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I look very like my Mother and she has terrible jowls so I have always been aware that these would be my fate too and hence my desire to eliminate them as soon as I could. So tomorrow I am booked in for an AMF and as I also have bands in my neck I have opted for the platysmal plication. Having spent four years reading the messages and here and considering my options I would like to share my experience with the board. I have booked to stay in Bristol for the night before and two nights following the operation and only my best friend who will be with me knows I am having this done. I am planning to hide away at home for the remainder of the week and hope that somehow I can get away with it. My concerns at this stage are that there is a real difference in my appearance. I look young for my age and do not want this to be too subtle but neither too much if that makes sense. If I am going to have scars they need to be there because the rest of my face has improved. My other concern is that my ears match after reading one of the posts on here where the writer was concerned that her ears were no longer a matching pair.
I will write on Saturday and let you know how it went.
Everything that I read on the Forum about the care of the team at the Spire is true. Mr. Guest and Doctor Sasada are a great team, very approachable and supportive. I was booked to have the AMF and a neck lift but when I met with Mr. Guest on the morning of my procedure he said that he did not think that I needed the neck lift. I was hugely relieved and once again really appreciated his honesty and integrity. I do not remember anything from the surgery other than being woken up at the end. I was taken back to my room with a tight bandage around my head and then had my lunch. I was very hungry but not able to eat very much, so was glad that I had followed advice and ordered soup and a lovely cooling lemon sorbet.
I was not in very much pain but this increased as the afternoon went on and had to ask for some pain relief. I just rested and watched tv for the remainder of the day. During the night I slept upright with the help of a travel pillow which was great at holding my head in place. Definitely recommend purchasing one of those. I also bought a big triangle pillow but this was too large to take to Bristol on the train. It will be great to keep my upright at night now that I am at home. I managed to have a fairly good night's sleep.
The following morning the nurse removed my bandage and I was able to take a shower and wash my hair. You are given a very useful pack containing sun screen, baby shampoo, head bandage, medication and instructions on your after care.
I was worried that the AMF might be too subtle so I asked Mr. Guest not to be too subtle. I'm not sure now that was a good idea, my face looks great but I am not sure that I will get away with no one noticing. I think I look about 15 years younger but my face is slightly swollen and hopefully when the swelling subsides it will not be so noticeable. I also find it hard to believe that the scars will fade enough to have my hair up a few weeks later as some on here have reported. Hopefully they will. My greatest fear at the moment is that I have not told anyone (other than one friend) that I have had this done and don't want people to notice.
In the evening of the day after surgery I went out to dinner in Bristol with my friend and felt absolutely fine. The following morning I traveled home by train with my hair draped over my stitches. Before the surgery I took arnica for two weeks and I have no bruising at all. The stitches are very neat, my face is very swollen, more on one side that the other but I understand that this is normal. I have very little pain at all but am taking it easy and resting a lot.
If you are considering accommodation in Bristol I can recommend the Alderman Apartments in Cabot Mews. I rented a two bed apartment for my friend and myself. Much better than a hotel as the apartments are like a 'home from home' and very 'anonymous'. They are a five minute walk from Cabot Place where there are plenty of restaurants if you are up to going out during your recovery. The apartment was lovely, very comfortable and well equipped with a nice little balcony. I found it far more relaxing to stay there than to be in a hotel and it was a five minute taxi ride to the hospital.
In summary, I am really happy with the AMF experience and the fantastic care I received. I am amazed to feel so well and have no bruising at all. It's also lovely, after planning this for four years, to be the other side of the surgery and can now focus on my recovery. I think it will take a while to get used to my new face and I am going to be nervous when I meet people and see how they react. But at this stage ....I am delighted and would encourage any of you who are nervous and having doubts to go for it. You will receive the best possible care from an amazing team of professionals.
I was very tired for the first couple of days and a little bit emotional. From reading messages on other websites I had learnt that it can be quite usual to have a bit of a bump to earth and to feel a bit depressed after the surgery. Thankfully these feelings passed after a few days and I'm fine now. I had hardly any bruising at all, just a red patch on my neck that resembled a 'love bite' but thankfully no one seemed to notice this, or if they did, thankfully no one commented ! I slept sitting up which was actually much easier to do than I had imagined. I had taken arnica pills for two weeks before the surgery and I massaged arnica gel into my face and neck a few times a day for a week following the surgery. I am sure this all helped to reduce the bruising and swelling.
By day four I was looking almost normal and brave enough to go out to the theatre for the evening with friends. I carefully taped my hair to my face and went out in trepidation but no one made any comment at all ...not even to say I looked well !
My next challenge was coffee with a friend the following day and I was sure that she would notice but no, not a word. Bearing in mind that I asked Mr. Guest not to be too subtle with my AMF I was astounded to think I had got away with it. Since then I have met several friends for lunch, coffee, been shopping and to the gym ( very gentle exercise avoiding any lying down to ensure my hair kept my stitches covered). It seems that no one has noticed a thing. I am on an extended break from work so haven't had to worry about that but I think I would have been happy to have returned after a week.
My stitches were removed yesterday. I went to a local hospital to have this done to save me the long journey to Bristol. The scars looked very red and angry afterwards in a 'bride of Frankenstein' kind of way. That was a bit of a shock but the nurses explained that they get worse before they get better. And a day later they are already fading.
So, at this stage, I have to say that the whole AMF experience has been much easier than I ever imagined, and I am thrilled with the results. The best thing for me was not having the neck lift as I had intended. It would have been much harder to keep the scar under my chin concealed and the AMF has had such a positive impact on my neck. The horrible bands have gone and it looks far more youthful. So I am very grateful to Mr. Guest for recommending that I did not have that procedure even though I had booked and paid for it. I did receive a full refund.
My only concern now is that the scars around my ears will fade in time. I will post another update in due course. And good luck to all of you who have decided to 'go for it'. You will not regret it !
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