Lesa is a patient of La Jolla Cosmetic who had breast augmentation at the age of 57. Since then, she returns regularly for treatments and services to maintain a vibrant look that matches her spirit. Lesa takes us through her journey with La Jolla Cosmetic and how she learned to invest in herself.
Lesa discusses why she chose La Jolla Cosmetic and Dr. Lori Saltz for her breast augmentation, what her consultation was like, and why she recommends you “just go for it” if you’re on the fence.
With her daughter’s wedding approaching, she talks about her experience with tunable resurfacing laser (TRL) treatment, which had her looking “less tired” and “ more sparkly” for the big day. She then shares the routine she maintains to keep that healthy, sparkly skin, which includes daily SPF and a monthly facial with our aesthetician, Cameron Vessey.
After learning about her journey, Lesa tells us about two of her dreams that became real and reveals her favorite skincare services and products.
- Dr. Saltz’s podcast about Breast Augmentation
- Read more about Contour TRL Laser
- See TRL before and after photos
- Read more about our medical spa providers
Speaker 1 (00:07):
You’re listening to the La Jolla Cosmetic Podcast.
Monique Ramsey (00:15):
Welcome everyone to the La Jolla Cosmetic Podcast. I’m your hostess Monique Ramsey, and today we have a patient to talk to, someone who has sampled what we do here at La Jolla Cosmetic. And so she’s going to share her journey with all of you, and so welcome to the podcast Lesa.
Thank you Monique, I’m delighted to be here.
Monique Ramsey (00:38):
So who in the practice talked you into doing this for us?
Monique Ramsey (00:45):
Cameron’s our aesthetician. So do you see Cameron for…
I see Cameron once a month for regular facials, and for advice on things I need to be doing to keep my skin looking healthy.
Monique Ramsey (01:00):
She is amazing. So tell us a little bit about yourself.
Well, I’m a San Diego native, and I’m married also to a San Diego native. He’s a wonderful, wonderful husband, I’m terribly in love with him. And I have an incredible daughter, and she’s married to a great, great man, and they live here in San Diego. And I’m retired now, but my career was in financial services for many years. And then after I retired, we do a lot of hiking, a lot of traveling. I play the piano, and I play the cello, and we love college football. And I love reality TV.
Monique Ramsey (01:39):
Oh, so on those notes, who do you follow in college football?
Washington State Cougars.
Monique Ramsey (01:47):
Oh, okay. I’m a USC girl.
Well, there you go. Fellow Pac-12, we’re the scrappy farmers up in the Eastern Washington.
Monique Ramsey (01:56):
The scrappy farmers. Well, you guys make that Cougar Gold cheese.
Monique Ramsey (02:01):
Do they still do it?
A hundred percent.
Monique Ramsey (02:03):
Oh my God, it’s the best cheese ever. And I remember reading about it in Saveur Magazine or something, one of the really foodie magazines.
Yeah. It was in Bon AppÃ©tit too.
Monique Ramsey (02:17):
Yeah. And they were talking about, it’s canned cheese, which sounds crazy, but they developed it for the war, so that it would be preserved. And it’s delicious. So there’s a little hot tip.
That is a hot tip. And it’s well known when you come up to the Palouse… Which my husband and I have season tickets. So we go up to Eastern Washington six or seven times in the fall. We always bring back a bounty of Cougar Gold.
Monique Ramsey (02:43):
Oh, and then reality TV, What’s your fave?
Oh, The Housewives.
Monique Ramsey (02:47):
The Housewives. Yeah, there’s no shortage of drama there. It makes us all feel so much better about ourselves.
Monique Ramsey (02:56):
So your first experience with La Jolla Cosmetic I was checking, it was back in 2017, and you had a breast augmentation, and a lift with Dr. Lori Saltz. So if you can remember what was bothering you, and what made you decide to move forward with surgery?
Well I mean, it wasn’t like I was a young woman looking to be all va-va-voom, just genetics, and life, and nursing a baby, and working out, and exercising, and all that sort of stuff. I was really unhappy, I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror, and I would turn away all the time. And I just really hated living like that, and I hated how it made me feel all the time.
So I had started to think about it. And then one day one of my good friends said, “Hey, do you have to use one of those shoe mirrors to see your chest?” And it was at that point that I was like, “All right, that’s it. I’m going to go do something about it.” So I had heard about the practice from an acquaintance, and I read her bio. And I just felt very comfortable going to see what she had to say.
Monique Ramsey (04:11):
She is amazing. And we actually have, for everybody who’s listening, she has done a couple episodes with us, and we did a breast augmentation episode with her. And I’ve been in this business almost 30 years, and I learned something new. So it’s a really good episode, she’s so knowledgeable.
Monique Ramsey (04:29):
And I think her coming at it from the point of view of a woman, she really helps understand. She’s a mom, breastfed, all the same things.
Well, yeah. And again, I felt kind of weird, sort of like I was being a little too vain or something like that, just because of my age. But then I thought, you know, we’re really active, and we’re all out there doing things all the time. Why shouldn’t I look good? Why shouldn’t I do this? And Ruth, her nurse was incredible. And another thing I really respected was she was just very forthcoming about what would work with my body, my age, my skin type, whatever. So she was, they were both very very fabulous.
Monique Ramsey (05:13):
Would you tell us your age?
Monique Ramsey (05:16):
You’re 61. Okay, so then you had this, let’s see, four years ago. So your mid-fifties when you decided?
You’re better at math than I am, I was a communications major, I don’t do math.
Monique Ramsey (05:28):
Me neither. So as far as sizes, how did you decide how big you wanted to be?
Well, I actually didn’t want to be big at all. I wanted to be on the smaller side, and talking with Ruth and Dr. Saltz they had me go up just a little bit. Because they said, “You probably won’t be happy.” And they were right. And it matches my shape, and my body type, and it doesn’t get in the way of our activities and things. And they were absolutely correct.
Monique Ramsey (06:03):
And are you like a B cup, or C cup, or what?
I’d probably say a heavy C, maybe a light D, heavy C, light D. Which was pretty close to what I was.
Monique Ramsey (06:14):
Yeah. I was wondering what were you prior to kids. So you’re sort of restoring what…
Yes, that’s a good way of putting it.
Monique Ramsey (06:24):
So how would you say your life has changed because of the experience of the surgery?
I guess I would say just more happy with myself. You know, it’s nice to be able to look in the mirror, and put on something and go, “Yeah, I like that.” And not go cower in the corner because you don’t want anybody to see you.
So in that regard, I guess it is good. And it shows that even in your late fifties, early sixties, you can still get better, and be happier.
Monique Ramsey (06:56):
So you had an acquaintance who recommended La Jolla Cosmetic. Did she, or he recommend Dr. Saltz specifically? Or did you sort of read all their bios, and decide who you wanted?
They recommended the practice, and by the time it rolled around that I was seriously thinking about it, I couldn’t remember. So I’d looked online, and I read reviews, and I just gravitated to her, probably because she was a female honestly. It just seemed like a really good fit when I was researching and reading.
Monique Ramsey (07:27):
And what kind of other resources did you rely on prior to having that consultation?
Probably just word of mouth. I mean, I’ve had a lot of friends who’ve had it done. And so they would say, “Oh, this is good, or don’t do this, or do that.” And I was also very concerned about the silicone, versus the saline, and all that information that had been out there. So there was a lot of research I did myself, just on the safety and efficacy of the newer implants, and things like that.
So I read about the procedure online, as much as a layman can learn without freaking yourself out.
Monique Ramsey (08:06):
And then as far as before and after pictures, was that something that you looked online for before and afters?
Sure, yes. I think they had some information in the office as well that was very helpful.
Monique Ramsey (08:20):
Yeah, and that’s something that I don’t think everybody realizes. So when a patient gives consent to have their pictures online, it’s sort of anywhere online, but not everybody feels comfortable with that. But they don’t mind for more educational purposes, that in the office, so when you’re there for consultation, there’s more pictures to see. Because there’s people who are like, “Okay, I’m not going to be everywhere, but I’ll be somewhere so that other patients who are thinking about it can use that to learn.”
Monique Ramsey (08:54):
And I think that’s something that when you’re having that consultation, it’s another good reason to have the consultation. Because you’re going to answer certain questions that you’ve got going in your head, but you also have more visual aids, I guess.
Yes, that’s very helpful.
Monique Ramsey (09:10):
So what advice would you give someone like yourself, who might be on the fence about whether to do something or not?
Well if 2020 taught us anything, it’s life is too short. And if there’s a very legitimate reason not to, then drop it and move on with your life. But if you’re on the fence about it, why not? I mean, life is too short. And I remember they offered various financing, and ways for that if that’s a concern, that makes it available to anybody.
And I just say, do it.
Monique Ramsey (09:47):
Do it, and don’t look back.
And make the decision, and don’t look back, and just go forward, because if I sat there and thought about all the reasons I’d never leave the house. So it’s just kind of like, just do it, and be excited for it, and be patient during the healing process.
And then after that, you’d be so happy you did it. So I would say that to anybody who was on the fence, to just jump in.
Monique Ramsey (10:12):
And one of the things we implemented during COVID was virtual consultations on Zoom, and we have a HIPAA compliant version of Zoom. And so we had to do it, at that time. But what we found was that people really like it. So we do a lot of consultations in person, but Dr. Saltz specifically really likes to get to know her patients, and finds that on Zoom it’s easier for her to get to know you, go over the nuts and bolts, and then if you’re thinking, “Okay, yeah this is something I really want to do.” Then she does an in-person consult, where we’re really examining, and measuring, and try on different sizes. And so that’s kind of nice for people to know that.
Monique Ramsey (10:56):
Or if they’re out of town, or you got little kids at home and it’s hard to get away, that is something that we offer.
That’s wonderful, I would’ve done that. Absolutely. Like you said, I think most people would. I think that falls under the very, very small category of good things that happened because of COVID.
Monique Ramsey (11:15):
Exactly. So since 2017, and your surgery went really well, you’ve visited us in the Med Spa for a few things. So talk to us about what you’ve been doing in the Med Spa.
I was so comfortable, and confident, and impressed with the professionalism on the surgical side, that I was talking to somebody over there and I said, “My daughter’s wedding’s coming up, and I don’t want to have any surgery, but is there something that you guys could do to help make me a little perky for my daughter’s wedding?”
And they suggested the laser. So I met with Lauren, and another thing I really liked about that… I’m not a fancy person, I’m a very outdoorsy person, but I still like things to look good. And Lauren suggested the laser, and she just really listened to what I said. I didn’t want to look a certain way, but I wanted to look this way. And she said, “We can tailor the laser to do that for you.” So that was my first experience over in the Med Spa.
Monique Ramsey (12:20):
And so the laser that you had was called TRL, and that stands for tunable resurfacing laser. And so that’s the one she recommended for you, and we have lots of different lasers, and sometimes they combine the different lasers together in the same treatment. And there’s lots of flexibility there. So if you were to Google the TRL, you’d actually find that it kind of does everything.
Monique Ramsey (12:44):
And so how did you and Lauren make the decision, and what areas did you have treated?
I think it was my entire face, and we just made the decision because you sit there, and you look in the mirror, and if she says, “The fine lines can be mitigated somewhat, and we could make you look a little less tired, and we can make you a little bit more sparkly for your daughter’s wedding, and beyond.” I mean, who wouldn’t do something like that. So it was just discussing with her what I wanted, and how much downtime I could handle, and what the post laser would be like.
Monique Ramsey (13:20):
And how did you find that the post laser experience? Was it harder than you thought, easier than you thought?
No, I would say it was as advertised. A friend came over, and said, “Good God, what have you done?” Because you’re so red the first couple of days. But I’m a very good patient, I got up every two hours, or did what they said to do with all the things. And I think if people…yes, the first 48 hours are a little tough, but you know that going in.
Monique Ramsey (13:51):
Yeah. Well, and a TRL from what I understand, is one of the more heavy duty lasers, but it’s going to get it all done. If you want a one and done maybe that’s your thing. And we have lighter lasers that are not going to be as heavy duty in terms of your postop care, but you might have to do a session, and then wait a few months to have another one, and have another one, kind of to get to the same point.
Yeah. And you can go home and do whatever you want. So you don’t have to be in a hospital, or an outpatient, or anything like that. So it’s nothing terribly serious.
Monique Ramsey (14:26):
And so do you remember when you could put makeup on, and feel like you weren’t looking too crazy?
I think I did it about… I want to say about six months before the wedding. I know you have to be super careful the first few months, huge hats, and all that sort of stuff. As far as feeling comfortable going out to a restaurant or something probably a month.
Monique Ramsey (14:52):
The smartest thing I think in looking at your journey, is that when you have the laser, that you’re not stopping there, that you’ve been maintaining your skin by coming in and seeing Cameron and doing skincare. That’s really critical. And it’s sort of like, I think Cameron’s analogy is, if you go get your teeth cleaned and whitened, and then you never were to clean your teeth for another year until you see the dentist again. We would think that’s crazy.
Monique Ramsey (15:19):
And so skin care’s like that. It’s kind of, 80% of it’s the at home part, and then 20% is coming in and seeing us. So you said you come in monthly, and you see Cameron. So does she kind of switch it up? Do you have the same facial every time? Or does she have you try different things to treat different skin conditions?
As I recall, it’s generally the same kind, but if I come in and I’m a little more dehydrated or something, she might do one of the other ones. I don’t know all the technical terms. I trust her so much that I just say, “Okay, what does it need?” Kind of a thing.
Monique Ramsey (15:57):
And then as far as your at home care, do you have any favorite products that you like?
I like all of them a lot. The SkinMedica line, or things that Cameron has suggested, but particularly I like the vitamin C and E complex, and particularly like the HA5.
Monique Ramsey (16:15):
HA5 is amazing.
I love that.
Monique Ramsey (16:18):
Yeah, their products are so good. And you know they started right here in San Diego. So you’re a San Diego native, I’m a San Diego native, SkinMedica is a San Diego native. And so yeah, they started right here, and then Allergan bought them. But they are truly so rooted in science, which if you’re going to spend money, you can go the department store and spend a whole lot of money, it’s not cheaper to get something. But then does it really work?
Monique Ramsey (16:45):
And so we’d only bring in products that we can see a demonstrable difference, and that they work because we don’t want you to go home with stuff you don’t need, or stuff that isn’t going to help you. In terms of your now sun protection after the laser… So what do you do for sunscreen?
Oh, I put it on every day.
Monique Ramsey (17:10):
Your skin looks great.
Well I do, we’re out doors a lot. I mean, I worry a little bit about that sometimes, because sometimes we’ll be on a big hike or something. For example, last year we hiked up the back of Half Dome.
Monique Ramsey (17:23):
Oh my gosh.
Well then I realized, I was like, “Holy cow, I probably could use some sunscreen right now.” But couldn’t exactly just whip it out right then and there.
But no, I try to be very good about that. There’s a product that they sell there. It’s Elta, I think.
Monique Ramsey (17:42):
Yeah, that’s what I like to use.
Monique Ramsey (17:43):
That’s really good.
Monique Ramsey (17:46):
Yeah. And they have a non tinted version, and a tinted version. And I’ve tried them both, and they’re both really nice. But I think that’s the biggest thing, is not forgetting to keep at it with the sunscreen.
I’m pretty good about it, but you know, this wasn’t until later in life. When I was back in college and whatever, we just baked. We didn’t care, and we would go down Mission Beach and just lay there for hours, and hours, and hours.
Monique Ramsey (18:14):
Baby oil, Coppertone SPF 2.
Exactly, Hawaiian Tropic. I kind of started late as far as that goes, and I regret it, but I’m also easy on my myself because I know we didn’t know as much then as we know now. But now I’m religious about it.
Well, and it goes back to the laser, and these other things, and the facials, I use the products because it’s an investment. It is not inexpensive, so I want to keep that investment going as long as I can. But I’m also realistic, I’m 61, life goes on. I may need another laser soon, and if that’s the case I will. But I’ll keep the products going to keep that investment the longest that I can.
Monique Ramsey (19:04):
Right. Well, that’s your financial background kicking in right there, right?
Monique Ramsey (19:10):
If I’m going to spend the money, I want to make sure I can make it work as long as possible.
Monique Ramsey (19:17):
That’s the way to do it.
With superior products.
Monique Ramsey (19:21):
That’s the key. So we give our listeners $25 off any service of $50 or more, or any product of $50 or more when they subscribe to our podcast. So one of our favorite questions to ask our guests is, if you were going to use that $25 on anything, what would it be?
Well now, does that include… What is that?
Monique Ramsey (19:42):
Does that include services, products, anything?
Monique Ramsey (19:46):
I don’t know. You have so many good things. To switch gears here a little bit. I mean, I’ve also had the Botox, and the Juvederm stuff, so I’d say towards that. Because that’s helpful too.
Monique Ramsey (20:01):
Okay. So, I didn’t realize that. So on the Botox, and the Juvederm, where did they use the Juvederm?
Monique Ramsey (20:12):
On your lips, okay. And then the Botox like upper face.
Just that usual, yeah.
Monique Ramsey (20:18):
Yeah. The Juvederm for me lasts like a year, the Botox it lasts three months. That’s it, it’s done.
Monique Ramsey (20:27):
Yeah, and you’re back in for another round. And that’s something that I think all of us, going back to COVID, when none of us could get our treatments, it was like, “Oh no, the lines are back.” We were so happy when the Med Spa was back open.
Yeah. Again, not looking for miracles, but just the little perk me ups that help get you through the day.
Monique Ramsey (20:53):
Exactly. So our brand promise is where dreams become real. And so we like to ask our guests to tell us about a dream of theirs that became real.
A dream of mine that became real… Marrying my husband.
Monique Ramsey (21:11):
And so how did you guys meet?
I was working, and he was working, and we just started talking, and that was it from that day.
Monique Ramsey (21:18):
Oh, from that day, wow. And how long have you guys been married?
Well not long enough, but 11 years I think now. 11 years.
Monique Ramsey (21:31):
Yeah. And if I can say one more dream, it’s having my daughter and son-in-law in town.
Monique Ramsey (21:38):
Oh, that’s nice.
She’s my only child, and she and I have been very close from the start. And she’s from my first marriage, and I don’t know she’s just wonderful. And again, my husband and my daughter have been so supportive of everything that I have done with the Med Spa, and the Cosmetic Surgery Center.
Monique Ramsey (21:59):
I mean, ultimately it’s your own decision, you do it for you. But knowing that your support team, and the people around you are on your side, I think has got to be a really important part of that process.
Well, yes. And I think it helps you to just feel better about yourself, because in my situation they’re all saying, “We love you the way you are, but if you want to do it we support you a hundred percent.” I’m very fortunate that way, very fortunate.
Monique Ramsey (22:31):
And going back to when you decided to have the breast surgery, did your husband come along with you on the appointment? Was he interested?
Absolutely. Yeah, he wanted to be as supportive… If he felt it was super dangerous, he might say, “No, I would prefer that you didn’t.” But he was part of it too. He and Ruth hit it off from the moment they started talking.
Monique Ramsey (22:55):
And that’s something else that people might not realize, is you don’t have to do your consultation by yourself. So I think we really encourage for people to bring in a significant other, because they are part of your team, especially during recovery.
Monique Ramsey (23:09):
And so you want to make sure that your own questions are answered, and their questions are answered, and that they feel that same sense of trust in the organization, in the physician.
Absolutely, and he did. I remember driving home, he said, “I feel really good about that office, about the surgeon, about the practice. This is going to be really good for you.” So it’s good that he was there.
Monique Ramsey (23:32):
Yeah. Well, thanks for being on our podcast Lesa, you’re our very first podcast, patient guest.
Monique Ramsey (23:41):
Yes you are, you are. We have a long list of topics, and talk to all the doctors, and so we’ve had this little list of patients who said, “Yeah, I’ll do it.” And I think it’s wonderful that you have agreed to come on, and share your story, and share your experience, and kind of the why behind it all. Because it does help other patients to understand… They’re not alone, and other people like me did the same thing.
Well, yeah. And again, I’m just an ordinary run of the mill person, who just wanted to feel a little bit better about myself. And I wouldn’t have done the podcast if I didn’t feel so strongly that both sides of the practice have been just really above and beyond, really wonderful.
Monique Ramsey (24:29):
Oh, that’s nice. And I love hearing that. We want to make that commitment to you, to knock your socks off every time you come in.
You’re stuck with me for a few more years.
Monique Ramsey (24:40):
Oh, good. Wonderful. So everybody who is listening, if you have any questions, look in the show notes because we’ll have a bunch of links in there, about how to set up a consult, about the different procedures we talked about, reviews, all that kind of good stuff.
Monique Ramsey (24:55):
So thank you again Lesa, and we will see you next time you’re in the office. Thanks for coming on.
Thank you so much.
Speaker 1 (25:10):
Take a screenshot of this podcast episode with your phone, and show it at your consultation or appointment, or mention the promo code PODCAST to receive $25 off any service or product of $50 or more at La Jolla Cosmetic.
Speaker 1 (25:24):
La Jolla Cosmetic is located just off the I-5 San Diego Freeway, in the XIMED building, on the Scripps Memorial Hospital campus. To learn more go to ljcsc.com, or follow the team on Instagram at LJCSC.
Speaker 1 (25:40):
The La Jolla Cosmetic Podcast is a production of The Axis.