31 March 2016
Hi, I’m Trudi and I’m 45 years old. In recent years I had become somewhat fed up of my eyebags being a prominent feature of my face, whilst at the same time I’d developed a bit of a wattle on my neck under my chin. I went and had a chat with the lovely cosmetic nurses at Spire Little Aston Hospital and they suggested I have a consultation with Mrs Kat.
Here is my cosmetic surgery diary for the surgery I chose upper and lower blepharoplasty (eyelid and eye-bag reduction) and also a lower neck/facelift.
I have been very fortunate in that I have never had any cause to go into hospital previously, so whilst not being naive to hospital shenanigans, I’ve never personally been on the receiving end – so I thought it would be a good idea to keep a brief account as to how I got on, hence this diary, (I know, very old-school, I should be ‘blogging’!). I hope anyone who reads this finds it useful!
I should start by saying I was fortunate to be able to book three weeks off work over Christmas, which was an ideal ‘down-time’ for my initial recovery, (you are looking at three months plus to see the full benefits). And I would add you need to be calm, positive and stress-free to give yourself every opportunity to aid in your own recovery.
Day 1 – Sat 12 Dec
Pre-surgery - very excited, surgery day finally here! Arrived at Spire Little Aston Hospital at 8:30am. Am shown to my own room and quickly settled into a very fetching green stripy number with matching support socks, (not the easiest of things to put on!). Mrs Kat comes along and draws all over my face – just like on the TV surgery documentaries – I do wonder to myself, how am I ever going to get that! A short while later and I walk down to theatre where the very kind anaesthetist calmly puts me under.
Tip – I had an anaesthetic cream on the back of my hands for the cannula – it worked, I didn’t feel a thing – it’s a personal choice.
Tip – read the sheet in your room about the post-op exercises.
Post-surgery – a few hours later and I’m back in my room. Mrs Kat checks on me, I can open my eyes. I’m not in any pain or discomfort. I have a VERY tight balaclava-type ‘pressure’ dressing around my face; the soothing hydro-mask on my eyes and my oxygen – and I still managed to take a selfie!! The nurses check on me every few hours taking blood pressure, etc, administering pain meds (just paracetamol and codeine) and eye drops and I was happy sipping water as and when I needed. (You can ‘see’ through the corners of the hydro-mask so you can do things like drink water and take selfies unaided!). You also have a call button to hand to call the nurse if you need them.
Day 2 – Sun 13 Dec
I’ve become adept at taking the hydro-mask on and off myself. I no longer need the oxygen. I can easily go to and from the toilet myself (much needed after drinking all that water!). The lovely nurses continue to do their checks. (The blood-pressure machine did occasionally pinch). I pottered around, watched a bit of TV and dozed to sleep on and off. I also stopped taking the codeine, as I thought it was making me feel a bit sick and the paracetamol on its own was fine.
Day 3 – Mon 14 Dec
Pressure-dressing coming off today – yay! Shower and hair wash too (I knew that marker pen was going to be tricky!).
Late afternoon and Mrs Kat is more than happy with me, so my Sister picks me up to go home. I’m dispatched with: paracetamol; eye drops; eye ointment; and an ointment to apply to my sutures.
Day 4 & 5 – Tue 15 & Wed 16 Dec
I spend a couple of days resting at home, getting used to my staples and stitches, fighting with my surgical socks and generally just pottering around and catching up on my Sky+ recordings.
Day 6 & 7 – Thur 17 & Fri 18 Dec
I am ready to get out and about. I appreciate this is a confidence thing personal to each of us, but I had no problems going out in public. I did wear sunglasses, but when they hindered my Christmas shopping I just stuck them on my head and was happy to answer any questions anyone asked – there were not many!
Day 10 – Mon 21st Dec
Just one week later and stiches came out today! I was a little nervous, but no need to be. This only took a few minutes and did not hurt. Although, I would have to say removing the surgical tape was a mini battle – they should sell that stuff in DIY shops it’s that strong! Very pleased to get my ‘mask of Zorro’ off, I can tell you, and already the before / after is looking really good!! A couple of Sterria-strips were applied to the corner of my eyes just to protect where the stitches had been removed for a few days, but my normal face washing/cleansing/moisturising routine resumed!
Day 12 – 23 Dec
Complimentary lymphatic face massage today to aid with the healing process. This was lovely, but felt very weird! Much of my face still feels a bit numb to touch, so having someone massage it felt a little odd, but still a lovely treatment!!
Day 17 – 28 Dec
Next big step is having my staples out today. Now, I didn’t have the forethought to take a photo of my staples (sorry). Basically there is a row in my hairline in-line with my temple and a row going down in my hairline from behind my ear. Again, the removal of the staples was very quick, no pain, just a little pulling sensation (oh – one did fight back, but it just took a bit more of a pull). Bit of scabbing where the staples were, but that soon came out with the next hair wash. At this point you may just have a few dissolvable stiches remaining.
Day 32 – 12 Jan
One month on and things are looking really good…
Every day there is a little improvement! As feeling returns to all areas of my face and neck there are a few subtle tingly sensations occurring, but that’s it.
Day 63 – 12 Feb
Two months on and this is how I now look…
Tip – I stopped using the Arnica cream after two weeks and reverted to my Environ routine. However, I felt that the very tiny scar lines on my eyelids became noticeably pink, so I’ve reverted to using the Arnica cream on my eyes and the last couple of dissolvable stitches: this has quickly reduced the pinkness!
Day 91 – 12 Mar
Three months to-the-day and my final photos for the purposes of this diary, this is the finished result, all swelling is now gone and I am over-the-moon… (my eyebrows are not raised in surprise! – this is just to show more clearly the upper eyelid result).