Timing is Everything: A Patient’s Facelift Story

A Patient's Facelift Story(Excerpted from Dr. Peter Adamson’s book Fabulous Faces available on Amazon.com and edited for our blog. Names of individuals mentioned have been changed to protect their privacy.)


Sometimes, the expression “Timing is everything” holds quite true. A chance photo in the middle of home renovations sent Katherine on her path toward cosmetic surgery. Read her real patient’s facelift story.

As I approached my sixtieth year, life was good. Cosmetic surgery had crossed my mind several times in the past few years, but then I’d dismiss it. That was for later—sometime in the future. I felt young and energetic. We had a full schedule with travel, family, work, friends, art school, and home renovations.

A chance photo taken on a June holiday changed my mind. What a shock! Stop with the house! I need renovations! When I arrived home in July, I began to research the subject in earnest.

A website offered photos and explanations of various procedures, plus a list of plastic surgeons in Canada. I spoke to friends who had gone through the surgery and got the names of their doctors. Price, though important, wasn’t the deciding factor. Qualifications, professionalism, and personality were. After all, this was my face, not some hidden body part. Dr. Adamson’s qualifications and reputation in the community are very high. His involvement in humanitarian work in Russia was impressive, as was his list of accomplishments.

We met for an interview. I liked it—simple.

At a second interview several weeks later, the procedures were decided upon: face-, neck- and brow–lift, along with laser treatment.

The day finally arrived. My husband, Peter, drove me to the clinic, where we were greeted by two nurses and the anesthesiologist, all friendly, relaxed people. Imagine, if you can, after changing into a gown, walking on your own two legs into an operating room decorated with lively, colorful artwork, then hoisting yourself onto the table while chatting amiably.

In the two weeks of recovery, I had never spent so much time pampering myself. It was a novel experience to wake up in the morning and see what color was splashed across my face and watch the swelling subside. There was a kaleidoscope of color: a plum purple mouth that wandered on its own, a chartreuse neck, and, best of all, green eyes glittering in a sea of red. The shape of the mouth was interesting. Think fish lips.

I couldn’t get my teeth to fit together. Soft foods were advised, so I lived on scrambled eggs and soup à la Peter and ice cream for the sore throat. I lost weight. Poor me. Ha!

I was unable to wear my hearing aids for two weeks because of the swelling around my ears. I was unable to talk on the phone, as my mouth refused to form words without lisping. I read, walked the dog when no one was about, watched TV, and listened to CDs and the stereo. The TV was so loud because of my lack of hearing that the poor dog left the room whining and wouldn’t return until all was quiet once more.

One of the most delightful results of the surgery was Peter watching me closely every morning as the changes took place. Every day presented a new and different face. He was amazed.

At the end of the second week, most of the bruising had faded. Cheekbones appeared. My chin took shape. Some of the swelling was down. Best of all, the mouth I had known in younger days had returned.

Peter can’t stop looking at me. After forty years of marriage, it’s a pleasure to once more be the center of his attention and wonder. He can’t stop grinning. I’m ecstatic!

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