Everything is on hold

I am 35 5'4" 170lbs. I have a 16 year old...

I am 35 5'4" 170lbs. I have a 16 year old daughter, so I was 18 when she was born and....yep you guessed it, my body has never been the same. Major stretch marks and no bikini for me all throughout my twenties. So now is the time. It is a very big decision and honestly I've been reading all the stories and checking out the pictures here for over two years! Currently I'm in the process of finding the right plastic surgeon and plan to do my procedures at the begging of June this year. I have met with two great docs, one of which I'm sure I'll use, but I must meet with one or two more as is the recommendation. I am also hoping to drop some pounds before. My ideal weight would be 125-135, but I'd do the procedure at 150 if need be and hopefully it will put me in a good position to then reach my goal. I just started the paleo diet (actually the whole30) loving it so far. I have learned so much from all the brave ladies here and I'm excited to have my time come soon. I was always so scared of the scar and the money. Now I'm more concerned with how my recovery process will be than anything, and of course I hope for excellent results. I'm planning a full tummy tuck, muscle repair and some lipo. So far my estimates are quite a bit higher than the norm. Maybe it's because I live in the Bay Area or maybe it's because I need more work! Post pics soon. Xx

Adding some before pictures. I'm doing ok on my...

Adding some before pictures. I'm doing ok on my diet.--down to 168. I still need to interview one more doctor. I have been thinking I want to do this sooner, if possible, just because I realize what a long recovery it is and I am not looking forward to being laid up during the beautiful long days of summer. Patience is what we all need, I guess. It's kinda like after 16 years I can barely wait!

---also, the doctor that I think I will end up...

---also, the doctor that I think I will end up going with does a drainless procedure. That seems like a big plus to me, though I realize it is not as popular. I'd love to hear some pro's and con's if any of you ladies has knowledge.

OK a quick update. So my boyfriend has been...

OK a quick update. So my boyfriend has been really busy at work and I have not scheduled a final consult. Both Dr.'s I've seen say I am a good candidate. One of the first questions I asked is if I need to lose weight before sx, both said no, but I've decided that I really want to. Everything is on hold. I need to talk to one more Dr. then choose which one. I will either do the surgery in June or in the fall--I'm not sure! I am hoping to get into as good shape as possible first and I am uncertain about recovery during the long days of summer, just not sure that would make me very happy. That being said I know the quicker I do the surgery, the sooner I will get through the recovery process.

On my weight loss. I am down to 165 but I have not been being anywhere near perfect on diet or exercise. I have started going to Bikram yoga which kicks my butt, but I love it. I really want to start CrossFit also but I'm lagging on it. You ladies are inspiring me. I added a couple new pictures today. I will update if I lose 10lbs and when I talk to final surgeon. I will also give my review of all the Dr.s I've met with, for anyone in my area looking to have work done. There are so many different techniques and I just want the best one! I want a natural looking (round) belly button, a low smooth looking scar that fades nicely, and to get the best shape possible! Oh how I wanna rock a Bikini and feel sexy!!!

Looking at all these reviews I get so excited and scared! Best wishes to everyone and Happy Healing and Bikini time for you too! Ha ha :)

I have now interviewed 3 doctors and done my due...

I have now interviewed 3 doctors and done my due diligence. I feel that I have enough information to actually make a decision but it is still a bit difficult. I am giving myself a couple more weeks to think it all over and to do a bit more research into the doctors backgrounds, well my BF wants to see if there have any complaints filed against them, ect. LOL I trust him to look at the things I'll miss and be the hard ball guy because that just isn't me. For anyone looking in my are (SanFrancisco Bay Area) I believe I met some of the best Dr.'s so here is my experience so far:

The first Dr I met with is Miguel A. Delgado, Jr. who is based out of Novato California. His office was by far the most fancy, the largest exam room, really nice exam gown to put on, and they gave me a very cool packet with pictures, my quotes, and all the information needed all put inside a sleek folder. They were also very professional and sent me a follow up letter. I did wait about 15-20 min after my scheduled time to see the Dr. No big deal and they were aware and appologetice, it was just a busy day. The estimate I got was 18,200.00 for full TT, and lipo of flanks and lower back. Most everything is included in that except for bloodwork and garments. The executive director, Colleen Ferrari called me afterwards to say that I can take 1,000 off my Sx cost because they were running a special on Real Self, so my new estimate is 17,200.00. I liked Delgado, he spent a long time with us and answered all our questions. He told me that my waist was small, so he would not have to do as much work on me in that area but my lower back/hips need extra. I asked if I needed to lose weight and he said no, that as long as I am at a comfortable weight for myself, that is most important. He said it is not good when patients lose a whole bunch of weight before surgery just to gain it back later. What I did not like was when I asked about belly buttons, his first response was, "Well they always look a little alien" so that told me he did not have confidence in his technique. Let's face it, to me the navel is very important because it is the focal point of the stomach and the center of the whole body. I don't want mine to look "alien" I want it to look "human" and natural! He had an extensive amount of work and many books full of great pictures. The executive director was good at her job and also explained a lot. Delgado uses Insorb staples, drains, and a pain pump as part of the procedure. They suggest silicone strips for scar treatment. He suggests that you should get a colonics treatment before the sx and I think that is a good idea, I will do that no matter what Dr I go with. Honestly, from the get go, Delgado was not my number one choice simply because I did not love his photos and I am curious about doing a drainless procedure. His office is also the furthest away from where I live in Capitola Ca. Novato is a 2 plus hour drive from my house.

The next Dr I met with was the one I thought I would go with because he is one of the only surgeons in the area who specializes in drainless procedures and what little photos I've seen of his looked like beautiful artistry. His name is Dr Ramin A. Behmand and is located in Walnut Creek, which is about 1.5 hours from my house. I met with him twice because the first consultation, I was by myself, so I still wanted my BF to get to personally meet him. His office also charges $75 consult fee which can be applied towards surgery if you go with him. Both times I went there I had to wait 30 plus minutes after my appointment time to meet with the Dr. It was a drawback for me because I am driving from so far, but honestly that would not be the thing that makes or breaks my decision, all I really care about is getting those results I want. So, Dr. Behmand has an amazing way about himself and I really liked him. He doesn't have any picture books in his office, which I think is a little strange. My BF gave him the third degree and asked if he could speak to any of his previous patients. Behmand said yes, that he would give them our number, so they can contact us. I asked him what he suggested for scar treatment and he said just paper, he said that I could use whatever I wanted but he did not think the silicone or oils make any difference. I asked him if I needed to lose weight and he said no, that I am not too overweight to have an issue that would worry him about sx complications. He did make me feel good because he said that my backside was attractive. His quote was the cheapest of the 3 and came in at $14,900 which includes an over night stay at the facility. The main reason my costs are higher is due to the lower back lipo because it adds on a good amount of surgery center time and that isn't cheap at all. After the second appointment with him, we were driving to my third Dr consult and I was so sure that Dr Behmand was the one I almost did not go to my third appointment.

My third consultation was with Robert M. Lowen located in Moutain View, Ca. and boy am I glad I did go. I got a last minute appointment with him and it seemed very serendipitous. I saw one of his answers on Real Self and was impressed by his technique. He creates a very fine scar and employs the lockwood technique (which I am also going to look more into). His office coordinator was a bit much for me (very bubbly personality) and also sort of a hard seller, but she was not so bad. She said that Dr Lowen is in the top 5 percent of plastic surgeons for abdominoplasty in the country. Ok, so I am getting excited, but it could just be BS, LOL. His office was the only one that I actually sat and spoke with the patient coordinator first, before the Dr. I thought that was a little strange. When I did meet him Dr Lowen is a tiny guy and very nerdy and technical about his work. Which I actually thought was very endearing and he seemed so into his work I can tell he is meticulous. He had a really nice photo book to look at and went through it and explained his procedures to me, it was impressive how he could remember what he did for each woman and how different the approach can be depending on the factors that make all our bodies unique. He asked me what kind of belly button I would like and I really liked his body of work and pointed out some that I thought looked good. He explained how he creates such a fine scar and (some were hard to even see they were so small and faded) all the time he takes in the operating room. His work is beautiful and I could tell how passionate he is. He said that he usually doesn't need to use any drains but reserves the right to use one if he thinks it is necessary but most of the time no, and he does not like to use them. That made me happy because I did not know there were even any other surgeons in the area that did not use them besides Dr Behmand. During my exam the intake coordinator lady was there and I thought that was odd. I am not sure why that was the case but I felt comfortable none the less. He really showed me how he figures out where to put the scar so that it will be low and a smooth line that follows the natural curve of a body and stays within the panty line. It made since and made me happy. He also noticed the lower back fat and how it was asymetrical and said it is basically a whole other procedure apart from the TT. He will be using Vaser lipo which supposedly only targets fat cells and nothing else. His quote says he will need to have me in the surgery room for 8.5-8.75 hours which is the most any of the doctors quoted. I believe Dr Lowen probably moves a bit slower, is very thorough, and meticulous. His quote was $17,800 if financed through care credit or $16,900 if paid by another method. All of the doctors say I am an excellent candidate and that I don't need to lose weight but Dr Lowen said that losing weight would be good. Dr Lowen does not require an overnight stay and does the Surgery in Santa Clara, he is the closet Dr to me only about 45 min from home.

So I have a lot to think about over the next couple weeks. As soon as I decide we are going to put the deposit down and get the date. I am not sure when I want to do this procedure, it will be the earliest in June, or September. June we will have all the money and time to do it, but if I wait till fall I will not have to do the summer recovery thing and it gives me more time to get in shape! I am leaning toward Dr Lowen right now but giving myself time to decide for sure. Hope this info is helpful to any and all and especially the women in my area looking for a top Dr.

I have been doing Ok on diet and exercise. Some weeks great on exercise and bad on food, some weeks diet good but no exercise. I keep trying to be the best me everyday to love myself and I will reach my goals!!!

I just realized how many spelling and grammar...

I just realized how many spelling and grammar errors I have in my post! So sorry, I just write sort of stream of consciousness and did not proof read before I posted. I am so embarrassed, but this site does not allow you to edit after posting or I would fix it. :)

Everything is on hold

Finances have gotten in between me and my tummy tuck procedure. I am not sure when I'll be able to do it now, could be next year. I am still working on getting in shape for now. I am not sure what Doc I'll end up going with yet either. I will still be here reading your updates, thanks again for sharing. I really love it when people keep updating a year plus post op because it really seems it takes almost that long to fully recover and get an idea of the final scar you will have--I guarantee if and when I do finally get mine, I will do that. My best to everyone!

Trying not to be jealous...

Of all you tummy tuckers! I have been upset/depressed about the fact that I cannot afford my procedure and due to that have stalled--no actually--gained weight. (175 today) I was just so inspired by thinking that I was going to be doing this soon. Now I have to realize from reading all these stories--no matter what, it's about my life and feeling good about myself, my "realself" no matter the circumstances. I love reading your stories, especially all the weight loss journeys that are so inspiring. Some of the transformations I've seen on here are just breathtakingly good. I get jealous! I have read some sad stories and stories of great struggle, and truthfully, it seems most people go through so much, emotionally and physically with this procedure. It's a major surgery and has a major effect on your life afterwords, during and before. Mostly people are happy with the outcome, but even then they go through roller coster rides with emotion to get there. I'm glad this community exists and we can all come together around this one procedure that we have in common, though we are all unique as individuals and have a million different yet similar stories. I will join you on the flat side whenever I can and until then keep sharing, I am rooting for all of us to feel beautiful and happy and healthy in our own skin!!!!
xoxoxox
Not sure yet

I found out about all the doctors I'm looking into from this web sight.

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Thanks so much for sharing your story. ... and I will be rooting for you to finally be able to have your surgery!
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I can't thank you enough for the Doc reviews you did some of my homework for me!!!!Lol..I have been looking for a Miracle Doctor to do my Mommy Makeover. I'm from Pacifica, Ca and its been soooo difficult trying to find the right doc.. It's truly scary because u want to find the best one and there are so many sites that have great pics but every womens body is different and u just don't want to pick the wrong dr specially when you only get one shot and some doctors charge 150 for a consultation even if you don't go with them so u are limited.. My girlfriend actually got her Tummy tuck by dr. Delgado and had a great experience. You can find on YouTube .. But thank u again for the very helpful info I will have to look into the other doctors that you mentioned.. Good luck on your journey!! You will be there before you know it!
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Aww...hey there don't lose heart! Just a bit more of a wait...I have been on a roller coaster weight ride all my life..120 to 190 to 120 to 190 etc. I finally found my groove when I almost lost my life after the second delivery...life is precious and as a mom and woman best to look at glass half full...even the most richest woman in the world has something or the other that bothers her...for me, I have decided as a rule to do 1 thing everyday that makes me truly happy ..and for the last several months it has worked..these are either calling a friend, working in the yard, dressing up or a crazy dance :-) and that happiness helps me keep my weight in check..I wanted to be under 120 but I have made peace with the best I can do! Just love yourself :-)! Not sure if it helped...but we are all here! If you ever wanted to go for a run or walk I live in SJ!
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Hi there, I am from San Jose. I you want to connect let me know. My surgery is going to be with Dr Behmand. I am waiting to get vacation approval at work. Most likely getting it done on Nov 4. Very anxious right now...could use someone to keep up my motivation with :-)! Hopefully you will be able to get this done soon! Who knows we may end up with the same doc same month?
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Congrats on choosing your doctor and losing weight. We are around the same height and have similar stretch mark issues, but I wish my weight was much closer to yours! I really liked Dr Behmand and will probably end up going with him when I am able to do a tummy tuck but for now I just don't have the money unless I go into major debt. I personally would do it no problem but my BF thinks its unsustainable and un wise :( My earliest hope would be sometime in January but it could be years away for me still. I am sure there will be lots of women here going through recovery at the same time as you though. I will definitely be following your story and I can't wait to see your results! If something happens and I'm able to do my tt around the same time as you, I will be overjoyed and would love to keep up motivation with you :) I am still working on losing weight/ getting in shape/ eating healthy lifestyle because we all want our personal best body as the outcome. Best luck, and thanks for reaching out!
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It's sll very exciting huh? I had a friend go to Dr B fir a breat aug this past March. She us very happy with him. I'll send you a PM-I'd like to say "let's do lunch..."-but we better run hwy 101 instead -Lol!!!
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Morph photos look cool!
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Love the morph!
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Praying for your finance break thru! Thanks for the info :)
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I just realized you have not schedule yet when i replied earlier. Let us know when you decide! Can't wait to see your transformation! It's rough but it's worth it. It's a major surgery and I was thinking it would be a breeze...don't know what I was thinking. I know I made the right decision now, just wish I had been more prepared for the recovery. Not everyone recovers t the same pace, and I would get upset seeing others so far ahead, so I really had to keep grounded that my journey would be unique for me just as your journey will be for you. Glad you are doing your due diligence with interviewing surgeons. I interviewed and researched as well...again...keep us posted! I'm so excited for you!
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I went with Dr. Steven Williams of Dublin. I too saw one of those Dr's and after meeting with Dr Williams, I went with him. He was an artist on my body! Why because of my huge gall bladder scar. I wasn't nervous or scared. He gave me my confidence back!
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Vee, You look fantastic! I did look into Steven Williams. I looked at his website and photos. Ultimately, I am coming all the way from Santa Cruz, so the main reason I looked into Dr Behmand was because he uses a drainless technique and that is what I want. At this point, I am leaning towards my 3rd Dr--Dr Lowen because he is the closest, uses no drains, and I believe he can get me the results I desire. Thank you for reaching out to me, happy healing and enjoy that new body of yours! Can't wait to join you on the flat side!
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woohoo! Can't wait for u to join this elite group!!!! Good luck!
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Love that photo morph thing you did! Very cool! You are gorgeous by the way! What an exciting time! World watch out, there are going to be a few more sexy girls!! :)
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you have hips just like me and i cant get rid of them either.. very frustrating.. Im hoping to have my surgery in june as well. my set back is my lupus, i have to get the green light from my primary and my specialist.. Im cursed with this horrible illness, but refuse to give up on feeling and looking sexy... keep us posted, im excited for you!!
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Yes, we all deserve to feel sexy and good! Thanks for posting, I am hoping that my story will be helpful to someone, just as other's stories have guided me into this process. Still a long way to go, many struggles and challenges on the way. I will certainly be thinking good thoughts for you and your journey, so please keep us posted also! Good Luck!
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luck luck luck luck luck luck luck luck luck luck luck luck luck luck luck luck luck luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Thank You, Wanda!
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Good luck to you and congrats on the weight loss.
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I have a long way to go on the weight loss but thanks so much!
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Hey now looking through your pics I see that your my stomach twin. lol Well, except I have a hernia by my belly button. We have similar stretch marks I swear if you or I have a TT first we would know more are less how it would look like.
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I would love to see the results ! Keep us posted!
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I swear by Dr. Steven Williams of Trivalley Plastic Surgery in Dublin. He and his staff are awesome.
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wh@t is p@leo diet??????????????????????
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LOL. It is sometimes called the primal diet. It is lots of meats, veggies, healthy fats, and some fruit. Here is a link to a website all about it: http://paleodietlifestyle.com -- I can't have any sugar, legumes or grains. The hardest part for me is no alcohol! I like my wine!
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