Every year, thousands of people share their stories about cosmetic and elective procedures on RealSelf. It’s one of the top reasons people come to us — to read others’ experiences and get all the insider info on how to find the right doctor, prepare for a treatment, and even get the best tips for post-op healing.

While these reviews from real people are a wealth of information and advice, they often inspire us, too. Here are three of our favorite stories from 2017. 


Maisie_Boo’s breast reduction

Maisie_Boo's before and after photos

Maisie_Boo used to love her breasts, but when she reached her 50s she was unhappy with the changes in the size and shape and ready for a breast reduction. “I am sick of the matronly look, the bra-strap marks, and the fact that I can never wear nice clothes,” she wrote on RealSelf.

“When you’re in this situation, it’s easy to focus on what could go wrong, but actually, you need to be mindful. …Set your mind-set on what could go right,” she continued. “It’s a cliché, but positivity is such a stress buster. I’m also very aware that I am extremely blessed to have had such a good surgeon, and so far, a good outcome.”


Why we love this story

Her review is thoughtful, honest and full of helpful tips. “While you are marked up and sitting in your bedside chair in your paper pants and gown waiting, take your mind off it,” she said. “Scrutinize your room and have everything you think you will want within reach on your over bed table.”

She also shares emotional moments. “I suddenly became very aware that I have had life-changing surgery, and from my vantage point, looking down on my chest, it literally looks like my breasts have been chopped in half,” she said six days post-op. “Not sure why I am feeling so odd. As much as I genuinely hated my boobs, maybe I’m grieving a little.”


Related: Breast Reduction: Frequently Asked Questions


Vancouver238’s facelift

Vancouver238's facelift before and after photos

“My one word of advice through all of this is patience,” said Vancouver238. “These first couple of months things change on almost a daily basis. My second piece of advice is not to compare your journey too much with other people.”

Vancouver238 had gone through surgical menopause in her early 40s. “Within two months I could see the rapid aging of my face,” she said. “It was literally overnight and devastating.

“I have younger children, and I decided that as soon as someone asked me if they were my grandchildren that the time had come.” When she decided to take action, she looked at hundreds of facelift pictures and reviews, so that she could confidently make the decision right for her.


Why we love this story

Vancouver238 has a wonderful sense of humor, captioning one post-op photo, “Day 8 – bar fight?” due to the bruising, which is completely normal after a facelift. She shared a lot of great photos, showing what the recovery process is like. And we love how happy she is with her results.

“I love, love, love that I did this for myself,” she said five months post-op.


Related: Facelift Guide: Frequently Asked Questions


sfr8as86’s hair transplant

sfr8as86's hair transplant before and after photos

“Ultimately, my hair does make a difference to my self-esteem and having a procedure will make me more confident,” wrote sfr8as86. “So I am going to man up and do it once and for all.”

After trying Propecia and not getting the hair regrowth he’d hoped for, sfr8as86 traveled to Istanbul for an affordable hair transplant, where it costs a fifth of what he would pay in his home country Australia.


Why we love this story

For 10 years, sfr8as86 had been bothered by his thinning, receding hairline. He investigated options before deciding on a doctor and clinic that he trusted.

Many people opt for medical tourism, as it can be substantially cheaper. But price wasn’t his only consideration. “Unfortunately, Australia is not famous for hair transplants, but Turkey, and more specifically Dr. Emrah Cinik‘s surgery, have perfected it,” he says.

Sfr8as86’s update one month post-op sounds promising. “I am going through the shedding stage, I have lost quite a bit of implanted hair, but not to worry because the roots are there now, I just need to wait for them to grow,” he says. 


Related: Shampoos, supplements, surgery: What really works for fighting hair loss


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