Before going through with the surgery I have contacted what I guess to be every
single surgeon who offers this procedure in the world, because very few people
offer temple augmentation and I wanted to have all options spread out infront of
me. It took me a while to decide if I wanted to have bone cement or an implant
for the temple augmentation after having a couple of consultations where every
surgeon tried to convince me of „their“ method. I felt most confident with Dr
Dussen after having talked to most surgeons per Skype and thus in the end I
decided to go with the bone cement. Also I didn‘t want to have an implant with
the risk of displacement or be limited in doing sports in future.
In total I only found two surgeons who using offered bone cement. When I had my
first Skype meeting woth Dr Dussen I asked him many critical questions (I had
heard about bone cement being able to be infected so I was cautious with this
decision and addressed it, I asked him about the costs of follow-up surgery,
I asked him how many procedures he performed each year and how many revisions eg.)
and he answered me truthfully and didn‘t gloss over the risks of the procedure
(even though this really is quite a safe procedure).
I decided to meet him in
person and have an examination with him. During the examination I told him spot
on what I wanted and he listened carefully and did not try to „push“ me into
any direction. After taking a couple of months of consideration, I decided to
have another Skype meeting with him (both the second and third meetings I had
were free of cost). We skyped again for quite a long time and again I talked
about my wishes and my fears and he again answered them very patiently (I think
he realised that this is a very big deal for me and I wanted to feel 100%
confident with him).
A couple of days later I booked a surgery date and had
luck that a surgery date was free I think about 4 weeks from then, I guess
because somebody cancelled. In total from researching out to the first doctors
to booking a surgery date it took about two years. Just as a side note Dr
Dussen was by way the cheaptest surgeon (which is something that I did NOT
consider to be the most important point at all, I prefer good results over
low cost, but some surgeons wanted 2,5 times the price).
Also if you need any
follow-up surgery in the two years following your treatment with him you have
a contract that you pay nothing (except the hospital fees which are also fixed
by the contract beforehand only if you need to go to the hospital because he
can also operate in his own clinic where you pay nothing at all). I also had
the feeling that quite a few of the others doctors I spoke to were a slimey
and my alarm bells always go off when doctors promise you a „perfect result“
and try to pressure you into booking an appointment because they can „only
guarantee you this cost for three months“.
The secretary of Dr Dussen was the
person who organised everything logistically from then on and she is also very
nice and understanding. After making the booking and paying (a third of the
price up front I think) as a reservation, she sent me a very long email with
all the information I needed including tipps on how to get to the hospital
and the clinic because I don‘t come from Belgium. She also recommended me a
hotel that the wife of Dr Dussens doctor collegues runs, which is 1 minute
away from the clinic, and where the collegue lives.
I decided to book a stay
of 7 days there and not in some other hotel because the price was pretty much
the same as other hotels and I wanted to have somebody near me in case of
complications. The hotel is really beautiful, it was one of the prettiest
hotels I have stayed in. I flew in a day before the surgery so I could have
a non-stressed last consultation with the doctor and he reminded me to not be
nervous and relax.
On on the day of the surgery I took a taxi to the hospital
from the hotel (which took quite long because of traffic) and when I arrived
I was a bit confused of where to go. So it took me quite some time to orientate
myself and when I didn‘t get called by the reception I was a bit worried because
I was running late so I called the secretary of Dr Dussen who helped me navigate
through registration. I was brought to my room and I was a bit nervous of not
seeing the doctor before surgery anymore because I was convinced I would see
him a last time when the staff told me I wouldn‘t.
I was anxious and I demanded
with all courage I had (which is easier said than done in such a stress situation)
to see him and the staff said they would see what they could do but couldn‘t
promise me anything. So I called the secretary again and she said she will try
to make it work. After all when Dr Dussen heard that I wanted to speak to him
he took this very seriously and even though we were running super late he came
to my room.
When I said I just wanted a few quick words and wouldn't take
long he said that I talking to each other is important and that we have all
the time in the world. This is what reassured me that I had indeed choosen the
right doctor. I again told him I wanted a super subtle and natural result and
told him to not shave down any bone under a certain spot on my Glabella (and
even put eyeliner there). He again took this very seriously and promised me to
not do anything to the bone beyond that point and then repeated what he understood
what I wanted one last time just to make sure we were on the same page.
I am so glad we had this last talk and I would recommend everybody going through
with such a procedure to shedule a last talk in hospital beforehand.
I was already in the hospital gown at this point and after the doctor went I was
brought to the preparation room. I was so excited when they rolled me through
hospital and I was physically shaking but the staff was very calming. I was
then put on a venous catheter and the staff gave me two packets of paracetamol
granulate which I had to swallow (without water, that was disgusting). Then
I was brought into the surgery room where there were many doctors and nurses
and I was put onto the operating table. I felt super safe at that point. The
anesthesiologist then told me I would feel a bit of burning sensation in my
arm when he gave me the anesthesia and that this is normal. He then told me he
is going to give me the medicine now, I felt a bit of burning and then I was away.
I woke up in the wakeup station and faintly remember that Dr Dussen was there
and patted my shoulder and told me the surgery had gone well and that we would
see each other the next day for follow-up. I was at some point then brought to
my room (I booked a single room for about 150 extra) and was given small amounts
of liquid. In the night I developed quite some pain thus I couldn‘t wait for
the next painkillers to be administered.
On the next day I took a taxi back to
the hotel and went to my room. The wife of Dr Dussens collegue brought me ice
packs regularly and asked me if I needed some shopping done and went to the
pharmacy for me so I could stay in bed. She also brought me baby spoons so I
could eat because I couldn‘t open my mouth wide. After the surgery the swelling
was not to bad but on the second and third day the swelling was massive (I looked
like one of those people who got stung by a bee).
These two days were really
uncomfortable, but with the painkillers they were tolerable. Only one time I
remember on the third day that I had pain in the night. I waited until in the
morning to tell the wife of Dr Dussens collegue if her husband could see me
because the night was so bad, and she was stern and told me I should have woken
them up in the night to take care of me! The collegue then had a look at me
and after that I was completely painfree.
When I saw Dr Dussen again I think
on the third day he was a bit surprised at how much I had swollen up and said
it probably was because there was one spot on my temples that was a bit tricky
on bringing in the material and that he had to manipulate that area a bit more
than expected, which resulted in more swelling than usual. Nevertheless, I didn‘t
think it was that surprising that I was so swollen. He then helped me unbraid my
hair which he had braided for the surgery and gave me more painkillers to take
back home just in case.
We then also talked about after care, whom to contact
in case of problems eg and then I was basically free to go (that was 3 or 4 days
after the surgery). I decided to stay another day and then flew back home (the
swelling was still quite noticeable then, and was apparent for one week and then
a still little bit for a second week. I would say after two weeks I looked quite
normal. Washing my hair the first time was a bit of a challenge because there
was dried blood in my hair and my scalp was numb, but I felt a lot better
My forehead felt a bit stiff for about three-four weeks until I
decided to actively move it again. My scalp was almost completely numb on the
front for about 4 months and since then has improved (it still is a tiny bit
numb, but I can feel through the numbness more and more). Interestingly the
numbness was quite severe for about two and a half months with little improvement
and then suddenly it got much better over the course of two weeks.
Otherwise I was feeling absolutely normal again after about a week, I was even
allowed to already do sports then without any limitation. So the main side
effects were swelling, some pain after the surgery and problems eating the
first days because I couldn‘t open my mouth very wide. Opening the mouth fully
can take some time, so don‘t freak out when it doesn‘t work out straight away.
Regarding the results I could not be any happier.
I am so so so happy I had the
guts to push it through, it sounds cliché but I am finally happy when I look into
the mirror and see myself. The results are subtle and I got pretty much exactely
what I wanted. It was a big decision for me to do such a surgery but it was
worth every single penny.
All the best,