I was looking for a subtle lift to my lips;...
I was looking for a subtle lift to my lips; something conservative to go with my generally small features.
Before deciding on Dr. Sigler, I had a consultation with Dr Hillinski in San Diego. He did NOT recommend it, stating that there was not much to cut and the outcome was not worth the scar. In any case he would do it for $3,500. I left feeling a little dejected but thanks to a great review by RS member sharkmark I was impressed with Dr. Sigler's work and soon contacted her.
Dr. Sigler took a conservative approach toward my face (just the way I like it!). Her prices are on her website and I decided to add chin lipo after my consultation with her. Noticing my haggard appearance, she was even kind enough to stick that bad boy fat from my chin right around my smile lines for free.
It has now been 3 weeks and I feel I am healing right on schedule. I am happy with my results and happy with the money I saved.
Swelling and Recovery after Surgery
I do want to share that I almost had a mental breakdown by week 2. I became impatient with the healing process and over-analyzed every little irregularity of my face. The swelling had distorted my facial features, especially my nose and cheeks. As I read through RS one surgeon's reply to another user's anxiety really resonated with me. He said that before any surgery one must be mentally and psychologically ready to heal over a period of months (not days, not weeks). With this in mind, there isn't a day that passes without me feeling like there's a little more improvement, whether it is in comfort or appearance.
Approximate philtrum length
This photo is not very good because of the clear ruler but my current length is about 1cm. I feel that if I cut more, my upper lip might over-power my lower lip, especially if seen at a 60 degree angle (or if someone were to look up to my nostrils per say). My lips were never too symmetrical to begin with, but now seem pretty legit :p To get a little more plump, I'd entertain the idea of fillers or implant.
Procedures in Tijuana
Here is my full disclosure and humble opinion on having medical procedures in Tijuana, Mexico:
I don't believe it is for the faint-hearted or overly-sheltered individual.
I've been going to Tijuana since I was a child, speak Spanish and consider myself pretty practical. However, crossing the border (whether by foot or car) to get back to the US is no joke. I'll drive to the airport without hesitation. But to get to Zona Rio where most clinics are, I leave my car at the San Ysidro border, walk across and pick up a Taxi.
If you're going to drive you have to be an aggressive driver (as confirmed by the many taxi drivers I've taken and chat with); especially in the round-abouts (it's the law of the jungle there). There's also been a lot of recent construction, that makes me wonder how exactly to get to the car line when crossing back (my phone's data plan would make for an expensive GPS-use, assuming that roads and maps are even updated).
But whether you're driving or walking, you can expect lines and wait-time to be anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours. And believe me, I've waited up to 2.5; It's not fun. Wait-time is diminished if you have a ready-line acceptable passport card, or a sentri pass (purchasable for frequent visitors). But I've observed some disorganization on certain days that just makes for a longer wait regardless.
On the day of my operation, I opted to use the clinic's van transportation to my car and got to go thru a special lane for medically/surgically handicapped people. I'm believe the clinic offers to-and-from transportation from airports and other locations, but I'm pretty sure it won't be cheap.
I've also been told by kidnapping-paranoid people to to be careful with taxi drivers. Although it's fair to take precautions, I've taken multiple taxis by myself and never feel threatened. In an attempt to find a clinic that could perform PRP injections for my scalp, one taxi driver took me to a rough part of town to a modest yet honest clinic. I'm so greatly indebted for his help and glad I trusted him. My hair fall has diminished substantially from those injections (at a fraction of a cost had I had them in Los Angeles).
Now, I am no stranger to medical practices in Orange County and Los Angeles (i.e, I see Dr. Klein at OC Dermatology for botox). But in Tijuana they don't baby me as much (er, at all). For example, my prp injections are done without any numbing agents (you're just gonna have to take like a mountain man!) and my blood draw for Dr. Sigler was literally done impromptu on a couch in the waiting room). The nurse got straight to the point. Some clinics in Los Angeles ask me if I'm calm and happy and if I want a soothing tea afterward, with a little caring pat on my back.
And finally, if you choose to go to Tijuana, you're going to see things. There's going to be beggars, crying babies, perhaps a fight or two, some really impatient people crossing the border, and the list goes on. I personally, like going to Tijuana, because I believe in giving back. I like knowing that while I'm satisfying my silly vanity, I am helping their local economy, helping with 1 or 2 dollars to each of the approximately 7 beggars that I passed by, tipped my taxi drivers handsomely and heck, even the door men at some establishments, etc. Because these people need it more than most can understand. Especially more than the flashy Beverly Hills surgeon who's got as much skill as the surgeons in Tijuana or other parts of the world, but quadruple the amount of high-end cars.
Scars at Approximately 1 month
It is hard to capture the true color and texture of a scar on a phone camera, but I believe scarring from the beginning was minimal. I do use mederma as often as I can, and feel confident the scars will diminish with time.