I had been contemplating surgery for several years. I was fed up with my droopy jowls , tired neck and miserable looking face , even when I was feeling moderately happy.
Ordinary people like me don't have work like this done though, do they ?
A friend who works in the beauty and cosmetics industry told me I was wasting hundreds of pounds a year on expensive "lifting creams " and CACI salon treatments.
I started looking into various procedures and Surgeons. I had 4 consultations with different Plastic Surgeons in London . We discussed the different methods they used and I listened to their suggestions and what they promised they could do for me . But I didn't feel convinced or completely comfortable.
I then had the phone call that was simply meant to be........... The lovely Lucy , PA and right hand woman for Mr Dominic Bray , contacted me after I'd sent in an enquiry.
I'd looked into Dominic's work , his methods and the fabulous results he was achieving, they were different and had a more natural look. We arranged my consultation in London and I was looking forward to meeting this wonderful man.
I was not disappointed, Dominic immediately put me at ease , he is approachable , highly professional and explained what he would do to take away the years with the most natural looking but long lasting results.
He even knew that below the folds of skin there was a neck ,my long neck , waiting to be back on display.
We decided I'd benefit from having a face and neck lift, to redefine my lost jaw line. Microliposuction to do away with the fat that had accumulated in my neck and Platysmaplasty which is a procedure that tightens the lax muscles under the chin.
Dominic has developed a method that achieves a more natural result than conventional face lifts and gives the face an overall fresher look.
I knew immediately that I needed this doing as soon as possible and Dominic was the only Surgeon I'd met who I would trust to do the surgery on my face.
It was also explained to me that It would be performed with local anaesthetic with light sedation.
Well that was perfect , I prefer to be awake and know what's going on and have always felt rather rough after having General anaesthetic's in the past.
I asked Dominic if he could squeeze me in as soon as possible. I was desperate to have it done.
The date was set for a couple of months time as Dominic's diary was full .
In the meantime Lucy kept in touch with phone calls and emails , she was so lovely , answering all questions and queries and making me feel at ease.
I had been so excited but an element of anticipation and last minute nerves set in . I even watched You tube video's of similar procedures and the reality of the imminent surgery began to give me a couple of sleepless nights.
I decided to stay in London the night before the
surgery so I'd be literally just around the corner from Harley Street
for my 7.45 am appointment. My daughter stayed with me and accompanied
me to the clinic the following morning.
We were met by the whole team . Dominic took some 'before' photo's before changing into his theatre PJ's and little hat . The fabulous theatre staff who were assisting him gave me my theatre gown and warm socks . It was at this stage we also met Myles the Anesthetist. He was simply wonderful , chatty and charming and obviously knew his stuff , explaining that I wouldn't feel a thing and could be as sleepy and chilled as I needed to be. I had some pre med sedatives and of course Lucy was there too like a shining light, helping me and also looking after my daughter who was naturally slightly tense at the thought of mum's imminent surgery.
I told Myles I wanted to be fairly awake and that's how I was throughout. Sleeping when I wanted to and just lying there feeling completely chilled and mellow.
I didn't feel a thing , I enjoyed listening to them all chatting , Dominic was singing along to El Divo and some other music throughout and Myles was reading out aloud exerts from the newspaper.
Every time I opened my eyes Myles immediately asked me if I wanted more anesthetic , so I'd nod but not because I actually needed it but because it was good stuff.
Dominic was going about his work ,which was my face and neck , like the Master that he is . I knew I was in the very best and safest hands. He is undoubtedly the best in his field, a genius.
All too soon it was over , Lucy walked me to a recovery room where my daughter came down to me and I had a cup of tea. We were all so pleased because at that moment we had a snapshot of what to expect before the unavoidable swelling .
We went back to the hotel , where I applied ice to my neck, to minimise swelling.
Dominic called in at the hotel to check on me and change the bandaging I had on . He was there on call if necessary and I felt comforted and safe. I slept remarkably well that night.
The following morning we went back to the clinic , where the bandages were removed, Dominic massaged my face and neck and put me under a red healing lamp.
I wasn't feeling any pain . more discomfort from the inevitable swelling and bruising .
It's not every day you have muscles tightened in your face and neck.
It was great to see Lucy again , she's not only the loveliest lady but she's very beautiful in the flesh. Actually the photo's on Dominic's web site don't do either Lucy or Dominic justice . I hope they read this and change them at some point.
Dominic and Lucy made sure I had everything I needed to take home, including a Jock strap thingy to wear on my head for 20 hours out of 24. I think this is the worst part of the whole process, but hey it's only a week of your life.
We had a 3 hour drive home and I slept for most of the journey. It was a Friday , which was super as I had all weekend to recover and be spoilt by my family. The worst of the swelling peaked on Sunday , it still wasn't at all painful and the regular appliance of ice soon brought it down. Dominic rang every day to check on my progress and to ask how I was feeling. Lucy rang and texted regularly.
I returned a week later to have the stitches removed , it was such a great feeling . I was greeted by one of the theatre nurses , such a super friendly girl. Much of the swelling and bruising had gone or was somewhat reduced .
It was so good to see Dominic and Lucy again , they had shared this most amazing experience with me and it is so obviously a passion to them both rather than a job.
I felt so well that I put sunglasses on and walked around Selfridge's to buy some bright red lipstick .
Today it has been 2 weeks and 3 days since I had the surgery . All the bruising has completely gone now and I feel and look absolutely wonderful.
I realise it may take several months until the completely finished new look is achieved but I'm happy enough now.
I can't thank Mr Dominic Bray enough , he has changed my life , given me back my confidence and I will be forever indebted to him.