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It wasn’t that long ago that “cosmetic procedures” were part of the lifestyle of only the rich and famous, and “having work done” was the subject of gossip, whispers or cautionary tales. Now it’s a normal part of everyday life. A face lift or gastric bypass has become akin to getting a makeover or a new outfit (but with longer-lasting results).
Whether we like it or not, our appearance is tied to our core identity. We have entered a new age of beauty where, if you can dream it, you can be it. You can become the best version of yourself.
Real people — your coworkers, neighbors, friends, people standing in line with you at the grocery store — get real work done all the time. akronlife talked to two local women about their experiences with cosmetic enhancement procedures.
Taking It on the Chin
Laurie Irwin, a local elementary school teacher and YMCA fitness instructor, had always been unhappy with her chin. She was self-conscious and didn’t like the way she looked in photos.
In her early 30s, Laurie considered cosmetic surgery but never went through with it. Eighteen years, several months of research and two surgical consultations later, Irwin was ready to take the next step.
With the support of friends and family, Irwin visited Dr. Faisal Quereshy, of the Visage Surgical Institute in Medina. Quereshy, a board-certified cosmetic facial surgeon, was thorough during the consultation. “I felt very comfortable with him,” Irwin says. “He’s well-spoken, well-educated and very professional.”
Confident about moving forward, Irwin scheduled a chin implant procedure. The day of the surgery, Irwin remembers not feeling nervous but excited for the potential results. “Dr. Q, his nurse and two other surgeons were present, so I felt like I was in very capable hands,” she says.
The surgery took approximately two hours from start to finish with complete recovery after several months. It has been a year since Irwin’s procedure, and she’s just gotten used to her new look.
“I had my old look for 48 years, so my chin looks drastically different to me,” she says. “I was absolutely amazed when Dr. Q sent me my ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures. The transformation is amazing. I feel more confident and can now put my best chin forward.”
Making the Right Decision
Patty Schaefer has been married for 27 years and has four children. With her youngest son being 21, she describes herself as “graciously aging.”
Schaefer always wanted to have some cosmetic surgery procedures, but she waited until the time was right for her. She’s worked for Akron Plastic Surgeons for the past 26 years and “loved every minute of it,” so she knew she’d be in good hands. She’s also seen many patients come through the office and has witnessed their success stories firsthand.
As with any type of surgery, Schaefer was a little nervous, but “being in the care of the surgeons here makes a person feel safe and comfortable throughout the process.”
“It may sound like having a lower facelift and trim of excess skin of upper eyelids is painful, but I experienced no pain at all,” she says. “I did have a lot of swelling and bruising, and the only discomfort I experienced was a scratchy feeling in my eyes because they were very swollen.”
Schaefer would recommend her procedure to anyone, but she likes to tell patients to make the best decision for them. If they do undergo a cosmetic surgical procedure, she tells them to keep a positive outlook. “I’m really happy with my decision,” she says.
Doing Your Homework
Because of the personal nature of cosmetic alteration, both Irwin and Schaefer encourage people who may be considering surgery to do extensive research on the procedure beforehand. It’s important, they say, to make sure patients feel relaxed and confident with the surgeon they choose.