I found RealSelf by chance a couple of months prior to my procedures and have found it to be an invaluable resource both before and after my surgery. Reviews by both patients and doctors on one site is extremely helpful and educational. I would say 99% of the time if I have a question or concern, I can find the answer on this site. I appreciate all of you who have been brave enough to post your experience with elective surgery and for posting your before and after photos. You have helped me educate myself and I hope by sharing my story, other people can make the right choice for their unique situation. Do your research and don’t stop looking for the perfect doctor until you are totally satisfied that you are in the best hands possible. Good luck in your search!
What I Had Done:
(Date of procedure: April 26, 2012) Today I am three days post op after having upper blepharoplasty, fat grafting to the face, and chin liposuction. The price listed above was for all of my procedures and all were performed at the same time.
My journey started over three years ago when I was concerned with a hollowing below my eyes that made me appear tired. I am 42 years old and I am often told I look a few years younger. I started noticing my aging face whenever I would get down to my goal weight. I would be in great shape and I still didn’t look how I felt inside. I would work out 3-4 times a week and I noticed that the more I worked out, my face actually started looking older due to the loss of volume (fat) and the hollowing under my eyes.
Three years ago I went to a well known plastic surgeon and was told I would have the best results with the three procedures I ended up doing this week. At the time, I was new to the world of elective procedures/surgery and choose to start by having Juevederm injected below my eyes to fill in the hollowing. I spent around $1500 and the results were ok for a while, but not what I expected. I got busy and never did the required follow up with the doctor. I gave up on my search for the right solution.
My Decision To Have My Surgery:
Fast forward three years... A few months ago I was ready to start my search for the perfect solution to my aging face. While visiting my primary care physician I mentioned my goal of getting rid of my tired appearance and asked how he felt about injectables. He suggested I go to La Jolla to see one of his college friends who is a cosmetic dermatologist. When I met with the cosmetic dermatologist in La Jolla he said he didn’t recommend injectables for my situation and suggested I visit with a plastic surgeon. He recommend I meet with an ophthalmologist who also performed blepharoplasty.
I set an appointment and had a bad impression from the minute I walked in the office and had to wait for the receptionist to stop arguing with her boyfriend on the phone. I had a good consult with the doctor, but still wasn’t totally comfortable moving forward.
A few months later I went back to the cosmetic dermatologist in La Jolla and decided to get my feet wet with a few laser treatments. After successfully doing three different laser treatments, I noticed my tired look disappeared when my face was still swollen. I looked great and got lots of compliments on this usually undesirable side effect!
How I Found My Doctor:
At this point I was motivated to find the doctor to perform my surgery. I had been reading and educating myself for the last three years about how to find the perfect doctor. Sites like this one were very helpful to me. There’s nothing better than hearing about other peoples experiences good and bad from the patients themselves. My search for the perfect doctor was jump started when San Diego Magazine put out its annual Top Doctors issue in October 2011. I read every article about every doctor that was listed as a plastic surgeon. Then I went to each doctors website and read the entire site. Next I Googled and Yelped each doctors name to see what reviews were posted and the type of surgeries they performed.
When you start this journey ask everyone you know if they have any knowledge of great doctors in your area. If you told your friends you were remodeling your 42 year old home, you would likely get a handful of names for great contractors in your area. Approach your search for a doctor with the same openness. Lets face it, at some point everyone thinks about elective surgery even if they don’t do it! When I found my doctor about a month and a half ago, I knew all my research had paid off! He was knowledgeable, personable, and took as much time as I needed to get my questions answered.
After meeting with him, I told a few friends that I had finally found my doctor! It got even better when my friend told me that the same doctor had done both her and her mothers breast augmentation! She had a great experience with him and highly recommended him. Her results look totally natural! It turns out that Dr. K was voted Best Cosmetic Surgeon in The San Diego Union-Tribune Reader's Poll.
My goal was to look refreshed and natural and I knew Dr. K was the doctor for me.
I will post my photos after my text is approved by RealSelf. Unfortunately, I tried to post a couple of days ago and my text was lost while uploading.