• Sharing Mayo Clinic

    “I wanted to do something for myself”

Heidi before and after surgery

Heidi had been thinking about cosmetic surgery for years. She decided to do it after her father was killed. "It was hard on me, and my family, and I wanted to reward myself for getting through it. I wanted to do something for myself." says Heidi.

Her reward was a septorhinoplasty (surgery to remove obstructions and improve the appearance of the nose), a chin implant and breast enlargement.

The 27-year-old had considered having plastic surgery on her nose for years. "I broke my nose as a child and I was always self-conscious about it," Heidi says. In addition to affecting the appearance of her nose, the injury narrowed her nasal passage on one side. Even after sinus surgery the problem continued to worsen. She wanted to breathe easier again and look better, too.

Heidi also felt that her breasts were small for her body size, and opted to have breast enlargement. Even though she "wasn't going to go extreme — only from a 'B' to a 'C' cup," she wondered how her conservative family would react to her plan. "I thought my mother would shoot down the idea, but she said: 'go for it'."

Before surgery

Before surgery





After surgery

After surgery





She didn't decide on the chin implant until the day before the surgery. She thought: "Why not? If I'm under, this is the time and it will improve my overall appearance." She is tall — 5 feet 11 inches — and thought that a more pronounced chin would complement her bone structure.

Once she decided to have plastic surgery, Heidi consulted with three different surgeons. "I'm a scientist, the type of person who researches things carefully," says Heidi, who has a degree in engineering and currently works as a teacher. "I chose Mayo because of its reputation for medical aptitude. Obviously, I wanted to look better, but the medical aspect was my highest priority."

Heidi had all three procedures done at once — which is common for plastic surgery, and beneficial, because the patient only goes under anesthesia once. Oren Friedman, M.D., a facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon in Otorhinolaryngology (ENT), performed the nose and chin surgeries. Plastic surgeon Nho Tran, M.D., performed the breast surgery.

She is pleased with the quality of care provided at Mayo — as well as the medical and aesthetic results of her surgeries. Says Heidi: "One month after the surgeries, my boyfriend said that, even though he'd never even noticed the bump on my nose, he couldn't believe that I waited so long to have it done!" She went to Florida three months after the surgery and was pleased with her appearance in a swimsuit.

When Heidi has shared her experience, she has been surprised how many others tell her about their own cosmetic procedures.

Heidi says that she wouldn't hesitate to recommend cosmetic surgery for a daughter, cousin or best friend. "My first piece of advice, though, would be to expect some pain right after the surgery. That helped me to be realistic. Also, I would advise people not to have precise expectations; for example don't take in a photo and say, 'make me look like this person'."

In a nutshell, she says: "If you're considering cosmetic surgery, do it!"