Two years later and it's still the BEST money I've ever spent!!

Ok so a little history on me. I am a 34 year old...

Ok so a little history on me. I am a 34 year old mother of 2 (6 and 2), and I have a demanding career as a OR nurse. I am 5'11" and at my heaviest in 2006 weighed in at a whopping 339lbs! December 2006 I had a LapBand placed and lost 130 lbs in 2 years, and have kept it off for 2 1/2 more years. But after yo-yo wieghtloss, 2 kids, and finally a huge weightloss by body was...unattractive, to say the least.

I chose Dr. Scott Martin in Las Cruces, NM. I know many people who have used him and have all been so happy with their results. He is dry but very qualified and I instantly felt at ease with him and his office. My goal was not to look like a supermodel swimsuit model; I just wanted to be a better version of myself.

Day 1: (July 31, 2012) Surgery took about 5 hours. I had an extended abdominalplasty, b/l mastopexy, augmentation, and liposuction. I arrived at the surgery center at 7am and was in the car going home at about 2pm. I don't remember much of the recovery room, but I remember thinking that it didn't hurt nearly as bad as I thought it was going to. Dr. Martin does not place drains, so I'm grateful for that, and I was in my compression garment before I woke up. I had to drink and pee before they let me go and they made sure I was comfortable. I slept all the way home. He sent me home with SCD's that I wore whenever I was not up walking. Sleeping in the recliner was definietly the way to go and I was pretty comfortable there. Never would I say that I had "pain", just uncomfortable even at its worst.

Day 2: Still a decided lack of pain. I am pale and get winded easily but I am really not hurting like I thought I would. I can get in and out of the recliner by myself as well as on and off the toilet. I am swelling, so I feel so tight but that's the worst of it. I only took 3 pain pills all day! Yay!

Day 3: Took a shower today. Had to sit and rest afterwards and then got back into my compression garment because the swelling is fairly significant. But I can still see such a huge difference from before and I'm feeling excited about the whole thing. eating light meals, but never any nausea or vomiting. Went for my first post-op appt today and Dr. Martin said I was doing amazingly well and to keep up the good work, but not to over do it. My mother-in-law and I went to olive garden after the appt. only took 2 pain pills today!

Day4: I've started taking tylenol instead of pain pills. I just don't really need them anymore. I do still take a muscle relaxer at night but that's about it. I think I may sleep in the bed tomorrow night because I don't hunch over anymore and can stand up fairly straight. If it doesn't work I can go back to the recliner. I am so amazed at how well this whole thing has gone. I expected so much more pain and, well, just horror. But it's been really a fairly great experience! As soon as the swelling goes down it will be Perfect! I will post pictures soon

Dy 5/6: still doing amazing!! I have to take a...

Dy 5/6: still doing amazing!! I have to take a pain pill every now and then, but mostly just taking over the counter stuff. I have more swelling this morning, but since I felt so good yesterday I really overdid it. Thats really the only complaint I have about this process is the swelling. It is an unavoidable evil, but man it is uncomfortable. But I'm still thrilled that my Dr. doesn't usually use drains. I'm still about 7 lbs heavier than the morning of the procedure but I'm not surprised; but I still look so much better! I'm going to post some pictures tomorrow I promise! I just glanced through them this morning and they are DRAMATIC!!!

Day 7/8: Well on day 5 I over did it. I was...

Day 7/8: Well on day 5 I over did it. I was feeling so good that I did way too much and was really swollen and sore at the end of the day. So yesterday (one week out) I really took it easy. I stayed in the chair a lot and drank tons of water and basically got up to get lunch, more water, and to the bathroom (frequently). Today I feel so much better! I think the key is when I do something, then take it easy for a little bit. I still have a lot of bruising and swelling, especially in my lower abdomen, but it's not as bad if I don't overdo it. I am standing straight and don't have to hunch, so that is a blessing, but I'm still just more comfortable sleeping in the recliner; probably because I don't try to roll over to my sides (which are very sore). Now I know this is silly and I'm nit-picking over nothing, but I'm really praying that the swelling in my lower abdomen is just that, swelling, and that I'm not going to forever look 3 months pregnant. But I know that I'm only a week out, and I'm really grateful of how amazingly well everything has gone! I would do it again tomorrow. I'm also thinking maybe the swelling in my lower abdomen is a little more since my surgeon (thankfully) doesn't place drains. Any thoughts?

Aug 9th: Oh my goodness, I am wearing a...

Aug 9th: Oh my goodness, I am wearing a maxi-dress! and It looks AWESOME! God Bless perky Boobs!!!

Well poo. I'm fairly certain that I've developed...

Well poo. I'm fairly certain that I've developed either a seroma or a hematoma (I think it's a seroma). My lower abdomen continued to bulge out and then stopped. Now it doesn't change much, but if I push on it, it feels like a water balloon. I'm calling first thing Monday morning and getting in. I want this drained ASAP! I'm still thrilled though. I mean, I am thrilled with my results and my recovery, and if the worst thing that happens is getting a needle in my belly: bring it on! But, I am not happy about looking like I'm in the early stages of pregnancy so hurry up
Monday! I'll let ya know how it goes.

Well it's not a seroma....but it IS a hematoma :-(...

Well it's not a seroma....but it IS a hematoma :-( I'm going to watch it the next couple of days, and if it's any bigger on wednesday then on thursday I'm going to have to have a hematoma evacuation (surgery) if it is the same size then it should resolve, but I will have a grapefruit sized swell right under my belly button for at least a couple of months. "sigh". I have really tried to stay positive through this whole thing; I mean, how many women would kill to have this surgery but can't afford it, but this development rattled me a little bit today. I've had a hard time not being 100%, and the thought of not able to get back to reality for even more time...well, I'm finding it hard to swallow. Pride is a hard pill to swallow sometimes. Ah well. I'm going to pray about this and try to have a better attitude in the morning.

Well this week I've gone from Looking 3 months...

Well this week I've gone from
Looking 3 months pregnant to 5 months preggo. So tomorrow I'm going in to see him, staying NPO, and he's going to decide if this hematoma need surgery. I'm leaning towards yes because it's grown SO much. I'll post a picture. I'm going in right before his last scheduled procedure, at 11am; wish me luck ladies!

By the way: I was feeling VERY sorry for myself...

By the way: I was feeling VERY sorry for myself the last couple of days, but I'm feeling much better. I'm just ready to get this handeled and finish healing. This is still SO worth it! I also wanted to tell about the progression of my hematoma in case it can help someone else:
At approximately 1 week out I noticed that there was a bulge in my lower abdomen that wasn't resolved first thing in the morning(my swelling has always been fairly minimal first thing in the morning, and can get pretty bad by afternoon). I called my PS office and was told that lower abdomen swelling was very common and not to worry. If I'd thought about it I would have started checking my waist size (with a measuring tape) right then to see if it was getting bigger, but I was still thinking swelling. Through the next week my lower abdomen swelled more and more; when I pushed on the largest point of the swell it felt like I was pushing on a balloon filled with jelly. I don't notice the day to day changes, it's not that fast. But every 3 days or so I look in the mirror and can SEE how much bigger it is. Also, while all my other bruises are nearly resolved the bruises on my lower abdomen are still deep purple. Three days ago I started measuring my waist size with my cloth tape. In 3 days I've increased an inch and a half. SO, if you suspect something is wrong, don't let people talk you out of it. There is a LOT of swelling after this procedure, but when swelling is going down everywhere EXCEPT one spot, there could be a seroma/hematoma. And if it happens, try not to get too down; it's a HUGE surgery and sometimes even with a great surgeon thing can happen.
So I hope this helps somebody out there! I'll let you guys know tomorrow what happens.

So back to surgery today. My poor belly was so...

So back to surgery today. My poor belly was so big! He evacuated 700 cc's of hematoma!!! Wow. And he found the bleeder and placed a drain. I feel so much better. My
Stomach was getting so big it was getting hard to breathe. Now my tummy is so flat again! :-)

So the hematoma evacuation was a very easy...

So the hematoma evacuation was a very easy procedure. I did have to go back to the OR, but I was sedated, not totally asleep, and after they numbed me up the let me start waking up. We chatted through most of it. This was my preference, and I spoke to anesthesia about it. The anesthestist there is AMAZING! I did't want to fight falling asleep for the coming 10 hours. He did place a drain, but I don't mind since I REALLY don't want a repeat. But he did find the bleeder and my drain is staying relatively empty. Now, the best part: My stomach is now SOOOO flat! For the first time I'm looking at myself and saying "wow" it feels great and thanks to all for the support and prayers!

It's weird just how much better I feel! The...

It's weird just how much better I feel! The tightness and constant full feeling is gone; I can stand up straight again, and I haven't had any pain since the evacuation. I'm having fun playing with clothes too! I cannot wait to go shopping!!!!! Almost 3 weeks out and life is good! Would do it all again in a second. Good luck ladies who are scheduled. Remember to keep your eyes on the prize. It's easy to get overwhelmed and depressed, especially when you can't do the things youre used to doing, and truly if you have a complication. Just remember during that first week, that soon a month will have passed and you will feel and look like a different and totally sexy person!! :-)

Well I'm officially 3 weeks out from my MM and its...

Well I'm officially 3 weeks out from my MM and its been 5 days since the removal of my hematoma. I feel awesome! Dr Martin removed the drain that he placed after the hematoma evacuation yesterday. It didn't hurt at all; in fact I didn't even feel it. My swelling is minimal now and my energy is almost back to normal. Ok now the best part: I was playing in my closet today and I'm going to have to buy a lot of new clothes! My jeans literally FELL off my body as I walked across the room...I almost cried!!! I'm 6 lbs down from my pre-op weight which is pretty good since my implants alone weigh 3 lbs. which reminds me, I don't think I ever let anyone know my implant size. I went with mentor silicone smooth high profile. 600cc on the right and 650cc on the left. I didn't know what size they would be in advance, I just explained to Dr Martin what I was going for and showed him some pics and he decided during the operation with sizers. The man is a freaking artist!! I just could not be any happier than I am. I do not regret anything about my experience! Even the stupid hematoma made me appreciate the final result even more, and showed me what a caring and professional surgeon I have. "sigh" good luck ladies! I pray you are all as happy as I am after your procedures. You all deserve it!!!

Ok, so it's been two months since my surgery...

Ok, so it's been two months since my surgery (almost), and things are amazing! I've lost 10 pounds since surgery day and I'm going to loose about 15 more now since I'm so motivated! I went clothes shopping last weekend and I've lost 2 full pant sizes and I have no muffin top or gut hanging over my pants! I have no soreness anymore. I still wear my compression garment when I'm working and a modified garment all night, but the rest of the time I do without it. I don't swell much anymore unless I'm on my feet working a 12 hour shift at the hospital. I LOVE my breasts! No more sad saggy sacks! I am so thrilled with the surgery and the results. I can't be any happier and I would do it again tomorrow!

So three months out (almost) and life is back to...

So three months out (almost) and life is back to 100% normal. Well, not the old normal, the NEW normal! My husband is so excited about how I look. We went to a huge function in our town and I was wearing a tight cute shirt an I guess more than one person was looking and my husband actually got jealous! That has never happened before!! I feel amazing inside and out. I basically got a new wardrobe because nothing from before fit. I dropped 2 pant sizes!! Good luck ladies who are starting this journey. I hope you are as happy and thrilled as I am!

Well it's been 6 months, wow, this will be my...

Well it's been 6 months, wow, this will be my final post. I don't swell anymore, other than the swelling I do every month, but that's not new :). I still have a numb spot below my belly button, but it certainly doesn't bother me. It was a long and hard and expensive journey but I would do it again tomorrow! I have never felt to good, and just so like the ME I wanted to be. Good luck ladies just starting this journey...keep your eye on the prize! God bless you all.

Almost 1 year out and I'm SO happy!

Hello all. I just wanted to add a new picture. I'm almost 1 year out and I've never been so happy. My husband and I have been going dancing and I'm getting to wear the cutest dresses and clothes...that fit!!!!!

2 years later...still 100% worth it!

It's exciting to see all the women starting this journey! My husband looked at me the other day and told me how much he loved my body. That feels So great!!

New photo

I wanted to show a picture now. The scars are almost invisible.
West Texas Plastic Surgeon

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5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
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Comments (55)

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Thanks for updating!! You look great.
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Wow! You look great! I am praying I have results as good as yours! Thanks for sharing!
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You look amazing! :)
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You look fantastic!!! Thanks for updating!
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You look awesome! After reading your story I am so much more excited rather than nervous now! If you dont mind me asking what bra size are you now?
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I am a Victoria's Secret 38 DDD. I was a DD before but certainly couldn't wear anything from Victoria's Secret! :-)
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You look amazing!!!
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Thanks blonde. I know you day is almost here and you are in my thoughts and prayers! It's going to go great, just set your mind that after you are going to RELAX!
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Congrats on everything!
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You look so awesome!!! Congratulations on your excellent results!!!! Something for us to look forward to.
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I love that you remembered to "keep your eye on the prize". Very good words of advise!
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Hello Ladies,

Today is the day!  I doing fine so far.
I have decided to stay one night in the care center. I go home Saturday.
My doctor preferred to have me stay.
I will keep you all posted as I go along.
Thank you for your support!

Sent from my iPhone

On Aug 23, 2012, at 8:40 PM, RealSelf Team wrote:

A new comment was posted to "So Totally worth it! (pre and post hematoma pic): Extended tummy tuck, liposuction, breast lift w/ augmentation - Las Cruces, NM":
That's a hard one. It really depends on how much you are sagging and if you have any fullness on top now. I had no fullness left on top and wanted my breasts to stay quite large with a lot of fullness on top. You may want to consider a reduction instead of a lift though, then if you want a small implant for fullness you'll still have the smaller yet full breasts you're... more>>

Comment posted by RealSelf member: HappyMommyof2

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My thoughts and prayers are with you!
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I'm 5'5, 135 lbs and my consultation for a MM is in early sept. i have very full breasts that most would love (except for the sagging now!) but I have always hated them because I have such a small frame ( except for my need for a tummy I want my top to fit my bottom...should I do small implants or just a lift. I want them smaller. They are probably 36 Dd now but I'm a size 4 bottom ( with a puffy tummy)
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That's a hard one. It really depends on how much you are sagging and if you have any fullness on top now. I had no fullness left on top and wanted my breasts to stay quite large with a lot of fullness on top. You may want to consider a reduction instead of a lift though, then if you want a small implant for fullness you'll still have the smaller yet full breasts you're after! Let me know what you decide. This is an amazing journey and my thoughts and prayers are with you
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Ask ask ask!!! I sure did! Then pay it forward and help someone else!
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Thank u so much for the advise...u look so great! I am getting so excited and scared to death at the same time :) I will insist on implants ! Keep me updated and I am probably going to be the one bugging the crap out of you asking all kinds of questions LOL!
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I am hoping to get it done over Christmas Break. How did you choose your surgeon? I have been to many and just don't seem too comfortable with any of them...Mostly the breasts. I think I need implants to make them fuller at the top, but they just want to do a lift. What did u do exactly? They also want me under 170 lbs...10 more lbs..I think I can do that :) Thanks for the reply :)
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I chose my surgeon for a couple of reasons. I didn't really want to travel and dr Martin is the only PS within 150 miles but I would have traveled if he did bad work. I've seen the work he does though and everyone looks amazing. He isn't the most talkative and doesn't have the greatest sense of humor, but he listens and honestly tells you what he can and can't do for you. Weight can be an issue, but dr Martin says its more important to be at a stable weight. Of course he could have taken more if I'd lost those last 20lbs but if I'd turned around and gained it back what good was it. As far as implants...I definitely insisted on implants!! Which my dr agreed with completely. I was a 42 DD. But the pictures show how saggy i was. I did not just want a lift because you look deflated at the top of the breast and I don't like that. Unlike the full round breast look. I showed him pictures of what i wanted. I didn't know the size the implants going in would be...he used sizers to achieve the look I wanted. I went with silicone smooth round high profile under muscle. The right ended up being 600cc and the left is 650cc. Those are pretty BIG. But in the end I'm a 40DD except with beautiful full rounded breasts. I need to take more pics because as they are starting to settle I love them
More and more! Find a surgeon you are comfortable with who can do what you are wanting. It isnt impossible, because unjust did it. It's too expensive to not feel good about the results!
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And sorry. I'm on my phone and the autocorrect is killing me!
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I would love to keep up with you and your story, as I am getting ready to go throual all of this, as we have similar stories. I think u look great :)
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I just looked at your pictures and I have to tell you I really see myself, even our pics are similar. I hope you persue the mommy makeover! At first I felt SO guilty about spending the money on myself, but now that it's over I feel so amazing I have no regrets at all! Like I told my family, I didn't do this so I could
obsess over myself with my new body, I did this so I could Stop obsessing about all the things I hated about myself. Now I just feel
Like ME (in cuter clothes). This site is amazing. I learned so much here, but I did want to tell my story because each experience is so different and individual, plus the support here is amazing. Please keep me up with your progress, I am so excited for you and the journey you are starting!!
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Depending on how low you incision is determines how soon you will be upright, the lower it is the longer it will take. Remember you are having your breasts done also so you cannot use your arms to push up when standing. What I found really helpful when you are going to stand bend over as far as you can with your arms crossed on your chest, place your feet all the way back so they are against the recliner and push up through your heels (like doing a squat). It takes a lot of the tension off your abs and puts it on your legs. Same thing when getting up from the toilet
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Thank you for the Advise it will help me a whole lot. Yes I do have a recliner i will put myself there.
I will try to walk. I was wondering is it hard to walk or stand right after?
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Standing straight is not really an option right after; you'll walk hunched over. Its a very tight feeling, plus you don't want to stretch fresh sutures too far. It was about a week befor I was walking fairly straight and two before I was. I can just now stretch. On the advise of some other ladies I got a walker to use, but it was more of a pain in the butt for me and I didn't use it. Walking isn't a problem (except the hunching) its the getting up and down that you're going to need help with. It was two days before I could get out of the recliner by myself. Figure about three days of REALLY needing help, then it gets better pretty quickly. At least that's how it was for me. You're going to do great! It really is so worth it. I absolutely do not regret one dime I spent and would do it all again tomorrow if I had to!
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