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Sophie - Diary Of A New Face

Diary of a new me!

February 2012

I am taking some time out of full time employment and so for the first time in my life have the opportunity to consider what to do about my very hooded eyes. I’ve noticed over the years how I have gradually lost my upper lid, to the extent that I can no longer wear full eye make-up – just mascara and eye liner.

I feel like I’m looking through a pillar box, my eyes are very ‘heavy’ by the end of the day and I look permanently tired. I’ve always been told I look 10 years younger (in my mid 50’s now), have great skin (thanks mum!) and go to the gym as much as I can but the eyes are really beginning to ruin the effect and my confidence. My regular Botox sessions with Diana (who’s become a great friend over the years – more on her later) have helped enormously, I can get rid of the lines and lift the chin a bit but – and it’s a big ‘but’, the eyes are really beginning to feature heavily on my mind – as well as in the mirror! They were once said to be my most stunning feature – now they look old and puffy. It’s really depressing.

March 2012

I see Diana for a Botox top up. Diana looks amazing, a beautiful, petite blonde who really doesn’t look her age. Years ago I asked her what she’d done – and it turns out a face lift with Mr Inglefield. She readily admits to doing what everyone says you shouldn’t – looked him up in a phonebook BUT she is so very glad she went to him, and she is truly a walking advert for his expertise.

It must have been a good 2 or 3 years ago when I took Mr I’s details but was never in a position to follow up. I now seriously start thinking about going and seeing him. I don’t live in London but I reason the amazing results from Diana’s procedure are proof enough to take the long journey up by train. I book for a consultation in May.

May 2012

My consultation. What can I say? What a nice, nice man, a caring and friendly manner alongside an obvious passion for the work he does, I immediately felt total trust in everything he says. My eyes seem to need a very simple operation and we discuss other options. Whilst I am having the one procedure I might as well look at any other areas and get it all done in one session. I’d considered a face lift, had read about the new ‘thread lift’ and it is this Mr I recommends. Less invasive and, with little loose skin, I do not need the more surgical option. A lip-lift will get rid of the thin upper lip and some lipo under the chin should complete the look. It’s a lot to contemplate but I’d rather get ‘the new face’ (NF!) now than come back in a year wanting more.

I’m sure I should have asked loads more questions but I was just so excited at the thought of fixing my eyes, and feeling so confident in Mr I and the trust I had so quickly formed in him, that I just didn’t think of any.

I get a quote a few days later. More than I had originally planned but, then again, I am having more done. It’s a really quick decision, let’s do it!

July 2012

NF Day approaches!

Mary calls from Mr I’s office to go through what to expect. It brought it home to me a bit, especially when she said “you are having a lot done aren’t you?”! But no turning back now, I’ve got my after-care in place and sorted being away from home. My lovely friend Diana is going to look after me for 10 days – as an ex high-dependency unit nurse I couldn’t be in safer hands (though, to reassure readers, I did not need that expertise once!).

I have told no one except my husband and, only then, about the eyes. This is for me and I do not feel the need to share with others. I will wait and see what comments I get.

July 12th, NF Day

I stayed in London last night as I’m due in at 08:30am. Sign in at the front desk and straight through to the waiting room and into a gown. The nice thing is one is not left too long on one’s own to mull over the coming events. Various nurses and doctors (anaesthetist and assistant) go through the usual pre-op tests, questions and ‘before’ photos and then Mr I comes in to basically decorate my face with a felt tip pen and reassure. I look like an extra from an Indiana Jones movie.

In the pre-op room two lovely surgical nurses are chatty and keep my mind off the obviously surgical surroundings and equipment. Last hand squeeze and I’m out like a light.

I come too in the post op room with a nurse taking my blood pressure. No pain, just a bit groggy from the anaesthetic and to be expected.

I suppose if I have any gripe it is that the nurse was very keen to get me out of the bed and into the waiting room, standing there with my clothes in hand whilst I am still feeling somewhat groggy and vulnerable. I know I am a day case but could have done with a little bit longer to get my head straight and I was scheduled not to leave until 7pm (I reported this back to LBPS and they were going to take this up with the hospital). But I am dressed and ready to go in the waiting room by 5pm.

Diana comes and collects me and we drive back to her house.

I have a head/chin, elasticated bandage round my jaw where I’ve had the lipo (that needs to be left on all the time for the next 10 days to prevent ‘saggy’ skin), some tape round my eyes, top and bottom, and look like I’ve come off worse in 2 rounds with David Haye! But no pain, slight discomfort but nothing unmanageable and pain killers soon get rid of that. Managed a glass of wine (!) and off to bed early with a pain killer.

To be honest, I do not look half as bad as I expected. There is some swelling but not much. The worst thing is the tape round the eyes that is protecting the stitches. I have an antiseptic ointment to put on the area where the threads were inserted and then it’s just sit back and allow the swelling to go down and the healing to begin.

NF Day plus 1

I have a shower and carefully wash my hair. Always makes one feel better! Again, it is just the tape I have to be careful of. Spend most of the day in bed sleeping off the effects of the anaesthetic but, again, no pain.

It’s really now just a waiting game over the next 6 days. I have to sleep propped up in bed – that’s probably the worst part as I hate sleeping on my back. The other is the tape over and below my eyes, they get slightly ’gungy’ over the following days and somewhat irritating – I shall certainly be glad when they come off.

I’m not on ‘liquids’ as I thought I might be but I do stay off really chewy food and cut it up into small, bite sizes to help.

NF Day plus 6

Back to LPBS for the stitches to come out on the upper eyelids and get everything else checked over. OK, so that’s the worst bit. Mary takes the stitches out and it does sting, you can certainly feel the thread coming out, but it is only couple of seconds and then over with.

I get my first look in the mirror.

And I can’t help but cry.

I have my eyes back. Even still swollen the difference is amazing. I must have said a dozen times, OMG, I have my eyes back. I cannot believe how over-whelmed and grateful I felt at that moment. Everything has been totally worth it.

I am lucky and heal well so the two sides where the threads went in have gone right down.

You can’t see any scars at all under my nose where the lip lift was performed. What magic!

Back to Diana’s for a few more days, still religiously keeping the elasticated band round my chin but all is mending beautifully. I’m still a bit swollen but nothing that would be obvious to anyone that did not know me.

Happy Days!

NF Day plus 10

I go back home. I know I look a bit swollen still but nothing scary.

Over the next few weeks my face starts to settle down.

Do expect some funny ‘catching’ sensations in the cheek area and around the lips. It’s where the scar tissue is forming around the nodules on the threads and they obviously move and ‘catch’ sometimes when speaking/eating.

All my friends and work colleagues say,” wow, what have you done to your hair, it looks great?!” No-one says, “what have you had done”? Exactly the response I wanted. I did not want to go over board and clearly MR I has got just the right level of rejuvenation.

NF Day plus 6 weeks

Up to London again to get the threads tightened. I think the one thing that maybe wasn’t clear at the start was the fact that scar tissue has to form around the nodules on the threads in order to get the full ‘lift’ effect and it is after this 6 week period that the threads can be pulled into place.

Local anaesthetic is used in the areas where the threads were inserted and Mr I can pull until the desired effect is reached. It does feel strange, you get a tugging sensation. I was a bit unlucky in that one area had to be ‘released’ as it got ‘caught’ under the skin but it did not hurt, I just got left with a rather vivid bruise (I do bruise really easily) and the husband had to persuade everyone he was not a wife beater for the following 10 days!

Overall though, MR I is delighted with healing and results, as am I. Yet again they all hear, ad infinitum, how wonderful it is to get my eyes back again. The lips look brilliant (in fact better than ever as I never really had a full top lip and now I do have). The conscientious using of the elastic bandage has ensured I have no saggy skin under my jaw and have a really defined jaw line now.

And did I say how brilliant my eyes are?

After the threads were tightened, there was some swelling again but a good tip is to hold some cold/ice packs over them for 15/30 minutes after the procedure. I found that helped to reduce the swelling before it really kicked in.

An important thing to remember is you can look a bit ‘strange’ after the lift. Mr I has to almost over-pull as it does drop down a bit over the coming weeks. You can end up with very pronounced cheek bones – even a bit like the joker in Batman BUT it does settle down within 24/48 hours – don’t panic! Better to have a couple of days like this than have to come back with disappointing results a month later.

6 months later I went back for another lift – I fear I have ‘chunky, heavy’ cheeks. Thanks dad!

I have no regrets though. All results have been amazing and I’m more than happy to have individual conversations and show photos with anyone wanting to ask more.


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Mr. Christopher Inglefield

Mr. Christopher Inglefield BSc, MBBS, FRCS(Plast) was born in Trinidad, West Indies, and obtained his Medical Degree from the University of the West Indies in Jamaica and Trinidad in 1985.

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