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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is corrected with the full face lift?
The full face lift includes the following: "brow lift" (if necessary), "eye lift" (both upper and lower eyes), the "facial lift" which addresses 3 sets of muscles which include the cheeks and jowl areas as well as the "neck lift".


Where will my stitches be removed?
Dr. Barrera will come directly to your hotel, home or apartment to remove your stitches.


What type of follow-up care will I receive?
Dr. Barrera prides himself with the level of follow-up care that he offers his patients.  We do not forget about our patients once they are discharged from the hospital.  Dawn will remain in contact with each and every patient up until their 3 month anniversary.  Each patient is given Dr. Barrera’s personal cell phone number following their surgery.  Our patients can contact him directly, for any concern or question that warrants his attention during the recovery period.


How available is Dr. Barrera during my recovery period?
A patient can schedule follow-up appointments with Dr. Barrera any of the days that he is in San Miguel for his scheduled consults.  There is no fee for these follow-up visits.  It’s always reassuring to hear him say that things are progressing as they should and that everything looks fine.
 

What is the optimal time for someone to remain in Mexico for your recovery period?
The absolute optimal time period would be a full three weeks.  By that time you should not have any noticeable bruising and your swelling will be at a minimum.  After a two week period you will still have some minimal bruising and swelling.  That being said, the majority of our patients remain in Mexico for a ten day period and return home on the 11th day.


What type of I.V. Sedative is used?
Dr. Barrera uses “Propofol” or “Midasolam”.


What is the advantage of having an I.V. Sedative instead of a General Anesthetic?
The I.V. sedative places the patient in a “sleep state” during surgery.  Patients are breathing on their own throughout the entire procedure and are monitored by an anesthesiologist.  There are no after affects, with an I.V. Sedative, that are commonly associated with a General Anesthesia.


What type of Local Anesthetic does Dr. Barrera use?
Dr. Barrera uses “Lidocaine”.


What is the advantage of a Local Anesthetic vs. a General Anesthetic in regards to pain control?
The advantage of using a local anesthetic is that it remains in the system and prevents the patient from feeling pain.  Once a General Anesthetic wears off the patient has no additional protection from pain.


Should I arrive a day or two early if I am traveling from another Country?
We do like to recommend to international patients, traveling for a full day, to plan on arriving one day earlier.  This allows the patient some time to recuperate from a long journey and be a bit more rested prior to having surgery.


Where are the incisions placed for a full face lift?
Dr. Barrera places the stitches on the rim of the "tragus" which is the cartilage or nob at the front of the ear.  There is no incision in front of the tragus.  The other incisions continue from the tragus up around to the top of the ear.  It then continues down behind the back of the ear and ear lobe following the natural crease/line of the ear.  There are no visible scars after the healing is complete.  They are neatly concealed where the ear naturally joins the back of the head.  Some 2% of patients are prone to forming Keloid scars.  A patient is usually aware if they form this type of scarring.  There will also be two small one inch incisions, both inside the hairline, at the temples and at the back of the neck behind the ears. 


How long does it take to completely heal after having a full face lift?
Complete and total healing occurs after 3 full months.  By this time the bruising and swelling are completely gone and the incisions have faded significantly.  There can be some residual redness in the incision areas but with additional time the scars return to your normal skin tone and are not noticeable.  In some patients the healing can take a little bit longer.  It is strongly recommended that proper rest, a good healthy diet, eating lots of protein, no smoking, limited alcohol consumption and sun exposure are all important for the completion of the healing process.


What is your infection rate?
The rate of infection is 1/1000 cases, which is lower than the international rate in Dr. Barrera’s hands.  The hospital where he performs his surgeries is a small privately owned “specialty” hospital.  The hospital has approximately 75 beds.  In a smaller facility, such as this, it is much easier to control the rate of infection.


What is the probability of having any complications with a full face lift?
A face lift is not an invasive procedure as with other surgical procedures.  There will be no contact with any vital organs for this particular type of procedure.  Dr. Barrera only works with the muscular structure and connective tissue of the face.  85% of our patients experience no complications whatsoever.  However, 15% of our patients will experience some minor complications such as: 2% hematoma, 5% seroma (small area of skin has difficulty re-attaching to the flesh, 10% re-stitching of the ear lobe, 2% thick scars behind the ear, .3% hair loss on the incision site (hair growth will return after 12 weeks), 15% lower lip and/or forehead transitory temporary paralysis, .2% necrosis (death of skin tissue), 1% ectropion (inverted eyelid).  None of these complications are permanent in Dr. Barrera’s hands.  If a patient does experience any of these complications, please be assured that it absolutely will not affect the final result.


Is it safe to be in Mexico?
San Miguel is located in the interior of Mexico at an altitude of 6500 feet.  San Miguel is 4 1/2 hours from Mexico City and 8 hours or more from the northern border cities.  Most certainly the concentration of violence occurs in the border cities.  The coverage that the drug wars have received is indeed frightening to watch.  However, I think it is important to keep things in perspective.  If you are not involved in the drug industry there is no reason for the average citizen to be a victim or a target. 
San Miguel is a city of approximately 100,000 people. We have an ex-patriot population of about 10,000 in San Miguel.  We live there quietly and peacefully all year round.  San Miguel is an artist community and the United Nations declared it a "World Heritage Site" in June of 2008.  It is a cosmopolitan city but it is still anchored in the rich values of the community which are founded in their religion and devotion to family.
Dr. Barrera's private chauffeur will be with you while you are traveling from the airport to the hospital and then again on to San Miguel for your recovery period. There is no reason to feel fearful.  We have had patients arriving all the time without any problem whatsoever.  San Miguel is a tourist destination visited by hundreds of thousands of people annually from all over the world.  It is a very unique, interesting and vital city where violence of any kind is a rarity.



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