Woman happy to show what surgeons can do

Pat McCoy wants the world to know. Yes, she had a face-lift. And she’s proud of it. So there.She’s proud enough to allow her surgeons to use her before-and-after photos in their advertising. In newspaper ads and in mailed fliers promoting Mountain State Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons, profile views show a dramatic difference in her appearance following a full face-lift, brow-lift, liposuction, chin implant and eyelid surgery.The 50-year-old Cross Lanes resident had the surgery in September, a $15,000 birthday and 30th anniversary gift from her husband.For years, she felt self-conscious about a family trait — a chin that sloped to her collarbone without defining her jawline or neck.“I never really had a chin and neck,” she said. “I was always so embarrassed by my profile. Driving up to a stoplight or going through the bank drive-through, if there was someone beside me, I would place my hand under my chin.”She turned to Mountain State Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons for help. Surgeons in the practice, Byron Black, Lee Allen and Kent Jackfert, have plastic surgery training.“I had them do microdermabrasions and chemical peels that turned out well,” she said. “I just had so much confidence in what they could do.”As maxillofacial surgeons, they perform cosmetic surgery only on the face and neck. But unlike plastic surgeons, they also do osteotomy work, or realigning the facial skeleton. They can, for example, change the size of the jaw.
“We do Botox, collagen, eye work, liposuction on the head and neck, anything to change the aging process,” Black said. “That’s what this is all about, trying to rejuvenate the face.”McCoy believes the chin implant made the major difference in her surgery results. The surgery lasted four hours.She coped with bruising “that looked like my husband beat me up.” But the pain was tolerable, she said. “You would think I’d be in excruciating pain, but that wasn’t the case. They gave me antibiotics and pain medication. For a while, I had some numbness, but that goes away.”It took about two months to realize the full effects of the operation, she said. Scars nestled deep in the fold behind her ears provide the only discernible trace of the extensive surgery.“I would do it again tomorrow,” she said. “It makes me feel so good about myself. Even my family doctor did a double take. He wasn’t sure it was me.”She urged her surgeon, Lee Allen, to spread the word. “She said a lot of people she talked to didn’t know we did this type of thing,” he said. “She said we ought to let people know what we can do.”When asked if she’d be willing to share her before-and-after pictures, she didn’t hesitate. “I’m hoping it might spur someone else to make the decision to do something for themselves.”
The “Extreme Makeovers” television show has brought plastic surgery out of the closet, she said. “I think people are more comfortable with it now. It’s the up-and-coming thing to do.”To contact staff writer Sandy Wells, use e-mail or call 348-5173.
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