I Feel Rejuvenated! — 4 Plastic Surgery Stories From the RealSelf Community

Elisabeth Kramer on 22 Apr 2015 at 4:00pm


The change in seasons brings to mind one word: rejuvenated. Funny enough, it’s a feeling we often see bubbling up in the RealSelf community as well, so in honor of spring we decided to find a few particularly rejuvenating stories. Read on to hear from four women who recently turned over a new leaf.

“It Was a Piece of Cake”

When RealFriend Irene* decided to go through with her eyelid surgery, she signed up for an emotional rollercoaster. “One minute I’m excited to get it done and the next I’m ready to call it all off and live with my tired eyes,” she wrote in her review 25 days pre-op. But if she didn’t get surgery, what exactly were her options? “Maybe get rid of all the mirrors in the house and get rid of my camera too?”

Determined to never be the friend hiding from a photo op, Irene went through with her May 2014 operation with Top Doctor Mitesh Kapadia. She spent two weeks after surgery feeling tired and somewhat dizzy. “It was worrisome because I was afraid it wouldn’t go away,” she tells us. “Other than that, I was in no pain … The worrying ahead of time was way worse than the actual procedure and healing.”

It’s been nearly a year since her surgery and Irene says she feels “bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.”

“OK, so it may sound crazy but I think I feel less tired,” she says. “I certainly feel more confident because I know I don’t look tired all the time even when I wasn’t.

“I know some people like to keep their surgery a secret,” she continues, “but I like to brag about it because I’m proud of myself for having done it.” Her biggest regret? All her pre-op hand-wringing. “I’m a worry wart. Turns out it was a piece of cake.”

mommymakeover“It Literally Put Things Back in Place”

After gaining 75 pounds with her first child and 40 with her second, Jane* wanted a change. “I was finally sick of it after six years, sick of feeling and looking horrible,” she wrote in her RealSelf review. “It was my body and I was pretty insecure about it … and I decided to do something about it.”

In October 2011, Jane had a breast lift, tummy tuck, and labiaplasty with Top Doctor Shahram Salemy. She saw the biggest change from her tummy tuck. “The muscles in my abdomen were separated and it was corrected by surgery,” she explains. Now her stomach feels tight and strong. “I like feeling strong,” she says.

Jane recommends that whatever your procedure, be realistic. “You must keep up a healthy lifestyle to keep your body and mind healthy,” she tell us. “It’s definitely not a weight loss tool but it can be a treatment for the stubborn areas of sagging or excess skin.”

That’s how the surgery most helped her — going from feeling deflated to having clothes that fit. “It literally put things back in place,” she says. “Feeling beautiful, healthy, and rejuvenated inside and out is absolutely priceless.”

malaysia“Was I Nervous? Terrified!!”

Don’t expect plastic surgery to change your life completely, RealFriend Sarah* tells us. It won’t get you that new love interest or a big raise, but, she says, “if there’s something about yourself that bothers you and you have the means to change it, why wouldn’t you?”

For Sarah, her aging face bothered her most. “I simply do not want to look old and tired and forlorn when on the inside, my heart is singing,” she wrote in her May 2014 review. Sarah had a big birthday on the horizon — she turned 60 in January 2015 — and wanted to look as good as she felt.

And so eight days after her first RealSelf entry, Sarah got a facelift. She traveled from her home in New Zealand to Malaysian cosmetic surgery retreat Gorgeous Getaways, a decision she thought long and hard about knowing how important it is to do extensive research before signing up for medical tourism.

“I had followed this particular surgery travel holiday company for seven years as well as the surgeon [Dr. Jalil] who performed my procedure,” she says. “I even flew to Malaysia several years prior to meet him and check facilities.”

Satisfied with what she saw, Sarah had surgery in June 2014. “Was I nervous? Terrified!!” she says. While her healing was slow — three months post-op, she wrote how sometimes it felt like “1000 ants are running all over my face,” while other times like “someone is tightening screws in the side of my head” — she’s “very proud” of her journey.

“I’m pleased I found the conviction to follow through with something I really wanted to do,” she says as the one year anniversary of her surgery approaches. “They say in order to grow you need to do something that scares you everyday and I certainly did that!”

“Every Day I Look in the Mirror — It’s a Celebration”

For RealFriend Chloe*, it all came down to the neck. “The minute I started to look at myself and I saw that neck falling, I felt ancient,” she says. “I felt like everybody’s grandmother.”

She decided to change that just in time for her 48th birthday. “I think a lot of people always thought a facelift as something for a much older woman,” she says of her procedure with Top Doctor Leonard Hochstein. “So when they see somebody who looks just like themselves but younger and better, the response is very positive.”

That’s a big change from life before surgery. Chloe recalls one particularly memorable work training with a coworker in her 20s. “She kept saying to me, ‘Wow! You’re so good with technology,’” she says. “I took that to mean that she was perceiving me as somebody who was older.”

Life after surgery couldn’t be more different. “I feel like I’ve got more time, like time hasn’t run out, like I have another 10 years of my career,” she says. “It’s completely changed the way that I feel … Every day I put makeup on, every day I look in the mirror — it’s a celebration.”

Share your own stories of celebration and rejuvenation in the comments below.

*Name changed