Post-Op Update #1

Goodmorning Friends.

I am recovering in our rented New York apartment now from my long day at the hospital yesterday. (You can read my pre-op post here) I’m still extremely tired, swollen, and weak. (I’ll have my mom proofread this to make sure I don’t make any ridiculous typos in my medicated state.)

Kenzie in hospital bed (

Just before surgery 12/10/12

Yesterday, my mom and I arrived at the hospital at 10am to meet with my surgeon, Dr. Waner of the Vascular Birthmark Institute, and go over the game plan. There was approximately 10% of the venous malformation left in the upper half of my cheek, that could not be extracted through an incision because it was dangerously close to my eye and nerves.

  • The most prominent part of the surgery was the “hitch” that was put in place to bring up the left side of my lip by a few millimeters. The mass of the venous malformation put pressure on the bones on the left side of my face for 19 years, so that side was not symmetrical with my right. The “hitch” involved an incision next to my left eye, a hole drilled into the bone to guide a synthetic material to the corner of my mouth. An incision at my mouth attached this to a muscle, to pull up the corner.
  • The doctor used a laser treatment to attack the remaining veins, as well as smooth out my scar line from my previous surgery. This caused some major swelling and will have to be repeated in the future.
  • The surgery in July removed a large portion of muscle that was replaced with a fat graft. After the swelling from that surgery subsided, it was clear that a little too much fat was left by my upper lip, and this time the doctor removed this bulkiness through the inside of my mouth.
  • Facial Nerve Monitoring ensured that I would not have the same nerve paralysis as last time; in July, the nerve branches were stretched so much that they were temporarily paralyzed and I had no left side facial movement for a few months. Thankfully, that is not the case this time, and my nerves can continue to gain their strength back as I regain my facial expressions.
  • Unfortunately, I was intending to have my nose corrected in this surgery because it had been pushed over to the right side of my face from the pressure over the years as well. However, Dr. Waner’s main concern was to remove the malformation and extra tissue, and said the Rhinoplasty would have to be performed at a later time with the help of another specialist.

Post op recovery (

Now I rest at home. Because my eye is swollen shut, I mainly want to rest and sleep but I do have plenty to keep me busy when I get bored. Gilmore Girls, books, my goodies from Fernanda’s care package in my previous post, and yes that is coffee in my water bottle. Even though I’m on a soft-food diet for 10 days, the doctor didn’t say anything about restricting coffee! I’m hoping to get outside tomorrow and maybe even walk over to Central Park the day after that. Fresh air does the body good, I just need to have enough energy to get there and back.

Thank you for your concern and messages; I look forward to reading them :)


About Stronglikemycoffee

College student-athlete committed to living healthy and happy. I want to share my recipes, fitness tips and silly stories with YOU! There's nothing like crushing goals and becoming stronger than you ever knew you could be.

Posted on December 11, 2012, in Life Updates and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. So glad to hear that everything seems to have been successful… rest up!

  2. You look great BEFORE surgury…You will be even more stunningly beautiful as you heal. You are so brave to go through all that. Say hi to your mom for me! : )

  3. Talked to your Dad last evening and he told us all about your surgery. Glad you have
    this behind you now. Hope your recovery is speedy and you get back home to enjoy
    Christmas with Mom & Dad. Our thoughts and Love are with you.

  4. Hey there Champ!
    I’m glad everything came out fine in the surgery. When you go to Central Park walk only don’t try and go for an easy five miler or anything like that. Haha hope you make a quick recovery and stay strong young lady:)

  5. So glad to hear that everything went well! You are such a strong and beautiful young lady! As soon as you are up and running around again, I bet you and your mom will have so much fun in New York in Christmastime! Can’t wait to see pictures of it and hear stories. Your friends here in Flagstaff are sending love to New York!

  6. I am happy you are ok rest up and get well…

  7. I am glad that everything went well !!
    Now rest up and catch up on any tv show you probably missed because of your final week ! :-) Let me know how you feel and what would be the best for you when we will be in NY. Don’t worry if you are too tired or don’t feel like going out. Take care and see you soon !

  8. Hey you. Glad to hear things went well and you can now concentrate on your recovery. As you have heard me say before, you are a strong (like coffee) and amazing young woman. Hugs and love to you!!!

  9. I hope you heal quickly and more importantly that you find some peace of mind. When I was 26 I came down with ‘Bells Palsy’ and had the entire left side of my face frozen for over 6 months. Thanks to (non-insurance covered) electro-stimulus accupuncture and other various eastern medicines, eventually I regained control over most of the muscles again, but it’s never been 100% and still to this day I can feel that the left and right sides of my face are different and despite the fact that everyone says they can’t see it, I always can, but more important than my face in the mirror is seeing the person I am. Although I would never wish anything similar for anyone, I can say that at least it taught me to be far less superficial and that true beauty comes from being more than appearing. You are a beautiful person, and I’m sure everything will be just fine. Take care and all my best to you!

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