I have decided to provide online parts of my personal diary, which I amended to detail my experience, this may also be posted online as a blog, so as to aid others examining the pros and cons of the procedure. My account is prolix because it was intended as a cathartic exercise initially, not a review. It is supposed to be humorous too. As it is so long and only for those that truly seek detail, I have add review-type parts, useful information on supplements and tried to break the information down into sections and subsections for those wanting to skim-read.
For those patient enough to read this, they might find something of note. I have found that those reviews that are impersonal and of a few lines, are not very rewarding nor useful. Sometimes even one wonders if they are marketing efforts. Whereas those reviewers and bloggers who go into fine details provide rich information and a personal touch that make their genuine experiences insightful, helpful and easy to relate to.
There are few photos as I prefer to protect my personal privacy.
I decided to investigate facial micro fat grafting following a negative experience with restylane perlane in my nasolabial folds.
WHY I WANTED SURGERY:
I feel that my NL folds are what ages me the most. I am 35 and feel that they are pronounced. Aging is of course inevitable however my NLs have been aggravated due to various factors. Firstly, during my teens and early twenties I was a daily smoker. I am now staunchly against this habit but in my early twenties I lived on the Continent, smoking was not only très à la mode but a key tool in socialising. Secondly, I spent many years playing a woodwind instrument. I have a love-hate relationship with the instrument. It sounds so alluring however the vain part of me despises what the hours of intense facial contraction do to my NL folds. I still would like to discuss this with my Doctor.
Thirdly, I had a large quantity of liquid silicone injected in my lips about 12 years ago in Europe. The weight of this material has surely dragged down my face. I try not to dwell in regret. My husband finds my lips luscious so this is consolation indeed. However injectable liquid silicone is not safe and was banned by the FDA in 1991 and with reason, it does not dissolve and can lead to complications. It is my hope to have the silicone removed one day, but one thing at a time. It seems the procedure is very difficult, requiring meticulous surgical resection which is risky. Removal of silicone may cause destruction of the normal lip contour and function. I would like to get the silicone replaced by fat but have read that due to the high mobility of the lips, it can disappear very fast. If I am happy with the outcome of this procedure I would definitely envisage discussing this with my plastic surgeon in the future.
Finally, for the last 10 years I was involved in very high intensity sports, training at an extreme level. This means I am mostly all muscle, possess very little body fat which entails my face has become gaunt rather rapidly. A hypermetabolism due to my exercise regime makes keeping weight on arduous.
FRIGHTENING EXPERIENCE WITH RESTYLANE
I went to a plastic surgeon of good repute to discuss having my NL folds reduced with fillers. I chose this surgeon based on a friend's recommendation and good reviews on ratemds. I explained to this PS that I had reservations about using fillers since I have numerous allergies, my mast cells behave badly. I am a celiac, allergic to shellfish, penicillin, cats, pollen, iodine and more. I also informed him that I had silicone in my lips. I should certainly have proceeded with more caution but decided to go ahead with restylane, perlane. I later read on realself, that cross-reactivity can occur between some fillers. The Doctor told me most people have no reaction to hyaluronic-acid based fillers and the only way to find out was to try. Unfortunately I am not most people. I truly wish I had opted for facial fat grafting (FFT) at that time. But one cannot press rewind on life's trajectory.
-MOTTLED SKIN AND OTHER MAYHEM
After a couple of weeks following the injection of 3 vials I noted that my eyes were often tearing, I had headaches, pain in my face where the fillers were and my skin began to appear red and mottled around the injection sites and very sensitive. I started taking some anti-histamines which seemed to help. I went to see the PS again, he told me to give the sites some more time to settle and keep taking the anti-histamines. I did so but continued to experience strange reactions. A week or so later, I rose from bed to find a hard cyst the size of a dime in my NL fold. I called the PS who was able to see me that same day. He was professional, promptly dissolving the lump with hyaluronidase at no charge to me. However the problems persisted. A week later, the filler started to feel very hard and swollen under my skin. One day I woke up and the left side of my face was swollen. (I would later develop skin problems on that same side). I called the PS's office again, to have the fillers removed completely but was told he was away and was advised to wait a week or so until he was back. I called some other cosmetic surgeons in my area but when I asked about removing fillers, I was turned away since they told me that they only removed fillers they had injected themselves. I then called a few other locations but no one was able to remove the fillers the same day, many were on summer holiday or fully booked, I had to wait for at least a week I was told.
I decided to go to a dermatologist since one was available the same day, especially as my skin was transforming beneath my eyes, hardened, mottled and rough, especially around and above my NL folds. The dermatologist prescribed me antibiotics and fairly high dose prednisone. The prednisone worked fast. Within a few days my face was no longer swollen. Albeit, my skin continued to change. I used to have what my mother-in-law called peaches-and-cream skin, however I started to develop constant pustules and papules on my cheeks, red marks, rough skin and blemishes on my chin which I never had before. My skin seemed so sensitive to everything. In particular I noted an irritated patch of skin on my left cheek, which seemed red and bumpy. I went back to the dermatologist the following week,who told me to my absolute horror that I now had rosacea and prescribed me some creams to calm my skin. I have never had skin issues before so was devastated to be diagnosed with a life-long skin condition. I asked him whether the prednisone or the fillers might have caused the rosacea and the issues I seemed to suddenly have experienced with my skin. The dermatologist said it was not impossible, so he advised I wean myself slowly off this medicine to see if my skin improved. I was glad to do so as I had many side effects from the prednisone including hair loss, waking up at 3am nightly plus more. But even after tapering off the prednisone the rosacea has persisted. The Doctor told me various medications can be tried, long term antibiotics which I know my stomach might be adverse to or 10-20mg accutane, either way best to wait until after surgery before exploring these options.
I since read a study that conjectures that mast cells activation may cause rosacea. It is my hypothesis that for some reason the fillers in my NLS caused mast cell activation leading to this awful rosacea. The worst of the rosacea is on the side of my face that kept swelling up. I would therefore caution that if you are prone to allergies, be very careful about using fillers. My P.S. later returned from holiday and I requested he remove all of the filler. I did not berate him, ultimately it was my decision to have fillers but I wish he had not been so convincing about arguing that very few people react to restylane and that trying was the best way to find out. In fact his soft sell skills entailed that after this experience I was put off by PSs who opt for such behaviour. It disempowers the patient. More on that below. Meanwhile, at this point, being used to the look of the filler in my face, having my NL folds return plus having to deal with bad skin really impinged on my self-confidence, I decided to seriously investigate FFT.
CHOOSING A PLASTIC SURGEON:
By the time I met Doctor Trevor Born I had seen numerous plastic surgeons. I honestly had very few questions for him, since I had heard the same answers repeatedly and was well aware of the risks involved. My primary concerns were further skin damage and lack of adipose tissue. The PSs I had seen prior to meeting Doctor Born, had advised that the FFT would not cause further problems to the areas of my face and skin adversely affected by mast cell activation caused by the restylane, as described above. In fact one PS explained that the fat aspirated from harvest sites contains substances, which I researched called adipose derived stem cells and regenerative cells, that can potentially improve the condition of one's skin. I can but hope. I truly believe the restylane destroyed my previously unmarred skin.
Most PSs were not concerned about adipose tissue and told me that some can always be harvested, one suggested the area around my knee. When I later checked that area, I could only feel skin so I crossed that surgeon off my list.
I initially had a long index of plastic surgeons to choose from but gradually the list whittled away to one surgeon. I inquired about plastic surgeons online and in Toronto. Doctor Born has acquired an excellent reputation. He has been performing FFT longer than most other Toronto-based surgeons. He was recommended to me at my dermatologist's office. I was also recommended another surgeon. However research online, on ratemds and realself, evinced that the latter had a mixed track record, some rather frightening reviews made me stay away from that surgeon. Secondly, I was in touch with various realself members of the same demographic as myself, one of whom recommended Doctor Born as she had successfully undergone FFT with him. Another surgeon was also initially recommended to me by a realself member. This Toronto-based surgeon offers fat grafting at comparatively cheap rates but I decided not to opt for him when the realself member later told me her results were modest in the end and that she wished he had placed fat in her forehead area, not just cheek and NL fold area.
I scratched yet another plastic surgeon off my list after I was sent a private message warning me that one member and her best friend had had a bad experience with a young plastic surgeon who left them with lumpy skin. I also received a note of caution about a surgeon whose office entourage were highly unprofessional and made fun of patients behind their back. Whether or not that surgeon did a good job is not at question, apparently his staff are incapable of professionalism.
I met with my remaining list. Many of those surgeons told me that they had a lot of experience with FFT but yet they had no photos to show. I understood that for privacy reasons they might not display these on their website however hoped that they would show them to me in person, which they did not. Given that they had no evidence of their work, I had to doubt the veracity of their claims.
Some other surgeons gave me unclear answers, hesitating about their replies to questions such as how long they had been performing FFT and how many times they had undertaken the procedure in the last year. 'I do it all the time,' or 'surgeons have been performing FFT for years now' is not what I wanted to hear, that is not what I asked! Yet others gave me odd answers. When I asked one surgeon what one of the main risks was he replied 'body dysmorphic disorder', which I found rather odd. I also got very tired of the hard sell approach of many of the surgeons I met, who I felt were literally cajoling me into choosing them. Once bitten twice shy. Some also feigned too much interest in my personal life, it did not seem genuine but an attempt to endear me. Others tried to play the artist and tell me that they had a unique eye as they painted, sculpted etc.
-LONG TERM PLAN
I did look into surgeons performing FFT in the USA. There are numerous experienced surgeons there but I decided I do not want the hassle of flights and the possible predicament of a long-distance imbroglio if anything goes wrong. I concluded that since I plan to live in Canada for a while, I needed to find a reliable surgeon in Canada that I can trust, not just for now, but as long term investment to as we say in French ' preserver le capital beauté'. I will only need more work as I get older and I really want to look into having the silicone fillers removed from my lips.
-DOCTOR TREVOR BORN
I have to confess to finding the wait at Doctor Born's office inexorably long however once I finally managed to sit down with the chap I really enjoyed his no nonsense approach. I also found his staff to be accommodating, congenial and professional.
There are multiple reasons I decided to choose Doctor Born. I will summarise here and then detail below. Doctor Born's experience, expertise, rational approach, brutal honesty and professionalism plus his staff's competence and civility. Andrea, the surgical coordinator has been efficient and patient since the outset, providing me with pricing and any other details I requested about the surgery.
Doctor Born has a proven track record. He has more FFT photos on his website than any other surgeon I encountered in Canada. Personal communication from one of his FFT patients on realself.com also convinced me of his expertise, plus the endorsement from my dermatologist's office. His multiple recommendations on Linkedin attest to the fact that his patients seem willing to publicly commend him.
During our first appointment he displayed immediate lucidity plus a methodical and rational approach, which I really appreciated after all the plastic surgeon salesmen I had encountered!
Doctor Born did not try to peddle his procedure, did not embroider his answers, he just replied coolly to my questions. I did not at any point feel pressured into thinking he was my only choice, nor feel that he was trying to persuade me to have the surgery, thereby leaving the decision entirely in my hands. He just gave me the facts. He also did not try to play the creative card on me. Although it is very nice to meet charming surgeons who assure one of their artistic predilections, if something goes wrong on the operating table I would rather have a rational, cool-headed PS with numerous years of experience in charge of things, than a hot-headed 'artiste'.
When I told Doctor Born of my desire for NL filling, he immediately told me that I would rejuvenate my appearance dramatically by adding fat to the area beneath and around my eye, plus in the temple. When I asked him if this was really necessary, again he did not pressure me but left the choice in my own hands. Most plastic surgeons, when I told them that I wanted NL fat filling, immediately acquiesced but made no insightful suggestions. When I inquired what specific areas should also be filled in they took a while to think and pointed out obvious areas like my eye hollows. However Doctor Born's rapid suggestion suggested to me that he had already determined what my face would require from the second he laid eyes on me. I appreciate a man with a vision and a plan. He obviously has a keen eye.
Doctor Born was very professional in handling the fat analysis part of our appointment. It is important to feel comfortable with one's PS. He made me put a gown on over my bra and knickers, then examined my body to see which areas he could harvest fat from. Although nudity is our natural state, civilisation and culture have of course rendered it taboo and taboo is necessary, as Claude Lévi-Strauss has commented, for the sanity and well-being of our species! Being semi-naked in front of stranger can feel awkward. I had previously visited another surgeon who had made me feel very uneasy with his rather leery physical exam and made me think I would not want to be unconscious on his operating table. A surgeon should have respect for his patient.
Doctor Born did not hesitate to tell me that I needed to put on weight in order to have a successful result. I was initially a little affronted by this comment, given that my exercise regime is highly intense I did not at first comprehend his suggestion as my only goal has been to be as physically fit and strong as possible. Later, after some reflection, I appreciated Doctor Born's frankness. No other surgeon had highlighted as he did, the vital importance of this in my case. This finalised my decision to opt for Doctor Born. He pointed out this necessity to ensure my satisfaction with the outcome and was telling me this for my own good. I needed a voice of reason.
Lastly, Doctor Born's appearance convinced me that he has a good eye for aesthetics and is a perfectionist. They say you can't judge a book by its cover but I feel one can certainly evaluate the work of some PSs by looking at their face. One may presume that many plastic surgeons practice their work on themselves. I met a couple of PSs whose somewhat odd appearances attested to the latter in the worst of ways. Overly botoxed brows replete with preternaturally arched eyebrows in faces puffy with fillers like gluttonous chipmunks dissuaded me from selecting those persons as my FFT surgeon. Such an appearance in a PS concerns me. I extrapolated that these individuals were more focused on erasing every wrinkle as opposed to creating a natural, graceful look. Doctor Born has a pleasant, balanced appearance.
SECOND MEETING WITH DOCTOR BORN:
I met with Doctor Born once more before my surgery. This was following the removal of the restylane. He ensured that it was fully dissolved by examining my face. He also took a look at my love handles to see if I was putting on the fat required for a successful operation. He was happy with my progress.
I reiterated to Doctor Born the importance of reducing my NL folds. Of course, Doctor Born was the voice of reason, as he has been since the start and which is why I chose him. He told me that having met a well-known Hollywood actress in person at some fancy 'do' in NY, he had observed that her NL folds had a very odd appearance particularly when smiling because they had been over-filled and that he did not want to create the same awkward aesthetic for me. Apparently this actress's airbrushed photos systematically camouflage this fact.
PRE-OP FATTENING DIET AND SUPPLEMENTS:
As mentioned, at my initial appointment Doctor Born convinced me that I needed to fatten up prior to surgery. I had about 5 weeks to do so. I stopped exercising, taking taxis or the car everywhere to minimise burning calories walking. I refused to walk up stairs and took the lift every time. I began to eat very fatty foods and lots of carbs, eating on a very strict schedule, every two hours, 4 large meals and 2 fatty snacks daily. I found some easy ways to increase my daily intake of calories, for example, I incorporated a whole can of full fat coconut milk into my daily shake. One can contains over 1300 calories and is loaded with fat, over 225% of one's daily needs. Sometimes if I had a busy day and felt that I had burned too much energy I consumed 2 cans of coconut milk in two sittings. I also put large amounts of butter on everything that I ate and had sugary drinks with most meals. I used myfitnesspal.com to keep track of my calories, with a goal of over 4,000 calories daily. I even googled the sumo-wrestler diet to inspire myself! I have to say my skin started to look really bad from eating a lot of very rich food. If the restylane had already transformed it, the fatty fried foods did me no favours at all. I think my organs had a hard time filtering out all the nonsense I was eating. It was not easy. Sometimes I felt rather nauseated from chugging down so much food.
Doctor Born sells pre-op supplements however since I possess a plethora of vitamins I decided to concoct my own regimen. I was told by Andrea to avoid fish oil and vitamin E in order to minimise my bruising.
I took the following supplements: Vitamin C+ Quercetin (the Twinlabs formula which is high quality), zinc, vitamin B complex, High Vitamin Butter Oil (for the vitamin K which is excellent for bruising), probiotics, magnesium, Great Lakes collagen (excellent amino acid profile) and trace mineral drops.
I also took homeopathic arnica prior to the operation.
On the healthy side of things I decided to cook my fatty meals, high carb meals with foods containing: luteolin, rutin, quercetin and other bioflavinoids which help with bruising and inflammation. I drank a freshly made apple juice daily for the quercetin and rutin content, with added carrots for vitamin A and Acai. Other good sources of quercetin that I ate: dill, blueberries, chives, red onions, tarragon, celery and broccoli. I also seasoned my food with thyme and rosemary, rich in luteolin.
MENTAL, PHYSICAL AND METAPHYSICAL PREPARATION:
The physical preparation was easy, it entailed gorging myself on fatty foods, doing the blood work that Doctor Born had requested and not going to the gym. The mental and metaphysical preparation involved readying my mind and being. I perused as many written reviews, recovery accounts, blogs, vlogs of FFT as I could on realself, youtube and elsewhere. This readied me for any potential pain, made me aware of how much swelling might occur and how long recovery might take plus more.
-TO FFT OR NOT TO FFT, THAT IS THE QUESTION
I believe that we are mind, body and soul. I had to spend time cogitating on why I was doing the fat transfer and whether I felt comfortable with this at a deeper existential level. I had already gone through this with the fillers and then decided I needed to have a good think again as the price was quadrupled, the price to satisfy my ego! At heart I am an academic and very happy in my introspective world of books, writing etc. I would like to think that I could immerse myself so deeply in that cosmos that my physical imperfections, especially relating to ageing would not concern me. However ultimately, every time I remove my nose from a book, I have to acknowledge that we live in a material world. We have no choice but to experience our lives on a physical plane in a vessel that can sometimes fall short of our expectations. One part of me felt very guilty for even envisaging spending so much money on my physical appearance. I have travelled extensively in Africa where I have experienced children fight over my empty plastic water bottle or a ball point pen. The money I spent on my procedure could feed their mouths for a year. It is sometimes hard in a world of such monetary disparity to justify one's choices. I have spent a lot of time improving my mind through study, improving my body through sports and wise nutritional choices. I have attempted to expand my soul through meditation and introspection. I had to wonder whether opting for the fat transfer negated the latter. On the other hand perhaps I should not judge myself for wanting to be beautiful. After all, it is not as if I am spending my money on Kalashnikovs or snuff films which would add to the darkness of our planet. I am not Gautama Buddha and able to divorce myself from my corporeal self however. Perhaps this makes me a superficial person but so far no amount of meditation or cogitation has been able to dislodge the trepidation I have about becoming a dowdy old maid. Perhaps I am experiencing a post-modern, North-American version of Baudelaire's 'Spleen de Paris'. I actually can arrive at no conclusion on the subject. Before the operation I sat down with the husband and we chose a charity for me to donate some money to.
GHASTLY PRE-OP FLU:
I spoke to Andrea, the surgical coordinator and Yolanda, the nurse, prior to my op. I told them that I was very concerned as I had an awful flu, a fever and a very sore throat that commenced 5 days prior to my surgery. Yolanda told me unless I was very ill and still had a fever on the day of my surgery, I should be able to go ahead since I had chosen twilight sedation not general anesthetic.
When I first fell ill I decided that very night to take some antibiotics in case it was bacterial but I knew it was just as likely viral. I really did not want to have to cancel my surgery. The antibiotics really upset my stomach and made me much less hungry. I was very worried about this as I had spent time ensuring I was eating significant amounts of food so as to have body fat to harvest. I did not want to lose my precious gains.
I had a fever for about 3 days. I decided to have a sleep marathon to allow my body to heal. I slept about 5 hours every day and 10 hours at night, only waking to eat. Luckily the day before my surgery my fever broke and I felt much better.
Andrea called me the day before my surgery to remind me to shower and wash my hair in the morning, not to put on any lotions or make-up and then to don comfortable clothing. My surgery was at noon. Andrea advised me not to eat nor drink anything prior to surgery. I was allowed to eat something light and drink a little water, but only 6 hours beforehand. I chose to eat a big meal and drink lots of water the night before. I initially slept very fitfully, probably because I had been sleeping so much and was nervous. As I had been so ill, I chose to sleep until literally a couple of hours before I had to leave.
It was hard to leave the house without make up! I looked and felt absolutely bedraggled after being ill. I had planned to rest and pamper myself before the surgery, do some superficial maintenance (like get waxed, have a facial) so I need not worry about it post surgery as I knew I would need to rest. I also had to cancel my acupuncture appointment the day before, which normally proves very calming and restorative. I won't even go into the state of my appearance after all the fatty food and flu!
The whole experience was very seamless once I entered the surgical suites. I have to admit to it being a little surreal, no doubt because of the drugs. I arrived and sat in the waiting room until the nurse came to get me. I was quite amused by the carpeting that leads to the operating area which added to the surrealism. It looked like red and black tiger print. I imagined that something similar might grace the artist formerly known as Prince's lover's boudoir. The nurse came to fetch me and escorted me to a changing room with a locker in it. I put on the garb provided: a hospital gown and a plush white dressing gown with some slippers. The soft dressing gown was a very nice touch. Well done TMB.
I was then taken to an area close to the operating theatre, to await my surgery. I had my own private curtained area with a hospital bed that had a lovely warm heated blanket. A kind, motherly nurse made me sign a rather scary consent form that featured some possible complications that I did not even want to think about. After that the nurse took my blood pressure, which I warned her is always low, and my temperature. Luckily all signs of the fever were gone. She fed me some pills that she told me were for pain and asked if I wanted an ativan to calm me. I said no. I knew Doctor Born would come to see me prior to surgery and I did not want to be non compos mentis.
The nurse kept coming in to talk to me and see if I was alright, she made me feel very safe. I forgot about how sick I had been and bedraggled I was. Instead I focused on quiet meditative breathing. It was very quiet. I occasionally heard a low moan from the lady in the curtained section along from mine but I heard the nurse going in to check on her frequently and cooing soothing things to her. That made me feel reassured.
Doctor Born came to see me. I felt very nervous as I knew surgery would commence soon. He did not try to crack any jokes or make cheery conversation as Doctors sometimes do. I appreciated that as I was not in the mood. He was calm and serious, as usual. He drew some markings on my face outlining where he would place the fat. I knew I could ask for a mirror to view his handiwork but decided not to, I did not want to see my face. He also examined the fat harvesting areas and drew circles on those. I reminded him for the umpteenth time to focus on eliminating the NL folds. Patiently, Doctor Born explained to me for the umpteenth time that if he over-filled them I would look preternatural. Shortly after the nurse led me to the operating room. I lay down on the operating bed. The nurse put an IV in my arm and I really don't remember anything else.
I woke up feeling blissful and with no pain at all. Whatever drugs I was given really took me to a xanadu of euphoria! I don't think I've been that relaxed and blissful in a long time. The nurse kept coming to check on me and asked if I had pain or if I wanted her to call my husband who was due to collect me. I told her that I felt fine and that I wanted to sleep more. I wish I remember her name but I was quite drugged when she told me, she was such a darling throughout the whole experience.
We had a little laugh and I felt rather mortified when the nurse told me I was talking the whole time during the recovery room, asking Doctor Born odd questions which he patiently answered, such as: what colour was the duck he ate? I have absolutely no recollection of this at all. When I told my husband he said 'I hope you did not divulge any of our secrets!' Well if I did I hope Doctor Born will be silent as a tomb!
Yolanda came to see me after the surgery. I had not met her before, only spoken to her on the phone and was confused since I was still feeling the effect of the drugs. 'Who are you?' I asked. She seemed a little surprised by the question. She explained to me that she would be taking care of me next week and gave me a card with our appointment times on it. She also gave me a prescription for painkillers in case I needed them. She was sweet and reassuring.
-BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, BARBARITY AND BANANAS
The nurse called my husband when I told her I felt ready to leave. Again the nurse was very helpful and aided me in getting dressed so I would be ready for him. Andrea kindly escorted my other half into my room. Darling husband - bless his heart- seemed completely perplexed, bewildered and shocked when he saw me. I don't think he was expecting me to be quite so bashed up! I had warned him, many times but sometimes it goes in one ear and out the other, especially if he has just been reading a review about the latest V12 sports car.
The other half was very quiet the entire drive home. I said 'I did tell you I might look like the Bride of Frankenstein.' Hubby barely spoke, only asking once: 'are you alright Frankenbaby?'
Once we got home, I immediately ate a big plate of food, I was ravenous and felt woozy from not eating. I gave poor darling another shock. I noticed my t shirt was wet with fresh blood on one side. Hubby took me to the bathroom to take a look and get the medical kit. We took off the bandage and indeed the wound was still seeping blood. Hubby disinfected it and placed new bandages on the site. I have to say I had not been told this might happen but luckily we had everything we needed at home to replace the bandage with. Hubby told me I should go and lie down in bed. As he led me there I momentarily fainted. The poor man grew even more worried! I told him not to fret, I had not eaten all day and had lost a little blood. He kept coming to check on me after that with very wide eyes. This experience reminded me why it is vital after any surgery to have someone lover, family or friend to check on you.
My husband was quite worried for the next day. After realising that his worry was unwarranted, he told me he does not understand why I would inflict what he believes is barbarity on myself. He thinks I am beautiful enough already and apparently a bit bananas but apparently never boring. I reminded him that body and facial modification in the name of beauty has always been a part of human existence since time immemorial. Plastic surgery is very civilised, sanitised and safe compared to many other body modification traditions. Across the African subcontinent ethnic groupings have practised and still practice tribal scarification. Amongst some peoples of Africa and Amazonia the lip plate has long been worn. Neck rings in Thailand, nose plugs in India, the list goes on.
I was, as to be expected very swollen when I woke up, the most affected areas are my cheeks and NL folds. I am actually very happy that my NL folds are so inflated as I kept reiterating to Doctor Born my profound desire to have these eliminated although he cautioned me repeatedly that the face is dynamic so he did not want to overfill the area.
The inflammation in my face prompted my husband to spout 'good bye my little puffer fish' as he left the house for work. I have a feeling it will be a while before this pet name becomes obsolete. I had some trouble eating my breakfast as I could not manage to open my mouth very wide. I ended up putting my breakfast in the blender and then eating it with a teaspoon. I need to keep on as much weight as possible to ensure the success of the FFT and try to replenish the adipose tissue lost from my love handles and now in my face. I did feel a little nauseous after breakfast. I expect my system is a touch unsettled after all the meds yesterday. It was nothing serious.
My face felt very sore so I did not want to wash it with soap and water but instead used very gentle products: Eau Thermale Avène's micellar lotion and H2O spray with cotton pads. The spray is very soothing, especially if you keep it in the fridge, I discovered. Although I was told I could use a very gentle lotion I opted not to. I think it will be good to give my skin a break after the last few weeks of using heavily medicated creams prescribed by the dermatologist to try to soothe my restylane-ruined skin.
A lot of green stuff came off my face. I was not as bashed up as I thought. A lot of what I presumed were bruised areas were actually left over pen markings from where Doctor Born had drawn on my face. I was surprised the nurses did not remove this post-operation.
My facial bruising is truly minimal, much less than I expected. I do believe that the consumption of supplements and foods rich in quercetin, rutin and other bioflavinoids may have aided me. I have 2 tiny bruises in the center of my forehead, in my chin. The only place the bruising is more visible is around my eyes. My eyes feel rather uncomfortable due to this and the fact that my cheeks are so swollen that my view feels a little impeded. As I mentioned in the earlier part of this review, I believe that restylane somehow triggered rosacea to develop. I never had any skin problems prior to those injections. The rosacea areas are obviously inflamed, perhaps a touch more than the rest of my skin, but it is hard to tell and the skin still looks somewhat uneven, yet very shiny right now from the FFT. As I stated above, it is my hope, following a conversation with a surgeon about the Adipose Derived Stem Cells and Regenerative Cells contained in fat, that this might be much improved if not eradicated by the FFT. However
My most visible bruising is on my love handles in the areas where the fat was harvested. These areas are very tender indeed. I have to be a little careful getting up and sitting down etc. I also cannot lie on my side. This made last night's sleep rather restless. I am usually a side sleeper but for obvious reasons, forced myself to sleep on my back however I kept inadvertently trying to turn onto my side and then would wake up with a small squeal and move back onto my back. I really like the milliard memory foam pillow I bought which due to the wave shape reduces compression of the face whilst sleeping. I was worried that since I often sleep on one side of my face, which usually gets quite crushed against my pillow, that this would cause me pain or cause uneven results in the healing process. The pillow has ensured that this has been avoided.
I had a liquid lunch for the sake of ease and by the evening my mouth area was much less swollen and I was able to eat the delicious, fresh thyme-stuffed chicken roast I cooked for the husband and I with no problem. Roasts are my comfort food and I feel that healthy servings of gravy might be excellent fattening food for keeping weight on.
The only unexpected consequence of the FFT that I had not foreseen is I have many little marks where the needle went into my face. They look like little linear scabs but I have no doubt they will clear up with time.
Yolanda, the nurse at TMB, called me early this morning at home. Initially I ignored the phone as I did not recognise the number but when the caller rang a second time I thought I better pick up in case it was important, I give few people my home phone number. I was not expecting anyone to call. Perhaps Yolanda mentioned it when she came to visit in the surgical suite after the operation but I have very little recollection of our conversation. I later noticed she had also attempted to call my mobile twice which I have been keeping off or on silent.
It was a pleasant touch that she called so early on in the day to check on me. She was very supportive on the phone, eager to answer any questions I might have. She said I could remove my bandages at the harvesting sites and should gently commence massaging around the incision area from now on. I later did as she instructed but only managed the most pathetic massage as the area was very tender. I used rosehip oil with a few drops of the essential oil helichrysum as I read it was beneficial for bruising. I also have arnica gel to hand but thought I'd alternate with that tomorrow.
The pain has really been very bearable. Yes my face feels uncomfortable and my sides are sore but not immeasurably so. I have not felt the need to take any pain killers at all. I really have no issue with pain as long as I have chosen to inflict it on myself in the name of something I believe in, like beauty or sport ;-) Enduring pain one has not elected to withstand is another subject.
DAY 2 :
Last night I was a bit restless again. I just find it arduous falling asleep on my back. I was particularly aware of odd sensations in my face such as tingling.
I glanced at my mobile phone this morning and saw I had a missed call last night from an unknown number and also a text. It was Doctor Born. He sent a message checking up on me. Again a very nice touch from TMB. The follow up has been impeccable.
My face is still very swollen. The swelling seems to have shifted somewhat. I have less on the sides of my face and forehead, now it seems to be concentrated towards the middle of my face, around my nose and in my NL folds. The bruising is much reduced on my face apart from around my eyes. My incision points are much less red and look calmer. The bruising on my back has shifted from green to mauve.
I still look like a puffer-fish . One of the many info sheets I received from Andrea mentioned pulling feelings in one's face. I felt some strange twinges today especially around my temples, mouth and near my nose. I also feel pulling around my incision sites. I managed to massage them quite well today. The areas feel somewhat raised. They still hurt but the pain is manageable. They only really bother me if I lean over to pick something up.