See Kim’s Before & After Plastic Surgery Pictures Album.
63 year old, Kim (friendname: kimk27) has always known that she would get plastic surgery when she started to show facial aging. As soon as she saw her friend’s success with a facelift, she knew that it was time. Kim spent hours online, researching for the right doctor and facility and eventually decided on Dr. Carl Williams in Henderson, NV for his experience, credentials, and helpfulness. Kim prepared for her surgery by looking through Make Me Heal‘s before and after photos and reading the doctor reviews. The hardest thing for Kim during her preparation was to quit smoking, which she had to do for at least 30 days. On February 26, 2008, Kim had a deep plane face lift and recovered beautifully with minimal discomfort. Her advice for anyone who’s contemplating plastic surgery is:
“My final words of advice would be to do the procedures because you really want to, not for anyone or anything else. In my opinion, cosmetic surgery cannot bring happiness if a person does not have that feeling within them. It does not create self esteem if a person does not like his or her self. Cosmetic surgery only enhances the physical looks, and therefore enhances one feeling of happiness and self esteem. It will not give you what inner feelings, such as happiness, self esteem, and a good outlook on life if one did not have those feelings before the surgery, to me, it only enhanced the positive feelings I had before the surgery.”
Please join us for an interview with Kim:
Make Me Heal: When did you first have the idea to have your procedure(s)?
Kim: I have always had a curiosity about plastic surgery, and knew that I would consider it when I started to show facial aging. I knew I could keep my weight down and body fit through exercise and proper nutrition, but that I could not stop my aging face and neck. In 2006 I became very serious about finding a reputable plastic surgeon, and finances to have a face lift as my face was showing the signs of aging and so was my neck.
Make Me Heal: What were your motivations (physical, emotional, social, etc.) behind your decision to have the procedure(s)?
Kim: The motivation to have the procedures was that I knew it was time as I was already 63 years old. Then I saw someone who just had a facelift. Her lift was 10 days old, and she looked well and happy. Seeing a success story right in front of me, made me look harder for a surgeon. I live in a small town, and the search for a good Plastic Surgeon was not easy, and I knew I would have to travel and stay out of town to find a good Surgeon to get my procedures done.
Make Me Heal: How long did it take you to make a decision and was it an easy or difficult one to make?
Kim: After seeing the lady that just had the facelift, I made up my mind to find a good surgeon and have the face lift done. It made it easier to make the decision, as I realized that she too being from a small town, had to go out of town to have the procedure and that it all worked out well for her. That made it easier, as it is not an easy decision to make when it is elective surgery and one is putting herself at some risk. I knew it would be ok, if I researched and found a good doctor and facility. Knowing that I could do the homework/research made my decision making process easier.
Make Me Heal: Did your family, friends, and any other people in your close circle give you support, opposition, or did you make this decision without considering them?
Kim: I did tell my immediate family and 3 close friends. They were all supportive, but also concerned, as it is elective surgery. As I am over 3,000 miles from my family, there was some concern! No one opposed as they knew I had made up my mind and spent many hours searching for the right facility and doctor.
Make Me Heal: How did you research the procedure and come to decide on this particular procedure?
Kim: I had gone for a consultation in the state of NH when I was in my 40′s, so I knew I would have to do that after I narrow down a field of doctors, and facilities. I was familiar with consultations and seeing surgical facilities. I began with a local doctor in my town and was given names. I spent hours on the internet. I used the Make Me Heal website, and read all the facelift category. The good and the bad results. I used every tool that I found on the Internet. I got input from 2 ladies that had facelift. Both provided lots of dos and don’ts. I then went out on consultations, and kept speaking with my local doctor. This doctor was very helpful to me, as he was just starting out in cosmetic surgery and did recommend doctors that were more experienced than he was. They were all out of town, as I live in a small town and we do not have a good selection of Cosmetic surgeons.
Make Me Heal: Please discuss if you used any of Make Me Heal’s resources such as the message boards, pictures library, doctor directory and doctor reviews, and any recovery and preparation products that you used.
Kim: As I mentioned in #5, I most definitely use the Make Me Heal’s Resources. My friend that just had the face lift posted her pictures on the Make Me Heal Website. I used the pictures library, doctor’s reviews. I did not use any preparation or recovery products. I relied on my own good health for my recovery.
Make Me Heal: How did you come to choose your doctor?
Kim: I only had 3 consultations. I made many phone calls and sent many emails. I had to find a good doctor at a price that I could afford. Finances were a big factor for me. So I narrowed down to the prices that were within my reach, and then came the struggle of finding the right doctor. I was fortunate when I called Luna Cosmetics. I had a consultation with them. They gave me a list of the doctors that are affiliated with them. They quoted me a price and put it in writing. They gave me 30 days to research their Plastic Surgeons and to accept their proposal. I researched by calling the Medical Board of Nevada and the Medical Board of Arizona. Dr. Williams has excellent credentials. He is a Diplomat in his field, and has many Board Certifications. I accepted their contract. Luna coordinates the surgeon, the Surgical Center and financing. They provide many services in the Cosmetic Field. I made reservations at a local hotel located near the surgical center, as I was told that I would have to spend 7 days in Henderson NV after my surgery. Dr. William’s nurse, Sandy Harvey, came to the hotel everyday to check the drains, washed my hair, and changed the bandages. I was allowed to go home on the 7th day.
Make Me Heal: Please discuss if you have any role in deciding the type of technique used for your surgery by the doctor, incision placements, implant brand, anesthesia type, etc.
Kim: I did not have a decision in deciding what type of anesthesia. Dr. Williams only will perform face lifts under general anesthesia. He does not want the patient to move or start talking during the surgery, that is why he uses general anesthesia. He showed me what he wanted to do, and it all seemed like it was what I needed to have done. I was told the surgery would take between 4 and 5 hours under general anesthesia.
Make Me Heal: How did you prepare for the surgery?
Kim: The hardest thing to do was to quit smoking. Dr. Williams will not operate on a smoker. I had to be smoke free for 30 days. I lost 15 pounds before I quit smoking as I knew when one quits smoking one gains weight, so I made sure I was at least 5 + pounds under weight. It took me 100 days to taper off cigarettes and loose the weight. I increased my daily walk from 1 mile to 2 miles, I bicycle 3 miles and weight lifted. I had been walking and exercising for a few years, so I just increased everything in order to attain better physical strength. It is not a good idea to loose weight after a face lift, this should be done before. Loosing weight after a face lift will only bring about new wrinkles!!! especially at my age where the elasticity of the skin is not as good as it was a few decades ago. I had this procedure done out of town, so I did have to have a friend stay with me for 2 days. She drove me to the surgical center and back to the hotel. As my family is so far away, I gave them the hotel phone number, and of course I had my laptop if they wanted to reach me, I made arrangement for a pet sitter to take care of my 2 old cats. I was told to stop taking Vitamin E, Fish Oil, Aspirins 7 days before the surgery. I had to get a RX of Keflex antibiotics for after the surgery, and some pain killers.
Make Me Heal: How were you feeling the night before the surgery and on the moments before the surgery itself?
Kim: The night before the surgery, my friend and I went out to eat at the Red Lobster. I think I ate like it was my last meal. I had lobster, shrimps, clam chowder and desert. Went back to the hotel, and took care of some emails. I did have thought of, what if: I die, what if I come out worst than I went in, what if the anesthesiologist screws up. Things like that went through my mind. Then I prayed that it would all turn out according to God’s will. I also believe that I was born on a certain date, and that I will die on a certain date. Surgery could be the means for me to die. Whatever, I do not have control over the moment or the manner of my death. So I just went to sleep and we had set 2 alarm clocks to wake me up. The alarm clocks went off and I got up and went for the surgery. I told the anesthesiologist that he better not screw up, and to make sure he could wake me up! I last remember saying a prayer for my doctors and went to sleep. I was in surgery for 4 hours and 20 minutes under general anesthesia.
Make Me Heal: How was the recovery process? Please discuss what side effects you experienced? What were the worse parts of the recovery? Did anyone help you during the recovery?
Kim: The recovery process was not eventful. There was some discomfort because I had 2 drains for about 3 days. I had some swelling, a couple of bruises, lots of stitches and my head was wrapped as you will see when you look at my pictures. After the surgery, my friend drove me back to the hotel. I went to bed propped on pillows in sitting up position and slept. When I awoke, I had a pizza and soda, and dozed off. The next day I had normal meals, the nurse came to the hotel and washed my hair and checked all the sutures and the drains to make sure all was well. All was well. Day 3 my friend went home and I was on my own. The nurse came to the hotel and took out the 2 drains. I promptly got dressed and put a little makeup on and took myself out to eat as you will see in the pictures in my album.
Make Me Heal: Please discuss the pain or discomfort you experienced during the recovery?
Kim: I DID NOT experience pain during my recovery. Only discomfort because of the drains and bandages. I did not take any pain pills. Not a one. I had a prescription for pain pills but did not use it. I only took the antibiotic Keflex twice a day.
Make Me Heal: How well prepared were you for the recovery from physical, emotional, and mental respects? Did you do any research (i.e. online, books, message boards, etc.) to make your recovery smoother?
Kim: I was prepared physically for my recovery, as I have exercised for a long time, I am properly nourished, as I am a believer of good diet and not too much junk food. I have taken vitamins daily for many years. Even though I was a newly ex-smoker, the doctor and nurse were impressed by my fast recovery and wound healing. Emotionally, I prepared myself, by having a good outlook on life, looking forward every day to camouflaging my battle scars and going out to eat. I took pictures of my progress and email them to my family and friends on a daily basis. I always give myself something to look forward to even if it is just taking pictures, and going out to eat. Mentally, I did not take any pain killers, so my mind was sharp and I did not feel any withdrawals or depression that comes with taking pain medication. As I was out of town and stuck in a hotel room, I went to the hotel gym after they removed my drains and used the treadmill and bicycle, then I played Texas hold’m tournaments on line at night. I talked on the phone to family and friends, and before I knew it, a week went by and I was told I could go home. I drove myself home and went back on a weekly basis to have the many stitches removed.
Make Me Heal: What are your top recovery tips to other patients?
Kim: The recovery tips I have to offer:
1. get in good physical shape
2. be well nourished
3. have a good outlook on life
4. Stay away from drugs, as in pain pills.
5. Acquire patience, as it takes a good 10 days to be pretty again!
Make Me Heal: How long did you take off from work? What did you tell your co-workers about taking this time off? Did anyone notice your cosmetic procedures at work and what did you tell them if they asked about it?
Kim: As I am 63, I am retired, so I did not have to deal with work issues. I do belong to some organizations, and I just told them I was going away for a while, would be back in a couple of weeks. To say that the people that were not real close friends noticed the surgery, I would say no as the outcome of the surgery was very natural and not plastic looking. They would take a second look, but nothing was said. The closer friends did notice, and if they did not already know, I told them what I had done. My friends and family were getting pictures on a daily basis, so it was no big deal. All the remarks I got were positive. My 87 year old mom was very impressed. She had my kid sister print and frame one of my pictures!!! The one taken 30 days after the surgery.
She has it in her living room.
Make Me Heal: How happy are you with the results?
Kim: I am very happy with the results. I was told that I would need the new Fraxel Re:Pair laser resurfacing because I was 63 years of age when I got the face lift, and they can only stretch the skin so much. I did have the fine lines left around the mouth and eyes. The wrinkles were gone. I did schedule the laser Resurfacing 6 weeks after my surgery. Fraxel Re:Pair is a newly FDA approved in late 2007 laser. I did have that done by Dr. Williams. The recovery from the laser was a bit more uncomfortable than the face lift surgery. I did not take pain pill, just the antibiotic. I am very happy with both procedures, Dr. Williams and his staff, and Luna cosmetics.
Make Me Heal: How has your makeover impacted your life from personal, social, career, and other respects?
Kim: The makeover, in my opinion has not really impacted my life as that is not the reason why I wanted the makeover.
I wanted the makeover, because I did not feel old mentally or physically, my body is in good shape, but my face had lots of wrinkles and looked older than the rest of me. My wanting it had something to do with vanity also. I did not do it to change my social life, as my social life is just fine. I am retired, so not for a career. I did it just because I wanted my face to match the rest of me. I am basically a happy person. Now my face does not look old and tired anymore!!
Make Me Heal: Would you have done anything differently if you had the chance?
Kim: No, I would not do anything different. The doctor is excellent, the surgical facility was wonderful, the hotel I stayed in worked out real well and Luna Cosmetic did a good job of coordinating. For me, it was a pleasant experience. I would do it over again with the same people. It was a pleasant adventure.
Make Me Heal: What is your final word of advice to other people considering the procedure(s) you had?
Kim: My final words of advice would be to do the procedures because you really want to, not for anyone or anything else. In my opinion, cosmetic surgery cannot bring happiness if a person does not have that feeling within them. It does not create self esteem if a person does not like his or her self. Cosmetic surgery only enhances the physical looks, and therefore enhances one feeling of happiness and self esteem. It will not give you what inner feelings, such as happiness, self esteem, and a good outlook on life if one did not have those feelings before the surgery, to me, it only enhanced the positive feelings I had before the surgery.
Make Me Heal: Was Make Me Heal beneficial to you along your journey?
Kim: Make Me Heal website was beneficial to me and still is after the surgery. It is good to see the pictures and comments. I was impressed with the pictures of a lady in her 60′s on your website. I basically searched out pictures of people in my age group, as when one is older, results will be different, as I have had the wrinkles for a long time. I wanted to see the outcome of other people in my age bracket, to be sure that it would be worth it for me to go through the surgery and the expense, as I would not want to go through elective surgery and not get results.
Make me Heal was very helpful in my decision making. I saw on Make Me Heal that there was hope for these old wrinkles I use to have!
See Kim’s Before & After Plastic Surgery Pictures Album.none