Saving Face: How this doctor helped Stacy Salmon feel like herself again
She didn’t know if she’d ever look the same.
While surgery this spring had successfully removed two benign brain tumors, the operation left lasting marks on Stacy Salmon’s face.
A deep crevice above her eyebrows marked the spot where surgeons had cut into her skull. Skin covering her left temple appeared sunken due to detached muscles. Separating a tumor from her optic nerve had caused deep, dark circles to underscore her eyes.
“My face looked like it was sliding off,” Salmon said. “[The changes] made me age harder than I should look at 48.”
With her firstborn daughter’s wedding approaching, Salmon hoped to find a way to rejuvenate the recesses in her face, but had no idea where to turn. She asked her rheumatologist for a recommendation.
That’s how the Clearwater resident first connected with Dr. Jonathan Morgan. Morgan is board-certified and fellowship-trained in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, which treats conditions affecting ears, noses and throats (ENT).
“Dr. Morgan understands facial reconstruction surgeries,” she said, “and I knew he could help me find a way to look better. And the fact that he is an ENT doctor made me even more confident in his abilities.”
A non-surgical solution painlessly provided immediate results. Signs of mild bruising and swelling caused by the procedure cleared up within days, leaving Salmon more confident about her looks and camera-ready for wedding photos and videos.
“I told him I had so many deficits, do what you want and do what you can,” she recalled. “When he filled the temple, I looked in the mirror and could immediately see a difference.”
Morgan injected fillers to offset the effects of the surgery as well as to highlight her cheekbones and chin. The gel he injected contains molecules that naturally occur in the body. Results will gradually recede over time as the substance is absorbed.
“My goal is for my patients to be the best versions of themselves they can be. The results have to look natural and look like them,” said Morgan. “That may mean undergoing plastic surgery, but non-surgical options are also considered.”
Morgan notes that demand for minimally invasive procedures from patients seeking ways to simply refresh their looks, or as a means of staying competitive in the workplace as they age, has clearly increased over the past five years.
“In our society, looks are important,” he added.
Not all changes sought are cosmetic. For some, plastic surgery is literally an eye-opening experience that enables patients to eliminate loose skin surrounding eyes and brows that can limit their vision. For others, skin cancer reconstruction camouflages scars in a way that flatters their faces.
“We can hide scars in plain sight,” said Morgan, partner, owner and facial plastic surgeon with The Facial Aesthetics Center affiliated with ENT Associates.
For Salmon, the transformation was truly life-changing.
“Now I can go to my daughter’s wedding and feel good about myself. This will tide me over until maybe I decide to do something bigger like surgery later,” she added. “I was not feeling pretty or like myself. But I’m smiling a lot more now.”