Facelift at 53, "Because I'm Worth It" (Of Course)

I need a new face, because I've started a new life...

I need a new face, because I've started a new life. The old sad face goes with the old sad life. To the Matmos with it! ;)
I'm 53, have always been in good shape but took a severe beating after divorce and breastcancer, operations and chemo in 2014, and much more horribleness. I've always felt selfconscious about my deep nasolabial lines but the sagging cheeks and jowls seem to have appeared overnight. (?!) That, plus the neck and chin, UGH, and the heaviness that has gradually installed itself on my lower face. It's become rectangular. Enough is enough.
After reading hundreds of reviews I have settled on Dr Oelbrandt from Belgium. He comes with excellent credentials, and while we haven't met in person yet, I am soon going to have my first Skype consultation with him.
I wasn't sure if I wanted to post a review here because I feel uncomfortable putting up photos of myself, but I've drawn so much encouragement and support from what I've read that I think it's normal to return to the community what it has given to me.
I hope to get some encouragement along the way... because I know I'm nervous and prone to worrying and scared to be a bother. So here I am, uploading the first few photos pre-op. Enjoy!

couple more photos

A couple more photos taken in daylight outside with some distance from the mirror. Makes for a more realistic angle. While they're not as ugly as the selfies with forward facing camera, you can still see what bothers me.

Am supposed to Skype with Dr. Oelbrandt in an hours' time. Better get going!

just can't believe how sad I look...

It's only now that I notice how sad I look. I know a facelift is not a miracle cure for the problems in my life, but getting up in the morning and finding a prettier face in the mirror will be a great help. And last but not least, okay, maybe I don't desperately need it yet, but why wait any longer? I'm 53. If I want to rebuild my life, I have to start right NOW.

the last in a series of ugly pre-op photos

Just to convince myself that this IS necessary. Face totally at rest, no make-up. Eww.
I'm noticing for the first time the small wrinkles along my upper lip. How come this all happened so fast?? I never noticed any of this last year *sigh*
I have asked Dr Oelbrandt to give more projection to my upper lip, with fat transfer, to bring back balance to my face. Does anyone have experience with fat transfer in the lips? How long were they swollen? Did it look very bad in the beginning, and how much fat got resorbed?

wish pics with sticky tape

How many of you have tried the sticky-tape-technique? If Dr Oelbrandt can make me look like this I will be happy. No more jowls and serious reduction of the nasolabial lines. Maybe I'll send him these photos and ask what he thinks.


A funny update. Here you see me, fairly normal, walking over the hill to the local supermarket and stopping to take a selfie. Next shot, an accidental selfie. See what I mean?? lol. HA HA. It's this kind of surprise I don't want anymore!!

thoughts on my upcoming procedure

I never thought I would post so many photos; I think it's because I started this review well in advance of my operation.

I'm really nervous about a poor outcome or disappointing, minimal results. In an attempt to convince myself of the necessity of this facelift I've been posting rather awful selfies, but to be fair I should also post photos where I think I look good, so that if I get botched up I know what I will be sorry for... Having said that, I DO have a lot of trust in my plastic surgeon and I think he's very competent.

I'm not seeking perfection. I know I have a long face, a big nose, thin lips, I know my eyes are uneven, my skin is sun-damaged, etc. I quite like imperfections because I think they add personality and beauty; however, the only thing I really don't like is my sagging chin, jowls and deep nasolabial lines. I just cannot get used to the waddle that appeared overnight.

When I look at relatively good photos of myself (like the one in this update) I feel like I don't need anything done, but when I revert to the candid photos I uploaded in the beginning of this review, I dislike what I see. In both cases they are just snapshots of time, and what we see is never static.

This is really very difficult. I guess every woman thinking of plastic surgery is debating this: whether she stands to lose or to gain.

Your thoughts are appreciated. x


I've been debating whether I should consider an additional lip lift instead of fat grafting to my lips. After reading around on RS and looking at Youtube videos, I think it's a risky operation, meaning that it could go either way: fantastic result or disastrous. The surgeon should have an artist's eye and be very careful in choosing his patient. (which my PS probably is, but anyway)... It appears that lip lifts are a very tricky operation, surprisingly, and I have the feeling I'm not an ideal patient for this procedure, however pretty it looks on other patients. I'm even doubting the fat grafting now. Pff, this is getting complicated.
The thing is, the more I look around here and the more I inspect my face, the more shortcomings I see. I know that I have a long narrow face, a hump on my nose, piggy eyes (lol), flat cheekbones, a long philtrum, narrow lips... well heck, so be it. I need to remind myself that I don't want perfection. (I might as well cut my head off). There will be enough change with the facelift, I don't want people to look at me and wonder what's going on with my features, you know...?
What is it that we're all so obsessed with beauty... And then I've seen some absolutely beautiful girls here, really stunningly beautiful, who think they need a facelift?! Go figure.
Anyway, I digress. What I wanted to say is: OMG, only 16 days to my operation date. Yeehaa!!

le video

I never intended this video for a Realself update, but it happens to illustrate my concerns somewhat. This was taken today in the car with my cat, driving back from a winery. There are a couple moments where you can see my profile. I'm always surprised at how heavy my chin is, and that fat deposit underneath, yuck. It wasn't that bad last year!
I've also just noticed that indeed, my under-eye-area is really terribly hollow. My goodness... Crying has destroyed my face. Never mind my hair--there's no shape or cut to it but I'm happy to have some after the chemo baldness.
That perpetual smiling is also wearing me down frankly. I just want to REST MY FACE please, without looking awfully sad. I love to smile and I'm generally pretty optimistic, but when I don't smile I look like I'm on the verge of crying. I have a German friend here who told me so: "You look like you're about to cry." (?!)
I don't know how to address the sadness in my face. I'm really surprised--I hadn't noticed it at all before posting this review but now it's almost become the most important issue with my face: looking sad.
I realise none of this is really a serious problem--it's just vanity--and I do feel guilty for spending all that money on my looks--I guess I could feed an African village for a year. My father again repeated, "What are you doing to your face, you don't need this." There, boom. :(


Hi everybody,
To my dismay I have had to cancel my procedure. Something came in the way. I'm pretty disappointed but have a feeling that maybe it was meant to be. I wasn't entirely convinced either that I needed the facelift yet. But I've learnt a lot along the way and am happy to have met you lovely ladies. Much strength to you all and my best wishes for a wonderful outcome! xxx
London Plastic Surgeon

Dr Oelbrandt has been very understanding and kind. He replies to all email personally so it may take a couple days, but he does take his time to explain things. I have unfortunately had to cancel my procedure because my friend where I would stay had an unexpected health problem. I don't doubt I will contact Dr Oelbrandt in the future.

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