Facelift & Lidplastiken von Dr. Jungwirth - aus Sicht seines Patienten und Lehrers Dr. Bunkis


TINA BUNKIS: WIFE & "NURSE" IN AUSTRIA!

We made an adventure out of this experience. Just before Christmas, we traveled to Salzburg, Austria and spent the Holidays with our dear friends, Walther Jungwirth and Andrea Stodola-Hoflehner. Salzburg at Christmas time is one of those "once-in-a-lifetime" bucket list items that everyone should experience. So magical! So Christmasy! So special!  You would not believe the Christmas markets in the main square in Salzburg or at the Hellbrunn Palace!

 

I have been asked what Juris was like as a patient.  Juris was very calm and did not look nervous at all prior to surgery.   I was amazed that Dr. Jungwirth asked Juris to drive himself to the clinic but he obviously did OK and found it.    I have seen many facelift patients through their recovery process but Juris did better than most, looked better than most right after his surgery!    I hated leaving him in the hospital overnight but that is how they do things there, and I know that was not Juris' favorite part.   I had a very short visit with him the next morning, the day after his surgery, and he told me how he wished he could leave.    On the second morning after surgery, I got a text from Juris telling me that he'd had it with the hospital and had to get out, and that if I wasn't there soon, he'd start walking!    Needless to say, I hurried to the clinic and found Juris showered and ready to go.    The clinic is in a town called Bad Durrnberg, close to the German border.    As we were driving out of the clinic parking lot, Juris told me, "Turn right".    I was puzzled because Salzburg was to our left - but in typical Juris fashion, he wanted to take a little detour into Germany, before heading home!  Juris has very sensitive eyes and I had to put eye drops in for him for a number of weeks - but aside from that, Juris did not complain, got right back to his normal pace immediately and it was difficult to tell that he had had a procedure!


JURIS BUNKIS: SURGEON TURNED PATIENT!

Yes, I did get my face and eyes done! I got tired of looking older than I felt, particularly around my eyes. To tell you the truth, it was a fabulous learning experience to see what patients go through. But why Salzburg, you may ask? Dr. Walther Jungwirth got his aesthetic experience with me 25 or so years ago when I was with UC San Francisco and in private practice in the Bay Area. He was one of the best students I had and we became close friends.

 

When Walther finished his training, he did something very novel for those days - at the time, all plastic surgeons who trained in Austria ended up working in government hospitals and there really weren't any full time aesthetic surgeons in the whole country. Walther was the first, opened offices in Vienna and Salzburg, and as they say, the rest is history.

 

He is one of the most respected aesthetic surgeons in Europe, is currently the President of the Austrian Plastic Surgery Society, and is especially well known for his facial work. When Walther first opened his private clinic, he invited me and my staff over to Salzburg for a well organized conference in which my staff and I spoke about outpatient aesthetic surgery, something quite new in Austria at the time.  Since that time, Walther and I have developed a close friendship, visiting each other or meeting at conferences around the world. Years ago we decided that when the time came, I'd be seeing Walther for my rejuvenation.  Here is a photo of Walther and I with Andrea and Tina and a resident of Dr. Jungwirth's in Venice a number of years ago!  And another of the two of us in the early 90's.


WHAT WAS IT LIKE BEING A PATIENT?

Well, I'll tell you what it was like being a patient. To begin with, as with any other patient who undergoes an elective aesthetic procedure, there has to be a desire to look better - I got to the point where I was noticing all the loose skin around my eyes and my jowls and neck were getting a little beefy! Here's a photo Dr. Jungwirth took the day of my surgery and another view two days later.

 

The evening prior to my procedure, I sat down with Walther to come up with a game plan.  We all agreed that he'd do my eyelids and my neck/face but I could not get him to budge on his incisions in front of the ears! I figured he was the surgeon and I wanted him to be comfortable with what he was doing. Otherwise, Walther is right on the mark when it comes to handling the muscles and underlying tissues, resulting in a natural look - nothing worse than that tight, overdone look! I also could not talk him into letting me come back to the house after the surgery. In Austria, all facelift patients spend TWO nights in the hospital after the procedure. And so did I. My surgery was at noon and they wanted me there three hours earlier. I drove myself to the clinic and underwent a full physical by an internist, full blood work and an EKG.  I was relaxed and did not get nervous, my blood pressure even stayed down during this time. The anesthesiologist was wonderful - straight sedation, no gasses or tubes, no hangover or side effects. I was really tired prior to surgery and took advantages of my two days in the clinic, slept on and off the whole time. I was told that I should not shower for a week but I could not follow that rule and took a full shower on the second morning before I went home!


JURIS AND TINA: THE REST OF THE JOURNEY

Juris and Tina as they go out after 2 days post-op! Tina always says she can't slow him down!
Tina loved her presents!

Read and see the rest of their exciting adventure!

 

JURIS:

When I got home on the second day, I was swollen and bruised, but not very bad. I did not care if anyone saw me with bruises! I put my sunglasses on and went to do a little Christmas shopping in the markets with Tina. Then Walther and Andrea took us on a hike up in the Alps to a mountain house restaurant that according to Walther, served the best weinerschnitzel and meet dumplings in the world.   I have to admit that I was sucking wind during the hike but the scenery and food were well worth the effort.  This is how I looked on the second day.

 

TINA:

Christmas Eve was magical!   We began by going to an early mass and then after sunset to a ceremony in a graveyard at the base of the wall leading up to the castle.   This cemetery is over a thousand years old and is where Walther's father is buried.  There were a few thousand people in the cemetery, all standing at graves of loved departed ones, all the graves were decorated with flowers, small Christmas trees and candles.  As we stood there, a group started playing trumpets up from the castle.  It was an amazing concert! Thereafter, we all made it home for a venison dinner and an evening in front of a real tree, with real candles - a few prayers, a few Christmas carols, presents and friends. Truly a highlight!

 

JURIS:

Christmas Eve was the fourth day after surgery. Before we left, we celebrated Christmas with our children and Tina and I exchanged gifts as well.  We brought presents with us for everyone in the Jungwirth family, but on the 24th as I was watching everyone put presents under the tree, something did not feel complete and I drove myself to a mall to get Tina a little something else for Christmas! I got Tina a very nice painting of downtown Salzburg, and a robe adorned with Swarovski crystals! 

 

TINA:

After Christmas, Walther and Andrea took us to their mountain house in Dienton.  It is a wonderful place, located half way up a ski resort. Scenery was great.   I must confess that I got a little nervous when Juris started talking about joining Walther and Andrea on the slopes but that talk soon ended when Juris realized that doing a face plant would not be good for his face!  After our trip to Dienton, Dr. Jungwirth returned to work and we spent a day driving around Bavaria. We love the town of Berchtesgaden and visited it again - had some of the best sausages and sauerkraut we've ever had at the Gasthof Bier Adam.

Juris made it to the slopes!
Tina at Gasthof Bier Adam!

DR. BUNKIS: 4 WEEKS POST-OP

The time in Austria just flew by! And it's been nonstop action since getting back. I can hardly believe that four weeks have passes since my surgery. My neck is still very stiff and lumpy, my left lower eyelid is still pulled down slightly and my eyes feel tight.  But every day things get better and I feel more normal. Definitely, like I've always told my patients, it takes a good four to six months after a lift to heal fully and look ones best. But it has been surprising to me how easy the recovery really has been, how little true down time I had, the lack of significant pain (aside from my eyes - I used a lot of eye drops because my eyes were very sensitive but did not need any pain meds), how totally doable if you're tired of looking like your parents! I learned about this procedure through a patient's perspective and that was very helpful to me as a surgeon! Yes, I would definitely recommend this procedure to anyone who wants to look better! This is me at four weeks.

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