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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 :)


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