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Yes Medspa and Cosmetic Surgery Centre

Facial Surgery Patient Story

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Patient Perspectives By Barbara Johnston

Karyl Mills is a dynamic and outgoing 53-year-old woman who loves her work as a teacher of children who are deaf and hard of hearing. She also breeds Labrador retrievers and enjoys traveling and competing in Field Trial, a specialized sport that simulates hunting for dogs. In June 2001, Karyl Mills had a facelift performed by Dr. Mosher. We recently sat down to talk to her about her experience.*

What procedures did you have done?

I had a full facelift as well as laser treatment under the eyes and collagen.

What made you decide to have a facelift?

I was at a stage in my life where I'd been through a lot of trauma and a lot of heartache. In the past three years, a person very close to me had passed away and I had survived a scare with breast cancer and serious breast surgery. Stress takes its toll on you physically and can show on your face. I was finding that the difference between what I thought I looked like and what I really looked like was incongruous. I would look in the mirror and would be surprised. I would think: "That's not the person that I think should be looking back at me." I was getting uncomfortable with that lack of a match between what I thought I looked like and what I really looked like. The other motivation — and it's kind of funny — was that people were starting to treat me like a cute little old lady, and I really hated it! People would do something and I would think, "That's exactly how people would treat my mother!" I didn't want that. I want to look like a woman who's aging gracefully. The facelift was something that I wanted to do for myself. I did it for self-care. I think it's important for self-esteem, confidence, and personal comfort level to do things to take care of yourself.

Why did you choose Dr. Mosher as your plastic surgeon?

When I was considering the possibility of getting a facelift, I started to do a great deal of research and talked to a number of people, including plastic surgeons. I have an acquaintance in the United States who is a plastic surgeon, and he told me what I should be looking for in a plastic surgeon, which was vital information. I started keeping my eyes and ears open. I heard Dr. Mosher's ad on the radio about one of his upcoming information seminars on plastic surgery, and I thought that this was a chance to assess him without getting too committed. At the seminar, I was really impressed with the fact that Dr. Mosher seemed to care as much about the medical side of the procedure as the cosmetic side. He talked a lot about the safety issues and addressed all the things that I was concerned about. He was very forthright and didn't make any crazy promises. It was the feeling of self-assurance and quiet confidence that he gave that made me feel comfortable. I felt very good about him from that seminar so I went to have a private consultation, and he advised me on what to have done and that just solidified my confidence in him. He approaches plastic surgery as a partnership between doctor and patient, and together you work out the most reasonable and realistic way to proceed. I never felt any pressure from him, and this was a really important thing for me.

What were people's reactions when you told them you were going to have this done?

I didn't tell very many people. My really close friends thought that it was a great idea and that I had tremendous nerve to go ahead and do this. My younger sisters really wanted me to do it because they're also considering plastic surgery and they wanted me to be their crash test dummy! (laughs)

Where was the surgery performed?

At the Valley Surgery Center in Surrey, BC. The entire facility exuded a feeling of competence. It's also a lovely spa-like private facility where they've given attention to the soothing nature of the colours, the lovely furniture, even the pretty colour of the gown. All those things made it feel like a pleasant experience from start to finish, although I have to tell you I felt like hell when I woke up! (laughs)

How long was the surgery?

The surgery was 6 1/2 hours long and I had a general anesthetic. Dr. Mosher is so careful and the surgery is so meticulous that it's very time consuming.

Did you go home the same day?

Yes, it's day surgery. After the surgery, I had a few hours of recovery time and then went back home. The staff is there just for you. The facility is yours for the day. The surgeon is yours, the anesthetist is yours, the technician is yours, the recovery nurse is yours. (I was a little too groggy to appreciate that!) You have to be accompanied to go home, and you have to have someone there to care for you for the first 24 hours following surgery. You have to sleep sitting up for the first few days, which I thought would be tough, but it wasn't a problem at all.

Did you experience any pain?

It was uncomfortable more than painful. There was the discomfort of lots of swelling, which I could control with cold compresses. When I'd try to eat, it would swell again and it was uncomfortable. I'd be able to eat about three bites and then everything became so swollen, it was too uncomfortable to eat more. Also, I felt tightness around my throat for a few months afterwards.

I was impressed with the fact that Dr. Mosher seemed to care as much about the medical side of the procedure as the cosmetic side. He was very forthright and didn't make any crazy promises. It was the feeling of self-assurance and quiet confidence that he gave that made me feel comfortable.

How long did the recovery take?

It was an amazingly quick recovery. Within five days the discomfort started to abate and I was able to spend more and more time sitting up and eating. It was surprisingly unpainful.

How long after the surgery before you felt and looked great?

I stayed home for a week and then went back to work still looking a little bruised, but I covered the bruising up with a bit of makeup and it was nothing that anybody commented on. From the time I had the surgery until I could really hold my head up high was about three weeks. It was amazing to me. I expected months and months of discomfort.

What were people's reactions after the surgery?

It was a subtle thing and a lot of people didn't notice. People would ask me: "Did you change your hair? Did you lose weight?" I enjoyed that feeling of knowing something others didn't. I didn't advertise it. Of my close friends, everyone was very pleased and thought I looked great - and I felt like I looked great. My sisters were also pleased with the results and now they're considering plastic surgery down the line.

How much did it cost?

The facelift, laser, and collagen was about $11,000. At first I thought that was atrociously expensive, but when I worked it out over the amount of time Dr. Mosher spent with me prior to the surgery, the number of office visits with him afterward, the private surgical facility, and the staff on the day of surgery, I figure that it isn't all that expensive if you look at it as an hourly rate. In total I had at least seven visits with Dr. Mosher. He was very open to questions and to explaining all aspects of the procedure. You pay for the expertise and the care. It's not inexpensive, but I don't think it's out of line.

Would you consider more procedures?

Yes I would, but not to chase after any kind of a dream — just to age gracefully. I've actually been back a couple of times to talk about future maintenance. I'm thinking of having my eyes done a little bit down the road. I want to age gracefully. I don't want to look 25, but I do want to look like a really good 53, like I really take care of myself. I want to look lovely, gracious, calm — not pulled tight. I'm not chasing after an impossible dream of youth. I would just like to be able to look calm and comfortable with myself.

How has the plastic surgery affected you?

It's not even a tangible thing. I don't know how you put your finger on it, but the feeling after the plastic surgery was "Yes! This is who I am!" I don't think I came out of it a great beauty or looking any differently than I thought I looked. It was really a confirmation of "Yes, yes, this is what I look like. I'm back in the game!" It's a tremendous confidence builder because I think that one of things that happens as you age is you lose that match between your internal view of yourself and your external view. It can erode your confidence, even if you're a massively confident person. So one of the things plastic surgery can give back to you is a level of confidence. I don't want to give the impression that if you've never had any confidence that plastic surgery will give it to you. But when you start to feel uncomfortable with people because you know the face they're looking at isn't the face you'd like to be presenting, then plastic surgery can get that match back.

*Keep in mind that each patient is unique and your results may vary individually.

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YES Medspa and Cosmetic Surgery Centre: Dr. Mathew Mosher
301-8837 201 Street
Langley, BC V2Y 0C8
(604) 888-9378
Fax: (604) 888-9301
Cosmetic Surgery Office Hours: Monday–Friday: 8:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Medspa Office Hours: Monday 8:30 a.m.–7 p.m., Tuesday–Friday 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.


Dr. is one of the most accomplished plastic surgeons in the Vancouver area, performing procedures such as liposuction, BOTOX COSMETIC® treatments, tummy tuck surgery, breast augmentation, and face lift using innovative techniques which minimize incisions, downtime, and discomfort. At his office in Langley, he serves patients from Burnaby, Surrey, Abbotsford, Richmond, White Rock and surrounding areas.
BOTOX COSMETIC® and VOLUMA® are registered trademarks of Allergan Inc. SOFT LIFT™ is a trademark of Allergan Inc. JUVÉDERM® is a registered trademark of Allergan Holdings France SAS.

Dr. Mathew Mosher