Only 49 years old with sagging jowls, turkey neck and very heavy upper eyelids.
Where do I start? Well a few months ago I had no intention of getting any facial surgery. Then, and I really don't know why I decided all of a sudden, I was going to do it. I guess because I'd come up with the idea of getting the work done in Bangkok where it's much cheaper than in Australia, I managed to justify it to myself.
Originally I was going to get the mid facelift and necklift done only and chose a surgeon after some online research, who only charged $3500 USD for the entire procedure including hospital overnight stay. Too good to be true? I hear you say! Well, only a day before i was scheduled to leave Australia and with the op booked for 8.30am on the 24th of August after an arrival into bangkok the night before; I came across some disturbing reviews on the web about this doctor. I was already a little sceptical as he mainly did sexual reassignment surgery. Anyway, I changed my research tactics using a well known private hospital group in bangkok as my starting point. After reading through the specialties of several surgeons and then googling them looking for independent forums where they were mentioned, I settled on Dr Chartchai. His reputation was held in high regard, particularly for eyelid surgery. I know that originally I was not going to get my eyelids done, but I figured if he's really good at eyes then he must have a fastidious suturing technique. The eyes are such a prominent feature on our face that I'm sure I'm not alone in considering scarring as the major concern of those contemplating facial surgery.
So obviously I cancelled my op with the first surgeon I'd found and instead scheduled a consultation only with Dr Chartchai for the day after I was due to arrive. As you can imagine by this time I was in a bit of an emotional turmoil. Should I still be going? I was due to depart at 6am the next day, unsure of whether I would get the op done at all and a little shell shocked by the fact that Dr Chartchai was almost 3 times the cost of the original surgeon. I was travelling alone but as I arrived at the airport my husband was very reassuring and supportive urging me to not worry about the money and just 'go for it' if I was comfortable after meeting with Dr Chartchai.
Our first consultation went very well. Dr Chartchai is a lovely, very well spoken middle aged man with excellent English. I felt very reassured by the huge, very plush, super clean private hospital. My PS insisted on a barrage of tests before even considering surgery (unlike the first surgeon I'd enquired with). After assessing blood tests, Chest X-ray, and and ECG were fine surgery was scheduled for the Monday (2 days time) and I decided, what the heck, may as well go the whole hog and get both upper and lower eyelids done as well wince that is his specialty.
The eyes were done first and under a local anaesthetic, which, while I felt no pain, was a very uncomfortable and pretty stressful procedure. They took close on 2 hours. Then I had a general anaesthetic and the facelift and necklift took about 3 & 1/2 hours. After an overnight stay in the hospital the drains were removed the following day. They went from above my ears through my cheeks, down to close to the corners of my mouth. These were not painful to remove. I was a little concerned about the indentations they left but now, at 2 & 1/2 weeks post surgery, those marks have disappeared.
I was prepared for the bruising and swelling as I'd seen my mother after a facelift many years ago.
After discharge my PS arranged for a driver to take me to my hotel. My next appointment being 5 days post op to have eyelid sutures out.
Over the next 5 days I went through what I think most on this site have. The "oh my God, what have I done?" moments. To feeling horribly guilty and selfish about the cost.
When the eyelid sutures came out I honestly couldn't see where they'd been and I thought "this man is a master tailor".
2 days after the eyelid stitches the rest of the facelift stitches were removed. All week I'd been searching in the mirror for the line of stitches in front of my ears, but couldn't see any. It wasn't until the day I was scheduled to have them out that I put my finger in my ear and discovered that my PS had tucked the skin OVER that front cartiledge bit of the ear and done the stitching INSIDE..........I was pretty impressed!
My biggest concern over the last 10 days of being home, is that my lower eyelids have been very droopy. It's has meant very dry eyes and a lot of emotional turmoil wondering if they would ever look normal again. After emails to my PS and his constant reassurance that they would return to normal and it was due to the swelling in my face, I am feeling a lot better about them as over the last 2 days they have improved a great deal. I will keep you up to date with improvements and pics but I cannot recommend Dr Chartchai enough......,..very competent, very warm and friendly, and best of all, very clever and precise with sutures.