Reclaiming my Body W/TT,lipo, Arm Lift!!! - Dominican Republic, DO

Hello. I am a 32 yr old mother of three. I have...

Hello. I am a 32 yr old mother of three. I have decided to embark on this journey with my sister. I have been contemplating having a TT since 2001 after the my first pregnancy and c-section delivery left my abdominal area disfigured. Prior to me becoming pregnant with twins , my flat and toned stomach was one of my most prized assets. I loved doing situps because it was one of the few exercises I liked. After a whopping 70 lb weight gain I was determined to get the weight off. The situps I enjoyed so much left my stomach in knots that hurt so bad I cried. It scared me so bad, I never did them again. That was the beginning of my downward spiral. I have tried every diet one can imagine and even managed a 60lb weight loss in 2010 but it did nothing for my freddy kuger like stretchmarks and flabby arms. After some financial and marriage stressors came about I gained most of the weightback. When my sister asked me to accompany her to DO. I started thinking that my dream could actually come true. The quote I received is awesome and the reviews that I have seen for Dr. robles are encouraging. So although I have a short time to lose as much weight as possible I am determined to reach my goal.

progress

I'm down 5 lbs! 35 more to go :- )

It's Official!!!!

I will be leaving on August 25th to have surgery on the 26th.( Going for CBC the end of June) I'm so nervous and excited at the same time! Lord please help me to keep my sanity as I proceed through these new few months...Oh -2lbs :-)

6 1/2 weeks to go!!!

I got the ok to proceed with surgery today. Hemoglobin has only raised to 12.1 since May!!! SMH.....I was advised to increase iron intake to 3x's a day and I will be ok when time comes for surgery. I was also advised to avoid vitamins E & A

Oh, yea....

Total weight loss to date.....18lbs...Woo hoo! Almost there.....

Within 3lbs of targeted weight loss!

Total weight loss to date....31 lbs. I hope to lose additional 10 lbs before surgery in September. Whoever said plastic surgery was the "easy" way out has no clue! I am sure my RS sistas will agree! This takes hard work and dedication.....And that's just in preparing for surgery. LOL! I am so excited and thankful to all the brave ladies who have given me a glimpse into their path towards transformation. I pray that everything goes well and that I can help someone else. I am getting more anxious and nervous as my surgery date nears. Well that's all for now. I'm about to get my workout on ;-)

So......I will be leaving for the D.R. in 5 days!!!!!!

I am so excited and nervous! This is a very busy week for me. I have most of my bag packed. The only item missing is a pair of thigh high compression hose. The past couple of weeks have zoomed by. I will update soon. Let the countdown begin!!!!!!

I made it to the flat side!

I am 11 days post op. I spent 9 days at Virginia's Recovery House. I met some really great ladies there. The staff there was very helpful and persistent about doing everything that it takes to recover from surgery. I was only able to get the tummy tuck with Lipo on the sides. Dr Robles did not recommend doing them together because she was concerned about my arms healing and the need to use them for support. Honestly, I am happy that I didn't get them done together because recovery has been HARD.I had to get several iron shots as well as a drip for dehydration. Be sure to bring at least an extra $300 just in case you need these things. Just as others warned the Lipo is the most painful. The tummy tuck incision has not been very painful. I am happy with my results but very swollen after the flight home. I will update soon with pictures after I am more comfortable with my garment off. Thanks to all for the prayers and well wishes! I feel better and better each day.

One day at a time....

Still very swollen. Lipo on sides still hurts like day one. Still dealing with burns from garment and this aggravating drain!!!! Ladies plz do exactly what your doctor saysand drink plenty of water.

another pic 3 wks PO tomorrow

Goodbye drain!!!!

I took out my drain today with the help of my husband. This was probably the most pain I have had this entire experience! Tip: apply ointment at the base of the drain and a cold compress while pullling it out. I wish I had known that in the beginning!!!

progress

Today is my 6wk anniversary! I am celebrating with my 1st post op workout. :-) I am still healing from a burn near my right hip so I have been unable to wear my compression garment as tight as I would like to.

pics

Seroma? Hematoma? What is this?!!!

Asked my PS what she thought this was. Her reply "Look like Seroma" So I asked her what to do she said she will have Laura email me....Well that was 2 wks ago and I am still waiting. This is frustrating because I did not have this lump before my surgery and she just threw a word out there with no explanation at further advice. Well thank God I found a PS locally who has agreed to follow me. He said to give it more time and if it didn't improve liposuction is an option. He assured me I have no signs of infection of fluid in the area. Looks like my journey is just beginning.

Scar pic

Things I Wish I Knew Before I Went to D.R.

Okay..... Now that I have had 3 months to settle down and take care of myself, I thought I would do an update on things that helped me and will make your experience in the D.R. go smoother.

First, the packing list. I got some great ideas on how to pack from other ladies on here. These are the things I found very useful.

1.Funnel (for urinating)
2.Chux (for bed and the shower chair while taking sponge baths)
3.Adult Wipes (you will use plenty of these)
4.Sanitary Pads (Get a big pack for anything from creating a barrier between garment and underwear to covering liposuction incisions)
5.The usual antibacterial soap, toothpaste, dry shampoo, alcohol, toothbrush, deodorant, feminine wash, brush, comb, lotion etc.
6.For my AA sisters we must have our silk scarf!!! ( We must protect our hair :-)
7.hibiclens wash before surgery
8.cough drops
9.additional medication that you may already require
compression tights (Dr. Robles prefers knee high over thigh high)
10.Clorox wipes ( I wiped down everything in my hospital room)
11. 2 front open house coats/gowns
12.pack of wife beaters to go under your garment ( you will need a clean one to take to every follow up visit. Dr Robles will change you at every visit)
13.Extra blanket
14.Slide on shoes and flip flops
15.The biggest water bottle you can find!!! ( You will sip water 24/7 even in your sleep)
17. Gloves
18. 3 or 4 outfits (Dresses will be the most comfortable)
19. Sweater for airport and while waiting to see the Dr. it gets chilly at times.
20. a pack of washcloths. (You may or may not want to keep them)
21. A few of your favorite nonperishable snacks to remind you of home. (I didn't have much of an appetite but they were nice to look at, lol! )
22. Stool softener
23. Diaper for flight home and any leakage from drain, incisions, etc
24. Pins, kangaroo pouch, neckstrap lanyard or any method to hold your drain in place
25. You won't need your vitamins here. If you are staying in the recovery house you will be given all of the vitamins and medication that you need. Also, check vitamins for vitamin A and E. DO NOT TAKE MULTIVITAMINS THAT CONTAIN THESE. IT CAUSES EXCESSIVE BLEEDING. Dr. Robles will ask you if you took them. Also do not take Ibuprofen or Aspirin leading up to surgery, it thins your blood.
26. You can download a free app called Talkatone. It will allow you to call home for FREE from your phone over Wi-Fi connection. They have Wi-Fi at the CECIP and at Virginia's Recovery house. I don't know about the other recovery houses.
27. Ipad and books
28. Small gift for Dr. Robles and her two assistants because they really are so sweet and eager to please.

Things I still needed after I got there:
1. Iron shots ( I needed 4 or 5) They were between $30 -$50 US dollars each. They were cheaper when I purchased them at the hospital pharmacy. It was so confusing when I purchased them at the recovery house so just make sure you have enough Dominican dollars on hand if you have to send for them while at the recovery house.
2. Lioton Gel. (Yes, that is the correct spelling) This stuff is so important to your healing and preventing burns and I ran out very fast. You have to apply to liposuction bruised areas 3x day. It is much more expensive when you purchase from them.($30-$40) I looked it up online when I got home and found it on amazon for $15. I would at least get two or three tubes.
3. Money for an extra garment.($100-$150) I purchased one before I came and it was too big. So it is best to wait. They will sell you one before you leave and it will likely be much smaller than the one they put you in right after surgery.
4. Tip money for driver, airport staff (return flight), and recovery house staff
5. You may want to get a throw away large suitcase for packing all of those disposable items. I found one at Goodwill for $3 and tossed it when the time came to go home. I returned with a small carry on bag and getting through the airport and customs was a breeze! Get a note from your Dr. for wheelchair access and you will be glad you did.

Things I needed for home:
1. Gauze (plenty)
2. Tape that is gentle on your skin
3. Waterproof Bandages
4. Neosporin
5. A&D ointment
6. Bromelain
7. Arnica Gel
8. Rosa Mosqueta Oil
9. Pineapple and cucumber (for juicing to reduce swelling)
10. Iron, Vitamin C, Vitamin B Complex, Multivitamin (Same as before surgery)
11. Massager for liposuction areas
12. Cotton balls for cleaning incisions and keeping your bellybutton open.
13. Neoprene waist binder for when you resume exercise
14. Arnica warming oil for massages ( Also found it on Amazon...Soooo soothing!)

I hope this helps someone. Feel free to inbox me if you have any additional questions. I wish you all the best for a happy and healthy New Year!

My progression so far

I am back on track with my workout routine. 45 min cardio / zumba 3xs wk. Toning strength training 2xs wk. I have not seen much of a change on the scale. I have now really been in a strict diet only cutting calories here and there. Time to kick it up a notch so back to the low carb lifestyle I go....

my apologies

Please excuse the typos...Stupid smartphone! Too bad I can't retract my last post.
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon

This is a great surgeon who puts your health above all else. She is so nice and takes pride in her work. I felt very comfortable with her. (I have never had a Dr help me pick out my clothes for discharge from the hospital!) This is a very busy lady, but she makes you feel like you're her only patient. Her assistants Laura and Raquel are so sweet and helpful as well.

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
3 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
4 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (88)

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Beautiful! If you don't mind me asking, what is your pre-op and post- op weight? Feel free to dm me if you would like! Congrats on the flat side boo!
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Thanks. 228/218 and counting....
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you look amazing, that scar is gorgeous!!!
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Thanks! Best wishes to you....Your date will be here before you know it!
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congratulations!!! you look awesome!!
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Thanks ;-)
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Did Laura ever get back to you? Hoping I dont get a seroma after surgery. ..have yoy had any massages done here in the states
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No. It is certainly one of the drawbacks of having surgery abroad. I did the massages as recommended, waited until the last possible minute to take my drain out...thought I did everything right you know? I would recommend anyone going abroad to have a very good plan for follow up prior to leaving the states. I hope all goes well for you!
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Wow thanks for the list, that is awesome advice about the throw away suitcase...brilliant!!! What ever came of the seroma or what ever it was/is?
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You're welcome! It has gone down a little bit since I first noticed it and it doesn't seem as hard. I have seen a few other ladies on here with the same complaint and they were basically told the same information that I was...that I need to be patient. I have a f/u appt next month so hopefully I will have more insight then.
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Yeah, I've probably read the same reviews...that it was just swelling or residual fluid. I pray it's nothing, esp after you left that drain in for as long as possible!! I swear I gotta book mark your page cuz I really love your list. I've been telling everyone about your throw away suitcase idea. Couldn't remember where I had read it cuz I had read soo much, now I know! I'll be looking for updates.
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Girl, I'm sorry, I didn't even say, but you look great! I try to read before I look at photos.
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Yes, my sister was adamant about finding that " throw away" suitcase so I can't take all the credit, lol! Trust me you will be glad you did! I could tell the airport staff was happy too that we only had a small carry on. We received the royal treatment :-). Thanks for your prayer and I pray that you have a safe and successful journey....Glad you found the list helpful.
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Thanks! I know what you mean I remember staying up late reading every profile I could find on my doctor!
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Yea I couldn't remember where I read that either....lol.... Glad I found it...I may try this and do like mineto said and come back with handheld bag...Ill see...decisions, decisions.....
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Great list!. Thanks
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You're welcome. Good luck hun...
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I cant wait to see an updated photo..how many pounds did she remove
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It's kind of hard to tell because in the days immediately following my surgery I had gained around 6lbs. She never told me how many liters of fat she removed although she told my sister how much she removed from her. I guess she was more interested in how much blood I lost. And honestly I was so out of it I didn't even think to ask. I lost that 6 plus an additional 10 lbs.
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Thanks sweetie for posting this..I have decided to go with Robles...
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You're welcome. Good for you! I wish you the best.
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Ur waist looks so good...its very defined.
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Thanks :-)
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i just love how well defined your incision is. looking good
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