Jury is Still out on my SMAS Face and Neck Lift, Early Days!

I have been reading reviews on this site for well...

I have been reading reviews on this site for well over a year. After chickening out several times I decided to just go for it. I had only been reviewing MACS lifts so I don't quite know how I agreed to having a full face and neck lift performed. I'm in my mid forties and it was my double chin and jowels bothering me more than wrinkles.
I had sent off my photos to several plastic surgeons in the past year and all gave conflicting advice. Liposuction to double chin and macs lift was what I thought I needed as that was the general advice I received from many surgeons. I was going to see my dentist in Budapest as I had some implants done last year so I thought why not visits a plastic surgeon or two in Budapest whilst I was going anyway! So I researched plastic surgeons and I came across Dr Vincente Rodrigo. After sending several photos his assistant Joanna got back to me within a day. She explained that the surgeon could perform a macs lift but that it would not address my neck area sufficiently enough and that a full SMAS face and neck lift was more suitable for my needs. I agreed to go with whatever the surgeon thought best when he saw me in person. So on the 26th of October I found myself agreeing to have a full SMAS facelift and neck lift under general anesthetic that very same day.
After the facelift I was kept in the hospital overnight. At around 2am I awoke in extreme discomfort as my face was swelling; I can only describe it like a pulsating feeling which was quite uncomfortable and aching. The nurse on duty gave my an injection which eased the pain. She also called in the surgeon who came about an hour later and was unconcerned with the swelling and said it was quite normal.
At 5pm later that day Dr Rodrigo came again to see me and said that I could return to my hotel but to come back the next day. Day two post op and my face looked even more swollen. I was unable to open my eyes and my lips were swollen to three times their normal size. After visiting the consultant his nurse gave me a calcium injection into my buttock to take down the facial swelling.

Five days post op, still very swollen.

31st of October, five days since my face and neck lift and the swelling continues. I also have some bleeding behind my right ear and from what I can see it looks like I have a small haematoma. I am due to return to see the surgeon on Monday so I will let him decide if it is a haematoma or just severe bruising. My lips Are still very swollen but not to the extent they where on post op day three. My face has taken on a deformed look and if I was going out for Halloween (which I'm not) I would blend in well with the Zombies. Joanna, Dr Rodrigo's assistant gave me a powder to dab around my scars the name is in Hungarian but I find it very soothing to use and have been putting it mainly behind the bleeding ear. She said you cannot buy it in the UK. It's called RESEPTYL-UREA. I cannot really find out what it is but I'm just going with her advice for now. What I have noted is that my face and neck are rock hard and numb to the touch. I think this is normal after such extensive surgery. Anyway, I'm off the pain medication now and I honestly don't feel any pain at all just pressure from the swelling. I find that keeping the compression on for most of the day supports my neck and reduces any pressure I feel.

Day 6 post op, ear pics

getting worried about my ears, behind the right ear is worst. I go to see the surgeon in the morning to get the stitches out in front of the ears so i will be intrigued as to his advice.

Stitches to stay in a while longer.

Hi everyone, I visited the PS this morning and had a list of questions as to whether I have a haematoma behind my right ear and was due to get the stitches removed in front of my ears.
The PS said I do have a small haematoma but he isn't concerned about it. He said that due to a rare allergic reaction to the anasthetic drugs, I developed angiodema which caused my lips, eyes and face to swell to massive proportions which in turn limited the blood supply behind the ears even more. I am due to fly back to my job in the Channel Islands tomorrow and I explained it takes two flights from there to get to Hungary and I am concerned about anything going wrong with the healing of the necrotic tissue.
He assured me that I can contact him anytime with my concerns and wants me to send frequent pics of the wound sites. He feels that everything will turn out well so I just have to remain positive.
His assistant Joanna also gave me topical doxycycline cream to use on incisions if they become tender and red. She really went out of her way for me and bought me a box of nettle tea to take down the odema and took me for a coffee to talk about my worries about living so far away in the event of things going wrong.
One other thing to mention though is that none of my stitches have been removed. The PS said that due to the severe swelling he would like them to stay in a few days longer than normal. I think that I will be able to remove the stitches in front of my ears myself but I'm not quite sure how I will remove the rest but I guess I will cross that bridge when I come to it. I will post some pics in a day or two as tomorrow I will be traveling for most of the day.

Day 12, post op, very unwell.

Hi everyone, just an update, went back to work onWednesday which was a real struggle. I was on a nightshift and by the end of it my head felt as though it had swollen to twice it's size. despite going to bed in the morning I couldn't sleep and felt quite unwell. a friend came at around 4pm and took out my stitches. Despite a few drops of blood and a few tough stitches that had scabbed over everything went well. My friend who is in the medical profession said that I should not go to work as it was too soon as my job is quite busy and physically demanding. Despite her advice I went to work that night.
I felt unwell for the first few hours but just got on with it thinking to myself that I would get through it ok if I took it easier. At around 2am I started to experience rigors, shivering, aching everywhere and had a pain shooting up into my left ear.
I had no choice but to go home at that point. Anyway after a couple of paracetamol the rigors subsided and I slept for a few hours until I awoke with the rigors again, this time though I was drenched in a cold sweet and felt I wanted to die as I felt so ill. I got an early appointment to see a GP and called the ps assistant Joanna. She was great, she asked me to send photos for the ps to look at and got back to me straight away. The ps Dr Rodrigo sent me his personal number so that the GP could speak to him. After examination the GP phoned the PS and it was decided that I should have co Amoxiclav antibiotics.
The GP also gave me a sick note for a week.
So here I am on my second day of antibiotics laid up in bed with no energy having intermittent bouts of hot sweats and rigors and a new development of diarrhoea; possibly due to the antibiotics. My neck is hot to the touch and very swollen.

Antibiotics starting to work

Day 13 post op and it's probably the first day that I actually feel ok! Firstly I'd like to state that I think I took the idea of a facelift too lightly and I urge anyone thinking of going down this route to allow plenty of time off work etc to rest and recuperate. I have read so many reviews where people have said how they have healed so quickly that I just filtered out the bad reviews.
I'm not saying my healing is going badly just that everyone is different and having this infection has really brought me to earth with a crash!
I don't know if everything will be plain sailing from now on but I do know that a facelift is a major procedure and to get angiodema followed by an infection plus having an haematoma was not on my mind when I went ahead with the procedure. Anyway, I took some pics today and as you can see everything is looking much better. Although I'm still very swollen I look more like me again.

Ridge on cheek, raised overlapped scar in front of ear.

Hi everyone, day 17 post op and everything seems to be settling down now. I have a couple of concerns though. I have this ridge on my left cheek that hasn't gone yet. I spoke to surgeons assistant yesterday who tried to pass it off as being due to wearing compression garment. It isn't at all as I've not been wearing it for past few days as I originally had that thought as well. Another concern is the scar in front of my left ear which looks to me as if the surgeon overlapped the incision. I am a bit upset about it as it looks too much on the face and not close enough to the ear. Joanna the PS assistant said she will send some silicone sheets for this.
The necrotic tissue behind my right ear is dried out now and feels like a piece of beef jerky.
I'm nearing the end of the course of antibiotics and I feel well in myself and looking forward to returning back to work.

Three weeks and two days post op

Hi everyone, I'm three weeks and two days post op and was going to put some new pics on at one month post op but I've done a few today as it's also nice for me to look back at in the future. The ridge in cheek is still there and I still have a tight swollen neck which is more evident in a morning when I've had the compression garment on overnight. I've bought a little handheld massager and I'm gently going over the ridge in my cheek. I'm unable to use it on my neck at present as it is still quite tender. I got some silicone gel delivered for the scars and I'm still putting the powder (was given by the plastic Surgeon) on the necrotic tissue. I still have scabs in my head and when a bit loosens so does a tuft of my hair. I have a couple of bald patches as well above each ear but my hair is so thick that no one will ever notice except me. PS assistant Joanna emailed me on Saturday to say that the PS would like me to return to Budapest for a consultation but I just don't have the time right now, especially after being off work sick last week. Everything seems to be healing ok and I've been back at work now since the 13th of November. I have a few stubborn bruises under my eyes still but find that I can easily cover most of them up with makeup. I have to say that Vichy dermablend is great stuff and I would recommend it to anyone who is thinking of or just had a facelift as it covers up bruising with just a small amount. The only suggestion I would make though is to apply it with a foundation brush which is gentle on the skin.

Before pics

Just thought I'd put a few before pics on. I don't know how you put them side by side.

4 weeks and a day post op

Hey everyone, just a quick update, try and look past the red eyes on my photo as I've just completed a 14.5 hour shift at work. My face is still numb and my neck is still tender to touch and still tight. I'm unable to twist my neck much and it's a bit of a problem when driving. I keep being asked if I have a stiff neck so I just agree and say I must have slept funny.
The necrotic tissue behind my right ears has started curling up at the edges and coming loose. I'm trying to leave it alone to fall off naturally. Scar in front of left ear is still raised and overlapped and I have to hide it with my hair. I have it tied up for my job so I have to pull a lot of strands through which looks a little messy. I have some broken capillaries under my right eye which I think is the result of the severe swelling I had with the angiodema. I thought it was bruising but on closer inspection it's definitely a red mark. Hope that goes eventually.
So, I was looking for a new look and bought an electrical hair waver, omg! It's like I've crimped my hair it looks so bad.
I still have a prominent ridge on the left side of my face and it looks very asymmetrical (left side so different to right side) I'm just hoping it goes back to normal eventually. I don't want to make judgment on the PS just yet as its still early days.
Any way the pics are not the best and you need to look past the bleary eyes and frizzy hair.

Week 8

Just a quick update on the healing so far, feelings are starting to return in my face now and from time to time I get the odd electric shock in my cheeks. I had a haematoma behind my right ear that turned into black hard Eschar that has now thankfully fallen off. Neck still feels tight and tender and I'm discovering new lumps daily in the neck that are there one day and gone the next. The scars in front of my ears are hideous and is just bad plastic surgery. I will probably at some point get a revision done but I'm not going there for at least a year; going to let everything settle first. There is noticable asymmetry in my cheeks and the right side looks far sharper and smoother than the left. Nobody has noticed at all that I had anything done and no comments are forthcoming on how I look fresher etc... I have some bald patches above my ears and near the temples in my scalp and it does take longer strategically pulling strands through to hide them when I tie my hair up. All in all though I'm pretty happy with the jawline.

Ear scars

Just a few pics of the scarring around ears. I try not to dwell on them too much but they are quite hideous. I put on my silicone gel daily but I don't feel it makes much of a difference. Any tips?
Dr Vincente Rodrigo

Dr Rodrigo is very professional, Courteous but brisk. He says what he has to say then leaves you to decide. I felt no pressure to have the procedure performed. His assistant Joanna is very approachable, even bringing me chocolate and yogurts to the hospital for me. I am disappointed that I had so many problems post facelift but who was to know that I would be allergic to the anasthetic or that I'd end up with an haematoma or wound infection. Overall rating will be decided if and when the prominent ridge on left side of face disappears And the overlapped scar in front of left ear flattens out. I was not totally happy with the payment process as they would only accept cash, no visa or bank transfer was accepted and carrying large amounts of sterling over to Hungary was disconcerting.

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