Sue (before operation) 
Oil on canvas 
Painting size: 18×12″ 
Painting by Mark Gilbert

Sue (after operation) 
Oil on canvas 
Painting size: 60×42″ 
Painting by Mark Gilbert

Sue’s story

Sue was a 28-year-old operating theatre nurse from the Lake District who was very unhappy with her facial appearance.

Sue’s underlying personality was that of a happy extrovert, but because of her facial appearance with a markedly protruding lower jaw and hollow upper face, people frequently had the impression that she was miserable and ‘sour-faced’. These constant negative reflections of people’s opinion of her had affected her badly throughout her life.

In 1995 she worked with Professor lain Hutchison in theatre for a period of approximately six months and during one operation, when she was assisting him, she happened to ask whether he might be able to help her and whether he was prepared to operate on her to improve her facial appearance.

In the same year she underwent surgery, which involved fracturing her lowering jaw at 3 points, her upper jaw and her two cheek bones (zygoma). Her cheek bones were widened with grafts from her ribs. Her upper jaw was fixed in a new forward position and her lower jaw fixed so that her teeth now met properly, which had not been the case before.

Now that her face reflects her real personality she feels much more confident. She is married and has five children and has recently taken a nursing studies course at university in paediatric nursing. Since the operation she takes much more interest in herself and enjoys travelling and keeping fit.