I am approaching my 50th birthday this year, so I decided to prepare mentally and physically by having a facelift and an upper eyelids done.
I live close to Beverly Hills well known for its plastic surgeons, but I do not know any of them personally, nor do I have any friends with good experience from surgery done in Beverly Hills (I have one friend with bad experience). So I chose to go overseas for plastic surgery: not in search of a cheaper procedure, but because the doctor came highly recommended. My trip cost me about $10,000 total with airfare, hotel, meals, etc. but it ended up being a very pleasant vacation.
I arrived to my hotel (across the street from my doctor's clinic) on Sunday night and was seen by my surgeon next morning (preliminary consultation was done via e-mail and was free).
Next morning I came in for surgery. I had to spend at least one night at the clinic after my surgery (cost included into the total above) in a private room with a bathroom . I could stay longer at the rate about $150 per night if I wished. My surgery was performed under local anestesia and lasted about 3 hours. There was no discomfort and I communicated with the doctor and his team.
After surgery I got into my bed and started waiting for pain to come while applying the ice bags. Pain never came. My doctor later explained that this particular type of surgery is known not to cause pain during recovery period: just strange feelings of tightening as if rubber bands are pulling my face up and to the back of the neck.
My doctor visited me on the surgery night around 9:00PM, and then next morning he was in my room to see me at 8:00AM at which point he removed 4 drains from my head and said that if I am feeling well I can go and "enjoy Prague". He warned me not to bend forward and to sleep seated (head and neck have to be above the heart level at all times), but he encouraged me to take long walks. And that is what I was doing for the next 7 days before my flight back to the US: I was enjoying Prague indeed. The city is architecturally beautiful, clean and safe. And I came at the right time of the year: April, nature coming back to life with fresh leaves and glorious spring blossoms, feeling of rebirth and rejuvenation practically in the air... I think it all helped recovery.
I have seen my doctor one more time: on the 5th day after surgery I came to have stitches from my eyelids removed. By then I could wash my hair. It is a different approach here to post surgery treatment: unlike the U.S. practice you are not given antibiotics automatically. If you have no fever, you do not need antibiotics they feel. Pain pills were provided to me, but I did not use any as there was no pain. Also doctor did not advise me to use hydrogyn peroxide or any oinments (again, unless infected).
I had lots of swelling and bruising as it is supposed to be, but most of swelling was gone during week one, and bruising is practically gone as of today, the 16th day after surgery. I understand the face will be settling for about a year. I cannot say how many years younger I look after surgery than before. But what I see in the mirror today is my face before it was distorted by time, and I absolutely love it.