
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Re: Really Scared/Unhappy with necklift scarring

Postby HHkins » Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:04 pm

So sorry to hear that, Jackie!

I think there are many possible complications that they don't seem to talk about as much as they should. I really wish they would disclose the possibilities, even if they are rare, even if it scares away the patient. A patient has the right to hear from the dr's mouth, in words, the possible complications as well as the percentage rates of those complications so they can make an educated decision.

Do you regret the surgery?

Update on me: yesterday I made my dr give me a cortisone injection in the scar tissue, and literally over night it is about 50% reduced in size. I don't know why he didn't give me one the first time I came in with this scar tissue. It literally seems to have melted down and the skin is far less tight feeling and much more pliable, meaning less pain when I stretch or move my neck. I am so so thankful. I truly hope it keeps working and that through the week I will see more improvement. cross your fingers for me.

Jackie, have you tried cortisone? It seems to have really made the tissue more pliable. Is it scar tissue causing your tightness and pain? That is the main source of my pain.
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Re: Really Scared/Unhappy with necklift scarring

Postby HHkins » Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:40 am

in case anyone was curious what it looks like...

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Re: Really Scared/Unhappy with necklift scarring

Postby OnlySkinDeep » Thu May 09, 2013 9:07 pm

Hi that looks like lumpiness, not scaring to me, from swelling. Should all go away in time. And yes patience is key...
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Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 11:13 pm

Re: Really Scared/Unhappy with necklift scarring

Postby trinarn » Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:14 am

Hi all

My platysmaplasty with lipo was 2-3 years ago. I had similar scar issues. My PS (a great one who only does faces) did the injections for almost a year. Finally, he did a reincision so that the incision below my chin is a small Z. It all worked out great, and is almost invisible by this point. So just wanted to point out, that while the cortisone injections helped, I needed further treatment. I also had a lower FL and behind one ear did not heal properly either. It was very red and so painful. After the same year of cortisone shots and a special laser treatment as well, he reincised that area under local and tranquilizers and removed the scar tissue. More F/U shots and laser, and that is all fine now too. I also had full face laser and fat injections with my FL/NL. I returned to work in 2 weeks, and I looked absolutely ridiculous. Fortunately, I'm a Case Management nurse in an office and work with almost entirely women. They all were very kind and understanding about my looks. And complimentary as well. I would do it all over again in a heart beat. Ultimately I look 10 years younger.

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Re: Really Scared/Unhappy with necklift scarring

Postby jeffersa » Tue Nov 15, 2016 9:23 am

Hi Really/Scared,

I appreciate your long post describing the facelift/necklift surgery and the resulting healing process. I wondered how you are feeling now since it is 3 years later? I had my surgery(facelift, neck lift, lip) 7/15 and the scar tissue around my face is sometimes impossible to bear since it feels like my face is caving it. I am on gabepetin and there seems to be verrrrry gradual improvement. I am also using massage. It is helpful to know if other people have healed. Thanks!!
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2016 9:32 am

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