'I'm a cosmetic doctor who just had a facelift. 10 things surprised me.'

As a beauty editor, there's nothing I love more than going on a social media deep dive into people's honest experience with cosmetic surgery. Niche? Maybe. But I know I'm not the only one — it's fascinating as hell when people are transparent about what they do to their faces and body.

You see, I used to write for a cosmetic surgery magazine, and would spend a large chunk of time at medical conferences interviewing tons of surgeons, cosmetic physicians and cosmetic nurses and asking them all the annoying details about new procedures, techniques and devices on the market.

It was interesting! Fascinating! A whole different world!

And while I still interview experts on the regular, these days I find myself scratching my proverbial itch by following some of Australia's biggest names in aesthetics, and (trying) to stay on top of all the latest and greatest happenings in the industry.

Watch: Curiosity got the better of us! Renny asked Dr. Naomi McCullum, a cosmetic physician who runs a luxury clinic called The Manse, everything she'd do to her face. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia

One of those experts is cosmetic doctor and founder of The Manse Clinic and Dr Naomi Skin, Dr Naomi McCullum. She's also happens to be the face of the most followed social media accounts in Australia’s cosmetic medical industry. (Side note: her meme game is STRONG).


Recently, Dr McCullum (who goes by Dr Naomi) got a facelift. And she shared a blow-by-blow breakdown of her entire experience — and YES, it's fascinating. 

Below, we asked the cosmetic doctor the things that surprised her about having a facelift. Here's what she told us.

1. The pain.

According to Dr Naomi, once the anesthesia starts to wear off, the pain and discomfort is real. And while a quick Google will tell you in 'lasts a few days', apparently it's pretty hectic.

"Omg I was not expecting the pain level," said Dr Naomi. "I don't like taking painkillers and usually avoid them, but I needed them for a week. Also, it's week three and I'm still very uncomfortable."


2. The impact on sleep. 

Turns out sleeping and facelifts... don't mix. Especially if you're not of the back sleeping variety. "This was worse than the pain," Dr Naomi told me. "I slept so badly on my back for nine nights and felt horrible. The day after I slept on my side, I felt human again."

And look, as a tummy sleeper, I feel this on a whole other level.

3. The improvement to her neck. 

As Dr Naomi shared, her specific surgery was for the lower face and neck — but she told us her biggest result was really the improved appearance of her neck. "I was happier with the aesthetic improvement than I expected," she said.

We love to see it!


4. It makes her look happier.

The main difference Dr Naomi noticed when the swelling started settling and results started to kick in? Just how happy she looked.

Image: Supplied.

"When I looked at my old face in the before image, I looked sad," said Dr Naomi. "But I wasn't, that was just my face."

5. It's like no one online has seen a facelift before.

"The online response has been weird," shared Dr Naomi. (You guys, why are we like this!!!)

"All very positive, but in a strange way. It's a bit intense — like I give a lot with my content but I cannot quench their thirst for it. It's like it is their facelift as well."


6. Some people have acted quite strange IRL.  

"I think it must be the parasocial thing, it's a bit scary," Dr Naomi shared. "I've had people I don't know come up to me and launch into asking about my personal medical history without even introducing themselves." 

"I had one lady I know chase me around an event, trying to question me, but I didn't feel like going into it with her. I felt like that girl in the meme crying and running away from the peacock."

Image: Reddit/@bwaxse


Disclaimer: I may or may not have been the peacock. Hard to say.

7. The swelling went down quicker than expected.

Image: Instagram/@drnaomi

"I've seen a lot of patients have facelifts in the past, and their swelling can take a long time to resolve," said Dr Naomi.

"My surgeon recommended regular LED to aid recovery, so I was very diligent with my LED it Glow Mask, and reasonably diligent with my compression garment. I looked pretty normal by day four despite feeling terrible."


8. Facial compression garments are more unpleasant than body compression garments.

A thing we didn't know: Facial compression garments are uncomfy AF. Like, so uncomfy Dr Naomi said she had to double check she absolutely had to wear it.

"I've had a lot of lipo in the past and am very used to a compression garment. The facial one was horrible," she told me. "I was Googling the research to see how good the evidence for its use with facelifts was."

9. It wiped her out.

According to Dr Naomi, the recovery process is way more intense than you might think. In fact, if a facelift is something you're looking into, it sounds like you might want to really make sure you don't have too much on your plate in order to focus on a full recovery first.

"I'm meant to be studying and have my last month of study to complete to become a cosmetic chemist," shared Dr Naomi. "This has been impossible, I just don't have the energy or the focus."

10. It makes you want to focus on simple and effective skin treatments.

In short, it makes you never want to have another facelift again. As Dr Naomi told us, from here on in she wants to go down the non-invasive route when it comes to her skin.

"I'm hoping I can just do the nice non-invasive treatments like IPL, vascular laser, RF microneedling, and Skinboosters for the next decade. Other than a hair transplant I have nothing invasive planned for a LONG time."

For more from Dr Naomi McCullum, follow her journey on TikTok or find her on Instagram.

Feature image: Instagram/@drnaomi1