Heading to Costa Rica for Lower Face & Neck Lift with Dr. Lev

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After months of research, I selected Dr. Alejandro...

After months of research, I selected Dr. Alejandro Lev to do my facelift. At first I was skeptical about going out of the US for surgery. However, I was so impressed by Dr. Lev's work, all the photos I've seen show awesome results, and his patients have written such rave reviews about Dr. Lev and their journey to Costa Rica. My surgery is scheduled for October 13th and I will be in Costa Rica from October 11 until October 29th.

I made contact with Didi, Dr. Lev's US liaison, who has been very helpful. After sending my photos to Didi, she said Dr. Lev recommended a lower facelift and neck lift. I also have a consultation scheduled with Dr. Rubinstein at Prisma Dental for possible veneers. I will be staying at the Verdeza recovery facility for the first 8 days and then I'll be moving to Casa Mercedes for the remaining 11 days.

I've learned so much from reading the reviews of Realself community members and I hope by sharing my experience I will be able to help others who are considering taking this journey. I'm very grateful to be able to connect with other men and women who are supportive. I suspect I'm like many others heading down this road, I've become pretty much obsessed with reading about the journeys of those who have gone before me.

I'm posting pics of just my lower face hoping no one will recognize me because I live in a small community and suspect if people found out I am doing this, they would be judgmental. I have only told my husband. Shortly after I met him about 8 years ago, I told him that I planned to have a facelift someday, so he would not be shocked when the time came. I just turned 59 and the time has come. He has been awesome and very supportive.

And away we go!

I'm flying out today, arriving in CR tomorrow. I have consult with Dr. Rubinstein at Prisma Dental Monday morning, October 12 and Dr. Lev In the afternoon. Surgery scheduled for Tuessay, Oct 13. I'm feeling good and looking forward to the journey.

Safe & Sound in CR

My trip to CR went off without a hitch. I flew out at 2 pm yesterday and arrived in CR a little before noon today. Carlos from Verdeza was waiting at the airport for me. Everyone here at Verdeza has been very friendly and it is a nice new facility. I have 9 am consult at Prisma Dental and 4 pm consult with Dr. Lev. tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to meeting Dr. Lev. I've heard so many great things about him. I think I'm going to pack it in early tonight, pretty whipped out. Good Night.

So far, so good!

I had my surgery yesterday and I'm back at Verdeza, the recovery center. All went well. I have no real pain, pretty minor and mainly just tightness. I have an appointment tomorrow with Dr. Lev to take out some stitches.

At my dentist appointment at Prisma Dental, Dr. Rubinstein recommended 14 veneers/bridges on the uppers to replace old and cracked veneers/bridges and 14 along the bottom. She quoted me $12,000, which I could not afford, so I elected to have the bottoms done this trip. She quoted $7,300 for bottoms and then gave me a $1,000 discount, so it was $6,300. Because I am a grinder some bottom teeth were worn down and some were loose, which is why she recommended 14 instead of 6, to include two bridges to help stabilize. I plan to get the uppers done next year when I return to CR with my husband.

Day 5 Coming Along.....

Feeling better today, Day 5. I experienced the most pain on Day 3 and 4, mainly in the neck. Some in the back of my head. Going to wash my hair today.

Day 6, feeling better

It is Day 6 and experiencing tightness mainly in my neck and some in the back of my head. I've been eating a lot of fruit and soup. I have my second follow up appointment with Dr. Lev tomorrow.

Day 7

Not much change today. Swelling down a bit more. I'm moving to Casa Mercedes today until Oct. 29, when I head back home.

Day 8

Dr. Lev took the stitches out in front of my ears yesterday. It didn't hurt. He is a very nice person as well as a talented surgeon. I like Casa Mercedes. Mercedes, her family, and staff are very nice. There are three other Dr. Lev patients here and I've enjoyed chatting with them. Still have tightness on my neck and back of head, but seems to be getting better every day. I've been putting in a few hours of work, but my eyes get tired, so mostly just laying back, resting, and listening to audio books.

Day 9

Looking more like myself today, Swelling going down. Still tightness, mainly in neck. My next doctors appointment is on Oct 26 to get the rest of stitches and staples removed. Does it hurt to get the staples removed? I'm wondering if I should take some pain meds prior to appointment.

Day 14 Post Op

Yesterday was a big day. I had the rest of my stitches and staples removed and my lower permanent crowns put in.

I plan to come back next year with my husband for vacation and I will have my existing upper crowns replaced, which are old, lose, and cracked. The crowns were quite a bit more expensive that I anticipated: it came to $7,230 for just the lower. The quote for upper and lower was $12,000, so my upper should be an additional $4,770. I heard that other dentists in Costa Rica do it for half the price, but I am happy with Prisma Dental's work, so no regrets. It is still a lot cheaper than in US. Also, I have zirconium crowns, which were more expensive.

I have one more appointment with Dr. Lev on Thursday and fly out later that night. My neck is still a little tight, but getting better each day. So far,so good.

About a month and a half post op

It is now 45 days post op. Healing well. The sides of my face are still a little numb and neck is a little tight. Getting better and better.
Costa Rica Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Lev is very nice, professional, and talented. I'm happy with my results.

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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