I am 53 years old & have always been told I look...
I am 53 years old & have always been told I look young for my age. Until menaupause hit. Hard.
Yesterday someone asked me if I was Cate Blanchett's mother! Bloody cheek!
Anyway, my cheeks have been sliding down my face for quite a while now and last year I decided it was high time I did something drastic about my "melting" face.
I did my research thoroughly here on RS and contacted many lovely people (thank you ladies) both here in Oz and overseas in many far flung places.
I interviewed several local plastic surgeons to get their opinions and prices and quite frankly I was gobsmacked by what some of them had to say, some of their attitudes and some of their overinflated prices!
I was feeling at my wits end when I rang Howard Webster's office and spoke to Tracey, his receptionist. What a delightful and professional lady she is!
Unfortunately Mr Webster did not have any availability until February this year but I made an appointment and prepared to wait the three months necessary.
Fortunately when cancellation came up Tracey rang me so I was able to see Mr Webster earlier than expected for my initial consultation, which incidentally I did not have to pay for because I found him through Real Self.
Immediately I found there was a huge difference with this experience.
I was not kept waiting for longer than 5-10 minutes in the waiting room.
When I did get to meet him Howard was very polite & personable & most importantly he LISTENED to me!!! LOL. Something that none of the others had bothered to do. Having said that he didn't always agree with me, which was fine, after all he's the expert, but at least I knew I'd been heard!
We agreed together that a lower facelift would address my saggy jawline/jowly area, which was my major concern, and that some harvested fat from my belly area would plump up my cheeks to the way they used to be.
I was thinking about a brow lift but Howard did not think this would necessarily be good for me (even tho he could have gone ahead and charged me heaps for it) and we did discuss an upper bleph but I'm not keen on the idea of eye surgery. I think it can change the whole way you look and I'm not sure it's for me.
Howard was lovely and very respectful. He answered all my questions and didn't rush me at all. I was with him for about an hour. We also discussed Breast Lift/ Reduction surgery which I am having done at the same time but I will post a review for that in that section.
After consulting with Howard I spent some time with his lovely assistant Tracey who answered any other questions I had forgotten whilst with Howard. The price I quoted above is in Aussie dollars. Add to that anaesthetist + Hospital fees.
I felt so comfortable with Mr Howard Webster & his professional staff immediately that there was no doubt in my mind that he is the guy for me.
I have booked my surgery for 12 March 2015 (next week) gulp!
I am so excited (& and nervous) Only 9 days to go.... I'll keep you posted....
To Bleph or not to Bleph
When I posted my "before" pics I had a bit of a shock. For the first time I realised that i probably should get an upper bleph. Look at that saggy upper eyelid! How come I've never noticed it before??? Aaaaarghhhhhh!! Howard told me during our very first consult that I should consider it BUT I WOULDNT LISTEN!!!
So, I rang the ever patient Tracey last week and told her my plight.
Howard has agreed to add it to my already six hour surgery (including Breast Reduction) and given me the long weekend to think about it...
One day post op. Out of hospital and feeling great.
Well yesterday was the big day. As you can see from the pics I'm a bit bruised & swollen but I feel so much better than I expected to.
Everything went so smoothly apart from some very unpleasant financial dealings with the hospital which started the day before the op & resulted in my leaving today, a day early. Definitely a very stressful situation!
I was admitted efficiently by a nurse, sent through to put on a gown some long socks to wear for several days & some very lovely undies (lol) and was met by nurse & very nice anaesthetist who explained exactly what he was going to do & told me to take lots of pain relief.
Dr Webster then came along and did some markings on me - I'll ask Tracey if I may have a copy to post here, & then the anaesthetist came back and administered a drug to help me relax and the next thing I knew it was all over! They were wheeling me into my room.
My throat was a little sore & dry from the tube they had put down there but I had no real pain. Just a little stiffness.
As the day wore on and I experienced a little pain especially in my jaw I got straight onto it with analgesic as the doc had advised.
I didn't sleep much last night but I've been up and about today and I'm amazed at how good I feel. I've got a face bandage on at home & a neck brace to keep my head up. I stopped on the way home for coffee with a girl friend & took the garments off & she said that no one would have known I'd just had surgery & with constant analgesia I feel fine. I'm just resting with my head propped up a lot.
Oh! Btw I decided not to go ahead with the upper bleph
Feeling great. Wish I'd done my upper eyelids :(
Well now five days have gone by and all is well. No pain, just a little discomfort and numbness around my ears and a tightish band under my neck.
Tomorrow morning I have an appointment with Howard. I hope he's going to remove the staples in my hair. I haven't told everyone I've had a FL and I think I might get away with not telling them if I can keep the scars around my ears hidden.
I thought it was going to be a far more difficult recovery which is one of the reasons I decided not to go ahead with the upper bleph at the last minute. I regret that decision now. This recovery has been no problem, I've just felt very tired & slept a lot. That's it!
I guess that's the result of choosing an excellent surgeon who really knows his stuff, and who selects the very best anaesthetist to assist him.
All this came down to pure luck and listening to my gut feeling when it came down to choosing the right person for the job. Thank goodness I got it right!
Well, I'm still healing, both my face and my BR so I will keep you in the loop after my consult tomorrow & post more pics. Perhaps I can get the "official" ones from Tracey...
Two weeks after surgery
Well it's been two weeks now and all is going as well as can be expected.
I had the staples taken out three days ago- wow did that hurt! I think that was the most painful thing about the whole procedure lol
I can no longer feel a tight band under my chin but around my ears is still sore/ bleeding a little/weepy and numb if that's possible. Well, it IS possible, cos I've got it!
I'm still really regretting not getting the upper bleph, especially as I try selecting pics to post to show you my update (it's sooo hard to take side pics of yourself lol)
I had no idea, until I took these pics how neat my scars around my ears were either.
Howard Webster, if you're reading this, Good Job! I'm impressed :)
Juvaderm & makeup
After "hiding out" for the last couple of weeks post surgery I thought I'd get back to the land of the living, make and effort with my appearance and go out on a date, provided of course I could keep my ears covered as they are not healed yet.
Anyway I saw a dear friend on Thursday who knew about my BR but not FL. As soon as he saw me he said "you look different. Your face looks younger & your lips look thinner"
Aaaaarghhhhhh!!! That's not the look I was going for at all!!!
I had been thinking about getting some filler in my lips for some time so I called my Botox doc & booked for Friday.
When I arrived she put some numbing cream on and around my mouth & let it absorb for a good half hour.
Thank goodness she did that because that Juvaderm HURT! I did love the result tho :) even tho I felt like a duck!
I only had 1ml but I think that's enough for me. I want to look "normal" and not "done" in any way.
So by last night my lips were feeling more normal & I had a date coming around to pick me up for dinner. He'd been in Europe for the last 3 weeks and had no idea of my shenanigans whilst he'd been gone.
It was the first time I had put make up on properly since my op and it felt so good to feel pretty again. Not hating that jowly area, cos it's GONE!! FOREVER!!!! And my cheeks! They're there again! Lol and my lips too! (Well that was really weird, but in a good way)
So Mr R walks in the door, looks me up & down and says "you're looking lovely. Very fresh" LOL fresh??? If he only knew! To which of course I replied "Oh thank you"????
I caught him staring at me suspiciously a couple of times during dinner and he'd say "you're looking very fresh" LOL and we all know why don't we... But I think I'll keep him guessing for a while :)
I have another appointment with Howard this week. I'm still concerned about my ears which are not healing quite as quickly as the rest of me. They're still bleeding/weeping at night. They're kinda sticky behind and under the lobes, and of course still numb but I expected that.
I'm still in awe of the difference this work has made to my face. From those yuk ageing jowls I had to the smooth jawline I have today. I don't recall it ever being this good! The fat cells taken from my tummy (yay!) and injected into my cheeks have not only made my cheeks look better it's also improved the look of my lower eyelids somehow.
I am so happy I went to ARC & Howard Webster & his team. I really cannot speak highly enough of them.
If there was one thing I would do differently next time (if I could afford a little extra) it would be to go to Linley Clinic where Howard also works. I was there earlier this week and I think my hospital experience would have been far more pleasant had I gone there for my surgery.
Four months later
17 Jul 2015
4 months post
Went back to ARC for my four month review today.
I am so happy with my results I can hardly remember what my face was like before, until I caught a glimpse of some of my "before" shots whilst I was there today.
"Oh no I don't look like that do I?" I exclaimed in horror as Jenny patiently explained that I was looking at a before shot! Phew!!!
At the moment I think the results are good, the scars are healing well apart from one behind my right ear which you may see in one of the pics. It is a little "ropey" according to Howard. It's a bit raised & prickly. I have to get some .05 cortisone cream from the chemist and apply it twice daily & that should do the trick. Fingers crossed.
Report back in two months.
Late update: Scar update
1 Jan 2016
10 months post
So I'm a little late with my update. Sorry about that. Life kinda got in the way, but here goes...
This pic I've posted is of the "ropey" scar behind my right ear. It was taken on 26 September after using the cortisone cream for two months. The cream didn't seem to do much and the scar, although raised and irritating (prickly & itchy) was never red so I'm not sure if you would call it keloid or not.
I've always been lucky & scarred very well so I was surprised when this ropey horrible thing appeared behind my ear.
Howard suggested injecting the scar area with cortisone. All I can say is OUCH!!! Even with a local it hurt but after a couple of days I noticed that the prickly itchy feeling had gone which felt a lot better.
Howard suggested I arrange a follow up appointment for two months later, which I did, and once again he injected the site with cortisone. He said it looked better but it's hard for me to tell as its in such an awkward place right behind my ear. Also I have not told many people about this op so it's a bit difficult to find anyone to take pics!
I like to wear my hair up in a ponytail in summer & I feel quite self conscious about it. What do you think?
I have another review booked with Howard on January 20th.
I'm afraid I will still need more treatment on the scar as its still raised & is still quite visible - I think (particularly compared to my left ear)
Having said all this I still cannot fault Howard or his team. They are all quite lovely & very professional in the follow up concerning this unforeseen problem & they are very keen to fix it.
I'll post some more recent pics of behind both ears for comparison if I can take any successful selfies.
If not I'll post an update (with pics) after my next appointment on 20th ;)
Selfies: 1 January 2016
1 Jan 2016
10 months post
Just took these selfies. You can really see the difference in the healing behind left & right ear