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Left Me Looking Worse Than Before - Bangkok

3 years ago, on a bit of a whim, I had a face lift...

3 years ago, on a bit of a whim, I had a face lift at the age of 58. At the time, I looked pretty good, about 10 yrs younger than actual. In fairness to the doctor, he said he didn't really think I needed it, but proposed on alternative. I think a little Juvederm was all I needed, but didn't know about fillers. I didn't mind the line around my mouth, there was only one on the right side, but 2 one the left, and late in the day, the hint of a 3rd appearing. Plus my jaw line was not as straight as a few years before, but not bad. He indicated that the could get the lines around the mouth down to one on each side, and the jaw would be improved. A minor improvement, he said, but I said I would be happy with that. I also had my lids done.

After the surgery, there was enormous swelling of ear lobes, on eye lid, and above my cheekbone, on the tight side, just before the hairline. He said the swelling would go away. It did, except for above the cheekbone, where I now have a big lump. Looks horrible. Feels bad. It seems to right in the area where the nerves run through. I'm going to see if it can be fixed surgically, but may just have to live with it, as I don't want to risk further nerve damage.

As for cosmetic effects, after two weeks, the swelling went down and the jaw looked great, and all the wrinkles around my eyes were gone. I was really impressed, and trusted him when he said the lump was just residual swelling. After a month, he was still telling me the lumo was swelling, but all the other swelling was gone. As the last bit of swelling around the eyes went, the wrinkles there re-appeared.

The previous wrinkles around my mouth were now almost horizontal lines, and were almost immediately replaced with less deep wrinkles, exactly where the wrinkles he lifted had been, i.e, now I had 2 wrinkles that had never been there before. 1 line was gone on the right side, but 2 old ones remained and the one new one, so still 3 wrinkles, except now they sort of criss-cross, like the mark of Zorro.

I stared with 1 line on the left, 2 and a hint of a 3rd on the right. Now I have 2 on the left and 3 shaped like a Z turned sideways on the right. Within 6 months, the jaw dropped and looked much worse than before.

He also failed to explain that after the surgery, normal space between a man's hairline and his ear would be missing, and the hairline would be right up against my ear, which in and of itself, would likely have changed me mind about having the surgery.

I now regret giving into an impulse to have the face lift. I didn because I wanted to look younger. I've aged about a dozen years in the last 3 and no longer look young for my age. All I have to show for the lift is a very unsightly lump sitting on and above my cheekbone. It appears obvious to me that some of the tissue that was loosened after the incisions were made got pushed back under the skin which was stretched.

No one back home noticed that I'd had anything done. But a lot of people asked how I got the nasty lump on my face.

I would never have surgery again(except if I thought the lump could safely be removed). I read of all the different procedures available, and would like to try something, but, then I think about all the bad luck I've had.

4 Comments

I'm so sorry to hear about your negative experience. Has the doctor said anything to explain your bad results?

  • Reply
Thanks for your sympathy, Sharon. I last saw the doctor a month after the surgery, when he still told me there was no problem at all. I anticipated returning in less than a year, but at that time, my mother became very ill, and I couldn't leave her. Later, she passed away, but by then the recession had taken a toll on my finances, and I could not take time away from my business. I now am finally in a position to return to Bangkok, but have learned that Dr. Vira Varevej is no longer at Bumrungrad Hospital. However, I hope to be able to track him down, and at least, demand an explanation. Really, there can be no other explanation than an admission that the job was botched. Of course, I expect he will blame it on his colleague. But I did not hire his colleague, and was not even aware that the surgery would be performed by two surgeons.

P.S. Sorry about all the typos on my initial post. It was not an easy story for me to tell, and I had never told it to anyone before this.

It sounds like you've had a tough year. I'm sorry to hear about your mother. :( It says a lot about you as a person that you would put her health ahead of your own problems.

I hope you're able to track down your doc; like you said, even if it is the other doctor's fault, you had nothing to do with him. Have you tried finding a Bay Area doc to help you?

Dr. Vira

The doctor was at Bumrungrad Hospital, which is world famous, and people from all over the world come there for surgeries. This doctor was one of the senior staff, trained and practiced in US, US Board certified, and was President of the cosmetic surgeons association for SE Asia. He didn't really seem to think I needed a face lift. If he had only advised me on an alternative, like a filler, which, in retrospect, I realize is probably all I needed to obtain the minor improvement I was seeking. It would have saved me so much pain and anguish. He had a great bedside manner. But he did not deliver even the minor improvement he promised, and obviously the surgery was botched. Maybe by the other surgeon. In the operating room, I was surprised when introduced to a different surgeon. One did one side of my face, the other the other side. Clearly, the work was far better on the left side, than on the right side, which was a botch job, in my opinion.

1 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
4 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
1 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
2 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
2 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
2 out of 5 stars Payment process
2 out of 5 stars Wait times
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