For many people this may not be a big deal. For me, it means everything! It meant that for the first time in roughly 20 years I was comfortable enough with the way I look to be out in the world without the cover of an ultra hot, incredibly long shirt. I had become a master of disguises so to speak, skillfully hiding and absolutely never revealing the most uncomfortable and unsightly parts of my body.
Even after huge weight loss, the problem gets worse...well maybe not worse, but different. Being over 100 pounds lighter feels great but left me with a sweaty hanging shell and constant reminder that I was still unfinished.
Enter Dr. Katzen.
I've started to write my testimonial for Dr. K for months but stop every time because my emotions get the best of me. I find it difficult to articulate how one person can change your life so significantly. I had done my surgeon homework as I had been preparing for my consult for 2 years, and dreaming of it for 10 years before that. I live in sunny So Cal, L.A, 90210, the home of perfect 10's and swimsuit models. Residing only minutes from Malibu Beach, I'm fortunate to have access to any and every Dr. or specialist money or fame can buy. I made only 2 appointments. I canceled the second one as I walked out of Dr. Katzen's office.
I was so incredibly nervous, excited and scared. From the very start his office staff made me feel so welcomed and did their very best to relax me. I had to put on the dreaded white robe and pray I would be able to close it all the way. And with a quick knock at door in walked Dr. Katzen. His huge reputation had proceeded him so sitting there completely naked under that snug white robe had me feeling more than a little intimidated.
Dr. K has such a warm smile. We shook hands as we introduced ourselves and off we went. I forgot to mention that my mom was with me, as she always is, because there was no way I could do any of this without her. Right away I found myself in super speed mode. I had become accustomed to doctor appointments so fast they felt like speed dating for the sick. Dr. K was so calm and unhurried. He spent so much time with me as though I was the only person in the world who needed his help. The thing about this man, when you are with him, you are the only one that matters. I have never felt rushed or hurried, and on occasion actually ran out of questions. He won't let you leave until you are ready.
It's safe to say that my initial consultation was indeed life changing. I was terrified. It's the moment you come face to face with your past with the hope of being able to see through the tears to spy a better you in the future. I know there's so many people out there like me who "get it", what this feels like. Dr. Katzen "gets it". As I stood there naked in more ways than one, Dr. K fearlessly showed me what he "could" do. I was crying and overwhelmed. I was formerly fat, but I wasn't stupid. No one could actually do what he said he "could and would" do. I figured I would be thrilled if he accomplished only a fraction what he said. I had seen hundreds of before and after photos dreaming of what my after photos would look like.
Fast forward less than a year. With two surgeries down and one to go, I can honestly say, I never in a million years thought I would ever look like I do today. I was sure the old me was gone forever. When you loose your way like I did for so long, you say goodbye to so many possibilities and kind of make peace with having a less than life. You accept "settling" as somewhat of a punishment for allowing yourself to get so out of control. This is not the case for me, not anymore.
With his scalpel, sutures and endless buffet of medical paraphernalia and pharmaceutical accouterments, Dr. K sculpted me a new life.
Dr. Katzen's skill is nothing short of miraculous. His 360 lift brings about a complete body transformation. Now I catch a glance at my reflection and find myself waiting for the other half to show up. It's gone...it's just gone!
My arm lift and breast work has added incredibly to my ever increasing sveltness. My arms now slide easily into sleeves that used be so confining and restrictive. I can raise my hands above my shoulders without feeling horrified of the sagging flesh falling from above. And my breasts...well my breasts are something special. I have always had big breasts and they were definitely a part of my identity. A major part of my femininity. I was so scared to have them done because I was afraid I would loose "me". It had gotten to the point where I could no longer stand having to gather them all up and try to shove them into whatever torture device bra I could find that might be up to the challenge. Dr. K understood exactly how I felt about my breasts and gave me the most beautiful, natural and perky breasts I could have imagined. They are even better than I hoped, and most importantly, they are still "me". I now have the freedom of movement, no longer a prisoner of the skin I was in.
There have been some bumps along the way thus far. There have been super sad moments during recovery when I felt like I would never feel good again. In those moments Dr. K and especially his staff (Jacki) were only a phone call or email away. Jacki has never gone longer than an hour when responding to an email and it usually comes back within minutes. She is always so sweet and genuine. Her endearing words of encouragement helped me through some pretty rough days. Again, making me feel like the only patient they have.
Obviously this has gone beyond a testimonial and more resembles that of a memoir or personal narrative. Clearly I could go on for days about how wonderful Dr. K is. His work speaks for itself. But an after photo doesn't show the patience and understanding and hugs that happen between "before" and "after".
Dr. Katzen is so good he doesn't have to be this nice. Honestly, I think most of us would go to an arrogant, rude and egotistical surgeon if it meant we would get a great result. Dr. K just isn't that guy. He is an impeccably skilled surgeon, a talented eagle eyed artist, and phenomenally warm and compassionate man.
Dr.Katzen sets the bar so very high and is the standard by which all physicians should be judged aspire to. I'm so lucky to have found him as he showed me the "me" I could be, and turned me into the "me" I should be.
All evidence to the contrary, I don't feel I have the arsenal of vocabulary to describe the profound gratitude I have for Dr. Katzen. Coincidentally, in this new body of mine, nor do I have the time. I have to go outside with my kids.
I'm wearing a tank top and capris.