Real Patient Stories

We’ve combed the internet and found several inspiring stories for you.  These are not necessarily from patients in Georgia but from around the world.  The idea here is to show what’s possible when Plastic Surgery is done right.  There’s an abundance of horror stories you can Google, but here on this page are stories to inspire and build your confidence about what you’re doing.  So read on, enjoy, and as always, let us know your thoughts.

Rhinoplasty - Cindy

Rhinoplasty – A letter from Cindy

Original article at: FaceForum

Introduction

I am 21 years old and I had a rhinoplasty last month . I had a breast augmentation last summer and felt it was one of the most positive decisions I have made. I was so pleased with the work my surgeon had done on my breasts that I felt very comfortable returning to him to perform my nose surgery. Dr. Olesen has been doing plastic surgery for over 20 years and does over 300 cases of noses each year. I did go to a consult with one other doctor, but something about his office made me uncomfortable. I decided it was worth the extra money for my peace of mind.

Both of my parents have had their noses done…my mom when I was 7 and my dad when I was 13…so they were very supportive of my decision and I knew just what I was getting myself into.

As the date of my surgery grew closer, I became very nervous. I looked through magzines and picked out the profile I wanted. I had a very straight nose to begin with…but my nose bridge was up pretty high and I felt my nose was too overpowering on my face. I was terrified of ending up with that “scooped” look…I certainly did NOT want a ski jump nose!

Surgery Day

The morning of my surgery I arrived at 10:00 as planned… however the doctor was running late. I changed into my lovely gown and sat in their little room for nearly two hours!! I am surprised I didn’t change my mind!

Eventually my anesthesiologist came in to talk with me. She had just had Dr. Olesen do her nose a few days before and was still in her cast!

Finally, I walked into the operating room and lay down on the soft operating table and went to sleep.

When I woke up I felt a bit of pressure behind my eyes. I told the nurse I couldn’t open my eyes. She said that I could. I disagreed…they would not open! When I could get them open a crack, I was in excruciating pain!

Apparently they got some soap in my eyes when they washed my face on the operating table and didn’t get it out. I got a bit panicky not being able to open my eyes. They put drops in, but nothing seemed to help. They suggested to my parents to buy some eye wash on the way home. The trip home was fairly nauseating because I could not open my eyes. Once I got home and into bed I took some Vicodin for my headache and fell asleep. My dad went to the store to buy eye wash and some gauze pads because he had left the ones from the doctor in the recovery room! By the time he returned home my eyes were much better and I never needed the wash.

After taking the 1st pain pill I felt no pain what so ever. I felt nauseous after the second pill and promptly switched to extra strength Tylenol. I had a cast on my nose and a drip pad that I changed every few hours for the first day. It really only bled when I stood up to go to the bathroom. I had trouble sleeping because my throat was very tender from being intubated. Once my throat healed, I felt fine.

Recovery

By the third day my swelling and bruising was atrocious! My eyes were purple on the lids and underneath and my cheeks were swollen too. It was a bit traumatic to see myself like this. By day four I felt as if I was never going to look normal again…and started crying. This is very normal.

My cast came off at the end of the week and my doctor put tape on. I met my brother’s new girlfriend and even went out to Chinese food like this! I took the tape off after a few days…my profile was fantastic…but from the front I looked like an alien! The bruising had pretty much faded by this point, but my nose bridge was very swollen. As each day passed I noticed a big difference in the swelling.

Overall, this procedure was relatively painless! My doctor does not believe in packing, so I did not have to endure the dreaded removal (thank goodness!). The hardest part of my recovery was cabin fever. I refused to even leave the house to get the newspaper…but I felt fine and was sick of reading magazines and watching talk shows!

I am so pleased with my decision. Dr. Olesen is amazing…he gave me exactly what I wanted! It has still only been five weeks…and my nose is still fatter that normal (no one can tell but me)…but I feel beautiful!

Very few people noticed. Many people told me I look good…and a couple said I look different (but didn’t know why). I still look like me…only better. I am 100% sure I made the right choice in deciding to undergo rhinoplasty and I am happy I decided to do it at such as young age. My nose is no longer an issue to me. I don’t think about it…and that’s how it should be. I now feel very comfortable with my appearance…and it allows me to focus on more important issues…like starting my career!

– Cindy

Mommy Makeover - Deidre

Mommy Makeover – Deidre

Original article at: Plastic Surgery Associates

“I’m young. I’m 29. I decided to get the mommy makeover so I can enjoy having a healthy body while I’m young.”

You won’t find Spanx® in Deidre’s closet. Not anymore. “I love the fact that I don’t have to wear Spanx,” she said, referring to the “body shaping” undergarments worn by women and men to tighten and lift the flabbier parts of their anatomies.

mommy makeover surgery performed by Dr. Francisco Canales restored Deidre’s body to the athletic shape she enjoyed before giving birth to two sons, now ages 3 and 18 months. The surgery also restored her self-confidence.

An athlete who completed a half-marathon race 10 weeks after her surgery, Deidre was frustrated by the stubborn flab she couldn’t get rid of regardless of how much she exercised. She had gained 60 pounds during her first pregnancy, then only 10 during the second. Her stretched skin never regained its shape. “No matter how hard I worked out, I couldn’t lose the extra skin that was left over from my pregnancies.”

Deidre traveled from her Healdsburg home in California’s Wine Country near Santa Rosa, for the mommy makeover – a breast enhancement and tummy tuck combination surgery.

Besides running, Deidre’s busy lifestyle includes a job that requires getting in and out of her car throughout the day and a lot of walking, plus chasing around her two boys. On the weekends, she plays in a women’s soccer league.

Deidre admitted she used to think that plastic surgery was only for people who wanted a quick fix, or for those whose skin and body were showing the inevitable signs of age. She said the perception that “surgery is the easy way out” for people who don’t exercise enough couldn’t be further from the truth.

“I’m young,” she said, “I’m 29. I decided to get the mommy makeover so I can enjoy having a healthy body while I’m young.”

Keeping Her Promise

“He had nothing but great things to say about Dr. Canales. That means a lot, when a cardiologist is recommending a plastic surgeon.”

Deidre promised herself that she would get plastic surgery after she and her husband decided they were finished having children. “It would be my treat to myself to get my body back to the way it was before pregnancy. Having kids just changes your body in ways you can’t even imagine.”

Her decision to have Dr. Canales perform the surgery stemmed from her job as a pharmaceutical sales representative. She had confided her thoughts about having plastic surgery to a cardiologist she knew from her sales rounds. One of the heart surgeon’s patients had suffered serious burns and underwent cosmetic surgery performed by Dr. Canales. “He had nothing but great things to say about Dr. Canales,” recalled Deidre. “That means a lot, when a cardiologist is recommending a plastic surgeon.”

The consultation with Dr. Canales and her interaction with the staff at Plastic Surgery Associates confirmed she had found the right practice, said Deidre. “It was absolutely great,” she said of her first visit to the office in Santa Rosa. “Dr. Canales made me feel very comfortable. He never had anything but my best interests in mind. He was very professional, very cautious.” His deliberate nature surfaced during their discussion about whether Deidre would include a breast augmentation as part of her breast lift. A lift improves the breasts’ shape, without adding volume. She said after showing her a number of photos of patients with similar builds, Dr. Canales counseled against having the breast augmentation. It was the right decision, said Deidre, although she’s still considering undergoing breast augmentation in the future.

Back on Track

Her recovery from the mommy makeover, said Deidre, was even better than she expected. “I had the surgery on a Thursday, and was back to work on Monday. I was even able to lift my children into their car seats.” Following doctor’s orders, she refrained from strenuous exercise for 6 weeks. That meant she only had 4 weeks to put in the miles before running the half-marathon, which is a race of approximately 13 miles.

“People have complimented me on how fast I bounced back from pregnancy,” said Deidre. “I worked hard, but having the surgery made such a difference as far as my self-confidence and having a positive body image.”

Body Contouring - Pam

Pam’s Story

Original article found here: Olmsted Medical Center

“Being good to myself and feeling good about who I am makes everything better,” explains Pam. “The attitude you have about yourself reflects on everything you do and on all the people in your life.”

Pam’s wellness journey started more than a year ago, when she began experiencing health problems. Through the assistance of Olmsted Medical Center’s former Center for Weight Loss and Wellness, she shed 106 pounds. “It wasn’t a diet, it was a journey,” says Pam. “You need to explore why you struggle and behave the way you do and deal with it … then it becomes a sustainable life change.” She credits OMC’s Health Management Resources team with providing the resources and support necessary to achieve her wellness goals.

While Pam felt fabulous for losing weight while eating healthy and exercising, there was a residual effect. “I had all this excess skin,” she says. “I guess older skin doesn’t have the greatest elasticity and despite regular exercising, the skin wasn’t shrinking. And I really felt that if I didn’t lose the skin, my head would tell me to fill it back up!”

One of Pam’s friends mentioned Dr. Babovic and his Plastic Surgery team at Olmsted Medical Center. “It was embarrassing that my daycare kids would play with the skin hanging off my arms,” recalls Pam. “They liked to slap at it and make it jiggle back and forth.”

There were other areas of Pam’s body with which she was not comfortable either – and it wasn’t vanity as much as it was practicality. “You know actresses and actors give cosmetic surgery a bad rap,” says Pam. “I just wanted to feel good about my weight loss and myself; to be able to look in the mirror and be proud of my body.”

“Dr. B and his staff were wonderful and supportive,” remembers Pam. “They knew how important this decision was to me to have the excessive skin removed – therefore, it became important to the entire team.”

Pam had body contouring done on her arms, stomach and buttocks. “The whole experience was amazing,” recalls Pam. “When I looked at the ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos, I cried because I was so proud.”

“Because of the team’s friendliness, welcoming environment and strong support, I am feeling wonderful about myself and my body,” says Pam.

“People spend money on what they need,” explains Pam. “And they spend money on what’s important to them … I decided I was important enough to put myself in my budget and invest in my well-being and self-esteem.”

Today, Pam has changed the approach to her daycare business as well, serving healthier meals and incorporating exercise into the children’s daily schedule. “Because of my experience, my daycare kids are healthier too.”

Pam wants to “pay it forward” and tell people to take care of themselves. “You are definitely worth it and the investment pays great dividends,” she says.

Mommy Makeover - Lori

Lori – Savannah, Ga

Original article here: The Georgia Institute for Plastic Surgery

As a child, I found comfort in eating. I was overweight all of my life. I tried every diet and supplements that came out on the market. I fought being over weight, but never seemed to conquer it. In my mid twenties I decided to take control of my weight and start exercising. I joined aerobics. I herniated two discs turning too far. I continued to balloon in weight again as I went back to the comfort food because ” it helped my pain”. I ended up having to have the two discs removed. Life went along, I recovered and continued to go up and down in my weight. Yes, I was the yo-yo dieter. Coming home from work one day I fell in an uncovered hole and smashed my knee. After two knee surgeries they told me there was nothing more they could do for me. I was to lose weight, arthritis had set in, and the weight was more than my joints could cope with. For more than 2 years I felt sorry for my self since I was on limited walking and decided to eat my way out of pain. I started developing stomach issues from the arthritis medicines.

My weight was ballooning out of control, I was developing diabetes and I started having blood pressure issues. I realized I was the only one to save myself. Not my husband, my children or my family or friends, it was ME. For six months I researched gastric bypass. My sister-in-law had gastric bypass, she was very successful with it. I talked to my husband, my children, my family, my boss and my doctor. All were very encouraging to me. They knew I was not feeling well. When you hurt it shows to everyone no matter how much you try to hide it. When I finally went in on November 18, 2002 for the gastric bypass. I was wearing a size 24 and weighed in at 239 lbs. It was not an easy surgery, but I decided I was going to make it work for me. As I continued to shrink like the incredible shrinking woman I knew it was all worth it. My children, family, co-workers and most of all, my husband were so inspiring, I could not ask for anything else, I thought. Their encouragement kept me going even through the tough times. My goal was to lose 104 lbs. and weigh in at 135 lbs. Soon clothes hung on me, as well as my skin. I was happy I was losing weight, but I knew I was still very ugly with all of the hanging skin.

On November 19 2003, I hit my goal of 135 lbs. 1 year and 1 day later. I knew I was unattractive. I was the one who looked in the mirror every day, although my husband told me how beautiful I had always been, heavy or thin. I was the one still not happy with me. I decided to look into having the excess skin removed. My stomach hung, my breasts hung very low with no volume and I had a lot of excess skin on my legs. I went to a plastic surgeon for a consultation and decided I really needed to think about the expense. He had wanted to do three separate surgeries over a course of a year. The insurance does not cover this even though to me it was a health issue in many ways. I went to a seminar that Dr. Greco had one evening, specifically for gastric bypass patients and skin removal. I had heard Dr. Greco and his group were excellent from prior patients I work with.

I decided that evening to set up an appointment to see what he could do for me. The night before the appointment he called me to confirm our appointment, which made me feel important immediately. In my mind I thought that was great customer service, I was the important one here. I met for the consultation and Dr. Greco told me we could do all three lifts in two surgeries. I had an Around The World and Thigh Lift on March 17, 2004. I was out of work for less than two weeks. On May 28, 2004 I had a Breast Lift and Breast Augmentation to put me back to the normal C cup I had always had. Missing 1 day of work It is truly amazing that even the normal person like you and I can help ourselves to look and feel better. You don’t have to be a movie star to be able to afford it. I continue to watch my weight and I weigh in regularly. I am exercising two to three times a week and eating better. My new motto is Eat to Live not Live to Eat, like I used to. I bounce up and down 5 lbs but I am OK with that. I have lost a total of 109 lbs and I am much happier with me.

I have never been able to look in the mirror and see someone not over weight. I could never thank Dr, Souza, Dr, Greco and their wonderful staff enough for giving me back my life. It has changed my life drastically for the better. It is nice not to hurt and complain continuously like I did. Being 41 years old, having a son 21 and a daughter 17, and a husband of 22 years, I look and feel better in my life than I ever have in my life. Would I do it all over again you ask? Two words would reply, YOU BET!!!!!!!! Please feel free to reach me through Dr. Greco’s office if you feel you need some words of encouragement. Just know that only you can help yourself. Before my dad passed away he told me “Lori, you can do anything you put your mind to”. I thank my dad and GOD everyday that they helped me to wake up before it was too late.

YOU CAN DO IT TOO

Lori Wilton

Rhinoplasty - Eva

Eva – Rhinoplasty

Original article found here: Dr. Jennifer Walden

Eva is an 18 year old young woman who underwent rhinoplasty (nose job) before her graduation from high school and transition to college. For years, Eva had been distressed about her nose which in her opinion appeared too large for her beautiful face. Constantly seeing photo images of herself on Facebook and Instagram only exacerbated her concerns. Eva consulted with Dr. Jennifer Walden, board-certified plastic surgeon based in Austin, Texas, for a rhinoplasty, or nose job. Dr. Walden performed a closed rhinoplasty on Eva, meaning a surgery with no external incisions. Eva shares her journey here towards get this procedure done and how it has transformed her life and lifted her self confidence at an important time in her life with starting college.

Below is Eva’s story, in her own words:

“My name is Eva. I am 18 years old and I had a rhinoplasty done…. Dr. Walden did a closed rhinoplasty with no external incisions, so I don’t have any scars or anything so it contributes to the more natural look.

During the recovery you feel like you have a cold. It’s not bad at all. When the cast came off I was really, really, impressed with the work that I didn’t even know could be done on my face. She really understood what I wanted on a physical level, but mostly she understood what I wanted on an emotional level. She understood what this meant to me. She did a great job.

It started in elementary school. I had always heard random comments directed towards my nose. Of course that’s not, especially at a young age, good for self-esteem.
I definitely could have gone on without it, but it would always be at the back of my mind that right in the middle of my face is this huge imperfection that I can’t do anything about. It’s very important. I mean, you still have your whole life ahead of you. So something right in the middle of your face can change almost everything. Why live my life with an imperfection that can be fixed when I could focus on moving forward to new things? To not have to always have this stupid worry at the back of my mind?

When I went to Dr. Walden’s website I noticed she had a variety of procedures that she does. Including nose jobs, which was what I wanted. For those people especially who had pretty large noses that’s like lifechanging. I was thinking about that. They’re whole life changed just from one procedure.
Honestly I didn’t research a ton of other surgeons because when I met her, I knew. There weren’t really other choices. At the consultation, once I met her, once I learned about her and then I researched her, there really weren’t any other options for me.

She’s a female doctor that’s really working on empowerment of women. I was really impressed. She’s kinda a role model for aspiring doctors like myself. All her various accomplishments and various locations that wherever she is, she can handle anything.

Thank God with Dr. Walden it really solved my problem. I just have more confidence meeting people. I’m kinda shy so now I don’t feel like they’re judging me right on the spot, right then and there. They can get to know me.

With the nose job, ironically enough, this looks more natural than my original nose. Being a teenager in high school and college, with facebook there are so many pictures just randomly. I would always hate them, especially closeups of my face. And now I don’t mind them at all. Now I like taking pictures. So everyday life moments are a lot more enjoyable. Dr. Walden really gave me my confidence with this procedure that I couldn’t be more thankful for because it was so life altering.”

Thank you, Eva, for sharing your incredible story with us!