T oday's episode is one for anyone who is considering facial surgery. They need to listen to this episode! About a year ago Kris Price elected to have a facelift, and decided to document her entire journey in a blog. The result was a story of self discovery that has been detailed in a personal and invigorating way.
Kris disusses her decision making process that led to her choice to get plastic surgery. Kris is open and honest about the hardest aspects of the choice, and what it was like to make that commitment. She also talks about learning to trust Dr. Hall to perform the surgery, learning to trust herself. Kris also talks about her own improvements in self care, and many more ways that the facelift has benefited her life!
Dr. Hall: Welcome to The Trillium Show, where we help you make the changes you want to see in your body, in your mind, and in your life. I'm your host, Dr. Jason Hall.
Dr. Hall: Today's episode is going to be pretty interesting and I think that you'll really enjoy this if facial surgery is something that you've had any consideration in at all. Kris Price is a longtime patient of mine, who underwent a facelift about a year-and-a-half ago when this podcast was recorded in January of 2022. And the interesting thing is that during the course of the interview, her recollection of the surgery and what it has done for her is very positive. And this is interesting because she blogged about her entire journey on her own blog that we'll link in the [show notes 00:00:57].
And the experience that she shares of going through the process of facelift surgery is very different than what she feels about it now. And this really goes to speak to how the journey of facelift surgery—really of any cosmetic surgery—is one of self-discovery and one of constant change. And it's something that we try and shepherd patients through, that's kind of what we do as part of the surgery process, but it is something that patients may not really appreciate when they're considering having cosmetic surgery. And I think it is going to be very interesting for patients who are considering facial surgery to listen to this show, but then go read Kris's blog, and listen to her accounts of her recovery, for the first year. She writes very detailed descriptions of what she's experiencing throughout the first year and being able to see that movie before you live it is, I think, going to be very helpful for patients who are contemplating going down this road. So, I hope you guys all enjoy this half as much as I enjoyed recording it. And without further ado, here's Kris.
Kris, welcome to the show.
Kris: Thank you so much.
Dr. Hall: So, tell our audience a little bit about yourself, kind of, where you're coming from, having nothing to do with plastic surgery.
Kris: Okay. I live here in Tennessee. We've been here about 27 years. I've been married, oh my goodness, over 30 years to my husband, my wonderful husband; we were high school sweethearts. And I have two boys. One is in school in Boston, trying to be a PA. So, bless his heart for wanting to go into the medical field right now.
Dr. Hall: Amen. Oh goodness.
Kris: And my other son has finally decided he probably wants to be a trucker. He wants to just drive a truck. He just loves the autonomy, and he knows the field's really needed right now. They really, really, really need truckers right now. And so he says he wants to fill that niche.
I have worked mostly in the medical field. I started off in a business office and then I went to medical records, and then I started working in doctors' offices, mostly the front, first person you see type person. But then I did work in a hospital for about five or six years, I was a unit secretary on the floor. So again, the first face you see. Which is very odd for me because I'm an introvert, so it's definitely very much out of what I'm comfortable doing.
Then I went to the pharmacy in the hospital, worked in the pharmacy for a year, and went back to unit secretary and a couple more doctors offices. And then my husband said, “Your job is done. You have paid for college for both children and you can come home.” I said, “How soon? [laugh]. Where's the door.”
And about six months later, I came home. I've been home for five years. I'm 53 and hopefully do not have to go back to work in the near future. My husband has a good job, and he likes me being home. So. And I like being home.
Dr. Hall: That is awesome. So, you really have had an inside look at the medical profession from a bunch of different angles.
Kris: I wanted to be a doctor when I was in high school. My goal was to be a physician. Unfortunately, when I got to college, I never got bio-one. The first two semesters I was there, there were so many people trying to take biology one. And it was sort of a lottery system to get your classes. You were kind of assigned a number, and I never got it my freshman year.
So, I had to change because I couldn't wait. I couldn't do it. So, I guess maybe I decided okay, it's just not worth the fight. And I was going to go to psychology, so I do have a bachelor's in psychology. And then I got married and decided I could not do school one more year. [laugh]. I got married at 21, right out of graduating from College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.
And I told my husband, “Can I take a year off? Let me get some money, help pay for college.” And I never went back. So, I never did anything with my bachelor's, but people tell me I'm easy to talk to and people will come to me when they just need a shoulder to cry on. And I'm pretty good at giving advice anyway. So, even without official degree, I've been a pretty good person to talk to.
Dr. Hall: Well, I can attest to that it's been—we hit it off from the very first day that we met. And I would really like to kind of dive into that a little bit because so much of plastic surgery revolves around psychology and how you feel about yourself that really… in a lot of cases, drives the desire to have surgery. And so, talk to me a little bit about the decision-making process that you went through on the front end because I think a lot of people struggle with that part of plastic surgery?
Kris: Sure. I did it for myself, totally completely for myself. I know there's a lot going on in social media and news and celebrities and everybody's talking about plastic surgery. And some people love it, think it's great. Some people are—you should just age naturally.
I'm for both. I think you should age naturally. I don't think you should become—you know, do too much. I think you want to look natural. And I think you should do it if you want to, I don't have a problem with it.
I think it's fantastic. I've had two plastic surgeries, not ashamed of it; I've been very open about it. I have an Instagram page, I've come right out and told people have had it done. And I've had people, several people in a group I'm in, gone on to have procedures because of my experience because they were afraid to until they heard what it was like to have it done. And my husband looks younger than I do [laugh] in some respect.
At 40, I quit dying my hair. So, I'm not afraid to age. My hair is silver. But I was tired of, you know, the body that having two children left me, so I had a tummy tuck. And then genetically, I have kind of a double chin. It's—my grandmother had it, my dad has it, my mom had it.
So, I kind of couldn't avoid that. I was [118 00:07:34] on my wedding day, and I still have a double chin in my wedding pictures. So, I was tired of looking it, and I said, “I'd like to have it done.” And my husband said okay. So, you know, my background for having it's basically I just wanted to be happy with myself.
I wanted to be happy with what I saw on the mirror. And I wanted to have it done when I was younger because I don't imagine when I'm 60 or 70 I'm going to feel like going under the knife. This is probably it for me. Unless my chin [laugh] my double chin falls again, this is probably it. So. [laugh].
Dr. Hall: Well, that's certainly an understandable sentiment. And just to kind of give everybody a background, you are now over a year—we've known each other for almost two years—
Kris: Almost two years. Mm-hm.
Dr. Hall: —we met right before the world closed—
Dr. Hall: —for Covid in 2020. And then your procedure was in October of that year.
Dr. Hall: So, you're now 18 months out from what's really, kind of, the big daddy of plastic surgery: Facelift.
Kris: It's funny you say that because I don't think about—I didn't really think about it until you told me that. You said, “This is the big daddy.” And I was kind of like, “Really?” I… I don't know, it was just a surgery to me. I didn't really realize.
Then I kind of looked after the fact at all the—I'm reading your op note, and I'm thinking about all that you did. And I said, “Wow.” You know, this is a very technical surgery.
Dr. Hall: From a technical side it is but it also I think, drives a lot of anxiety when patients think about facelift—any facial surgery, whether it's rhinoplasty, facelifts, eyes, is you can't hide that.
Kris: Yes. The tummy tuck, you know, if something went wrong, I could still wear my jeans and top and, you know, hide that. That's true. And then you have your facelift, there's a little bit of a gamble. But anything was going to be better than what I was uncomfortable with. And I knew that you looked at me and you had no doubt, and you said, “I can fix that.” And I said, “Okay.” And then we went from there. [laugh].
Dr. Hall: And here we sit year-and-a-half later.
Dr. Hall: What was the hardest part about—if there was a hard part—what was the hardest part about making that decision to move forward?
Kris: The hardest part for me—and I asked my husband this question. I said, “What do you think the hardest part was?” And I want to see if he got the same answer I did, and he did. Was just spending that much money on making myself feel better about myself. Because it's not inexpensive. I don't think it's expensive, based on some of the prices I've seen around the nation.
We live in a very nice area where things are more reasonably priced. But it was just kind of like, “Honey, can I spend this much money and have my face done?” For me, that was probably the hardest. But I was ready to jump in. We had my discussion in January, we were going to do it in March, and then we ended up buying a house. So, I had to back out for a bit.
And then Covid came, and so we had to wait till the hospitals were letting us—you know, it was little bit more easy to do the surgeries. Even though you have your own center, we waited to make sure everybody was safe. So, after that, the hardest part was waiting because I was excited to get done. But it is kind of hard to spend money on yourself in that respect. Buying clothes, buying shoes, jewelry, your hobbies, is different; it's just something you do. But that's a very personal decision to spend money. Very—it's very personal. I don't know how to put it. It was it that was hard. That was hard.
Dr. Hall: Well, your face is kind of the center of your identity—
Kris: It is.
Dr. Hall: —and not only are you changing that—changing it for the better—but you're still making changes. But it's also a big commitment in terms of time, time off, financial commitments, and so I can understand. And a lot of people feel that way.
Kris: Yeah, tummy tuck was easier to hide. When I had my tummy tuck I was, you know, you put your binder on, you put your clothes on, you go out , you walk around. And that wasn't as big of a deal. Your face—when you have a facelift, you cannot go out immediately. I mean, it took me about two weeks.
Dr. Hall: Yeah.
Kris: About two weeks.
Dr. Hall: And that's pretty, that's pretty common. And I do want to get to the recovery part and have you kind of share what your recovery was like, but going back to decision making, did you're—and you're very open about having had plastic surgery in the past. Did your previous experience with plastic surgery—which we've told me in the past was a good one—did that influence this decision, make it any easier—or harder knowing what recovery was what you were in for—then you would think coming cold?
Kris: Both. It was easier in the fact that I already had one done and I had recovered and everything went great. I had a great result. It was harder in the fact that my tummy tuck, I took longer to recover the most people do. Because he did a really good job, pulled me really tight, and I couldn't stand up easily for a long time.
So, I was kind of a concern that oh, yeah, you know, you told me, “Oh, a couple weeks,” and I was kind of going, “Oh gosh, am I going to be that one person that's at home for two months recovering from this facelift?” So, it actually having had surgery before was easy. I trusted you. So, there was the trust that we had, and that made it very easy for me to—I was excited the day I got here. I was really excited. I wasn't nervous at all.
Dr. Hall: And I think that's the best way to go into it is to be excited. Little nervousness is okay and very normal. You talked about the trust part, you mentioned that just a second ago, and you were like most patients. You looked around and again were very open about the fact that you were looking around. And in plastic surgery, the fit between doctor and patient, and a personal bond there is really important. So, what things led you to say, “Okay, this is where I'm going to be.”
Kris: You were the third person I talked to. I really didn't want to do the whole thing where a lot of people travel hours and hours away from where they live. I wanted to be able to do my follow-up visits, which with facelift are—you know, you're following up a couple times after the first initial surgery. I didn't want to drive four hours to Atlanta, or four hours to Nashville. I didn't want to do that; I wanted to find someone in Knoxville.
And you were the third person that I interviewed. I was just trying to find names, and I tell you, googling names for plastic surgery is not an easy thing. It's really hard. And I had talked to other gentlemen, they said that they didn't think I needed it and that if I was going to have it, I should wait till my 60s. And I didn't want to wait till my 60s—I'm not sure exactly the reasons I didn't really go into it.
And I walked into your office and you took one look at my face, and you said, “Oh, yeah.” And I asked you, “Do I need to wait?” And you said, “Why?” [laugh]. And I told you because the other one of the doctors had told me that I had not gone through menopause yet and that I should wait because my face might fall.
Honestly, I don't care. If my face falls, I will just have another one. I'm serious. I've already—my husband has already said if at 60, 65 your face has fallen, we will have you go back in and get a revision done. He's already on the board for it.
It was your attitude. You were very confident you could fix it. You were very honest about well, you know, but you do have this or you do have this or whatever. And you just really took your time to look over my face and pull it and pinch it and all that stuff that you do. And I just liked your attitude about—your confidence and your attitude about that, you could do this for me. That was the main reason I stuck around. [laugh].
Dr. Hall: And I thank you for that. But I think one of the things that's important with, especially with the initial consultation when we're talking—and I say this not having ever seen anybody else do a consult outside of training—is that I get the feeling from listening to other patients that there is a lot of sales in the consult process. And I think one of the things that we really try and do—that I really try and do—is to be very open and honest with you. And if I don't think something's going to work, I'm just going to tell you; I'm not going to try and get you to do something because it'd be good for me. And that's kind of what I hear you saying.—
Dr. Hall: —makes a difference.
Kris: I just sort of felt the level brushed off by the other two, to be honest. It was just kind of real cursory exam, I don't think they really took the time to just play around with my skin or anything, and you really got in there, and you pulled my cheek here and pulled under my chin there. And you just really—I thought you did a physical exam of my face that these two didn't even do. They just kind of looked at me.
Dr. Hall: And that is one thing that we have to remember: Even though we're talking about cosmetic surgery, we're still talking about medicine and surgery. And I talk to our staff about this all the time. If you want to have a successful treatment, that starts with an accurate diagnosis. You know, we can't forget that this is still medicine. And that's very important—the diagnosis is the most important part of it because you can't plan a successful surgery if your diagnosis is wrong to start.
One of the things with that initial consultation that I hear a lot of is patients that are sitting in the consult room and make a comment that they feel very vain. Sitting in a plastic surgeon's office talking about facial surgery. And from a psychology background—you can probably speak to this as well as a psychologist and a patient speak to this as well as anybody, did that ever cross your mind?
Kris: We just got back from lunch, and I said, “I feel vain,” at lunch. [laugh]. You mentioned that there is a bit of—I do still feel that way a little bit. Like, I had it done—you know, did I have it done for the right reasons? But I still come back to I had it done for myself, and if that's vanity so what?
You know, I wanted to be happy. My husband says my confidence is better. He says, “I don't care.” He says, “I don't think you're vain.” He says, “If you were vain, you'd be coloring your hair dark, you'd be having other things fixed, you'd be 100 pounds.” You know, stuff like that. He thinks—he looks at vanity as other things. And he says I'm not vain. But you do kind of feel a little vain fixing something. You do. But it's all good in the end. [laugh].
Dr. Hall: The concept of vanity, especially in our industry, is interesting because the other way that you can look at that, especially with things like this, is self-care. And where do you draw the line between taking care of yourself and feeling good about yourself and something that is—you know, I kind of consider vanity to be a little bit of a pathological mindset. Where is that line?
Kris: This has actually increased my self-care. I have a result that I want to keep. So, my skincare has gotten better, things like that. I'm back to the gym after having been off from Covid—I quit the gym for a while just for social distancing—I'm back there. I want to be healthy. I want to eat well.
I had some relatives who did not take care of themselves and they died younger than they should have. I don't want to be that person. So, that's really all—it all kind of started because I was getting ready to turn 50, and so that's when it all kind of started. 50 to me was, “Oh, my gosh, I'm middle age now.” You know? “I got to do something,” and, “I don't want to be gone in my 70s.”
I want to be around as long as I can. So, there is some self-care that does come with this. I think you take better care of yourself after you've had the surgery than before I did.
Dr. Hall: I think that is true for most cosmetic surgery procedures is that once you've taken that step, you pay more attention to thing. You pay more attention to do you really want the Oreo, or do you need to kind of you know—
Dr. Hall: —you need to take a break.
Kris: Definitely, definitely. [laugh].
Dr. Hall: So, I think that's very helpful for people who are on the front end of the decision-making process that it is—self-care is important, and you know, this is a part of it.
Kris: And it's hard. Self-care is hard these days. Most people are work. They've got children. They've got, you know, jobs. We're on 24/7, we have the internet, we have our phones, you have a computer with you 24 hours a day when you have your phone in your hand. There's no off.
So, you've got to make that time for self-care. I really think it's very important. Turn the phone off, turn the computer off, get to the gym, even if it's for 30 minutes. I only go 30 minutes, get on the elliptical. And then I lift weights a couple days. I go home. It's 30 minutes; I'm not there for hours and hours.
I just got to get some cardio in and stuff. But it has made it… it's made it more important to me, it's more important, that time off. I don't take my phone into the gym. I don't sit there and watch it. I just get away from it.
And I really encourage people, take that, take an hour for yourself every day, get to the gym, or cook a meal you want to cook, or stand outside and look at the nature, or get out with your kids and run around with them, read a book, whatever, it's so important. We got to turn everything off.
Dr. Hall: And that's very hard to do in the twenty-four-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week connected, just, like, that time off, that's something that I struggle with. My wife and I talk about this all the time that being able to put the phone down—
Kris: It's hard.
Dr. Hall: —is hard. It's very hard. Any tips?
Kris: I just really, I try not to have my phone near me if I'm—if I'm watching TV—I did this for a while; I'm bad again—I used to try leave the phone in the other room. I'm back to where the phone is next to me now. But just try to leave the phone in another room or keep the lid on your computer shut and block out an hour. Talk to your spouse or your partner or your kids, and just, “How was your day?” And cook a meal together.
My husband—I love to cook meals with my husband. That's so much fun. We need to do that more. Just try to find something you enjoy. I crochet. It's my passion. If I crochet, obviously I can't have a phone in my hand. So, I found a hobby that [laugh] takes it away from me, anyway.
Dr. Hall: Forced solitude from the telephone.
Kris: Yeah. Or just, you know, some people say just turn it off for an hour a day and do something different for an hour. You'd be amazed, that our becomes two hours and then becomes three then becomes four. Over time not necessarily four in a row. [laugh]. Maybe four little hours sections.
Dr. Hall: Now, you go to the gym without your pho—do you feel naked? Do you feel like you're leaving forgetting something?
Kris: No I don't.
Dr. Hall: You don't?
Kris: No. I'm watching the TV. I belong to a fitness center that has TVs, and so I just watched TV. And I don't have TV at home. We just stream everything. So, it's my chance to catch up on the news. So, I watch the news when I'm there. Or HGTV, of course.
Dr. Hall: Okay. I was going to say I'm sorry, if you have to catch up on the news. That would make working out even worse. [laugh].
Dr. Hall: You have to watch the news. So, getting rid of your cell phone, at least a little bit, is very healthy, but also very difficult.
Kris: It's very difficult.
Dr. Hall: I try and put it down to go outside, and I find myself looking—like feeling in my pocket and saying, “Oh, my phone's—what if somebody needs me?” And you know, it's a hard thing to do.
Kris: I'm back to where it's in my palm all the time. So, I've got to get back to it again. I am not the pot calling [laugh] the kettle black. I can be one of the worst people at times. Yes.
Dr. Hall: Yeah, it can be challenging. One of the things I did want to talk to you about is—along the same lines of the vanity question—is people who are outside of medicine, that this is a foray into a different world for them, really can have a difficult time justifying having an elective cosmetic procedure that's just for them and undergoing what is a lengthy anesthetic. I mean it' you're asleep for—your surgery was five hours?
Kris: Five hours.
Dr. Hall: Yeah. It is a long time to be under anesthesia, and I hear patients every week say is this really smart? Is it safe? It's elective surgery and it's going to be this long. And did you have any feelings like that? Or was it was your time in medicine, kind of allay those fears?
Kris: Yeah, kind of because I worked on surgery units. When I was unit secretary, I worked on surgery units. I wasn't worried about the anesthesia. I've had carpal tunnel, which carpal tunnel is a very quick surgery, but I've had carpal tunnel surgeries before. I really wasn't worried about the anesthesia at all. It was not a concern.
The longer you're under, of course, you'll be under the influence more when you get home, so you just have to keep that in mind.
Dr. Hall: Yeah.
Kris: So it took me a while. It took me until—my surgery was on a Monday and it took me until Tuesday afternoon. It took a good 24 hours for me to feel better. So.
Dr. Hall: Yeah, it does. Those longer procedures you know getting the anesthetic drugs out of your system, you feel kind of… uh, dumb, for lack of a better term.
Kris: I don't remember the drive home. It was an hour. You know, I don't remember it. So. [laugh].
Dr. Hall: Yeah. You wake up—and we do things here like that by design so that you the last thing that you remember is us talking and holding, and then the next thing you know, you're asleep at home. You wake up in your own bed.
Kris: Well, and I'm one of those I have a harder time coming out of anesthesia, too I think it took your team about an hour to get me out, which was a little longer than they thought it would take them. So, I always—takes me a little bit longer anyway. So, knowing that, I guess I should have been concerned, but I wasn't at all.
Dr. Hall: Yeah. That's a good thing. Good thing. Well, I want to shift gears a little bit and talk about recovery—
Dr. Hall: —and talk about your experience after surgery, specifically, and one of the first questions that you asked that most patients who are looking at facelift surgery ask is, “When am I going to be presentable again?” And I tell everybody, about two weeks. What was your experience?
Kris: That is probably about right. It was about two weeks. My surgery was on October 5th, and I did early voting a couple weeks later. I went out, I still had some bruising on my neck. I still had a little bit on the lower jaw because, of course your blood is gravity.
I put makeup on my face, I did my hair, and I took my picture and I stuck it on Instagram, said, “I early voted today.” And you could not tell. Could not tell. My hair is longer, it is shoulder length, so that did help hide a little bit of the bruising that was still on the neck, but I felt good enough to go out. I felt really good. My recovery was—the recovery from a facelift, even if it's the big daddy of surgeries, is easier for me than the recovery of my tummy tuck.
Dr. Hall: And I find that, in my patients who've—we've done both operations on to be true. The tummy tuck is a harder recovery because of the muscle repair—
Dr. Hall: —and you don't realize how much you use your core until it hurts to use it.
Kris: Yep, yep. No idea. [laugh].
Dr. Hall: And facelift surgery, most of the recovery really is cosmetic.
Kris: Yeah. There was no pain. You gave me pain pills; I didn't take one. I—was Ibuprofen. It's all I took. I didn't even need anything strong at all for that.
Dr. Hall: Yeah. And that's very reflective of most people's experience, is that swelling, bruising, is—that's your recovery is getting over that part of it.
Kris: Yes. Yes. I think that's the hardest part of the facelift in recovery is the waiting to see your results. That's the hardest part.
Dr. Hall: Mm-hm. Yeah. Because you're excited—
Dr. Hall: —but then—you know, kind of jokingly tell people, you kind of have to get through the pumpkin head phase, which is the first week for most people.
Kris: Yeah. I looked pretty [laugh] swollen the first week. Yeah.
Dr. Hall: And you can see for—just, you know, if you're other people out there listening to this, you chronicle this on your blog in great detail.
Kris: Yeah, every time you took pictures, I put them up there and said, “This is where I'm at.” And then I did some pictures even in between my visits to see you. And I just wanted people to see what it's like to have one, and maybe someone would say, “Hey, I really want to have this done. And it's really not as bad as I thought.” And maybe I can encourage someone to do something for them that they really want to do.
Dr. Hall: Yeah, your blog—and we'll point people to your blog in the [show notes 00:28:19]—is really a great resource because you took a lot of pictures even in between—I was going through your blog last couple of days—in between surgeries—or in-between visits. You were taking interim follow-ups and posting, you know, day three, day eleven, that were chronicling your recovery, and you can see very clearly when you—and you even say it in there. You said, “He told me it would be two weeks and here it is two weeks, and I finally feel like I'm able to go outside.”
Kris: Yeah. And when your doctor says it will be a year before you will see the final result of your facelift, he is not lying. It took a year I actually think I may have—let's see, I saw you after a year, so that was October. It's… my—I think my face has even gone just a little bit slimmer. Just a smidge, maybe. I feel my jaw line's a little more defined than since I saw you in October. I'm not for sure but maybe just a little bit.
Dr. Hall: It looks great. And your photos—by the time this gets aired, your photos will be on the website so everybody can check it out and they can see it on your blog. To be fair, though, and you talk about this on your blog, and we just talked about it here is your skincare got taken up a notch in that year.
Dr. Hall: And you can really see, that is another thing that really helps with facelift results is taking care of your skin because that is the first thing that people see.
Kris: Well, I actually started using more medical-grade skincare before as a prep, for about a year before I had the surgery done. And I think that helped. My skin was much better. And then I've continued it since, and I will not go back. There's great things on the market and I could use them.
I'm afraid to [laugh] this point because I have a great skincare that works for me and I have found ways to make it stretch a little bit, so it's not quite so pricey, but my face is worth it. So, it's the one thing everyone sees, so why would I not spend the money on my face?
Dr. Hall: That's a great point is that if you've gotten to this point, skincare is super important. I do have to know because I know people are going to ask, what are the tricks to s—because some of these skincare, you don't need many. I did a show on aging; we talked about the skincare, recommended skincare regimen, which is only three products. If you're listening, go back and listen to that. But they're one of them in particular is pretty pricey, so how do you—what's the trick to stretch it?
Kris: Well, most products will tell you to use it morning and night. And I have two different products and I use one in the morning and one at night, which stretches it a little bit. And sometimes at night, I just used a very, very nice inexpensive moisturizer. I don't always do the morning and night because I don't feel that my skin at this point needs it. And if I get a little older and I see some more fine lines coming out I might, but for me, I don't use the morning and night routine.
So, my bottle that's supposed to last three months lasts me six.
Dr. Hall: Okay.
Kris: So, for me, it works.
Dr. Hall: Mm-hm.
Kris: For me, it works. And then there's one product I have and it has, like, steps to do it, you know, you have this and this and this. Well, I was told to combine all of them together and put it all at one time. So, you don't need two pumps. You feel like you have enough to cover your whole skin.
So, I've learned to combine few things. Sometimes I'll put my moisturizer and my sunscreen in the same bit and I get more on my face, so—and sunscreen, very important. Very important. I was not a sunscreen user until a couple years ago.
Dr. Hall: Sunscreen is vitally important.
Dr. Hall: Now, not going to treat anything, but it's going to keep you from aging as rapidly.
Kris: My skin is better. It's not as blotchy.
Dr. Hall: Yeah. Yeah. And it also cuts down on what we have to do during the winter to clean up all the blotchy that you collect over the summer. The other thing that we talk about other than just recovery time itself, is the emotional rollercoaster that patients go through after any plastic surgery, but especially after facial surgery, it is—you can double down on the emotional rollercoaster ride that you go on. Did you experience that?
Kris: A little bit. A little bit. Of course, the bruising took a lot longer because of the gravity. The bruising in my neck. I had that for a good six to eight weeks where that one spot that had a little bit more trauma to when you were removing the fat from my neck.
And I was kind of like, oh my gosh, “What did I do to myself?” You know, “Did I really do this?” But the result is so much better. I was just shampooing my hair this morning, and then I was washing my face, and I was washing my neck and I thought, “Wow.” [laugh]. I have these moments where I'm like, my neck is so thin now. It's so much better.
So, I would have those moments where I'd be really down and then I would do something or I'd see myself in a different angle. And, “Oh, wow, this was so worth it.” You know, “Yay.” I look in the mirror now, I do have a little bit of extra skin under my chin that I think it's just I have laxity—we talked about it—
Dr. Hall: Yeah.
Kris: —I have lax skin. So, I do have a little bit below my chin that sometimes I get kind of like oh man, if that just wasn't there. And then I watch a TV show and I see this celebrity and she has the exact same neck I do, and she's never had anything done. And I think, “Okay, I look just like her so it's okay.” You know, you have to see people your own age that have, you know—and you know that it's normal.
And my biggest thing that I told you is I wanted to look like myself when I was done. And you did that for me. I look just refreshed. And you took a little bit of you know, you pulled everything back a little bit, I don't look as angry anymore. It pulled back a little bit the downturned mouth.
And I think that is the biggest thing that I'm so thankful for is I can look at any old picture of myself and compare it to what I see in the mirror and I still look one hundred percent like I did before. I just look better. If that makes sense. I still look like myself and that was so important to me. I didn't want to look—I didn't want people to look at me and go, “Oh, my gosh, what did she have done?” I didn't want that look.
And that's one of the reasons I chose you, actually; that's the number one reason I chose you is all of your befores and afters on your website, I was like these women look just better, but they still look like themselves. And that was so important to me. That was really important.
Dr. Hall: I very much appreciate that. That is the goal of plastic surgery is that you look like you, we just tweak it a little bit.
Kris: But we see a lot of, we see a lot of stuff in social now where people have just gone a little bit too far. And that's okay. If they're happy with it, great. I'm happy that you're happy. I just didn't want that for myself. I wanted to look like me.
Dr. Hall: Yeah. And that's another—to kind of go back to where we're talking about choosing surgeons from a patient standpoint is that surgeons, not to toot our own horns that, you know, we're all artists, but there is an artistic component to aesthetic surgery. And if what I think is pretty and what you think is pretty are different things, or you start looking through the website and you think one of those people looks really good, and then the other ten look kind of weird, you can assume that my artistic eye thinks that's going to look good, otherwise it wouldn't be online, that's where patients have to start scratching their heads, maybe I ought to look somewhere else.
Kris: Well, and you had me bring in those pictures. You said [crosstalk 00:35:49] some old pictures and I did, and you looked at those. And that helped. I'm sure that helps you. And you took a long time to give me the result.
My surgery was a little bit longer than you had thought it was going to be, but it was because when you got in there, there were some extra things you had to do to get that result that you wanted for me. And so I really appreciate that you took about an extra hour, I think it was—
Dr. Hall: Yeah.
Kris: —than you had originally thought but you got in there and said, “Oh, wow, I got to do this to make it be what she wants and what I want for her.” So.
Dr. Hall: Yeah, this is one of those operations—like, every operation in plastic surgery is, you know, we don't want you asleep for a day-and-a-half, but at the same time if we have to take a little bit longer to get what we need done, done, we're going to do that. We're in no hurry. So. But yeah, I think that's what people see.
And unfortunately, Kenny Rogers is the, kind of, poster child for facial surgery that's been taken a little too far. And most patients that have any little hint of being nervous about facial surgery, will invoke his name and say, “I just don't want to do that. Please don't do that.” And that's where I think that the natural result is really what is the hallmark of what I consider to be good plastic surgery, is that if you just look better, and you have to tell somebody that you had something done, that's probably the biggest compliment that anybody can pay me.
Kris: I've had people say, just in the last year or so, people—and like I said, I've been very honest on Instagram, Facebook, I journaled my journey on my blog, and I've been very honest about people, I've had it done. I guess because I didn't want any questions [laugh] in case it didn't look right—
Dr. Hall: Heading them off at the pass.
Kris: Yeah, but I have had so many people say, “Kris, you just look amazing. You just look so refreshed.” And I get people—my son—oldest one—is 28 and he has friends, and he was showing them pictures of his family, and his friends looked at him and said, how old are you? Because he made a comment that we'd been married over 30 years. And he said, “Well, I'm 28.” “How old is your mom, is your dad?” And he said, “Well, they're 53.” “Well, they look like they're in their 40s.”
Because… it did help. [laugh]. The facelift did help; it did make me look, like I said, more refreshed. The lines aren't there. I am doing Botox in my elevens, between my eyebrows, and that has helped I don't look angry anymore.
So, I think that has helped. But that's really that skincare. That's all I'm doing. And I don't know. I like people telling me I look younger than [laugh] I should look for my age.
Dr. Hall: Well, of course.
Kris: That's nice. [laugh].
Dr. Hall: Last question is kind of procedural-related question. What was the hardest part about recovery? What's the—you look back and you say what was the worst part about the recovery process?
Kris: Oh, hated the drains. They only last a day.
Dr. Hall: Yeah.
Kris: I was worried about how they would feel coming out. That was my worst worry. They didn't feel—I didn't feel anything, so if anyone's afraid of the drains, don't be afraid of the drains. It's not as bad as you think it's going to be. And just that wait.
The recovery—recovery, you think of surgery, oh it's a couple of weeks, but a facelift really literally is a year. And that wait to see that final results is hard at times. By nine months, you got a pretty good inkling. But there were still some changes between 9 and 12 months. I mean you can see them in my pictures.
There's just a smidge more tightening and stuff like that. But the home recovery, everything was hunky-dory after about two weeks. It's really not bad at all. And there's no pain; you're not having to worry about taking pain pills—for me. For me, there wasn't a lot of pain.
I encourage anyone, if you want a facelift, go get one. It's, just make sure you have the doctor you trust and have good relationship with. And… but I—[laugh] who knows what I'll have done next. [laugh].
Dr. Hall: [laugh].
Kris: Let's see, my eyelids are a little hooded—no, just kidding. [laugh].
Dr. Hall: So, now I just have to jump in. You looked awesome at—whenever that was—at six weeks when you went voted.
Dr. Hall: It wasn't a year before you look great.
Kris: It was less than two weeks, right.
Dr. Hall: Two weeks. Okay.
Dr. Hall: So, even better. So, two weeks you were out in public and looked great. It's just between that two-week mark and the year, there's all sorts of little fine-tuning things that just continue to improve over time. I just don't want to scare somebody off go, “Oh, man, it's going to be a year.”
Kris: No, no. The year part is just to get that final fine-tuning with the—everything tight and where it should be and stuff. But I would say I had my initial result probably in two months. I think after two months, I looked pretty where I was going to be.
Dr. Hall: Yeah.
Kris: Yeah. All the swelling was pretty much down after two months. So, and then you didn't see me again, until six after two months.
Dr. Hall: Yeah. Yeah, we saw you here for laser, but I think I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off—
Kris: As usual. [laugh].
Dr. Hall: Yeah. As usual. I very much appreciate you being on the show today. But is there anything that we haven't hit on that you wish you would have known two years ago about all this?
Kris: I really don't think so. I think that I did some skincare stuff with you for that first year. I did some lasering and I did the elevens. I had never done Botox before; never tried it, and your injector said, “You know, it would help and you would look a little more refreshed because you look a little angry.” I said, “I know.”
And we talked about that at my laser. And I think in the year while you're recovering, I think you ought to play around with some extra stuff and find some things that maybe help you keep—I think you need to keep what you've spent the money on. And I'm glad I did that. And I don't know if people think about that. So, I think I might have played around a little more was some of the other stuff.
But it was nice that your office members were just really nice and encouraging, and say, “Well, try this.” And they pointed me to some skincare, and they wanted me to have some sunscreens and stuff to try and everything. So, be friends with the staff at your plastic surgeon's office because—especially, you know, the injectors and your skincare specialists because they're worth coming in to talk to while you're recovering.
Dr. Hall: Mm-hm. That's great advice. And one of the things that we have done since you had surgery is made that more of a part of our initial planning is that post-procedure recovery, and really trying to teach you on the front end, how important skincare and little things—
Dr. Hall: —a little Botox here and there, a little bit of skincare, which products, laser treatments, treating pigment, but all of those things, talking about those on the front end because you're a good testament, we kind of hit that as we went along, instead of planning it up front, but the skincare makes such a huge difference—
Kris: It does.
Dr. Hall: —at your one-year mark. And then you have since kind of transitioned into maintenance mode, which is a whole lot less work.
Kris: It's a lot less work. [laugh]. Yeah, and I have to say they're right. Well, for me, the Botox, I don't have to come in every three months; it's staying a little longer, which I had read usually happens once you've been using it while.
Dr. Hall: Yeah.
Kris: So, that's nice. So, I was able to skip my treatment today. I'll see in about a month or so. [laugh]. So.
Dr. Hall: Okay.
Kris: But I've been really just so happy with the whole experience, I would do it again. And I will consider this to get actually, I will. If ten years down the road, you know, I'm not happy, I will do a revision, and I'm not afraid to. And by then my husband's probably going to be, you know, 60 looking like he's 40 still, and I'll have to catch back up to him again. So. [laugh].
Dr. Hall: Kris, any final thoughts?
Kris: Well, it's been interesting sitting here and thinking back because I really didn't prepare for this. I didn't know all the questions you were going to ask me. The most important thing I want your listeners to know is you have your own journey. And whatever your journey is, don't let anyone dissuade you from what you want to do, your journey into self-acceptance. Because that's what this has been about for me is my personal self-acceptance.
I have had my facelift for me, not for anybody else. And I don't care what other people think, but I hope everyone just chooses to do what they want to do that will make them the happiest. That's what I want people to get out of this interview that you've done with me is whatever makes you happiest. And I also want to say a huge thank you for being with me on my journey. I have trusted you the whole time and you have to have a certain trust in me, too, to do the things that I'm supposed to do, you know, wear the wraps or coming from my follow-ups and all those things.
And your staff is fantastic and you listened to me, you gave me the exact result that I wanted which I can look at a picture of myself from 15 years ago, 20 years ago, I look just like myself, just better. And that is exactly what I wanted, and I am so happy. I'm just really, really happy. I was—that's probably one of the things I was most worried about was what am I going to look like one year after I have the surgery done? And I just thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything that you've done for me, and I'm really, really just thrilled with my results.
Dr. Hall: Well, thank you. That really means a lot. And I don't think that there's any honor that a patient can give me in my staff than trusting us with your care. So, thank you for trusting us and allowing us to help you on this journey. It's been really special.
Kris: It really has.
Dr. Hall: Thanks again, Kris.
Kris: Thank you.
Dr. Hall: Thanks for listening to The Trillium Show. You can keep up with the latest on the podcast at jhallmd.com. Be sure to follow us on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts. If you want to connect with us on social media, you can find us at @jhallmd on Instagram and Twitter and @DrHallPlasticSurgery on Facebook. Remember, be the change you wish to see in the world.
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