MACS Facelift with Fat Transfer in The Philippines - Philippines, PH

I am a 61 year old woman who wanted to fix sagging...

I am a 61 year old woman who wanted to fix sagging around the mouth and loss of fullness in my cheeks. At present I am 28 days post a MACS facelift and fat transfer injections performed in Manila in the Philippines by Dr Rino Lorenzo. I had investigated having the procedure done in Australia where I live but the cost was going to be about $15000. I have a friend who recently returned from Manila after 4 years and she encouraged me to consider having the procedure done there. I googled and contacted 4 plastic surgeons, one of whom did not respond. I sent several emails to the remaining three questioning the procedure, infection control, hospital conditions etc and only Dr Lorenzo responded with detailed explanations. There were certain medications I was instructed not to take for a month before surgery and he was also adamant that he would not perform surgery on me without checking my health thoroughly on arrival. The morning of my surgery I had an ECG, chest X-ray, blood pressure and blood clotting tests performed in an independent lab.

Dr Lorenzo's driver picked us up that morning and took my husband and me for the tests and returned later to collect us and take us to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital. He also sent his nurse with us and she stayed with me for the duration of the procedure until I was driven home by the driver.

At no stage did I have the slightest concern that I was not in good, safe, professional hands. Everyone I dealt with had perfect English (except the driver but that was of no concern) and great pains were taken to ensure my comfort at all times. The day after Dr Lorenzo came to my hotel and dressed my wounds and I was always given clear concise instructions on which drugs to take and how to take proper care of my body post surgery. I did take with me from Australia a codeine prescription pain killer I had on hand and I do think this extra analgesia did help with my recovery. I had no pain of any significance and after 3 days I just took the occasional paracetamol. I would honestly describe the experience as far, far less painful than having an impacted wisdom tooth removed.

There was a lot swelling for the first week and bruising particularly under the eyes. I wished I had thought to get some of that Dermablend stuff for covering birthmarks because the bruising was deep purple. I did not like leaving the hotel without sunglasses and walking around did bring on some aching in the swollen areas. Mostly I stayed in with books, wifi, and cable TV in the hotel suite. My husband brought in excellent take out food from The Podium mall across the street.

I had the stitches removed in two stages in Dr L's office and the second time he cleared me to return home. He prefers patients to stay 14 days before flying home but I only stayed 10. In retrospect I wish I'd stayed at least 12. We flew home at night and the 8 hour flight was very uncomfortable for me. The plane seat was not designed for someone short like me and I could not get comfortable enough to sleep nor could I wear headphones to watch movies because the pressure on my ears was too painful. I should have bought a padded neck support so my mistake.

The result at 28 days is fantastic. People say I look 15 years younger and I am thrilled with the result. I've never had a good neck angle but the improvement in my saggy neck is very good considering no full neck lift was done. It will be another two months before all the swelling has subsided but I was comfortable going out and about with makeup after 19 days confident no one would guess I'd had surgery who didn't know me.

I have a fuller smoother face with no marionette lines and a great firm jawline. The fat transfer injections from my abdomen were a good idea to address loss of fullness in the mid face. The scars are fading quickly and are easily hidden by my hair.

The cost was $4500 US all inclusive. In addition air fares and hotel costs for me and my husband were another $4000. Although Manila in July is like a sauna we did get to do some shopping and see some of the countryside in the few days we spent there prior to my surgery. The hotel was very nice and we did feel we had a holiday of sorts. I would not consider doing this without a spouse or supportive friend/relative. It would have been possible but I would have found it difficult and would have had to rely on room service for meals. You do look a bit like a Halloween pumpkin swathed in bandages for the first week and not a pretty sight. It was nice to have someone to care for me post surgery and dress my wounds and wait on me hand and foot.

At this stage 100% worth it. Do your research and do not proceed if having any doubts. Although Manila is a developing country the city has many modern luxurious shopping malls and security is very high everywhere. Traffic is chaotic but we were never exploited or felt unsafe. Stay in a good hotel near plenty of shops (we stayed in Ortigas at the Discovery Suites) and make sure your taxi driver uses his meter. Taxi rides are very cheap and food is good value but you won't find bargains in the malls. Prices at the international chain stores are the same as at home. Many prescription drugs are available at very cheap prices in pharmacies. We stocked up on my husband's heart meds which were a fraction of the price. Watson's Pharmacy had a good range of items.

And one last thing, have enough pesos to pay the doctor in cash as it would have been 17% extra for a credit card payment. Paypal is possible for about 3% I think.

2 Comments

Photos?
  • Reply

Thanks for sharing your experience on RealSelf! It sounds like you did a lot of research and it's great that you're letting us know what you learned. We'd love to see your photos if you'd feel comfortable sharing them.

  • Reply

Photos coming

My computer is down at the moment but when it is up again I will post photos.

Please join RealSelf or sign in.

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Before and After photos

6 Comments

You look wonderful. Where did you have the fat transfer? Do the eyes have it?
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I had the fat transfer around my mouth and cheeks and at the base of the tear trough where it was very sunken. The PS said that there is a limit to how much transferred fat the vascular system can support. I think he said 145 ml.
Great results - you must be pleased!
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Nearly 2 months

I have now regained some feeling in the cheek area in front of my scars where the nerves have regenerated. The swelling appears to be gone and things feel pretty normal. I had a small prickly sensation when I lay on my left cheek which may have been from a stitch deep in the tissue but that seems to have resolved itself. Saw someone yesterday who didn't know about the facelift and he said "you look 10 years younger since I last saw you". I told him about the facelift. Why not? I'm not ashamed and I want to celebrate the good results. Inspire others who are unhappy perhaps. I feel very blessed to have had such a good result.

3 Comments

You look fantastic I will be seeing Dr. Lorenzo for some procedures in March.
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It sounds like you've done wonderfully in recovery.  It's nice to hear a story like yours with such a smooth post op experience.  It's even nice to have a compliment like the one you received!  You must have felt as if it was all worth it...you look great!
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I think there is an element of luck involved. How you are going to heal, how much pain you will endure, even the final result is unknown until you take the plunge and have the procedure. You need to want it pretty badly, follow the instructions and be prepared for what may eventuate. The rest is in the lap of the gods. I knew how much I was prepared to pay and I did not want to fork out $15000 plus. I was prepared to pull out once I got to Manilla if anything there alarmed me. A lot of people assume standards are lower in overseas countries and this is not necessarily the case. Trust in your surgeon is paramount. Dr Lorenzo had a direct no nonsense approach and I could see he was thorough and professional from the get go. His on line reviews were good but this doesn't guarantee your experience will be perfect. I prayed a lot and was determined to be positive throughout. But I was also aware I was taking a risk. But you know, nothing ventured nothing gained.
Dr Rino Lorenzo

Very knowledgable, 16 years experience, considerate, thorough, cautious and skilled. His rooms are not as plush by affluent western standards and the hospital was showing its age but both were well equipped, clean and the staff had perfect English and were well trained. I never felt the level of care was in any way inferior to that experienced at home and in some ways was actually more thorough.

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