Dr Lorenzo's driver picked us up that morning and took my husband and me for the tests and returned later to collect us and take us to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital. He also sent his nurse with us and she stayed with me for the duration of the procedure until I was driven home by the driver.
At no stage did I have the slightest concern that I was not in good, safe, professional hands. Everyone I dealt with had perfect English (except the driver but that was of no concern) and great pains were taken to ensure my comfort at all times. The day after Dr Lorenzo came to my hotel and dressed my wounds and I was always given clear concise instructions on which drugs to take and how to take proper care of my body post surgery. I did take with me from Australia a codeine prescription pain killer I had on hand and I do think this extra analgesia did help with my recovery. I had no pain of any significance and after 3 days I just took the occasional paracetamol. I would honestly describe the experience as far, far less painful than having an impacted wisdom tooth removed.
There was a lot swelling for the first week and bruising particularly under the eyes. I wished I had thought to get some of that Dermablend stuff for covering birthmarks because the bruising was deep purple. I did not like leaving the hotel without sunglasses and walking around did bring on some aching in the swollen areas. Mostly I stayed in with books, wifi, and cable TV in the hotel suite. My husband brought in excellent take out food from The Podium mall across the street.
I had the stitches removed in two stages in Dr L's office and the second time he cleared me to return home. He prefers patients to stay 14 days before flying home but I only stayed 10. In retrospect I wish I'd stayed at least 12. We flew home at night and the 8 hour flight was very uncomfortable for me. The plane seat was not designed for someone short like me and I could not get comfortable enough to sleep nor could I wear headphones to watch movies because the pressure on my ears was too painful. I should have bought a padded neck support so my mistake.
The result at 28 days is fantastic. People say I look 15 years younger and I am thrilled with the result. I've never had a good neck angle but the improvement in my saggy neck is very good considering no full neck lift was done. It will be another two months before all the swelling has subsided but I was comfortable going out and about with makeup after 19 days confident no one would guess I'd had surgery who didn't know me.
I have a fuller smoother face with no marionette lines and a great firm jawline. The fat transfer injections from my abdomen were a good idea to address loss of fullness in the mid face. The scars are fading quickly and are easily hidden by my hair.
The cost was $4500 US all inclusive. In addition air fares and hotel costs for me and my husband were another $4000. Although Manila in July is like a sauna we did get to do some shopping and see some of the countryside in the few days we spent there prior to my surgery. The hotel was very nice and we did feel we had a holiday of sorts. I would not consider doing this without a spouse or supportive friend/relative. It would have been possible but I would have found it difficult and would have had to rely on room service for meals. You do look a bit like a Halloween pumpkin swathed in bandages for the first week and not a pretty sight. It was nice to have someone to care for me post surgery and dress my wounds and wait on me hand and foot.
At this stage 100% worth it. Do your research and do not proceed if having any doubts. Although Manila is a developing country the city has many modern luxurious shopping malls and security is very high everywhere. Traffic is chaotic but we were never exploited or felt unsafe. Stay in a good hotel near plenty of shops (we stayed in Ortigas at the Discovery Suites) and make sure your taxi driver uses his meter. Taxi rides are very cheap and food is good value but you won't find bargains in the malls. Prices at the international chain stores are the same as at home. Many prescription drugs are available at very cheap prices in pharmacies. We stocked up on my husband's heart meds which were a fraction of the price. Watson's Pharmacy had a good range of items.
And one last thing, have enough pesos to pay the doctor in cash as it would have been 17% extra for a credit card payment. Paypal is possible for about 3% I think.