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“My body is 52, but my spirit and my soul are 26. What I felt on the inside did not match what I saw on the outside.”

Elizabeth was in her 40s when she began to think seriously about a facelift. She was happy and healthy, with a vibrant and fun-loving personality, but her appearance looked tired. Glances in the mirror revealed the droop in her jowls and loosening skin on her neck. She found herself avoiding social situations, even with close friends, and holding her neck stiffly in an effort to stretch it smooth.

After years of waiting and a breast cancer battle that forced her to postpone the surgery further, Elizabeth had her facelift in the spring of 2019.


Elizabeth was optimistic as she began her recovery. Having undergone several other procedures with Dr. Sharma over a 10-year period, she knew what likely awaited her during the healing process.

“I remember thinking, ‘This will be a piece of cake!’ I was lucky enough to not have to worry about a little kid to take care of. My husband helped me out so I was able to rest and recuperate the way I needed. And I took my pain medicine like I was supposed to. You have to get ahead of pain. Once it gets ahead of you, it’s hard to control.”

Though surgical recovery was a familiar experience for Elizabeth, this one had a few surprises in store.

“I never get nauseous after surgery, but I did get a little nauseous at one point. The main thing that surprised me was the fact that my face stung for a couple of days. I have a pretty high pain tolerance. I thought, ‘I can do this, this’ll be nothing.’ But my face stung! I wasn’t expecting that. The stinging feeling lasted about three days. Everything else was normal.”

With the initial pain out of the way, Elizabeth had one more uncomfortable hurdle to clear: the postsurgical garment she wore to minimize swelling.

“Dr. Sharma said I had to wear that for six weeks. So I counted on my calendar exactly when six weeks was up. I had it down to the day. But I did keep it on, day and night. I only took it off to adjust it or wash my hair. There was a lot of swelling. Your face is a sensitive area, so you might have more swelling there than someplace else. A few months later, most of the swelling had gone down and I finally got to see the result — and I loved it.”


To Elizabeth, plastic surgery isn’t about vanity. It’s not an attempt to change who you are or fight the passing of time. It’s an act of self-care and gratitude for your body, one that helps you realize your potential without erasing what makes you unique.

“It’s like unwrinkling an outfit or washing it or hemming it. It’s still the same outfit, it just looks better. My outfit that was wrinkled and dirty was clean and it looked good again.”

Elizabeth’s reason for seeking a facelift is one many patients can understand. When she looked in the mirror, she didn’t see an image that reflected how she felt. Now, a year and a half after her facelift, Elizabeth is thrilled with the results and the ways — both expected and unexpected — the surgery changed her life.

“The before and after pictures are pretty dramatic. Now the inside and the outside match better. I feel more like myself. I started wearing makeup more. I started dressing nicer. I wanted to go out and do things. I just have more of a zest for life.”

One of the biggest changes she’s noticed is a revitalized social life. After previously turning down invitations to avoid being seen, Elizabeth now cherishes opportunities to spend time with friends and loved ones.

“I initiate going out and doing things with my friends or with my husband and other couples. Before, I didn’t. If somebody wanted to do something, I’d have to ask, ‘Where are we going? Who’s going to be there?’ I don’t do that anymore. That was a big change. It wasn’t physical — it was mental and emotional.”


Elizabeth is full of advice for others considering embarking on their own plastic surgery journey. First, she advises patients to be thorough in their preparation and be an active participant in the process.

“Ask a lot of questions and know what you’re getting into. I think that’s good advice for most anything. You need to ask things like, ‘What is this going to be like after? What am I going to feel like? What am I going to be able to do?’ I was voted ‘Most Likely to Ask a Dead Man a Question’ in a training class once and I am very proud of that. I love asking questions. That’s the way you learn.”

Choosing the right plastic surgeon isn’t as simple as searching for the nearest practice. There is no one-size-fits-all practice or surgeon, and you need to evaluate your options carefully before making your decision. To find the right fit for you, Elizabeth suggests focusing on two factors.

“I think the two things to look for when you’re dealing with a doctor are what they’ve done before — their work, their portfolio, their resume — and their bedside manner. With Dr. Sharma, both of those are just stellar. His work speaks for itself. It’s excellent. He’s very knowledgeable, he’s good at what he does and he’s willing to answer all my questions — so I know he can handle anyone else! I would highly recommend him.”

Your state of mind plays a critical role in the surgical experience. As you research and plan your procedure, don’t neglect the importance of emotional preparation. Remain calm and trust the process, but listen to your intuition if something doesn’t feel right.

“Any time you’re having a procedure and you’re going under, if at all possible, stay calm. Don’t get yourself worked up. Have peace. Have a good gut feeling. If I suddenly didn’t have a good gut feeling on the day of the surgery, I would have been out of there. Don’t be scared to make the decisions that are right for you.”

Elizabeth knows how to take her own advice. Before saying goodbye, we asked one final question: Do you have peace now?

“Yes. And would I do something again? Hell yes! It’s just like I said about the clothes — if my outfit gets wrinkled again, I’m going to press it so it looks better. If I need to go back in 10 years, so be it. I’d definitely do it.”

We pride ourselves on creating meaningful, lasting relationships with our patients at Plastic Surgery Austin. We’re grateful to Elizabeth for sharing her story and her wisdom with others considering facelift surgery.

If you are interested in beginning your own facelift journey, contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sharma. You can also visit our before-and-after gallery to see photos of some of our facelift patients.


Contact our office to schedule a private consultation with Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Sanjay K. Sharma, M.D., F.A.C.S.