I absolutely love the results from my surgeries on my face via FFS. The bone work laid out by Dr. Ley, and the skin/muscle/fat work done by Dr. Mangubat have left me for the first time in 50 years finding I love how I look, and not looking at myself so hatefully.
While I have had over a year to ponder about my face, and while I really love who I am and what I look like, there is still something that bothers me, and probably bothers me far more now than it used to, due to the fact I got rid of most of my dysphoric looks. That would be the wrinkles and lines around my face, and my relatively thin lips.
At the age of 50, I realize I am doing really, I look younger than I am and I know others might be completely satisfied look like this. This is not meant to take away from that at all. I also did know that I am older, and transitioning from a very masculine body. I never cared for my skin, I never made sure to eat, drink or moisturize (although I did stay out of the sun because of allergies).
I have found though that the wrinkles really do bother me. I couldn’t tell you if it’s partially a reaction that it isn’t until I am 50 that I can be who I was supposed to and maybe I am trying to regain some time I should have had as a woman, or if this is just something I would have felt even if I was female from birth. Either way, that thought is just fluff to outline that I wanted to do something about it. I am fortunate, I have a husband that wants me to be happy and didn’t balk when I brought this up. I am fortunate that at this moment we can afford to do these things, even if it slows down repayment of debts.
I have been gauging what I wanted to do to address this for over a year. The wrinkles bothered me before surgery, but I knew better than to try and address those things before I did the FFS. Someone who gets FFS doesn’t know where they will end up, so trying to fix it before made no sense.
I also had considered using my electrolysis clinic in Phoenix I go to for face clearing. I didn’t do that not because they aren’t awesome, but because the electrolysis is temporary and eventually I won’t travel down there when the hair doesn’t grow back. I wanted a place I could go to for treatment that wouldn’t require a flight and overnight stay.
So when I went in last Friday, September 10th to Mangubat’s spa I had a good idea of what I wanted, but I was going to let the Nurse who is in charge of this guide me so I could read how much I could trust the spa. I was impressed with how patient and kind she was to me, a trans woman who had never been through this. I realize this is a no-brainer for customer service, but medical clinics often have bad bedside manners, but not here.
She was fantastic, in fact, she went out of her way after looking me over to tell me not to get some of the stuff I wanted to be done. She recommended going to Mangubat for blepharoplasty to take care of the bags under my eyes (which I am going to do). I was incredibly pleased though that she didn’t try to make money for something that wouldn’t help, or might even make worse. This is a key factor in wanting to stay with this medical spa. I have talked to others and they recommended a ton of items, but she explained that it might help long term after I had the surgery, but it wouldn’t get the look or the skin in the right shape without far more money than the actual surgery costs
So I ended up with some botox and lip filler (the names elude me, next time I will track the names and let you know). The lip filler I always knew I wanted because I had very masculine lips. Dr. Mangubat definitely feminized them (and they do look cute) but they are still thin. So I went in there and they gave me a single vial and now 10 days later I think it looks great. We went small to avoid having duck lips, but looking at it now I think I will get a little more next time. What did surprise me is that lip filler lasts about a year, I had assumed it would be every 3-4 months like botox.
The botox was even more of a surprise. I grew up and in the 80s/90s the whole botox making you look like a doll situation was going on. I had always doubted it could help you and yet not make you look like you are perpetually surprised. However, I believe in trusting the professional I go to (with the correct amount of skepticism of course). She didn’t lead me wrong. She said it would take about 2 weeks to see the final treatment, but within a few days most of the wrinkles had lessened dramatically and in some areas disappeared around the outside of my eyes.
I am excited about how it looks, and I think next time I will be more easy going with how much she uses. They have already proven they are careful, and to be honest, even if it was too much, none of it is permanent. The lips will lessen and the botox wears off.
I am definitely going to keep doing this, and I might get a little more experimental. It is really nice though that I can participate in a traditionally feminine thing like this and feel like my being trans really doesn’t impact it. I am also glad I found a good place to go and will keep going for as long as I have the money and it is working.