I had considered plastic surgery for several years. I feel more energetic and vibrant than I ever have in my life, but my face was making me look sad, tired, and older than I felt inside.
I wanted a neck lift and to do something about my newly emergent jowls, but I was terrified of ending up looking like Joan Rivers or the countless other celebrities who have been victims of bad plastic surgery. I put it off for a long time.
I interviewed two plastic surgeons, but one seemed very young and inexperienced, and the other seemed blase (I think she was chewing gum) and recommended a multitude of procedures that I had never considered, with a total price tag of over $20K.
Then I began reading message boards like RealSelf and started gathering more information from other people who had undergone cosmetic surgery. Seeing before-and-after photos of real people with excellent, natural results gave me the courage to pursue further.
I started reading reviews of doctors. I came across articles that Dr. George Yang had written answering people's questions about plastic surgery, and was impressed with his detailed and thoughtful answers, and the passion for his work that he expressed. I looked at before-and-after photos of his patients and was very impressed. His patients' end result looked natural and becoming -- like themselves, only better. Youthful, but not pulled taut like a 65-year-old trying to look 25.
Then I read a multitude of 10-star reviews from his patients commenting on how kind, compassionate and caring he is, how much time he spends in consultation, how he will not recommend unnecessary surgery, and most importantly, how pleased they were with the results.
Even though he is in New York City and I live out-of-state, I called to schedule a consultation during a time I knew I would be in NY.
Like others described, Dr. Yang spent more than two-and-a-half hours in consultation with me. I never felt rushed, and I left with all my questions answered (rare, these days, with doctors!). He actually seemed to enjoy talking about his work, even though he must have explained these things to many people many times.
I thought I need upper and lower eye surgery (based on what other doctors had told me), and was prepared to pay for this in addition to a neck and lower face lift. Dr. Yang told me he didn't think that I needed upper eyelid surgery and explained how my lack of eyelid showing actually helps me appear more youthful.
As for the lower eyelids, he recommended Restylane injections to plump up the hollows and make my under eyelids on a more even plane with the rest of my face. He saved me the pain, risk and recovery period of eye surgery (not to mention the thousands of extra dollars I was prepared to spend!) He did the Restylane injections that afternoon, which produced just the results he said it would.
I decided to have the facial surgery performed the following week, and booked a room at a nearby hotel that he recommends to his patients.
I was nervous on the morning of the surgery. I elected to have the procedure done in his office under local anesthesia which, again, saved me thousands of dollars in fees for anesthesia and for the outpatient surgical center. I was given Valium to relax me, and a gentle series of shots of lidocaine. I was perfectly numb, and felt nothing during the 2.5 hour procedure except tugging and pulling.
I did hear the sound of what sounded like scissors snipping away for what seemed like a long time, which was a little freaky, but I didn't feel a thing. I was dozing on-and-off during the procedure, and felt very relaxed while classical music played.
Afterwards, my husband brought me back to the hotel. My head and face were wrapped in bandages. I took painkillers for the first two days, but the pain was mostly like a dull ache and not unmanageable. I slept a lot for the first 24 hours. Dr. Yang came the next day to my hotel room (!) to check on me. He told me that everything looked good.
On the third day, Dr. Yang removed the bandages and I saw my new profile for the first time. I was amazed already at how good it looked, and knew I made the right decision! By the 3rd day I didn't even need Tylenol. There was no pain -- just a lot of numbness, which is disconcerting at first.
I returned on day 5 and 8 to have stitches removed, and traveled home on Day 8. When Dr. Yang showed me my before and after pictures on Day 8, I could have cried, I was so happy with the result. I looked like my old self, just younger and more rested. I didn't look like a different person -- like me, only better!
I returned to work yesterday on Day 9. I wore a turtleneck to cover some of the remaining bruises on my neck, but my colleagues didn't seem to notice a thing. (I hadn't told them why I was in NY.) Just what I wanted!
I've had questions just about every day since before the procedure, and Dr. Yang has answered every phone call and email promptly -- with care, concern and patience -- never treating me as if any of my questions are silly (some of which clearly were).
My only fear in singing his praises so highly is that if I decide to re-do the procedure again in ten years, I'm afraid he will be so in demand that I won't be able to afford him in the future!
Dr. Yang, I cannot thank you enough.