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Jody’s Journey with Cosmetic Surgery: A Story of Ups and Downs


 

"I had a witch nose."

 

Now a 34-year old woman, Jody underwent her first surgical procedure at 23 years old. “I had a large bump on my nose from childhood when my little brother hit me,” she says. “I had a witch nose.” It wasn’t until her early 20s that Jody became self-conscious about the appearance of her nose, eventually paying $3,300 for rhinoplasty under the care of now-retired Dr. John B. Slayback of Redlands, California. Jody found Dr. Slayback after searching for surgeons on the Internet.

Receiving a better result than she originally hoped for, Jody not only had the bump removed, her nose was narrower as well. I asked the doctor to just shave the bump off,” Jody says. “But he said that he would have to make other changes to narrow my nose in the front to keep it from appearing wider.” She is now pleased with her frontal and profile appearance after undergoing an “open” rhinoplasty procedure.

“It’s amazing how a nose can change someone’s face for the better,” she says. “I was very insecure about the size and bump on my nose.  I heard people make comments behind my back, and it really hurt my feelings.”

Yet even with her satisfaction, she wishes that she could have had the ability to view before and after rhinoplasty photos. “My doctor did not offer them,” Jody says, encouraging those who are considering plastic surgery to see samples of a doctor’s work first. In addition to serving as research material, before and after plastic surgery photos can also be a selling tool: “I was new to the plastic surgery world,” Jody says. “I didn’t know anyone who had a nose job. I would have probably opted for him to take more off my nose or even said yes to the chin implant [a suggestion from Dr. Slayback] had I seen other people with similar cases.”

Despite having a black eye on the right side for about two weeks, a result from internal bleeding and a side effect from an invasive procedure like rhinoplasty, she followed Dr. Slayback’s post-operative instructions. “I took a week off of work, and stayed on pain pills for a few days,” Jody says. “The doctor would not let me drive for a week.” Her final results became apparent in about six months, a normal healing time frame for rhinoplasty.  

Three years later, Jody decided to undergo cosmetic surgery procedure number two. 

"I was never satisfied with the size of my breasts."

 

At age 26, Jody was ready to leave her days of push-up bras behind and permanently augment her breasts. “I was a size B, and when I would work out, I would lose some of my ‘boobs’,” she says. “I wanted to be able to wear cute shirts bra-less.”

Jody felt comfortable going back to Inland Empire plastic surgeon Dr. Slayback for breast augmentation. Before and after plastic surgery procedures were still not available for Jody to view – an admittedly disappointing reoccurrence. Still, Dr. Slayback remained her first and only choice. Jody did not visit other surgeons for consultations.

Because Dr. Slayback did not have any implants for her to “try on” during the consultation, Jody went to a department store and stuffed bras to envision how her results may appear. But no such luck. “I would never wear the bras he suggested that I try on. Also, the lumpiness of the socks that I had to stuff in there (LOL!) didn’t give me a full glimpse of how I would look.”

Jody was eventually happy with the size of the silicone implants Dr. Slayback decided on – 400 ccs. “I told him that I wanted to be a small D.  He said that he wanted to put either 350 or 400 ccs in me and would make the decision in the O.R.,” she says. Unfortunately, however, her $5,500 breast augmentation procedure did not provide her with the results she was proud of. “At first I was not happy. My scars underneath showed even in the standing position,” says Jody, who had the breast crease incision. “The implants started to ‘fall’ lower on my chest. There is a certain amount of rejection that takes place and that’s why the body builds a capsule around it….to protect the body from the foreign object.  Dr. Slayback said that they didn’t encapsulate properly. He said my body didn’t reject the implant enough.” According to Jody, Dr. Slayback explained that everyone’s body responds differently to implants, and certain complications are unpredictable. At no extra cost, Dr. Slayback revised her original results during a secondary procedure, including scar repair.

The recovery period was rather standard; Jody took off one week from work, experienced a few days of soreness, and was unable to lift heavy objects or lay on her belly for about a month. “I had minimal pain and was back to normal within a few weeks,” Jody says.

Although she wishes she had visited other plastic surgeons before deciding on Dr. Slayback, Jody says it was all worth it.  “Yes! I’m very satisfied. They [her newly enhanced breasts] were everything I hoped for,” she says. “I have one less thing to worry about when I try on clothes. I feel more proportioned and have fuller breasts.”  

Not opposed to having further breast enhancement in the future, if necessary, she recommends this body contouring procedure to “women who are mature and are getting them for the right reasons.”

"Every time my weight fluctuated, I carried it in my saddlebags."

 

Excess fat around the hips or thighs is a common, problematic characteristic among most women. Commonly called “saddlebags,” this is something that Jody was tired of. “Every time my weight fluctuated, I carried it in my saddlebags,” she says.

Although Jody was not charged for her breast revision procedure, the complication from that initial breast augmentation procedure influenced her decision to go to another plastic surgeon. At 29 years old, Jody chose Dr. Luu Doan of Newport Beach, California for her third cosmetic surgery procedure – liposuction. She decided to visit him for a consultation after hearing about his practice through a radio ad. Happily, Jody was able to view Dr. Doan’s before and after liposuction photos during her visit.

Jody’s surgery itself went smoothly, costing a total of $3,500 and leaving barely noticeable “awesome” scars in four areas – inner and outer thighs, bikini line on each side, and hip area. In addition, she didn’t have any ripples after undergoing the traditional liposuction technique, which she said removed a total of 1900 ccs.

However, Jody says, “Recovery was awful. I did not get the laser-assisted lipo – that would have reduced my downtime.” Known as “laser-assisted lipolysis” or “laser lipo,” this fat removal procedure uses an advanced laser technology to break down fat deposits in nearly any area of the body. Two of its main benefits are less blood loss and less scarring as compared to the traditional liposuction technique, which entails the tumescent method – the injection of large volumes of very dilute local anesthesia into the targeted areas. Jody says that her legs were black and blue, as well as swollen for about three to four weeks. “At the time,” she says. “I was working at home so I only took two days off for the actual procedure and follow-up visit the next day.”

However, Jody is not completely satisfied with the final outcome: “I feel like I traded part of my body to benefit the other. I’m happy I did the lipo, but it didn’t affect me the way my breast augmentation and nose job did.” She continues, “My saddlebags are gone and I am happy for that. However, by taking a lot of fat from my inner and outer thighs, it seemed to make me more ‘square’ shaped. I don’t care for my shape. But then, I didn’t care for the fat.

“I wish my doctor warned me that taking out too much fat could make me look weird.  I’m not sure if that’s what he did, but he did as promised and removed fat from those areas,” Jody says.

An already physically healthy person before liposuction, Jody says, “I don’t recommend it as a weight loss tool.  I know people who have done that and it seemed like a big waste of money.  I haven’t gained a lot of weight nor has it come back in other areas.” Jody admits that she’s nervous about ever getting liposuction again, and plans to turn to exercise in the future if she is unhappy with an area of her body. 

Can you relate to Jody’s story? Please feel free to share your thoughts with us!

by Elana Pruitt

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