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40+ Years Old, 3 Children, Tired of my Wardrobe Always Centering Around my Center - Atlanta, GA

I know my procedure is 6 months away, but I'm so...

I know my procedure is 6 months away, but I'm so excited, I could burst!! This has been on my mind for the last 6 years and I'm so glad I've decided to finally go for it!! I'd do it now if I could since I'm off for the summer, but I want to lose some weight first and have already made summer plans.
I'm 5'4 and weigh about 145-150. By the time my surgery date comes around, I'd like to be back down to 125. Last summer I lost 25lbs. by walking daily. Don't ever let anyone tell you walking won't get weight off, because that's not true. Unfortunately for me, I put the weight back on over the winter. Sweatshirts are a blessing and a curse at the same time! A blessing because they really camouflage fat...a curse because they really camouflage fat!!
I've never had an "hourglass" figure. Before kids, i just went straight down. After my first child, love handles appeared. Stomach was in great shape (due to him coming 2 1/2 months early) but these pesky saddle bags that I couldn't get rid of. Even weighing 110lbs I still had them????. After my 2nd child, the stomach appeared. Had just about lost the weight I gained then, when the baby decided it was his time to appear. So my oldest will be 20 in September, and my baby turns 7 in November. I've experienced it all---a premature delivery, a C-section, and a VBAC (vaginal birth after Caesarian). I'm done!!!
My body has been HORRIBLE for the past 7 years. All my weight goes to my stomach! I'm tired of being asked if I'm pregnant, when's my baby due, how far along am I...etc. Then when I tell people I'm not pregnant, just fat, it turns into me being mortified/embarrassed because they try to insist that I am! NO I'M NOT! Clothes look terrible on me because of my gut. My stomach overhangs!!! I can't wear anything fitted, because it's not a good look. I'll admit last summer when I slimmed down, I did look pretty good (with clothes on). Albeit, that's a small victory, but I'll take them any way I can get them. Naked is another thing, but at least out in public, I was ok. That is no longer the scenario. Stomach is huge and droops. The "hangtime" is gross! I'm tired of hiding in my house because I'm embarrassed by how I look. I hate feeling like the girl with the humongous muffin top in the group. I hate not being able to buy anything cute to wear because it looks disgusting over my belly. In short, I'm tired of not living and feeling like life is passing me by...because actually it is. I couldn't accurately count how many outings I've passed on because I couldn't find anything to wear. Much easier to hide out in my house.
This month, I decided to take some control back. I made a decision that I hope changes my life! I researched plastic surgeons in the area and have decided to go with Dr. Friedlander. Besides making me really comfortable and at ease, he has a spotless record. No deaths or lawsuits!! Lol. Not to mention he's at least $1000 less than other doctors. I'm getting a full TT with lipo on both flanks. Thank goodness I don't have any back fat. I couldn't believe I stood in front of him naked with the lights on!! I won't even stand in front of my husband like that!! Feeling a little guilty about spending so much money on myself, but I deserve it. Everything I do is centered around my children. I love them to pieces, but I need to do something for myself every once in awhile. My husband thinks I'm taking the easy, lazy way out. "All you need to do is get in the gym...I keep telling you how to get rid of it, but you don't listen...walking isn't going to do it...you need to to workout everyday...etc.etc.etc...yaddah, yaddah, yaddah." He doesn't get it. I've dieted and exercised and my belly is still jelly.
I'll admit, while LOVING this site, it's also scaring the crap out of me! I'm having the procedure done over the winter break so that minimizes the amount of time I'll have to take off. As of now, I plan to return when my 2nd graders do on January 5th. How bad is it going to be?? Dr. Friedlander doesn't use a pain pump. He said he's only needed to prescribe hydrocodone and everyone has done fine with that. Aren't percosets better?
I promise not to bore you guys so early in the process. 6 months of pre op blogging might bore people. I will post pics so you can see my journey. I'm so excited!!!! Thank you to everyone for sharing your journey with me!! I can't wait to join you on the flat side!!!????????????

Now I'm thinking about having another procedure!!!

Ok, my date is set for December 17th for my tummy tuck/lipo of my flanks. I'm going to add lipo of my top stomach (since I have 2) and my back. The doctor said my back looks fine, but I might just get it done. I want to make sure I come out FLAT! However, now I'm thinking of having my breasts done! Not at the same time though. Wish I could, but won't be able to afford it all by December. I'm also thinking that that will be too much to handle all at one. One pain issue at a time! I'll only have 2 1/2 weeks to recover before going back to work. So I'll probably do that procedure over my Spring Break. I have a small frame...decent butt, no boobs, and a stomach. Once my stomach is gone, I'll look blah. Can't have a half decent butt, no stomach, and no boobs! Plus, I've wanted breasts since forever!!!! Even pregnant, they barely grew. I was still in the dreaded A cup. So I can't wait!!!! If I was younger, not that 42 is old, but if I was still in my 30's, I'd get my butt done too!!! Sooooo, I don't know how I'm going to contain my excitement till December!!!
Another thing, I've been stalking RS all week long! There are some AMAZING plastic surgeries going on over in the DR!!! I had no idea!!! I actually got a quote from Dra. Yili and I'm waiting to hear back from Duran, Robles, and Diaz. I LOVE what I see! I just wish I was brave enough to do it! If I didn't have my 8 and 6 year old, I'd consider it. There's no way I could ever think about leaving the country for 14 days by myself. That's too far to be away should something happen to me. I don't have anyone that could go with me. I've read about the deaths that occurred over there recently. Deaths happen here also. But just the thought of being so far away by myself doesn't sit well with me. One thing I've learned is to trust my instinct. And it's screaming HELL NO! But, I do wish I had the courage because them women getting it done over there look PHENOMENAL!!! Oh well...???? I did read one RS sister say that she's willing to die to get the body she wants. She's crazy! Hopefully I'll be able to get close to the DR look here in Atlanta. I'm not that concerned about my butt, I just want (finally) a tiny waist without the muffin top!!! On a good note, I went to my diet doctor yesterday and I've lost 11lbs!!!! Yay!!! I'm now 149. I plan to be down to 130 for my surgery. I don't have a problem getting the weight off. Keeping it off is another issue. However, I'm sure that once my muffin is gone, that won't be a problem anymore.

I wish I had the courage!!!

I have been doing research on the doctors in the DR. Their work looks PHENOMENAL!!!! I'm especially partial towards Dra. Robles. Dr. Diaz also. So far I've received quotes from those 2 along with Dra. Yili. Sigh!!! Those prices/packages knocked me off my feet. So then what's the problem??? Me!! I'm too afraid to leave the county by myself to get the work done. I've read lots of great reviews, and some scary ones, but there's scary stuff that happens here. Problem is I don't have anyone that could go with me so traveling outside the country solo, and having major surgery performed is waaaaay outside my comfort zone. Too much pain to not have a family member or friend there to look over me. Travel buddies from RS are a big help, but not the same as having someone that you've known forever right by your side. Man???????????? Wish I had the courage of the ladies on RS!
What I don't understand is why does it seem like the tummy tucks, lipo, and breast augmentations look better by the DR doctors? Most of the blogs from women that went to DR show them wearing fajas right out the operation, but I don't really see that from the US surgeries. Are the DR doctors able to remove more fat during lipo than here? The post op care from Cecip sounds great???? sigh???? I would ?? to have Robles do me...

Going back to Premier tomorrow

Since I'm in Florida on vacation, I've decided to go visit Premier Cosmetic Surgery here in Tampa after Dr7423's glowing reviews. I want to see what they tell me. I do not doubt Dr. Friedlander's abilities at all. I've seen his work and know he will do a good job. It's just that I also really like Dr. Silvia Terrero Aviles work also. Problem is she's located in DR. I'm toying with the idea of going there, but the stories about the mishaps scare the heck outta me. I know there could be a problem here also, but if there's going to be a problem, I'd rather have it occur here in the US.
So anyway, tomorrow I'd like to see what this doctor tells me. I've decided to add back lipo in addition to my flanks. Price is playing a factor into all this. No, I'm not trying to find cheaper, but I do want some bang for my buck! That's what I loved about the Dominican doctors. They'll put a package together in a heartbeat.

Went to visit Premier Center in Tampa today...WOW!

Omg! Went to visit Premier Center in Tampa today based on Dr7423's review. One word...WOW! It was fabulous! First, Esther, (patient coordinator) was phenomenal! She made me and my sister feel so welcomed and at ease!! Answered the hundreds of questions I had for her without any hesitation or attitude. What she couldn't answer, she assured us Dr. Welsh would know. Even when I brought up the possibility of traveling to DR for the surgery, she admitted that the price quotes I had received were wonderful and acknowledged that the work she's seen from there were really good however, "should you have any type of problem/complication with your recovery, no plastic surgeon here in the US is going to touch you." I already knew that, but actually hearing someone say it put it in a new perspective for me.
Dr. Welsh was great! Everything about him just oozed trust and comfort. 36+ years experience and a fabulous personality. I have seen one negative review on here about him, but...
The price for a tummy tuck and breast augmentation is $9000. No lipo. He said I won't need it on my flanks once he does the tuck. Surgery will be 2 hours.
The price for a tuck and lipo of my sides with Dr. Friedlander is $5700. Another 3K for my breasts. $300 less and I'm home right after surgery. Going to Premier means I'll have to stay in Florida for 5-7 days. Not happy about that but that might actually be better for me. Staying for a week at my mother's house in Florida while my kids (8 and 6), dog, and hamsters are at home with dad in Georgia might not be a bad idea!
With the money I've already given to Friedlander, I can use that to cover lipo on my back and flanks. Going to see Friedlander again on Tuesday. What do you think? I'd like to do the lipo on my back and flanks before the tuck/boobs. How long in between procedures do I have to wait???

Thank You Ladies!!!

This is a perfect example of why I'm loving Realself...Coppergirl and Dr7423, thank you so much for your input on particular physician's. I made an impulsive decision that I began to second guess about 2 weeks after finding this website. You 2 ladies confirmed my doubts and you also talked me out of going to another country to have major surgery. THANK YOU BEAUTIFUL LADIES!!! I got waaaay to caught up in the excitement of improving myself that poor judgement began to take over. Coppergirl, because of your experience, and Dr7423 because of your insight, the only thing that doctor we have in common will do on me is lipo.

Time For 1st Procedure is Close!!!

Hey Realself members, it’s been a few weeks since I’ve updated. The first few weeks of school are always extremely hectic. I’m teaching 2nd grade this year (yay!) instead of Kindergarten, so the vacation is definitely over!
Ok, there’s been only a few changes to my plan. As I stated earlier, I’ve decided to go with Dr. Welsh, at Premier Center in Tampa (thanks Dr 7423) instead of the Atlanta doctor I had originally chosen. I wasn’t unhappy with my Atlanta choice, I just felt EXTREMELY comfortable with Dr. Welsh and would prefer him to do my major surgery. My date for my tummy tuck and breast implants is December 12th. I can’t wait!!
When I met with Dr. Friedlander in May, I liked him and left a $1700 deposit with him. Since I decided to change doctors, if I cancel with him, I’d lose my money. I’m the type to not let $17 go to waste. There’s no way in the world I’d let $1700 go! So I’ve been back to see Friedlander a few times and here’s the new plan…I’ve given him an additional $800 and on September 10th, he’s going to Lipo my full stomach, flanks, and he’ll do my back for free. I know it might seem redundant to lipo this area if I’m planning to have a TT in December, but it makes sense to me. I’m trying to get the most for my money. Hopefully by having Liposuction done earlier, my TT will be even better! I’ve arranged to take off the 10th and 11th. I’m hoping I’ll be able to go in Friday and then be able to rest over the weekend. If I’m still in pain, I’ll just take that Friday off too. What do you think? Will I be able to go back?
I’ve been looking on Ebay for a garment to wear after the Lipo. I don’t want to pay the doctor $100 for his. I’ve found a great one that’s an Ann Chery girdle/faja braless body shaper for $80.00. Not a huge savings, but it’s something.
So in 10 days, I'll have less muffin top:) Can't wait!! Will I swell? How long before I see results?
I'll post my before pictures this week. Just giving you warning before you come back!! Don't look unless you're ready to be sick. Seriously.

Oooops! Wrong date!!

My surgery is December 11th with Dr. Welsh, not December 12th:)

Tomorrow's the 1st big day!!!

Tomorrow morning at 10:30am is when Dr. Friedlander will perform Step 1 of my body reclaiming process. I'm getting lipo done to my stomach, flanks, and back!!! Really getting nervous!! Here are the dreaded "before" photos:( Lots of hangtime going on here! Look at your own risk!!

The Day After

Well surgery was yesterday and all went well! Arrived at 10:00am, was called back at 10:45. Had IV's inserted around 11:00ish. Surgery didn't begin until 3:45. I could've gone to work instead of taking the day off. Dr. Friedlander and his staff were excellent. I was comfortable and both nurses and anesthesiologist were great!
So far there's been absolutely no pain! I'm shocked! I haven't had to take any painkillers! There's soreness, and my movements are controlled, but no pain. I went in for my first follow up appointment today. My bandages were removed and I discovered I had stitches. There was a lot of drainage on the bandages and I'm covered in bruises. Dr. Friedlander said he removed over 2 liters of fat. I can't tell yet though, due to my immense swelling. I actually look bigger now. Hopefully once the swelling goes away, I'll be able to see results. Hopefully my tuck will go just as smooth!
The compression garment I ordered turned out to be too small. Those poor nurses were trying their hardest to squeeze me in it, but they couldn't! Lol. Today I did manage to get myself into it, but can't fasten all the hooks. My husband managed to fasten the top 2, and bottom 3. The 7 in the middle are open. I went and bought a Gold's Gym waist cincher from Walmart for $9.97. I have that on also. Dr7423 recommended it and I like it. It's adjustable with 5 different zipper levels. Mine is zipped on the 4th one and it's tight. Hopefully the swelling will begin to go down soon. I'll post pictures tomorrow. Even with the lipo, I know the results I truly want will only come with the tummy tuck. Hurry up December!

3 Days Later

Tons of swelling and bruising. Not really any pain. Only time I feel pain is when getting into the compression garment.

Compression Sucks!!

I completely see why people complain about wearing the compression garment! It hurts! The only time I experience pain is when trying to get the hooks fastened. Squeezing my bruised skins really burns. Still can't fasten the entire thing, but I'm trying. It seems like it's making the bruising worse:(

Only o Days To Go!!!

I can't believe next Friday is my big day!!! It's really about to happen! By next Friday, I'll be on the flat side!! Any advice? I'm actually more nervous about my breasts, than the tummy tuck. What if they're too big? Fake looking? Rock hard? What if I have regrets afterwards? Will I end up looking like an old lady trying to look young? How bad is the pain?

My Surgery Date is December 12th, not December 17th!

December 12th, not the 17th.

Here I go!!!

I'm here at the office about to go to surgery. I am a nervous wreck!!!! Prayers please! Hope to see you on the flat side! I'll update as soon as I can.

I Made It!

OMG!!!! To say this is rough is a HUGE understatement.

3 Days Post Op

Today is day 3 of my recovery. I had my procedure done Friday afternoon. I love the staff at Premiere! Everyone made me feel comfortable and at ease. My mom was with me. Dr. Welsh marked me up and I was on the table ready to go within 15 minutes. The anesthesiologist did a great job of calming my nerves. He assured me that he'd never lost a patient and he didn't intend to start with me! I was very fearful of waking up during the surgery or being able to feel them working on me. After getting up on the table, I don't remember a thing until the nurse was helping me into the wheelchair.
I don't want to scare anyone but the first two days were pure hell. No other way to put it. I'm so glad to be past that. I can get out of the bed and walk around unassisted now. My back hurts like hell from being stooped over. I've been using a heating pad around the clock and that has helped some. Also, and I can't stress this enough, STAY ON TOP OF YOUR MEDICATION! Even with the medication, i still feel extreme extreme extreme tightness and pain but at least I'm able to sleep. You won't want to get up and walk around but you have to! The more you walk, the easier it becomes. Also, TRY YOUR HARDEST NOT TO COUGH! That brings on heart wrenching pain.
I haven't looked at myself yet. The garment has me completely covered. I guess I'll see everything tomorrow when I go for my follow up. The drains aren't bad at all. I've read people's complaints about them and kind of expected them to be a nightmare, but they're no problem at all. I haven't been draining a lot of fluid. In fact, one of them came out Sunday afternoon. I'm on Demoral for pain and antibiotics. Finished my nausea medication Sunday. Make sure they give you nausea medication. You do not want to throw up. Before taking my meds I make sure I've eaten something to coat my stomach.
Will update more later.

5 Days Post Op and My First Shower!

I've made it to Day 5!!!!! It hasn't been easy but I think I've turned the corner! I had my first shower since last Friday morning and it felt so good! Afterwards I had to use a hair dryer on cool to dry my surgi strips and belly button. My mom helped me put Neosporin on my bb and covered it with a bandaid. That little bit of activity wore me out:) I'm back in my bed and plan to nap as soon as I finish this review.
Yesterday, I had my one remaining drain removed. The first one fell out on its own Sunday morning. Angie took great care of me. She changed all my dressings and showed me how to care for my be and for a blister that has developed on my left hip. I'm hoping it will pop soon. I don't know where it came from but it is bothersome. Today is the best I've felt since the procedure. I would describe everything now as discomfort. That's a huge improvement from pain! Still haven't had a bm yet. Tomorrow I will give myself a Fleet enema if I haven't gone yet. Coughing is still the NUMBER 1 ENEMY!!!! Followed closely by enemy #2 which is my sore butt from sitting/laying so much. Enemy #3 is the ever present aching back from hunching over. Once I get rid of those 3, this thing will be a piece of cake (now:)
Random thoughts...this experience hurt more than I expected it to. I'm not sure yet if I'd do it over again. Maybe it would've been easier without the muscle repair. I wish I could gotten that shot that blocks out the pain for 3 days. But maybe not. If all the pain is blocked, then you could end up doing more than you should be doing. I'm learning to listen to my body. I've only taken 2 pain pills today instead of taking them every 6 hours. That tells me that my body is mending. Enough random thoughts for now. Time to watch some CSI Miami and The Walking Dead. Haha!!! Maybe I shouldn't watch that show!

Something Popped!

I had been feeling this burning pulling sensation on my left hip since yesterday. Didn't know what was the cause of it. Well I just found out! As I was shifting positions I felt a tiny pop. Looked down and saw blood. I think it was the last stitch in my incision that came loose.

My First BM in 6 Days!!!!!!

YES!!!!!

6 Day post op pic

Tampa Facial Plastic Surgeon

After hearing about the great experience another Realself sister had with Premiere Center in Miami, I decided to check out the Premiere Center Tampa location. I'm so glad I did! I immediately changed my plans and decided to leave my state of Georgia to travel to have Dr. Welsh perform my surgeries. Dr. Welsh and his entire staff at Premiere Cosmetic Surgery are absolutely WONDERFUL! I couldn't have asked for better! I was put at ease from the start by Dr. Welsh with his professionalism and calming demeanor. He and his Patient Coordinator Esther spent a lot of time with me. Next came Vanessa, Rick, and Angie. They are all beyond AWESOME! I had a ton of questions for them which they all answered patiently and truthfully. Never once was I rushed. Every phone call and email was responded to by Vanessa and Esther. These ladies helped me from picking out natural looking sized breasts to the financial aspects. Rick (Anesthesiologist) reassured me and calmed me down up until the time I got up on the operating table. Angie provided me with attentive aftercare which is so important! Dr. Welsh did a phenomenal job! Everyone at Premiere Center was exceptional, supportive, and caring!

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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