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Lexxi

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Kenna...congrats on your surgery. I hope you're feeling better today. I don't know about dancing naked with lampshades on your head...but if you do make sure you don't konk your head on any more cabinets. I'm sure that would hurt tripley bad right about now.

Keep on taking those naps and you'll be better in no time.
 

TonyaJanelle

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Have to say I was surprised that you didn't look excessively beat up on zoom Saturday night. Definitely saw swelling and bruising but not as horrific as some post op pics I've seen. Hope that means things are and will heal fast.

Despite the yabbos begging you to dance, probably best to wait on that.
 

Kenna

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I was generally feeling better this morning and then went in to have a bunch of sutures & staples removed, which also helps, although I have to go back on Friday to remove the rest that need to come out. Most of the sutures are dissolvable, including those along my hairline chin and in front of my ears, so I just have to wait until they disappear. Every second staple behind my ears was removed and all the sutures below my nose. My neck still feels very tight and there's still tension leading up behind my ears, hence not removing all the staples there. My sinus cavity was very asymmetric, hence greater disturbance to sensation and muscle strength on the left side of my forehead. Almost strangely, I can feel all the right side of my forehead normally, although the top of my head behind the hairline incision is totally numb - it's like wearing a helmet. My eyes are less uncomfortable but still remain quite dry and I'm changing to non-antibacterial drops and ointment as they continue to feel a bit dry most of the time in spite of now closing OK. My vision is better but still not totally back to normal. My cheeks remain a bit puffy and tender. The general headache and soreness across my forehead is significantly reduced although I'll still take paracetamol (equiv to Tylenol) for a bit longer.

I asked the surgeon today about the sequence of the procedures. He started with my brow ridge reduction and brow lift then went down to my neck liposuction and lift, together with grinding down my chin through the same incision under my chin (I don't have any intra-oral incisions). He then moved onto my general face lift, including injecting fat extracted from my neck into my cheeks. This was followed by my upper and lower blepharoplasties (fixing droopy eyelids) on both sides before finishing with my upper lip lift. The process will be completed with a rhinoplasty (nose job) on 9 March. While my nose is not horrible, I do have a significantly deviated septum (part of the asymmetry mentioned above) and there is scope for modest feminising improvements.

I now have obvious bruising beneath both eyes and across and below my neck, now extending a bit below my collar bones, although the tenderness of my collar bones has subsided. Very annoyingly the white of my left eye is totally red, although it's beginning to fade a little bit on the very left. The the base of both upper and lower eyelids have a red line visible where there is a single, long subsurface suture in each. I'd previously asked him how long after the surgery it would take to look reasonably presentable in public and he said "about 3 weeks". I'm now at the 1 week mark.

Cheers,
-Kenna
 

Linde

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Kenna, you and all the other ladies who had facial surgery, are heroes in my eyes! I would be scared to death if I would have to go through this!

I hope, everything turns out great for you! Just hang in there two more weeks!

Hugs
Linde
 

OzGirl

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Kenna, only 2 weeks to go!!! You knew most of this going in and things are progressing well, hang in there and when the headaches subside it will all be looking good!

Hugs,

Allie
 

Monica

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Kenna, the face surgery is the tough one as far as I'm concerned. It gets old fast. Most healing happens within the first month. The numbness can talk years to wear off. The left side of the top of my head is back to normal, but the other side only has limited feeling. It's a gradual process. The nose surgery, I don't envy you there. Hopefully you have an easier time. I would recommend laser treatments for any bad scars especially if they form keloids. This happened for me behind my ears. They can also use Panalog to break up the hard part of the scars. It takes multiple injections though. Heck you may not see that, everyone's body is different. Anyway, be patient! It's your remodeling year! Hugs!
 

Donica

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Kenna, I was told to use Bio oil on my scars. It worked well. It certainly keeps them pliable to help with the healing process.

Hugs!

Bio Oil.jpg
 
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Linde

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Our dermatology researchers recommend any quality vitamin E containing skin care products for scar massage. Vitamin E is very important for scar healing.

Hugs
Linde
 

Kenna

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My surgeon is very attuned to scar management and even employs a specialist nurse to assist patients with this. He says that the first 8 weeks are critical but benefits can be gained by treating them for up to 6 months. His flyer on the topic implies that the most effective, and cheapest, is skin coloured 3M Micropore tape applying gentle pressure, changed weekly. More expensive but also good is silicone gel applied twice daily and allowed to dry over 4-5 minutes. He also mentions that there is now good evidence that vitamin E creams or oils massaged in 3 times a day is good. Interestingly, he says that the most concentrated form of Vitamin E is in oral capsules that can be cut open. Most importantly it is vital to keep scars out of the sun as that leads to permanent pigmentation.

I still have the tape under my chin but in due course will probably change to the gel for that, my nose and hairline. The tape would also clearly not work with hair, although inside my hairline, I'll probably just stick to avoiding the sun.

In terms of how I feel, the slow improvement continues. My eyes are still pretty dry.

Cheers,
-Kenna
 

OzGirl

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Are your headaches subsiding? Rest is your immediate future, and you have picked the wrong season to avoid the sun, well, normally. not too much sun so far this year!!

Hugs,

Allie
 

Kenna

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Are your headaches subsiding?
Continuing with the paracetamol is worthwhile but I generally stretch 2 or more hours beyond the recommended 4 hour minimum time. I sunburn easily, so as soon as I'm able to comfortably wear a hat again, that and sunscreen will be standard every time I step outside.
Hugs,
-Kenna
 

Linde

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Kenna, the same people who developed the Micropore tape are the ones that told me about the vitamin E.

Hugs
Linde
 

Donica

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Bio Oil contains vitamins E and A, calendula, lavender, rosemary, and chamomile, and a few others like tocopherol. It's great for scars, stretch marks, uneven skin tones, age spots, dehydrated skin etc.....
 

Kenna

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Hi,
I thought I'd share a report I put on a private Facebook FFS Surgery site:

I'm a 65 year old trans woman who had FFS 12 days ago (Tuesday) by Alan Breidahl of Melbourne Plastic Surgery at the Masada Private Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. The procedures I had were a brow ridge reduction with a hairline incision and brow lift, upper and lower blepharoplasties (fixing droopy eyelids), upper lip lift, chin reduction, and neck and face lifts, relocating some of the fat from my neck to my cheeks. The surgery was on Tuesday afternoon and evening, took 8 hours. I'm also getting a Rhinoplasty in March, as Alan considers the risk of doing that and the bow-lift at the same time are too high as they are both structural elements of the face and one supports the other during both surgery and recovery.

During the first night, “sleeping” in a semi-reclining position in bed I had 3 brief but intense episodes of nausea with vomiting. In the morning I discovered that my vision was significantly blurred to the extent that I was unable to read anything. (I later found out that this was because of ointment in my eyes in case my eyes didn't close properly after the lids had been shortened.) In addition to the blurred vision my eyes, the left felt more uncomfortable but there was no intense pain, although I had a headache across my forehead and an uncomfortable feeling resembling a very tight bandage across my throat. The Oxycontin and paracetamol (equiv to Tylenol) they were giving me helped. I wasn't able to move around the room initially as the catheter necessary for the long surgery was still in, but as soon as that was removed I was able to move about OK. I also discovered that the entire white of my left eye was bloody red.

The next morning the surgeon removed the massive dressings and said that as soon I’d had a hand with a hair wash and un-matting, I could go home. The right side of my forehead felt pretty normal but the left side felt quite different; numb wasn't the quite right word, but it was the best I could manage at the time. Today it’s actually feeling a bit hypersensitive. The top of my head, behind the suture line, definitely felt totally numb. When I tap the top of my head it still sounds and feels as though I'm tapping a helmet. This apparently takes some months to recover.

There was an incident, that was annoying at the time but in retrospect is more amusing, was that he gave me a couple of pages with recovery instructions, but I couldn't read them due to the eye ointment! (He had previously provided info that mentioned temporarily disturbed vision, but I had assumed this only meant a few hours.) I had to keep up the eye ointment at night and drops during the day until the following Tuesday. By the Saturday I could manage to read a few lines at a time, although sometimes with the help of a magnifying glass, and by the next Tuesday I didn't need the magnifier.

On my first afternoon home a friend, who is a nurse, read me the instructions, lent me some better ice-packs than I had and helped with my first evening's eye ointment, but otherwise I've managed by myself, although I had plenty of frozen meals, etc, prepared. Otherwise over the first week I did very little other than listening to a few long podcasts and took in (mostly just listened) to a variety of news/commentary YouTubes on the American situation. I slept in a reclining lounge chair to keep my head elevated; actually I’m still doing that, and will continue for a few more days yet.

The next Tuesday, one week after surgery I attended Alan’s clinic and had half of the nylon sutures and staples removed, although I still had plenty of dissolvable sutures, but his nurse trimmed the ends of most of those. I didn't have any oral incisions as he needed to make a short incision under my chin for the sub-platysmal neck lift, so he used this when reducing my chin. I commented that the left side of my forehead had more disturbance of sensation than the right and he suggested that this was probably due my very asymmetric frontal sinus. I was changed to non-antibiotic eye ointment and drops but only used the ointment for that and the next evenings but continue with the drops when my eyes feel a bit dry, less so each day.

By the following Friday (10 days post-surgery) I was fine to drive myself to the clinic and the remaining nylon sutures and staples were removed along with a variety of annoying remains of dissolvable sutures, especially some in my eyelids.

Today, Sunday, I was able to participate in a very long zoom meeting and do a little job in the garden. The hairline incision was barely noticeable on the zoom camera, although would be easy to notice in an in-person conversation. The incision under my nose is not very noticeable. The one under my chin still has a thin strip of skin-coloured Micropore on it, but even that is not hugely obvious. My cheeks are still a bit puffy so I can't see what the incision down the front of my ears looks like. The incision behind my ears is hidden by hair. I can still feel the tension around my neck and while I can turn my head a fair way I can't lift my chin very high. Across my forehead it still feels as though I'm wearing a too-small hat, but this is noticeably reducing daily and is no longer causing headaches.

As to how I chose Alan Breidahl, I'd had a direct assessment in Spain from the Facial Team and they only wanted to do the brow lift, upper blepharoplasty and upper lip lift. (They also provided a CT scan, which was very appreciated by Alan.) They recommended that I separately source a neck and lower face lift. They recommended against a hair transplant to my temples, which I wanted, saying that my donor hair was not strong enough, but they did offer a quote if I insisted. (I've since had a very satisfactory hair transplant from Paul Spano at Hair Transplants Melbourne.) I also had a quote from a Thai surgeon who offered to do everything that Alan is doing, plus a jaw reduction for the same overall cost (incl travel and accommodation) as the Facial Team plus neck and face lift, also in Spain. While Alan doesn’t do FFS multiple times a week he showed me some photos of his previous work which looked good, and the benefit of having local follow-up should anything go wrong was very appealing. Even before the local health insurance contribution it was also a good deal cheaper than overseas options, but it still cost me a fair bit.

It’s still early days but my brow ridge is definitely gone, as have the droopy eyelids, although it’s hard to assess the overall impact on my upper face as my eyes are still a bit red and swollen. Three quarters of the white of my left eye has returned to white and I suspect that it won’t be much longer until the rest clears. My upper lip looks dramatically better. My moderate “turkey neck”, jowls, and hollow lower cheeks are all gone but it’s still too early to give a good overall assessment on the effectiveness of the feminisation. When I look in the mirror, I still tend to focus on individual aspects rather than gain an overall impression but, I noticed that in a couple of screen shots from the zoom meetings I definitely look more feminine.


And a couple of subsequent updates:

One point that I didn't mention in my long post is that my left eyebrow will only move a tiny bit when I lift both eyebrows. Alan said that because it is moving a bit, it should fully recover in time.


Another aspect of my surgery that may be of interest relates to incision location for the brow ridge reduction. Given that about 8 months ago I had a long incision across the back of my head for a hair transplant, Alan felt that there would be a small risk reduction in keeping his incision as far away from that as possible. Hence his recommendation, which I was happy to accept, to go with a hairline incision rather than coronal, even though I would have otherwise preferred the latter.
 

Kenna

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Well, it's 2 weeks since my FFS and I'm pretty much entirely feeling myself again, although the tightness across my forehead and neck remains. I haven't had any pain killers for a couple of days.

The hairline incision has almost disappeared on the right side but retains a hair-thin line of dried blood on the left with a noticeable scab on my left temple although I expect this to disappear over the coming week. There's some remains of bruising and swelling on the tops of my cheeks but it's not really obvious. My bloody left eye only has a bit of red remaining in the inside lower quadrant and seems to be clearing steadily. The previously strong bruising on my adam's apple is still quite noticeable (I didn't have a tracheal shave). Knowing it's there I can see some slight discoloration under my nose where the lip-lift incision was but if you aren't looking for it I suspect it wouldn't be noticed. I suspect there's still a bit of swelling in my cheeks but as I also had fat from my neck injected there it's hard to tell what's permanent or just swelling. I can't notice the incisions coming down in front of my ears, not that I can see that well, but in photos I can't see much either. I had moderate bruising spread down my chest in a neat V like an open neck shirt to level with the top of my breast and some of this is still visible.

Sensation is another story! My sinus cavity was (is?) highly asymmetric and my left side seems to have suffered much more than the right. My right eyebrow and forehead feels almost totally normal, just a little tender. In contrast my left eyebrow and forehead is quite weird. It feels both numb and hypertensive. I know that's a contradiction but I suspect that different layers are responding differently to the same touch. The area between my eyebrows is numb and feels a bit swollen as well. While it wasn't directly disturbed, the top of my head behind the hairline incision is totally numb; tapping the top of my head is like tapping a helmet. The back is unaffected and the sides feel OK, just a little tender, the left more so than the right.

But overall, I no longer feel lethargic and plan to go for a walk this afternoon and start rebuilding my fitness as from a week before the FFS I have been unable to do so due to a revision on my little toe's surgery. I haven't had any exercise at all for 3 weeks! Thankfully I haven't gained weight; I've actually lost 5 or 6 pounds, probably though eating less.

Cheers,
-Kenna
 

Monica

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The adventures of 'The Bionic Woman' will return after these messages! Up next, the bionic nose.
 

Donica

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Kenna! I experienced the same thing with my eyebrows. For me, the left eyebrow was functioning fine, but I couldn't move my right eyebrow. My surgeon gave me (free of charge, probably because he botched my hairline advancement) a series of Botox injections in my left forehead to keep it from moving and causing asymmetrical wrinkles. My right side is almost completely back to normal now, after 14 months.

Hugs!
 

Madrhode

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Yeah bionic woman the sequel. You are looking great each week the fave is more beautiful every time.
 

Kenna

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Today I went for a review of my hair transplant, at roughly the 9 month mark. The surgeon's colleague who I saw (and the receptionist) were hugely impressed with the results and my recovery from my facial surgery nearly 3 weeks ago. This was all the more impressive as the doctor disclosed that she had had a neck lift and genioplasty (although she had a chin implant rather than a shave) both of which I'd also had. They both raved extensively about how successful the facial feminisation surgery was and how quickly the incisions were healing. It was a real buzz! :D

I had a "Low Level Laser" treatment to my transplanted hair and she threw in a LLL treatment to behind my ears, which is the slowest part of my incision healing from the FFS to hasten the healing even further. BTW, my transplanted hair is over 5cm (~2inches) long and looking healthy.

Cheers,
-Kenna
 

Madrhode

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That is awesome Kenna, support in any way is a blessing.
 
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