Face Lift

"Doris and Gordon"

At the youthful ages of 83 and 76, my husband and I decided it wasn’t too soon to make ourselves—at least our faces—appear more how we felt: younger. My husband frequently is told he looks younger than his age, but he wanted his eyes to be less baggy and his droopy neck eliminated. I was satisfied with my eyes, but I was tired of looking at my increasingly saggy jawline. Jaws and necks really do get to be a problem after a certain age. All the sunblock and retinol in the universe can’t resolve the downward drag.

To my surprise, my husband was the first of us to decide that plastic surgery was the best approach to take. Not wanting him to go on this adventure alone, I decided to tag along.

Deciding where to go was not a problem. Dr. Christopher Maloney previously had performed outpatient denervation surgery around my artificial knee that eliminated chronic pain two years after a knee replacement. My orthopedic surgeon and two other specialists had told me that nothing more could be done to reduce the pain. Unconvinced, my ongoing research led me to the Maloney Nerve Institute, where Dr. Maloney helps people suffering from neuropathic pain that other physicians don’t seem able to resolve. Without doubt, his skill and expertise gave me back my active, pain-free life, and I will be forever grateful.

Seeing Dr. Maloney for nerve surgery also made me acquainted with the plastic surgery side of his practice. I learned that he has an outstanding reputation as a plastic surgeon not only in the Tucson area but far outside the Southwest. Many people travel considerable distances to see him. He was educated at Columbia, trained at Harvard, and served as chief resident at Mass General.

Before commenting on our procedures, I want to add that without exception, all the staff—Dr. Maloney’s team—is highly professional and cordial and will do everything possible to make every appointment and procedure a positive experience. They invariably treated us with the utmost respect and kindness. The patient coordinators, physician assistant, nurses, skin care specialists and technicians, and aestheticians are all outstanding. Not once was there any issue, before or after our surgeries, they couldn’t handle or resolve to our complete satisfaction.

My husband and I had our surgeries two weeks apart. As noted above, he had lower eyelid surgery and a lower face lift, to address wrinkles and sagging skin on the bottom third of his face—to improve the contour of the jawline. I had just a lower face lift. His procedure obviously was more involved and lasted for 3 1/2 hours, mine for about 2 hours. We each had local anesthesia and absolutely did not feel pain other than normal needle pricks when anesthesia was injected. Being fully awake had the added advantage not only of being aware of what was going on but interacting with the surgical team. Susan, Dr. Maloney’s long-standing surgical assistant, told me that my husband chatted so much he finally fell asleep during the last hour of his surgery. I wasn’t as chatty, so I remained awake throughout. The atmosphere in the operating room was relaxed, and Dr. Maloney explained all aspects of the surgery as he proceeded.

We both were completely mobile after our surgeries and went home after getting post-op care instructions from Susan. That first evening, my husband became concerned that one of his incisions had become a problem, but his concern was relieved by calling Dr. Maloney, who had given us his personal cell phone number. Everyone’s experience with pain after surgery is different, but neither of us had significant pain afterward. One of us (guess who?) took prescription pain medication for three nights afterward—he said it helped him sleep—and I took it for two nights.

 

So now it’s two months post-surgery for my husband and one-and-a-half months for me. We returned to most of our social activities a week or so after our procedures. At this point, our jawlines are contoured and my husband’s eye bags are just a memory he no longer sees in his mirror. We are definitely pleased, and we understand we will see still more improvements in the next few months. We don’t expect to be asked for proof of age in a bar, but we have our ID’s handy when we ask for senior discounts. To Dr. Maloney, we extend much gratitude for his extensive surgical skill, artistry, and expertise. Previously, we felt younger than our years, but now we look much, much more like we feel.