Over a decade after Eric’s first visit Dr. Johan Brahme to address his aging eyes, he returned to LJC to address his “turkey neck.”
Back then, Eric discovered Dr. Brahme while looking to get rid of the bags under his eyes. When Dr. Brahme suggested addressing all of his concerns at once by combining his eyelid surgery with male breast reduction and liposuction to his flanks, he was all for it.
Eric was so happy with his first experience at LJC that he recently came back to Dr. Brahme to address his newest aging complaint: his “turkey neck.” Hear how he feels about his results after a neck lift with fat transfer to the face.
- Meet Eric’s surgeon, Dr. Johan Brahme
- Learn more about neck lift at LJC
- Learn more about blepharoplasty at LJC
- Learn more about male breast reduction at LJC
See Eric’s before and after photos:
Speaker 3 (00:07):
You are 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. Today I have a very special guest and it’s one of our patients. He’s a patient of Dr. Brahme’s, and his name is Eric, and he has a story that goes back over 10 years. And so we’re going to explore that a little bit today and we’re so thankful that you, Eric, are willing to share with the audience who might be thinking about doing something and not really sure what. So welcome, Eric.
Monique Ramsey (00:45):
Well, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Well, I’m retired and I love running and I love taking care of myself as best I can, and that’s what brought me to Dr. Brahme about 12 years ago for the first time.
Monique Ramsey (01:00):
Okay. So take us back, if you will, to that first experience with La Jolla Cosmetic. What was bothering you and can you describe what it felt like and why you wanted to make a change?
What I really was concerned with about 12 years ago were the bags under my eyes and I knew that there was a procedure that existed for it, so I poked around on the internet a little bit and read a lot about not only the options for a doctor, but also about what to expect in terms of recovery. And initially I was turned off by the amount of downtime that I knew would have to happen, but ultimately the more I read, the more I liked what I read and decided to just go for it. And then went about choosing a provider and read a lot of reviews and read a lot of research and ultimately landed on Dr. Brahme. And I’m glad I did because I’m very pleased to this day with what he did. He didn’t overdo it, but he did enough and then some, I think to make me feel very happy with the outcome.
Monique Ramsey (02:08):
I think that’s such a concern for any patient, but I think especially men because nobody wants to feel like something extreme has happened. You want to look like you just like maybe 10 years ago or eight years ago or 15 years ago, whatever it is. But you touch on a really important point and that is a fear that a lot of people have going down this road. So did you happen to talk to other surgeons besides Dr. Brahme?
I didn’t talk to others. I read a lot about others though, but ultimately I just liked what I was reading about Dr. Brahme and conveniently located and all good reviews and I had the initial consultation with him and felt even better when I left that first consultation that it was going to go well and it did.
Monique Ramsey (02:59):
Yeah. And so in your research, what kinds of things besides reading reviews were factors as you did your homework?
I don’t recall by the way reading any negative reviews about any of the local surgeons. More I was reading about the overall process being very smooth and efficient here at La Jolla and also the downtime being what they said it would be and the healing time being what they said it would be. People were comfortable that they had been given the straight story upfront and not misled in any way. So I really felt good about that.
Monique Ramsey (03:38):
Yeah, I think that’s another good point because it doesn’t do anybody any good to sugarcoat anything.
Monique Ramsey (03:46):
If we tell you five days it should be five days for the average people or it’s 10 days or whatever it is, because I think you really want to know, okay, when can I start going back to work or going to if I’ve got a party coming up or for you also, I’m assuming if you’re a runner then that was another factor. Was that something that sort of when you first read about downtime that you were
Monique Ramsey (04:10):
Absolutely. I didn’t want it to look like I had work done and I didn’t want to be down more than I needed to be. I was very happy with all of that.
Monique Ramsey (04:21):
The first surgery was like you said about 12 years ago?
Monique Ramsey (04:26):
It was your eyes and anything else?
I had the boobs and a little bit of liposuction around the middle taken care of. I figured while I was in there,
Monique Ramsey (04:38):
Get all of it.
I don’t recall if I went in asking for that or if it was suggested, I must’ve asked for it, I don’t think out of the blue. He’d have looked at my eyes and said, and by the way, we should also, I think I wanted to explore that. And he said, yeah, that’s something I can help with and we won’t overdo it, but we’ll do enough that you’ll like the outcome. And I did a little bit of a tiny bit of breast reduction and I think he called it the flanks that he took in a little bit.
Monique Ramsey (05:05):
The flanks? Yeah, we’ve all got that. It’s that the love handles the flanks and women, men, all of us, and it’s like with age things shift and they seem to shift into places we don’t want them and I think that’s something that over time, and I’m glad it’s sort of gained in popularity of doing lipo and then sometimes doing a fat transfer. What do we do with this fat? Sometimes you want to get rid of it, but sometimes it’s like, well, could we move it somewhere else that’s going to give me that more youthful look? So that first surgery 12 years ago, then let’s fast forward to more recently. Now you told me before we started the show that your four months post-op, which I can’t believe, it looks like you’ve had nothing done, which is probably the ultimate compliment, right? You just look young.
Nobody has noticed that I had this last surgery done. No one has noticed unless it’s one of the few people I told and then they obviously know I did it so they can notice it. But otherwise, no one has said anything to indicate they’ve noticed a change. But I absolutely have noticed the change. I went to Dr. Brai again several months ago because I was feeling a Turkey neck coming in and I could grab a good bunch of skin and once I could do that and see it in the mirror, I couldn’t unsee it. So I went to him knowing that if it made sense to do something, he would do it. And if it didn’t, he’d say no or no, not yet. But in fact when he looked at it, he said, that’s absolutely something we can do and better to do it now than 10 years from now when it’s even more noticeable. So
Monique Ramsey (06:41):
I already obviously as I’ve said, believed in and liked his work. So I was immediately signed up once he said he could do something about it and he suggested and while we’re at it, let’s do a little fat transfer into the face and tighten up the skin there a little bit. I said, sounds good to me while we’re down there anyway, let’s do it. I’m very happy with the outcome.
Monique Ramsey (07:07):
You’re touching on two critical areas that patients are concerned about and I think men especially because it’s the two places you notice age the quickest, it’s the eyes which you did and then the neck, the neck and that fullness below the jawline and how to kind of deal with that. And a lot of patients will say, can you just do something here? For some people that’s enough, but you get past a certain age, there’s skin.
The skin has done what it’s doing and gravity’s doing its thing and the muscles that are underneath everything sort of needs to be suspended, relift all at the same time to really get that natural result. If you think about it, if you only did your neck, then what about the jowls hanging over this nice tight neck? It would look terrible. So a lot of times it’s that why it looks so natural is because you’re sort of doing it all at the same time and reestablishing that more youthful appearance. And so he did the lipo to your face also, you said, or not lipo, the fat transfer.
A fat transfer. Yes.
Monique Ramsey (08:17):
Yes. I believe in trusting the expert and when he says, look, this is what we can do for the neck, but here’s what I also think we ought to do for the face. I said, fine. And by the way, take all the fat you want because some of that grew back thanks to my love for cookies. So
Monique Ramsey (08:33):
There was plenty there for him to grab and he grabbed a little and put it in my face and I hadn’t thought of it, but I’m happy with it because I noticed that the skin’s a little tighter, it’s a little fuller. So I’m happy with that.
Monique Ramsey (08:47):
So going into either of the surgeries, I guess let’s go back to the first one. Was that your first experience going into any surgery or were you nervous at all about what that would feel like? Look like the post-op plan and then maybe contrasting that to now after this more recent surgery?
Well, the first surgery was my first surgery ever, and this more recent one was my second surgery ever. I haven’t had any others, but remembering the more recent one better, I can tell you that it’s exactly what was described to me. Certainly on the day of surgery, there’s a little bit of apprehension and stress. It’s normal, I believe, but it went exactly the way I was told it would go in terms of the prep leading into the surgery, the post-op the next day, all of it was exactly the way it was described. So that minimized the stress for me significantly because there were no surprises. Everything was exactly as predicted. And by the way, not to get ahead of ourselves, but when I went home the day after surgery with zero bandages on, I was absolutely amazed that it could be that way that I only had drains and bandages overnight after that surgery. But the next morning went home with no bandages. It was amazing.
Monique Ramsey (10:10):
Wow. You must have enlisted the help of a friend. So who helped you out in that first 24 or 48 hours until you felt comfortable?
Actually, I hired a nurse referred by the surgeon’s office. Dr. Brahme’s staff recommended a nurse who looked after me for that first night and just for the first night.
Monique Ramsey (10:32):
Yeah. It’s interesting because I think as a consumer or a possible patient, we might think, oh gosh, a face and neck lift, that’s so big, that’s such a big surgery, but did you find it to be painful or overwhelming in terms of that experience?
No, again, I mean the stress going into you’re going under, you’re going to be under for four hours, anything can happen, all of that goes through your head. But when I came out of surgery and went to spend the night there with the nurse, I was amazed at how good I felt. And by the way, the nurse was bored because there was really nothing for her to do. I took none of the pain medications, nothing hurt. It was a little uncomfortable. It was a little tight, but nothing hurt. And I never did take any of the pain medications. So I was only with the nurse for the night because it’s required because of the anesthesia I had been under. But beyond that, I felt great. I was a little bored at home the first week or so because I couldn’t really move. I wasn’t allowed to move. I wanted to, but I wanted to not mess anything up. So I followed the rules, but I felt great, honestly.
Monique Ramsey (11:42):
That is so key following the rules because we wouldn’t tell you something just for the heck of it. We want you to really listen and think. Sometimes we think, oh God, I feel really good. And we had a patient way back in the day who she felt so good after her facelift that she rearranged her whole library at her home and then she set herself back to
Monique Ramsey (12:12):
Feeling she never felt as bad as she did after doing all that, and she got puffy and she felt horrible. And it was like, please just read the little book and do the thing. That’s so hard because I think all of us are like, well, shoot, I should be productive with this downtime if I feel fine. And I think especially with a facelift, because it isn’t a painful procedure, it isn’t something where if you’ve had abdominal surgery like a tummy tuck and they’ve cut your muscles, it’s hard to move around. So you don’t really move around, but with a face pretty quickly, you can feel pretty good. And so that was good that you followed the rules.
Yes. I spent the money. I didn’t want to mess it up for the investment I was making in myself. And also I had told Dr. Brahme, whatever he said was my timeline before running. I was going to try to shorten it. And the way to do that was to be a very good patient along the way. And by the way, I was able to start running after four weeks instead of the six weeks that we initially thought it would be. But I only did the four weeks because he said it was okay. And I think a lot of the reason it was okay is because I had been behaving myself and not doing anything to aggravate the swelling or the healing during those first three to four weeks.
Monique Ramsey (13:28):
And then tell our audience what were some of the secrets that you would say, okay, if you were telling a friend who’s going to have this surgery, what are some of the things that you did to either prep and or recover in terms of food or nutrition? Because obviously if you’re a runner, you’re a healthy person. So do you have any advice, I guess, for how to take care of yourself the best way?
Everything was in the material I was given, and the nurse walked through step by step, here’s all the things you should buy. Here’s all the things you should have on hand. Here’s all the things you should and shouldn’t do. I read through that multiple times, and it was good to get home after that first night and have it all there and just start doing the Netflix thing and having all the foods and juices and everything that I needed without having to go out. I went out anyway because I liked my Starbucks, but I could get the cup and go back home and that was fine. But everything else I had, and again, I just followed the instructions that were given. I figured no one makes this stuff up. It’s meant to be followed. So I figured the least I can do is follow the instructions to get the most out of my investment.
Monique Ramsey (14:43):
Eric, you are the poster child.
Well, thank you.
Monique Ramsey (14:47):
Can we put you on and just have you talk to every single patient?
I’m so happy with the, and Dr. Brahme did a wonderful job and so did the team that supports him, but I also know that I did a lot of the work in terms of how I’ve embraced the healing and again, don’t want to mess it up. And I’m very happy with the outcome after only four months now. It feels and looks great to me.
Monique Ramsey (15:08):
Yeah. And was there anything that surprised you after surgery? Something you weren’t expecting?
Only, as I mentioned earlier, going home with no bandages on. I’m still blown away by that. Unbelievable.
Monique Ramsey (15:22):
And I’m sure it changes with each surgeon and what their protocols are and the patient and how well you’re doing and how much output is in the drains and all the other things. But yeah, I think that is sometimes surprising when you are like, oh, well that wasn’t that bad.
I had stitches, but I was able to take a shower the day after the surgery. No bandages as I’ve mentioned. And other than just kind of getting bored sitting home, it was all good. But as I mentioned earlier, it was so aligned with the expectations I had been given. There were no surprises. And that’s a great stress minimizer to have no surprises.
Monique Ramsey (16:02):
Very true, very true. What would you tell other men who might be thinking about doing some little work on themselves? What advice would you give them?
I’d say go for it and do it younger than older. I’ve not been older than I am at this moment, but I have a feeling it gets tougher as you get older. So I was pleased to do it when I was 59. This most recent surgery, I suspect if I were 69 it would look more radical and it’d be a little harder to endure the healing. But I think do it, do it sooner. Do it with someone reliable, someone who’s done it a few times before. And the team here has been great for that.
Monique Ramsey (16:43):
Yeah, doing it early is sort of slight preventative maintenance. And like you said, nobody knew unless you told them.
Monique Ramsey (16:52):
And so that’s key. And now one other thing I think about doing surgery sooner rather than later is you get to enjoy it longer. And doing things in the med spa I think is a great way to sort of have maintenance or it can help younger people push off a surgical intervention. But at the end of the day, those things aren’t going to necessarily do what a face and neck lift are going to do in terms of tightening all those muscles and taking away the extra skin.
That’s right. And I mentioned, by the way, I really don’t have anyone who’s noticed I’ve done the work. So you might ask, well, why the hell did you do it? Then? I did it for me. Every time I look in the mirror, I am liking what I see there. I’m not trying to be a model. I just want to be happy in my own skin. And now when I look in the mirror and I don’t see that Turkey neck, I feel much more of a contoured lower face. I like it same way. I like the eyes when I had them done. So I did it for me. And to your point about quality of life, the sooner you do it, the sooner you’ll have that improved quality of life that comes from how you look and feel about yourself.
Monique Ramsey (18:02):
I love that. And I love that you embraced the process or people talking trust the process. Well, Dr. Brahme and his nurse Christina, and they’ve worked together for so many years, and I had her on the podcast recently, and we were talking about how she helps patients and she’s like, well, I’ve had almost everything done that he could do. And so I’ve been there myself, and she likes to help give advice on this is what it’s maybe going to feel like and here’s what to do. So did you find that to be sort of helpful too?
Absolutely. Christina was wonderful. I believe she was also Dr. Brahme’s nurse when I had the first surgery. But on this most recent round from beginning to end, everything she said would happen or is exactly what happened. Again, that’s wonderful. Peace of mind. And her walking through the instruction so thoroughly as if it were her first time walking through was very helpful to me. It just made it a very smooth process.
Monique Ramsey (19:02):
I think that booklet I remember, and I’ve worked at the center and I’ve obviously had some things done over the years, but that booklet, you can hear it during your pre-op visit. They can explain it to you and you think you’ve got it, but fast forward to six hours after surgery. When you’re at home, you’re like, wait, what was I supposed to do? And you can go right there and it’s all in writing and it’s there for you. It’s there for the people around you. And then I just found myself consulting that thing for weeks. What about this? What about that? What am I going to feel? Is this normal? And I think in the age of the internet, we can freak ourselves out. That’s right. Don’t go looking it up on Google because you might find things that have no bearing on what the real advice is. And so I think that booklet, having that resource at home, I found it to be incredibly comforting that I had that right there. And if I had any questions, obviously I can call the office and they’re happy to help. But most everything was in that book.
Yes, I agree.
Monique Ramsey (20:06):
Well, Eric, thanks for coming on the podcast. This was fun. And thank you for being so willing to talk about the things that you’ve done, and I think to just reassure patients that it’s going to be okay and look at how great you look.
Well, thank you. Life is short. We got to take care of ourselves. Right?
Monique Ramsey (20:26):
Very true, very true. And we live in such a wonderful place. It’s like
Monique Ramsey (20:30):
You want to be out and about and feeling confident and feeling happy. And so I love that you were able to have that and have such a great experience with Dr. Brahme, Christina, the whole surgical care team. And so thanks again for coming on.
My pleasure. I enjoy talking about it.
Monique Ramsey (20:50):
Thank you. And for everybody listening or watching, check the show notes for links on how to schedule a consultation with Dr. Brahme. If you have questions about prices or financing or anything else that’s on your mind, we’ll have everything there.
Speaker 3 (21:08):
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. 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 lj csc.com or follow the team on Instagram @ljcsc. The La Jolla Cosmetic Podcast is a production of The Axis.