What It's Like to Get a Facelift
by Ariana Fierro, past Clinic Assistant
Most of us have seen surgeries being performed on television or in movies. But, how many of us can say we’ve witnessed an actual surgery being performed right in front of our own eyes? Well, I can excitedly scratch that off my bucket list, because I recently watched Dr. Yoo perform a mini facelift!
Last month, one of our wonderful patients—who we’ll call “Jane”—gave me permission to “shadow” her during her cosmetic surgery experience. I first met Jane at her consultation visit. She wanted a more youthful look around her neck and jawline. In order to achieve her desired look, Dr. Yoo recommended a mini facelift.
The surgery was scheduled for 1 p.m. on a Friday. Surgery patients must fast (no food or drink) the day of surgery, so on Thursday night Jane stayed up until midnight drinking as much as water as possible. “I wanted to be well hydrated,” Jane explained. Friday morning, Jane woke up and followed her usual routine, except that she’d had to forgo her daily cup of joe.
Jane and her husband arrived at the surgery center around 11 a.m. to fill out paperwork and get prepped for surgery. I met Jane in the pre-op room, where she greeted me with a huge smile. She talked about her excitement for her future results and having her facelift done by Dr. Yoo.
Dr. Yoo came in to say hi to Jane, see how she was feeling, and answer any last minute questions. Then, we were escorted to the operating room. As we entered the room, the operating team was listening to none other than the best – Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love!” And in the fleet of the main chorus, Jane danced her way to the operating table and drifted off to sleep.
The operating team consisted of four members: Dr. Yoo, the anesthesiologist, the scrub tech and the circulator. The anesthesiologist monitored Jane’s vital signs throughout the surgery. The scrub nurse handed Dr. Yoo the instruments. The circulator was in charge of everything outside of the sterile zone (connecting light cords and plugging in equipment, for example). Dr. Yoo was as calm and attentive as he is in the exam room. At times, he narrated to me what he was doing, keeping me fully informed. He was clearly in his element while operating.
After the surgery, Jane was taken to the post-anesthesia care unit where her vital signs were monitored. “I had a great experience waking up,” Jane said. “I was chatting it up with everyone!” Once she was alert enough, she went home with her husband.
When Jane got home, she said she had a little nausea from the pain medication and a hard time chewing, but otherwise was fine. Jane reports that she “feels better each day and the results are appearing positively.”
I’m grateful for the opportunity to see things from Jane’s perspective – she was incredibly calm and confident through the process. Watching Dr. Yoo perform was also very gratifying and gave me an even deeper respect for surgeons.