by Dr. Ramtin Kassir, M.D., F.A.C.S.
April 30, 2012, 2:50 p.m.
Jillian Marsh writes: I met Dr. Ramtin Kassir when I asked him to be the expert on a story I was writing. I had to write realistic plastic surgery scenes, and with patients and his permission I was allowed to watch him perform surgical procedures. I was able to see the patients before, during and after their healing. I was so impressed with the results these patients achieved. None of them looked “done.” They looked refreshed and rested and they were all thrilled with their results. They looked like themselves….just much better. Truthfully, I never thought I would make the decision to have facial surgery, but it turns out that meeting Dr. Kassir was such a great blessing in my life, I will never be able to thank him enough.
Ultimately Dr. Kassir would use his exceptional surgical skill to restore my face after a series of tragic events threatened to leave me disfigured, depressed and unable to feel comfortable in public. After my mother died, I spent many hours of every day crying in bed. I lay on my left side and cried for 8 hrs. a day. After a month of this I noticed there were no more tears and a drastic change in my appearance. The skin under my left eye hung away from the eyeball, as if weighted down. The right upper lid hung over my eye. I happened to go the eye doctor for my normal appointment and she touched the skin under my eye and said….”have you been crying a lot….and what position were you in?” I told her that my mother had died and all the crying I had done and she explained that she had seen this before from excessive crying and that I had no choice but to fix it surgically.
In addition, the year before, I had had a right thyroidectomy, and a side effect of surgery is that swallowing can be difficult. 8 months after surgery I would have to use my hand to hold the side of my neck up in order to swallow a piece of bread or any food with any texture. It was difficult to eat. I told Dr. Kassir this and he told me he could do a suspension lift on my neck and I would be able to swallow. He could also fix my eyes without anesthesia at the same time. Because of my experience, watching his surgical procedures, and the subsequent wonderful results of Dr. Kassir’s patients, I knew he would do an excellent job. I had both done using lidocaine in a quiet comfortable room. I walked away from the table being able to swallow with my eyes symmetrical and refreshed. I ate bread that night with no problem! Within 5 days, you could not see bruising or scars. It was amazing! I felt ready to face the world again.
I had done some fillers with Dr. Kassir but I had hoped that the eye and neck surgery would be my first and last entrance into Dr. Kassir’s surgical world… because I don’t take surgery lightly…but alas it was not meant to be.
In October I woke up paralyzed on the left side of my face and my chin. I called Dr. Kassir immediately and he told me it sounded like Bells Palsy and I should get to my doctor right away. He also sent me the list of protocol medication if it was Bells Palsy and my doctor agreed with his protocol. Then I went to a rheumatologist because everyone suspected Lyme Disease and that was the diagnosis…facial paralysis from neurological Lyme Disease. This was horrific. I was depressed and in excruciating pain. The nerves in my face were irritated and sending pain throughout my face. My face was stretched downward on a diagonal to the lower left. My left eye was paralyzed and infected from being open for several weeks with dust and dirt flying into the eye, and my not being able to feel it. I had to patch the eye and put medication in it. I was drooling and choking. I slurred my words and couldn’t make myself understood. The bottom line is…I looked like I had had a stroke. Dr. Kassir encouraged me and told me to be patient.
that it would go away with the medication and time.
It did go away….but I was on a lot of medication for the Lyme Disease for many months….and the paralysis took its toll on my face. Months later, I was left with a hole under my left cheek bone and rows of diagonal lines on my chin to across my neck. My rheumatologist kept asking me to go look in the mirror and tell her what I saw. I thought I looked okay…but the truth is my smile never really returned to what it was…and the slack skin on the left side of my face made me start to age asymmetrically. My smile was crooked because of the strong pull on my face during the time it was paralyzed.
Four months later, I had a devastating accident in my home. I tripped over my opened treadmill and whiplashed backwards and forwards face first, three times into the top of the treadmill…the same eye that had been paralyzed was smashed into the treadmill, as was my nose. Somehow, I found a phone, and called Dr. Kassir’s office. As luck would have it, he answered the phone and kept me talking to make sure that I stayed conscious while I called for help on my other phone. I was rushed to the hospital and given a cat scan or MRI of my face. My nose was fractured…but it didn’t show just how really bad it was. My eyes became infected from the trauma to my eyes and tear ducts….and it just seemed that every time I turned around…another problem developed from the fall. I had cervical and thoracic whiplash and hitting my face so many times irritating the already irritated nerves on the left side of my face to send needles of shooting pain from my neck to my eye.
The next day, I went to see Dr. Kassir, and he told me that I was lucky to be alive. I had had a life threatening fall and my nose now was a mess and needed to be fixed for both medical and esthetic reasons. He told me that he thought we should fix the ravages of the paralysis at the same time. I didn’t care what surgery it took to bring me back to normal…I just knew that I could place the surgery of my face in the capable hands of Dr. Ramtin Kassir, and be 100% sure that I would be returned back to my former self….only better.
The day of surgery, Dr. Kassir revealed that my nose had been shattered in my fall. He had to re-build it completely. I was devastated to have to get a new nose, but amazed at the results the day of the reveal. He worked his magic on my face to restore it to what it looked like before my paralysis from neurological Lyme Disease…only better. The fatique from the stress of continued trauma showed blatantly on my face. He wiped all that away on the day of my surgery.
Here’s the best part….the changes were subtle so that most people just thought I looked refreshed and rested… and younger. I was symmetrical and even and my nose was perfect. My smile was restored after the surgery with fillers injected into various areas of the corners of my mouth. I heal quickly, so within a few weeks I was comfortable to go out in public.
I cannot say enough how grateful I am to Dr. Kassir. My opinion of plastic surgery is completely open. The aging process happens to all of us. Sometimes, like in my case a tick bite and an accident speed up the process abnormally and thank God there is a gifted surgeon, who cares about his patients and can reverse that damage.
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