A Brit in Athens. Neck, Mid Facelift & Upper Blepharoplasty. Also fat transfer to the temples- Athens, Greece

Finally it's my turn! I have been wanting to do...

Finally it's my turn!
I have been wanting to do something about my neck since my mid forties.
It was my 55th birthday last Tuesday, & this is my birthday present from my very sweet husband.
I originally met with my PS back last November. I met a couple of others first, but wasn't too impressed.
We are moving back to London next year, & as Greece does the most plastic surgery in the world...well, it's second to South Korea.....it seemed a good idea to do it here.
Dr Athanasiou has specialised in reconstruction in neck and face defects & worked in Beverly Hills & London, he has two clinics here in Athens.
My journey is actually being videoed.....we started filming last week (ha!)....a mock up of me going into the clinic..meeting the surgeon...short interview as to why I want the surgery.....the surgery will be filmed & also following my recovery. I was happy to do this for them. It makes me feel a little safer, like an extra insurance that he will do a good job. The video is for professional use only.
Well, I have been so excited about it....but now I am beginning to feel scared...not that anything would stop me from doing it...but just want it to be at least 10 days ahead...so I had the worst over and done with.
I remember the terrible thirst I get when waking from an anesthetic.....I know I will be very nauseous.....& I am definitely NOT looking forward to sleeping on my back propped up.
I am so happy that I found this forum....it is only from here that I have learnt what really to expect during the recovery....I have taken on board so many tips.
I have to be at the hospital at 6am on Tuesday.....(my kids are taking me, my husband is working in London & won't be here until the following Tuesday) On arrival the hospital will do blood tests, urinalysis, chest X ray, ECG etc....& then surgery about 2 hours later..so around 8.30am. should be around 4 hours ( in Greece they never give you exact times...it's always 'around'...or 'approximately').
I will stay in the hospital for one night.......oh gosh...my stomach just turned over!...excitement or fear?!
....the PS said some patients stay in for 2...I hope I won't.
I am prepared as in spotless house, done all the laundry...cooked & froze tasteless saltless soups...I have packed my hospital bag & told my clients ( I have a small business looking after dogs/pets/houses while people are away) that I am away from 8th until after Easter (which didn't please some of them) .
I cut out wine, caffeine, milk, salt.....so dull.
I might write more tomorrow...if not, then when I come home......ooooo tummy went over again!
I will post a couple of nasty neck pictures later...I look forward to posting the lovey new 'after' photos.
Hi there from another brit in Athens . I am 3mths out-had it done at Mitera-be prepared for the swelling and bruising and everything takes longer than they tell you to heal . i was presentable with a bit of camoflage3-4 weeks but Im 5 years older so that makes a difference . Very pleased with the results -a huge boost to my confidence-good luck to you.
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Hi Annadou, yes I was Mitera, the staff there were lovely & I felt safe. I still have drains & am going to PS Kolonaki office later today to change the dressings. I am so pleased you are happy with your results....my PS was very happy with his work.
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You know, that video probably *is* a bit of extra insurance that he will make sure everything goes as well as possible. It probably also means he thinks you are an excellent patient and will have great results! Hope you are doing well, keep us posted...
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Day one to three

I arrived at the hospital at 6am on Tuesday, had all blood work & Xrays done & was down in the operating theatre by 8.20am. The nurses & staff were all very friendly & made me feel comfortable. My anaesthetist was so sweet and calming. Dr Athanaseou drew over my face & neck I went to the table ....had the anaesthesia & woke up in my room 6 hours later. I had no pain...& still haven't, the only thing that was uncomfortable were my eyes. I couldn't open them & they were extremely sensitive to light. That passed after the first day....although last night was the opposite & I couldn't close them properly. Trying to sleep with eyes still open...
But thelids are still swollen & with the stitches so I know will be fine. Yesterday I felt weak & nauseous...today much better. The doctor was really happy with his work & although I don"t look like me at the momment I can see he did well. I will post photos as soon as I get onto the PC.
I dudn't have bandages but I do have drains...which I hope will be taken out tomorrow.
I am so happy to be on 'the other side!'

Photos

Yay for being on the other side! You look fantastic! :)
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Ah thank you deenerbug, it is wonderful to be on the other side!...the only way is up now!. I do think I look weird, but I expected that. Hope you are good? You must be 5 weeks ish now?...I bet you look great!
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I'm at about six and a half weeks! Time flies. I had to check my calendar to see how long it has been and that's a good sign. I feel totally back to normal. The only time I notice anything is if I walk about five to six miles and then I just notice a slight swelling feeling in front of my ears. I'm loving the way it looks and am very happy I had it done. I'm still amazed and look at my neck a lot. lol Self neck love. :D You'll stop feeling weird looking. I think you look beautiful, by the way. I feel like I just look like myself now, although not tired looking any longer. It won't be long until you're sleeping better also. I hated the back pain I got from sleeping propped up. At six weeks I am sleeping flat and have no problem at all laying on either side, so you'll get there. I think I started sleeping on my side without the donut pillow about two to three weeks ago.
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11th/12th April. Day 3/4

Yesterday evening I had the drains removed....ah! what a relief.
My PS was very pleased with his work & said I had minimum swelling & not much bruising....although I can see I am now turning yellow, & look like I come from the Planet Sal9.
I am not looking in the mirror too much, funny because I imagined before that I wouldn't be able to stay away from the mirror.
Feeling a little down today...but I do realise ( thanks to having read so many reviews here)...that anything I feel is normal....& also it IS still only the 4th day after surgery.
One side of my face is more swollen than the other........ my eyes get me down, still not closing properly....I know I must be patient...... finding it SO boring sitting around, even though I have my iPad & great books to read...oh & my back aches from sleeping(or rather 'trying') to sleep propped up .....sorry everyone . End of moan!
Yes, we are all brave to go through this..& YES, it will/is worth it!
On Monday evening I will see PS again, just to check all ok, he said to me last night anything I worry about that I can call him over the weekend. On Wednesday, stitches out...yipppeeeeee!
My husband arrives from London on Tuesday....I am so looking forward to having him around.
He still hasn't seen me yet!, we have just communicated via phone & email...will he recognise me!
I will put pictures on now of yesterday & this morning.....will be SO nice to be able to do my hair properly.

New pictures

Your results look great and will get better each day. You are a beautiful lady!
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Thank you Blessed life...you were my inspiration when I first saw this forum!. I wish I could see a picture of me a month down the line, then it would be easier putting up with all the downsides. Hope you & the new girls are doing well!
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You really are looking good --- hang in there it's just keeps getting better and better each day
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One week milestone.

I should be feeling better...I am feeling worse. Not physically, I haven't had a minute of pain since my procedure. The swelling on my eyes has gone down. My face is still swollen but was never too bad....& bruising, yes, but just pale greenish yellow do not too bad...I am olive skinned anyway..so it almost blends in!
But I feel down. I don't like my eyes, I can't smile properly on one side...my neck has swelled & looks like maybe I have an illness.
I saw my PS last night. He told me he wasn't worried about my eyes...or smile, that everything would be absolutely perfect...that I was swollen, lop sided but everything fine.
He did feel the swelling on my neck & said as it was quite hard for me to have 15 minutes laser...to soften the swelling. It did help. I am aeeing him tomorrow eve to take out the stitches & possibly more laser, we will see.
I know still early days...but I was expecting to see a fresher new me blossoming....I can't see it!....I do see I look younger.....I want to go outside...the weather is perfect. I want to clean the bathroom properly!
I want to not think about what I am eating...will this make me swell more.
My husband arrived from London today..... He didn't say the right words. A friend came yesterday & she said....oh wow! ...you are going to look amazing...I am so jealous' etc...what I need to hear.
Husband hugged me, studied my face....looking very concerned & said he couldn't wait to see the PS with me tomorrow. I know he means well...& how should he know exactly what I want to hear.....I am laughing now.....poor chap!....& now I have just knocked my ear! Aaaaaghhh!
I want it to be a weeks time!

New pictures

It's pretty normal to feel a bit down and the swelling will subside. As it does you will see bumps and irregularities, one side will be more swollen than the other and take a little longer to settle. Our expectations are so great that sometimes we feel a little disappointed when confronted with a bruised & battered face. It takes time so be kind to yourself (and your husband after all he is a man and he is trying) you have a beautiful face with great structure and will look even more beautiful down the track. Go out and walk a little, try not to look in the mirror too much it's early days.
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Thank you for your kind words. I really am finding this a bumpy ride.....& adding my very impatient personality doesn't help....even though I kept telling myself before I had the surgery, to wait 3 weeks to see results. Also you are right, will be taking a walk the sea today. AND...yes, I am being sweeter today(!) ...& kinder to a concerned caring husband. Have a great day.
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A stroll by the sea sounds lovely... enjoy!!!
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Day 9

Yesterday I brokedown...usual, smile not straight ( it IS improving) eyes still wonky ( they ARE improving) ....but my neck is swelling more on one side. I was told to massage, my husband has been..
I went to see PS last night to take stitches out...on the swollen side he massaged my neck upwards towards my left ear where he was taking stitches out....a lot of fluid came out ( sorry, it sounds revolting)... about two thirds the swelling came out. I stitches again. Then back to ultrasound massage for 20 mins as the swelling under my chin is quite hard. PS did say that he wasn't too happy with the scar under my chin & he might do a revision under local anesthetic later...we'll see..... I actually wasn't worried about that scar.
Anyway back onto antibiotics. The swelling is still there & as I am so obsessed ( spelling? )can't tell if if worse/ better/ the same. Does feel like I have a tight scarf on..
Easter is massive here in Greece...biggest celebration of the year, everything closes down from today...including the clinic until next Weds, when my next appointment is.
I know everything will be ok.....I just wish it was now!
I will post pictures of dodgy neck!

Neck pictures

Day 8 & 9
Sounds like you have had a pretty rotten day. On the good side the swelling has now been removed/reduced so There is light at the end of the tunnel. Wish I had looked as good as you at 9 days . hugs
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Thank you Kitaus....feeling so much better today, & there is light! Yippeee!
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You're looking wonderful! Certainly seems 'normal' to have more swelling on one side (my experience too) .........but it goes down. Your can already see your great result. Hope you enjoy Easter in Greece and are able to get out and about a bit!
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Days 10/11

From yesterday morning I felt SOOOOOO much better!.
My eyes still aren't 'right', but definitely slowly improving....still lop sided smile...but is coming back.
The swelling in my neck IS getting smaller, but is still there.
I can't say I look great, ....I am pale & without being able to smile properly makes me look sad.....BUT I keep ( as we all do here) telling myself , patience! PATIENCE!.
For me days, 8 & 9 were the worst, (we really do all recover at different speeds) emotionally more than physically...I lost my patience, became a little scared....I really did become a big baby.
I am continuing with antibiotics until Weds when I see the sugeon again.
I STILL have staples in my head which will be out on Weds ..& a couple of the dissolvable stitches in my eyelids are taking forever.
The scar where the stitches were in front of my ears is healing well.
I had new stitches behind my left ear where the fluid yuk was drained last Wednesday.
The swelling under my chin is still quite hard...did anyone else have that?
I have now set my goal for Mid May.
I feel postive & know slowly slowly everything will be great!
I am very pleased I found this site....really helped me with my fear, everyone so sweet & encouraging.
What a shame there isn't a Realself Wine Bar (would love a large glass of vino!) we could all nip into to say hello, thank you & hug for the genuine sisterly caring dished out here.
Have a very Happy Easter everyone!

Also

My ears are itching like crazy...the rim of my face gets sort of little shooting sensations...everything all reconnecting.
I will post a pic from yesterday..I have never taken so many pictures of myself...ever!
found the picks…you are looking good lady :)!!!
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Thank you!...I think I am coming along slowly, then I look at 'before' shots & then think 'Yes!, I am so pleased I did this!'
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It's never as speedy as we want, I guess, but we're getting there! I also have to laugh about taking so many pictures of one's own head... I am not a big selfie taker by any means but on this I am becoming a documentarian. It's so much easier to see what is happening by setting the pics next to one another, as opposed to trying to side-eye into the mirror and remember what yesterday and the day before were like. It would be hugely helpful for some enterprising PS to make a "time lapse" movie showing how the morphing goes over the recovery days, weeks, and months to the final result as opposed to just the "before" and "after". Sal9, maybe you could suggest that to your doc as a future project since he is doing video of your experience! BTW remember how we said the fact he wanted you for a video indicated you would be a great patient with a beautiful result? Et voila, it is coming right along! :)
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New pictures

Yesterday
You look wonderful!!!! When I first saw your face, it was a bit like looking at mine:) We resemble each other. My lift is in 6 weeks, and cannot wait. I am having a brow lift as well. Happy recovery!
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Hi MlMomBA, you are the second person here who said I look I look like them. Maybe we are long lost sisters! I felt the same as you, I booked my lift back in November & couldn't wait to get on with it. I look forward to following your journey!
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Thanks. Talk to you soon. M
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Day 12

Still can't smile properly on right side, right eye still not blinking exactly as left..eyes still uneven (I am writing the same thing eveyday!)
Still got staples behind ears....how will PS manage get them out on Wednesday???
BUT I will post a 'before' ( about a day before surgery), & then a recent ( about an hour ago) & I prefer what I see.
Next mission is new haircut & colour I think!
Sal9, Good to hear the nerve is repairing itself and you're getting continued improvement. Can't imagine how scary the whole ordeal has been. Has your original PS continued to advise and manage your post op rehab from a distance or did you seek out another local practitioner to help guide you thru this? Again, so pleased to hear you are on the mend. grace
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Hi ..... Wondered how you were doing so good to read your updates below. Pleased to know you're doing well and sorry to hear about the issues. You're so right about 'turning a corner' at around 8 weeks. And I thought it would all be over once the bruising went and the stitches came out!! Huh! I'm 10 weeks post surgery now.....still some swelling, still numb around the ears. Yay to cheek bones coming back -:)
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Sal, hope all is well with you. How is the swelling? It's 6 weeks for me, and I still have swelling on the left side of neck and face area. Chin scar area is improving; there's less sensitivity. People know there's something different about me but they can't figure out what it is...loss of weight, new hairstyle, new makeup, extremely rested. Of course, I agree with whatever they say. No one has said "facelift". Have a great day. You're not the only one with the swelling issues..it helps knowing we are not isolated cases. Lilygirl14
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