Tango Diva : Travel Stories for Women, by Women

February 22nd, 2016
Facing my Face: A Story of Getting Vulnerable

Albert Chow, Sophie Azouaou, and Teresa after her treatments

Albert Chow, Sophie Azouaou, and Teresa after her treatments

This is a story that I don’t really want to share…but because I have had such success with Botox and fillers, I feel that I should. We should lift the mask of shame when it comes to making ourselves look better Divas! So what if we get a little help! Let’s look our best in 2016.

Here’s my story

Last year I had a cancer scare and I would be lying if I said that my face is looking fabulous. It’s not. Plus, since I had my daughter four years ago, I have lost 70 pounds and a lot of that weight came off my face leaving me with wrinkles and sags.

Sophie and Teresa

Sophie and Teresa

My frown line is a permanent fixture and my face is looking more like a prune than a plump peach. I just had my birthday, so I want to do something about my face—for me, no one else. I spoke to one of my best friends Sophie and asked her where I should go. Sophie specializes in making interiors beautiful and writes about green living on her award-winning website Step Into My Green World, so I trust her judgment. She told me about Dr. Chow. I made an appointment with him to find out what could be done about my haggard face.

Sophie joined me at took some before photos of me. During my visit, Sophie and I spent time chatting with Dr. Chow, who happens to be one of the friendliest doctors I have met! I asked him about his history and why he became a plastic surgeon.

Doctor Chow was 5 years old when he arrived in San Francisco from Canada. From an early age, he wanted to help people. It started with a summer youth program that he participated in when he was 14 years old. He volunteered as a pharmacy technician and was mentored by a wonderful man named Dr. Blake. It was at that time that Dr. Chow wanted to really understand what healthcare was about and began to explore different areas of medicine. His interest lead him to study cardiovascular health especially Cystic Fibrosis and finding a cure.

He saw his future in medicine in biochemistry and research, but there was only one problem, he didn’t get to interact with people. He is a true people person and finds joy from interacting with the individuals he helps.

From there, he moved into cancer research, but found it very depressing. “When I couldn’t help someone, I would take it very personally.” So, he focused on Ears, Nose, and Throat (ENT). “During my time as an ENT doctor, a colleague asked me if I might be interested in Plastics and Aesthetics. It is surgery that puts body parts back together and makes them beautiful. “Now that was rewarding!” Dr. Chow continues, “Because I get so emotionally attached to my patients, I wanted a career where I chose to help people that were not dealing with life and death issues.”

Dr.Chow spent 6 years in residency studying Ear, Nose, and Throat and also has 1 more year in blepharoplasty and facial plastic surgery and an additional 2 years of plastic surgery.

In 1999, Dr. Chow joined Dr. Wolfenden, San Francisco’s top plastic surgeon. Dr. Wolfenden recently retired and Dr. Chow has continued his very successful practice.

For the past 10 years, Dr. Chow has been at Sutter Health in Davis, where he focuses on breast reconstruction after breast cancer.

What is great about Dr. Chow is that he is so friendly and personable. He’ll sit with you and answer your questions in his light, beautifully designed office—that looks nothing like a doctor’s office.

So, I went to go see Dr. Chow. What he did to my face was the following:

  • Fillers in my lips
  • Fillers under my eyes
  • Fillers in my smile lines
  • Botox in my forehead
  • Botox for my frown line
  • Botox for my crow’s feet

If you are ready to do something for yourself, I highly recommend Dr. Chow.

Albert W, Chow, M.D.

Here are my before and after pictures. These are without any makeup!!

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Top is after the botox. What wrinkles?

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Left side is after fillers and botox

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