Mexico Adventure - San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

I have been seeing the ads for FaceLiftMexico in...

I have been seeing the ads for FaceLiftMexico in one of my favorite magazines, International Living, for many, many years and always stored that information in the back of my mind. I am already a great fan of Mexico and feel safe everywhere I go, because I don't frequent border towns and Acapulco! San Miguel de Allende is my favorite city in Mexico....very sophisticated and beautiful. The medical facilities and services there are top-notch, as there is quite a large and sophisticated expat community in San Miguel. I had investigated plastic surgeons in my area of the United States and was almost fearful of their extreme approaches in terms of drastic results and protecting themselves from liability.....not to mention extremely high prices. 

I am a single woman, going on 62, and decided that I didn't want to have my surgery in such a non-nurturing environment....being sent home the day of surgery to make do for myself. I remembered Pat Marino, her hand-picked surgeon and her Spa retreat for the aftercare. I did my due diligence, looking for 3rd party reviews of Dr. Koelliker and felt comfortable that I would be in good hands before AND after. I particularly liked that the method of anesthesia used by Dr. Koelliker is much safer and not as hard on your body as the general anesthesia used in the US. With Pat Marino as a guide, my initial apprehension has been assuaged and I feel like I can call her at any time to have all of my questions answered. FaceLiftMexico promises to take care of you from the moment you step off the plane, handles all of the transportation details and then tends to your every need in a spa-like atmosphere at Casa Marino for six days after your THREE day hospital stay under the care of your doctor. I have begun to look at my potentially stressful experience of a facelift as more of the "vacation" they advertise. Now, I am under no illusions this will be a walk in the park, but at least I feel I am choosing to make it easier on myself. Dr. Koelliker is also known for his conservative approach and has been described as a true "artist." Sounds good to me!

I have been out of town and out of touch until...

I have been out of town and out of touch until today. Thanks for all of the responses. I did try to answer a couple of questions by cellphone, but I don't think they posted. Am not the world's most computer literate person. Someone asked about the anesthesia. All I know is that it is an IV sedation with local injection. There is much less trauma and you are awake immediately after. There is no tube down your throat, which has it's own potential complications. You do not feel, hear or remember anything. I have been telling a few women what I am about to do and many of them said they have done it as well....astounding to find out. In making my decision to have a facelift, I have wrestled with the thought that I want to be loved for who I am....want a partner in my life who doesn't mind wrinkles and appreciates the companionship of someone his age, etc. etc. But I have faced the fact that we live in a society that values beauty (who doesn't love beauty?!) and we are all attracted to attractive people. I can weed out the ones who aren't beautiful on the inside as well, very quickly. I still look pretty good and am comfortable with my looks, for my age, but want to do the surgery while I am younger/healthier. I want to look good when I am 75-80. My mother had one facelift in her life and at 89, you can still see physical beauty instead of a mass of wrinkles. Why not have inner and outer beauty both, if we can?!! So I have worked out my most of my inner hesitations and am going forward without a lot of fear of the physical process as well. I know how to detox from the drugs and heal scars and meridians that are disturbed, so that helps. It helps so much talking with others.

It's done! It was a pleasure...really (!) from...

It's done! It was a pleasure...really (!) from the beginning. FaceLiftMexico with Pat and Melinda Merino has a process that takes it all out of your hands. They provide the best possible experience and there is no stress or drama on your end. I have been chauffeured around in a private car by a sophisticated and lovely father/son team. They didn't just take me to the hospital in Celaya and drop me off, but they checked me in and made sure I was comfortable in my room. Dr. Koelliker came in right away and gave me as much time as I needed to consult with him in person. I had already been assessed from the United States by sending in required testing, yet they did it all over again, quickly, though, to be certain my body was in good shape to handle surgery. I felt very safe and comfortable.....not too many jitters. Someone was always visiting me to be certain I was doing well as I was waiting. I wasn't even nervous on surgery morning. I was wheeled into surgery facing a room of about 15 people involved in the process. The anesthesia wasn't as deep as I had thought it would be, because I could hear myself snoring and would ever so often realize I was being worked on. It was all so vague and over with quickly, though. I was so grateful to have had the lighter anesthesia, and even though I was nauseous afterwards, it wasn't nearly the event from which to recuperate had I had the tube down my throat and the general anesthetic. I was told that most people don't get the nausea, but I am not used to any kinds of pharmaceuticals at all and am very sensitive. All in all, I am feeling so much safer and cared for in Mexico. They do things because they are better for the patient, not out of fear of being sued or just because it is formal protocol. Dr. Koelliker didn't go too heavy on the drugs...he used only a mild form of painkiller because it is safer. Afterwards, he visited me 4 times a day in my room making sure I was okay. Our healthcare and hospital system in the United States has become rote and impersonal and not patient oriented. I have been so grateful that I am here. I would assume that from now on if I need any major medical work done, I will research this area again. I am now at Casa Marino, in a beautiful home, a luxurious bed, a beautiful garden with a fountain & birds and a massage therapist in the next room! I have a week of peaceful vacation ahead of me....being served wonderful food, an extensive selection of great movies on my in room flat screen tv, a gorgeous city to explore and very nice, supportive people all around me. I am told that my bruises and swelling are not too bad and I seem to be healing quickly already with no pain, only some major tightness which is par for the course. I am not making light of the vision in the mirror or being vaguely uncomfortable sleeping only on my back, but I was prepared ahead of time to know this would be the case. If I were in the United States they would have kicked me out of surgery just hours later and I would be alone in my house, wondering about my face, and everything else under the sun. There is something very wrong with that. All of this for about one third less the price I was quoted at home. So far.....so GREAT. The actual healing will tell the tale on the satisfaction with the outcome. More later...

Home from San Miguel

If you have been reading my posts, you know I get excited and a little carried away, writing such long descriptions! Will try to keep this short:) Most of the bruising is gone and I am left with swelling and scars to work on. It has been 10 days, and I wasn't self conscious at all on the trip home, as I looked pretty normal. There is a lot of tightness in my neck and face, which is par for the course .I had some fluid buildup in my neck and Dr. Koelliker came by Casa Marino and drained it when he removed the stitches. Again, I am not taking much of the inflammatory medication as it really bothers my stomach. I would advise to take it as suggested. Still hard to tell what I will look like when the swelling goes down, but so far so good. I am a little intimidated and nervous about the suture lines (scars!) around my ear and the back of my head. I hadn't researched the placement in depth. But I am sure all will be fine and I plan on nurturing those religiously with the scar creams. Again, I can't say enough about Casa Marino....I really enjoyed my stay there and felt completely attended to and comforted by their knowledge and attention. Every question or concern was addressed and I felt like I had so much experienced support. Never did I feel alone, yet I had plenty of privacy, as they know we are there to rest and recuperate. Was impressed with their drivers, as well. There is a lot of driving involved and you are in a very pleasant new car with wonderful, intelligent and compassionate company, so there is no discomfort going back and forth. The drive from Casa Marino, back to the airport is gorgeous. Be sure to ask questions about the history of San Miguel/Mexico....all very interesting. This has been such a great experience, I will have to think of something else to correct, so I can do it all over again:!

Face life before and after

Face Lift Before and After

18 Days Later

PHOTO TIMELINE

The second set of photos next to my before shot, are from the day I was leaving Casa Marino, 10 days later, not 15.....
Not sure how to change it.....I am not that savvy on posting or I would have had more of a photo chronology going for you. Have had intermittent help from someone in my office to do most of this.

WORTH IT! BOTH DR. KOELLIKER AND CASA MARINO

Still trying to figure out how to change that notice from "Not Sure" to "Worth It" so thought I would mention that it WAS and IS WORTH IT! Am especially pleased that I stayed at Casa Marino for the pampering, convenience, the ease of logistics and emotional support, rather that just a bed and breakfast, or the like......that was WORTH IT!!!!!!!!

August 22, 2013

Mexico Plastic Surgeon

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Comments (57)

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You look great, we both had our face/neck lifts around the same time...
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You look beautiful. Wow is all I can say, my god you look young enough to be your own daughter :-)
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You look fantastic!
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You look positively radiant! congratulations!!!! Dr Koelliker truly is an artist. Really happy with the work that he did on me. I also found Casa Marino to be a special part of the experience. Also planning on going back.... maybe see you there! Happy for you!
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Looking good!
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Fabulous and Gorgeous! You must be so pleased!
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Thanks for posting that last picture. You look totally amazing! Now I am completely confident with Doctor K!
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From all accounts, Dr. Koelliker seems to be the best in that area...So pleased that I chose him. Hope you are looking forward to it....put all of those fears aside! It really wasn't scary at all.
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Hey Hippiegirl, How are you doing??
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You look great and it sounds like you had a very positive experience in San Miguel. I was struck by your comment that you would have to think of something else to be worked on so you could go back. I am having the very same experience, lol! I enjoyed the time in San Miguel and my experience with Dr. Barrera was so positive, before I left I asked him about a tummy tuck, which is not something I had ever considered seriously until I met a doctor that I trust this much.
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haha, that is too funny! it is an interesting dynamic....that we would go through surgery and enjoy the process so much. I have nothing but fond feelings about the entire process.....a little strange?!:)
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What is everyone doing for scar treatment?
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Go to a health food store and ask for a scar treatment ointment, or the like. There are some with various herbs in an olive oil base. Anyone had any luck with fresh aloe?
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doctor said something about vitamin e oil taking color out? my scars are small but I want to minimize the ones at the side burn above ear
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Good question...Dawn (from Dr. Barrera's office) suggested I try mederma or vitamin E after the scabs came off. I bought some in the states and have it with me but I haven't started using it yet. I have heard of using aloe, but I sometimes have a reaction to aloe vera gel so I don't want to use that. I've been putting vaseline on my eyelids because it's so mild and is the one thing I know for sure I won't react to.And if it gets in my eyes it doesn't burn.I may just use the vaseline on all my scars. Or mederma or some and vaseline on others, to see if there's a difference.
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I feel the same way about Dr. Koelliker.....he inspired so much trust and was so caring.... and talented surgeon. Hope you are doing well and enjoying your new face! Do people notice and ask, or do they not realize you have a facelift, but just comment on how great you look?
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and A talented surgeon
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I just got home 2 days ago and several people have said I look "thinner." Another one asked if I had done something to my hair! I've been telling them the truth, and today one of my friends asked for the name of my doctor so she can tell her friend who just moved to San Miguel. I told her there are two doctors I know of in San Miguel and both have good reputations. I think every one has different expectations and different requirements, so I will tell people my personal experience, and other than that I want them to do their own research.
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This is incredible that it is less than one month and people really do not know you have had surgery but do see something different and positive. Are you thinner by the way?
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Ha! I weighed the next morning after that comment and I weigh 2 pounds less than I did before surgery. Since I generally weigh between 145 and 150, two pounds is not enough to make someone think I'm thinner, so it must be the change in my face. LOL, now that I think about it he probably removed 2 pounds of neck fat!
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very funny....
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I already told so many people that I am not able to know how discernable it is to everyone, without them knowing. There are a couple of people that don't know, so we'll see how they react. But the comments are generally that it doesn't look like a drastic facelift and that I just look so fresh and uplifted (a play on words, ha)
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Hi Tropicalgal, you look great for 15 days! Thank you for your review. Every time I read another review on Dr. K, I feel more confident. My surgery is scheduled for June 12. I thought you were beautiful in your before picture, you look gorgeous in your after! Continued good luck and keep us posted.
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That photo was on the 10th day as I left Casa Marino. Still swollen on my neck and one side of my face, but swelling much, much better. I have one big bruise left, others disappearing, still don't know what my eyes will look like as thereneeds to be more healing there. Have been staying home, but have no problem contemplating going out to the grocery store tomorrow....only noticeable thing is the scars under my eyes...the rest can be covered pretty well. You will be great!
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I think I will do the whole story from start to finish with my surgery with dr. Koelliker. I have learned so much from this site. It is so informative and the befores and afters are so, so helpful. My surgery date is June 12. I will be leaving on June 10. Extremely nervous and excited at the same time!
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