Laser surgery is a procedure that I had contemplated having for a couple of years. At around 20 years, I began to get acne after having reasonably trouble-free skin during my teenage years. I eventually went to a specialist who prescribed Roaccutane but unfortunately the damage had been done. Now, almost 30 years old I decided to bite the bullet and have laser surgery to reduce my scarring.
The most important consideration when facing surgery is to choose the best surgeon you can find. I now live in Europe but coming home for this procedure was the best thing I could have done. Although a costly decision, it is one that I will never regret as Stephen is one of the best and his team of staff, particularly Karen and Angela, are truly fantastic people and whom I trust implicitly.
Karen will drum into you what to expect after surgery (“expect your face to look like a baboon’s bottom”), I laughed and didn’t take much notice as I thought I was a reasonably strong individual and I really wanted this procedure. My advice: “Listen to what she says”.
Here is my diary.
I arrive at Ascot at 7am and go through the procedures pre-op. I am still not particularly nervous as I really want this surgery. Stephen does his thing and I awake in recovery. I am asked if I am in pain, I actually don’t think I was, but at this point any drugs I get are only going to help I figure so I accept.
A silicone mask has been applied to my face and the skin beneath feels quite tight. I find it difficult to have a drink even when using a straw. My mother collects me and I must congratulate her on keeping things together. At this point I haven’t seen my face and it can’t be a pleasant thing for a parent or caregiver to experience.
We stop at Dr Gilbert’s rooms just to ensure that everything is ok and get some instructions on how to care for my face.
I arrive home early afternoon and continue taking medication (stuff to prevent cold sores, antibiotics and pain relief). Unfortunately I wasn’t intereste in eating and soon after looking at my face for the first time, I start to feel quite faint. I sit on the edge of the bath which was not very clever as I ‘come to’ lying in the bath.
I try to sleep for the rest of the afternoon. The best way to describe how you will feel is uncomfortable, it is not painful but you will look like a burns victim and wonder how you could have inflicted this on yourself.
Still not interested in eating but I attempt some yogurt just to avoid fainting again. You will need to tend to your own face, cleaning with cotton buds and applying a vaseline type substance. If you have a carer, fantastic, let them do it and don’t look at your face otherwise prepare to get strong as this is the part I probably struggled with the most.
Pretty much the same as Day Two. Feeling a little anxious and can’t wait to see Karen to make sure all is ok and that I am making a “normal” recovery.
My mask is removed which is fantastic but I am told to prepare myself as my face still has a lot of healing to go. Once again, I pay little attention and imagine how I expect my face to be – a bit pink at worst. Wrong. My face looks like it has been slashed and it is quite swollen. At this point I really was questioning my sanity. I am told to go home and have a shower, running my face under the water for as long as I could, then wiping it gently with gauze pads. I am told to repeat this procedure often. It is the last thing I feel like doing but the results are amazing. I see a 30-50% improvement each time – almost like I just wiped away the slashes. I regain my appetite slowly and start to eat lots of salmon which is meant to be very good for the skin. It is also important to drink loads of water.
Day Five, Six, Seven
I can’t believe how quickly my face is starting to heal. I have been taking quite a bit of arnica to help with the swelling and am feeling loads better. My wrinkles have also disappeared and I look like my face has been botoxed. The botoxed look is temporary however and my face loosens up day by day.
Today I visit Angela for a skin consultation and an application of make-up to reduce the pinkness in my skin. I leave feeling great and expect in a few days I will be ready to face the world.
I am still feeling a little self-conscious but can’t hide any longer. We have a dinner for twelve people and nobody seems to notice.
From Day Ten
It all just gets easier. The biggest thing is how conscious of the sun you become, even when behind glass. I am now looking after my skin the way it should have been looked after for the past 29 years. The funny thing for me is that I use to have freckles and thought everybody would notice something different about me however the common reaction I receive is that I look great and Europe must agree with me.
I would certainly recommend this procedure, with the right surgeon, however there were days that were pretty tough and you really need to be prepared for it.
Things you will need:
- Cotton buds (200-300).
- Gauze strips (heaps).
- Soft foods – soup, yoghurt, scrambled eggs, stewed apple, mince, salmon, mashed potato.
- Pick up your script prior to surgery if you can.
Hope this is of useful information to other clients who are considering facial resurfacing by laser.