OK. Here we go! I've been thinking about this for...
OK. Here we go! I've been thinking about this for a couple of years and after months of research decided on Costa Rica and Dr. Arguello. His impeccable qualifications and excellent reviews on RS paved the way.
I chose Verdeza for my recovery and traveled alone to CR. Traveling alone was no new to me. I have been all over the world and am somewhat comfortable in Spanish but I have to admit it was still a daunting decision.
Fortunately, the team of Arguello/Arce and the fantastic staff at Verdeza have taken such good care of me that I can HIGHLY and without hesitation recommend both if you are ready to take the leap.
I am 12 days post surgery and recovering very well and am very glad I planned 3 weeks post-surgical recovery as I actually need it. I am just starting to see the improvements.
I warned the doctors that I bruise and swell like a b**** and, brother, did I ever. Even today I look like I've gone a few rounds with Muhammad Ali but every day brings improvement. My photos are not for the faint of heart but please understand that I expected it and that there has been little to no pain, just a bit of discomfort and tightness. Totally manageable!
I had a hard time with nausea from the pain medications but started feeling better after stopping them and taking my own Advil and Tylenol with some Gravol for nausea. Again, expected for me due to my super-sensitive stomach. Not fun, though.
I'll find some before pictures and post them soon. OK steel yourself...remember very little discomfort. It just looks bad!
What we did...
Face, neck, brow, and lip lifts, upper and lower bleph plus chemical peel down center of face. Dr Arguello's fees for all above were $7100. Clinica Unibe was $2950 (and well worth it. I was very comfortable and well cared for there and so much less expensive than Cima Hospital). I'll do a separate update on Verdeza recovery center.
We were going to add fat transfer because I had lost so much volume in my temples but Dr Arguello decided against it during surgery due to the effect he was able to get with the slight brow and eye lift. That was a good call!
I continue to improve. Bruising is falling and swelling retreating. The therapy at the spa is well worth it to me. They usually start this on day two to help prevent bruising and swelling but I was too nauseous and didn't start until a week later. It has truly accelerated my healing and is relaxing, if a bit odd feeling in the numb areas next to my ears.
Oh yes, almost all stitches between days 6-12. Crazy skin peeling off in sheets and gone by day 9.
No pain! Only odd tight feeling in places that now are tight! ????
Day 13 slowly improving but don't look like Jabba the Hutt anymore. Yay!
I also don't look quite like my cheerful typical self yet either. I feel good but still tight around the eyes and mouth so smiling is odd at this point. I'm happy though. Really like that neck again. Lol
It's been a month!
I am back home again after 3-1/2 weeks at Verdeza. Feeling great and bruises and swelling are slowly going away if you bruise after surgery, be sure to ask Dr Arce for a heparin sodium cream like men's en (I used this) or liontin1000 You put it just on the bruises and is made a huge difference for me. Be sure to keep on using the calendula cream in the incisions as it will keep them moist and will heal faster.
Still numb at the sides of my face, right ear,and along chin scar but no big deal. Slowly diminishing but I think it will be a couple of months before all swelling (especially upper lips which get more natural looking every day but not quite there yet) and numbness will go away.
No makeup in any of my pics so you'll see the unvarnished results. I'm going back to work on Monday 10/17 so makeup is in my future.
Still recovering but back at work and feel great!
So, I'm back in the daily routine and all is going very well. The incision under my nose is looking better but my upper lip is still swollen from the lip lift. Getting better every day. All my other incisions are looking really, really good.
My reentry was uneventful despite quite a few double takes and lots of comments wow you look great, so relaxed! I mean, I am 66 and the difference is noticeable. People are definitely respecting my boundaries. I didn't tell anybody about it before I left. As I told another RSer, One guy I work with a lot is on to me. The second day he came into my office smiling and said I don't know what you spent but it was totally worth it! Too funny
Almost two months after surgery
13 Nov 2016
2 months post
Feeling great overall. Incisions are healing very well.
I still have a bit of stiffness under my nose from the lip lift and numbness in front of ears and all of my right ear. There is some tightness still in a few places under my chin and neck but not troublesome at all.
Things are really settling down.
Also including some pics Dr Arguello took in the operating room before surgery. Funny!
Before and after 11/14/16(2 months)
14 Nov 2016
2 months post
A side by side for fun. Lighting is not perfect an improvement, no?
In public, no makeup...lol
16 Nov 2016
2 months post
Thinking about a chemical peel on the lower face. What do you think?
11/22 new haircut
22 Nov 2016
2 months post
L. My daughter says I look like a cartoon character. Leave it to kids to tell the truth. Lol
Birthday update. Four months later
18 Jan 2017
4 months post
Feeling great. Still have some numb spots in front of both ears and on top of my right ear. Lip lift is settling down nicely.
Very happy with the work of Drs Arguello and Arce. Not bad for 67, eh?
5 month check in
18 Feb 2017
5 months post
Just checking in at 5 months. Very happy with the way my face is settling out. Looking like myself of several years ago.
Photos are in bright side light with no makeup at all just moisturizer. Brave, no? Lol