Post-op Surprises

Hello to the "experts"! I've extensively...

Hello to the "experts"! I've extensively researched procedures (incl. videos of "live" surgeries), looked around this site, and made comparisons between US & out of country. I've wanted to do for this YEARS. Goals - better ht-wt proportion; not having to hold in stomach; clothes fitting. Excited!

This afternoon I sent an e-mail to CosMed with...

This afternoon I sent an e-mail to CosMed with photos attached. After only half an hour - on a Saturday - Dr. Quiroz called me from the clinic to discuss my concerns and the procedures. It was a very encouraging talk, and as has been mentioned in other reviews, his English is perfect. The next step is for him to put together an estimate and send it to me, with information about logistics, exams, etc. Since I live on an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean (the Azores) I'm planning to stay in Tijuana for three weeks so all the sutures and drains can be removed and healing begins/swelling goes down. I'll probably stay in the States for a week after that so friends and family in Texas can see the "new me." The plan is to fly over in mid-March. Closer to that, I'll post "before" photos.

It's a gorgeous Saturday morning on the island...

It's a gorgeous Saturday morning on the island after several days of gray, wind, rain. The temperature is climbing into the upper 60s and sunlight is making white houses and their red tile roofs sparkle like diamonds in a showcase.
I can't make enough complimentary statements about how professional CosMed's process is. Last week I got several documents, including one for before, after, what to expect, for each procedure I plan and the estimate. $3,500 for the tummy tuck; $3,500 for the breast lift, $3,500 for face/neck lift; $500 for all lipo (!), $1,000 for surgical facility, $100 for meds after the surgery (I'm going to take my own pain meds to heed the comment made by another CosMed patient), and $800 for the anesthesiologist. Also, the compression garments are included. And a bonus surprise: the package includes a complementary massage the day before the surgery, which is set for 21 February (yikes - only a month from now!!!)
Paulina, the Patient Coordinator, also did a thorough job of answering my questions (perfect English). Since I'm not in the States to get pre-surgery tests from my regular doctor, I can have everything done there: HIV test, blood work, x-rays, and electrocardiogram.
Yesterday I received my surgery and recovery schedule from Paulina at CosMed (Tijuana, Mexico). Her e-mail started: "OKAY! Take notes." This heightened my excitement as I realized how point-of-no-return the next steps seem: get leave approved (4 weeks!); buy the plane tickets (!); reserve the recovery boutique for the first ten days after surgery (this is because I'm going by myself - I'll stay in the clinic the first night, which is included in the cost); and reserve the hotel (Tijuana Marriott, about $500, close to a mall and restaurants) for the next five days. I'll fly into the San Diego airport and someone from CosMed will pick me up for the drive to Tijuana. By the way, I researched safety in Tijuana (which has become more problematic over the years) and decided I'm not worried about going there since my stay will be limited to the clinic and hotel and I'll have transportation everywhere I go.

Forgot to change the date.

Forgot to change the date.

Everything's done except packing! Thank you to...

Everything's done except packing!
Thank you to the comments on my posts:

airem1750: Now that I'm this far into the process, I feel very comfortable with my decision about Dr. Quiroz and CosMed. It's great to know how much you liked what he did for you. I'm staying at the Marriott. The cost is $105/night, which includes free wi-fi (important to me!). The night before the surgery I'll stay at the Recovery Boutique ($75 that night). The night after the surgery, I'll stay at the clinic, and then I'll return to the Recovery Boutique ($125/night post-surgery) for eleven nights (there's a $150 deposit that's applied to the total cost). If you need any contact info, let me know. I've been working with Paulina, a patient coordinator, and she's been very helpful.

1962bamagirl: I decided to hold off on the face/neck lift, so I'm "just" having breast lift, TT, and lipo. I'll use the $3,500 I'll save for plane tickets and hotels. By this time next month, I'll be tiny!!! Woo hoo!!! Hope I can make the adjustment after how I've seen myself all these years.

Questions for anyone: what was the most comfortable clothing to wear after TT and BL?

Pretty much all I have to do is pack my bags and...

Pretty much all I have to do is pack my bags and I'm ready to go! To get to my surgery (in Tijuana, Mexico) I'll fly 4855 miles -about 20 hours! But the procedures - breast lift, tummy tuck, and lipo - will cost only $7,000 + $1000 for surgical suite. Of course there's the cost of plane tickets, but the total will still be less than half of estimates in the States. Night after the surgery I'll stay at the clinic, and then I'll be "whisked" off to a "recovery boutique" near the clinic, which is like an assisted living hotel with hospital beds for more comfortable sleeping. I'm doing this solo, so I'll stay there ten days. After that, the clinic will drive me to a friend's house in San Diego, where I'll stay for another ten days and be close to returns to the clinic for check-ups, etc. Then it's a flight and stay in D.C. for another week before heading home. So my two biggest concerns - one of which is sort of silly, I admit - are discomfort flying home plus lay-overs and...what do I pack? Can you women who've already been through this give me some tips on what you wore the week or two after the surgery? Thanks!

After researching "tips for breast lift surgery,"...

After researching "tips for breast lift surgery," I saw that Biodermis Epi-derm was recommended (and for tummy tucks, too) by 99% of reviewers. The prices on their site are REALLY HIGH. So I went to my favorite online retail store, Amazon, and found the Bioderm products for a fraction of the cost - about 1/3! The site is Make Me Heal, and they also have lots of other products. I also researched front closing sports bras and checked out Walmart after reading a recommendation. Again, read lots of product reviews and ordered the Fruit of the Loom - Comfort Front-Close Sports Bra, Style 96014; Color: White; Size: 40 for $11 including shipping. I got the size 40 (two sizes larger than I am) due to swelling and comments that the bra runs small. Also, the comments were made to get at least the size you are now, not what you're going to be, to minimize discomfort due to too much compression. Anyway, check these out.

A week from today I'll fly off to the States to...

A week from today I'll fly off to the States to begin my transformative experience! Yesterday I had to have oral surgery - a dry run for the big deal! I treated myself to gorgeous hand painted silk short night gown for after things stop leaking. Plus a silk robe. Usually I wear big t-shirts and 10-year old miss-matched pajama bottoms, so I'm going to start a Victoria Secrets regime ;-) More to come when I get to the clinic.

Thank Heaven I have a day to recuperate from 30...

Thank Heaven I have a day to recuperate from 30 hours of travel (layovers + flying time). Being picked up from the airport was successful in spite of missed communication, and interesting because it was also a family outing from Tijuana to the mall in San Diego. A drunk or oblivious driver ran a red light and missed plowing into us by seconds. Happily for us, it happened in the same block as the police station, so a cop was handy to pull the guy over. Crossing the border was a breeze - my, it's grown since I was here in 2007!
The Marriott Tijuana is lovely and gracious. My room has a view of part of the city of 2.5M (officially - over 5M off the records). If you choose CosMed for your surgery, I definitely recommend this hotel. Be sure to book the room with the rate that includes 24 hours of wi-fi, which is otherwise $8 for 24 hours. The money is throwing me off. $50 is 600 pesos! Prices for food are reasonable, but not "cheap." The room is costing $375 for three nights, which is a great deal for the quality of the place and amenities.
So to what I'm feeling about what's coming up Thursday. Sort of in limbo, and I don't think it's from avoiding anxiety. I don't have any fear of the surgeries or the skill and competency of Dr. Quiroz. Just of how I'll respond to the after-effects. Everyone's pain threshold is so different; it isn't possible to gauge from what I've read here. Other than knowing that I won't be able to stand upright for awhile. Another concern is traveling home, with hand luggage. I flew here with a backpack, which I'm pretty sure won't work afterwards. This is where it would be helpful to have a sherpa (smile). Tomorrow are lab tests (standard ones I didn't have done before I came here).
More to follow...

I'm one of the lucky ones where the post-operative...

I'm one of the lucky ones where the post-operative experience is concerned - manageable, more discomfort than pain (except when I have to cough - that's a killer! If you do this on your own, be sure to have plenty to amuse yourself during the day. I'm listening to Audible books, reading, and watching old seasons of CSI NY. And napping. Also, I recommend the use of one of those airplane neck pillows - I'm SO glad I have mine.

The sutures will come out tomorrow and I'll be out...

The sutures will come out tomorrow and I'll be out on the town!
Though It's only been ten days since the surgery, the healing is happening very quickly. Dr. Quiroz doesn't use those strips over the sutures anywhere. Nipples are still fully functioning ;-) As soon as I get a few more days out, I'll post more photos.
As for staying at the Recovery Boutique: It's a 4-star facility, and what a great solution for 24-hour nursing care and maid service for $175/night! Pain meds (Sinergix) could be ordered from the pharmacy and they did the trick (I recommend you take your own Tylenol, though, for regular headaches). Take laxatives (Senakote worked for me). The food was good and they were always eager to accommodate requests, but take any special items, such as soy milk, sodas, protein powder, etc. They don't have black tea, but there's a selection of herbals and green. Always fresh fruit and little snacks (they make frequent runs to COSTCO). There's an unlimited supply of bottled water and the water at the sink is filtered, so no fears there. Take an airplane neck pillow. They have a lending library of books and DVDs, plus large monitors in the rooms. Ask for one of the two rooms that's off the little courtyard. I had a 2-bed room to myself, which was luxurious. Don't pack much! Drawstring pants, form-fitting Hanes/Fruit of the Loom t-shirts to wear UNDER the bra, socks, a light sweater, bathrobe, lip balm, and slippers. The provide the bra and compression garments. You can call to the States free of charge, and there's free Wi-fi. I had to have hemoglobin infusions for anemia, and they just took me right upstairs for that, so it was very easy. If you check in a day or two before your surgery, there's a lovely mall just a 10-minute walk away that has an Applebee's, cinema, a small Walmart, and some specialty shops and restaurants. Bottom line: don't let anything you've heard about Tijuana dissuade you. CosMed and the Recovery Boutique are very safe and secure.

The photos I've added are before, at 1week after,...

The photos I've added are before, at 1week after, and 3 weeks after. The worst result of the surgery is the pain and numbness in my right thigh. From looking at Q & A on this site, it sounds like that's not unusual with a tummy tuck. My ps said to take vitamin B complex, vitamin E, and Aleve. Otherwise, I'm enjoying my new shape as the swelling goes down.

I lowered my rating of Dr. Quiroz to poor, but...

I lowered my rating of Dr. Quiroz to poor, but it's based on the CosMed experience, also. There were reviews from his other patients about their good experiences, and it's too soon to tell what I'll think overall. I DO like my new breasts. I'm now a perky 38B (I have a large rib cage), which is exactly what I wanted and they look natural and "balanced." The tummy tuck incision is still swollen, so the jury's still out on that. The worst consequence: extreme pain from compromised sensory nerves in my right thigh that reduce mobility. It can be stabbing or slowly build from not there to a burning sensation; it doesn't matter whether I'm sitting, walking, or standing, or what position my leg is in. When I inadvertently twist my body, that sends me - loudly shrieking - to the roof. I've researched this and know that it's not unusual, but I'm angry that CosMed didn't prepare me that it might happen. Also, when I asked Dr. Q. why the incision on one side was so different than on the other, he kept repeating that healing isn't always equal from one place to another - in spite of the fact, which I clarified as best as I could, that it was the appearance of the incision from the beginning! Not during healing. I guess good surgeons are frequently not good communicators, but I wish there was a general doctor at CosMed who could answer my questions instead of having to go to the Internet.

It's 9 weeks post-surgery and I'm feeling good. ...

It's 9 weeks post-surgery and I'm feeling good. Which doesn't mean there aren't any problems. Tomorrow afternoon a PS here is going to do a revision on the left and right incisions from the breast lift. He doesn't know if anything can be done for the navel, which is just as wide across now as it was then. I'm glad I had the surgery, but I feel like the "lemon" of all Dr. Quiroz's other patients: lots of people can love a certain model of car, but there's always one that doesn't pass the quality assurance test, and I'm it. I'd really appreciate it if you women who had great experiences with Dr. Quiroz don't post anything argumentative about this post. I'm telling MY experience, and not putting down anyone else's opinion. That's what this forum is for, so please respect my feelings. I almost didn't post a follow up because of rude comments I got when I just told about what I'm going through. Best wishes to everyone who takes the risk of cosmetic surgery!

My NEW breast reduction incisions are healing...

My NEW breast reduction incisions are healing well, and what a difference than those in the photos I posted. I can barely see the one on the right side even after less than days. Monday I get the sutures removed. My only complaint is how frustrating it is to have to deal with the additional re-dressing and staining and finding gauze and bandages that work. In October this surgeon will revise the belly button, and I'm also going to get rid of my burgeoning bat wings. Thank you to everyone who has sent support and good wishes!

Final Update/Comments

First, thank you to Marie, Chicago; Charlene7; Susan Tucson; and Suzi1968: Your support through my process has been heartening, and I hope you all enjoy bodies that are now what you wanted. That's what I intend to do! I know Susan Tucson's experience with Dr. Quiroz was, and will continue to be, frustrating, stressful, and painful for her. I'm SO glad we met at the Recovery Boutique, and I'm looking forward to a happy reunion in Tucson! My surgeon here is wonderful, and I'll go to Lisboa to have bat wings "clipped" and navel fixed around Christmas so I can see friends on the island. After only three weeks, the revisions he did to the incisions for both breast lifts look as healed as if they were done months ago.
The lasting damage to the two women who went to Dr. Quiroz's CA clinic made me aware that my complaints are about scratches compared to what they're dealing with. Also, something good came out of having to have the revisions: the surgeon put me in the hands of Lisandra and Sandra to help relax the hardened muscles under the tummy tuck incision. We've become friends and spent the day together yesterday. Wednesday, Lisandra and I will fly to a nearby island for three days. Blessings abound! I'm not going to post photos of the surgery, because they're not what's important. I love my new body and I'm SO SO glad I embarked on this change-over. Best wishes to everyone! Aishasolo
Mexico Plastic Surgeon

After reading a lot of posts on this site, I researched surgeons in the US and Bolivia (didn't look into Europe and the UK due to the exchange rate). I went pretty far into the planning stages with Makeover Travel, but after I asked some detailed questions (mostly logistics), they stopped communicating with me. Plus, I was really turned off by the continued hyper-marketing (e.g. MAKE YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE). Then I started focusing on what I saw here about. He sounds very good, and worth serious consideration. I'm going to start the virtual consultation process, and would like to hear reviews/comments from any others of you who've gone to his clinic. Thanks! Aishasolo

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