Wonderful Facelift with Dr. Koelliker and Beautiful Memories of San Miguel De Allende with FaceliftMexico. Celaya, MX

In a nutshell: Do this! I couldn’t be happier...

In a nutshell: Do this! I couldn’t be happier with the quality and value of my facelift with Dr. Koelliker and with the full concierge care package offered through Casa Marino. I would have paid twice as much at home and I can’t believe my experience would have been as comfortable and safe.
My road here
I knew before I even started down this road I would be open to exploring cross-border care. In my business, I’ve written quite a bit about how the quality and costs of medical care can vary a lot by location—paying more definitely doesn’t mean better outcomes.
So I looked at doctors in other states and various places in Mexico and Brazil. My biggest concern was (and still is) that my facelift looks like a younger, not different, version of me—and that it hold up over time. (One of my goals with this review is to post photos along the way—six months, a year, two years—because that kind of evidence was hard for me to find. Please feel free to ping me and remind me to post a picture now and then.)
I read lots of reviews, looked at hundreds of photos, and interviewed numerous plastic surgeons. I met RealSelf’s highest ranked plastic surgeon in my city; he gave me an itemized estimate that came out to about $20,000 for a facelift that wouldn’t include the temporal forehead lift.
Also, the process he described was daunting to me. I would go to a clinic, rather than a hospital. An anesthesiology would come from the nearby hospital and put me completely out, then when I woke up I’d need someone to drive me home—swollen and wrapped like a mummy, with drains and stitches. He said I probably shouldn’t rely on family members to take care of me—I would need a lot of assistance for the first few days—and said he had home care nurses he could recommend. That would be on top of the cost of surgery. Then I would find my way back to his clinic to have the drains removed and again about a week later to have my stitches removed and make sure everything was healing fine.
So the idea of being in the hospital for a few days and receiving professional care, recovering in a tranquil location surrounded by people who understand this process well, and having Dr. Koelliker come to me to remove my stitches and check on my progress became more and more appealing. Even with the cost of travel and staying at Casa Marino, it came in at about half the cost of staying home—not including whatever the home care would have cost.
Also, Pat was wonderful about talking me through every step of what would happen and connecting me with a number of former patients so I could ask them about their experiences. Of course, everyone raved.
What happened in Mexico
I’m a diehard do-it-yourself traveler. I often arrange all the travel details for my friends’ and family members’ holidays just because it’s fun for me—and I’m pretty sure I can do it cheaper and better than arranged packages. It was hard for me to just put myself in Pat’s hands, but it was one of the best decision I’ve made.
Because of my flight schedule, I needed to stay in Leon a night before heading to Celaya. There was a very professional driver waiting for me at the airport with my name on a sign. The next day, another very professional driver was waiting in the lobby to take me to the hospital. When I got there, shockingly my biggest concern was getting my computer online because I had an emergency meeting I needed to attend and the nursing staff was so gracious as they scrambled to get me on the hospital wi-fi.
The hospital is small by US city standards, but very clean, professional, well-equipped and comfortable. My room and especially my bathroom was much nicer than the ones I’ve seen in hospitals in my city.
After my meeting, Dr. K came by and walked me very gently through the entire procedure. You’ll read on every review about how remarkably kind and professional he is and none of it is an exaggeration. He showed me in a mirror exactly the look we were going for and sat with me patiently answering all my questions.
Then I had a little time to kill so I went out for a long walk, exploring the lovely churches and streets in the area surrounding the hospital. Dr. K came by again that evening to make sure I had everything I needed, that the air conditioner was set properly for me because he knew I came from a cool climate (!), and really just to chat.
The next morning, I had a temporal forehead, mid- and lower-face and neck lift (which I think may be my favorite part) and my upper and lower eyelids done. Dr. K also removed a little fat and injected it in my frown lines and lips, but at eight weeks those don’t seem to have held up very well. (You can check out the pictures and see what you think.)
I was on an IV for the next day or so, which was great for getting pain meds, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory and sleeping meds in me. I think Dr. K. must have come by at least a half a dozen times to check in on me.
On day three, Miguel came to pick me up and take me to Casa Marino. He gathered up me and my bags, handled the paperwork and was a great conversationalist all the way to Pat’s place.
When we got there, the inestimable Fabiola was waiting for me with cookies and juice. She showed me around the house, checked my prescriptions, ordered what was needed and dropped by my room a little while later to give me a shot.
For the rest of my trip, she was my rock. I could say, “Fabie I’m going stir crazy” and she’d smile and take me out to explore her gorgeous city. Even though Pat, Greg and Fabie all warned me about not overdoing it, I still walked too much and paid for it by being swollen the next day. I can’t say I regret it though. San Miguel de Allende is lovely and I’ll likely go back.
The thing that is loveliest, though, is to have that time at Casa Marino to just focus on resting and recovering. My room and little patio were comfortable and inviting. Every morning I’d wake early, sit by my fireplace with coffee and get a little work done. Eventually a bell would ring and I’d come into the dining room and find a fabulous meal. It would happen again in the mid-afternoon. I loved the food.
But other than deciding what I wanted for breakfast and pestering Fabie, I had nothing to worry about the entire time I was there. Everything was provided—snacks, movies, help with medication. I know if I was home it would have been hard to resist doing the dishes or laundry. I would not have taken the opportunity to focus on healing.
Dr. K. came my last day to remove some stitches and check on my recovery which, again, seems like an incredible luxury. Then Miguel came back to collect me and my bags to take me to the airport, told me a bit of the history of the countryside we were driving through, and even came in to make sure I was checked in properly.

Where I’m at now
I’m very grateful I met Dr. K., Pat, Greg and Fabie and feel very fortunate I was able to do this for myself. The results are exactly what I’d hoped for and the experience makes a wonderful memory.
I didn’t go out much at all the first few weeks, and since then the only comments I’ve received about my appearance have been along the lines of—Are you growing your hair out? You look great!
It’s taken longer than I thought to heal. At eight weeks, I’m still swollen and small bruises still appear on the sides of my face. The bruises around my eyes are fading. And there’s been a bit more discomfort than I’d anticipated, but honestly I also think I underestimated what a big undertaking plastic surgery is. It makes me even more appreciative of my recovery time in Mexico.

Wonderful Facelift with Dr. Koelliker and Beautiful Memories of San Miguel De Allende with FaceliftMexico

Some additional more detailed photos

Wonderful Facelift with Dr. Koelliker and Beautiful Memories of San Miguel De Allende with FaceliftMexico

before photo

Wonderful Facelift with Dr. Koelliker and Beautiful Memories of San Miguel De Allende with FaceliftMexico

before

Wonderful Facelift with Dr. Koelliker and Beautiful Memories of San Miguel De Allende with FaceliftMexico

before

Wonderful Facelift with Dr. Koelliker and Beautiful Memories of San Miguel De Allende with FaceliftMexico

Celebrating my 1 year anniversary--thanks Dr. K!!

It's been one year. Every single day I say a quiet thank you to Dr. K for making me happy to look in the mirror and more confident in my own skin. After about seven months, everything sort of came together and suddenly I had a few friends whom I hadn't seen a lot of--but had definitely seen after my surgery--start asking what had changed. And I told them. I didn't think I would, but I'm not at all embarrassed that I did this for myself and I feel like it's unfair to leave them wondering.
One of my big concerns was that this would end up being what I think they call "mini facelifts"--that it wouldn't really address deep muscles and would just sort of fall apart in a year or two. But I could feel the sutures under my skin right after the suregry--and a year later I'm still quite happy with the results. My hair stylist today again remarked on the lack of scarring--nothing in front of my ears, tiny nearly invisible lines on the back of my hairline. He says he's had a number of clients who have had face lifts and nobody's looks this good.
I'm also incredibly grateful, still, for the care and comfort I received at Casa Marino. This is not a small surgery. On their site, they explain in great visual detail what a good face lift entails. Believe them. I remember when Dr. K. sat down with me the day before surgery and went over everything he would be doing and at one point I just instinctively blurted out--no you aren't! and he laughed a little and nodded his head and said, yes, I am.
Afterwards, there are stitches all over the place and a lot of swelling and you need care. And support. Everyone at Casa Marino was so conscientious and thoughtful. But I'm also grateful I had so much support at home. My boyfriend picked me up at the airport and took amazing care of me, my mom checked on me regularly and my doctor was completely on board. When I went to get the tests Dr. K. requires to make sure you're healthy enough for the surgery, I talked with her about what I was doing and she was excited for me. She said if I had any questions or concerns when I got back, to come to her. And to come anyway because she wanted to see the results (which she thought were admirable :)).
I'll come back in a year with an updated photo. If you have questions, please let me know. Best of luck to everyone out there.
Also--quick shout out to Latisse. Once Dr. K. gave me eyelids again, it was so great to have eyelashes, too. And eyebrows!

One more photo--a professional one

I wish I could just update without adding a long string here. I'm adding a professional shot I had taken a little while ago since looking younger for my business practice was a big imputus for the surgery. It's had magical touch up--so really not fair. But it's great to use professionally--and no amount of photo fairy dust could have achieved this result before Dr. K. did his magic.

Scars behind ear are healed

So frustrating i have to add a post each time I want to share another photo--or maybe I'm just tech illiterate..

I had a question about how the scars behind my ears healed so I've added a photo--they're pretty much invisible. Honestly, there are no tell-tale signs of work. I'm very, very pleased.
Mexico Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Koelliker was highly professional, thorough, responsive and extremely kind. I felt entirely as if he had my best interests in heart.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 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 times
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