Hello everyone! First a warning that this is a long long and detailed post! While I was researching I loved reading long detailed posts that gave me a good idea of everything, so I wanted to pay it back and do the same of all you beautiful people waiting and praying for this surgery!
Although I don't have my full results yet and complications could still occur, so far so good and if you have EVER considered this surgery, I wouldnt go to anyone else other than Dr Kabaker. He is the true creator and expert on this surgery and almost every other surgeon all over the world have either personally learnt from him or has read his literature and taken his ideas and teqniqies into their own.
I know how helpful everyone was to me while researching this procedure so I want to be as detailed as possible and let you in on everything that happened yesterday during surgery!! Let me know if you have any questions and I will be happy to answer.
I arrived at the surgery at 8:30 am with my dad. We stayed in sanfransisco mostly because we wanted to make this whole trip a vacation as well, and I have always wanted to stay in San Fran. We rented a car for the 5 days and got a great deal through Hertz. I was worried about the drive from San Fran to Oakland but was amazed at how quickly we got to his office in the morning! We gave ourselves over an hour and arrived in 20 minutes. I would not hesistate to recommend staying in San Fran over Oakland as it's a far more interesting city to stay in! If you are strictly going for a day or two and flying home after, certainly stay in Oakland as it is a bit closer. Oakland isn't really anything amazing to see though, so don't expect to be blown away by culture. That being said, the area dr K's office is in seems very safe and directly across from the hospital. If you want to stay in San Fran a bit longer and make it a vacation, i recommend you rent an apartment from Vacation rental by owner (VRBO) it's significantly more affordable than the cheapest San Fran hotels and even cheaper than a nice hotel in Oakland! Our place is 2 bedrooms, right at fishermans Wharf and it's gorgeous and 5 star and we are paying $280/night.
OK SO - 8:15am I went into dr K's office with my dad and noticed the decor was a little dated but still nice. Although I think At that point I was so nervous, I was looking for any excuse to run out the door! ( I'm thinking: oh god it's an ugly couch, maybe this is a bad idea, let's GO) luckily my dad calmed me down and reminded me how renown dr kabaker is and that most surgery places are exactly "fancy looking" -and if they are, you know they build the surgery prices so you are paying for half that 5 grand leather couch they bought (ha-ha)
The receptionist was professional and sweet. She helped me fill out the paperwork before hand which was of course a bit intimidating because he discloses every single thing that could go wrong. Including hair loss,temporary or permanent (in rare cases) as well as all other possibilities in any surgery (even DEATH ... which obviously is like a 0.0000001% chance but they still disclose it!) which makes you start to freak out even more. If interested, Read dr kabakers site on hairlineline lowering Q and A and you will get lots of insight on why and how some people may lose a little frontal hair at first and that it 99% of the time grows back.
After the paperwork the receptionist brought me right into the back room to meet with the nurse. The nurse came in (I now forget her name but will get it for you later.. I am terrible with names) and she went over all risks again, my medical history, allergies. She went into detail on the drugs they use for the sedation and gave my dad all of my post op medication (2 types of pain killers, medical strength arnica, 5 days of 3xday antibiotics and nausea medication in case that happens) we spent about 30 minutes discussing any concerns I had about the pre and post operative care. She is the nurse who is trained in IV sedation and monsters you during the whole surgery. I researched sedation qualifications ALOT and found that in hospitals for most minor procedures (colonoscopy and such) the nurses perform the sedation and it's the norm. It's only general sedation where you need to MAKE SURE they have a trained anesthesiologist there monitoring you. Becuse general sedation is FAR for dangerous and they actually have machines breathing for you opposed to you breathing yourself.
Then, dr kabaker came in with his assisting doctor, who is also an American board certified surgeon as well. (Another important thing to check for when looking for a surgeon) The procedure takes SO much muscle to stretch your scalp in order to lower it, so 2 sets of hands are definitely needed. Dr kabaker is still the one who does the entire thing, just with another set of hands when needed.
Dr Kabaker was calm, confident, kind and funny! His assisting doctor was a complete sweet heart as well. They really gave me a great feeling. We then Measured my hairline(7.5cm - ish) and then I brought and showed him pictures of both hairlines I LOVED and also hairlines I HATED. I brought in my celebrity hairline inspiration (Natalie Portman) I wanted to be very clear on the fact that I didn't want a straight across line and Especially didn't want it too low! You can always go lower after but you can NEVER go higher.. and the more lower isn't always the better! My advice is to be realistic and be modest. I know what it's like to hate your forehead your whole life and the pressure to go as low as possible is always in The back of your mind. I personally love the shape of my side profile, my roundness and I didn't want a tiny Kim kardashian non existent forehead. My personal option is the most beautiful people in the world have medium foreheads and not SMALL. Think charlize theron, Natalie Portman, Keira knightly, of course Angelina Jolie, the girl off the movie the notebook etc etc.
We discussed if I wanted to keep the natural imperfection of my hair line or if I wanted the widows peak gone etc. We decided on lessening the widows peak but still keeping some of my imperfections. I felt that if we went with a perfectly straight rounded forehead that it would be more fake looking. (All personal preference)
He then had me draw my optimal line and my dad immedietly reminded me to not go too low! I literally replied (I'm not a friggen artist DAD!!) He was right though...my line was too low. Dr Kabaker then started drawing the line of his own. The first line we agreed was too high and then the second was perfect.
At this point I began getting super emotional and scared. I was crying and the nurse was simply AMAZING. She held me and held my hand and it actually felt like my mom was there with me! I loved her.
Before she gave me a Zanax to calm down, I started second guessing my line we drew and decided I wanted it slightly higher. The line was going to bring me down to 5cm and we decided on making it slightly high to around 5,3. Lowering me around 2cm totally. I also gave him approval to choose between the 5cm line or the higher one once we were in surgery.remember, surgeons are artists and we are paying big money for their judgement on face shape and balance. I trust his judgement and wanted him to make the most proportionate choice for my face.
I took the zanax which really did nothing to calm me down. I hate drugs and was so scared to take it for some reason! I was sobbing and being a drama queen but the nurse and doctors were unbelievably loving and calming me down.
Now for the scariest part of the whole thing.. saying goodbye to my dad and walking into the horror room alone which is the surgery room. It's a clean room but absolutely terrifying as all the machines and scalpels and devices are set out. Iayed down in the operating bed and the nurse gave me an IV and explained I would be out in no time and porbabaly would sleep the whole time.
As I said before, because it's twilight sedation, it's much less hard on your body than a general (Google IV sedation/ twilight VS general) they freeze your head and all that and keep you IV sedated and out of it enough to not feel anything and be completely relaxed. The majority 99% of people completely pass out and have no memory of anything. The 1% of people will have memories but they aren't scary at all.
I was the 1%!!! I groggily remember having full convorsations with the doctors and nurses and even discussing political events!! The assisting doctor was fabulous and was talking with me the whole time apparently (I don't remember too too much - but the nurse told me how kind he was) I also briefly remember asking him to marry me LOL...(sorry to my boyfriend for that one!!!)
After the surgery, i woke up with all the nurses there still monitoring me and holding my hand. On a scale of 1-10 I felt maybe 1 on the pain and discomfort side. I was amazing at how "with it" I woke up feeling. If you've ever had general anesthesia, it's NOTHING like that. General makes you wake up feeling completely dazed and confused but this did not. I could immediately tell it was way better on my body compared to general. I woke up feeling totally with it.
We walked to the recovery room and I waited for my dad to arrive. She put a cold comprsss of my eyes and gave me some juice. My head was fully tightly bandaged from front to back. I've read a lot of reviews about how tight their head feels at this point but mine didn't really feel like anything at all... honestly, having a bad cold a month prior was more uncomfortable than this. She then gave me a print out of the before and after, taken on the operating table!!! It's beautiful .. I am THRILLED with what I see so far and I am so so thankful they gave me that! If I had to wait until the next day to see any result I would have been so nervous and not half as excited! The picture is a little gruesome because I'm covered in their orange antiseptic solution and that but it still gives a really good idea of what it will look like! I will post the picture for you guys :) please tell me what you think. Not too low, right??
I was expecting to be in a lot of pain because in my only other surgery I've had (breast) I was in serious uncomfort and pain from day 1 - day 7. But with this, there is nothing so far!!
We drive home and I was so "with it" that I was navigating and giving my dad directions! I took my pain medication, antibiotics and the arnica which is for swelling and bruising as directly and chilled for the rest of the night. The lovely nurse called to check in on me and spoke with my dad for 15 minutes going over how I was. I had no nausia, was able to eat food and enjoy it and then went to bed around 11pm and had a great sleep (sleep on your back and keep your head low on one pillow so the bruising and swelling doesn't drain to your forehead)
This morning I woke up at 5am with some pain (maybe 2/10 pain) slight pressure and headache because I hadn't had a pain pill since the night before. I got up, had some food with the pain pill and now feel back to a 1/10 pain.
When I try to lift my eyebrows, there is a pinching feeling where I assume my stitches and the bruising are (I can't see them yet) but other than that, it's a walk in the park. I do see some mild bruising forming on small parts of my forehead, which is normal.
I am going in to take my bandages off today and get rebandaged with something less large and tight. I am hoping I continue feeling as good as I do now but am expecting to have some instant swilling once the tight tight bandage comes off.
I go home on Wednesday (Vancouver, Canada) and have arranged to have my stitches removed next Monday from my surgeon who did my breast implants years ago. Your stitches are removed 1 week from surgery.
I will keep you updated this afternoon once the large comes off and I get a better view of the result!