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My Mexican Journey - Cancun, Mexico

After many years of researching medical tourism, I...

After many years of researching medical tourism, I decided to make the trip to Cancun to get a facelift, upper and lower eyelids, and a necklift. Since Cancun is only a 2 hour ride from me by plane, added to the fact that I had been there before on a cruise and loved it, and knew (or at least had a good idea) that I wouldnt be kidnapped by drug lords and held for ransom...(too many movies?) that was my destination. I'm mainly posting photos right now instead of the story, but will update as my recovery proceeds.

Just a photo

My 54th birthday present to me!! Facelift, necklift, blepharoplasty in Mexico. Happy so far!

Me talking to myself in the mirror on a daily basis:
"Where did those frown lines come from? How did those jowls start? I hate that damn wiggly skin under my neck" take both hands, pull facial skin up and back...smile and let go. Wash face, rinse face. Pull my cheeks up and back...say "i'm going to get a face lift! Oh, and that neck wattle has to go!
Go on about my day...do that face thingy again in the evening before bedtime. On and on....so finally decided to quit bugging myself to death and just do it....research, research, research...look endlessly at photos, read reviews. Pore over medical tourism sites...do this for a few years...finally, I decide on my destination, bone up on my Spanish, get a quote, pepper my medical facilitator with questions, book my flight, and get on the plane...more to come....

Side views first two weeks post op

Ok, so Im in mexico at the airport

So, heres how the actual time in Mexico went...Katie, the medical facilitator from my medical vacations picked me up at the airport, we went to do the bloodwork, EKG, and then get settled at the hotel. I stayed the first night at la Quinta inn downtown...close to surgeon and hospital...nice.basic, clean, great breakfast buffet included, but little soundproofing between the rooms and no English channel on tv, but it does have free WIFI and free long distance calls to USA, and the people are really nice there, and a biggie... They are used to medical tourists, so you dont get horrified looks from people like I did after i switched hotels. The hospital I went to is called Americano I think. Do not expect an American hospital... It was very basic, clean, but not anything like I expected. i was really taken aback until they took me to the operating room and had me put on sterile booties before we went in. Thats when i started to think i wasnt gonna get operated on in a back room somewhere with 30 year old scalpels and Igor standing by.

So...I wake up, blind, and freaking, and then i realize its because they have bandages over my eyes. A few hours go by with the nurse and Katie checking on me, cool compresses on my face, which feels like I have been in the sun constantly for like two days....now i have to pee, so I call out, realize i forgot tolearn how to say I have to pee in spanish, remember the word for bathroom (el bano...learn it...it helps)
and two nurses come get me off the bed and to the bathroom. This is funny, because Im blind, woozy as hell, I had no idea where I was, where I was going, a spanish speaking individual has me by each arm, leading me.... for a moment it felt like i was in that zero dark thirty movie...when was the torture going to start up...
After a few hours, probably six or seven, Dr. Carmona, the surgeon, comes and looks, and pronounces me able to leave the hospital....so Andres, the owner of the med tourism company took me to my home away from home...he was amazingly great and explained the situation to the management at the hotel where i was staying....oh, the horrified looks on their faces...the valets wanted to know if i had been in a car wreck. It felt like it, yah. First few days after surgery were very painful and sleeping propped up is not comfortable, i slept for a few hours ata atime and woke up a lot...but I got used to it. If you get a necklift, be prepared not to be able to open your mouth very much...sip yogurt through a straw type of thing. After about a week, I started to feel better, but unlike other patients they said went out and did things, I just wanted to lounge around and sleep a lot...and take a lot of pictures....on the 12th day, I flew home, and the real recovery started. I am now 75 days post op, and the pain is largely gone, some discomfort remains, largely the pings and itching as the nerves of my face regenerate, and my neck, where the platysma muscle that they stretched and trimmed and stitched up behind my ears....is still in shock, poor thing...so, I survived...Im glad i did it....when my husband and me renew our vows in a couple of weeks, Ill look superbly rested and have a secret grin...

Post op shadow bruising at around 76 days-it hangs around!

Three months post op, and doing well!

Im now officially three months post op (surgery was July 8). Healing still, itching in my face has lessened, nerves are still pinging as they wake back up, some numbness still on both sides of my face, but feeling is returning slowly. The area behind my ears and underneath both earlobes is still very tender and sore. And there is a small hard lump underneath the skin on the left side of my neck. Overall, with a little coverup makeup, no scar is noticeable. And the healing continues...

3 and 1/2 months post op, great results, healing progressing well!

At this point, 3 and a half months post op, the only discomfort remaining is behind both ears, and some pinging in my face as the nerves reawaken. Some numbness still in both cheeks, but it is fading and feeling returning slowly. I am still taking 300 mg of neurontin per day as directed...helps a lot with the nerve pinging. When I forget, it becomes more like shooting pains. I still avoid the sun, and I do feel less tired now. But if I do get overtired or dont get adequate sleep, my eyes feel tight, and they get dry. Feeling great, though. Someone guessed my age at late 30's, early forties the other day. Ill take it gladly, since Im 54!

7 and a half months post op

Doing well, still have some itching, especially when Im tired, but feeling has mostly returned in my cheeks and sides of my face. I feel younger, since my appearance matches my inner youthful self. Lovin the results!
Carmona

Good, competent doctor. Not bilingual by any means, but my translator, katie, from "my medical vacations" was great, even though she sounds like Scottie from Star Trek when she speaks English, lol

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
3 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
4 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
4 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait tmes
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Great results! Thanks for the 7 month update... it's good to hear the numbness is going away!
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You look beautiful! We are brave women who undertake this!
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You look wonderful! :)
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You look fantastic! What an awesome, confident summer you are going to have!! XOXOX
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Floridakat, you look beautiful! I'm so excited I officially scheduled my neck, upper and lower eyes for January 17th! I've been watching everyone's story since last February and am finally ready. You, are among my inspirations! Please keep us all posted as you continue to heal. All the best!
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Ahhh geezzz, knock it off girls I'm getting realllllllyyy jealous!!! Kit, I'll we watching for your journal!!! I'm excited for you!! XOXO
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Hi Floridakat52: Looking Good! The doctor did a great job. Neck looks wonderful, as does the entire face. My doctor cannot get it right even after 2 tries so far. I wish this doctor was in the states as I might be afraid to go to Mexico as you did. Great decision on your part.
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Oh knock it off! I'm starting to hate you real good here!! teehee!! You look awesome & so happy!!! Did you renew your vows yet??? Would love to see a photo!! XOXO
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Aw come on now, girl...get yours done and you will be singing your own praises, lol...I did renew my vows! Pics to come! No one even remotely guessed, not even my sister, the RN...secret grin....
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I am I am!! Had a consult two weeks ago in Richmond (got Silikon in my lips while I was there!) Really liked the doctor. I would do the Mexico thing but I can't be gone from the farm that long...though still considering it! It's going to cost what you spent for ""the works just to get my long waddle off, man that thing is aging! I could keep all the skin & make gloves out of it! XOXO
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Lol, what kind of gloves? Should we be calling agent Starling?
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I promise to only bring my neck gloves out on Halloween! :)
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Thanks so much for your update!! Uggh, healing takes so long kinda wonder if I can handle it! You look beautiful!!! Jealous!! XOXO
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Is that 7200 pesos or dollars? Who did you go to? can we have the name of the place?
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7200 dollars...add airfare, bloodwork cost, some meals, and incidentals...prob more like $8500 all in, its still less than half the price of the american surgeon I consulted...Dr Carmona does good work, and My medical vacations pampers you while you're there...plus, cancun is such a beautiful city. Hope this helps!
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Thanks, i feel so much younger! It makes a difference!
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You look beautiful.
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Beautiful results so far. Thank you for sharing your photos. When you get a chance, we would love to hear more about the procedure and your recovery!

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Hi Floridakat52: Looks like the doctor did a good job you look great at 6 weeks! Four surgeries and a hotel room for a little more than I paid for one. Wow! Wish I had known. Much more private and relaxing than being at home.
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R1, hiya! It was nice getting away for sure! I was quite scared of surgery in a foreign country until I did the research, and more research, and more research....and was still nervous, but it really went well.
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Too funny KAT! I would be the one held captive for sure, cause I have bad luck!! You look awesome!! I bet you are so pleased! Can't wait to read more about your trip & surgery!! Was the 7,500 for everything (cept meds & stuff like that)?
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Hi my sister from anothah mothah! Yes, actually 7200...every peso counts, lol Included meds and bandages, even kissin da boo boo when I complained and whined and said owwiee what have I done, and burst into tears.......a LOT..kidding about kissing the boo boo, but not much else...I was a whiny hot mess...Im now in proceedings to officially adopt my Mexican nurse, Lupita, who despite the language barrier, became my bestest friend...ok, kidding again, but we are facebook friends...lets see, where was I before I went off on a rant...oh yes, all inclusive except for the airfare and meals besides breakfast, which I only ate once, the day before surgery...it was delicious, but remind me to tell you about the green juice...
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I keep looking at your pictures with envy. Tell me not to be so scared! I want what she had! Your jaw looks sooo much younger though it wasn't bad to begin with! I wonder if they can stretch my Playdough face into something wonderful! Getting old isn't for the weak but in a week you can look fabulous again, you just proved that! I have a question!!! What kind of anesthesia did they use? Just the nurse? I think you need to adopt the doctor too! Now, I'm not sure about the green juice..does it have caterpillars in it?
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Lol, Kat1963, you know, being scared is part of the process. You would be nuts not to be...but, let it be a healthy fear that motivates you to do your homework. Thank you so much for the compliment! People never guessed that I was in my fifties, and I wanted a very subtle result, and not that windswept, cheeks pulled back look. So, in that vein, this doc does a modified SMAS lift....not the traditional "full face lift". Some sites say that this type of lift only addresses the superficial tissues, but not so with this surgeons technique. He also tightens the underlying facial muscles. I was told that what I had is a more vertical lift, rather than the classic horizontal style, and the numbness in my cheecks says...yup! I guess I need to update my review with more details about this. Meanwhile, on to the green juice....don't drink it, lol. It is thick, sweet, and SPICY!!! Made from green chilis! I had to try it, but the Mexican waiter had to laugh at the expression on my face....surprise!!!
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Ps, I had general anaesthesia. I researched the difference, and there is no way I would ever want to be aware AT ALL, EVER....of what was being done while it was being done...they lift and separate muscles!!!! twilight sleep, my royal butt.....I woke up, it was done, and that was it. Now, my nurse Lupita visited me every day for the first few days, showered me, cleaned wounds, replaced bandages, tucked me into bed, and whispered...tranquilo....(relax). The very nice thing about going through a medical tourism company, is that they pick you up from the airport, take you to all pre and post op appointments, translate for you, take you to get groceries (the mexican version of walmart was so cool!) call to check on you, etc. This company...shameless plug, cause I love them...My Medical vacations...even took me to get my nails done on the day before I left mexico...and brought me krispy kreme donuts...a big deal in Cancun...as the grand opening was going on the day I arrived...Mexicans are crazy about krispy kreme, mexican donuts are way different....and i diverge....
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