Planning the Mommy Makeover - Orlando, FL

Hey all! I'm currently considering a tummy...

Hey all! I'm currently considering a tummy tuck with a bit of lipo on the flanks and breast lift; potentially scheduling it for June 2011 in Orlando, Florida.

So, here's the start of my story ... I'm 35, mother of two fantastic little ones (4 & 18months), I'm 5'2 and currently weigh 138. 138 is a bit heavy for me. Back in the college days I looked fabulous at 105, but it's been more than a decade since I have seen that weight! After my first, I lost the baby weight by 9months by dieting and jogging. I weighed about 130. My little guy is 18 months now and I haven't been as successful with the weight loss this time. For background, I am active ... walking and jogging often and I eat well, but not perfect. Both babies were big (almost 9 pounds each), but I think my youngest ruined my belly! I carried him like a bullet!

Honestly, I have been unhappy with the shape/size of my hips since I can remember ...even when I should have been thrilled. So, I am getting the "guts" to do this thing and get a little lipo on the hips! My stomach muscles are separated and my sweet little guy did a number on my skin below the belly button, hence the need for a TT. The TT scares me the most .... I hope I am making the right decision here.

The breast story ...I work full time (medical sales), but spent some quality time with the breast pump, and was able to breastfeed both babies for about 5 months each. I'm thrilled I was able to breast feed, but I am certainly not thrilled with the look of the milkers now! The breasts are racing south, hence my choice to pursue a lift. I am usually a size C, but expanded to something off the charts while breast feeding. Now the big question is lift with or without implants? My goal is natural shape and higher, not bigger.

I have interviewed several doctors around the Orlando area (Fiala in Altamonte, Clark in WInter Park and Soto in Dr. Phillips). Fiala was great, but wanted to divide the surgery into two different procedures. Knowing myself, I wouldn't go back for round two. Plus, I couldn't take time off from work twice. His outcomes look great in photos. Clark suggested lipo and no TT, which sounds nice, but probably won't totally fix the tummy. Soto is who I think I will ultimately choose. His TT results look awesome and I feel the most confident in his work/outcomes/procedure.

So, I think I am really going to do this! I have a second consultation on April 19 and I plan to bring the hubby. Hubby and mom are both supportive, but I suspect that the hubby is a bit clueless on what all of this entails. Mom had a face lift at 38 show she knows and is willing to babysit kiddos and nurse me too! Here goes ...

I scheduled it ....June 23rd! I decided on a lift...

I scheduled it ....June 23rd! I decided on a lift without an implant and tummy tuck w lypo on the hips. I feel confident about the decision and now I just need to prepare. I need to arrange summer schedules for the kiddos, the postop plan and in my personal opinion, I'd like to lose 10lbs prior to surgery. Here goes ...I hope I feel as confident after surgery about the decision as I do now!

I had my post-op appt. today and it was a wealth...

I had my post-op appt. today and it was a wealth of information!! June 23 is only a week away … yikes!!

I have lost 4 pounds ... not my goal of 10, but I definitely am eating cleaner, smaller portions and more organic. I have stuck to my walking & running combo for 30+ min. 4x a week. That will resume again at 6 weeks. I'm not thrilled to be down for such a long time, but the new "me" will be worth it!

Now I am doing the last minute stuff … family schedules, tying up work loose ends, shopping for zip up tops, finding the old maternity exercise pants to wear the week following surgery, filling Rx, etc.

I left today's appointment feeling energized & excited; yet less thrilled about wearing a binder for 6 weeks in the middle of the FL summer. Talk about "HOT"!! O'well … should be worth it! My mom liked Dr. Soto's attention to detail, bedside matter and listening skills. I liked the way he answered my questions. He is confident in his work, which makes me believe my outcome will be beautiful!! I sure hope so!

So, tomorrow is the BIG DAY. Feeling anxious and...

So, tomorrow is the BIG DAY. Feeling anxious and worrying about all the things that could possibly go wrong … not a healthy exercise!! I've been working like crazy today to finish up projects. I keep wondering if my clients will wonder where I am and what I'm doing? I don't normally take this much time off. I am kissing on the kids bigtime; as I will miss them while I recover for the next week at my mom's house. Last night I made a medications spreadsheet and a chart to keep track of the fluid collections from my TT drains. Off to pack my "surgery bag" now. I hope this works wonderfully … no hiccups!!

Thursday went well ... yea! I am on my "recovery...

Thursday went well ... yea! I am on my "recovery vacation" at my parents house now. On surgery day, I don't remember the recovery room at all and I have foggy memories of the 1 hr car ride home. I do remember being in considerable pain at the end of the trip; as the office releases you with a muscle relaxer. I took a pain pill as soon as I got in the door. Then, 30 min later plus another nap and I was feeling much better.

Day 2- I slept great last night .. yea! Pain is controlled, eating ok (yogurt, toast and a few bites of chicken so far) and drinking lots of fluids. Mom is nursing me wonderfully! My right drain seem to drain considerably less than the left. There dosen't seem to be a clot, but has air bubbles? Office said it's ok. Off to work on digital scrapbooks from my recliner! BTW, this recliner is a godsend... and bed would be difficult.

Day 3 - A bit more uncomfortable today b/c I tried...

Day 3 - A bit more uncomfortable today b/c I tried pushing the pain meds to every 6 hrs instead of 4. I'm not really in pain, but I feel much more sore today in the back and tummy muscles than yesterday. Also felt like I ate the wrong thing and got a stomach ache, but that may be gas or effects from the meds? Kinda annoyed with the whole thing today ... walking all huntched over is getting old and it's only day 3!!

I did take my binder off last night and my TT scar looks symetrical and really low, so that's great. However, I don't look as small as I expected in the flank area. Maybe I'm just really swollen? I hope he did enough lypo in the flanks b/c they were the worst!!

Overall all is good ... just getting impatient w the recovery.

Day 4 - Still really swollen, haven't poo pooed, a...

Day 4 - Still really swollen, haven't poo pooed, a bit uncomfortable (stings at drain sites, itchy) but no real pain. Went down to 1 pain pill instead of 2. Drains are only draining 5-10 oz per day, so I am beginning to think my binder isn't tight enough?? I am anxious to see something of a nice waistline!!

Day 6 ...I have d/c the pain pills and am taking...

Day 6 ...I have d/c the pain pills and am taking tylanol plus a muscle relaxer once or twice throughout the day. Swelling is going down, but slowly and I find that frustrating! The binder shifts and itches! I did finally poo on day 4 & 5 with the help of senacot! Drain sites sting a bit and the tummy is really tender, but no real pain. I'm not walking totally upright yet, but I'm improving daily. Tonight I'm trying to sleep in a bed, but did well in a recliner for the last week. At about a week postop, I'm doing good overall, but am anxious for more mobility soon! I'm beginning to see a shape through the swelling and I think the boobies & waistline may look fabulous in a month or so! I have my first postop appt tomorrow, so hopefully one drain goes!

1 week post op - Appt went well. Got one drain out...

1 week post op - Appt went well. Got one drain out... whoo hoo! That drain removal was the wierdest thing I have ever strange, but no pain. I came home from the "recovery vacation" at my parents home today and saw the hubby & kids for the first time in a week. I missed them so much!!! All I want to do is pick up my little one, but I can't. This is going to be the hardest thing yet...

July 4/ 1 wk 4 days post op - I'm feeling really...

July 4/ 1 wk 4 days post op - I'm feeling really good today. I am walking upright most of the time, except after sitting for a while! My swelling is going down, but is most obvious below the bellybutton and on flanks, still numb & the bruising is remarkably improved. My energy level is going up and I'm moving around better also. My biggest issue now is two fold 1 - how to dress around this drain (undies are a challenge and pants are nearly impossible, so I have been wearing lots of dresses) and 2- the mommy guilt from not picking up my baby boy! Tomorrow I start working from home (phone, email, etc), but I will still avoid client meetings until the start of week 3.

2 weeks 2 days PO - Last night I got dressed and...

2 weeks 2 days PO - Last night I got dressed and went out to a nice dinner with the hubby and several the friends. It was so FUN to get out, get dressed and do the normal thing again. Of course, all the friends are curious about the PS!! With both drains out, now I just have to find clothes that work w the racer-back surgical bra that must stay on for 4 weeks!! I feel great about the result of the breast lift already and think I will feel the same about the TT also, but I am still so swollen that I can't exactly show off the new waistline. This morning I can't get my binder on as tight as yesterday, so I think the nice dinner (and yes, glass of wine) added to my swelling. O'well. It was worth it.

3 weeks post-op - Today I went shopping for the...

3 weeks post-op - Today I went shopping for the first time. Next week I have to go to a 4-day work event that includes a formal event. Ahhhh... What to wear?? My skinny clothes don't zip over the newly lifted boobies and the bigger clothes, well, they look too big!! Good problem to have, right? Things really fit differently and it's GOOD!!! Shopping was interesting. I can tell that my swelling is improving, but slowly!!! My thoughts today are all about how to maintain this figure …I need to be so very careful.

Start of 4th week p/o - Today I had a follow up...

Start of 4th week p/o - Today I had a follow up appt w Dr. Soto's office. According to the office all is looking good. My breast lift is nothing short of amazing and I couldn't be happier. But, today I am all emotional about the TT. I have a few lumps of swelling that still should "go away," however the love handles on the back of my hips are still there!! Apparently, according to Cassie (who is the PA and is really great and smart), the cannula can only go so far from the TT bikini incision. So, moral of the story is that I still have love-handles. I discussed this w Dr. Soto prior to surgery and I am just so surprised that there was some kind of miscommunication. The love-handles were honestly the worst part of me. I kept wrapping that binder so tight over those stupid fat pockets, but I guess they aren't going to be squeezed out w the binder. I want to cry. Don't get me wrong, the TT is a big improvement over what I had … i just really wanted to wear jeans with out the fat hangover!!! Maybe when the swelling is totally gone I'll feel better about this ...

Getting ready to gout for my first power walk this...

Getting ready to gout for my first power walk this AM. Did a mini "leisure" walk w the kids yesterday and all went well, so here goes real exercise!

As for a general update, I am moving around almost normally now, bending over at the waist fine, starting to sleep on my sides, breasts are still sensitive and I think the right breast is either more swollen or just bigger than the left? The TT is still hard and numb belly button down. I think the hardness is swelling, but I'm not sure. I think that the upper tummy area is starting to flatten and some of the swelling in my mid section seems to be SLOWLY going away.

I went walking for 35 min for the last three days....

I went walking for 35 min for the last three days. It felt great and was no problem at all!! However, I get a bit of a stinging sensation in the breast area and the TT area felt heavy. I tried a few steps of jogging, but that's not going to work yet. I didn't want to push it before my 6-week clearance.

September 5 (Approx 2 mo & 2 weeks). I figured I...

September 5 (Approx 2 mo & 2 weeks). I figured I haven't updated this in a while, and I find reading other people's profiles re: stages of recovery so helpful. So ….

Exercise - I can do just about anything now. I am walking, jogging and doing bootcamp classes regularly with no problem. My tummy IS still tight … and often feels tighter after a good workout. I still haven't tired crunches or pliates, but I'm trying a pliates class tomorrow. I think I need to do more stretching to improve the tightness.

The Results -
The Breast Lift: I continue to be so very happy w the look of breast lift. They "girls" don't hurt while jogging if I wear a good sports bra. My incisions are healing wonderfully, but are tender sometimes. I still have more feeling in my left breast than my right.

The Tummy Tuck: The front of my tummy looks great … it even looks like I have definition! My belly button looks completely natural. It's still red and I am applying KeloCote 2x a day to ALL scars. (This process adds time to my getting dressed routine which I find annoying b/c I have to stand around nude while letting the KeloCote dry!!) I still am not thrilled with my love handles, which I thought were going to "be taken care of" with the lypo during the TT. Maybe I didn't ask detailed enough questions re: the lypo or maybe the doc wasn't as clear as he should have been … either way my expectations were a bit out of line re: the love handles. They were always a major concern of mine, so I am disappointed that the entire waistline doesn't look fantastic … just the front of my tummy does! However, it's a HUGE improvement over what I did have. So, I have decided to try Zeltiq cool sculpting on the handles, so we'll see if that helps? My TT scar is fine, although I have a stitch just under my skin at the end of my TT scar that has been bothering me. It may surface w time, if not they may need to surgically cut it out!! Fun. I am still numb below the BB. Now, I am a bit numb/mildly bruised/tingly on the love handles from the Zeltiq, but hopefully that goes away soon.

Overall, I am happy I made the choices I did. Now I am just terrified I don't start eating the wrong things a bit too often again!! Which is partly how I got to the point of needing the TT (and pregnancies of course!!).

I am 6 months post TT & BL and still very happy w...

I am 6 months post TT & BL and still very happy w my results. I am still numb below the BB, but my scars are healing nicely. I wore a bikini for the first time in 7 years and pulled it off … the BB looks great! Several of the bathing suits I tried on did show my scar, but I did find some cute ones that worked. I do however still have some of the muffin top thing going on w the love handles, which is frustrating. Through the holidays I have also gained a few pounds, which is equally frustrating. I am, now more than ever, aware that I have to make a lifelong change and continue the weight loss efforts. Even though my tummy is drastically improved, it doesn't change the fact that I have 10-15 pounds that still need to come off. Maybe this year I can actually do it? The TT definitely helps w the confidence factor! Good luck everyone out there … new year= new bodies!!
Orlando Plastic Surgeon

My experience w Dr. Soto & his staff have been excellent so far!

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 your story. Dr. Fiala did an amazing job with me. (Thank God) He actually said he had to extend the incision line to remove the "love handle" and there was more skin than expected that had to be removed for the best results. I wish your PS could have done the same for you. Nevertheless, Dr. Fiala is a perfectionist! I do recommend him if you need further surgical help.
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It was nice to read your update. I was wondering if you did the cool sculpting on your hips and how it turned out. I have hips similar to your pre-op pics and have expressed to my surgeon that I want them gone. He generally does not roll patients over for lipo of the hips but he is going to for me before he starts the tummy and boobs portion of the surgery. He will then touch up the shape of the hips at the end of the surgery while on my back. I explained that getting these gone and is probably more exciting then my boobs in my mind. You look awesome in your pics and I hope I get similar results.
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I just want to thank you for your day by day blog on your surgery...I am fixing to go in for a consult and I am so scared about the surgery...but your posts have helped me so much and I think you look AMAZING!! Thank you again!
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I am so glad the posts were helpful to you, Luvnbrit66! The site was such a wonderful tool to lean on during my surgery. I hope you find it just as helpful. Good luck … you will be amazing!
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Yes, i was fun! This website has been fabulous to lean on throughout this entire process. And, it was great to meet in person someone who I have personally leaned on via realself and has basically gone through the same things at the same time! I loved getting to know you. Let's do this again!
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Ali, It was so nice to finally meet. I love this website, but meeting in person and getting to talk about everything about the surgery and all the others things about motherhood, working etc.. Was even better. I hope we can do it again, with Chris. I also would love to have the kids get together for a playdate!
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Ali, We can go ahead and meet and then meet again later with Chris. I wanted to send you a message with my number so we could communicate better. I'll check tomorrow morning to see if you are still wanting to meet.
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Thanks "here I am" !!! I can't believe how great my breasts look too! I couldn't be happier with the results … also happy I decided against an implant. I am just about the size I started (which is what I wanted) and the shape is a dramatic difference. The scars are already fading too!
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Wow I can't believe you had a lift with implants your breast look amazing! I am in Ca and my breast look like your before's it makes me want to go to your doctor and get mine done~ you look perfect~
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Got it!
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1pm at Starbucks, corner of Sand lake and Dr. Phillips after you turn right onto Dr. Philips its the shopping center on your left.
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Ali & 419,
Ladies, I received the gift card in the mail today. I am super excited for next Sunday. How about we do 1:00pm. Does that work well?
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Hey! @ marinemom - I did not get implants with my lift. Dr. said that I have "dense" breast tissue and that if I added implants the shape may look great, but I would be substantially bigger in size than I am now. I am already a C-cup, so I didn't want to go bigger. I have a short waist so the bigger the breast the larger I tend to look overall (IMO). Dr was confident that he could make the shape of my breast look good w/o an implant … and he did! I am thrilled with the look … it's natural and lifted, but not overly full on top. Meaning ...I don't have a lot of volume on the upper chest side, but I don't mind that at all.

@419 …you'll slowly get back into working out!! I am really trying to make good choices w food, but it is SOOO hard b/c I just don't feel like broccoli all the time!!! I'll see results from coolsculpting in 4-6 weeks. They said I may need 2 treatments to see a difference.
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Lori, you look amazing! Gee, it makes me wish I had gone for the BLift too! did you get implants with your lift? Thanks!
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You look great! Its so funny as I feel like I have "love handles" on my hips because my waist is much smaller now. Plus I am going stir crazy not working out and I tell myself to stop eating bad but its a vicious cycle and I just can't control myself. How long before you will see the results from the sculpting? I go back a week from today to hopefully get the green light to work out and stop with all the taping. I am super happy with my results so far and still have swelling in the lower belly. I try not to get discouraged when I put a pair of shorts on and they are a little tight because of it. I did go and try bathing suits on this weekend and even with some swelling and my vertical scar still being taped up can't believe the results. Kinda bummed to hear that you are still tight in the belly as I am too and was certain that my 2 months it would be gone. lol I will be 6 weeks on Friday. I'll sneeze and be like oh that didn't feel as bad as it use to and my boyfriend is shocked that I still have tightness. Which part of my is too. haha Oh well, overall the recovery has been 10 times better than I could have imagined and I too am happy with my decision to do this for me!
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Orlando mom, you look amazing! Curves, you sure have them. I am the one without curves! I am okay with it though, b/c I don't have any hips really and at least now I can wear clothes that actually fit me! I was going to do the BL, did you get implants with yours? I may get a lift next summer, I was too scared to do both at one time! (My ps. wasn't worried, I was!).
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Dressing w a drain sooooo fun! I mainly wore skirts and dresses, it was just easier. My belly button is looking really good, so that's good! Glad to hear your pain is manageable
... Yea!
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You look great! You are being too hard on your body. It is amazing. I go back to work a week from today and dressing with at least one drain should be interesting. Any tips? Lol
I'm draining by 2x that amount each day. I'm about 15-20 cc's each time I drain and that happens 2 x a day. Oh man, I really want at least one out on Thursday. I feel great. Pain is totally manageable. Been on Tylenol since Saturday. Only took the pain meds on Friday. Those were awful. Showered yesterday and incision is low and tonight I will look at the belly button. Already bored and it's only Monday. Lol last week it sounded great doing nothing but it's gonna be a looonnngg week. Haha
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I think less than 25cc, but mine drained very little fluid and he left the first one in for 1 week and the second for 2wks. How are you?
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How much do your drains have to be draining before they can come out for Dr S? Doing much better from yesterday. Can't take the percocet. Makes me very ill feeling. My boyfriend has been beyond amazing taking care of me.
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Wowie!!! U look fab!!!
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You look fantastic! Excellent results!!
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Wow, your results look so amazing! Your boobs look awesome, very natural(-: Congrats, I hope your recovery is going smoothly.
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You are looking amazing! Congrats@
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Much appreciated!!
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