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Mommy Makeover Except the Breasts - Tijuana, Mexico

Hi everyone. I'm typing this from my iPad and am...

Hi everyone. I'm typing this from my iPad and am in the recovery room, so please bear with me if I make mistakes.

I wish I had found out about this site before surgery (I found the forums section the evening before surgery).

My biggest complaint was my arms. I lifted heavy weights when I was young and the skin must have never popped back into place. It's embarrassing. Although my body is on the heavy side, 150, the arms just make me look enormous.

I went to a plastic surgeon in Palm Beach, FL to simply address my arms. Instead he told me everything else that was wrong with my body. Nice :(. Oh, and HE didn't think arm lift surgery was necessary, just lipo. In the end, he gave me an estimate of $18000 for liposuction. I felt defeated.

Called a friend and told what happened and he said he knew a woman that went down to Mexico for Lapband Surgery and she looks amazing. I called him that day. October 22.

The next 2 weeks have been a whirlwind of blood tests, phone calls and consultations between the doctor, myself and the staff. The best part is that the Doctor calls me. I said I wanted a full tummy tuck and he said, from the pictures, that it might not be necessary. I felt safe in the fact that he would tell me to remove procedures, not add them.

I've never had plastic surgery of any type, so once my local PS told me my body issues, I just wanted this done ASAP.

I'm 49 and have had 3 full term pregnancies with 2 live births. The kids are in college now, so it felt right to do this for me. My DH said he thinks I look great just like I am but he has listened to me complain about my fat self for years and told me he would support whatever I felt I needed to do.

So here I am, post surgery. Pain is pretty high but bearable and my body is already looking better if you minus the guts and gore.

In all I had a full tummy tuck, arm lift, ultrasound lipo on back by bra strap, lipo on inner thighs, lipo the entire lower half of torso (front and back) and a fat transfer into the butt.

Exhausting day. Finally got to my room and they...

Exhausting day. Finally got to my room and they took out the IV. Asked for pain medicine, nope! I'm shocked and almost crying. They called some pharmacist who brought over some over the counter stuff. I'm serious. I have Vicodin at home. Thinking about asking my husband to overnight it to me. There has to be a way to get pain medicine stronger than Tylenol, right? I'm starting to freak out. Oh, to make it even worse, the box says to take 3 times a day...my doctor says only 2 times a day. And that's exactly how many pills I got. 2 for each day I'm here. What the heck is going on?

I hurt everywhere and now I'm crying. I just want to go home.

Did I mention the pharmacist who brought them over, 14 pills of nothing, charged me $100 cash.

Up and down on how I feel about this. I think the...

Up and down on how I feel about this. I think the surgery was a success but with all the swelling, stitches and bruising I can't be sure.

My biggest issue is all the intense pain. I have come to find out that in Mexico you only get over the counter pain medicine. My doctor asked me if I have a low pain tolerance. I was like 'huh'? I talked to another woman here and she said a lady who left before I got here cried non stop, so I know it's not just me.

Anyway, he said he'd call in a real pain killer...yea! Now the nurse just came in to tell me that they can't locate one at any pharmacy so they are going to give me a shot. So I'm screwed. I will get one shot and in 4 hours I'll be back in the same exact place.

So NO! I would never recommend coming to Mexico for surgery simply because of the pain issue UNLESS you can come equipped with your own pain medicine. Otherwise, you are going to be taking Tylenol for this. Oh, did I mention they charged me $100 cash for those 14 Tylenol pills? Pooey :(

I really hoped all my updates would be concentrating on healing but I can barely move to even look. I haven't eaten a bite of food since Tuesday because I'm afraid to have to go to the bathroom.

Sadly, I'm not going to get the pain medicine. ...

Sadly, I'm not going to get the pain medicine. The pharmacy can't get it (wha???) and now they said they will call the lab that makes it. HAhahaha, right. Mexican runaround.

I think I did too much surgery at once.

Tummy Tuck
Butt Lift
Arm Lift
Lipo front and back entire torso.

I can't find any position to get comfortable. I look like a plum.

I'm just going to have to deal with it. At this point, I've just made up my mind that Tylenol is what I'm getting and I'm going to have to deal with it.

It did raise my spirits to see how good all the stitches look and that everything was so flat! Baby steps!

I can't believe I forgot to mention this. I woke...

I can't believe I forgot to mention this. I woke up during surgery. Twice!!

It didn't hurt because I must have had a nerve block but I was awake. They didn't notice so I said something like, 'I'm awake, I don't think I'm supposed to be awake'. It was weird because they talked back at me. Someone was still working on my stomach. I think he was doing the lipo still because I could feel my body moving back and forth and something on the left side. Then I was out!

Next time I was still on my back but they were cutting my stomach. Still no pain, nerve blocks are a beautiful thing, huh? So I tried lifting my head but they had some type of drape of my head so I started pulling it off and they grabbed my arms to stop me and started really sort of yelling not to move. I'm thinking they must have already done the arm lift or were just in the process (not sure, had a drape over my head) but that time they sort of yelled, so it must have mattered that I not move. Then OUT!

Maybe I have a really good metabolism for drugs? Maybe the pain pills are good and the anesthesia was good. Maybe I'm just a really great metabolizer. Wow, the lady finds out her gift in life and it's a lousy 'gift'. ha!

Come to think of it, this isn't the first time I've woke up in surgery either. hmmmm

Post Op Day #3 Feel fine! Yay! Thanks...

Post Op Day #3

Feel fine! Yay! Thanks everyone for all you warm wishes and notes. Helped me so much. I'm in barely any pain now, just the normal aches you could expect.

The nurse came in at midnight to check vitals and give me medicine (Tylenol PM, I'm not kidding) and I told her I was fine, didn't need anything. It's crazy. This time yesterday I really thought I was going to die from the pain but today, nothing. Sure it's achy but I feel pretty good considering what my body has been through.

I love when they change the bandages and I see just how much my body has shrunk down. Love love love that. And my hands are swollen still so this is my body swollen?! I'll take it! Yippee.

Later today I plan to figure out how to wash my hair and clean my body with the help of my nurse. Then I'll ask the nurse to take some new pictures too. That is one thing I can't get enough of, they always are in here seeing what else they can do for you. And the food is super healthy and 24 hours room service. (never have done that but that's what I heard).

Oh this is a weird thing here: They have a spa (ok, fun for facials) but they give massages! (???) Why? I don't know. Some dumb bunny on the floor went to get one yesterday. Face/Palm I didn't even know what to say to her. So I asked the obvious....How'd that feel? She said it hurt. Well, gee Wally, no kiddin'. I can assure you, I won't be going to the spa...ever.

Have a beautiful day everyone. And again, thank you so much for all your kind words. You brought me through a very scary ordeal and now I'm pain free and ready to heal my new body. :)

4 day Post Op: I don't even know what to write...

4 day Post Op:

I don't even know what to write really. Boring day....blah, blah, blah.

Things are starting to get itchy, so I guess they are healing up. :) That's good!

Dr Quiroz took out the drains in my arms, so I only have the TT drain left. Super good! It's hard to move with drains, so I'm feeling better already.

Wednesday I go home. I stripped down tonight to get a picture. Looks pretty good I think. ( It's the one in the tshirt.) I even took right after eating dinner, how's that for confidence?

Thanks again for everything, you've all been great.

Post Op 10 days I'm HOME!!! I left Mexico on...

Post Op 10 days

I'm HOME!!!

I left Mexico on Wednesday. Took me 13 hours total to get home and can you believe it, I got a middle seat! They switched aircraft and I lost my aisle seat. Not only that, the guy by the window had Montasuma's Revenge! :( I told him, as kindly as possible, that nothing about me moves very fast, so if he wants, I can stand for the whole flight but he needs to give me a warning if he's going to start throwing up! I was veeeery nervous. Luckily, he didn't throw up..yay! But he did get up about 4 times...boo! It is really hard to get out of those seats with all these stitches in my belly, butt, back and arms. No pain, no gain I guess. So happy to be home.

Called my doctor, who's also a friend and was able to get some REAL pain medicine. Ok, it's a week after the big event but for the first time I was able to take the edge off a little. Ahhhhhhhhh

Ok, don't think I 'm a total moron but I just had to see what I looked like in my bikini that I wore to send my before picture to Dr Quiroz in Mexico. So, that picture is 8 days post op. Of course you can still see all the stitches but so what, it gives me a lot of hope that I'm heading in the right direction.

I also am posting all my before and after pictures (so far) to give you an idea of how much difference one week can make. Although I'm still so very, very swollen.....I'm NOT as swollen as I was before I hit the 'flat side'. It is shocking to me that I ever let myself look this bad. I honestly went to the gym all the time, don't know why it just wouldn't go away. Oh well, gone now.

I can't wait to see how this looks in a month when the stitches are out and more of the swelling is gone.

2 weeks post op. - Getting the stitches out...

2 weeks post op. - Getting the stitches out.

What an ordeal.

Doctor failed on this one. He said to go to my doc and have them removed today. Made the appt and showed up. Doc took one look and freaked out! No way! She said that I should be at a plastic surgeon and not a GP. Wish he had told me that. She started trying but gave up after an hour of digging them out. Only got the belly button ones so far. No plastic surgeons she could find because of the holiday so now I'm at the emergency room. This stinks!

Word of warning to out of country peeps, make sure to have a proper plastic surgeon set up at home for suture removal. Wish I had done that.

I think the docs sometime forget that we aren't medical professionals and don't think like that. I was planning on baking today but now I'm cooling my heals at the hospital ER. Bummer!

1 month post op - What a month. My husband asked...

1 month post op - What a month. My husband asked me if I would do it again. YES! Even with all the pain (or rather lack of pain medicine :( ) I'd definitely do it.

Here's a weird one. For the last 3 days I've had horrible pain on my right side of abdomen, about mid way between ribs and incision site. I've had to stop doing anything physical at all because the pain is unbearable. Nothing helps alleviate it either. I have Vicodin and even that doesn't help. It's in a very small area, constant and feels like a small knife is in there. Not even an exaggeration to say it parallels the pain post op. Really bad. Contacted PS and he said it's normal healing process. I went to look it up and sure enough, the books say that about 3 to 8 weeks post op with MR, the nerves will regenerate themselves and reattach. The pain will last for a week to 10 days or for some people won't even happen at all. Lucky me :( You've been warned. I thought something else was wrong because it isn't by an incision but everything I read said it would be one or the other side (not both).

Besides that, just slowly but surely getting better.

5 weeks post op and finally worked out. I was...

5 weeks post op and finally worked out. I was sort of afraid that I'd not be able to do it but it was easy. So happy to finally be back at the gym. The sit-ups freaked me out so I used a big ball and didn't do too many. Will see how I feel to or row and adjust accordingly.

My scar is very lumpy, like a fat piece of licorice. I just bought a silicone fx cover for nights and already started silicone stuff that you put on like nail polish for the day. I'm hoping it flattens it out some. This scar is horrible. The last bit of scabs are almost off but the raised scar hasn't flattened at all. Does anyone know how long this takes normally?

I've had a few people ask me to update, so here...

I've had a few people ask me to update, so here you go. I was going to wait until the 6 month mark but we just got back from vacation celebrating my 50th birthday (ugh!) and thought, why not?

Dr Quiroz had said it would take 6 months for all the swelling to be completely gone but I do think it isn't going to get any better than this. I will probably update again in a few days to show you a couple flaws that I want addressed but overall, I think it came out amazing.

The flaws: Right side hip, the scar is a little too high and has a small dog ear. I have to put a little cover up on the scar to keep it from showing in the swim suit or pull up the swim suit to keep it hidden.

My elbows are chubbier than my arms.

Both things probably are just my bodies fault more than his. When I look at the photos post op, things look correct. I had originally wanted to have my legs done too, at the same time. When I went to have everything done, Dr Quiroz had me stand in front of a giant mirror with no clothes (shudders) and he sat behind and to the left of me where I couldn't see him. He had me verbally state aloud what I didn't like about my body starting with what I disliked the most and working down from there. I disliked my arms the most, hands down. I could cover the tummy but living in Florida, the arms are a tough one. Then the stomach, the bra strap fat, and then finally I said the legs.

He asked about the legs and I told him that the plastic surgeon at home had mentioned that to be symmetrical, I needed them done too. I told him that my husband said they would look better if they were thinner. It was at that time that he said he wasn't going to be doing the legs. He explained that his reasoning was that the surgery is for the patient ONLY. That I wasn't very concerned about my legs and only had shown interest in them once it was pointed out by others. He said it made him uncomfortable and that the extra surgery on top of how much I was already having was too much anyway. I was starting to freak a little because I DID want some of the fat taken out...I really did. So he agreed to a little lipo on the inside of the legs but wouldn't do more than that. He said if I chose to do it later, after I healed, that would be fine but not in November.

I will say, looking back, that may have been the best decision ever made. How I could have possibly moved by myself and gotten onto a plane, made the connection, and finally home to Florida with my legs done too is a mystery.

I think Dr Quiroz is an incredible doctor and I do plan to go back to do the legs and ask him to fix those little flaws, if it's possible. I would also like to have a breast lift, possibly. They are pretty good by themselves but could use a little help. I figure time will surely add to the gravitational pull, so why not take care of it while I'm out there?

My husband was so impressed with the results, he is sending his pics in too this time for a little tummy lipo. He's very muscular but would like his stomach flat. You know the doctor is good when your man is willing to fly across country to have a procedure done. I'm just glad that this time I will have company.

This is what the scarring looks like 5 months...

This is what the scarring looks like 5 months later. Hoping to go back soon and get my legs done thinner and maybe a boob lift. 38DD and they stay up alone but it's only a matter of time so I'd like to fix that before the inevitable. Overall, best thing I've ever done to change my confidence and life. My DH said that when I go out with him now even my walk is different, more confident. I'm happier. Sex is better because I'm not ashamed of my body anymore either. Best thing I've ever done. Good luck to all and may this bring you the happiness you are hoping for.

I am adding a before and after picture, in...

I am adding a before and after picture, in clothing, so you can see the profound difference this has made on my body and confidence. The before picture was taken in May 2012 and the other was May 2013. In one year my entire life has been transformed into something I never though possible. It is not about the body so much but the confidence. I used to choose clothing, not by what it looked like but rather, how well it hid all my flaws (and face it, looking back, it really didn't do such a great job at the hiding of flaws). No amount of eating well or working out was able to shed the fat layer that covered my body. I ran everyday about 5 miles...didn't matter a bit. I never eat unhealthy anything....ever. I don't add chemically altered food into my diet...ever. Yet here was this body that looked so foreign to me. My younger years had been consumed with either participating in tournaments of some sort of athletic competition or teaching them. Now I was the middle aged woman who stood in the back of the room in case I needed to escape out of embarrassment or inability to keep up.

I am putting up my last group of photos. Some are graphic of the scars up close, immediately after surgery or withing the first few weeks. I've seen people commenting that they are afraid that all those odd bumps, flaps, and folds are permanent....they aren't. But they are ugly and scary. Agreed. But, as your PS probably has told you, time is your friend. They will flatten out and fade. Just give it time.

So everybody, thank you for all your support. Thank you for everything. You held me up when I thought I would die from the pain. You supported me when I thought I was a freak for life. But I'm not! It works...and it will work for you too. I promise. Hang in there and believe.

Good luck to you all!
Mexico Plastic Surgeon

Dr Quiroz is an amazing surgeon. He has a great manner about him and easy to talk to. My only issue has been after surgery trying to get pain medication.

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
4 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
4 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (138)

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It is so interesting to read these posts. One woman had a breast lift done by Dr. Q. And it was really bad looking. I doubt time will fix it. Yet you had a good experience, as did I. I had a facelift (mini) and arm lift, and I think both turned out really well considering I am 67 and just plain out of shape and overweight. I'm so sad for the other lady, but our experiences with Dr. Q. were very positive. The Recovery Boutique was amazing. By the way, my general doctor removed all my stitches, except for a couple he missed that I removed. As for pain meds, my doctor also armed me with Vicodin, for which I am eternally grateful. Both procedures were pretty stress free, and Dr. Q. always answered my emails. The Real Self Team and contributors kept my gears and expectations realistic. Congrats on reclaiming your confidence!
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I meant my fears, not my gears! My "gears" definitely need major repair, as do my iPad typing skills!
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You look amazing! Thank you for posting you journey, I really enjoyed reading it. I had my heart set on flying overseas to the DR to have my TT done however now I'm considering looking into doctors in Mexico. Happy healing!
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You look great! When you have time could you post updated healing photos...I am planning a LBL in the spring with Dr. Quiroz thanks
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U look amazing!!!
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Kat, in addition to the price you listed above, can you give an estimate of what you paid for lodging and travel? Also, if you don't mind sharing, what was your starting height and weight (feel free to send a private message)? I've been making steady improvements for a few months, but I have a deadline (an important event) that I'd really like to look good for. I'm just wondering if maybe I can't get the work done now, instead of waiting until the last minute. The last thing I want is more loose skin, but you said you've lost more weight and you're still happy with your results, yes? Congratulations - you look amazing!
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looking good gurly, what all included in the mommy makeover
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I'm so glad you're happy with your procedure, I have no idea how you managed to fly with all that and alone! You must have some pain threshold, even with the most expensive Tylenol ever (I'm from the UK but I'm betting they are quite cheap from a drug store!) I'm glad your incisions settled down, I was quite shocked when I saw them, he uses huge stitches and massive gaps between sutures, I've never seen a scar like in on RS or in person (although TT aren't common here). It looks like he was trying to save money on catgut, or whatever they use for suturing now, or in a hurry! All's well that ends well though and you are obviously happy :)
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That's so funny :) I think that's how most look but we just don't get to see them until the stitches are out. (sort of like how odd newborns look OR how we look down there after having them). When I went to get the stitches out, the ER doctor was really impressed with the quality of the sutures. She said that she sees many where they are so close together that it causes buckling. She mentioned that the farther apart they are, the better and let the skin do it's work which is why the giant folds. Sadly, those folds I hated at the beginning are actually the areas that are almost invisible scars now. Sort of wish the whole thing would have been one giant fold. Oh well, can't make that happen. It turned out better than I ever thought possible. Somehow it took away my appetite and I've lost over 50 lbs since the surgery and continue to shrink. I'm now wearing only the smallest of junior size clothing where I used to only wear the largest of women's sizes. And my bra size stayed a D cup. Best thing I've ever done. I would do it again in a second. (actually was planning to do lipo on my legs this summer and a lift of the chest to be safe but I just keep losing weight, so it's just not going to make sense at this point). I think my surgery is exactly how it's supposed to be because I was contacted by RealSelf to be interviewed and this is the article: http://on.realself.com/mommy-makeover-mexico-real-story/ My biggest regret: I waited so long.
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Hi, Kat - On Feb 21st Dr. Quiroz did a tummy tuck, breast lift, and some lipo. If you want to see photos, I can post them. They're REALLY horrific. The incisions weren't ever infected, but they weren't done right and there's skin flaps on the outside. I went to another plastic surgeon and showed the photos from 5 days post-op, and he just about fell out of his chair. On top of that, he can't even believe what was done to my navel. Unlike CosMed, this PS stressed the importance of massage (but not after surgery - you're right; who would have that then??). Tomorrow I'm going to have revision surgery ($1,200!) so the incisions are correct and will heal properly. I'm glad your experience with Dr. Q was good. Unfortunately, I'm not a success story. Also, during the tummy tuck, the sensory nerves were cut, so my right thigh is numb. For the first 6 weeks, pain would strike without warning and I would almost collapse. Also, I limped a lot. The good news is that I LOVE my new breasts!!! They're even/balanced and exactly the size I wanted. However, I won't recommend Dr. Q to anyone who asks. I had heard about the lack of true pain medicine, so I took my own ;-)
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So sorry you had a bad experience. I think he's absolutely incredible. The lack of pain medicine is why I AM going back to him. I think that may be the reason I recovered so quickly. Instead of laying in bed, drugged out, I had one horrible day and then made up my mind that this was how it was going to be. The food they serve is so incredibly healthy, no red meat, nothing but water, coffee and tea and lots of vegis and fruit were exactly what I loved. Notice that no one complained about not going to the bathroom? I think that's because they don't drug you and they feed you healthy, REAL food. I'm not into chemically altered food, so for me, this ended up being the perfect place....for me. I'm so sorry you had such a bad experience. Hope you feel better soon.
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You look great, that is horrible you had to go thru so much pain. I am happy you are feeling good and confident!
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Thanks so much!
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Yes i'd like to know status on your scar as well hope all is well :-)
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Please tell me how your tt scar is now? I am considering Dr Quiroz but I want to make sure the scar looks good after a few months. Thanks!
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I surprised. Before surgery I asked for painkillers and he gave them to me. As well as muscle relaxers
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That's awesome. I see you went a few years ago though. It was different in November for me. They do offer some type of 'pain pill', I think it has the strength of Tylenol.
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Oh wow, Im planning on going again for a TT and breast lift. Pains terrifies me, I will go prepared this time. A quick question: when you went where did you stay ?
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They have a beautiful facility on site so need to ever leave the building. Inexpensive and they take great care of you. The food is healthy and delicious too.
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I am glad things turned out okay for you. But being up there with no pain medicine besides OTC is inhumane! I was thinking about going to Mexico for plastic surgery but not anymore!
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Hi! As everyone else has said, thank you for such a candid, thorough review of your experience. Questions about costs and payment. Did you know what you were going to have to pay for everything before you went down, or did that happen after you met with Dr. Quiroz? Did they require a downpayment? When did you have to pay the whole amount? Were there extra costs for compression clothes? As for the work...are there noticeable scars on your arms, or did they do lipo, or both? The stay...was there a package for additional days, either in the spa or somewhere else, so you could get the stitches removed by the same doctor? The pain meds...would your doctor have given you an Rx for Vicodin in advance of the surgery? I've been researching surgery in various places overseas. Though I don't expect to read glowing responses from everyone, your experience with the pain meds is a serious consideration for me. I would be undone having to go through such pain after procedures that were traumatic for your body. I think lilmary makes a going point about that. Lots of questions! Thanks in advance for your time answering them.
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Looking good
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I hope you are recovering well I can't believe you had so much done. By the way you look great and also before your surgery you had a good shape I do agree your arms seemed out of proportion for you size. Any best wishes on a peedy recovery without pain.
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Thanks so much! I cringe whenever I look at the before pics but they are the 'real deal' so seemed right to post them. My arms were most definitely not in proportion and were my biggest concern. Hopefully I will be pain free soon and able to resume normal life again. Thanks again.
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