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Facelift + Necklift + Upper and Lower Blepheroplasty - Thailand, TH

Only 49 years old with sagging jowls, turkey neck...

Only 49 years old with sagging jowls, turkey neck and very heavy upper eyelids.
Where do I start? Well a few months ago I had no intention of getting any facial surgery. Then, and I really don't know why I decided all of a sudden, I was going to do it. I guess because I'd come up with the idea of getting the work done in Bangkok where it's much cheaper than in Australia, I managed to justify it to myself.

Originally I was going to get the mid facelift and necklift done only and chose a surgeon after some online research, who only charged $3500 USD for the entire procedure including hospital overnight stay. Too good to be true? I hear you say! Well, only a day before i was scheduled to leave Australia and with the op booked for 8.30am on the 24th of August after an arrival into bangkok the night before; I came across some disturbing reviews on the web about this doctor. I was already a little sceptical as he mainly did sexual reassignment surgery. Anyway, I changed my research tactics using a well known private hospital group in bangkok as my starting point. After reading through the specialties of several surgeons and then googling them looking for independent forums where they were mentioned, I settled on Dr Chartchai. His reputation was held in high regard, particularly for eyelid surgery. I know that originally I was not going to get my eyelids done, but I figured if he's really good at eyes then he must have a fastidious suturing technique. The eyes are such a prominent feature on our face that I'm sure I'm not alone in considering scarring as the major concern of those contemplating facial surgery.

So obviously I cancelled my op with the first surgeon I'd found and instead scheduled a consultation only with Dr Chartchai for the day after I was due to arrive. As you can imagine by this time I was in a bit of an emotional turmoil. Should I still be going? I was due to depart at 6am the next day, unsure of whether I would get the op done at all and a little shell shocked by the fact that Dr Chartchai was almost 3 times the cost of the original surgeon. I was travelling alone but as I arrived at the airport my husband was very reassuring and supportive urging me to not worry about the money and just 'go for it' if I was comfortable after meeting with Dr Chartchai.

Our first consultation went very well. Dr Chartchai is a lovely, very well spoken middle aged man with excellent English. I felt very reassured by the huge, very plush, super clean private hospital. My PS insisted on a barrage of tests before even considering surgery (unlike the first surgeon I'd enquired with). After assessing blood tests, Chest X-ray, and and ECG were fine surgery was scheduled for the Monday (2 days time) and I decided, what the heck, may as well go the whole hog and get both upper and lower eyelids done as well wince that is his specialty.

The eyes were done first and under a local anaesthetic, which, while I felt no pain, was a very uncomfortable and pretty stressful procedure. They took close on 2 hours. Then I had a general anaesthetic and the facelift and necklift took about 3 & 1/2 hours. After an overnight stay in the hospital the drains were removed the following day. They went from above my ears through my cheeks, down to close to the corners of my mouth. These were not painful to remove. I was a little concerned about the indentations they left but now, at 2 & 1/2 weeks post surgery, those marks have disappeared.

I was prepared for the bruising and swelling as I'd seen my mother after a facelift many years ago.

After discharge my PS arranged for a driver to take me to my hotel. My next appointment being 5 days post op to have eyelid sutures out.

Over the next 5 days I went through what I think most on this site have. The "oh my God, what have I done?" moments. To feeling horribly guilty and selfish about the cost.
When the eyelid sutures came out I honestly couldn't see where they'd been and I thought "this man is a master tailor".

2 days after the eyelid stitches the rest of the facelift stitches were removed. All week I'd been searching in the mirror for the line of stitches in front of my ears, but couldn't see any. It wasn't until the day I was scheduled to have them out that I put my finger in my ear and discovered that my PS had tucked the skin OVER that front cartiledge bit of the ear and done the stitching INSIDE..........I was pretty impressed!

My biggest concern over the last 10 days of being home, is that my lower eyelids have been very droopy. It's has meant very dry eyes and a lot of emotional turmoil wondering if they would ever look normal again. After emails to my PS and his constant reassurance that they would return to normal and it was due to the swelling in my face, I am feeling a lot better about them as over the last 2 days they have improved a great deal. I will keep you up to date with improvements and pics but I cannot recommend Dr Chartchai enough......,..very competent, very warm and friendly, and best of all, very clever and precise with sutures.

Some before pics

Dr Chartchai

I cannot recommend Dr Chartchai enough......,..very competent, very warm and friendly, and best of all, very clever and precise with sutures.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
4 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
4 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
3 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait tmes
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Comments (18)

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Please tell us how satisfied you are with your surgeries now. Can you share recent pics? Please tell us what you might have done differently.
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How is your recovery going, you were concerned about one of your eyes how is that now?
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Thanks for the very helpful review. Another satisfied patient of Dr. Chartchai here! Like you, I highly recommend him to anyone wanting this surgery. I like that you mentioned his skill with sutures. He did not use any staples on me, just sutures, and my incisions healed very well.
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Hi - and thank you for the great info - so helpful. I'm planing a facelift in Bangkok in March and you've touched on my major concerns besides the procedure itself. I'll be going on my own and I'm worried about the post op recovery. I'd love to know where you stayed (I'm considering ariyasvillas) and how soon after you were able to fly home to Sydney. I'm hoping I can return home in 10 days ? Thanks so much!
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Hi, VickiT, I think the surgeons in Bangkok prefer that you stay for 2 weeks after a facelift, but that would be a good question to email them. I noticed recently that Dr. Chartchai has partnered with this agency: https://renuval.com/care-partner/thailand/bangkok/samitivej-sukhumvit Good luck.
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Hello, Have you got any front face ones of you now?
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Who are you asking Worried??? Kathy
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You look fabulous, I am looking at the moment for Dr's in Thailand so will look at your doctor also. keep us posted with more pics please
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Sounds amazing ,and i wish you well in your recovery.
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Thank you for sharing your story and posting before and after pics. Wow, I can't get over how invisible your ear incision scar is at 2+ weeks! I can't see any detection of a scar at all in the pic you posted - really amazing! Do you have a scar under your chin as well? I am very concerned about selecting the right surgeon to perform my upper bleph surgery (not sure I want to do a lower lift at this time) and understand your worries about the outcome of your upper & lower eyelift. I will continue to keep looking for updates from you and hope that time truly does heal and that you are happier with the results as more of the swelling subsides. In some cases it can take a while for the eyes to recover after surgery so try not to get discouraged (this is what my brother-in-law tells me - he is an Optometrist and sees surgical results all the time and says the eyes can make remarkable recoveries). Wishing you the best - take care. :)
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Yes I do have one under my chin. I can feel it, but can't see it, even with a magnifying mirror.
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You must be so pleased with your invisible scars (I know I would be!). Here's hoping your lower eyes catch up with the rest of your healing soon.
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Thanks for starting your story on RealSelf! It's going to help countless other women embarking on a similar journey. Do you happen to have a "before" pic you can post so we can see the whole transformation?

Rooting for you and I'll be looking for your updates.

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Hi Grace, No, I knew no one in Bangkok. Bangkok is a 9 hour flight from Sydney. I had no referral that led me to Dr Chartchai. I googled the best (and biggest) private hospital in bangkok and came up with Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital. It was voted best hospital by ex-pats living in Thailand. From their website you can search the procedure you want and it will come up with the doctors who have operating rights in that hospital. I was guided a little by their photos as I wanted someone old enough to have had plenty of practice but young enough to still have a very steady hand :-) From their I read a number of testimonials from quite a few doctors. In particular, I found a testimonial about Dr Chartchai written by a doctor from the USA, which said that whilst on holiday in Bangkok he consulted with a colleague who was now working in bangkok as to who he might recommend to have the bags under his eyes done? The colleague said that Dr Chartchai was well known in Bangkok as being the very best at eyes. This Dr from the USA certainly seemed very happy with the result of the blepheroplasty he had done by Dr Chartchai so that was good enough for me. As I said in my review, I think if a Dr has a reputation for being great with eye surgery, particularly lower blepheroplasty which I understand can be a little more tricky. Also with such fine, almost invisible stitching. By the way in none of my photos do I have any makeup on whatsoever. So it was his attention to fine detail that was enough to make me feel confident to let him do the whole facelift and necklift as well. When he released from hospital, Dr Chartchai arranged for a hospital driver to take me to my hotel. I had my PS mobile telephone number should I need him at any time. But apart from that I was on my own for the next 5 days, resting in my room and venturing downstairs for breakfast only. I stayed by the river in a beautiful small boutique hotel. I told the staff before my op why I was there and said with a smile that they'd have to look out for me when I got back. They were very kind and helpful with anything I asked. But I was fine and didn't really need anything. Whilst it may sound risky and like it would have been difficult to care for myself alone in a hotel room; I did have a huge balcony, beautiful views over the river, room service, and my Dr only a phone call away. Whereas, if I'd chosen to do this in Australia in my home city I don't think I would have got any where near the rest and relaxation as my husband works fulltime and is currently tied to a very heavy schedule preventing him any leave right now and I have 9 children, 6 still living at home and the youngest is only 9 yrs old. I'm sure they would have all offered to help out and look after me, but in reality, I really doubt I'd have got the rest I got just being on my own. As for your question re. local anaesthetic for eye surgery. No pain but the feeling of pressure when something was being pushed on, the smell of burning flesh as bits were being cauterised throughout the procedure, and then there was seeing the curved needle coming at you as the lower lid was sutured whilst the eye was being held slightly open. Thanks for your comment. I'll post some more pics in a week or so.
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younger, Again...wow! Bangkok probably has changed in the 20+ yrs since I was there but compared to Hong Kong I remember it being so much more what a Westerner's idea of "Asia" is. And most professionals speak English AND they eat with forks lol! After weeks of wielding chop sticks it was a welcome sight to see a full Western table setting...odd, the things you remember. Would you say the upper eye under local is not the problem that the lower is b/c you can't see the work being done? You seem to have a memory of the procedures both upper and lower. Here in the US they must give you more oral sedative with perhaps a component that affects memory b/c so many who have fl and eye work do not report feeling anything. In face most speak of "waking up" after the fact b/c they actually slept through the procedure. Your exp and your abitlity to acurately describe it is very helpful....grace60
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My PC likes patients awake as he gets you to open and shut your eyes and he keeps comparing to make sure they're even, I guess.
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Younger, I take it you knew no one in Bangkok? How did you navigate away from the original one to dr charchai? A referral or did you make contact with an Med/tourism agency? Your trip would be the equivalent of someone in the US flying cross country for surgery... something most of us wouldn't do alone without any friends or relatives living in the area not to mention never laying eyes on the doctor! Quite an adventure. Once released from the hospital did you have a private nurse in the hotel or were you able to stay alone? You said you had the eye surgery with local and no pain but discomfort. Was that from numbing injections or from beingbb able to see the surgeon working on the lower eye in particular.Your incisions are the best i have seen posted here by anyone. Your doctor obviously takes pride in his work. It's too bad you have to be so far away for recovery but it sounds as though you are progressing and the doctor is carefully monitoring your situation altho at a distance. I hope you continue to recover as you had hoped and the pic of your eye result is really very nice..the eye has a great shape and contour. Very pretty! Best wishes...grace60
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Wow! You are right youngerthanIlook, he is a master tailor! Beautiful job! Keep us posted! You are a brave lady to travel alone and have this done! You go girl! Kathy
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