Readers are familiar with my amazing facelift with Dr. Catherine Winslow. Back in December 2013, Dr. Winslow (Winslow Facial Plastic Surgery) did an incredible job of removing all of my sagging excess skin. She truly took 15-years off my face. Then in December 2014, I underwent a few minor procedures to further enhance my results. I underwent a facial tuck-up and lip augmentation, and the 35% TCA peel that I’d opted out of when Dr. Catherine Winslow had done my facial plastic surgery the prior year.
So first things first, it is not unusual for a plastic surgeon to tweak the results of a massive weight loss patient. The thing you need to know is, the really good plastic surgeons won’t charge extra for these revisions! The tuck-up was a procedure to tighten my face and neck after my facelift.
Understand this: I was morbidly obese for about 15-years then lost a massive amount of weight following my gastric bypass surgery in 2003. Plus some weight gain and loss after my gastric bypass revision. Add to that, I had lost more weight after my face lift, about 20-30 pounds. This massive weight gain and loss destroys the elasticity, collagen and muscles of the face in a way that a person who has been relatively weight stable all her life does not experience.
All that said, even a patient who’s been relatively weight-stable all her life may be recommended for a facial tuck-up near the end of the first year or two after the initial facelift, when the signs of aging begin to reappear. The tuck-up can be part of a continuing maintenance program to keep the patient looking as good as possible throughout the remainder of her active lift.
As for the lip augmentation, I’d been getting filler injections every so often. That procedure was very painful: Imagine a needle sliding under the delicate skin of each of the four quadrants of your lips! So when Dr. Catherine Winslow removed the SMAS (fibrous tissue) during the tuck-up, she surgically implanted it into my lips to make them fuller. This eliminated the need for any future painful lip injections!
35% TCA Peel
The 35% TCA Peel can only be administered by a qualified healthcare professional. TCA skin peels use trichloroacetic acid and are unlike the chemical peels one might buy over the counter. According to RealSelf, a chemical peel is a skin resurfacing technique in which a chemical solution is applied to the face to remove the outer surface layers of skin. Chemical peels allow new, healthier skin to emerge.
I skipped the TCA peel during my original facelift because I was not ready to give up tanning. However, I grew to dislike the sun-damaged brown patches and the dullness of my skin. Even more, I grew to like my even pale complexion after the peel.
In total, the skin peeling process from the 35% TCA Peel took 6-days. During that time I could not be exposed to the sun. Not even an open window. There were very thick salves that I had to coat my face with using a cheese spreader — and those felt pretty nasty. One of the most challenging aspects was to prevent myself from picking at the flaking skin. I just had to let it fall off on its own.
My TCA Peel Before and After
I had the facial tuck-up, lip augmentation, and 35% TCA chemical peel under twilight sedation. It took only 90-minutes and I went home that day. I had no pain, aside from the lips, even though I look liked I’d been through a boxing match and lost. The lips definitely were uncomfortable, cold and stinging — and got worse once the pain killers wore off.
I saw Dr. Catherine Winslow in her office the next morning, and at six-days post-op. All went extremely well and Dr. Winslow cleared me to leave the country that same day. We spent Christmas in Canada with family.
To this day, I remain very happy with the results of the 35% TCA chemical peel. My complexion looks even, bright, and moist. It seems all of the sun damage was removed, as well as the splotches of skin discoloration that I had. No longer do I have to wear makeup — that is how dramatic the improvement is. And I absolutely love my lips and face.
Skincare is important to maintain these results. I always apply #50 sunscreen rain or shine. On sunny days, I wear a wide brimmed hat. And I use a daily and nightly bleaching cream that Dr. Catherine Winslow compounds right in her practice. I drink plenty of water, about 50-oz of mineral water and another 30-50 ounces of other healthy liquids. I do not smoke or drink alcohol, nor do I eat greasy foods. And I do try to keep my stress levels down. That’s killer for a youthful complexion.
Expect to pay about $1000 for a 35% TCA Chemical Peel with a qualified facial plastic surgeon or dermatologists’ practice.
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life