I have had the good fortune of being able to have two facelifts in my life. However, I have had the misfortune to have one of those be not only a terrible surgical experience but to have the ensuing result be terribly poor, so I am in the position of being informed enough to compare.
But it was my experience with Dr. Alan Matarasso, who performed my first surgery, who I would characterize as a surgical rock star — remarkably skilled, talented, an expert in knowledge and with his hands. He checks all the boxes you will want in a surgeon working on your body, but especially on your face.
For me, Alan Matarasso did a mid-facelift, necklift, and upper and lower bleph, and from first consultation to outpatient and final results, it was a phenomenal experience. He is, based on my personal experience, a magician with his skill, hands, expertise, technique.
To a person who knew about my surgery, every single one was in awe of the work he performed. While ALL had said pre-surgery that I didn't need to do it, actually that I shouldn't, after healing they unanimously were amazed by the transformation. One male friend in particular who had been vehemently opposed would stare at my face after my healing and say, "I am so glad you didn't listen to me. You looked great before but wow, he did an amazing job." This friend still repeats that all these years later because he was so incredulous at my incredible result.
Please note that I had done my homework for decades, always knowing full well that one day I would have my face done. In that light, I had read everything I could find in books by experts, respected magazines, other patient experiences, consulted with surgeons, and consulted with recognized expert plastic surgery consultants in New York City. I met with both David Hidalgo and Dan Baker, both internationally renowned and respected as go-tos. In anything I read and researched, on every top plastic surgeon list in NYC, Alan Matarasso's work was consistently at the top of the list, included everywhere, and my consultation and eventual procedure with him bore out that reputation.
I knew from research that Dr. Matarasso was a plastic surgeon extraordinaire who had been (still is) widely respected internationally, known as one of the elite group of most highly regarded surgeons on the Upper East Side who is as accessible to the everyday patient as he is to celebrities, is extensively published in magazines and medical journals, has chaired or been on the board of all the major plastic surgery related associations including AAPS and ASPS, is a manuscript reviewer for the AMA, has been selected by Castle & Connolly as one of the “Best Cosmetic Surgeons in America” annually (by his peers, no less!) since 1996. Pretty impressive credentials. I knew from my reading that he had been personally mentored by Brazil’s Ivo Pitanguy, known internationally as the “Father of Modern Plastic Surgery.”
My own experience with Alan Matarasso was extraordinary from beginning to end. From the outset he was honest, upfront, approachable, clearly knowledgeable, and seemingly genuinely interested. He never overpromised. As a matter of fact, while other doctors told me a lift would last me 10 years, he shook his head and said maybe but not likely; you can usually expect them to be good for about 7 to 8 years. His work ended up lasting me 9 to 10 years before I began noticing the initial onset of jowling. And my eyes lasted me, well, it's 18 years later and I'm just beginning to consider having them done again.
Dr. Matarasso took as much time as was necessary to explain his considered and knowledgeable thoughts during my consult. And he did that with every patient who was in a consultation room while I was there — he took the time, he wasn’t preoccupied by the next patient or unapproachable or hurried. He had a sense of humor and was easy and comfortable to be with, a big plus. The moment after leaving my consult, I knew I would do it. I felt firmly confident, I had not one moment of hesitation, apprehension, or fear from that moment forward, which was unlike me (and which was definitely not the same experience with the second surgeon years later). And actually at that point I couldn't wait to do it!! I really found that pretty remarkable.
On the morning of my surgery, I checked in to the Manhattan Eye, Ear, & Throat Hospital, from which some of the country’s best surgeons operate. Dr. Matarasso came in with his team, introduced us all, was upbeat, put me at ease immediately, began marking up my face, and we said, "Let's do this."
I had my surgery under general anesthesia. I woke up in recovery, elated. Truth. That is not an understatement at all. I was moved to a room to 'recuperate.’ The truth is, I had not one moment's pain. Ever. Not one. Unbelievable to my mind, but also true.
Over the next two weeks, as the very minimal bruising and swelling decreased, I was in awe and so very happy with my results, which totally reinforced my positivity about going through with my procedures. As my healing took shape, we could all see my face had been transformed from aging signs of a middle aged woman to simply spectacular. And that's no exaggeration. My jawline was that of a woman at least 10 years younger (I was 49). I wasn't pulled taut at all, I looked natural, the result was subtle but amazing, and I was thrilled. Men were actually doing double takes from cars, in office buildings, on the street!!! Maybe not cool in this #MeToo era but believe me, I was okay with it again.
I followed up with my appointments afterwards and never once did Dr. Matarasso treat me as though he had done the work, gotten paid, and was now dismissive. NEVER. I saw him over the years a few times to check in about what he thought about another lift, and we chatted and laughed — he was always great. And he also always said nope, not time, judie, you don’t need another lift yet. Unfortunately, when the time came in 2016 that I wanted to do another one and really did ‘need’ it, Dr. Matarasso and I couldn't seem to connect because of our schedules (he is often called all over the country to speak and consult and I had to travel to see him) and my financial situation had also changed so I thought I would be unable to afford him. Importantly, and please note, when I did finally go see him after my second very terrible surgery — desperate and nearly in tears at what I had done by going to another surgeon and those results — it turned out he would have been in a fully reasonable and affordable fee range. Believe me, I am still kicking myself. Hard. I would go back to Dr. Matarasso, given the opportunity and having my funds from that second terrible surgery back, and I’d have him fix this in a second, no hesitation. I cannot extol Alan Matarasso’s talent, skill, knowledge, bedside manner, personality, and expertise enough. I simply just can’t.
If you would like my befores from my procedure with Dr. Matarasso, contact me. And I will also pass along a warning as a result of my second surgery — because of my lack of due diligence, assuming every surgeon was the caliber of my first experience with Dr. Matarasso — the doctor sutured all along my temple and in front of my ear and I now have visible Frankenstein track scars down both sides of my face. BE CAREFUL. Don’t think twice about the extra thousand or two – see a reputable surgeon. Of course, my recommendation for that is Alan Matarasso. He is regarded as one of the best. There’s a reason for that.