Archive for category Facial Rejuvenation
The following post is PART 5 in a series of blog posts by Sue Teague, a Retired RN and plastic surgery patient who had a brow lift, lower eyelid lift, neck lift & face lift at CosMed Plastic Surgery Center in Mexico.
*Click here to Read Part 1 – How I selected my plastic surgeon
*Click here to Read Part 2 – What to Expect the First Days after a Face Lift
*Click here to Read Part 3 – Week One of the Healing Process after Face Lift
*Click here to Read Part 4 – Unstitched at Last! Weeks 2-3
I am very happy that I still look like ME—only better! I estimate that my appearance has been improved to how I recall my face looking at age 50. I am 63 now. I believe I appear more rested, more relaxed, less tense and angry. More…and Less!
My facelift has been both More… and Less than expected. My expectations were modest. I expected to get an improvement in my facial appearance, but I also was somewhat apprehensive about “overcorrection”. We have all seen the photos of overly tightened skin of celebrities that completely changed their appearance. This is what I mean when I say “less”—for my facelift, I hoped for a Less is More result.
Day 30 After Face lift in Mexico
First, let me tell you my experience at 30 days. This is a side-by-side photo which shows my pre-op face and my face at Day 30. Swelling is gone. The neck remains very tight and I am aware of constant neck discomfort. However, the low level headache and accompanying muscular tension is manageable with Tylenol. The eyes feel “too open” and I have some dryness; again, this is manageable with artificial tears and naps. The brow and scalp areas are numb. Sometimes I “explore” my head and it feels like rapping on a cantaloupe, producing an odd echo. These sensations are all known as parasthesias and are a normal consequence of disturbing the nerves serving the skin. There is a slight asymmetry in the area underneath my chin, but I realize it is too early to be concerned to the point of complaint or action. The face needs at least 6 months to settle.
As a result of my surgery, I became very interested in learning about the healing process after a facelift. An interesting fact that I discovered was that healing was framed in several different contexts by doctors. It was approached more from a “when will I look (socially) normal” than from “when will my face feel normal?” The answers to these questions are quite different and the feeling aspect to recovery is much more complex and variable.
I opted not to blog at Day 60 since I noted very small changes.
Day 90 After Face lift in Mexico
Here is some candid, non-close up photos at Day 90. I was on a cruise with 4 girlfriends; all of them up to 8 years younger than I. They lamented that the oldest among us would look the youngest. That was to some degree true, upon close observation of faces. No one is as aware as I am at this time with facial condition! I found myself mentally mapping out how elements of facelifts would look on each of my girlfriends. Mostly, I had a blast on the cruise and made sure I stayed well-hydrated.
Around Day 90 I noted that “stuff was happening’” on my scalp as a result of the brow lift. The brow lift involved a large muscle and skin repositioning and many nerves were disrupted. Up until this time, I simply had altered sensation, similar to running your hand over a healing incision. Now, I am having a sensation of prickly movement. It is not quite an itch, but similar and my impulse is to scratch. But, scratching is not satisfying. It is a pseudo-itch that is not relieved by scratching or rubbing. The good news is that it is a healing sensation; typically low intensity and intermittent and, most of the time, not noticeable.
By Day 90, my eyes feel and look much more normal and I can feel a gradual lessening of the neck tightness, though it is still noticeable and there is still some ridge-y, cord-y feeling right under the chin. The neck has smoothed out significantly in the last month.
Day 120 After Face lift in Mexico
At Day 120, I am feeling pretty good about my facelift. Here is a side-by-side of my Pre-op face and a current close-up under the same conditions i.e. camera, lighting, room etc. Note that I attempted to assume a neutral expression on both photos. I think the difference is astonishing!
The neck tightness continues to diminish and I would rate it a “3” on an Annoyance Scale (like an ant bite that won’t stop itching). The neck muscle is still softening and the tightness greatly relaxed. The scalp creepy crawly feeling is still there. I understand from my research that it will remain for many months and gradually diminish as nerves regenerate and restore normal sensation.
As you might recall if you have followed the Blog, I told no one at my home in Florida about my facelift. When I returned and saw all my friends after a 4 month absence, I knew that the positive comments I was getting were attributable to the facelift. The comments were mostly a variation of: “Travel/Vacation/Cruising/California (fill in the blank) must really agree with you; you are looking great!”
I am very happy that I still look like ME—only better. I estimate that my appearance has been improved to how I recall my face looking at age 50. I am 63 now. I believe I appear more rested, more relaxed, less tense and angry. More…and Less!
This will not be my final post. I sent an email to CosMed a couple days ago inquiring about skin resurfacing. I got a phone call from Dr. Quiroz this morning, and he was kind enough to explain personally that he would like me to consult with his associate in dermal matters, Dr. de la Fuente. This will be Part II of my Facelift since a facelift cannot correct deep lines and certain wrinkles.
Heck, I might even have a wee bit of filler in my kisser!
If you want to diminish fine lines and wrinkles, skin discoloration, a dull complexion or rough skin, your dermatologist may recommend a cosmetic procedure called a chemical peel. For this procedure, medical grade substances (derived from sugar cane, milk, tomato, aspirin) are applied on the skin, peeling away many visible signs of aging on the face, hands, neck, and chest. After the skin heals, fewer wrinkles, less discoloration, and improved texture may be seen. Chemical peeling also is popular with younger people. Some people in their 20s and 30s opt for a mild chemical peel to prevent signs of aging from appearing too early. Acne sufferers may find that chemical peeling helps keep their skin clear. Most of the peels performed are superficial or medium, well tolerated, and with little healing time.
What to Expect Before a Chemical Peel: Choosing The Appropriate Peel
A consultation is essential. Your dermatologist will take a complete medical history. Be sure to tell the dermatologist if you are prone to cold sores, have had a cosmetic procedure in the past, scar easily or have ever had a type of raised scar known as a keloid, took isotretinoin (a prescription medication used to treat severe acne) or pregnant. These can have a tremendous effect on what you see after a chemical peel.
After the consultation and a physical exam that includes a close look at your skin, the dermatologist will tell you if a chemical peel will help diminish the signs of aging that concern you and if a chemical peel is right for you. If a chemical peel is appropriate, one of our CosMed Signature peels will be recommended:
Most medium and deep chemical peels require pre-peel skin care (oral and topical). Usually prescribed for 2 to 4 weeks before the peel, this skin-care plan helps the peel deliver the best results and reduce potential side effects.
What to Expect During a Chemical Peel
Superficial and medium-depth peels are performed in the office. A deep peel is performed in the operation room. General anesthesia (puts the patient to sleep) and monitoring equipment for the heart and lungs may be necessary only for deep peels.
Before applying the peel, the skin is prepped. Once the skin is ready, the dermatologist quickly and evenly applies the peel. As the peel works, the dermatologist watches the skin carefully so that the peel can be stopped and removed at the appropriate time. A tolerable stinging or burning sensation is normal and expected for a couple of minutes, which is ameliorated with air from a fan. After the peel, cool compresses or thermal water may be applied to help soothe the skin. These are usually not necessary for a superficial peel. A mild lotion or cream and sunscreen may be applied after a superficial or medium-depth peel to help soothe the skin, and then you are ready to go. You can restart your skin care regimen 5-10 days after the peel or as directed by the doctor.
CosMed’s dermatologist Dr. de la Fuente is a skin expert. He has presented and published scientific articles available at PubMed, Journal of the American Academy of Dermatolgy, Skin and Aging, Clinical and Experimental Dermatology and many more. He also serves as a Dermatology Professor at School of Medicine in Tijuana.
To learn more or schedule your appointment, visit CosMedClinic.com
Submitted by Sue Teague, Retired RN, CosMed Patient & Guest Blogger
PART 1 in a series of blog posts by an actual patient who had plastic surgery in Mexico.
Some girls dream of marrying rich or becoming a movie star. Not me—I had no career or marriage ambitions. I’m no Barbie but, I knew from about the age of 35, that I would one day have a face lift.
Almost 30 years later, here I am recuperating from a full facelift performed by Dr. Quiroz at CosMed and blogging about it!
Come with me on this blog as I share some experiences on the way to my facelift surgery and beyond!
Though my resolve to have a facelift was made almost 30 years ago, the triggering events preceding my surgery are significant. One does not surrender their most unique physical identity—one’s face—to the medical system without serious examination.
Fortunately, I was a fairly youthful-looking woman into my 50’s even with significant sun damage to my skin. As I began to see evidence that my face was structurally changing, I told myself that other people my age were much worse off and it was not yet time for a facelift.
Life changed drastically when the doctor informed my husband and me in 2007 that he had a terminal cancer with a remaining lifespan of “around two years” with aggressive management. Thus, began the disintegration of my life…and my face. For, during the next two years, all my physical and emotional resources as wife, friend, nurse, patient advocate would be subjected to unimaginable demands.
What the doctors did not warn me about was the toll that these years would take on my mind, body and spirit. During that heartbreaking period, I gained about 20 lbs. and my face fell– along with my hope for the future.
My husband died in 2009—days after my 62nd birthday– and I concentrated on reconstructing my life as a single, elderly woman. By that time, I was in Women’s clothes sizes and barely glanced at myself in a mirror.
I restarted my previous lifestyle, begun with my late husband, as an RV’er and traveled across the country with my little dog. I happily embraced the challenges of travel alone as I visited friends and family across the country. I did not linger too long at the mirror and avoided being “up front and close” in photos.
Then one day, I saw a photo of myself that stopped me in my tire tracks. My head was lowered and I had a second rogue chin under my real chin! And, although my face was in a “neutral” expression, I looked angry!
I began to really look at my face, as I had not done in many years. I googled “aging face” and learned the inescapable truth about deteriorating facial muscle structures and how that muscle laxity was unpredictable but inevitable. I also learned my two- year caregiving experience had negative consequences, causing elevated hormone production, prolonged inflammation and adverse impact on the immune system. I came to better understand why I was looking at a face that looked as if it had aged a decade in just two years! I think of this as the end of the Phase 1 of my facelift—the breakthrough of denial of the damage that age and circumstances had dealt to my face and acceptance that now was the time for my facelift!
How I found my Plastic Surgeon — Product/Service, Science, Experience
Phase 2 began with my computer as my helper. I keystroked through the cosmetic marketing hype and bookmarked information, weeding out the derivative, broker-mediated websites. I looked for inconsistencies, errors and carelessness on the websites and eliminated these out of hand. I found the Top 5 primary cosmetic clinics and targeted them for intense scrutiny.
I learned all I could about the different kinds of facelifts–and there are many! I learned that the “deep plane” facelift was the gold standard and expected to last 10-15 years. I then began to research the surgeons and costs in my area and in Mexico.
I submitted a set of photos for a virtual consultation to my Top 5 clinics in Tijuana for opinions and pricing. I visited one cosmetic surgeon in my local area.
Research became my new full-time retirement job. I continued to search the doctors in Mexico who were doing facelift surgeries. I read everything I could find in TV and magazine media about surgery in Mexico. I googled medical journal sites to see who was doing research and writing about it. I visited forums devoted to cosmetic surgery.
I finally chose CosMed and Dr. Quiroz after about a month of the Phase 2 “fact-gathering” process. One cannot research and read forever and, at some point, must take the information at hand and decide to act—or not. The selection started in the fact-finding, objective mode, but in the end, it is subjective based on a myriad of impressions. There are many objective reasons I chose Dr. Quiroz and CosMed, but ultimately, it was a “feel” that sealed the deal!
After selection, the mechanics of making arrangements was simple. It one of the goals of CosMed to create an experience for their clientele that minimizes apprehension and inconvenience. Joyce is a reassuring and down-to-earth facilitator and made it all Easy Peasy!
The first step is to make your deposit and schedule your surgery date. If you are near a Wells Fargo Bank (and who isn’t?), it is simple to make a direct deposit and Joyce emailed all detailed instructions.
The second step is to get your “medicals” done. Knowing that I would need a full blood test (because of my medical training), I delayed my usual annual blood work so most of the specific, surgery-related cost would be absorbed by medical insurance coverage and minimize my out-of-pocket cost.
The surgeon required a Complete Blood Panel (CBC), a Complete Metabolic Panel (CMC), an EKG, a blood-clotting test (PTT) and HIV screening. (Additionally, if you are of childbearing age, you will need pregnancy clearance tests.) My primary care physician cooperated when I showed him Dr. Quiroz’s written request for these tests. I got copies of all test results, scanned them into my computer, and emailed them to CosMed.
Last, I completed my travel itinerary and emailed that to CosMed. With each step, I received a telephone confirmation that my correspondence had been received.
On Saturday, the day prior to my departure, I got a phone call from the transportation agent who would be picking me up at the airport. On Sunday, the day before my scheduled surgery, I arrived at San Diego Airport and, with a phone call describing my exact location, watched the ground transportation agent drive up about 15 minutes later. Our SUV zipped over the border without slowing down during the 20-minute trip. All the vehicle’s occupants chattered excitedly about their upcoming procedures!
I was delivered to the entrance of the new CosMed clinic and entered an impressive lobby reception area where I was asked to sign in. Though I was unable to read or understand a word of the sign in process, it was quickly accomplished and I was taken upstairs to a security-coded entry door into the Recovery Boutique. There, I was checked in by the reception staff and taken to a tastefully-designed private room. I noted with surprise that the hospital bed had a bed skirt on it—something I have never seen or even knew existed! However, this underscored the attention to detail by the designer and effort to reduce the appearance of a clinical setting and minimize the cues that create apprehension.
Almost as soon as I sat down on my bed with a sigh of relief, the staff asked if I wanted something to eat and brought me a tray with some delicious food, which appeared to be “home-cooked.” I later found out that all the food was prepared by caterer off-premises.
The next morning, an attendant came to me and asked me to check-in upstairs in the surgical suite in 5 minutes. Holy Excitement! It’s totally real now and I’m on my way!
COSMED’s Team Approach to Beauty & Well-Being helps Solve the Puzzle on How to Turn Back Time with Facial Rejuvenation.
Ever since one of our patients was featured in New You Magazine for her incredible “Looking the Way you Feel” plastic surgery success story, we’ve been getting a lot questions about how exactly the doctors at CosMed Clinic were able to turn back the time, and give Roberta a younger look, that matched the way she felt on the inside. CosMed’s team approach to facial rejuvenation produced incredible results for this 67 year old patient.
Step 1: Full face and neck lift
One of the first places to notice effects of aging is the face and neck. The effects of gravity, sun exposure, free radicals, weight loss and daily stress can become visible in the form of deep creases between the nose and mouth, slack jaw line, and fat deposits in the neck. A facelift can turn back time and improve/reduce the effects of aging. By tightening underlying facial muscles and removing areas of excess fat, CosMed’s medical doctors can help you achieve a more youthful and naturally refreshed look.
Step 2: Dermabrasion around the upper and lower lips
Dermabrasion helps to smooth the skin around the mouth and, in the process, removes fine wrinkles.
Step 3: Lip Augmentation with her own fat vs. a synthetic filler
To enhance contour and give the face a more youthful look, we do a procedure called fat grafting or fat transfer with stem cells. Fat is removed by liposuction from elsewhere on your body, appropriately prepared and then injected into the desired area. While synthetic fillers may be advised in certain areas from some patients, we felt that using her own fat would provide the best and most natural results.
Step 4 Fraxel re:store laser full face
Fraxel can remove years from your appearance with no additional surgery required. The revolutionary Fraxel re:store™ laser treatment improves skin tone, reduces discoloration, wrinkles and fine lines resulting in an overall smoother skin texture.
Fraxel re:store laser treatment uses points of light to precisely treat thousands of microscopic areas of your skin. The treatment penetrates deep into the skin to remove old, damaged skin cells, stimulates your body’s own natural healing process, and replaces the cells with fresh, glowing, healthy skin. Because the technology is so precise, Fraxel re:store treatment works not only on the face, but also on delicate skin areas like the neck, chest and hands. Fraxel re:storetreatment delivers dramatic results, fast healing and maximum safety. Safe and effective, the Fraxel re:store laser is cleared by the FDA and has undergone extensive testing in the lab and out in the field.
Step 5: Maintenace skin care with Tri Retinol Complex, Ultra Sheer Moisturizer, TNS Illuminating eye cream and Sunscreen SPF30 from Skin Medica
Ongoing maintenance with high quality skin care products is important for keeping skin beautiful. We developed a regimen specifically for Roberta to help her maintain her new youthful look.
Beyond the cost saving benefits of having plastic surgery in Mexico, CosMed’s wholestic approach to beauty and well-being allows the highest quality analysis from medical professionals including plastic surgeons as well as a dermatologist in order to achieve the best possible results.
Have more questions about these procedures? Ready to book your own consultation with CosMed? Get started by by filling out the Free, Online Virtual Consultation form, or contact CosMed directly through our web site www.CosMedClinic.com
Did you see COSMED’s patient featured in the Spring 2012 issue of New You magazine? She was featured as one of this month’s top 5 Inspired Patient success stories!
Here’s an except from the article. To see the original printed version, click here.
Roberta did her research, but the determining factor actually came from seeing results. “I went to a wedding of one of my former students. She, her mother and her grandmother had had the same doctor, Dr. Alejandro Quiroz, over a period of 20 years. They were thrilled with the results, and they all looked great. I was convinced and made the call”.
The results couldn’t have made her happier. “Every day someone tells me how good I look, or that I look younger by the day, or that I’m gorgeous. Now who wouldn’t want to hear that? That is so affirming,” she says. But even more important is that I feel good about myself.”
Roberta had a Face lift, Neck lift, Brow lift, Dermal Abrasion, Fat Injection to Lips and Laser Resurfacing at COSMED Plastic Surgery Center in Mexico.
By Dr. Alberto de la Fuente
I just returned from the 2012 American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting. At the event, some new promissory treatments and technologies were introduced. Some of them show really nice results on the short term, while others lack long term benefits. As a safety and ethical policy to our CosMed patients, we only have devices and technology that have demonstrated beneficial results. We will not recommend a treatment just because it is the newest or trendiest thing on the market. We also know that just because a treatment is more expensive, it does not mean it is necessarily better. With that said, I would like to share some of the new and trending anti-aging technologies which everyone will be talking about soon. Please contact me directly if you’d like more information on any of these new procedures, or to find out if the treatment is right for you.
Ultherapy is a new type of non-surgical, non-invasive procedure for the face that uses ultrasound and the body’s own natural healing process to lift, tone, and tighten loose skin. It stimulates the deep structural support layers of the skin—including those typically addressed in a surgical facelift—without disturbing the surface of the skin. Results will unfold over the course of 2-3 months.
CoolSculpting, not really new but trendy, uses a targeted cooling process that kills the fat cells underneath the skin, literally freezing them to the point of elimination. Only fat cells are frozen. Your healthy skin cells remain healthy. Once crystalized, the fat cells die and are naturally eliminated from your body. You may start to see changes as quickly as three weeks after your treatment, and will experience the most dramatic results after two months. But your body will still flush out fat cells and continues doing so for up to four to six months after treatment.
In the same field of body contour and fat loss, Liposonix uses high-intensity focused ultrasound energy to permanently destroy targeted subcutaneous fat and deliver uniform. It gets rid of targeted fat around the waistline (abdomen and love handles) without surgery. The average waistline reduction after just a single one-hour treatment is about 1 inch (2.5 cm). Results are typically seen in 8 to 12 weeks (which is the time needed for the body to naturally process the treated fat). It is important to mention that it is not liposuction or surgery, is not a replacement for a healthy lifestyle and exercise, and is not a way to lose weight.
Zerona is a new body contouring diode laser procedure to effectively remove excess fat without the negative side effects associated with surgical methods. It utilizes cold laser technology which has been shown to emulsify fat and allow it to move to interstitial space. Although this technology was originally utilized to help assist tumescent liposuction procedures, it was found that the cold laser treatment alone helped patients to reduce inches from their waist, hip and thighs. There is no need to wear compression garments or bandage, and since there is no pain, there is no need for anesthesia.Some can see results after only a few treatment sessions as their clothes fit more loosely. Many actually see the difference after 4-6 sessions.
Fractional radiofrequency is a procedure that involves penetration of insulated microneedles into the dermis to deliver a high-tensioned radiofrequency pulse (heat) into the targeted tissue. This brings about the production of elastin and collagen fibers, making the skin firmer and healthier. This treatment could be more aggressive, invasive and with more side effects than classic radiofrequency (Thermage) which spares the microneedles, and obviously the pain.
New fractional lasers like Fraxel Dual, which uses a novel 1927 nm Thulium laser to target more superficial skin problems like dark spots, but mainly pre malignant lesions and with less downtime. A new option for patients suffering from hair loss is Fraxel re:store 1550. Even this laser is not really new, but its application on hair loss is. Recent studies showed that this laser could help in hair regrowth after 4-5 treatmens every 2 weeks, giving more hair density and thickness, both in women and men. Also the Clear + Brilliant laser which is a new anti-aging technology to treat and prevent signs of aging with no downtime, specially for younger patients, producing a visibly illuminated skin tone, a soft and smoother texture, an improved tone and radiance, and also a reduction in the appearance of pores. Also fractional lasers are now used as a medication delivery method instead of needles and syringes, especially for treating scars and nail fungal infections.
The trending in non invasive facial and neck procedures is now the combination of lasers and skin tightening devices, like the Thermage and Fraxel or “ThermaFrax”. Studies have demonstrated superior results that could last longer when combined together, especially in young patients, but this doesn’t means this could be a face or necklift substitute. Thermage delivers radiofrequency energy to the deeper dermis and subcutaneous layers of your skin to stimulate new collagen growth and tighten and contour the skin. Fraxel laser skin treatment resurfaces your outer skin layers, the dermis and epidermis, to smooth the skin surface and erase unwanted brown spots and wrinkles. This results in the enhancing of the skin tightening, texture, tone and the duration of the results. Thermage continues showing good results with just one session, as compared to other radiofrequency technologies in which more than one treatment are needed.
Talking about nail infections, the traditional vascular Nd:YAG 1064 nm laser has also demonstrated acceptable results for treating toenail fungal diseases in patients that are not candidates for oral medication or are only partially responding to it, with an average of 30-40% improvement. This was so new, that the regimen of frequency and dosage are still under investigation.
Finally, also robotics are getting into the medical aesthetic field, the ARTAS system is an interactive, computer assisted system utilizing image-guidance to enhance the quality of hair follicle harvesting. It has the potential to solve most of the technical challenges inherent in the manual follicular unit extraction technique. The system is operated under the direction of a physician, and includes an interactive, image-guided robotic arm, special imaging technologies, small dermal punches and a computer interface. After the system is positioned over the patient’s donor area of the scalp, it is capable of identifying and harvesting follicular units. The follicular units are stored until they are implanted into the patient’s recipient area using current manual techniques.
As for today, these are the latest updates for anti-aging and non invasive treatments. As soon as new technologies are launched into the market, we will keep you informed and updated about their indications and beneficial results, and also if they will be available at CosMed.
Dr. Alberto de la Fuente García, M.D. is a Dermatologist experienced in both clinical and cosmetic Dermatology. Contact Dr. de la Fuente or visit http://www.cosmedclinic.com to learn more about the best procedures to improve your skin.
According to a recent article in Medscape, studies have shown that when Botulinum, also know as Botox, is used to relax frown lines, it can actually relieve major depression.
According to the March 2012 article, “a single injection of botulinum neurotoxin into the glabellar muscle of the forehead to relieve frown lines appears to lead to strong and sustained improvement of the depression.”
Tillmann Kruger, MD, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Social Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at Hannover Medical School in Hannover, Germany, reported at the 20th European Congress of Psychiatry that these findings support the concept that facial musculature not only expresses mood states but also affects mood.
Dr. Kruger explained that frowning expresses negative emotions such as anger, fear, or sadness. A facial feedback hypothesis says that the frown itself reinforces negative emotions, with the implication that suppressing frowning will help to relieve the negative emotions.
“The theory is pretty old, and it says that many or most of the emotions we have develop somewhere in the brain, and some of them are expressed in your face, for example…and this is again received and sent back to the central nervous system by this proprioceptive feedback,” he told Medscape Medical News.
More about Botox
Botulinum toxin, otherwise known as Botox, is a popular non-surgical injection that can temporarily reduce or eliminate frown lines, forehead creases, crow’s feet, and other unwanted facial lines. Botox is effective because the toxin blocks nerve impulses, which temporarily paralyzes the muscles that cause wrinkles. The result is a refreshed and youthful appearance. The effects of Botox have also been proven to relieve migraine headaches, excessive sweating, and muscle spasms in the neck and eyes.
To find out if Botox is right for you, contact the COSMED Plastic Surgery Center to schedule a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist.