Operation: Phoenix! (Aka my super mommy makeover)

Time For A Super Mommy Makeover

Surgical History:

I've been fantasizing about my ideal body for years. I was born with a tubular breast deformity so my breasts never really developed. I was totally flat and my nipples looked a little pointy and puffy. I was a AA.

I went to Dr. Greenberg in 2001 for a breast augmentation ($8000) and went to a C. I had 1 inch incisions under each breast. The implants were saline and teardrop shaped.

Unfortunately, I had large breasts but the shape was horrible. I went back a year later and spent another ($8000) to correct it (because he wouldn't cover it - ugh!) and I went larger to a 34D. Now, my breasts were two large triangles and when I pushed down on something I could see remaining tubular breasts I had stick out. I was so ashamed of them. DR. GREENBERG - I do NOT recommend him whatsoever.

In 2010, I was heavier at 5'7 and 175 lbs. I went to Dr. Romanelli in Huntington and he did lipo on my arms, stomach, and thighs and this time, he did a periareola lift and this time I received round silicone implants. The lipo on my stomach was bumpy and my arms didn't look like they had work done on them. I was very unhappy with my scars. I wanted a nipple reduction and I was left with huge nipples but now they were uneven and unnatural and horribly horribly scarred. ($23000 for that!) - DR. ROMANELLI wasn't horrible, but he wasn't good either.

A year and a half following my last surgery, I was in the best shape in my life. I was 5'7 130 lbs and doing Crossfit 5x/week... then I met my husband and - pregnant!

I ballooned up to 238 in my pregnancy. My daughter is now 17 months and I'm currently 150 lbs. I've been longing for my ideal body for a very long time and I have researched plastic surgeons for years. I even started working for two Long Island plastic surgeons and I learned even MORE about the industry and what to look for.

Bye bye BS! HELLOOOO MIAMI!

I have researched top plastic surgeons from NY to LA, Miami and back. I would have never guessed I'd end up in Miami. I love the Miami Housewives show...but I guess I just never considered looking up his work. I'm so glad I did! His work looks amazing and is just what I have been searching for. In fact, I was already talking to a phenomenal plastic surgeon here on Long Island who turned out to be not nearly as great as Dr. Hochstein!

I'm putting my down payment down this week. The doctor I was just about to choose before Dr. Hochstein suggested I do four separate surgeries and spend $50k!!! Dr. Hochstein is one surgery with almost everything on my wish list for $18k... and he knows exactly what I'm looking to achieve.

I'm hoping for January 30th as my "big day".

I'm having a tummy tuck with lipo, lipo on arms and thighs, labiaplasty, and a breast augment (silicon again - removing my current implants and going larger with a breast lift and areola reduction). Wow!

I'm going to chronicle the whole journey here. Stay tuned. Ah.. nothing helps you get through hard times like holding onto a vision of a brighter future. :)

Deposit is down!

Pre-op will be on the 29th and I got my date! January 30th!!

More Before Picts

Leaving for Miami in TWO DAYS!!! Surgery is on 3/4/14!

A lot has happened over the last month and I had to push my surgery back. Luckily, Dr. Hochstein let me push my surgery date back without losing my deposit! I felt so relieved that it worked out.

For the last few months, the office staff have been so accommodating. Every time I sent a giant email full of questions, Amanda was quick to reply with all of the answers I needed.

I am very excited about my upcoming journey and I am definitely nervous! I am staying at a hotel for a few days to unwind before the big day. I'm planning on staying for 8 days following my surgery.. but I may end up staying longer because I'm having so much done at once.

I chose to have:
Breast augmentation, lift, areola reduction
Tummy tuck with lipo
Lipo on arms and thighs
Labiaplasty

AND
it's been awhile, but last year I had Botox and Juvederm in my lips, mouth, and lips. It seems I can also have Botox and fillers done during my surgery! This is such a huge mommy makeover!

Yes. ALL of this! I can't believe the day is almost here. I've been planning this for four months now.. and I feel so very unprepared. All that matters is that I have my comfy clothes, my vitamins, my bestie to take care of me, and my medical clearances are all finished.

Last week, I had to have a urinalysis, blood test, and a breast ultrasound. I don't have insurance but I would say it cost me around 350.00 in total.

I've been a champ during my previous surgeries. After my C-section, I took a shower on my own on Day 2 (just after my catheter was removed). The nurses were shocked! I hope to channel that energy for this upcoming recovery.

Wish me luck! I'll keep updating when I arrive.

Extra pre-op photos

The prep and travel recommendations

My surgery is a huge success! Before I share the goods, I want to share my recommendations.

Vitamins:
I took amika forte, vitamin c, bromelain, d3, and rainbow light multivitamins starting a month or so before. If you smoke, you have to quit ASAP! Also no ibuprofen whatsoever.

Clothes:
I made sure to pack giant sized cheap pjs, a sleeping mask, socks, and a button up shirt. I'm on day 3 of recovery and clean loose (two sizes bigger loose) clothing is imperative.

If you're having extensive surgery like I had, bring a loved one who is strong enough to take on caring for you. Or, hire someone! I couldn't have done this without my bestie.

The recliner:
Rent the damn recliner! It cost me 155.00 for 9 days. I left a check with my hotel concierge the day of my surgery and the chair was delivered before I arrived from surgery.

Wheelchair:
Your hotel may offer a wheelchair you can borrow during your stay. I've needed a wheelchair and buying a walker isn't a bad idea either (if you're having a TT).

Concierge:
I called No Limits concierge but... Their services are great for those who may be traveling alone or with a big fam and need to hire help. I saved a lot of money booking on my own but if I didn't have my friend, I would have gone with their services.

Pre-op Day

I was anxious to finally get to Dr. Hochstein's office. Google maps said the ride from Sunny Isles to his office would be 20 minutes... But expect 45!

The drive to his office was interesting, to say the least. His office building is almost directly on rt. 95 and the surrounding neighborhoods are ultra-shady. His office is in a free standing four-story(?) building with large bland letters- Hochstein Plastic Surgery. To be honest, I got a little anxious when we arrived.

HOWEVER- when I opened the door, it was like I walked into a whole new world. I muttered, "carpet doesn't match the drapes huh?"

The decor inside was classic-luxe. Lots of golds, reds, and flowers. It felt very classic... Except for a huge framed photo that was so hot but seemed totally out of place among the rest of the decor (see pict).

I waited about 40 minutes before being called in. Patients who arrived after me were seen before. I didn't mind.. I was nervous. So much planning and energy went into this journey...I couldn't believe the surgery day was here.

Basically, the pre-op was to sign a million forms, take pre-op photos, receive prescriptions, and then I met Lenny (Dr. Hochstein) Between the reviews I read and having watched RHOM, I didn't know what he would be like in person. He walked in with a smile and asked me if I had any questions. I already knew the deal. But I sort of blushed and asked a few questions that got me nowhere like "how long will the drains be in?" - Lenny answers short and briefly but it's not that he has no personality, instead he's quietly saying "Just let me do my thing and you're gonna look gorgeous."

All I could think about while I was there is how I would redecorate the office to make it match his work (and that photo!) I can totally see an ultra-mod baroque yet comfortable update to the waiting area.

After the pre-op, I left with a brief instruction packet. That night the anesthesiologist called and asked me about my health and medications. I found out my surgery was scheduled for 12pm and I had to stop eating or drinking after midnight.

Ok I'm tired just writing this... More info coming soon! Wait til u see my new body.

Lenny is a machine, an artist, and I'm so happy I went through with this.
FYI- tonight I had a question and had to text his cell for info and he got back to me right away. What a great doctor. Seriously.

Surgery Day 3/4/14

The day of my surgery, I was supposed to arrive at 11 am but traffic set me back to 11:30. On the way, I made a call to my baby and held back a few tears while I told her I loved her.

Because I arrived a half hour before my surgery time ( instead of an hour) I was hurried a bit into prep. It was a blur. I changed into a paper gown and robe with slippers and had a few extra photos taken. Then I had my anesthesia needle put in my left hand and I took a zofran and antibiotic(?) with a tiny bit of water.

About three different people had me confirm what procedures I was having. I felt like I was being quizzed. But it's a good protocol for patients to understand what they are having done.

After, I was marked up by Lenny and I made my final booby choice, showing him my photo choices. It's funny though... He knows exactly what you need.. After all he is the "boob God".

There was a LOT marked ups because I had lipo on my arms, hips, tummy, and inner and outer thighs.

And so, the OR doors opened for me And I was invited to lay on the operating table. It was exquisite, clean, and reminded me of Nip/Tuck.

The anesthesiologist then introduced himself and the next thing I knew I had my "first margarita of the day" and then - c'est la vie!

Final booby choice

Boobspo pic

The first few days

I can't lie.. I've been in a lot of pain and trust me, I'm a trooper. I was showering the moment my catheter came out after my c-section delivery. Well, I still haven't showered and it's day 3. I had a LOT done!

I bled everywhere and had wee wee pads on my medical recliner to soak up the oozing. That only lasted two days.

Today, My arms and legs are swollen. My labia are super swollen and I've been using a spray bottle to clean myself. My boobs are tight and my tummy? It's tough... I tried subbing pain meds for extra strength Tylenol.. Hah. Yeah, okay...

My post op appointment was the day after surgery. There I got a glimpse of the new me. I was still oozing. And I wanted to buy another girdle because my other one was soaked in blood. Well... They didn't have any sizes except a medium. The girls said a medium would work... Well I've worn the medium for two days and I can't believe they didn't have a large size to sell me. Medium is too tight. I need to fix it today.

I still haven't pooped and I drank the smooth move tea. :(

It's the most pain I've felt.. But what I did was like an extreme makeover - minus the Botox and fillers which I may do before I go home. :)

Pain pump is out!

Today I went to have my pain pump taken out. I took my first shower and I felt very much relieved.

I can't wait to get these drains out!! My tummy is numb but it's so flat! I can tell I will look gorgeous when the swelling goes away.

Thank you Lenny & ladies!!

Drains are getting low!

I haven't gotten a clear answer when my drains will come out, except that they will be ready when they drain under the first line in 24 hours. I've been checking every night and I've only needed to drain once a day every day at the same time. I drain at 9 pm.

I am super swollen. I have cankles goin on. Labia are swollen..(but they look pinker!)... And belly is swollen (plus I got my period today-yay)... Boobies are okay. I wonder if they will drop more. I hope to see more on maybe Monday or Tuesday to get these drains out!!!

Pain, pain, pain and the Florida (land of No)

Probably the most frustrating part of this journey has been the pain management. When I received my pain medication scripts at the pre-op, I had to go to FOUR pharmacies because narcotics are so taboo here, no pharmacies carried Percocet 10 mg!

I was prescribed 30 percocet and 20(?) Valium to help me sleep. Before surgery, I mentioned that I was worried 30 wouldn't be enough because I was having a tummy tuck, labiaplasty, breast augment and lift, and lipo on basically my whole body... 30 definitely wasn't enough. I don't think I'll be good without pain melds for another week.

NOTE: The pharmacies told me that not many places carry 10mg, so you may want to ask for Percocet 5/325 instead. Clearly, this state as an epidemic and when you're in pain, the last thing you want is to go on a wild goose chase for pain meds before or after surgery.

My drains look great.. One barely had any blood today and the other is under the first line (again). If I can get these drains out on Monday... I would love to go home. I miss my baby and my home...

Ugh the drain sites hurt... Everything hurts. I'm so swollen too... :/

Swollen but much more independent

Today I was able to pick my panties and pants up. Yay! I showered and felt so much better. I'm starting to get the hang of it all.

I highly recommend organic Smooth Move tea for post op. I never used any other laxatives and one cup helps you go to the bathroom within 24 hours without pain or sweating or any of those other bad feelings from conventional stool softeners.

Drains are deceiving

Just when I thought one drain was ready, I woke up to them both being nearly half full. Heh.. After all, are the drains half full? Or half empty?

It's been an eventful week. My besties dad had a heart attack. Coincidentally, we are down here, staying a mere hour away from him and was there to help him.

There's nothing like an a life threatening emergency during a post op recovery... I ended up in the ER myself from pain, crying from worry, and the wild goose chase that has been this trip.

I'm okay, my best friends dad is okay, and that's all that matters. I am going to see Lenny At 3:30 to discuss whether I can fly on Wednesday. I miss my baby.

Drains and girdles are annoying.. And I'm swollen worse than after my c section or any other surgery I've had BUT.. I'll say it again, Hochstein Plastic Surgery is a machine... And that beauty factory has molded me into what I dreamed of...even though the final results will be revealed in these months ahead, I can see how I already look more youthful than I ever have, even in high school (body shape).

My breasts are high and tight..my nipples are small but covered in tape. My labia are beyond swollen beyonddddddddd belief (but I will ask about that today). My tummy is washboard flat and I have an hourglass shape and small waist (ALREADY).

I'm so swollen I have cankles. I have taken a plethora of vitamins for months now. I've began rubbing the homeopathic arnica gel all over but I believe I will need the assistance of pain medication until these drains are out.

Note: my photos are being re-edited and will be posted when I return. I'll create timeline photos for you to see.

Yesterday: One Drain Out!

Yesterday, I went for a post-op visit. I was thrilled when Lenny said a drain was ready. My right one had stayed at about 25ccs for three days. Taking it out was essentially painless.

I'm supposed to leave tomorrow, but there's a lot going on. I go back to the office again tomorrow. I hope to get the last drain taken out and I hope that I can make it. I'm still sleeping in the medical recliner and me my body is still swollen like a motha.

Random note: I've had the WORST body odor in my life since surgery. Plus, I had cloudy pee this morning. I've been off antibiotics... Wth?

I never smell. I would admit it. Hell, if I'm brave enough to pass around full length post op photos to family and friends, why would I care to admit that I smell absolutely rotten?

I renamed myself DJ Death Smelly. FYI.

Maybe it's because I use that hippy dippy crystal Essence deodorant and the EVIL of Anesthesia and pain meds are escaping through my arm pits.

Another note: I have been eating absolutely terrifying meals like burgers and banana splits since surgery. Okay, ladies. Don't have a heart attack. The 18k of fat cells I sucked out won't come back after one week of debauchery.

However, when today IS the first day of the rest of my life. I have to get slim. I'm 5'7 and was 165 in my pre op photo, 154 (158 with premenstrual gain) on surgery day, and I turn heads at 125-130lbs.

Concerning diets, I've done it all. I even tried Raw Til 4 by Freelee the Banana Girl. Well, the only thing that helps me slim and maintain my best self is a low, low, carb diet of mostly fishes and steak and veggies, and salads. It's on like Donkey Kong now bebis.

My First Post-Op Peek

Yesterday Picts Update

Vitamins and companions

For those who have asked me which vitamins I've been taking, here you go! I started taking all these about two or three weeks before leaving for Miami. I honestly believe these helped prevent bruising. Although I do have some mean bruises, I'm not nearly as bruised as other women I've seen on Realself... However I am swollen.. Super swollen... But that's normal.

Smooth Move tea has saved me throughout this post op journey. I haven't cried over bathroom issues once and it's organic... Which is a plus too. ;)

Drains are out!

Yesterday, my final drain was taken out. Although I am super swollen around the belly area, I was told to watch out for the swollen area to move like a "wave" and that would mean I would have to call the office and/or get aspirated.

But so far, all good! I was a little ticked off to read 162lbs on the scale. I was 154 when I left for MIA and I was 157 just before surgery. I had a lot of lipo done. It must be because of the fluids that are still absorbing and diminishing.

I made a super pretty new friend at the office yesterday. She was there for her pre-op before her breast augment today. We got into a chat in the office because she liked my hair. It felt great to truly tell her how excited I was for her and how she is so LUCKY she chose Dr. Hochstein first because of my experiences of three breast augments which left me with these huge saggy giant boobs with downward pointing mega nipples. Sounds hot right? Ain't my problem no more!

See.. I was always the "girl with a pretty face", but I never had a body to match. I never aspired for some rail thin or playboy look. I just wanted to feel confident. I was born with a "tubular breast deformity" and was raised on a mid-western corn-fed diet of canned, fried, and drive-thrus.

I can already tell... Lenny has sculpted me in a way that's perfect for me. I've shown friends before and after photos and they are blown away... And I have 6 months to see results!

My new hero. :) Team Lenny all the way!

Flight home, oozing, and check-up with my family doctor

Today is post-op day 14! Wow! That flew by.

Today I weigh 155 (my exact weight before I left), which is great! I was very swollen when I came home and was 162 for a few days. I can tell I have much more swelling that will go down as well.

I miss my medical recliner. If you're having multiple procedures (like I had), DEF plan on a 14 day stay and keep that freakin' medical recliner! I flew home too early. I only say that for personal reasons. Dr. Hochstein (Lenny) cleared me to go home and provided me with papers that I brought to the airport so I could be wheelchaired to my gate.

Note: I do NOT recommend Delta airlines. I had the most turbulent flight of my life and hey, at least we know Dr. Hochstein's work is so good, even a post-op girl with multiple procedures can endure a scary flight home. A man was screaming on the flight (it was THAT bad).

Being home is great, however, I have noticed that while most of my incisions are now dark red/black (healing and healthy), one tiny spot in the center of my TT scar is bright red and oozing. I believe it's because I've had to get in and out of bed so much and it's hard! Really hard. Make sure you have lots and lots of pillows for under your knees and behind your back to keep you at a 45 angle.

I've tried going out to run errands and I've tried lightly playing with my daughter (no bending or no-no moves). I just get too tired. I am never ever the type of girl to stop and relax, like, totally relax. These last 14 days, I have been needing lots of rest and bed time.

I went to my family doctor yesterday. He gave me a prescription strength Neosporin for the oozing area. I put it on today and covered it with cotton and gauze. Although the area above my TT scar is uber swollen and is more giggly, he said it isn't a seroma. At least not yet. *knock on wood*

I texted Lenny about the oozing when I first noticed it and he got back to me right away (as always). I sent picture texts of the oozing and red area of the TT scar and he said it was perfectly normal.

The office called today to see how I'm doing. I think it's great that Dr. Hochstein's staff are so attentive for their out-of-town patients, while they also take in so many new patients!

Swelling Is Down And Becoming More Mobile

I was finally able to sit through a full day of work (from home) Thursday. Friday, I went to get my nails done and went to the movies. I have to say... there's no way I could be driving feeling like this yet. I've had friends helping me get wherever I go and thank goodness I've had a nanny helping me with my toddler.

I had LOTS of oozing yesterday from my TT incision. So much it bled through my pants AND shirt! However, I'm thankful I was able to take those damn drains out so early and although I am swollen (like a tire around my incision), I haven't developed a seroma *knock on wood*.

Everything else is great. I still have these strips on my breasts and my "other area" is healing so amazing. My stitches are just beginning to fall off and dissolve.

This afternoon, I weighed 153 lbs. This is the lowest I've seen on the scale in years. You can really see my hip bones and new shape to appear now. If it's this great now, I can't imagine how awesome I'll look by mid-summer. Yay!

Do you believe in magic?

Today I weigh 152 lbs!! I'm 12 lbs away from my pre-pregnancy weight!!

I was hesitant to show my "before" body, however, I think it's most helpful for you to see just how incredible the change is ALREADY!

4 Weeks Post-Op! Still healing in one spot and the rest looks GREAT!

Overall, everything is healing wonderfully. Dr. Hochstein's line work is ultra-fine..remarkable compared to the last surgeon who operated on me. I'm lucky to have chosen Dr. H for such extensive procedures.

Of course, there's been little bumps along this journey... although I had taken a million vitamins and was fairly cautious both pre and post-surgery, I still had an issue with a mild infection along my TT scar.

It began with a small spot that was a little red and hot/itchy. I had been oozing from that spot (a pale pale pink) since I came home. I suppose I may have bent over too much, or maybe I should have had a medical recliner still. Either way, something caused my TT scar to open slightly. I haven't picked up, carried, or messed with anything either!

I knew the TT scar spot opened, when thick red blood started oozing out. I was really worried. I knew this wasn't right so I went to my doctor and he prescribed me a round of Keflex and a bacitracin.

I felt lucky to have been able to text photos to Lenny when I was freaking out. He said it looked like my stitches split and to keep a pad on it while it heals.

Then, a small spot beside that also opened up. The antibiotic and ointment helped greatly and both spots are oozing a yellowish/brownish puss. Neither are bleeding red or pink anymore. This is a very good sign.

Today, I sent over photos for a checkup. I can't wait to be fully closed up and healed. I think I'm ready to start the silicon treatment.. at least on my breasts, belly button, and maybe parts of my TT scar.

FYI - MAMAS with babies - Don't expect to pick up your little one for 6-8 weeks! Today is week 4 and there's no way I could pick up my 22 month old.

Pre-pregnancy "fat clothes"' FIT!!!

Okay. So.. Today I felt brave enough to try on some old clothes from my pre-mama days. I weighed 150 yesterday. I felt so happy to see how close I am to the 140s again.

My Bebe flare jeans - size 31 buttoned. So did my H&M size 8 vest! AND I tried on my old bikini top... 34D it is!!! I'm a 34D.. Changelujah.

Wow. What a journey this has been. I'm still mega swollen. I know by mid-summer I will be a size 6.. Maybe even a 32D.

Everything is healing great.. The first small opening closed and the second is now scabbing and starting to close as well. I was freaked out after reading so many horrifying stories that began with the incision opening.. So I went to the ER to be safe and had a CAT scan. I have no infection and all is well! It's better to be safe than sorry. Lenny was right! Its perfectly normal.

My next challenge is to clean up my diet, get rid of bad carbs, and start running! The office said I could start working out in another 2-4 weeks.

Photo: Pre-preggo fat clothes fit!

147lbs!

Wow.. I'm shrinking fast. My original pants still fit, but the scale shows I'm down a lot and my t-shirts are huge on me now. I just bought size 8 t-shirts and they are too big.

I could probably fit into a size small compression garment now,

Another 12 Lbs and I'll be back to my pre-baby weight!
Miami Plastic Surgeon

Huge review to come but for now, know that I am very pleased I chose Dr. Lenny Hochstein as my plastic surgeon. For future procedures, I will absolutely return and as a well-versed patient with over four cosmetic surgeries, Hochstein Plastic Surgery has impressed me greatly.

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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