44 yo - face and neck lift plus platysmaplasty

Like most people, I have been through a few ups...

Like most people, I have been through a few ups and downs in the past. These days, I'm up! But my face is... down. My appearance is the one thing I don't feel confident about. I have a lovely and loving family, a great job that surprises me every day and a full life... I also have a wobbly, wrinkly double chin that kind of disgusts me... I struggled with the 'I should be happy with who I am etc etc...' for a while, all very noble, but then I thought why should I go through the rest of my life avoiding mirrors and being terrified of cameras when actually I could just get on and do something practical about it? So after a bit of searching around, and a disappointing consultation with another PS, I have booked in with Dominic Bray for a face and neck lift with platysmaplasty for next summer. My only regret at the moment is that I can't get it done sooner! Oh and I haven't actually told my husband yet... I think he would freak... but it's not like you can hide a FL in the wardrobe with those shoes you've had 'for ages'... haha! So I guess I will have to fess up soon...

3 months until my "Braynaissance!"

Just under 3 months to go now - it feels like a milestone after waiting so long! I am feeling very normal I suppose - I mixture of excited, a little bit nervous and slightly ridiculous. But at least now it feels as though it is really going to happen (and having looked at some Easter holiday pics, I am more committed than ever!). This will be my first ever cosmetic procedure. I've never had fillers or botox or anything, so it's straight out with the big guns here. But I've got the husband informed, the kids sorted and the hotel booked, so I am ready to go!... Almost ;)
PS I hope you don't mind me nicking your phrase Bienemaya!

Facelift with dominic Bray - 5 weeks to go!!!

Well, I am nearly at the point of no return (or no 100% deposit return), and whenever I have a wobble (an emotional one) I will look at these photos. I see ladies (usually nonagenarians) with chins like me and I don't think they look awful, but this level of flapability has no place on a lady of 44 (yes, I KNOW!! Only 44, it's honestly true!) So here I am with 5 and a half weeks to go... excited of course but frankly a little nervous now. Have never even had a professional leg wax so this is a massive thing for me! Dominic has been in touch with answers to my questions and I feel very safe in my choice of surgeon. Thanks to all of you who have reassured and supported me (especially Byebabe and Jormana XX). Eeeeeeeeek!!

photos

17 days to go...

Gosh time really does fly and almost a year after my consultation with Dominic here I am awaiting my pre-op pack and having strange dreams about my surgery! I am working full time in a super busy job up until the day before and I'm worried it's going to sneak up on me super quick and I won't be ready. Are there things I need to buy? Do I need to practice sleeping on my back? Or shall I just rock up on 21st July with my overnight bag and a smile on my (saggy) face? Any advice much appreciated, babes!

The other side!

Can't believe I'm finally on the other side! All went well and Dominic seems very pleased. Procedure took a while as there was a lot of fat to be liposculpted. He seemed very committed to getting it right. Obviously it's very early days but from the initial pics I am delighted. Jawline looks amazing! Back to the icing now... Will post some pics in a day or two Xx

Day 2 - Harvest Moon

I think I have been a bit naive about what to expect in terms of swelling! Since these surgeon's pics were taken my face seems to have doubled in size and I am definitely looking more alien than human. Dominic warns me it will probably get worse today, at which point I will be hiring a carpenter to widen my doors...!
I just keep reminding myself that this part is just a few short days. Looking forward to Friday and have got the stitches out!

Stitches

I always wanted to see pics of the stitches when I was researching my procedure - especially the platysmaplasty as there don't seem to be many pics of this particular procedure.

Sleepless night...

Was doing so well with the sleeping, but just can't seem to sleep at all tonight $( , so thought I'd post some pics of my gorgeous yellow bruises instead!

"You look well!"

Got caught out and about today and received my first "You look well!". I would have laughed my head off except I can't really do laughing yet! Perhaps she was just being kind. I buried my chin in my scarf and mumbled something about 'swollen glands' before sidling off in a crab-like sideways scuttle to avoid displaying the full-moon face. Decided to take short cut along the canal to avoid any more embarrassing encounters, and ended up having to crawl under the trunk of a huge tree that had fallen right across the path (keeping my head elevated above my heart at all times of course!) I think I'd better stay home tomorrow.

Day 8 - stitches out

Went back to Harley Street today to get the stitches out. Very slight discomfort, that's all, and Dominic says everything is going well. I can feel it too - my face is less swollen, but still puffy and numb. Felt instantly so much better once the stitches were out and wandered off down Harley Street with a massive smile on my face!
I think I have become the most vain person in Britain - I can't stop looking at myself. That certainly makes a change from the way I felt before. Every time someone took a picture of me I would sneakily take the camera and delete all images. Now I will be shoving my face in the lens demanding another close-up - haha!
Obviously I'm completely worn out and I know there's still lots of healing to go. I know there will be a few downs as well as ups but I am expecting that. But at the moment I am feeling pretty upbeat, as you can tell :)

Day 10 update

Slept well last night and felt great this morning - for a couple of hours at least. This healing business is exhausting!! Managed to get out for a walk this afternoon. Facelift observation of the day: even the most carefully styled hair moves in the breeze. I have a sore bit behind my right ear which makes sunglasses uncomfy too. Never mind - let them look! If they want, which mainly they don't to be honest.
Bruises are starting to fade and face is receding. When I get impatient remind myself that this time last week I spent most of the day in bed with an ice pack - what a difference a week makes!
Scabs starting to come away under my chin. Trying not to pick!! Around the ears was looking good until PS took out the stitches and it has now gone a bit scabby again.
Meeting my mother-in-law on Wednesday so hoping for a dramatic deflation and de-scabification by then.

Day 12 - befores and afters

Some truly awful 'befores'. I think Dominic's before shots, awful as they are, are too flattering. These really show what he was up against! And what a brilliant job he has done.

The mother-in-law test, day 14

Two weeks post today! Slapped on the old bare minerals cover up and a 6 inch layer of gosh powder to disguise the black eyes and met my mother in law for lunch. Test passed! She didn't bat a single eyelash at my dramatic transformation. I did spend most of lunch hiding my face behind bits of sandwich, a huge coffee cup and a scarf. She probably thought I was being a right weirdo but was too polite to say anything.
Stiffness gets less and less everyday,but is very much still there along with the pesky chin scabs. Binned the facebra this morning! Less tired now and sleeping like a baby wedged up on my pile of pillows, so it's all good!

Sunblock??

Can anyone offer me advice on using sunblock on my incisions? Scabs have just fallen off on my chin incision and I'm wondering if I should use sunblock in the tropical heat of south Wales? (The sun might come out....)
Thanks
X

Wild paddling

Wild swimming is off this summer - unless I can do it without my head going under. Hmm. So wild paddling it is. And wild reading and wild knitting. And wild eating! And cliff walking. Been on some good long walks and it's lovely to do some activity again without feeling like my head is going to POP! Feeling very unfit though. Have done everything in a hoodie, since the factor 50 is getting ingrained in the incisions and not sure this is a good idea... Still, I am feeling pretty good at 3 weeks and better every day x

week 6

Well, it has been a while since I updated my review, but not because I'm unhappy or disappointed or anything. I have just started being busy again, now that my face has returned to normal-but-better, the stitches are (mostly) out and the bruises have disappeared. I have had a very successful, uncomplicated recovery and there hasn't been an awful lot to say...
Anyway I went for my 6 week review a couple of days ago and surgeon says all is going well. He also said my skin is looking good (so no Obagi) and he doesn't think I should do anything about my eye bags yet.
Result! The creative accountant in me says: go and buy yourself something lovely, you've just made £3,500!
Oh and best of all, I am not allowed to lose very much weight now, so hopefully this will put an end to my constant dissatisfaction with THAT part of how I look!
So all in all I'm very happy. Still a bit of swelling to go down and scars still a little red. All normal.
Went back to work this week too. Lots of 'ooh your hair really suits you!' (haven't had it cut in three months!) and 'have you lost weight?' No-one can quite put their finger on it... I can't believe they haven't noticed the disappearance of that gobbler...!! But maybe they're too polite to say.

Some pics...

That's it!

I had my 3 month review with Dominic a few days ago and said a happy 'goodbye'.
Dominic is a brilliant surgeon. He also has a great sense of humour, and (I think) a very good understanding of his patients. He knew what I wanted and what I didn't want (even when I thought I wanted it).
As a plastic surgery 'virgin' at the relatively young age of 44, this was a very weird, life-changing, unusual episode of my life! But I don't think I could have been in safer hands. I have no idea whether he is the best surgeon in Britain, Europe etc etc, but he was the right one for me.
I will probably not update my review anymore. I know that some people reading think that patients have scurried underground for negative reasons after a few weeks, but I think it's just that it's done and there's not much else to say.
Also, you do tend to obsess about it beforehand, but afterwards normal life seems far more compelling than pouring over pages and pages of FL reviews!
If anyone wants to PM me, I'm happy to chat. But for now it's adieu and good luck!
(Although if you choose Dominic I don't think you'll need it ;) )
London Facial Plastic Surgeon

Dominic Bray really does seem to have integrity, which is sadly lacking in some of the Harley Street 'sharks' out there. I felt that he listened to me and suggested exactly the right treatment for me, and whilst I could definitely have had a lot more done, he seemed to know that this wasn't right for me at this stage. Without a doubt he is a very skilled surgeon, but sometimes that comes with an off-putting air of superiority and a dismissive attitude. Not a bit of it! He and his team are very easy to get along with: I never felt like I had asked a stupid question, never felt patronised or pressured and they were all sympathetic and understanding about my concerns and questions. Following my procedure Dominic texted or called at least one a day for the first few days to check I was OK - both mentally and physically. Most importantly, of course, I have a fantastic, natural-looking result! Oh and he NEVER discussed Realself with me, so there was certainly no pressure to write a review as some have suggested.

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
4 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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