“Dr. Lee is not just technically brilliant, he is a fabulous human being.”
Toni’s mirror was not agreeing with her. After months of training at the gym, all her efforts had paid off. She lost 40 pounds. “It was a dramatic change,” says Toni. “The improvement in my muscle tone was significant. At 58 years old, I was in great shape.” The problem? According to Toni, her body and face “didn’t match.” “I went through a genuine transformation, but when I looked in the mirror, the vibrant person I was on the inside did not match with what I saw reflected on the outside.” And that was the tipping point. Toni decided she needed facial rejuvenation to complete the picture.
As a retired nurse, Toni recognized the value in taking the time to do the research before choosing a surgeon. She visited with three Board Certified Plastic Surgeons. The experiences were quite unique. “The first one was qualified, but mechanical.” Toni remembers feeling no sense of compassion or passion. “He didn’t discuss my feelings or expectations, and I wasn’t impressed by the way he spoke to me.” The second surgeon seemed capable, but when Toni really studied his gallery, she was uncomfortable. “I didn’t like some of the results in the before and after photos. I also found some bad reviews overall. Too many red flags.” Then Toni met Dr. Lee through the Wall Group in Shreveport.
Looking back, Toni describes a very different consultation. “Dr. Lee immediately sensed the issues I was having with my self-esteem and helped relieve some of the pressure I was feeling. He said I was way too critical in how I saw myself.” The visit became more about balance and harmony and bringing her “inner beauty” and “outer beauty” in sync with one another. “He had no way of knowing I was in a really low point in my life and I really took his words to heart.”
Dr. Lee recommended a facelift to tighten Toni’s neck, jaw and mid-face. Toni also wanted an eyelid lift and Dr. Lee agreed, but he would not give her the lip implants she wanted. “He is a great communicator and very genuinely passionate about his work. He made me see how realistic my expectations were or were not, and explained why.”
Toni’s surgery was in the summer of 2016 and she admits being nervous, but feeling secure. “I felt well prepared for surgery, but I have several health issues that put me at greater risk, but Dr. Lee was so cautious with me all the way through. I trusted him when he said my safety was his first priority.” Toni’s recovery was a little longer than average due to her medical conditions, but Dr. Lee kept careful tabs on her on a daily basis for over 2 weeks. “Aside from seeing me, he had me send him pictures every day and night for 2 weeks. At one month post-op I was feeling almost back to normal. At the 6 week mark I really started looking good.” Today, Toni credits her surgery with changing her “mind, heart and soul—inside and out.” She feels she has never looked or felt better.
Toni advises anyone considering facial rejuvenation to do their homework by researching the procedure and Board Certified surgeons and writing down all your questions before the consultation. She reminds others to make one of those questions about aftercare. “Maybe you find the best surgeon in the world, but when you’re in surgery you are asleep. What happens when you wake up and go home? You want a guarantee that there will be follow through and you are not just another patient.” She also cautions against getting “too educated.” “Don’t base your whole decision on facts. Trust your intuition. You will get a good sense of the doctor himself.” Toni said she was impressed that Dr. Lee’s patient coordinator, Megan, was an extension of him. “Megan was very attentive and warm—such a dear. She kept in close contact with me throughout the whole experience.”
Ultimately, Toni found who she was looking for in Dr. Lee, but she also discovered something else, just as important. “He connected with me not only as a surgeon, but a human being. I don’t idolize him, but I can tell you he is a fabulous person inside and we stay in touch. He was right beside me, keeping me safe and secure. I was looking for a doctor, but gained a lifelong friend.”