Kristen Foodim knew she wanted her big 5-0 to be a birthday to remember. As a gift to herself, she met with Dr. Kolker, who helped her develop a full facial rejuvenation surgery plan: facelift, neck lift, blepharoplasty (eyelid lift), brow lift, facial fat grafting, and a lip lift. Read on to hear Kristen’s story.
Kristen knew she wanted her birthday to be special. So, she called Dr. Kolker.
Kristen Foodim knew she wanted her big 5-0 to be a birthday to remember. As a gift to herself, she met with Dr. Kolker, who helped her develop a full facial rejuvenation surgery plan: facelift, Neck Lift, blepharoplasty (eyelid lift), brow lift, facial fat grafting, and a lip lift. Read on to hear Kristen’s story.
“To know Kolker is to love Kolker. He has the most compassionate bedside manner, and he’s famous for delivering beautiful, natural results.”
— Kristen Foodim
As Kristen Foodim’s 50th birthday approached, she found herself feeling less than satisfied with her appearance. No stranger to cosmetic treatments, Kristen had benefited from the rejuvenating effects of laser procedures, dermal fillers, and Botox injections in the past. But now her face was showing more advanced signs of aging, namely in her neck, jowls, and eye area.
“I started considering a more powerful solution,” explained Kristen. She wondered if a facelift could provide the longer-lasting results she was seeking.
When she decided to consult a surgeon, selecting the right one was easy. Dr. Kolker had performed Kristen’s breast augmentation in her mid-thirties, and she continued to enjoy the successful outcome of that surgery fifteen years later. He was also her trusted provider for the non-surgical treatments that had always kept her complexion looking its freshest.
“To know Kolker is to love Kolker,” Kristen told The Zoe Report (TZR), “He has the most compassionate bedside manner, and he’s famous for delivering beautiful, natural results.”
The next time Kristen was in Dr. Kolker’s office for a routine Botox appointment, she brought up a facelift. After examining her skin, Dr. Kolker agreed that facial rejuvenation surgery might be a good option at this point, as the sagging she was experiencing could no longer be completely alleviated with non-surgical treatments. She decided to schedule a consultation to learn more about the procedure.
At Kristen’s next appointment, she and Dr. Kolker discussed the details of the procedure and the results she could expect to achieve. Kristen recalls Dr. Kolker gently lifting the skin on her face back to show her how the results might look. They also talked about what could be done to smooth and tighten the appearance of her upper face.
Photography: Thomas Prior
Wanting to smooth and sculpt the skin of her upper and lower face and neck without having to undergo multiple recoveries, Kristen worked with Dr. Kolker to plan a procedure that would include a facelift, neck lift, upper and lower blepharoplasty (eyelid lift), lateral temporal brow lift, lip lift, and facial fat grafting.
The gift would be a full facial restoration, and, if all went according to plan, reduce her visible signs of aging by a decade or more. “Some might think 50 is too young for a facelift,” Kristen commented. “But I’d rather look my very best from 50 to 65 than wait and do this in my 60s.” In fact, more people are now seeking facelifts in their fifties. Dr. Kolker explains that skin quality is better at this age, so the results can look better and last longer.
“I’m not the type who feels plastic surgery needs to be a secret. …This is a personal decision, an individual journey.”
— Kristen Foodim
When Kristen arrived for her surgery, Dr. Kolker went over the steps of the procedure again and spent time answering her questions. He would be performing her facelift using the technique known as short-scar SMAS plication. Dr. Kolker prefers this method because it allows the surgeon to make subtle adjustments to the superficial musculoaponeurotic system—or the fibrous tissue overlying the facial muscles—in different directions for elegant contouring. At the same time, tissue can be gently draped to leave natural-looking tone and fullness where desired.
Once Kristen was comfortably under anesthesia, Dr. Kolker used liposuction to collect a small amount of fat from her back and flanks, which would be used to fill in hollows in her temples and tear troughs, or under-eyes, and add volume to her cheeks. He then performed Kristen’s brow lift, slightly lifting and repositioning the skin and tissues of her forehead, as well as a lip lift, a procedure that removes a small amount of tissue between the nose and upper lip to give the upper lip more volume. In the blepharoplasty step, Dr. Kolker reduced sagging and hooding in Kristen’s upper eyelids and smoothed out the bags that had developed under her eyes. He then performed Kristen’s facelift and neck lift to complete her comprehensive facial rejuvenation surgery.
When Kristen woke up from the anesthesia, Dr. Kolker reported that all the steps of her procedure had gone beautifully. After receiving clear post-operative instructions, Kristen was able to return home with her husband the same day. At Kristen’s post-operative visit the next day, Dr. Kolker removed the head wrap he had applied after the procedure. “I was able to see my neck and jawline for the first time.” Kristen recalled. “I almost cried — they were perfect. My neck was so smooth; my jawline had no jowling.”
Kristen was happy to find her pain very manageable, noting, “I never needed to take anything more than Extra-Strength Tylenol.” The area around her incisions was numb and swollen, which Dr. Kolker had told her was to be expected, as was the tight sensation Kristen felt in her neck. She followed her post-surgical instructions carefully, sleeping on her back for the first few weeks. Dr. Kolker had explained that bruising would show up about a week after surgery. To alleviate the bruising and swelling that occurred at this point in her healing, Kristen would wear compression bandages at night. In fact, Kristen and her husband entertained out-of-town guests just two weeks after her surgery. She wore her hair down to cover her incision lines, which were still pink, and put on a little makeup. She was happy to find that her return to social activities was an easy transition, and as the treatment area healed, her results continued to improve daily.
“My neck was so smooth; my jawline had no jowling. I almost cried — they were perfect.”
As she healed, Kristen was excited to see the changes in her appearance. Her upper lip was subtly lifted and flipped in a way that made her feel pretty and youthful. Her under eyes were smooth and refreshed. Her jowls, neck, and lower face were lifted and sculpted in a way that naturally accentuated her features and turned back the clock on the skin laxity she had begun to experience. By five months out, her scars were barely visible.
Photography: Thomas Prior
Of her experience with Dr. Kolker, Kristen explained, “I feel so lucky to have found someone I trust, who has my best interest at heart, and who will do everything in his power to give me the result I want.” She appreciates the attentive way he helped her navigate her recovery, making temporary side effects like bruising and swelling easier to get through. Kristen continues to be delighted with her results. An unabashed proponent of taking whatever steps you need to feel your best, she has told everyone she knows about her procedure —”everyone at work, my family, all of my closest friends.”
Photography: Thomas Prior
Because of the results of her facelift, Kristen doubts she will need additional treatments any time soon. A devotee of good skincare practices, she looks forward to maintaining her results while getting to skip maintenance treatments like Botox for a while. For patients like Kristen, having a facelift in their fifties can mean less time and money spent on other non-surgical treatments. “I feel like I got a nice reset,” Kristen explains. “I definitely look at least ten years younger.”