Modified Tummy Tuck with Floating Belly Button - Costa Rica

Hello! I'm a 35 year old mom of 7 children...

Hello! I'm a 35 year old mom of 7 children (ages 2 - almost 15) and now that I'm confident my baby making days are over, I went ahead and got a mommy make-over. I live in Costa Rica and the cost of surgery is considerably lower than it is in the US or Canada. My surgeon was fantastic. He found a hernia above my belly button and repaired that as well during the tummy tuck. I'm sore, swollen and bound so tightly that breathing isn't much fun :/ But I can't wait for the swelling to go down a bit so I can see my new body! I had a breast augmentation with 400cc silicone gel implants, no lift needed, tummy tuck, and lipo. 800ml was removed.

I'm now 2 weeks post-op. Feeling GREAT! I can...

I'm now 2 weeks post-op. Feeling GREAT! I can finally sleep on my side comfortably (with pillows propping multiple body parts). Lipo stitches were removed today and the doc says everything is progressing very well. I've created a before and after photo and will post it here.

I'm 9 weeks post-op. My healing has revealed some...

I'm 9 weeks post-op. My healing has revealed some problems with the surgery. For starters, it would've been much better had my surgeon chosen to do a full TT. The mini wasn't enough. Not only do I have excess skin above the belly button, but the skin healed PULLED to the left side. This is due to the compression garment and it's opening on the left side only. The entire time I was healing this garment was being pulled to the left when I showered or went to the bathroom causing my skin to heal to that side.

After expressing my concerns to my doctor, he suggested I begin taking Singulair, as this medication is the only option available here in Costa Rica that can help loosen that scar tissue. To be honest, I was so angry when he made this suggestion. Just a small amount of research on the drug Singulair is enough to scare any sane person away from taking it for cosmetic reasons. How is this my only option?!!!

I'm making a few appointments with other surgeons to get second and third opinions about this.

I'm feeling very disappointed, as I was told I was an "ideal" patient and that my results would be amazing. My before pictures actually look better than my after. ;(

One and a half years post-op update.

I've consulted with my surgeon several times since my healing. There was little responsibility taken on his part and the blame was placed on how my skin healed incorrectly. I've had seven children, and my skin elasticity is pretty forgiving as you can see in my before pictures. I refuse to place the blame on how my body healed. This is obviously yet another case of an unsatisfactory result from a modified tummy tuck with floating belly button. So many women who get this procedure done are not happy afterward and with good reason; there are few of us who are truly good candidates for it and I wish doctors were either better informed or more honest about that with their patients. Surgery for many is a one time shot as it takes much for most people to carve out the finances for cosmetic procedures. Clients rely on the expertise of the plastic surgeons to advise us and inform us about things we may not find on our own. Like how once you float that belly button you have compromised the blood supply and if you need future revision surgery you risk necrosis of the belly button. In other words, it's a one shot thing. And if there's any possibility that you may not be the absolute perfect candidate it would be better for you to go with the full tummy tuck. Yes, you can find that information out on your own, but I believe there is a responsibility on the side of the surgeons to be upfront and honest about that information. Story after story I see with these modified tummy tucks where women are going through the same thing I am. It's sad and doesn't need to happen.

At this point, I am just about ready to begin consulting with surgeons to talk about options. Reverse tummy tuck perhaps? I don't know. I do know that I will be doctor shopping with much more experience this time and hopefully I will find someone I feel really good about who can help me. After seven kids and a (mostly) kick ass body, I had high hopes for the surgery being simple and a one time thing. I hope by sharing my experience more women will become aware of just how many of us should avoid getting a modified tummy tuck.

I should point out, that even though I may look like I have gained weight since my initial surgery, I haven't. I am still 130lbs and 5'4". Unfortunately, the result of the surgery has made my midsection appear heavier. At least I think so, as does my husband who knows (knew) my body better than anyone.

I'll update again once I speak to a few doctors and walk my mind through whatever it is they tell me.

2.5 Years later and I'm ready to find a doctor for revision surgery.

I still get radically different answers about my options depending on what surgeon I talk to. I'm learning more and more that their answers are not based on fact but rather they're a reflection of the surgeon's skill level and comfort zone. If they don't know how to do something, they advise against it rather than point me in the direction of someone more skilled. Of course, this is a generalized statement and I'm not speaking for all surgeons, just some of the ones I've contacted. One thing I know for sure is I don't want to have it done here in Costa Rica. I'd rather travel to have things done by someone I can really trust and feel confident in their work. Currently looking in the U.S. If anyone has recommendations I'd love to hear them!
Dr. Oscar Suarez

If I could go back and do things over, I would do more research on possible negative outcomes rather than just researching procedures gone well. I would've known then that most doctors are not fans of mini tummy tucks because patients are hardly ever satisfied with the results. I also would've asked more questions, rather than assuming the doctor knew exactly what I wanted and that we were on the same page. More communication for sure, as the disappointment of healing and seeing things look worse is hard on the mind. I would've also consulted with multiple doctors and given myself more options.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
2 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
1 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
3 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
2 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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