Tummy Tuck PCOS Patient -New Pics!

Okay where can I start? I am 28 years old, I have...

Okay where can I start? I am 28 years old, I have PCOS. I'm 5'7, 200 lbs. No kids.. I've always been overweight. At the age of 9, I weighed 200 lbs and got up to 300 lbs in college. I've always been an athlete, even in college I competed in the SEC as a thrower (shot put, discus). I exercised 6 days a week, sometimes twice a day. To make a long story short, I've always struggled with my weight despite what I did to be healthy.

This is all due to PCOS and insulin resistance. I'm on here as a PCOSer so that anyone else with PCOS can ask questions about my plastic surgery experience. Anyway, in 2008 I had a lap band, and although it was a good experience, it didn't work much for me. I've learned that with PCOS the lap band helped, but the major secret to success is low carb. So with a low carb diet and exercise of 2-3 hours a day, the lowest weight I ever reached in my life was 185 lbs.. Which only lasted about 4 months. Took me a year to lose it and within four weeks I gained 15 lbs and have been steady at 200lbs.

So really the only major thing that bothers me about my body is my stomach and my back. With insulin resistance I tend to gain weight in my mid section from front to back.

I had my one and only consultation with Dr. Peter Aldea in Memphis, TN and booked my surgery for March 21, 2013. Let me say this: the man is thorough. He is very knowledgeable and very precise. Even though he's a surgeon, he is himself and he talked to me like a person, not as a doctor to a patient.

Anyway, he told me hewould do my surgery although he felt that if I lost some weight, I would get a better result. I totally agree with him; however, with PCOS I don't lose weight easily and as a black woman I'm not as concerned about being skinny as I am concerned about having more curves and being more shapely, thus, I will still weigh around 200 lbs when I hahis procedur

I've been cleared by my PCP to have the surgery. I will upload before pics soon.

I wonder how everyone here deals with not telling anyone about their surgery. So far I haven't told many people except my immediate family members but I've been itching to tell my friends. But I've been refraining from telling them anything because I feel like after I have my procedure it wouldn't surprise me if my business gets thrown in the street.

How have other people handled this issue in the past?

Does anyone struggle with questions on whether or...

Does anyone struggle with questions on whether or not you're making the right decision before having surgery? The self-conscious side of me feels like this procedure is absolutely necessary in order to move on with my life and be the person I want to be. I feel as though this surgery will improve my relationship with my fiance (as I am way too self-conscious about my body around him). The conservative part of me (financially) feels as though this surgery is way too selfish and that I shouldn't spend that amount of money out of vanity. I would just like to know if anyone has ever struggled with those conflicting feelings as well. I guess I feel like I'm just taking a big risk.

Since my surgery is less than two weeks away, I...

Since my surgery is less than two weeks away, I decided to go ahead and get my prescriptions filled. I'm not a "last minute" person, so I wanted to make sure I had everything squared away. At the doctor's office I was told that one of the medications would cost around $700 (blood thinning injection to ensure no blood clots occur during recovery). I had seen where another patient (on realself) who went to the same doctor documented where she paid around $900 total for all her prescribed medication.. So needlessly to say, I was prepared to pay around the same.

So I went to Walgreens. One medication they were out of stock so I have to wait until Monday to get it.. I asked the technician how much in total it would cost me, and she said $28.00... I was shocked! But so happy! My insurance paid the total cost for that $700 medication (which ended up being priced at $550). I'm very thankful. Minus the one medication, I walked out with a huge bag full of medication for $14.65! I'm now ready for my surgery!

I will post pre op pics soon.. I just can't stand to look at my body right now. I'm looking forward to March 21st!

So I had my surgery on March 21st... Took the...

So I had my surgery on March 21st... Took the surgeon 7 hours to complete my surgery. There were no complications! It took him so long because he is a perfectionist and he does the best possible job that can be done.

My ab muscles are super tight. As I mentioned before, I don't have kids so I didn't understand why he would need to tighten my stomach muscles (which is why it took him so long).. It's because he re-shapes the abdomen completely to bring it in. All I can say is wow... I feel like I'm wearing a corset now! Everything is so tight. I can't even eat as much anymore because my stomach doesn't have the ability to expand like it used to..

He even worked around my lap band port. He repositioned it..

Anyway, all I can say is that I'm happy. I'm still super swollen, especially in the areas that were lipoed (back, flanks).. I don't have much bruising at all.

Today is Post Op day 6 and already I can lie flat on my back in the bed. I'm off the pain meds and only take Tylenol one time a day. At first laughing and coughing wereas EXCRUCIATING but now it is more tolerable. I still get tired quicker and I can feel that my back is tight, but it does not hurt.

Already my incisions are starting to itch which is a good thing because that means I'm healing. All I can say is that I prayed to God that He would heal my body and He has! For the most part my mom only had to watch me for three days and from then I was independent. If you are wanting to have this surgery, all I can say is, "Push Yourself!" It may be uncomfortable to do it, it may cause a little discomfort, but if you can do it, do it because the next day you will be even stronger than you were the day before.

I will upload pics in just a few minutes as I have to do so from a computer. I know pics are important, so I will definitely have them posted soon.

I had a wonderful experience with Dr. Aldea. He is...

I had a wonderful experience with Dr. Aldea. He is my real life super hero. This procedure has changed my life for the better and I couldn't have picked a better surgeon to do the job. He is the best in Memphis.

He took his time when doing my procedure. My ab muscles are super tight and I feel like I'm wearing a corset at all times; yet I am comfortable. I'm very pleased with my results so far and I'm not yet 2 weeks post op.

He's very professional and courteous. He always made me feel comfortable in my own skin even though I was very nervous and insecure about my sagging skin/fat. His assistant Lilly is very outgoing and people-oriented and she also made the process pleasant.

I appreciate Dr. Aldea's honesty when explaining to me what kind of results to expect. He is very thorough and knowledgeable. He doesn't miss any details regarding the surgerrocess (before, during, after). He has an artistic eye and will create the best figure for his patients that is within his scope of ability.

His prices are vey fair for the type of surgeries he does and at the level in which he performs them. He even gives discounts! He is worth every penny. I've truly enjoyed my experience with him and his practice so far. He comes highly recommended for many reasons! I look forward to my journey to having a new body. He has certainly given me the motivation to keep moving forward.

So tomorrow I will be three weeks post op! It's...

So tomorrow I will be three weeks post op! It's been a smooth ride so far and I'm very thankful for that. Last Wednesday I got my first drain taken out and today I got my second drain taken out. It's nice to not have to worry about the drains when I shower!

Everything is still swollen to the max (it feels). I can tell that some days I'm so swollen that I feel like I'm going to bust. I'm thinking that it may have to do with sodium intake (?) or perhaps the fact that when I go for my 1 hour walk it's a lot on my body. As you all say, "swell hell" is definitely here!

Other than that, I've been good, just a tiny bit sore in my lipo areas. I know a lot of people have commented that liposuction really hurts, but I can't say I had the same experience. Not sure if the doctor numbed me or what, but I only felt tenderness, not real pain.

Okay so I'm happy with my results so far! It has really inspired and motivated me to lose weight again. I'm looking forward to starting my running again. I don't feel quite up to it yet so for now I'm walking and doing my best to maintain a low(er) carb, high protein diet. I like the fact that I have a more defined waist-line and I like how the doctor shaped me up in the back. (I feel super hot like Beyonce now lol.) On a side note.. I ran into my siblings at church last Sunday and my brother blurts out, "Look at those hips.. You're starting to be shaped like a Kardashian now." Best thing I've ever heard out of his mouth my entire life!

Funny thing is I can go out in public in my work out clothes (wearing my glasses and my hair is a mess) but because men see a "thick, yet shapely" woman, I get attention from all different angles. I was walking in the neighborhood today and got stopped by a police officer in a patrol car. He said, "Well I just wanted to tell ya that you're looking good!" Lol... All I can say is, "Thanks Dr. Aldea! You have made me feel like a real woman!" Even my boyfriend is talking more and more about marriage these days... I'm loving it!

Well that's all I can say for now. This has truly been a dream come true. I'm not like most of you where I lost a dress size with this procedure. I'm the same size, just a better shape, but my gut tells me it's because I'm still super swollen, especially in my lower abdominal area. I look like I have the same pooch as before, but when I take my clothes off I look 100% better. My boyfriend agrees that this was a good decision as far as self-confidence is concerned. He's impressed with the "new me" and the new attitude it has brought with it.

I'm most happy about the fact that no one at work has noticed or can tell that I've had some work done. I've been talking about being on a diet all day everyday to the point where when my results do start to show more dramatically, I can just give credit to my "protein shakes"... lol.

Anyway, I've added one picture. The shape is coming together, but I'm so bloated in this picture I feel like I'm going to pop. Anybody in the Memphis area looking for a tummy tuck.. Please do your research. When you do, it'll be obvious that Dr. Aldea should be your first and only choice. He's the most fair, realistic, and personable doctor I have ever met.

It's been a minute since I posted, this will be...

It's been a minute since I posted, this will be quick...

I'm still extremely excited about my new tummy! I noticed yesterday that some more swelling is starting to subside and my "pooch" isn't sticking out as far as it was. My doctor never gave me a binder or CG (as some people refer to them), instead for the first three weeks I wore nothing. After the third week he told me to start wearing a Spanx-type garment. I've been wearing the same girdle for years from Target. It's a Hanes brand that looks like a swimsuit with the bust cut out (wear your own bra). I love it.

Anyway, I've been jogging since week three. Started out at 15 minutes, then 20, then 25 and now I'm up to 35 minutes. I also find that the elliptical trainer works well. I also do some walking, but I'm a slow walker, so I feel there's no health benefit in walking.

It's been an easy recovery. Not sure if its because of my age or the God I serve (of course its the latter). Jehovah Rapha is a healer! I'll update pics soon!

I'm a little over 6 weeks post op! Everything is...

I'm a little over 6 weeks post op! Everything is going great. I've been a little sick to my stomach lately so I haven't been able to work out as much. I have noticed that I'm not able to eat as much as I used to but I still haven't lost any weight.

As for those with PCOS, I can't say whether or not I still have insulin resistance du to no longer having a big stomach. I feel as though I still have the same medical issues and I do not believe that a tummy tuck resolved any of those medical issues. I used to wonder if it would and I have seen questions regarding whether or not it improves with a tummy tuck, but my overall belief is that it all stays the same.

I still think the surgery is worth the outcome regardless of whether or not insulin resistance improves. You have to keep on eating a strict, low carb diet.

I'm still a size 12 and the surgeon removed 4lbs from my stomach. It doesn't seem like much to me but it definitely made all of the difference!
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

I found Dr. Aldea on this website. I'm so grateful for realself.com because this site made it so easy to do research on him. He is such an awesome surgeon. He is my real life super hero! He has changed my life in so many ways, I am truly thankful for him. His assistant Lilly is truly heaven-sent. She has always made me feel comfortable from the first day I set foot in his office. It's always difficult to show a stranger your biggest insecurities, but they are both very professional and courteous. I would highly recommend this doctor. He is not only an excellent surgeon, but he is fair with his prices per procedure and very well worth every penny. Life-changing!Updated on 1 Apr 2013:Realself!

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
5 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
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Thanks for sharing. You look fabulous and your curves are awesome! I have PCOS too, was diagnosed at 15. Meformin helped me tremendously with the insulin resistance. I was able to lose 65 pounds on it in 2004 before having a giant baby (10 lb, 11 oz). The doc said the insulin resistance caused my son to be so big. Metformin really helps me control my appetite and is a good supplement to low carb or low glycemic eating. It regulates blood sugar levels. I know you probably have tried it and it seems the Lap band has worked for you. Maybe other PCOSers will see this and find hope. Best wishes and congrats!
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I am so happy for you and the results you had. I do have a question though..Did your insulin resistance improve at all?
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Great blog. I've had PCOS for 16 years and has definitely been a struggle
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You look amazing doll!
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I have pcos too. This post was so helpful. You look fantastic.
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I'm so glad I found your review! I have PCOS too. I did do fertility treatments and have one child. I'm having a Ty in less than a month and I wondered if it would change anything about PCOS. My stomach is my major problem also. I have super high triglycerides (spelling?) so I'm going to try and lower that. I read belly fat makes it worse. I'm still very nervous and can't sleep well. My surgery is a secret too. Only 2 people know. I can't wait to be on the other side and all this anxiety will be gone. Thank you so much for your review! You do have a body like Beyoncé now. You look amazing!!
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Hey there! In all honesty, no I haven't seen a difference with my PCOS symptoms. I was hoping that with the change in belly fat that there would be some type of internal change, but I have to be honest, its still just as hard. A tummy tuck is 100% cosmetic. I wouldn't change anything about the procedure and I'm still glad I got it. I never had problems with infertility so I can't speak from that stand point, but as far as insulin resistance is concerned, it's all just the same to me. Don't be nervous about the surgery! I was because I was anxious about what I would look like, but as far as the recovery is concerned, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Hope I could help some. Congrats to the new you!
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I have PCOS too and lost weight but my stomach is sooo stubborn. Currently debating getting a tummy tuck or just bbl. you look great!
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Thank you.. yes the stomach will be stubborn. How did you lose the weight?
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Thank you! Yes the stomach is definitely stubborn. How did you lose the weight?
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I lost 60lbs by cutting out wheat (gluten) and added sugar. I kept my carbs under 100 grams and worked out. My workouts weren't crazy just mild. I cut out anything diet. Just wholesome nature foods. I kept my fat and protein intake high so that I wasn't lethargic from lack of carbs. My insulin leveled out dramatically. I was less moody and emotional when I cut out sugar and caffeine. I love coffee though so I still have a cup a day :/
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Cutting the added sugar out was also easy because I didn't eat anything with more than 5 grams of sugar per serving. I fell off my diet past few months and I haven't gained 1 lbs but guess what? My stomach has expanded a lot!!! My belief is that people with PCOS should not have high amounts of sugar and carbs. I am back on diet starting tomorrow. I'm heading home from Miami today.
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Well thank you for the tips! I'm getting back on a diet regime but the first time I lost weight I had a lap band. Now that I don't, it feels even more difficult than before. I know how important low carb is though. Small changes make a big difference.
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Good for you! Curious how your blood sugars were since the surgery. I am 19 days out and having the same apprehensions and questions. So happy for you!
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Hey there.. thank you! What apprehensions and questions do you have? I haven't tested my blood sugars (I usually don't although I am hypo glycemic). The only thing the surgeon made me do was get cleared by a PCP to make sure I wouldn't have wound healing issues. Not sure if you have any problems with your blood sugars but I found that I had absolutely no problems with the healing process. Not sure if its because of my hormone issues or not, but recovery was much easier than I anticipated.
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I am diabetic and have some apprehensions about healing. PS and PCP assured me I'll do fine. But you always hear "diabetics don't heal easily'. I have to think that if 2 docs are willing to approve and perform surgery, I should be fine. I have my medical clearance this week, dropped of prescriptions this morning, starting the preparation process *wink*. I think everyone has that 'mixed bag' of emotions...seems to be the norm. Best wishes for continued healthy recovery!
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Oh I see.. I totally understand. As long as you get medical clearance you should be okay. I don't have diabetes but with insulin resistance and hypoglycemia, I have issues with my blood sugars periodically. They say that a tummy tuck is a major operation but you may be surprised by how well your body responds. It's normal to be nervous but don't be! You'll be so happy that you went through with it. I was nervous and couldn't sleep weeks before the surgery but afterward my nerves settled. I wish you the very best!
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Thanks so much. Albiet this site is absolutely wonderful, I think we all linger on here so much we work ourselves into a tizzy! But thats ago, I like to know what I am getting into and this site empowers you with information!
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You're on the other side! Congratulations! Can't wait to hear more about your recovery :)
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Hey there! Thank you so much.. recovery has been so much easier than I ever expected it would be. Minus the drains (that I have learned how to hide) I feel like I'm back to my normal self. This site is so awesome. I will continue to update my progress on swelling and what not :).
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Looking good!!!
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Thank you :)
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Welcome to the community.

The insulin resistance would be frustrating.  It sounds like you have learned how to work with this and maintain an active life.  

Be careful who you tell about the surgery.  Make sure that it's to people who you know will be supportive and lift you up.  You do not need any negativity right now.  Not everyone gets this procedure or the reasoning behind it.  Just know that you deserve to do this for yourself!

Keep us up to date on everything as you go through your process.

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Thank you, I will definitely keep updates as far as the procedure is concerned and I will also upload before and after pictures. I find the pictures on this site are so helpful. I find myself searching for body types similar to mine. It's hard for me to keep my surgery a secret; however, I realize down the road I'll be happy that I didn't tell anyone.
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I completely agree with Kim.
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