The last three years of my life have been utter...
My friends have asked me how I can be so strong and kind to him after what he put me through. He's living with me until the house sells (another two months!)...
I'm able to get through it all because I'm holding onto a dream...a dream of my Super Mommy Makeover in Miami which will be a beautiful start to a new chapter in life!
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!
Leaving for Miami in TWO DAYS!!! Surgery is on 3/4/14!
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
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.
The prep and travel recommendations
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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
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!
The first few days
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!
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 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)
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
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.
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.