Our Patients Say it Best

Your friends and neighbors from throughout southwest Michigan and beyond share their experiences at Spectrum Health Lakeland. Do you have a story to share? Click on the "What's Your Story" button and complete the form. 

A Lift in Confidence - Michelle King-Cohen


Jan, 2018

After a three-and-a-half-year weight loss journey which resulted in vertical sleeve gastrectomy surgery, Michelle King-Cohen was down 75 pounds and feeling better than ever. However, the amount of weight she had lost left some unwelcome side effects in its place.

“Due to losing so much weight I was left with a lot of extra skin,” said Michelle, a St. Joseph resident. “My arms were the part of my body that bothered me the most and I simply didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin.”

With her son getting married in just over a year, Michelle was determined to look her best for the big day. While sitting in the waiting room at Stonegate Medical Spa before a facial treatment, Michelle picked up a brochure about brachioplasty, also known as an arm lift.

“I wasn’t familiar with this type of procedure but it seemed like a solution to my problem and I decided to do more research on my own,” said Michelle. “I knew that everyone had different results when it came to these types of procedures, but I decided to make an appointment anyways to see if it was something I might consider doing.”

During her initial consultation, her plastic surgeon confirmed that Michelle was indeed a candidate for this type of cosmetic procedure which would reduce excess sagging skin and tighten and smooth the underlying supportive tissue that defines the shape of the upper arm.

Within two weeks of deciding to move forward, Michelle was scheduled for surgery. She was surprised to learn that the procedure would take place in the fully-accredited surgical facility available at Stonegate Plastic Surgery.

“It was important for me to see the area where the surgery would be taking place beforehand,” said Michelle. “I was very impressed with how clean and sterile everything looked. It was just like a hospital operating room right there at the practice.”

Not only was Michelle impressed with the facility, she also valued the team of professionals who would be caring for her.

“On the day of the surgery I had six different people taking care of me – I felt so special,” she said. “I wasn’t nervous at all. My care team gave me a lot of confidence in the way they interacted with one another. It was like a well-oiled machine.”

Within two weeks of surgery Michelle was able to return to work. While she would need to wear compression sleeves for the next four months to prevent swelling and help reshape her arms, she was pleased to discover that her scars were barely visible.

“My surgeon was upfront about the fact that this procedure would leave scars and encouraged me to be realistic about the outcome,” said Michelle. “She provided me with before and after pictures of other patients so I knew what to expect – in the end I was very pleased with the results.”

As the scars continue to fade Michelle remains focused on losing weight and watching what she eats. She’s also gained the confidence to try on dresses for her son’s wedding – a day she is looking forward to now more than ever.  


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