YTF Cosmetic Surgery Patient Network
|Who I Am...
It is kind of difficult to describe who you really are in a few
sentences, but I will try my best. My name is
Marianne and I reside in sunny Southern California, where getting plastic surgery is as common
as getting a half-caff, non-fat Venti caramel Macchiato in the
drive-thru. Fortunately my interests are widespread so I
often have the opportunity to escape L.A. and obtain many views as well as change my
own. I always remain open-minded as life and technology
continually evolve. I believe that adaptation is the secret of
success and happiness.
I have been researching and writing
medical articles for web publications, magazines, books and televised
media since 1998.
I believe that patients should have open access to quality information
that include both the benefits and the risks of a procedure. I
feel that we should be able to know exactly what we are getting into and
be able to research the background of the surgeon who will be holding
the scalpel. For this reason I pride myself on staying ahead of
the curve when it comes to aesthetic medical technology while still
maintaining genuine empathy and conveying a personable approach in supporting
My interests are obviously
plastic surgery but also
psychology, quantum mechanics
practically obsessed with the
dynamics of the human body. The human body is an extraordinary
machine. I am in absolute awe by its most primal mechanics and
complex thought processes. Everything about the human body amazes me, from birth to
death. The many stages that our chemical structure goes through are
boundless, especially the mind.
general psychological composition astounds me. What one person sees as a
strength or pleasure may truly be another's greatest fear; I am fascinated by
this. The mind is so limitless that I sincerely believe we will never,
ever fully learn its capability or recreate its true functionality.
For this reason, I also enjoy profiling. You'd be amazed how what
someone will tell you without saying a word. It's a hobby, haha!
I have pretty typical Gemini traits.
My friends would describe me as constantly evolving, adventurous,
inquisitive and tenacious. I live life as though I may die tomorrow and
have no regret other than that I couldn't live longer. Sometimes,
I cannot help but feel overwhelmed by the complexities of life and the
possibility of missing out on anything I was meant to do. I am always willing to learn new things and am
very open to trying just about anything that I find interesting. I just want to
be able to learn and experience everything that I can before I check out. No matter how much one knows or think they
know, there is ALWAYS more to learn about everything. You will
never hear me say that I am an expert in anything. I believe one can be
well-versed in subjects but defining oneself as an expert, in my
opinion, is incredibly ostentatious.
As far as my
beliefs and what I am firmly involved in, I am heavily involved in charitable organizations
such as SAFE (Stuffed Animals For Emergencies; I once ran
the California Chapter up until 2009), SafeNest (which assists victims of domestic
violence in Las Vegas). I also support The Child Cancer Foundation, The Children's
Miracle Network, Save The Children, and the National Marrow Donor Program. I am a
huge advocate of bone marrow, living donor and peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donation and
am currently on the bone marrow donor registry. I also donate my platelets
every month if I am able. I urge everyone to do what they can to help
leukemia and lymphoma patients win their battles. We are blessed with the
gift of health, let's help others with a gift of life. I like to think of
it as plastic surgery patients giving back. Please visit the
Marrow Donor Support Network for more information.
My Most Fulfilling
I had the opportunity to build an elementary school (grades 1 - 7) in Asia for 140 children who needed a proper
place to pursue an education. A lot of the children who
do attend school in many under-developed countries must share a single classroom with other children
who are in separate grades. The children usually sit on a dirt, or wooden,
straw mats, and
have very little one-on-one teacher time. Plus, not all areas are
fortunate to have even this little by way of education. Clearly, most do
not have the opportunities which many of us take for granted.
In June of 2006 I
met a very generous, and modest man who personally raises money for and builds schools.
He completely oversees the buying of the materials and the locals, mostly the
families of school-aged children, build the structures themselves. This way all of
the proceeds go directly into the building of each school and none is pocketed
nor trickles into unrelated 'projects'. The school took about 3-4 months to
build and was completed in early
2007--the inauguration was spectacular! I have never been so humbled in my
life, it was the most amazing experience I have ever been graced with. If I could, I would build schools
full-time but it takes a lot of money, and with that I have to work for
it. All children deserve an education and I will do my part to change even
just a few lives if I can.
Unfortunately, Cyclone Nargis (2008) obliterated much of the
area and killed almost 500 people in that town alone. The school was used as a refuge
for months until the residents could rebuild their domiciles. My cousin
lives there and is
married to a woman who is native to the area and although we couldn't get in touch with
them for weeks, I did later find out the status of the school and the general
area. The devastation was widespread but the rebuilding process began a lot
faster than expected.
How I Got Into This Career: It's Interesting How We Change
I began college with a plan. I was to
first get my AA in Administration of Justice, ending with a degree in Criminal
Justice, minoring in Abnormal Psychology. I had this
crazy idea in my young head I would one day be like Clarice Starling in Silence
of the Lambs. I remember when I first started college I was told
that I would change my major many times. I never believed a word
of it until it happened to me. At 18 the world was not as I
originally thought it would be nor did it change by the time I got on
the local police department. My initial
introduction to the world of law enforcement started when I got a job
dispatching for the city police which included not only law enforcement,
but fire & rescue and 911 calls as well. I really loved it so
very much. I know it sounds silly, but my biggest obstacle
was actually my shyness. I felt uncomfortable speaking over the
radio to everyone. Yes, once upon a time I was shy. I had a soft voice and to be heard I had to
get over it. Trying to break in and be accepted, or taken
seriously, was difficult at first, especially in a
predominately male field. But it was very challenging. Everyone one who knows me knows I love a challenge!
I later attended and graduated
from the auxiliary police academy (at that time, my police dept. didn't allow
women on the street full time but they did allow us to take the reserve
course). I loved dispatching, but I had a
plan! I truly was gung ho and
thought I'd change the world; I really wanted to make a difference
and put away ' bad guys.' But, I later felt that the department I worked for really held
women back at the time and opportunities
never manifested no matter how hard I worked, whined or demanded equal
treatment. My father was a sergeant for a police department in another
state and is now retired from their Internet Task Force. When I
was younger, I thought for sure I'd do something in the investigative
field so I pushed on.
After a few short years I
realized that I was one person who wouldn't make a difference in law
enforcement. I also realized that there were a lot of politics involved in my
area as well as that particular career in general and found that being in law enforcement was
not something I was interested in anymore. Long story short, I resigned. I later attempted to
get on dispatch in another, bigger city and didn't get the job. NO hard
feelings, I took it as an omen. The end of law
enforcement for me. You live, you learn. I don't regret it one
bit. I wouldn't be here today had I a wonderful experience.
Several years later while wandering through various
careers and states trying to find out where my puzzle piece fit, I wound up in
California. About nine months later (1998), I decided to have breast augmentation
surgery, rhinoplasty (1998) and eventually lip augmentation (1999). I had
begun amassing a good amount of information and research materials during my
preliminary days before surgery. During my healing times and off-time for
I taught myself to handcode HTML and other languages (yes, people actually
handcoded back then). I began to document my stories for an online
journal and well, a little AOL
hometown web page (the black and pink days!) became numerous websites of patient education material. I
began spending even more hours online, researching and chatting with other plastic surgery
patients, supporting them through their own recoveries, trying to find answers to their
questions and so forth. I
woke up one day and realized I had better start making a living with it because
it was taking up 12 to 15 hours a day of my time and a lot of my savings. I started getting invited to appear
on talk shows and in magazine articles, so flying back from New York after the John Stossel show, my ex-partner and I
discussed the situation and Enhancement Media was born.
Yes They're Fake! was our flagship
website, and out of necessity eventually grew into 25 separate
plastic surgery websites designed to cater to the individual
communities of patients seeking like-minded individuals.
Due to a partnership dissolution, 18 of our patient education
websites were sold in July of 2006. However, YTF is still owned
and run exclusively by myself.
I few years later, partnership with another patient and
Plastic Surgery Patient Solutions, I created several more procedure-specific
LipAugmentationCentral.com and I guess you could say, "We're back!"
What's With The Blatant "Yes,
They're Fake! Nature?
Yes, I do take plastic surgery very seriously, but I
just don't find the need for the site to be snobby and without
personality. That's just not me. I become friends with a
lot of people I meet through my websites and I like it that
way. Everyone who comes here to learn is very important to me and their
happiness is imperative. If I can do anything to help educate or
just point the way, I will do my best.
You may have noticed
the frank nature of the YTF website. This is because we,
as patients, need a place to unite and discuss the reality of aesthetic options and their
risks and myths. Our visitors are real people, looking for real answers from
real patients who will tell them like it is, one way or the other.
If you want your info candy-coated or biased,
good luck! Because you're going to need it. I am not some
"overly-opinionated know it all", but I am
a realist. If you find that you do
not like it the YTF! attitude, the Internet's a big place and I am sure you will find your niche.
I do wish you
well in your surgical endeavors.
Surgical Procedures I've had
Breast Augmentation (Jeffrey Friedman, MD, June 16, 1998) First
Rhinoplasty (Jeffrey Friedman, MD, Novmeber 4, 1998)
Augmentation with 3.5mm Gore-Tex tubes (Jeffrey Friedman, MD, February
Revision Lip Augmentation due to infection, changed to 3mm Gore-Tex
tubes (Jeffrey Friedman, MD, July 27, 1999)
Breast Implant Exchange with Benelli Breast Lift/Areola Reduction
(John Rusca, MD, May 5, 2004) for Discovery Channel
Liposuction to flanks, hips, inner and outer thighs and
abdomen (John Rusca, MD, May 5, 2004) for Discovery Channel
Modified Brow Lift (John Rusca, MD, May 5, 2004) for
Fat Grafting to Cheeks (temporary, John Rusca, MD, May 5, 2004)
for Discovery Channel
Finesse Liposuction (mild touch up to inner thighs and fat
grafting to outer thigh contour irregularity from first lipo procedure),
Breast Lift Scar Revision (John Rusca, MD, February 22, 2005)
Implant Removal with peri-areolar breast lift due to prior breast
lift complications; Gore-Tex lip implant removal,
plus a little bit of
grafting to undereyes, chin, nasolabials, temples, brow bone, nose and
(Fat was temporary,
breast lift came out awesome, Dr. Chia Chi Kao, April 12, 2007)
I have not had surgery since 2007 (see last surgery
Mini Procedures I've had
Injections (temporary, Irene Komsky, RN, January 1999)
Laser Tattoo Removal Treatment (incomplete, August 11, 1999)
(1999) I find that a homemade microdermabrasion cream or .1% tretinoin (Retin
A) does the same thing for way cheaper, and Retin A is more effective.
over Gore-Tex (temporary, Irene Komsky, RN, 2000)
Skincare & Rejuvenation with Retin-A Micro. It made a big difference in
my skin but requires maintenance. I no longer use Obagi. (temporary,
March 29, 2001 to November 2, 2001)
Injections (temporary, Dr. James Romano, June 11, 2002)
My First Botox
to Glabella (temporary, Irene Komsky, RN, June 2002)
Perlane #2 (temporary, Dr.
James Romano, August 11, 2003) for Self Magazine. I had a lump in one
lip from it that lasted several months
Radio-frequency treatment) (temporary, Dr. Gail Humble,
October 17, 2003) Also called Thermalift to brows, temples and
under eyes. The results were temporary and
I feel that I lost fat from the procedure.
to Crow's Feet, Outer Brows and Glabella (temporary, Gail Humble, MD,
October 17, 2003)
to Philtral & Cupid's Bow Sculpting (temporary, Gal Humble, MD,
October 17, 2003)
Lift to Cheek (APTOS Threads) - (permanent, although I don't know if it
is still working, Gal Humble, MD, January 26, 2004) - for Fox News
(Radiesse) to Lips (Dr. John Rusca, May 5, 2004) I had severe
lumping though and it had to be surgically removed. I don't recommend at all
for the lips.
Micropigmentation to brows and
upper and lower eyelash enhancement (June 2004) Please read my blog before deciding to do this!
Sculptra to under eyes
(semi-permanent, Dr. Gail Humble, November 11, 2004)
Radiesse lump removal from lover lip (Dr. Gail Humble, November 11,
Sculptra to under eyes,
nasolabials and cheeks - (semi-permanent, Dr. Gail Humble,
February 9, 2005)
Radiance lump removal 'completion' (Dr. John Rusca, February 22, 2005)
under eyes plus 5-FU injections for fat
grafting problems; philtral column augmentation (temporary, Dr. Jonathan Hoenig, August 30, 2006)
ScanLite (full-face), 1 cc
Restylane to lips and a touch to nasolabials, Botox (temporary, Dr. Gail
Humble, December 12, 2006) OUCH! and no results for the ScanLite
Invisalign Removable Braces for slight correction (2006 - 2008)
Cosmetic Dental - I had two of my teeth (canines) bonded
Radiesse to Cheeks (1.3mL),
Restylane under eyes and
forehead, glabella and crow's feet (semi-permanent, temporary, Dr. Jonathan Hoenig,
September 29, 2009)
Botox to forehead, glabella, plastysma (Cynthia Boxrud, M.D. for KTTV
Fox 11 News in Los Angeles, July 15, 2010)
Submalar Area, .3 cc Restylane Lips & 25 units Botox to Forehead, Glabella &
Crow's Feet (temporary, Dr. Jonathan Hoenig, November 24, 2010)
A Few Frequently Asked Questions
you having anymore surgery?
A. Never say never. I am sure now that I have had the surgeries
I wanted, upkeep will be necessary as the years go by. I haven't had
any surgery since 2007. Sure, there are things I'd like to
do but they are all non-surgical. Such as tattoo removal
completion, and temporary fillers and Botox for maintenance.
I suppose I'd like to get a light peel. If I were to do
anything surgical it would be breast re-implantation (small
implants, just for upper pole fullness) but I'll admit, I am on
the fence about it. I like sleeping on my stomach
sometimes, or not worrying about deflations, I like the lack of
weight, or attempting to find bras which fit my implants.
My natural breasts also don't get in the way during sports and
can be squished into a sportsbra with no problem. But I do
admit, having breast implants makes breasts look better in my
Q. Do you
have Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)?
A. NO. I do not have an image disorder. People can improve
their appearance and mind without needing therapy. However, I
definitely wouldn't have had as much had I not been in this business. I do
a lot of television and other media for plastic surgery and feel that I must
keep up my appearance more than I would have otherwise. Not to mention
some minor procedures I have simply had just to gain first hand knowledge to tell
others about it and let them know what to expect. Many were temporary. I know that sounds crazy
but, they weren't really invasive. I only do really invasive things because
I want to, not out of peer pressure. I have not had any surgery since
2007, but I do like to get Botox 1 to 2 times a year and
Restylane about once a year. It's funny, when I do relax
and "let myself go" a little, people online make comments about
how I am ruining my results. But when I get something
done, they say that I am addicted. I have found that you
can't win for losing and should just do what makes YOU happy.
Which is really what I have always advised others. But,
sometimes it is difficult to take your own advice.
Q. Why did
you start getting plastic surgery at such a young age?
A. I believe in prevention and maintenance instead of waiting until you
are bad off and need an overhaul. I look at it this way, you don't
drive your car into the ground and then once it breaks down you fix
it. You take care of it so it takes care of you. If you maintain
your appearance and take care of yourself will look and feel far better for
far longer. Besides, I started off with procedures to improve what I had,
didn't have anything age related until 30 (Botox) and age-related surgery (brow
lift) at 32 and from now on
the procedures will be to maintain what I have.
you afford this?
A. Just like you, I have to work for my money. However, for my first 2 procedures I had a settlement from a near death accident,
so after a two year stint in physical therapy I said I DESERVE this!
And so I spent the money on boobs and a nose! The lips were a Valentine's
Day gift. I also quit smoking right before my
breast augmentation and the money I save on that alone was enough to cover anything else
for years to come. I have remained a nonsmoker since 1998! It
is honestly THE best thing I have ever done for myself. I also work about
8 hours a day, 5 days a week. I have had
discounted procedures (and some no charge) because I agreed to be filmed on
television while having the procedures. And of course, I skimp in some areas so I can spend in
others; people sacrifice some things so they can have others. If there
is a will, there is a way my friends!