Massive Swelling - Disappointing Results - Tallahassee, FL

My experience with Dr. Kirbo was difficult with...

My experience with Dr. Kirbo was difficult with ultimately disappointing results. I had a facelift with fat transfers (from my neck) injected under my eyes and around the jawline. I also had a temporal brow lift, upper neck lift and eyelid surgery.


>>The Consultation - My mother had two facelifts during her later years and was thrilled with the results each time.. I wanted to have a facelift early, like she did, before I had extensive sagging. At the consultation appointment Dr. Kirbo told me "You look great" (I was 56 at the time) I told him about my mom and that I wanted to look "refreshed" and not stretched. I expressly wanted my brows lifted at the frown line area as I was starting to look like John C Reilly! I also wanted to address the beginnings of sagging jowls. Dr. Kirbo was was eager to convince me that fat transfers from my neck would provide great results. I had my doubts, but since he was the Doctor and knew better than me, I went along with it. There were several red flags that popped up: He wasn't a real good listener; he stated that "he wasn't the fastest plastic surgeon around but wasn't the slowest, eithe,r" and when I showed him my deep drooping frown line he said "a little Botox will take care of that." I had been told by other Dr's that Botox helps with frown creases but would not help with sagging. I also did not want to start paying for years of Botox injections. When I asked about pain he told me that some people were able to "just take Tylenol" the day after the surgery.


>>>Surgery Day - Dr. Kirbo has a very nice surgical suite in his office. His staff were friendly and professional and and several of them had procedures that were done by him. They reassured me that Dr. Kirbo emphasized a natural result and took his time to achieve that. My husband had come with me and they went over post surgical instructions with both of us. I was in surgery almost three hours and maybe a couple more in the recovery room. We had come in at 6:00AM and we left at 3PM. Dr. Kirbo didn't write a prescription for pain medication because I told him I had some Tramadol at home.


>>>Post-OP - I was alert when we got home and didn't sleep. As the evening wore on it became evident that the Tramadol wasn't strong enough. The pain was very intense. At about 9:00pm my husband called Dr Kirbo's answering service and the on-call Dr. called back immediately. He called in a prescription for Vicodin which my husband picked up. My husband strictly followed the post-op instructions, which called for "Icy paper towels" on/off for twenty minutes. The paper towels were insufficient, because they stayed icy on my face for only a few minutes. Dr. Kirbo did not recommend ice packs or cold compresses because he thought the weight could distort the skin and affect the surgery results. For whatever reason, my face swelled massively, to twice its normal size.


>>>One Week Post-Op - My husband had planned to take off two days to take care of me, but had to take a week instead. My face remained swollen horribly for about a month and took MONTHS to go down completely. My eyes swelled shut and I couldn't see for a couple of days. I also kept icing my face with the paper towels, even though his nurse told me it wouldn't make any difference after 24 hours. I applied Arnica gel as instructed and slept sitting up with my head ttilied back so that my "neck would heal nicely." My husband took pictures daily to monitor my progress.


>>>One Year Out - I would like to emphasize that Dr. Kirbo did not make me any look worse. He did make me look better, but not notably. For the first six months after the surgery several people asked me if I was on steriods because my face was puffy. The left side is still slightly swollen. The fat injections under my eyes have somewhat dissolved, but my eyes have more of a sunken-in look because of the fat underneath them. My neck is tighter, and my jowls are mostly gone, with a little bit of one on the left side. However, my cheeks, hairline, and forehead are still numb, and my outer cheeks still feel very tight and uncomfortable. I suspect this is because of scar tissue from leaving my face splayed open so long during the surgery. My drooping frown line has no change. I researched "Temporal Brow Lift", which is what he did, and discovered it only lifts the outer third of the eyebrow. The most disappointing thing (other than the Brow Lift) is that NO ONE noticed or commented that I looked rested or better. In fact, an old friend just dropped by and I told him I was writing a review about my facelift. He said "What facelift" and "What did it do." I had not seen him for several months and he couldn't see any change.


>>>Was It Worth It? - Overall, I would have to say, for me, the answer is no. Dr. Kirbo's surgery philosophy is to do too little rather than too much. He is very cautious and while this is a safe approach, in my case the improvement wasn't worth the money or suffering. Dr. Kirbo only has a few before/after pics on his office website and didn't have many to show me during the consultation. I don't think he has done many facelifts, and had I gone to someone in a bigger city who has done a lot of them I lmay have had better results. Sadly, because of the numbness and discomfort in my face, I can't risk having another surgery in the future.


>>>Suggestions - If you decide to have a facelift, choose a Dr. who has done hundreds of them. Avoid fat transfers, the complications and recovery time are not worth it. Take a picture of yourself in your younger years to show the Dr. what you want to look like. Be very specific about your problem areas and make sure the Dr. answers your questions as to what he/she can do to fix them. Make sure the Dr. listens to you and if he doesn't, find another Dr. Finally, I personally know someone who had a beautiful facelift result from Dr. Kirbo. He remains a popular Dr and will be more consistently good as he does more facelift sand sees what works and what doesn't..

As part of Dr. Kirbo's follow up he provides two...

As part of Dr. Kirbo's follow up he provides two free facial massages by his cosmetic staff. In my case he provided more than two because of the extensive swelling in my face. The facial massages did help a little, so i rated his office above average for After Care.
Tallahassee Plastic Surgeon

Recommended by a friend who got good results. Excellant reputation and was recently chosen by readers of "Tallahassee Magazine" as Best Doctor.

3 out of 5 stars Overall rating
3 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
2 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
3 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
4 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
4 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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