In one of our favorite success stories ever, our May review of the month posts results from a mini-lift that appear almost too good to be true. Almost.

Our reviewer shared her recent mini-lift details and several pictures to show her results. And they are incredible. Booked with Orlando plastic surgeon Dr. Harun Zekirovski, she underwent the entire procedure to lift her neck and jowls under local anesthetic. The actual surgery took about four hours, and she went home that same day.

By day four, our reviewer wrote on RealSelf, “I cannot believe how quickly I am healing.” By day five, she was confident enough to put on a bit of makeup and go out shopping. Day nine? “I have a neck!” she writes with joy.

Below, we asked this reviewer how she decided on a mini-lift, picked her surgeon and how RealSelf has helped along the way.


You had been thinking about a mini-lift for years. What finally made you decide to do it?

I recently lost a lot of weight, 40 pounds, that I had put on from a sluggish thyroid and menopause. The extra weight made me very unhappy, however the extra “fat” in my face actually worked for me.

After many diet fails, I finally found a solution and dropped all of the extra weight pretty quickly! I was elated.

My body finally looked great, but because I have a long, narrow face with high cheekbones and am over 50, I began to see the sagging at the jowl area, and I didn’t like how the deep the nasolabial folds made me look. I just saw a sad, resting face in the mirror on such a happy person.


Photos: Reviewer before surgery

Tell us a bit more about how you decided on your doctor?

I had researched many doctors on RealSelf and was even willing to travel for the right doctor. I was almost ready to book with one from here and quickly changed my mind after getting Botox with a new dermatologist. She was fabulous and had come highly recommended by many people.

I casually brought up the idea of a mini-lift, as I was considering some filler. She immediately told me about Dr. Z with so much enthusiasm it was hard not to take notice. She has seen hundreds of faces over the years and could pretty much tell you which doctor lifted which face. She mentioned that she had never seen work so natural and impeccable. She was so impressed that she herself was going to use him for her own face.

I booked a consult right away!

I fell in love with him and his staff. He had a friendly personality, confident without being arrogant and was not at all pushy. He actually discouraged me from doing too much. Subtle and natural was our mutual goal.

I loved that. I booked my lift that very day. I knew in my heart he was the one.


Related: Experts explain with a mini facelift really is.


Were you surprised at how quickly you healed? 

I had full confidence in Dr. Z from the get-go. I went in with a super-positive attitude, so I think that helped.

I was prepared for a little bit of discomfort for a day or so, and to expect some bruising and swelling, but I really didn’t expect it be as easy as it actually was. I only needed a pain pill the first night or so, only because it was hard to get comfy to sleep with the drain. As far as pain? I just felt pressure, like I was wearing a cap that was way too tight. Annoying but not painful.


Did you consider or try any other options before your surgery? 

I have gotten Botox in my forehead for about 10 years to address the deep hereditary bear claw lines in my forehead, and I was getting fillers to address the nasolabial folds and jowls. This was just a Band-Aid while I was deciding who would do my lift.


How have people in your life responded?

My husband never thought I needed anything until he saw beautiful results! He is WOW’d. My husband is so supportive, and so are all of my friends and family. But most people who love you will generally say that you don’t “need” an improvement. Everyone who has seen me has been so happy for me, and they tell me that I look youthful, beautiful and rested.


Photo: Five days post-op

Why did you decide to share your review and photos on RealSelf?

I have lived on RealSelf for over a decade! I love that the photos are real and how honest people are about their experiences. This website has been a blessing to me and so many others. I love to help people, so I am thrilled to be able to give back to the RealSelf community in the same way others have been so generous with their stories and photos.