As promised in my previous MENOPAUSE MONDAYS® Blog Lifting the Veil Off of Cosmetic Surgery Part I, I am going to share my cosmetic face rejuvenation with you – the ups and downs and everything in between.
On Sept 28th, I woke up at 6:45 AM, jumped in the shower to scrub my body and hair with antibacterial soap as directed. As I massaged the antibacterial soap into my scalp, I do believe that I heard my highlighted blonde hair screaming, “Ellen, what the F-CK are you doing?”
I had nothing to eat or drink from 1 AM the night before. At 6:30, as directed, I took an anti-nausea pill and an Ativan, and my husband David and I left for Dr. Karam’s surgery center at Carmel Valley Facial Plastic Surgery & Aesthetic Center.
At 7:30 AM, I skipped into Dr. Karam’s office with delight, ready for my Vertical Restore™, upper and lower blepharoplasty, lower skin pinch, fat transfer, and TRL laser.
I felt empowered and fearless. Once inside, I was engulfed in a sea of tender loving care and superior expertise. I immediately knew I had found my cosmetic family of choice.
I asked Dr. Karam to tell us what a Vertical Restore™ is and how it differs from other facelifts. Here is what he said, “Simply put Vertical Restore™ is not a facelift in the traditional description of a facelift. Vertical Restore™ is a unique surgical facial rejuvenation procedure designed to vertically reposition the aging soft tissues affecting the outer eyebrow/temple, midface, jawline and neck all in one fell swoop. It’s trademarked as a unique surgical procedure and it’s only done here. Unlike a traditional facelift that pulls the face sideways, leaving the patient looking tight and stretched (we all know that look), Vertical Restore™ releases the ligaments in the deep plane and as a result allow the sagging tissues to be repositioned upwards as opposed to pulled sideways. This results in a soft natural look. Also by simultaneously addressing the neck and outer eyebrow region the harmony and balance is restored across the entire face. In addition to being more comprehensive, and vertically oriented (which makes all the difference), the deep plane approach gives the outcomes 2-3 times the durability compared to traditional facelifts. Vertical Restore™ results last 10-15 years. Finally, the other big difference, is it’s done under local anesthesia with IV sedation making it extremely safe.
So in summary, always natural looking, extremely long lasting, and safe. That’s the Vertical Restore™ difference. “
I hired the excellent Kelly Greytok RN (Private Nursing Care) to stay with me for several days for post-recovery care. Kelly’s tremendous expertise creates the most tranquil environment for healing.
David and Kelly picked me up from Dr. Karam’s surgery center at 12:30.
Once home, I remember getting into bed, eating a light, healthy snack to take my antibiotics, and falling asleep. Dr. Karam provides very detailed before and after instructions that helped set me up for success. He recommends sleeping propped up. Kelly also had lots of great tips to support his protocols for after-surgery care. I followed every single one of them. She suggested purchasing two sleep wedges for under my knees and behind my back to keep me elevated and comfortable. A pile of pillows simply doesn’t do the trick. These wedges were a Godsend!
For the first 24 hours, it is essential to ice your face throughout the day and night. In addition, Kelly put cold compresses on my eyes. This diligent icing decreases inflammation. Keeping this inflammation down also helps manage pain. I felt so good, I even walked around inside my condo 4 or 5 times in the first 24 hours.
I have two drains that I lovingly refer to as my “Vertical Restore™ necklace.” The purpose of this lovely necklace with bulbs hanging is to collect the fluid and increase healing. These need stripping of the tubes to keep them unclogged and also emptying when they are half full. Kelly is in charge of managing the beautiful necklace.
At my first post-op appointment, the dressing was removed from around my head. Dr. Karam’s nurse removed half of my stitches, and the incisions were cleaned with hydrogen peroxide and then smothered with Aquaphor. We shall repeat this at home per Dr. Karam’s instructions.
As I had a TRL laser, I began distilled water and white vinegar washes followed by an Aquaphor application. The TRL laser reduces fine lines, wrinkles, and pigment irregularities. My face is swollen, red, and goopy because of the Aquaphor, but it is not painful. It feels like an intense sunburn without the tropical getaway. I am just taking extra-strength Tylenol to manage my discomfort.
Stay tuned for more updates…………………time for a nap!
Remember: Suffering in silence is OUT! Reaching out is IN.
Sign up for Menopause Mondays® Hot News Flashes
Be sure to follow me on Instagram @menopause_mondays.
*EllenDolgen.com does not recommend, endorse, or make any representation about any tests, studies, practices, procedures, treatments, services, opinions, healthcare providers, physicians, or medical institutions that may be mentioned or referenced.