Successful Outcome - Advanced Mini Facelift - Bristol, GB

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I began worrying about my jowls over 15 years ago...

I began worrying about my jowls over 15 years ago but didn’t consider surgery until recently. Over time I had begun to develop a few “tics” e.g. frequently covering my lower face with my hands (my partner had pointed this out), trying to keep up a permanent half-smile in order to hide increasingly obvious marionette lines, and more recently a sort of pursing up of my mouth and chin area in order to do the same. I wondered if I was too old at 67 even to be considering a facelift, but my jowls were only getting worse. What would my friends and family think about me doing this? I was hesitant and fearful - what if it went wrong? Most important: who could I trust to do the job? I saw two consultants at different locations, both times getting as far as booking a surgery date only to chicken out nearer the time, maybe because there was something about both that I didn’t quite trust. The first had hurried the consultation and tried to persuade me to have my eyes done as well, which I didn’t feel was necessary. The second seemed quite judgemental, he said “you don’t need a facelift” (though he was prepared to do it). I wanted to say to him that it has nothing to do with what others think about the way I look, it’s to do with how I feel about myself. Both surgery options involved having a general anaesthetic and I was uncomfortable about that, too. I was aware some procedures could be carried out with local anaesthesia and sedation but didn’t know if this was possible with facelift surgery. Then some research found Me and the Advanced Mini Facelift. Eureka!

After my initial consultation with Mr Guest I drove home with a big smile on my face. It’s hard to be specific about what made me sure about going ahead this time. Mr Guest’s straightforwardness and honesty about what could be achieved? His training, experience and expertise? Studying the website and reading about the experiences of patients in the forum? Probably all of that; anyway, it felt right from the start.

I wanted to keep my surgery a secret and my partner was away for a few days which fitted in perfectly with my plan. I’d not told anyone else. The night before the op everything felt unreal and I only got about 1.5 hours’ sleep before driving to the hospital. I was shown to my room where I started having panicky thoughts “what am I doing?” then the anaesthetist Dr Sasada and Mr Guest came to see me and the panic subsided. I didn’t feel too bad walking to the theatre – by then I’d decided it was too late to do anything but give in to it… and amazingly, the next bit was really good. It sounds odd but I actually enjoyed the operation! Having light sedation was brilliant. I felt no pain whatsoever, only an awareness of what seemed like a series of vibrations along one side of my face then the other – quite pleasant because of the sedation - and it all came to an end too soon! The next thing was one of the nurses fitting me with a head bandage, then I was helped into a wheelchair and returned to my room. A bit of pain but nothing that couldn’t be managed with paracetamol. Not a great night, mainly because of the head bandage, but I was able to get some sleep. Luckily I had no drains.

The following morning the nurse came in to remove my head bandage which was a great relief. It had been a bit too tight around the neck (I didn’t realise I could have loosened it because it had a velcro fastener) and because of this, I had a low blood pressure episode and the house doctor visited. All was OK though. I then went to the bathroom and saw my face, which was noticeably different, but something concerned me: I appeared to have two markedly stretched areas sweeping up from the corners of my mouth across the middle of both cheeks and I thought “oh no, the dreaded wind tunnel effect”. I know now this was because my face was swollen and the skin therefore overly taut, and should have taken note of a previous writer in the forum who said DON’T PANIC at the way your face looks in the early stages after surgery, it’s a continually evolving picture. I should have asked Mr Guest about it when he came to check me over and discharge me, but I didn’t, which was a pity because he could have reassured me and I would have had a better night in the B&B where I’d arranged to go before driving home the next day. Once I’d showered and was able to leave the hospital I got a taxi to my B&B, where I spent the rest of that day and night angsting about the possible “wind tunnel”. But I needn’t have worried. Over the next three days or so my face magically rearranged itself.

Two weeks have now passed and I’m delighted with the outcome so far. It’s exactly what I wanted but hardly dared expect could be achieved – a slightly younger version of me - subtle and natural looking, not too different. Not only have the jowls gone but my neck is significantly improved, which I really wasn’t expecting. There’s still some slight numbness down the sides of my face and lower ears but this is reducing daily and I’ve had hardly any bruising. I know it will be several weeks before everything is completely back to normal but I’m well on the way… thank you so much! My partner (amused at my subterfuge) is supportive and very happy with the result, as is my daughter. She'd known how I'd been feeling for years and was surprised and delighted I'd finally had the surgery, more so when she saw me!

I’m so pleased I trusted Mr Guest and relieved I took the decision to go ahead at last.

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
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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