Archive for category Success Stories

Sara’s Incredible Post Bariatric Surgery Success Story

sara keenan weightloss journey

Sara with a pair of her old pants that she is giving away after her incredible weight loss

Former patient, Sara Keenan recently told the Santa Cruz Sentinel that she is giving away all of her 3X and 4X size clothes since losing 170 pounds. She explained that she’s been able to maintain this incredible weight loss thanks to a new diet, exercise, and post bariatric surgery with CosMed’s Dr. Quiroz. We are so proud of her dedication and perseverance throughout her weight loss journey! – See more at: http://cosmedclinic.com/blog/#sthash.hBPoOlZl.dpuf

Former patient, Sara Keenan recently told the Santa Cruz Sentinel that she is giving away all of her 3X and 4X size clothes since losing 170 pounds. She explained that she’s been able to maintain this incredible weight loss thanks to a new diet, exercise, and post bariatric surgery with CosMed’s Dr. Quiroz. We are so proud of her dedication and perseverance throughout her weight loss journey!

More about Sara’s Weight Loss Journey:

– See more at: http://cosmedclinic.com/blog/#sthash.hBPoOlZl.dpuf

Former patient, Sara Keenan recently told the Santa Cruz Sentinel that she is giving away all of her 3X and 4X size clothes since losing 170 pounds. She explained that she’s been able to maintain this incredible weight loss thanks to a new diet, exercise, and post bariatric surgery with CosMed’s Dr. Quiroz. We are so proud of her dedication and perseverance throughout her weight loss journey!

More about Sara’s Weight Loss Journey:

– See more at: http://cosmedclinic.com/blog/#sthash.hBPoOlZl.dpuf

Sara, age 53,  recently told the Santa Cruz Sentinel that she is giving away all of her 3X and 4X size clothes since losing 170 pounds. In the article, she explains that she’s been able to maintain this incredible weight loss thanks to a new diet, exercise, and post bariatric surgery with Dr. Quiroz of CosMed Plastic Surgery Center in Mexico.

More about Sara’s Weight Loss Journey:

After looking death in the face, Sara realized that she needed to lose a large amount of weight in order to live.  Weighing over 300 pounds, Keenan was struck with pneumonia, which was triggered by taking a narcotic for her back pain.  She realized then that in order to continue living, she needed to lose some weight.

After dropping an incredible 170 pounds, Sara searched long and hard to find the right doctor to remove the excess skin that remained.  That’s when she found Dr. Quiroz and learned about her options for plastic surgery after weight loss. Now, at age 53 Sara is turning more heads than ever before!

Read more about Sara’s amazing weight loss experience

 

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My Face Lift in Mexico: The Recovery Process at Days 30, 90 & 120.

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!

Facelift 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!

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.

30 days after facelift mexico

This is a side-by-side photo which shows my pre-op face and my face at Day 30 after having a face lift in mexico.

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.

Day 90 after Facelift

Here are some candid photos on Day 90 while I was on a cruise with my girlfriends.

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

facelift mexico

120 Days After my 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!

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My Face Lift in Mexico Success Story

The following face lift success story was submitted by a patient of Dr. Carlos Castañeda, plastic surgeon at COSMED Plastic Surgery Center in Mexico.

Before and After Facelift Surgery in Mexico

Before and After Face lift Surgery in Mexico

after face lift mexico

Today, after her face lift in Mexico

“At first, I was going to go to Costa Rica to have my face lift. But things happened that made me change my mind.  First, they were very secretive wouldn’t send me pictures over the internet. Also, my aunt was suppose to go with me but she passed away before we left. Then, when I got to the airport, my flight was grounded so instead of making arrangements to get there, I decided to just go home. I lost $500.00 from the place I made arrangements to stay at but I just had a feeling it wasn’t right.

Next, I went and had a consultation with a Doctor in Newport Beach. He wanted $14,000.00 to do a face and neck lift! Well, I couldn’t afford that. So my friend who had a hair transplant suggested I  look in Tijuana.

I got on the internet and found COSMED. I found out how open and honest they were besides affordable for the money I had saved. I sent a message and picture to Dr. Castaneda. Then, I found out they were on Facebook and found Becky. How wonderful she made me feel! It was so much better to talk with her about having this procedure done. What a relief!

Then, Dr. Castaneda called me. I made a appointment for my consult went and saw him.  He made me feel assured about the whole procedure. I went down on a Sunday night. I live an hour and a half away. I  stayed at the Recovery Boutique where they were very helpful and wonderful.

I woke Monday morning and went up to the office where Dr. Castaneda met me. He walked me to another room to take my before pictures. I went back to my room where a nurse asked me to put a pill under my tongue and I did. I was walking to the surgery room when the door flew open and there was Dr. Castaneda with that big beautiful smile that makes you feel safe. I woke up in the surgical facility and  went back down my room at the boutique, watched a movie and  slept.  I wasn’t in any pain and did take pain meds.

I stayed at the Recovery Boutique for 3 days. I talked a lot on the phone out on the balcony from my room. Very good food, nice people, very helpful. I went home and returned to have my stitches out. I am very happy with my results to date. I think Dr. Castaneda is a fabulous surgeon and recommend him. The whole experience was beyond my expectations and would recommend COSMED.”

Click here to read more Facelift Success Stories from COSMED Plastic Surgery Center in Mexico.

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Here’s your First Look at the Winners of our Weight Loss Success Story Contest!

Its been quite a journey for these three weight loss success stories! All have struggled with their weight, many faced friends and even doctors who were unsympathetic and unsupportive.  One woman was called “fat and lazy” by doctors while another was called “glazed ham” by her teammates.

Fortunately, all of these women have an incredible support system of family and friends who have encouraged them to keep trying. Combine that with their own determination to keep researching the best diets, exercise and weight loss solutions available, all of these women have succeeded in losing more than 100 pounds each! As a result, they all have stories, advice and inspiration to share! Whether its our 2nd place winner who went on to get a full athletic scholarship to our Runner up who weighed in at 430 pounds before deciding to “dance the fat away” with the help of her closest friends, we are excited to introduce and share the journeys of these amazing women with you.

Weight loss Success Story

By the time a doctor finally discovered she had a Thyroid disease, Melanie weighed 366 lbs (although possibly more, because she refused to get on a scale).

The COSMED  Plastic Surgery Center  and VIDA Wellness and Beauty Institute are honored to introduce the Winners of our Weight Loss Success Story Contest!

1st Place: Meet Melanie

You may recognize Melanie from her guest blog post or as a COSMED Facebook friend. She has been an inspiration to many as she struggled to lose weight more than 100 pounds.

Her battle with weight started with PCOS (a disease that effects women- not being able to conceive, irregular periods, as well as weight gain, and hair loss). Because of this disease, her weight crept up, and she became increasingly more tired. She struggled to keep her weight down, without much success.

She spent many years and shed many tears going to doctor after doctor to seek help. But after she was told by a doctor that she was “fat, lazy and just needing to walk”, she stopped wanting to go to the doctors. Her condition worsened.

After 8 years, a doctor finally discovered she had a Thyroid disease, called Grave’s disease. Within days, Melanie had radiation on her thyroid and began medication. By this point her weight was 366 lbs (possibly more, because she refused to get on a scale).

Although she was active with her kids and ate well, weight loss was still difficult. She began researching gastric bypass, Lap-Band and other weight loss surgery options. Her insurance company said it would to take up to 2 years to get approved. That’s when she started researching doctors in Mexico.

Her family was nervous for her to go to Mexico for the surgery, but she was determined about having the surgery. She wanted to be around for her kids and knew that depended on losing the weight. She ultimately had Lap-Band weight loss surgery with Dr. Gonzalez of the VIDA Wellness & Beauty Institute.

Weight Loss Success

After Lap-Band and a Breast Reduction in Mexico, Melanie was able to do something she had always wanted to do, go RUNNING! Then she rode her bike 25 Miles!

“At first she could only walk one house, and back before she would get tired,” explained her husband, Marco. “But then she went two houses, then four houses… then she had her surgery. Everything went well, but her eating was a shock-physically as well as mentally. She had to be on a liquid diet for 21 days. But she was determined to succeed. She was back to walking… soon she was dropping weight and walking one block turned into walking a mile, then two. Soon you could see the change in her, she joined a gym and started working out almost every day, and her weight dropped by 100 lbs! “

Next, Melanie decided to get a breast reduction to help her with pain, and migraines. She opted to have the surgery with Dr. Quiroz of COSMED Plastic Surgery Center. “Now she is doing things that she has always wanted to do… like RUNNING! ” said her husband. “She also rode her bike 25 MILES!  She has recently told me that she wants to get her body lift, and run a half-marathon. That is her goal. ”

Melanie’s husband went on to say that “She encourages people to keep working out, and eating healthy and continuing research to help herself and her family live life to its fullest. She will talk to anyone about her weight loss, and her struggles. She makes me want to be better too. She has helped me to lose 18 lbs. Encouraging me to eat healthier, and cooking some amazing meals.  She is an amazing woman,mother,and most of all -friend.”

Stay tuned as we continue to share Melanie’s journey

2nd Place: Meet Amanda

Weight Loss Success

 

The following is Amanda’s story, as told by her mother:

Amanda is what the old adage refers to as “good on paper.”  She is driven, ambitious, smart, athletic as well as a devoted family member, dedicated community volunteer and compassionate citizen.  To those who do not know her as I do, Amanda may seem to have it all.  While she has worked very hard for everything she has accomplished, there is one area of her life where hard work has proven somewhat futile: her body.”

Growing up, Amanda was always the “big girl.”  I tried very hard to convince her that being tall with a bigger frame was an attribute not a curse.  An athlete all of her life I emphasized exercise over dieting because I wanted her to place her health above a number on a scale.  In the year between ages 10 and 11, Amanda went from a flat-chested tomboy to carrying around DD sized breasts.  Media flaunted women with big breasts, as being beautiful had no effect on Amanda.  Because her breasts grew so rapidly, they were covered in deep purple stretch marks and caused her to wear several sports bras and uncomfortable minimize bras at all times.  The large breasts made her feel even larger and out of place.  As a 5’10 busty sixth-grader, Amanda became fodder for bullies.  Most damaging was her father.  My husband has an irrational fear of having “fat” kids.  When Amanda was 7, my husband forced her to run to lose weight, punished her with exercise, and made her feel guilty about eating.  Facing constant ridicule from her father only perpetuated her self-loathing, which lead to years of slow, yet steady weight gain.

weight loss help

Amanda received a full athletic scholarship to play softball in college. Despite all of this, Amanda continued to gain weight. She was teased and berated by her coaches, teammates, and male athletes on campus who called her “Amazon Amanda” and a “glazed ham” when she sweat while working out.

Amanda received a full athletic scholarship to play softball in college, her commitment included daily practice, weight lifting, conditioning, tournaments every weekend, and a diet plan.  Despite all of this, Amanda continued to gain weight.  She was teased and berated by her coaches, teammates, and male athletes on campus who called her “Amazon Amanda” and a “glazed ham” when she sweat while working out.  As a pitcher, every spectator was always watching her at her games.  This attention made her feel even more self-conscious as ESPN has only highlighted players that are thin and petite.  Because she did not fit this description, Amanda was called a “dyke” or thought of as mannish.

In an effort to quell these insults, she counted calories, kept a food journal, worked with a nutritionist, and consulted with doctors.  She underwent metabolic testing, took prescription diet pills, and had her thyroid checked every six months hoping to hear it was sluggish—desperate to find a cause of her weight problems.  Unable to find a reason or solution and weighing over 240 lbs, Amanda decided to research the Lap-Band in an effort to stop the inevitable future weight gain.  Amanda was not unrealistic about the Lap-Band.  In the three years after the surgery, her weight loss has been slow, but she has done it the “right way.”  I am so proud of her long lasting commitment to a healthier lifestyle.  Even though her softball career over, Amanda exercises daily and has completely revamped her eating habits.  She eats cleanly, organically, and avoids foods that compromise her progress.  She does not use her band as a crutch, but rather as a tool to curb her cravings for large portions and constant grazing.

Two years after working with the Lap-Band, and a loss of 50 pounds, Amanda had a breast reduction surgery with Dr. Quiroz that would change her forever.  From the instant she awoke after the surgery, Amanda has had more confidence than I could have imagined.  She still has some problem areas that were caused by her weight gain and subsequent loss, but the breast reduction made her really feel like her hard work was paying off.  Plastic surgery has a way of fixing the past and forgiving your sins, so to speak, when you have made a long-term commitment of maintaining a healthy body.  My daughter has made this commitment and I would love for her body to reflect how she feels and how far she has come in her journey.

weight loss sucess

Recent photo of Amanda after Lap-Band and her breast reduction surgery.

Amanda is in her last year of law school in Oregon.  Law school, like medical school, is one of the toughest endeavors a person can go through mentally, physically, and emotionally.  Law students have high rates of addiction and obesity.  Spending hours in the library, under constant pressure, really affects the minds and bodies of law students.  Given Amanda’s history of weight problems, she was worried that law school may derail her progress on her body.  Amanda broke the status quo.  She continued to exercise, eat right, and lose weight.  This demonstrates her commitment to her long-term health goals.

Many people believe that lawyers live decadent lives like those of lawyers in movies and on television.  Realistically, this is a very small portion of the legal population.  I am proud to say that Amanda will be going into public interest law, helping those who are poor, uneducated, and defenseless.  This past summer she worked, for free, for a child advocacy group in the low-income areas of Portland.  While this kind of work is emotionally enriching, attorneys in this area of the law are often paid less than schoolteachers.  As Amanda’s student loans top $200,000, most of her small income will be paid towards the federal government.  With the cost of plastic surgery often being prohibitive, I know that any surgical improvements on Amanda’s body may not happen until it’s “too late.”  At 25, she has the chance to redefine herself before life and age takes its toll.  Because of Amanda’s emotional history tied to her weight, her hard work on her journey to a long-lasting healthy life, and her future as low-paid advocate for others, I believe that Amanda deserves a little help in achieving a body that reflects what an amazing person she is.

Runner Up: Meet Megan

weight loss success story

Throughout middle school and high school Megan reached her ultimate height and weight…6’1”, 430 pounds. Finally, in her twenties, she proclaimed that she had a plan to lose the weight. With the support of her friends, she decided to dance the fat away. It took over two and a half years, but she shed 130 pounds by rocking it on the dance floor!

The following is Megan’s story, as told by her mother:

At age three, Megan was the size of a 6-year-old and she looked like one of those adorable Cabbage Patch Kid dolls. In elementary school her exceptional height and weight caused her to be mistaken for a teacher. In middle school and high school she reached her ultimate height and weight…6’1”, 430 pounds. These statistics could have devastated most girls in the throes of becoming a young woman, but not Megan… she stood tall and mighty. She beamed with inner beauty. She developed an attitude of determination to be successful despite her size. Finally, in her twenties, she proclaimed that she had a plan to lose the weight.

With the support of her friends, she decided to dance the fat away. It took over two and a half years, but she shed 130 pounds by rocking it on the dance floor. Men started noticing her  beauty and she started to seriously date. Unfortunately, romance had its limitations.  Her weight loss was accompanied by lots of unsightly, excess skin that folded on top of itself. Although she mastered the art of camouflaging it, she knew she needed surgery to match her body image with her self-image. Megan became the third generation in our family to turn to COSMED Plastic Surgery Center. She used her savings to go to COSMED where Dr. Quiroz performed a major “tummy tuck”. He removed enough skin to cover a basketball, tightened muscles and lipo-sculpted her mid-section. For the first time in her life, Megan’s amazing body matched her sparkling personality.

Ironically, two months after the procedure, she got pregnant. She gained weight. Now she weighed 373 pounds. Megan knew that this time dancing was not going to do it. Bariatric surgery was the answer.

Megan now weighs 230 and continues to lose. At 30, she is an example of how the stereotypic fat kid mustered up determination to change her life’s course.  She eats healthy and exercises several times a week. The COSMED mid-section surgery has held up beautifully. But this weight loss has produced “bat-wings” and pendulous breasts. She is looking forward to continuing her journey with the help of COSMED and VIDA.

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Thank you to everyone who submitted a weight loss story for our recent contest. With so many inspirational and moving stories, choosing the winners was a difficult task! We hope you will continue your journey with the help of friends, family and the COSMED and VIDA teams.

Stay tuned as we continue to follow all of our Weight Loss Success Stories as they take the next steps in  their transformations with the help of COSMED Plastic Surgery Center and VIDA Wellness & Beauty Institute.

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Melanie’s Journey: How Weight Loss Surgery Changed My Life

after weight loss success

Melanie with her husband after having surgery in Mexico, “I have never been happier IN MY LIFE! I have gained years on my life, I have gone hiking, running, wearing a ‘normal’ seatbelt on a airplane flight- instead of the fat-belt extender, and being active in my kids life!”

The following success story was submitted by Melanie, a patient of CosMed Plastic Surgery Center in Mexico

My name is Melanie, I am 37 years old, and this is my story…

I have not always been overweight, but when I had kids, I found out that I had Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). One of the many symptoms is weight gain. There is no cure. It is sort of a catch 22, because one of the treatments is weight loss.

After MANY more years of gaining weight, and being so tired that I couldn’t even keep my eyes open, I would go to doctor after doctor…and having MANY doctors tell me “you just need to get off the couch”  “stop being lazy” (yes, they ACTUALLY said this to me!)

I FINALLY found a doctor that discovered I had a Thyroid condition!  EIGHT years passed, before I was Diagnosed! So between both diseases, I ballooned up to 366 lbs.  I told my husband that I wanted to be an active part of my kids lives, and I wanted to watch them grow up, so I made the decision to have surgery. At first I was determined to get gastric bypass but  I needed to jump thru hoops to TRY to get anything done – up to two years! So I looked into alternatives. I still wanted to to have Gastric Bypass, until I found Dr. Gonzales. I researched him extensively, looked on weight loss blog sites, etc. My husband was SO against going to mexico, let alone for a SURGERY!

What we didn’t realize was that doctors in Mexico are trained a lot longer than Doctors in the US. After meeting the Doctor, having him explain the benefits of Lap-Band, and knowing that he is one of the top weight loss surgeons in the country, my husband was asking ” so how soon can I get my wife into get the lap-band?!” I had my Lap- Band surgery in January of 2007. Since then I have lost 123 lbs!!  (It is hard to lose more, since most is skin) The bed side manor of the doctors, is BY FAR the best in the WORLD!

When I had my surgery, I needed to used the restroom, after all the IV.  I saw Dr. Gonzalez and when he asked me how I was feeling,  I asked him for a nurse, because I needed to go- he said, “We don’t need a nurse… I am here, & I will help you”. He proceeded to help me up, to the restroom, waited outside the door, then helped me back to bed! Even in all my grogginess, it is something I will NEVER forget. Genuine, caring  and compassionate!

before weight loss

Melanie before weight loss surgery, “I FINALLY found a doctor that discovered I had a Thyroid condition! EIGHT years passed, before I was Diagnosed! So between both diseases, I ballooned up to 366 lbs. “

Well, needless to say, I have never been happier IN MY LIFE! I have gained years on my life, I have gone hiking, running, wearing a ‘normal’ seatbelt on a airplane flight- instead of the fat-belt extender, and being active in my kids life!   But the happiness came to a grinding halt, when I started having a lot of pain in my neck and shoulders. Again, back to sleeping all day and night, doctors, tests –all to find out I had Fibromyalgia. Disease #3. This was life changing. I could no longer function normally. I hated sleeping all day again, and not be active with my family. UGH.

The doctors wanted to start me on yet ANOTHER med, but I refused. I changed my diet, changed my exercise, and learned my limits. I was taking my life back- but there was more. After many wasted  years of being overweight, I had tons of extra skin.  I had many back problems and migraines up to 3 times a WEEK, and neck pain. I knew that I needed to have a breast reduction/lift to help with this. I know I also have to have a full body lift, but I started with my breasts first. BY FAR, it is THE SECOND BEST THING I HAVE EVER DONE!!  As soon as I woke up from surgery, I didn’t have anymore back/ neck pain! After about a week, I realized that I no longer was getting migraines!!!

Dr. Alejandro Quiroz: Since going to CosMed, I had met him many times, and I knew when the time came, I would have my plastic surgery done by him. Again, I  researched him EXTENSIVELY along with recommendations, and pictures and found that he was another doctor who is top in his field!

My husband met him, and felt the same way that he felt when he met Dr. Gonzales! He explains things in a way that the average person will understand. Most Doctors give you a whole bunch of technical bull, that leaves you more confused, then they leave… NOT HIM!  Dr. Quiroz was patient with all our questions, all our concerns, and took as long as we needed until we were content with our decision to go forward with the surgery!

The trust and compassion that you feel with the Team at CosMed, is indescribable. They TRULY care about their patients, before, during and after surgery! The front staff is amazing. They always call to check on me. When I had worries with my breast reduction, I emailed the Doctor, and he called me back!  THE DOCTOR! I was a little stunned at first. I expected a nurse to call like they usually do in the States! But I was happy that I got to voice my concerns with the Doctor HIMSELF, instead of thru a third party! Just talking to him, calmed my fears, and I will forever be great full for that.

I have not been able to have my body lift, but when the time comes, you better believe that there is only ONE place that I will be doing it! COSMED!

If I can do this, with all the trials that I have had in my life, YOU can too! We all have the power to make the changes that we want to be.. I hope that one day, you will see the “new & improved” pictures , after my Lower Body Lift (LBL), but until then, here are a few before and afters of my weight loss!  (Oh, and when I started eating right, and making changes and losing weight, so did my husband! lol)

Before and After

Love, and many Blessings…

-Melanie Corral
CosMed Patient

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Face Lift Mexico – What to Expect the First few days After Surgery

Recovery Boutique

Sue spent the first few days after her face lift under the care of registered nurses at the Recovery Boutique. She describes her stay as “a pleasant blur of naps, mealtime chats at the Café and amusing myself in my room (pictured here) reading, watching TV and surfing the internet.”

Submitted by Sue Teague, Retired RN,  CosMed Patient & Guest Blogger

The following post is PART 2 in a series of blog posts by an actual patient who had a brow lift, lower eyelid lift, neck lift & face lift in Mexico.
*Click here to Read Part 1 – How I selected my plastic surgeon
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Dr.  Quiroz walked in the exam room and, of course, I recognized him from his photos and exclaimed happily “You’re my Doctor!”  He sat down and chatted a few minutes—he chats easily and has a charming, confident, and attentive manner.  I give him a “10” on bedside manner and listening skills—something that I have found challenging in the physician population in general.

Based on our 5-minute chat, we agreed to change the plan slightly and do “a little more.”  He made sure I understood that after he fixes the muscles below the skin, my face would need a second treatment for my extremely sun-damaged Florida skin.  I had already planned to get some sort of treatment for my deep folds and mouth pucker and assured him that I was aware that I needed to follow-up.  The assistant brought revised paperwork to document the change in care plan.  I was surprised and impressed that Dr. Quiroz took the “Before” photos himself.

I was then guided to the Pre-Op Waiting Room for pre-op vitals where two other patients were already on beds awaiting surgery.  I noted a well-organized stainless steel and glass construction surgical complex.  Being a retired RN in a hospital setting, I was impressed that equipment was modern and the area had been designed to maximize patient safety with clean and sterile conditions.

My vitals were taken and an IV catheter was inserted.  Happily, the skin was numbed before the catheter was inserted—a nice comfort luxury.  The anesthetist identified himself and asked the usual about past reactions and allergies.  The nurse gave me an injection and that is all I recall until I woke up in the Surgical Recovery Room where I stayed the night.  I slept on and off, and with pain meds, was comfortable.  The only discomfort was bed positioning; I was not allowed to have a pillow and was required to be slightly inclined on my back to encourage drainage.

The next morning, an aide wrapped my head in a bandage and transported me to my room at the Recovery Boutique.  Attached to “me” were two long tubes attached to syringes into which fluids from the operative area passively drain.

On arrival in the Recovery Boutique, the first thing I did was ask for more pillows.  Darn!  I still cannot have a pillow!  I was tucked in by the staff attendants and instructed to purchase antibiotics and pain pills unless I had brought my own.  I had brought my own pain medication and purchased the clinic antibiotics.

I became bored with the limited TV programming, much of which I could not understand since I speak English only.  I used the wifi to amuse myself online and got up for meals in the Café public area.  The food was delicious and the Café stocked lots of snacks and beverages for between meals.   The staff attendants were very accommodating and soon learned that I wanted to mingle with others and came to fetch me at mealtimes.
Dr.  Quiroz saw me the next day to look at the incisions and remove the drains.  Removal of the drains does not hurt; it feels like prickly or fluttery sensation.  I asked him about the thick substance which coated my hair and he said the attendants would help me shampoo it out the next day.

face lift day 2

Day 2 after my face lift. You must constantly remind yourself to “Be a Robot.” It is important for the neck muscles to remain unstretched by movement.

I slept and rested on Day 2 and noticed the increased bruising on Day 3.

Despite looking like a train wreck, I felt fine, and was curious about the continuous power tool noise.  So, I grabbed my camera to go check out the preparations for the Clinic Grand Opening.  You can see some of my photos here.

The remainder of my time in the Recovery Boutique was a pleasant blur of naps, mealtime chats at the Café and amusing myself in my room reading, watching TV and surfing the internet.  While there, I was surprised to meet two young men who were having various surgeries and encouraged them to tell their stories.  The night before the Grand Opening, Joyce made the effort to visit me, which I very much appreciated knowing how tired she must have been.

I departed The Recovery Boutique on Post Op Day 4.  The ground transportation driver explained that we would not need to stop in Customs because of a new Medical Tourism lane that had recently opened up, allowing clinical transport vehicles to pause, offer passports for inspection and GO without delay!  Apparently, this special Fast Pass Lane requires clinics and doctors to “qualify” for the special clearance permissions.  What a pleasant surprise!

On Postop Day 4, I was not a pretty sight! At the airport on my way home, I tried to avoid frontal exposure to small children!

These are my Top 10 observations of my early post-surgical face and experience, which included a brow lift, lower eyelid lift, midface lift, and neck lift:

  1. You will be hideous looking and the upper face will be disportionately enlarged with swelling.  I thought my head looked “alien-like.”
  2. Your skin will feel very tight and stretched to the max.  The downside of this is a constant, low-level headache, which is the only discomfort I treated with pain meds and distraction.
  3. Red, yellow and brown bruising appeared and peaked on Days 3-4.
  4. Your skin will be swollen and have altered sensation to touch.  For me, it felt numb and gummy.  At first, I thought that some kind of surgical adhesive had been applied.  Dr. Quiroz said “no glue.”
  5. You will have skin surface irregularities; you might notice a puckers and bumps.
  6. You will lose some scalp hair.  Surgery applies some substance, like high-test mousse gel to your hair and when it dries, it feels like Chinese fried noodles.  Wash, lather, and repeat… the shower at the Recovery Boutique is SO luxurious!  I have thin, fine hair and I was somewhat distressed at the condition of my normally fragile hair.  This was an unexpected and unpleasant surprise.
  7. You must constantly remind yourself to “Be a Robot.”  It is important for the neck muscles to remain unstretched by movement.  When moving the head, be sure to turn it and the upper body as one unit.  There is a penalty if you do not obey this rule- a hematoma or seroma.  I briefly considered wearing a soft cervical collar, but in reality, found that the general neck tightness was enough of a reminder.
  8. You will sleep on your back to encourage drainage and not disturb new incisions and sutures.  The sutured area is also too tender lie on.  I found this hard at first because I use about four pillows for side sleeping, but back lying became easier and was, after all, for a good cause and temporary.  You may have some drainage on your pillows.
  9. You will be on antibiotic therapy for 14 days; the pharmacy sends ciprofloxacin (Cipro) so if you have a problem with this med or antibiotics in general, contact your surgeon ahead of your arrival.
  10. You will be in touch with your surgeon with regular follow-ups.  I am not local and departed a little earlier than Dr. Quiroz wanted me to.  Therefore, we agreed that I would send close-up digital photos of the incisions and sutures, along with front and side photos.  Dr. Quiroz would then phone me with instructions for further care.  He is not only a good surgeon; he’s a good egg!  Though not as desirable a follow-up as being there, it is good enough for an uncomplicated recuperative course and sufficient to get you to a local doctor if necessary.

NEXT >> A Look at the Healing Process, Week One after Face lift

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Face Lift Mexico – How I Selected My Plastic Surgeon

before facelift mexico

I’m no Barbie but, I knew from about the age of 35, that I would one day have a facelift.

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.

Before Facelift Mexico

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 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.

Before Face lift Photos

I submitted these “Before” pictures to the Top 5 Plastic Surgery clinics in Tijuana for opinions and pricing before deciding to have Dr. Quiroz of CosMed perform my Full Face Lift Surgery.

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!

NEXT > What to Expect Days After Face lift Surgery in Mexico

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