Interviewed 3 doctors, friends with experience, and read a lot of online material. Feeling very anxious, excited, nervous, and unsure...
43yo MM - BA/TT/UH/DR/Lipo - 2014 Summer for CHANGE!! - Los Angeles, CA
School year is over, kids are in summer school,...
Interviewed 3 doctors, friends with experience, and read a lot of online material. Feeling very anxious, excited, nervous, and unsure...
39 Days until MM
Pre-Op To-Do List
2. Prep downstairs couch (waterproof liners, blankets, pillows, tray with supply/med/remote caddy, using a rolling clothes hanger with a sheet over it for privacy from kids, chargers, laptop, detox water)
- Poise pads
- wipes, facial wipes
- lotion, lip balm
- megaphone (that's for calling the kids)
- prescribed meds
- scar cream
Just some background info...
Mixed feelings on prep...
Prepping from the inside out
Acronyms of Urban Slang
BA - breast augmentation
BL - breast lift
TT - tummy tuck
BB - belly button
BBL - Brazilian butt lift
MR - muscle repair
PS - plastic surgeon
SX - surgery
PO - post op
CG - compression garment
"__doll" - I'm guessing this is the super-hourglass figure (big boobs, thin waist, big butt)
- Tigi Bed Head matte dry shampoo
- Nature Made iron supplements
- Mederma PM scar cream
- Scar Away long silicone scar sheets
- Scar Away scar treatment patches
- Bromelain tablets
- Arnica Montana tablets
- Arnica gel
- multipack of toasty fuzzy socks
- ...and threw in some flavored kale chips (gotta get my green kale in somewhere!)
Thanks for all the tips ladies! Pls send more!
Amazon purchases (2)
32 days pre-op...
27 days... and updated supply list
Posted a pic of my coobie bras (although I'm exchanging the black one out for the strappy kind). Honestly, I don't know if they're really worth paying $20-ish on Amazon since I've seen similar bralettes at Target and cheapy Chinese stores like Forever21 and ANGL for way less. But I have them now, so I guess I'll use them. Here's my additional supply list:
- zipper front close sports bra
- milk of magnesia
- cough drops
- flushable wipes
- alcohol prep pads
- hand sanitizer
- Lysol spray
- colgate wisps (portable/disposable toothbrush picks - I was wondering how you brush your teeth PO if you can't raise your arms!! LOVE this idea!)
- extra chapstick
- bobby pins
- hand mirror
- water cup with straw attached
- small trash can
... and I'm going to look for some sort of shower stool.
Pre-op ?s and things to consider
2. What should I stay away from? coffee, tea, soda, smoking, drinking, list of meds NOT to take, dairy (causes phlegm/coughing)
3. What type of exercise do you recommend PO? get moving asap to keep blood flowing and improve circulation... was reading it's bad to lose too much weight pre-op because body needs to be at a constant weight for a healthy surgery
4. What type of foods should I eat to prepare? high protein (egg, meat, and leafy veggies, protein shakes), less carbs, less sugar, less fatty foods/ takeout foods/ junk foods
5. How available will you be PO? What if I have ?s or concerns?
6. How soon can I wash PO?
7. How long will the pain pump last?
8. How long will surgery take? How long is anesthesia? When can I expect to go home?
9. What causes "snoopy" shape? "dog ears"?
10. Can I wear nailpolish during surgery? I've heard some drs say no because they want to be able to check the capillaries. My dr said polish is ok.
11. What size should I get? What size can I expect to be?
12. How low will TT scar line be?
13. What will belly button look like?
14. What PO supplies do you provide? and what do I need to provide? scar cream, scar patches, CG, after-bra (front close), meds
1 more question...
25 days: PRE-OP! Paid balance and life signed away...
- don't take any herbal meds (hmm... that must mean the arnica and bromelain - he's not a big fan)
- only multivitamin or prenatal with more iron and folic acid
- no smoking, drinking
- no aspirin, Tylenol, Advil
- Rx nausea pill to take day of sx with sip of water, Rx antibiotic PO to prevent infection, Rx PO meds
- nailpolish is ok (even acrylics)
- no dieting, eat a lot of protein
- snoopy shape is from dr's technique, dog ears are from excess skin from TT stitch line
- PS provides CG for inner thigh lipo, CG for TT, and will bandage BA but later will provide PO-bra, and he sells a certain scar cream that he recommends
- pain pump lasts a few days and depletes by itself (dr will remove)
- showed me the drains (they're HUGE) and how to measure/log liquid and remove (really gross)
- PS re-measured and nurse helped me re-choose sizes... OMG, now I'm at 600cc!!!! hope it's not as GI-normous as it sounds... but of course, still want to look like I had something to show for all the pain and suffering! :)
- my choice to have the scar under-boob vs areola (to try to prevent duct infection) - PS will make scar based on size... so with 600cc, I'll probably have a 5cm scar
- PS designs his own belly button (vs. the big round hole, gunshot wound-looking BB!)
- PS not a big fan of internet info... says he's avail for any ?s or concerns and to call him first before putting too much stock into online stuff. hahaha (so old-school)
So that's it. I think I'm ready. Scared as ever, but ready to take on this challenge. I'm sick of my old saggy body and his poking and prodding didn't help! I hate looking at myself in the mirror. I posted my pix from the pre-op visit... looking forward to "AFTER" for sure!! Staying positive!!
Almost at the 20-mark...
Funny things I've heard/read about...
"morning boob" - wth?!! please do explain.
"uniboob"... praying that I don't have this or any other complications PO!
"drop and fluff"... been reading that it takes about 6mos to a year to really truly see the fruits of all that labor - PATIENCE is key, eh?
"boobie blues"... aww, isn't that bad is it? a little like postpartum? :'(
Tat pix for mamakisof6
18 days and counting...
another funny term to add to my list - "frankenboobs"!! LOL
+ before pic...
16 days... I'm READY!! (today's a good day)
Measurements to start: bust 34" - waist 31" - hips 41"... can't wait for changes!!! woohoo!!!
Back out pic... LOL
Living space for the first week...
Just a weekend to go... 4 days pre...
THINGS I HAD:
- lots of pillows
- portable toilet (hoping I won't need it because I'd hate to task anyone to clean it)
- zip-front nightgown/robe
- multivitamins, VitC
- antibac soap (Dial, Lever2000) and hand sanitizer
- wipes for face, body, and flushable
- bobby pins
- grabber and tongs
- megaphone (for calling the kids)
THINGS I BOUGHT:
- RX'd meds (anti-nausea, antibiotic, pain)
- Milk of Magnesia
- Naked and Bolthouse juices
- cocoa butter lotion
- Colgate wisp toothbrush picks
- gauze, tape
- Mederma scar cream, Arnica gel, Bio Oil
- silicone scar patches
- Arnica and Bromelain tabs
- table mirror
- leg wedge
- shower back scrubber
- shower chair (ie. $5 outdoor lawn chair)
- Tigi dry shampoo
- alcohol prep pads
- pet wetting pads
- Poise pads
- tons of bralettes in L/XL
- front-close sports bra in L
- boy-shorts underwear
- canned peaches and pineapple, chicken noodle soup, crackers
...and PO, I'll make a list of things I actually needed/used (because I'm sure it won't even be half this list)! :) Stay tuned...
- 3 days pre (today): no shaving pubic area, start Miralax or eating a lot of peaches, prunes, pineapple
- wash with antibac soap, disinfect sleeping/washing areas (Lysol)
- 1 day pre: drink LOTS and LOTS of water
- prep bag to take to surgical center: driver's license or photo ID, health insurance, surg ctr signed papers, bungee or lanyard for drains, change of clothes, boyshort underwear, zip-up robe, fuzzy socks, slip on shoes, chapstick, bobby pins, crackers, water bottle, magazine, camera/phone
- day of sx: take anti-nausea pill, wash with antibac soap (given by dr) and wash hair, no shaving/ no creams/lotions
- day after sx: take antibiotics, prn vicodin, arnica/bromelain tabs, eat pineapples
- update RS!! :)
Things I will ever-thankful for...
- my supportive family who know I do everything around the house and keep the stiff upper lip when they tell me they'll be able to manage while I'm recuperating
- the skill and knowledge of my PS (even though I don't tell him enough - my life rests in his hands... no pressure!) ;)
- being able to set my mind to something and stick to it (going through with this sx, getting the schedules set for the kids, cleaning the entire house and closets to prep for this sx)
- staying healthy through the summer, even though kids were getting sick all around me!
- losing 6 lbs from the beginning of summer
- my wonderful mani/pedi (no polish) massages, monthly facials, and full body massages to prep me for sx
- the fact that I've never grown armpit hair (I know - weird!... but I'll be even more thankful PO! wish that were the same for the mons area!!)
- my mom who is a nurse of 35+ years who will come to help me for 2+ weeks
- finding this RS site and all the support it has given me on this scary and exciting journey!! not only for the coupon I got by using this site from my PS office, but mostly for the new 'online family' to share my experience with! THANK YOU!!
2 days pre - literally a weekend left!!!
BIG day is tomorrow!!
TODAY is THE day!!
Alive and kickin'!
pix - view from above
i have boobs! :)
POD2... at 45deg
1. LOVE my female urinal and wish I had used it before I got pee on my CG and now really wish I could zip out of this thing and wash it
2. LOVE the EMEND anti-nausea pill because I haven't felt barfy at all. In fact, I eat but nothing solid and I never really ate a whole lot before so not too concerned. Dad makes me chicken soup. Mom makes my Naked juice smoothies with coconut water. And they fight over what color jello they're going to give me. It's a zoo here!
3. LOVE the arnica pellets. I was jealous of the Exparel injections that I DIDN'T get (I have the onQ pain pump which seems to be going down but I don't feel it working) but took some arnica pellets and major pains are GONE - enough so that I can get in/off my spot on the couch and walk around.
4. The walker has become my friend. Just a note that I used an old put-together clothes hanger (the kind with all the poles and wheels and you put it together to hang clothes on) as a "privacy shield" it has my kids' parachute draped across it so I can adjust my boobs or fix my baboon butt CG without them watching me. But every 2-3 hrs I get up, use the walker to walk around the house 4 times, go pee, and get back on the couch. That's the routine folks.
5. I found a cure for "numb butt" - put an ice pack under it. Only my left side was getting numb from sitting on the couch in reclined position so long so I put one of my ice packs under and it's all better.
6. I'm officially at about a 45 deg angle now. YAY! Small miracles! My PS said he pulled me really tight (good news? we shall see...) so he gave me about 30 deg to work with - gee thanks. It was more like 0 deg because I was totally hunched over after sx and POD1. But with the arnica, I can raise up to about 45 deg and not feel too much stitch pulling - don't want to stretch anything out.
7. PS said I had about 3 inches of diastasis!! WOW! That's a lot. I had big babies - 8, 9, and 10 lbs. And I gained about 70 lbs with each kid and lost it all. Crazy huh? I was a size 16 at my largest. Then down to size 4-5 before sx.
8. My goal is to wear a cat suit - you know, the all black spandex kind - and not have any bulging except for boobs and butt... awesome!
9. I haven't had BM yet but will take MOM tonight. Not too concerned because I've always been irregular and I don't eat a lot to survive. :) But I'll do it because PS and my mom (a nurse) are concerned. I don't think my urinal will hold poop though. LOL! ;) Will have to figure that one out when I cross that bridge.
10. Best outfit for PO - a gown... the sx kind, because it's lightweight, has snaps and ties, and I wear it with open-front to hide baboon-butt. Nothing to see in front but my CG and sports-bra. Really wish I had picked up one of those long Forever21 cover-ups that had no sleeves because it's so hot walking around in the walker and open front (no buttons or anything) - kwim? That would've been awesome to wear over these PO garments! The granny robes I bought are too hot to wear, even with the a/c on. Sx gown is thinner material. So those going in - go look for something like that to wear over your PO-wear. :)
Forget POD3... now looking forward to POW (week) 2 when all the stitches are out and I can see the real results! :D
On the emotional rollercoaster...
cont'd (phone died)
Made it to POD3 with sanity still intact!
Revised pre-op list now that I've been through it... and things you don't need
2. arnica pellets - sublingual pills (I bought mine on amazon - 3pack... they're muscle relaxants so you can actually be semi-pain free and move around PO)
3. ice packs (Thera Pearl wasn't worth it... my fave is the rice socks or the kind you get at those mall carts, the ones that for freezer or microwave and smell like lavender!... the adjustable shape helps a lot)
4. Tylenol for the headaches and muscle pains
5. closed water container with lots of bendy straws
6. Halls VitC drops (after anesthesia, your throat will be SUPER dry... also helps to alleviate any coughs because coughing is BAD)
7. recliner (if you can rent one because tons of pillows 'work' but they sag and move around and you have to keep adjusting them, also hard to get in/out of the couch)
9. back scratcher (hard to bend and reach places that itch)
10. PO foods: soup (chicken soup, noodle soups), saltine crackers, jello, oatmeal, fruits
11. antibacterial soap (Dial, Lever) and hand-sanitizer (keep germs away from drains and catheters)
12. hair clips and bobby pins (I didn't need the dry shampoo at all and didn't need wisp portable toothbrush picks - you will have enough arm motion to be able to do your hair and brush your teeth, and didn't need the handheld mirror because you're able to walk to the bathroom)
13. Palmer's cocoa butter lotion, arnica gel, bio oil (for scars later when garments are off)
14. walker (to help you walk around the house and for support)
15. compression socks (to help leg circulation and prevent blood clots)
16. surgical gown or light mumu that opens in front (lightweight, get a long one to cover the bottom - CG has butt opening so you have "baboon butt")
17. tongs or grabber (to pick up things you drop on the floor)
18. leg wedge (to keep your lets at 45 deg angle)
19. neck lanyard (I like the bungee kind they give at casinos because it's plastic and it's longer - to clip your drains when you wash)
20. shower chair (I used a $7 lawn chair from Rite Aid)
21. back scrubber with a soft sponge for washing
...honestly that's all I needed these past few days. Don't buy too much - you won't use it and you don't have the space for it around your recline area. HTH!
Plug-ins... 1 down, 2 to go!
POD4... mission accomplished!
No CG on my tummy... your thoughts??
Random thoughts after midnight... POD6
1. POD1-3 were the worst...adjusting to the pain, trying to find a comfortable position in the discomfort, feeling helpless.
2. Stay hydrated and MOVE.
3. There's painful bruising and itchy spots... and then there's painful itchy bruises.
4. Drains suck.
5. CGs with bulky seams, hook-eye closures, and zippers suck.
6. Trying to not pee (or poop) on your CG is so stressful.
7. Being at home all day for a week but not being able to do much is boring... Try typing out your drainage record- FUN! :/
8. Arnica pellets are my happy pills. My narcotics never made me loopy... still sane, still bored.
9. A week of PO foods- noodle soups, crackers, oatmeal, jello- and I think I lost about 5 lbs... who knows? Scale is upstairs and I can't get to it.
10. I desperately need someone to come to my door to do an in-home mani/pedi... I will pay!!
1 Week Milestone
"PS"... I love u!
POD9 pix cont'd
Miss wearing the heels... just sayin'
Spa Mani/Pedi... AHHHHHHH!
Long overdue POD13 updates
2 weeks down...
A few things I've learned these past 2wks:
1. Do your research. Don't just let the dr decide for you bcz you will ultimately have to live w the results.
2. Don't just take meds bcz everyone else is- read the label. Side effects have long term effects down the road.
3. Don't over-buy. You can spring for the Exparel injections vs.the pain pump, but both last the same amount of time (3days). Other major supplies have limited time usage- raised toilet seat and walker about 1wk, recliner maybe 2-3wks. I've used my $9 female urinal and $7 lawn chair the most! :)
4. Try to move as much as your body will allow, a little more each day, but rest as much as possible.
5. It's fun to see the new and improved body in new clothes but don't cheat- wear the support bra and CG or binder as much as possible! I wear mine 24/7 to keep everything in place while healing.
6. Wear the binder tight so you stand straighter asap. And try to sleep FLAT on your back at night... you'll stand straighter each day! Recline during the day (feet up).
7. Eat well. Why go thru all this trouble if you're just going to go back to eating junk food during recuperation?
8. We deserve this!! Never think anything less!
POW2... never thought i'd make it, but here I am!
Big (((HUGS))) to my PS... Dr.O'Toole, my fellow anteater
Mall trip to get measured... epic FAIL!!
Girls just gotta have FUN!! :)
Tips and Tricks along the journey
2. It's never too early to change your lifestyle to prep for surgery- don't smoke, don't drink, eat good foods, and hydrate.
3. Don't aggressively diet before sx. Your body needs reserves to recuperate.
4. Double up on multivits and vitC- 2x/day.
5. Keep a small pillow in the car- protects against seat belt rub and pressure.
6. On day of sx, wear low bikini or undies with a smooth line so the PS can draw a nice, smooth, evenly contoured TT scar line. Look at front and hips/sides- make sure that's where you want your scar line to be!
7. BBs are important too! Make sure you know what type of BB your PS makes (some scars are big, some look unnatural).
8. Prepare to be in a sitting/reclined position for days- ie. numb butt. Sitting on ice packs are a temporary fix but what helped me the most- and I used this when breastfeeding for those long hours in bed- was sitting ON a almost totally deflated... neck pillow! aka "butt donut"! Lol
9. Wear your CG and binding garments tight and as much as possible PO to help with swelling and standing straight.
10. Sleep flat on your back at night to help stand straighter faster.
11. Keep up with your meds- especially the anitbiotics.
12. Wear support bra (or sports bra, or even bralette) as much as possible, even to sleep to prevent the effects of age and gravity on the new 'investments'.
13. Arnica pellets- works great as muscle relaxers and general decrease of aches and pains PO. Arnica gel rubbed right into lipo areas 3x/day decreases bruising faster. Bio Oil rubbed all over boobs, belly, and lipo areas prevents stretched skin after washing (stretch marks), dry skin and cracked sutures, and massages for drainage to decrease swelling.
HTH! Happy healing! :)
-alcohol pads... not sure why we needed these but I never use them. I emptied my drains in the toilet when my hands were washed.
- hand sanitizer... I kept 1 bottle for home use. Didn't need more than that- all my 'clean' things were done in the bathroom.
- back scrubber... by the time I was cleared for washing (POD3), I could already reach my back.
- extra wipes... I used 1 bag of flushable wipes and 1 bag R u gonna use ur magic mtn tx? Trying to sell a $40 ad/ch ticket... interested? I have an extra kids tx too so 1 ad/ch tx + 1 kids tx for $40. Let me know... thx of facial/body wipes.
- neosporin... one 0.5 tube was enough. Didn't need extra.
- bromelain pills... I'm not a med-taker and didn't see the use of taking bromelain (pineapple deriv) when I was eating fresh cut pineapple throughout my recup.
- vit.E... didn't need bcz I used neosporin and bio oil on my scars.
- portable toilet (returning to my dad)... never used it. Have to get walking after sx anyway, so bathroom trips were my 'exercise' and my portale female urinal was my friend! :)
oops... excuse MM updae inserted above! weird!
Goals for Moles at POW3...
This journey is a series of phases: the research phase, the anxiety phase, the actual surgery day, recuperation boot camp, and then the wait-and-see healing phase when you can (and in some cases, have to) go back to a semi-normal routine but yet you're still not quite 100%.
So as I sit here - recuperating - I think about all the GOALS I've made along this journey...
1. prioritizing and saving money
2. setting surgery date
3. losing weight, working out, and staying healthy to be ideal for surgery
4. cleaning the house and other such nesting
5. getting to the infamous "POD3"
6. getting devil drains out
7. getting tapes off - the 'BIG reveal'
8. being able to get up to just pee
9. washing by myself
10. being able to put underwear on (the things we take for granted!)
11. sleeping through the night... comfortably
12. driving again
13. getting to POW2
14. drop and fluff
15. sizing at VS
16. getting stitches out
17. just feeling normal again
My ultimate goal in this process of taking care of myself during recuperation is to one day have my PS see the 'finished ME' and think - Damn! I created THAT!! :D
... and I don't want to disappoint! ;)
Happy healing to all my supportive RS ladies!!
At 3wks: 36 bust - 30 waist - 39 hips
Just something interesting if you see "signs" like I do... at POD4, I was sitting in traffic behind a large truck, staring at its license plate: 4MH3630. I was at day 4, my initials "MH", and perhaps my future measurements for the 2 procedures I went in for- 36 bust, 30 waist!! Weird right?
Passing time on a boring Sunday afternoon...
and when you're really bored...
No skinny minnies
Looky what I found!
FYI bodycon bandage
Note to self...
Happy Anniversary... POM1 (1 month PO)... to ME!!
- I'm holding steady at 130 lbs
- measurements are 36.5" bust - 29" waist (still a little swollen) - 39" hips (damn hips and sitting/resting isn't helping)
- I am still taking arnica pellets, although I'm not sure why! creature of habit...
- Pretty much back to normal with no major pains.
- I can stand straight, walk straight (was strutting the cowboy for a while, then I realized I was walking kinda funny), sleep flat and through the night.
- Driving or sitting in the car waiting to pick up kids for some reason still isn't comfortable... When I get out of the car, I feel hunched and have to stretch it out before I can stand straight again.
- Routine is back to normal but I'm still sleeping on the couch... Can't seem to leave my little sanctuary and I don't work so I pretty much live like a bum downstairs (starting to look like bum quarters too).
- When I'm bored, I LOVE to take pictures... Can't wait for my aliexpress items to arrive!!!
- Still taking 1 hour showers (and feel really bad during this drought!)... I just can't get the hang of all these meds, creams, scar strips. Is anyone else having this problem? I have ScarAway silicone strips and have to take them off EVERY DAY and wash them, which means I have a stand-by set to switch off with. I tape them to tuppeware lids to dry - it's very weird. Then after a week, I throw them away and get a new set. It's such a hassle really.
Hope everyone is healing well... I took lots of updated pix from all angles! :p
THE ONE - part2
MM PO Supplies
1. support bra or sports bra (NO underwire)
2. compression garment (get a variety so you can wear it almost all the time and under clothes or to sleep - long shorts, boyshorts, high waist, panty with girdle, fajas, etc - Hanes, Maidenform, Ann Chery, Spanx, SkinnyGirl, etc)
3. belly binder (many PS's will give you the Velcro kind to wear over your CG - more compression as much as possible to decrease swelling; or you can buy the girdle/corset kind with zippers or hook-eye closures)
4. Bio Oil, Palmer's Cocoa Butter for dry skin and to prevent stretch marks
5. Arnica pellets and Arnica gel to decrease bruising and smooth out lipo lumps
6. Mederma cream, Biocorneum with spf30, Aquaphor for scars
7. ScarAway silicone scar treatment strips (or similar) in different sizes - small for BA, long for TT
8. Neosporin, Medihoney for open wound treatment - drain holes, popped stitches
9. gauze, tape to cover ointments
10. bralettes for light coverage when going out for BA (looks better than wearing a support or sports bra under your nice clothes) - NO underwire
11. Juven, protein shakes, Naked juices or Bolthouse smoothies, multivitamins for maintenance
12. Halls Defense vit.C candies for dry throat (coughing = NO GOOD)
13. antibacterial soap (Dial, Lever) or Hibiclens to clean surgery areas
14. misc: Tylenol, back scratcher, loose button-front clothing or long, loose tank tops, tape measure to take PO measurements, journal to take notes of your progress and camera to photodoc for your PS, bikini or lingerie for b&a pix!...
That's what's in my stock bins... what's in YOURS?? Happy healing ladies!! :)
Oops... "MM POM1 Supplies"
stitch pop update
Healing B&A pix
- BB: it's gone from black, to red and angry, to weird 3-sectional and oozy, to keloid-ish pink
- lipo inner thighs: started with a HUGE dark purple tender bruise and "hardness" that went all the way down both legs (inner to backside), started massaging with arnica gel immediately PO 2-3X/day, at 1wk bruises were about 1/2 gone, and at 1mo ALL GONE with all knots massaged out, used Bio Oil to massage lipo flanks and knots are finally coming out too
- TT swelling: still a bit swollen definitely better in the morning or wearing my tight CG, still a little puffy when I sit (even at 1mo+ out)... gotta keep wearing CGs...
- sx scratches: strange scratches all over my tummy from sx (pain pump catheter sites, tape, constricting CG, etc), turned into brown pigmented areas, rubbed Bio Oil and later Mederma, now at 1mo PO finally fading
Healing is a 'process' and it's different for everyone. Patience is key... and so are realistic expectations. :)
Old video for pre-ops
Best med for a healing a wound... time
Random thoughts at 1MO+1WK
Just some random thoughts floating around in my head...
1. Why are my nipples so sensitive? I think back to before when I had deflated, sad-looking nipples. Now they stick out like it's a cold day every day! Must be what happens to an inflated balloon. And they're so sensitive that I feel like just touching them makes me all tingly. (sorry, ...just sayin')
2. Speaking of boobs... Anyone ever hit them on anything? Doorways, shelves, store racks, car door...?? Is it just me? Maybe I'm just not used to having anything stick out. :/
3. I had an itchy spot on my belly under my boob incision that started to bleed... but I couldn't see it. I tried and tried... boobs in the way. Finally had to see it in a mirror. Never had that problem before.
4. Swollen mons is finally going down to softer... but I must say, swollen mons was much easier to shave.
5. I'm kinda getting used to just wearing underwear the house - support bras, bralettes, and various forms of CG shorts... the kids think every day is underwear day! (My 12yo doesn't think that's funny.)
6. Does anyone go out of their way to wear nice underwear to their dr appts? I just don't feel like granny panties do the new bod justice.
7. I wonder if my PS feel as odd as I do that he can just grab boobs all day long without asking... and hard, too.
8. My PS has me on 'marble therapy' now bcz my BB looks like it wants to close up. (Images of Kyle XY come to mind...) My daughter thinks it's some fun marble game and wants me to shoot it out to her.
9. Some days I just want to hang out at Frederick's of Hollywood and take pix in the dressing room all day long.
10. I know we're supposed to massage the boobs so they "drop and fluff"... but I'm not so sure I want them to drop. I think I like mine just the way they are - hard and high! LOL ;p
11. A friend of mine I haven't seen in a while came over to hug me and I was concerned I'd "feel" like I had new implants... but when I hugged her, it was like 4 implants pressed together! (I think she has implants, too... hmm...)
12. Ever wonder if anyone copies your pix or videos? Maybe one of these days I'll be a "wish pic"!! hahahaha... No, but I mean sometimes I think it's kind of a bit freaky if my pix were floating around in online world...
Anyway, just some random stuff... Hope my RS family is healing well! Thanks for all your positive comments and support... they really get me through the slow-healing days! I'm so grateful! :)
Scars and therapy
Dress... and UNdress ;)
Pre- and Post-Shower routine
Pre- and Post-Shower Routine... re-post+1
Thought I'd post a little video on my shower supplies set-up and my post-shower routine. It changes as my healing progresses... Hope there's some useful information for someone out there.
Review and Reflect
- I never thought I was fat until I got pregnant. I didn't have the freshman 15 in college. I've pretty much been the same weight and looked kind of the same as when I was in HS. But fast forward to 3 kids - now all under age 12. They were 8, 9, and 10 lbs. Breastfed all of them for almost 1 yr, then 3.5 yrs, and then 1 more year... something like that. I'm 5'7"... at my lowest I was 117 lbs when I got married, my highest with pregnancy was 180 lbs!! I was a size 16 XXL!
- I married late, had kids late... fast forward to school schedules and PTA, soccer games, basketball, tennis, and piano practice, ballet, gymnastics, and karate... It's a crazy schedule! My 3 kids have 3 different schedules right now - like I have to drive to school 3 different times! I think of moms with babies who already want a MM early when they're bodies are still bouncing back - and then they have to take care of their babies during recuperation. I think of moms... grandmas... whose kids are grown and want to erase what's left of motherhood, but yet their bodies are older, don't bounce back as easily, and there are more health issues to deal with. And I think of women who've never had kids, who want MM-type procedures, and I think - would they someday get pregnant again? Would it all be for not? I don't judge... everyone has their own reasons for wanting to change.
- I never knew about RS until after I met my PS, but I started on RS about 2 months pre-op. I didn't do much research to start and learned as I went along. My expectations were low - I just wanted boobs and a flat tummy. I didn't expect my PS to "make me skinny". I didn't have fat issues (BUT i do have hips - my mom is a pear). I had gone to 3 drs in the past and even had an ultrasound for my "strange" tummy - everyone said I was "just fat"... until I went on my first MM consultation - the PS told me I had an umbilical hernia. What's that?? I went home and immediately started researching. That was the first time I started any research. My PS now includes lipo of the flanks with his TT sx. I added lipo of my inner thighs (at my husband's suggestion) but my PS was against it bcz of compression issues - thighs and tummy (you can read my posts on that above). But he said it wasn't much so he'd try to do it and didn't charge me. As for boobs, I had a friend who'd just done sx before me and we were about the same size to start. She got 533s so I went the next size larger (550) - as they say, always err on the larger side. I started with deflated 34Bs so I was in full fledge boob greed and wanted 600 or more! But PS was using Natrelle silicone gummy bears and 600s would take me to the flatter, wider, larger size category - which might give me side armpit boobs! His recommendation was 550s so I stayed. Now mind you, 550s on someone starting with nothing looks like 300s on someone who had something to start with... So don't pick by cc's (and btw, PS usually picks profile) - it all depends on how much breast fat and breast tissue you have to work with. I was told the they were talking about how flat I was in the OR... I wonder what else they were saying as I lie there naked and vulnerable...
- What did I tell people? my kids? I'm heavily involved in PTA, school, and I'm quite a people-person so I've had people text me saying "I heard you were in the hospital and saw your parents dropping off the kids... are you ok??" And I text back - "No hospital- I got boobs." :) My boys don't want to hear anything about it - totally embarrassed about it and even more now with me walking around in my underwear and CGs. I've shown them discreet b&a pix online and they get grossed out. But I was a biology major in college so I try to explain to them the fascination of science! I love it! The fact that my PS can "create" a whole new me... is just fascinating! My husband is a surgeon - no issues there. My 5yo daughter loves the boobs. She traces the profile with her little fingers and lays her head in them. She likes how the nipples stick out. She traces my TT scar and says I look like Frankenstein. It's ok - I know I do. She says she hopes she doesn't get fat so the dr won't have to cut her in half. I'm ok with that... I tell her to always take care of her body and eat her veggies. :) I've always been conscientious about my body all my life - in a good way. I never just "let it go" except when I was pregnant. I think it's healthy to be aware of your body image - for yourself, not for others.
- PO scarring... I never really gave it much thought. I scar and bruise easily. You can lean your elbow on my arm for a few minutes and I'll bruise. For BA, I didn't go through the areola bcz I didn't want to tamper with the mammary glands and nerves there. My PS recommended under-boob incision. I wanted the TT scar to be a low, smooth curve. I wore a very low-cut bikini bottom (I tend to wear them straight on my hips, as opposed to some RSers who wear their bottoms pulled higher up on the hips). My PS does his own suturing and I came out with a very straight line across. Happy.
- PO, I had to deal with new issues... Asking for help from my parents for the first few weeks - taking care of 3 kids is easy when I'm running the ship, but when mama is out, all hell breaks loose! I wrote up a "booklet" of how-to's for my parents to review, even menu items for the kids, and then spent a few days going through the schedule with them so by sx day, they were semi-prepared. I'm Type A/ OC/ AR and extremely extremely organized. I have never had a babysitter, nanny, or maid. So it was really hard having my parents here running the show... I had to take a step back and just let them take care of things and let myself be taken care of. That was harder than the PO pain (which wasn't really "pain" - it was more discomfort). My parents helped out for 3 weeks. At 2 weeks out, I could drive, make small foods, wash dishes, do laundry, and do a simple daily routine. My periods were all out of whack. I actually planned my sx around my period time, around my kids' school schedule, and around my parents' vacation time. I was READY. But my period started 4 weeks later (1 week ahead of schedule) and now it's a few more days early - I used to be regular to the day. I spend more time in the shower now. LOOOOOVE hydrotherapy. Sitting in my $7 lawn chair in the shower is awesome! Then I go through the plethora of meds, creams, and lotions... 1 HOUR LATER. hahaha
- Overall, I've been very happy... a little discomfort that takes getting used to... adjusting to the new sleeping area, new routine, etc... but this experience has been so WORTH IT, if anything just to be amazed at the transformations I've seen on RS, including my own, and always in absolute AWE of the skills of these plastic surgeons. To have that kind of gift is truly amazing! I am so thankful for having a wonderful PS who won't outrightly admit how great he is (he's that subtle) - no words could ever be enough to describe how I feel about what he's done for me... I just want to hug him every time I see him. I am so thankful to come out of this experience alive, with boobs, and with my flat tummy. I know I still have healing to do... but I have learned to be very patient and let the little things go. And I am ever more thankful for my RS family who have helped me more than anyone could know throughout this journey.
De-boning a corset
Right Hip wound at 1mo/10d PO
Right Hip wound ...getting better! :)
Keepin' it REAL on RealSelf
Sea of CGs!
Hole is closing!
BB shapes and other weird things...
Other weird things... Anyone else experience armpit farting? Honestly, it doesn't get weirder than that... but I find that every now and then my armpit will "fart" on its own. (yes, please laugh along) I've noticed it alot when I'm dressing or when I'm soaping in the shower... but the other day I was dropping my daughter off at school and talking to the director and I reached down to give my daughter a hug and out pops a rrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiipppp. (LOUD farting noise out of my armpit!!) W.T.H. How do you apologize for that?!! Either my body can't accommodate for the new boobs taking up skin space or I have extra-hollow armpits, or the combination of both... who knows?
Do you ever wonder what exactly the drs read on this RS site? Do they look over our pix and compare and critique each other's work? Like - OMG, why did they make that BB look like that on her?! or, man, he really should've taken off more fat... or those boobs are so NOT symmetrical... Anyone else ever wonder this??
Anyway, just some random thoughts...
Is it FRIDAY yet?!! THWI, let's celebrate anywayz...
Nit-picking the details
- my L boob is a 2mm lower than my right, or the incision line is lower, or I tend to lean to the left so it looks lower...
- my BB looks strange still, not sure what it's really "supposed" to look like tho bcz I've been so used to my bulging, herniated BB all these years! and everyone on RS seems to have different BB shapes...
- my lipo flanks are uneven - might be bcz I still have a bit of hard spots on my R side that I've been too lazy to knead, but if you look closely at my pix, the curves aren't even...
- still have my scratches, altho fading. Seems I have to trade in my Mederma for 4% Hydroquinone. Looked back at old pix and think they were caused by that too-tight CG and surgical tape. *sigh* RS drs say to give it 6mos...
- hated the drains before and that they were right in the crevice of my legs and tugged whenever I moved, but now I'm glad bcz they've healed over and you can hardly see the scar holes since they're tucked into the leg folds. Not that anyone's really looking but me!...
>>Anywayz, that's it - just commenting aloud on the not-so-pretty parts. I don't see PS for another 2 wks so I'm just passing time...
POM2... that's 2 MONTHS bay-bee!!!
So I'm 2 months PO... not much to report, nothing out of the ordinary. That's a good thing, right? I have to say overall, I've had a very pleasant experience with this whole major surgery thing. Never had any health issues in my life, don't see drs, don't take meds... This was a giant leap into the unknown for me. And I can say up til now, it's been an AWESOME adventure!! Never had issues with my BA. TT was painful at first, turned into discomfort, and now I don't notice it at all - other than a little swelling at the end of the day... but nothing compared to my jelly belly and bulging herniated umbilical cord I had before! I'm happy! :)
I uploaded pix of my 2mos PRE (when I first joined RS in June 2014, 2 mos before my surgery date)... funny how time flies! And then uploaded comparison pix of me now - at 2mos POST. Same clothes, same room, same position. (very cool huh?)
Added some of the aliex dresses I bought for under $20... gotta love cheap shopping! And which is my fave - the hello kitty one, of course!!! Why do I buy skimpy clothes when I don't usually dress like that? --because I CAN!!! (now!) hahahahaha
Happy healing RSers... here's to the most exciting 2 months of my life! May we all continue to heal well... :)
OMG - check out youtube link
Good gracious! You gotta see the 2min mark... and then peeling the orange afterwards... insanity!! I don't usually check out youtube but this was just crazy! (I know, I know... I'm going to the party already...)
Random thoughts at POM2
- My son's party was great... all 18 screaming kids showed up and we partied 'til midnight! But the best part of the night was when our event host asked if I happened to be a "fitness instructor"... Wait what? I haven't "worked out" since college! She said I had "curves in all the right places and looked very fit"! WOW... why, THANK YOU!! (made my night)
- At my last appointment, my PS said I could go buy some beautiful bras at Nordstrom. 1) I LOVE shopping so I don't need to be told where to shop... and 2) awkward.
- When I was making the above video, I had a flashback of when I first came home after sx
with my new boobs, too soon to start massages, and was pushing on them just to see what they did - every time I moved the left boob... it SQUEAKED! (yes, I said squeaked - like a creaky door squeak). Anyone care to comment?
- If you're fresh out of sx or having boobie blues or going through a pity party, don't expect alot of RS support on the weekends - meaning Fri-Sun. Just sayin'... For some reason, everyone's out or preoccupied. Don't be offended or feel alone... wait until Monday (or even Sunday night) - or just know you'll get more responses during the weekdays.
- I wish I could donate all my unused sx stuff. Any ideas? I never took any of my Bromelain tabs, have lots of ScarAway sheets of various sizes, Palmer's cocoa butter lotion and back scrubbers that I never used, vitE oil and tablets that I don't think I'll ever use, baby powder that never worked for the compression socks, compression socks that I wore for 2 days, Coobie bras that were way over-priced and fits exactly like cheapy bralettes from cheapy stores, fuzzy socks that I never wore (in 100deg socal weather!), rolls of micropore tape, and a tub of coconut oil. Highly do not recommend the coconut oil, altho it does smell really nice. I felt like someone was baking macaroons every day and that stuff is SOOOO greasy! It got all over everything!
- I'll tell you what I did use (from sx to POM2):
1. 3 bottles of Arnica pellets
2. 1/2 bottle of MOM
3. 2 tubes of Arnica gel
4. 2 bottles of orange BioOil
5. 4 small boxes of small squares of gauze pads
6. 1 roll of gauze paper tape
7. 1 tub of MedermaPM scar cream
8. 1/2 tube of .5oz Neosporin
9. 2 rolls of micropore tape
10. very little - Medihoney (a little goes a long way), ScarAway sheets, Aquaphor
- Do you think doctors talk amongst themselves about us, especially after reading RS comments? At my last appt, my PS asked why people go online to ask ?s when they could just ask their PS. Was that directed towards me?? I straight out told him I do it bcz I like to hear what other drs have to say and I want to see if most drs are on the same page. And if you're reading this, Dr.O'Toole, I hope you're not offended. ;)
- So on that note... more on RS calling up my PS and telling him to be more "present" online. I'm a little biased, but I think my PS is too skilled and accomplished to be told what he should do to possibly further his practice. Some drs are just set in their ways - it works for them. And some are doing just fine getting business on their own. I would hope he was just flattered and left it at that.
- What do you think of referring friends and family to RS? I'm personally not a big fan bcz that would mean exposing my anonymity. What if people I know look me up and recognize me? I don't mind those who are also interested in procedures but not so sure I want to share pix and video with their husbands, friends, neighbors, teachers, etc - anyone who might know me. So I think the only way for RS to expand their clientele (so to speak) would be for drs themselves to promote RS - that's how I find out about RS (my PS offered a discount of you mention RS).
- What does it mean when drs are more "present" on RS? ...more presence = more patients? ...they feel it's their professional duty to be a good resource for potential patients? ...they just have the extra time, so what the hell? ...they really need the business so better be online more often? ...they secretly take pleasure in reading all our reviews? ;p
Hope everyone is healing well and may you all reach ho-hum at 2mos! :)
R hip wound... OUCH!
30-day Squat Challenge - to be cont'd...
Detox water - refill please!
There's gross... and then there's GROSS
BBL info on Wendy Williams (FYI)
Question to you "workout" ladies...
- June 23, 2014: joined RS - my PS gives a discount for mentioned RS so I checked out the site and was hooked.
- June 25 (2mos PRE): started buying supplies and cleaning/prepping the house, took 'before' pix
- July 9 (1mo PRE): pre-op appt with PS to ask ?s and take measurements, decided on Natrelle 550cc silicone gummy bears
- July 11 (1mo pre): picked up meds (hydrocodone painkiller, antibiotics, Emend anti-nausea)
- July 30 (4d pre): packed sx bag
- Aug 1 (2d pre): hydrating, taking MOM
- AUGUST 4 = SURGERY DAY!!
- Aug 5 (POD1): started hydrocodone, antibiotics, Arnica pellets
- Aug 6 (POD2): WORST day
- Aug 7 (POD3): took out pain pump catheters
- Aug 8 (POD4): took off bandages/gauze (left steri-strips on stitches), took 1st shower
- Aug 11 (POD7): 1st follow-up with PS, devil contraption CG zipped ALL THE WAY up, tried laying flat on back to sleep
- Aug 14 (POD10): 2nd follow-up with PS, drains removed, uncomfy CG removed and cleared for Spanx-type+velcro belly binder, laying flat to sleep
- Aug 18 (POD14): 3rd appt - stitches removed, using ScarAway silicone strips
- Sept 11 (POM1): 1mo follow-up appt, started breast massages, using Biocorneum with spf30
- Oct 3 (POM"2"): 1d before 2mo follow-up appt
- next appt in Dec for "after" pix
Keepin' it REAL on RS
TT scar line update
Dressing up... and down
It just got really REAL
Oh, happy bikini days!
- VS Bombshell... brings you up 2 CUP SIZES!! I miss strapless bras!!
- sports bra struggle
- Coobie vs. cheapy bralettes
- Nordstrom Shimera deepV
- sheer, sheer, ...give me more SHEER!
Still working on my party tricks...
Too funny Az!
Letter to my loves...
LOVE IT ...or LEAVE IT???
Who's in YOUR little black book? ;)
Angiemcc (community mgr)
Sharon at RealSelf (community mgr)
theRealCathyofSeattle (community mgr)
I figured I'd go over ALL my past posts to find all the mis-filed comments as a result of the new RS layout... spent some time going over memory lane... and just wanted to take a moment to thank all you RS ladies who have somehow in some way on some day - touched my life. :)
POD80... does that sound weird or what?
And the award goes to...
-Award for the Most Beautiful Selfie (with the exception of ChuL, who I looked up for eyelid sx): MamaKisof6
- Award for being a Skinny Minny: Cmb82, Acissej10, PoshMommyOf2
- Award for being the all-time Friend of Friends: Time4meOR
- Award for using the Most Meds: Callendergirl6 (hahaha)
- Award for the Funniest Posts (and guaranteed smiles): Sexy4Life
- Award for being the Most REAL (good AND bad): Bella Besos
- Award for the Best PO Shoes: Fullcirclemer
- Award for the Best B-AND-A BOOBS: Denvermomof2
- Award for the Best Work Ethic (making me feel like a total slug): Fitbug1966
- Award for the Best Goal Bod!!! (and more !!!!!): anna1989
- Award for the Happiest Personality: azsunshine
- Award for the Most Determined: MunchkinB
- Award for the WOWest story: JR0221 (a must read!)
- Award for the Scariest TT Pix: Hopefully hopeful
- Award for the Craziest Stretch Marks (preop): madmolly
- Award for the Vet of Vets: mykindofwonderful
- Award for the Most Inspiring Story: Sheeney7 (pictured on RS homepage)
- I had an award for the most beautiful body for a larger size (and can't wait to see "after" pic) but bcz of the way RS is set up, I can't find that person's user name and couldn't think of a shorter title for the award... HAHAHAHA
Incidentally, don't you wish we could type in different fonts or at least italicize or type in color? Just sayin'...
Have a wonderful weekend RS ladies!!
5 Daily habits for healing POs
1. Drink water. I keep my pink water cup (from my sx pix) with me wherever I go and every time I see it, I fill it with ice water and drink it. It's my reminder to drink lots of water.
2. Exercise. I'm at 225 squats today!! Don't get excited for me just yet bcz I think my limit is 50 in the morning and 50 at night, which will be my "maintenance" after my squat challenge ends ...this Thursday... and let me tell you, I've been counting down the days! "50/50" is my new daily.
3. Stop nit-picking details. Everyone's sx is different in some way, everyone's bodies are different, and everyone heals differently. Sx can only do so much - the rest will be up to you and accepting the body that you have.
4. Get busy. Sx over, boot camp over, and routine is back to normal... time to work or pick up a hobby. I've realized that I can't just be on RS all day long (boo hoo) bcz in an instant, with one change, they can take all of it away from you. Anyway, addictions are BAD - RS, Hween candy, diet pepsi... lol. Time to get the house ready for the holidays... I can't believe they're right around the corner!
5. Take this moment in your journey to make a change - change the way you feel about yourself, change the way you eat, change your lifestyle to be more active... Take care of your NEW body. Sx gave us parts we couldn't grow, cut off parts we couldn't lose... now it's up to us to "sculpt" the rest of it. My first challenge was mentally and physically preparing for sx, staying alive, and getting through recup boot camp. Now that I've met that challenge, my new challenge now is to tone up the rest of my body and maintaining what the good dr "created". ;)
Hope everyone - wherever you are - is healing well...
TT scar line 101 (for pre-ops)
Every day's a dress up day
What's worse than coconut water?!!
RS Quote of the Day... Love it!
- Gary Motykie, MD
30th day of the Squat Challenge!
Change your eye colors... nothing REAL about it
I like to post all kinds of things - and try to keep it to things that have to do with self-improvement, since it pertains to the site. Well, the other day I was watching Wendy (my go-to gal who keeps me updated on lighthearted news bcz real news is oh-so sad and depressing) and she was talking about permanent eye implants!! I know!! It hits me personally bcz I spent all my life wanting to become an optometrist, did 3.5yrs of optometry school, been through glasses, contacts, colored contact, and then finally lasik sx so now I don't wear anything - not even reading glasses. But to change your eye color... it's like removing a birthmark, something special only to you. WOW is all I can say. Here's more info on it:
- It's called "brightocular"... a permanent silicone implants surgically placed into the eye to change the color of the iris, used to be used just for medical purposes such as iris defects, but now more popularly used for cosmetic... crazy!! I'm just always amazed at what science can do!!
- I added a youtube video showing the change of brown eyes to blue... geez, wonder how much it costs?!! not that I would EVER do it permanently! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrJWkPcNYfw
- Does anyone find this as fascinating as I do?? :p
Ode to my DH
Happy 3MO PO anniversary to me!
- Still doing maintenance squats - 50 am, 50 pm.
- Some days I forget to do my breast massages, altho I was told do them ...FOR LIFE. ugh.
- Breast massages laying down feels weird. Trying to "cheat" and do massages on BOTH breasts at the same time with both hands is even weirder! ;p
- Is it bad that I don't want my DH to do breast massages? I actually don't want anyone to touch them (drs, mammo...) bcz I don't want anyone to "break" them! LOL
- Halle Berry says the secret to perky breasts post 50 is to wear a bra all day, even to sleep! See? that's the same advice my other friend heard too... gotta wear that bra ladies, or else those implants are heading south!
- Some people have asked me why I didn't go "larger" to be more proportionate to my bone structure and hips... Well, first of all, I got 550cc's! Pretty large already. But I did research and most drs don't recommend going over 600 - higher risks, harder to check at mammograms, skin stretching, gravity sagging, etc. I think my 550's are just fine.
- Now that I'm at 3mos, I'm thinking this wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. You get over the part about dying during sx... then you get over the first days PO that feel like death anyway... and then it just all normals out. Back to ho-hum status. Ho-hum.
- Anyone else feel weird shopping? Don't get me wrong, I LOVE SHOPPING and everything fits great now, but I just feel lost now... like I don't know what to pick out bcz I've been so used to buying a particular style - the kind that covered up my fatty tummy or hid my no-boobs.
- I think Dr.O'Toole is AMAZING. :) I wonder what other "tricks" he has up his sleeve?? bcz I'm really thinking I need to work on my fatty arms and my face now...
- I'm still mad at RS for making changes... RS is still a good support group but it's nothing like the way it was during the summer. And for those of you new to RS or fresh PO's, you missed a really good thing. Hopefully RS will finally get it together so it can be that way once again. I really miss the old gang... sniffle, sniffle...
Happy healing ladies!!
The first time in a long time...
just a bunch o' misc
-Hope everyone's having a great long holiday weekend!-
Review and Updates
- Natrelle 550cc silicone gummy bear implants, smooth round high profile
- full TT with umbilical hernia repair and 3" diastasis recti repair
- minor lipo on flanks and inner thighs
Thanks for following my journey and... stay tuned! Happy healing this holiday weekend... Let's all look FABULOUS for the New Year!! :D
Just missing the way it was... going to get out of this funk.
Pre- and Post-Op Tips from a "vet" - at 3.5mos
1. Be realistic. Don’t go into surgery with “Barbie-vision”. It’s a rare miracle to go from blubber one day to “Barbie” after surgery… good luck with those expectations.
2. Be careful what you wish for. If you go the extreme route – extra large implants (600+), full-body procedures, or multiple procedures at the same time – know the risks. And watch out for the doctors that just sell procedures, and after they’re paid, they somehow “disappear” for after-care or complications.
3. Everyone’s body shape is different. Everyone’s body reacts differently to surgery. Everyone heals differently.
4. Don’t be afraid to get a 2nd opinion, go to ER for immediate concerns, or seek other professional help – you’re not “cheating” on your doctor. You’re just trying to get the best possible results.
5. Don’t go back to the same doctor if you weren’t happy with your results the 1st time around. You may get a discount but the doctor hasn’t changed.
6. Follow instructions – don’t cheat. Take your meds, rest, keep the surgical areas clean with antibacterial soap, eat clean before and after surgery to keep your body in the best condition for surgery and healing, wear your support garments, do your massages, and don’t exercise or strain the surgical areas until your doctor gives clearance. When you’re cleared for exercise, start light but exercise to maintain your shape.
7. If you think it’s a red flag – it is. Many of the “not worth it” ratings are from across borders/seas. Many of the “not worth it” ratings had doctors who weren’t “concerned” about the patient. If you think something is wrong – GET IT CHECKED OUT… don’t just go with the “wait and see” method. (Trust me, I know from experience.)
8. KNOW YOUR DOCTOR. Be sure your doctor is board-certified. Be sure you do research on your doctor (background, techniques, before/afters, recommendations) and the surgical procedures you want. If you get an “odd” feeling, go to a different one! Don’t pick doctors based solely on price$!! That’ll be your #1 mistake… you get what you pay for.
9. Know what you’re getting yourself info – say exactly what you want, bring specific pictures, and make sure the doctor is on the same page as you. Don’t leave anything up to chance… if you can help it.
10. Do your research. Just asking friends and getting referrals and looking at pictures isn’t “research”. Make sure conditions are as ideal as possible before you have surgery – take into consideration health issues (having a cold or lung problems or past complications before anesthesia), caring for young children (breastfeeding, having more kids, lifting kids), and daily routines (driving, stairs, etc).
11. preOP: go to as many consults as you feel give you a good pool to choose from, so you have a good idea of exactly what you want from a doctor and what kind of doctor you’re looking for; get a lab work-up (blood work) if your PS doesn’t offer, or go see a primary care for a check-up and labs; get a mammogram if you’re 40+ so you don’t have to go for another year after surgery; prep your body inside and out for surgery – surgery isn’t a miracle over-night cure! It takes time before and after to get your body into ideal state.
12. PO: water, meds, rest, follow instructions, no heavy lifting, no tanning, no strain on the sx areas, check out any red flags, take pix and photodoc, see your doctor! (Don’t just rely on RSer advice – they aren’t doctors!)
13. Make sure you get face-time with your doctor – you’re not paying top dollar to see the assistants!
Problems commenting? No problem!
Hate dental work!
TBT... Once Upon a Time...
- Once upon a time... on 8/4/14, day of sx… hahaha. I have to say this over and over again – wear low-cut bikini bottoms and wear them where you want your scar line! If you pull them high up on your hips, that’s where your line is gonna be. If it’s crooked or your dr draws a crooked line, that’s what your line’s gonna look like. If your dr has an unsteady cut or assistants are sewing you up… oh well. Good luck.
- Ok, so my first challenge PO was getting into the car. Boy, that was when I was really wished I could just pay them $100? $200? tell me and I'll pay... to stay right there in that surg center bed! I remember the nurse kept annoying me and telling me to get up to pee and walk around - NO WAY IN HELL! I just wanted her to leave the room. I kept stalling and sending her out for ice chips! (haha - so sneaky.) They wouldn't let me go home without peeing so I made them all stand there and wait ‘til I was good and ready – I mean, what’s the hurry? Bed shortage or something? I remember hearing all the staff mumbling that “she’s still here” or “we can’t get her to go to the bathroom”. HAHAHAHA… that’s me – troublemaker. I think for the $2000 in surg ctr fees that I paid… they can wait. I just sat at the edge of the bed and didn’t want to move a muscle. Everything hurt. Everyone tiny little movement hurt. That’s pretty much when I felt like I’d been run over by a truck, crushed by an elephant… all that stuff everyone talks about PO.
- So after FINALLY going pee – and it was way harder than peeing when you’re 9mos pregnant… you know, when you’re belly’s so big you can’t see the cup!!! I was still wearing the gown and they wanted me to change into my own clothes… This is where you have to remember to bring just a zip-front muumuu and some slippers. That’s it. I see RSers buying cute little Juicy sweat sets or long maxi-dresses that go over the head. I don’t know how they were able to wrangle regular clothes on, but I couldn’t move and barely getting a muumuu over all my drains and pain pump catheters was excruciating. So I’m dressed, checked out and ready to go – the daunting task of taking the elevator down, everyone staring at me like the old lady that doesn’t look “OLD”, and trying to hoist my body into the passenger side of an SUV… O.M.G.!!! But once in (and it took FOREVER!) I was ever-so-thankful to have my pillow to buffer the seat belt… although I could feel every bump and dip in the road! And so thankful I only live 15min from the surg ctr!
- Once home, those first 3 days (4 for me) were the worst. I got home, made it over to my “space” on the couch, and then realized – it’s hard to get down to couch level and then once you’re there, you realize that you probably aren’t going to be able to get up any time soon. You don't realize how much you need your core muscles to do small, everyday things. It’s turtle-on-its-back syndrome. Hurts to go down, hurts to get back up – and all the while you’ll need assistance. You have to figure out who’s gonna grab you and how they’re gonna do it. My mom and I were playing the kiss game and it was like – try this, no this, do this, no that hurts don’t do that. Hahaha… but once we figured out a method that worked, got up to try to walk with the walker, pee… all that felt like you had to re-learn how to do everything… then I’d lie down and the “cycle” would start all over again. So the trick is – don’t drink a lot so you don’t have to pee a lot. LOL!!!
- Sounds more terrible for me bcz I didn’t have those wonderful Exparel injections… if only they were offered… but by POD4, you do see the light at the end of the tunnel! Really, you do. I remember POD4…” just get to POD4”… was my goal. I kept saying it over and over like a mantra (with my twinnie, newlook… boy, I miss newlook!). Day 4 was when I took my first LONG shower and it felt SOOOOO good to just wash away all that… surgery… all the caked on blood, the stiff drains, the iodine, the pen markings, the binding marks. I must’ve stayed in the shower for an hour (sorry cali drought). You start to regain your strength – I was able to roll to the side and pull myself up using a side table. You start to be able to move more normally – reach above your head, use a step stool to get dishes down, walk straighter. It’s hard to move but you have to or else everything stiffens up… and you don’t want to risk a blood clot. So you lie reclined, wiggle your toes, stretch your legs up and down, move your arms in circles… and then there’s the peeing and walking around. That’s boot camp recovery.
- So yes, I’m now at 3.5mos… almost 4 mos… and I’m LOVIN’ LIFE! I can’t remember how bad it was back then bcz I’ve come so far. I know everyone has a different experience – some better, some worse, some with complications... and that really sucks! But knowing what I know now, I’d do it ALL OVER AGAIN in a heartbeat. No regrets.
TBT pic - didn't load
Chiklet3 will be "hungry hunting" today!
Gonna leave the slow RS weekends to go Hello Kitty hungry hunting ***third party link removed***. Who asked to see the pins? Here they are! I'm going to find someone to trade the burger pin - it's already been discontinued. I have 10 of the 11 pins (what I've been doing for the past 3 weeks... the entire set is going for over $3000 online!) I know... childhood obsessions and in NO WAY related to body image here on RS! lol. Have a great weekend ladies! :D
The girls are lovin' the bras bcz dress up is oh-so fun
RealSelf 101... a little schoolin' for those *new* or --BORED
Almost 4mos... pix update
I'm almost at 4mos PO... wow, can't believe it! Doesn't feel like I've ever had surgery, but when I look in the mirror, BAM - I HAVE BOOBS! :D So what's an anniversary celebration without pix? These are my latest aliex buys - yes, still addicted! Still buying pleather (don't know why - not like I'd wear it out with the kids! lol), still buying CGs, and now I'm buying undie-sets... they're so pretty!! Word of caution tho - Chinese people are generally small and FLAT so I had to buy L/34D and sometimes even XL to make sure they fit. Love the rare finds tho like the T-back bra... awesome. It's raining in cali (rare, but so welcome) so excuse the bathroom lighting. It's funny when I look at my 500 gummies and don't feel like they're as big as some of the other RS ladies... but no worries, I'm not complaining. :HAPPY:
Happy 4 Month Anniversary to ME!!
Random thoughts at 4 months PO…
1. Had a wonderful Thanksgiving in Vegas with my parents… Cali-style in shorts and swimming in the hotel pool and then ice skating on top of the Cosmopolitan hotel! But it’s so DRY in Vegas and I’ve been using this new skin bleaching cream recommended by RSers called Piona… Warning – that stuff is super strong bcz when I got to Vegas, my face started PEELING off in little flakes… like the incredible lizard woman! Beautiful. And so itchy too… even my scars were itchy! Thank goodness for the humidity back home bcz I totally had to exfoliate with a mask and then got my monthly hydrating facial… AHHHH! Oh – and I think when I washed my swimsuit (the pink Juicy dress one I showed a pic of before) I forgot to put the boob pads back in and left them somewhere at home… so of course there I am in colder Vegas weather and cold water advertising NIPPLES-galore! SO embarrassing (I think more for the kids!)! LOL!!!
2. Hope everyone had a GREAT Thanksgiving… my first major holiday with my RS family! I have SO SO much to be thankful for this year and the first person I thanked via email was my PS – Dr. O’Toole! I’m SO thankful that he didn’t let me die on the table and that he used his God-given skills to make my wish pix come true… I can never thank him enough. (((Hugs))) from afar… bcz he’s an arms- distance kind of guy. ;)
3. Well, I’m still on RS, still doing my 50 maintenance squats a day, still using Biocorneum and BioOil daily, still doing breast massages, still wearing my CGs for most of the day. In fact, I just bought 2 new CG girdles (talk about addictions!). I can’t go without – sometimes I do, but I feel naked… loose… exposed… vulnerable…
4. What did that one RSer post? I’ve been eating a lot of C.R.A.P. – bad C’s (carbs, coffee, chocolate, and carbonated drinks! Lol!) … what did the “R” stand for again??... Aspartame… Processed foods… I think I’m holding steady at my usual 135 (same weight I’ve been since HS!). But then again, I didn’t get a MM to be “skinny”. Who’s C.R.A.P. post was that again?? I can’t find it anymore… Boooo RS! And anyway, what happened to the little red number circle on Newsfeed?! Sheesh… every day it’s something else on RS…
5. I just got my reminder letter to schedule my yearly ob appt… so I started to think, WHAT WILL MY OB/GYN THINK??!! I’ve been with him for over 13 years and know his office staff well! He knows I’ve been boob-shopping and he told me to not go too big and next time he’d see me back with my “new friends”. Gotta love funny doctors…
6. So I had my first ‘negative’ encounter… my SIL was asking about my PS for a friend of hers and then commented that she couldn’t imagine putting herself through that much pain or have the vanity to do so. Hmm… how do I feel about that? Bite my tongue and keep my thoughts to myself. I didn’t do this to get other people’s opinions – I did it for me. Anyway, boooo to downers!
7. I wonder how long a typical ‘RS life’ is – you know, how long one stays on RS before they resume normal life and RS becomes a distant memory… 4-6mos PO? 1 year? or until the next procedure?? I wonder if RS studies how long their typical RSer stays online or how they can ‘maintain their clientele’ longer? I wonder what all my long-lost RS sisters are doing these days and how they’re healing. I wonder if all my accolades for Dr. O’Toole bring him more business. I wonder if bad reviews from “not worth it” ratings affect a PS – do they feel bad? do they care? does it affect their business? I wonder why people spend money on BBL fat transfers when it’s not permanent. I wonder why people go out of the country to have sx just to save money (bcz I asked them) – would you take the risk just to save money?? I wonder why RS has no “edit posts” icon… or why my newsfeed red circle indicator is gone… or why we can’t see more than 5 recent comments… or why the search feature is NOT helpful at all?? Oops sorry, just venting now…
8. SUPER nervous about my next appt which is coming up tomorrow (4mos and 1 day to be exact)… bcz O’Toole is going to take “after” pix!!! I don’t know why this makes me nervous. Maybe bcz it seems so … FINAL. Well, I hope he is as proud of his work as I am grateful. Through this journey I laughed, I cried, I was nervous, I was happy, I was angry, I was bored, I was excited, I felt ugly, I felt sexy, and it’s just truly been the greatest experience EVER!!! I got $500 off my sx by being an RSer and he’s giving me 40 units of botox… so I suppose my next review will be on B&A botox stories. I wonder if it’s as addicting as they say. And I wonder if you stop, do you shrivel back to wrinkled raisin state? Anyone have thoughts on this??
Hope everyone is healing well… taking it one day at a time… Can you believe Christmas is just around the corner?! My cards and letters are out, gifts bought, tree is up, and I don’t want A THING for xmas bcz Dr. O’Toole has given me all I could ever want!! xoxo… and then some…
Got a (((hug))) from my PS!!
Office Xmas Party
Got shoes on my mind...
Happy Holidays... Fa-la-la-la-la...
It's almost Christmas!!
BB close-up for Katie :)
FrankenDoll Diaries... Happy 5mo Anniversary to ME!!
Random thoughts at 5mos PO…
1. I haven’t been on as often bcz 1) I’m a vet with old stories, 2) sitting on the couch and doing RS all day doesn’t help with the New Year’s resolution workout routine, and 3) as you know, my site is so over-loaded with pix and vids that it runs VERY slowly – it’s actually faster for me to comment on your site and just run the feed from there! I thought about deleting some pix/vids just to make things run smoother but I’ve been asked not to. I thought about starting a new review called “FrankenDoll Diaries”, but you can’t. You can only write 1 review per person per treatment. I may eventually start a new review on my botox treatments but then I’ll have ‘new’ friends on there. *sigh* RS says they’re working on my site, so we’ll see.
2. A side note to all RSers following their friends’ blogs… Take a moment to post a quick note on all the blogs you follow. Sometimes we get caught up just answering comments on our own blogs, we don’t realize that RS will only update you with newsfeed from where you’ve commented. So if you don’t comment on your friend’s blog, you won’t receive updates from their journey. Until RS comes up with a “friends following” feature, you won’t know that someone updated their blog unless you’ve actually been a part of THEIR blog. Now I know.
3. Couple funny stories from my holidays away… Went over to spend xmas in Carlsbad with my sister and was helping her cook dinner as I was showing off my xmas red bow press-on nails, when all of a sudden I noticed I lost a pinkie nail during food prep (and couldn’t find it)!! Hence, I was banned from her kitchen. oops. :/
4. My other story was at the fitness room in the hotel we were staying at. After dipping in the jacuzzi (yeah, that’s how we spend xmas in Cali!), the kids wanted to check out the fitness room and I thought maybe I’d try out the treadmill and see what it was like to “work out” in a gym! So I get it going and keep pressing the mph button bcz it’s not going fast enough. Well, then it starts going REALLY increasingly fast until I can hardly keep up - at a sprint!! My mom and I were trying to stop it, but since I’ve never worked a treadmill, I ended up having to JUMP onto the side bars for fear of my life as the treadmill went out of control!! Talk about a close call. HAHAHA… um, which is why I don’t join a gym…
5. At 5mos out, I think I’m going to side with the drs that say all those tapes and creams have no proven effect. Everything worked nicely the first few days out, or I think I really wanted them to work and seemed like they did. Scars flattened and smoothed out but was that store-bought… or just time doing its thing? Now at 5mos out, I’m not seeing any REAL instant-grat results, aside from smoothly sealed scars and nice smells. I think our bodies will heal the way they heal and any lotion or moisturizer will probably work just fine.
6. This is totally random… but my PS looks like a cross between William R. Moses and William H. Macy!! Google it and you’ll agree! I wonder if anyone’s ever told him that. ;)
7. Ever see the movie “Shallow Hal” – the part where Jack Black shows his “tail”? (youtube) I think I have that! Well, not as long… and it doesn’t wiggle. But I have an extraordinarily long tail bone. I know – random thoughts. TMI too. ;)
8. For those of you still healing, it really DOES get better… some take longer than others.
9. Our bodies are not perfect. Drs are not perfect. Surgeries are not perfect either.
10. Take lots of BEFORE pix, even though you might hate the way you look bcz AFTER, you kinda miss what once was yours… I miss my smooth, unmarred skin now replaced by a long purple scar. I miss my 2 panty-line birth moles that were cut off in the TT. I miss my clean BB - it’s now a dirty-brown, scarred-looking thing. No regrets – just reminiscing.
11. When I first started on RS I remember reading this blog about this woman whose TT scar was so high and her mons area was pulled up so much that her pubes were literally right below her BB!!! (funny, but scary) She posted a pic of her low-rise jeans and she had pubes popping out of the top!! Yeah… O.M.G.!!
12. Do your research but don’t go crazy nuts over the scary stuff bcz it’ll drive you CRAZY NUTS.
13. You can dwell on the what-ifs and all that can go wrong, but all I can say is, I don’t regret a day since sx and I’m livin’ up and lovin’ each day post-recuperation. If the dream ever ends, I’ll have been happy for as long as it lasted and will now know how the ‘other half’ feels!
Heal well! xoxo
FrankenDoll Diaries... MILF and other things
A FrankenDoll Celebration... It's MY BIRTHDAY!! The BIG 44!!
DOT official B&A pix
Happy 1/2 year to ME!!!
- I’m the kind of person that makes New Year’s resolutions – and actually keeps them! (...at least for a few months anyway! lol) But this year was the first year that I didn’t have a New Year’s resolution to lose weight or work off my jelly belly! Thanks DOT! xoxo <3
- I’ve been wearing my tight girdle at night. I don’t wear any support during the day anymore and I haven’t seen any changes otherwise so I think I’m good without. I wear it at night tho bcz I like to wake up to a very nice, tight, firm belly!!
- I’m not dieting bcz I don’t want to lose any boob volume and not doing any major arm weights bcz I don’t want to change my pec muscle structure and alter my implant shape in any way – does that make sense? or am I just paranoid? (Idk if it’s true, but let’s just say I’m not taking any chances. I get boob-nightmares... anyone else??) Altho, I have noticed that I’ve GAINED weight since my MM and I really want to go down to my “ideal” so I started to work out on the treadmill more and do some scissors arms and legs... and I gained 1 POUND!!! REALLY?! WTH! But I usually gain before I lose, so ...
- Going for 1 more round of Biocorneum and BioOil before I completely go back to lotion (or ...LaMer body butter!!! Total splurge!) Just some side info... Biocorneum spf30 is the only FDA approved topical silicone cream that is dr-exclusive (hard to find). I bought mine on amazon but they don’t even sell it anymore... will have to get some from DOT with my bday coupons.
- I’ve found that I’m becoming more and more bra-picky. Anyone else experience this this far out PO? I can wear the sports bras and bralettes ok, but otherwise, underwire irritates the HELL outta my inframammary scars! I can wear underwire for a short period of time, but an all-day underwire gives me redder scars afterwards... wth. Really?! Also, I’m getting “itchy bra” syndrome – lol – which means that all kinds of bras give me back-itchies! The bras I used to love (even the famed support bra my PS gave me PO) have these invisible hairs that itch my back like crazy!! What’s going on??
- I’m working on my Dimples of Venus (inspired by natty’s pix but not sure if you can just blow out candles and wish for them! darn) I never had them, always wanted them... And I think now that I’ve had flank lipo, they’re starting to – appear!! I think I’m seeing more back-“shaping” and what looks like the dimples... will keep you posted.
- Now onto La Mer... Thanks to new2023, I am now the proud owner of the LaMer 3pc trial kit – for the jaw-dropping price of $295+tax!! (from Nordstrom bcz of the amazon reviews on “fakes” out there) Craziness! I asked for the SMALLEST quantities possible so I could try them out and it still came out to over $300!!... not even a free tote bag! ;) Ok, but at 44, I need all the help I can get! And I want a regimen that’ll upkeep my new botox (40 free units from my PS). Not sure if I’m going to maintain the botox, but I’m willing to try anything right now. And what an apt time to start it – at my 6mo MM anniversary! About “expression-less”... I don’t work so I try to stay in and not go out too much in the sun, not talk or laugh, and not make any expressions! HAHAHA... (I know you’re laughing along with me) But I find that I have less wrinkles on my face than others who, say, have a front-desk job where they’re always smiling and greeting people. So anyway, my new review is on the botox treatment site – come visit!
RS - what's going on??
Aliex101... celebrating the new bod with PO shopping
1. The best thing about aliex is that it's FREE shipping... Bad thing is you have to wait about a month for the items to arrive.
2. Sizes generally run SMALL so order 1-2 sizes up. Not everything is S/M/L either... I've seen items, even swimsuits, that are made XXL+.
3. It's nice when you see something on aliex that you've seen in stores for WAY more (I've seen items from VS, Forever21, Foreign Exchange, Target, amazon shopping...)
4. You can buy pretty much everything on aliex - I've purchased over 100 items, so if you have ?s - ask. Here are my items I've purchased:
- shoes: hit more miss but I LOOOOVE the boots, fits 1/2 size smaller
- handbags: NO! (cheap quality unless it says "real leather" and then it's pricier anyway)
- leggings: tighter than normal
- bathing suits: tops are usually very small, bottoms are normal size (I usually order L)
- party dresses (in my area they call this "hoochie-wear"): MY FAVE on aliex bcz you can buy alot and they're CHEAP; fits exact (but short if you're taller)
- CGs, girdles, corsets: an absolute MUST for PO bcz you can buy alot and they're cheap
- clothing (pants, shirts): runs SMALL
- PLEATHER: you KNOW I loooooooooooove the pleather!!! :D
- sweaters: a MUST buy... super cheap on aliex. I got all my Fall sweaters here and loved every one of them! Fits exact.
- kids' clothing: girls' clothes are so awesome, wide variety, all the favorites like Frozen... for CHEAP... and NO ONE else has these styles! I saw some Frozen pants for $7 on aliex and Target sells the same ones for $30!!
- misc items: I bought cake pop decorative straws (econo size), ipad cover, Hello Kitty items
5. There's no minimum to purchase for free shipping so you can buy 1 item or a bunch at a time.
6. There are literally 1000s of pages to scroll through and you can easily go cross-eyed looked through all of them! Each item is sold from a different store, with different prices so you have to keep track of who's selling the same item for less.
7. It's safe to purchase - I haven't had ANY problems with cc payment and shipping. The package comes in regular mail - and it's SNAIL mail for sure! Be careful when opening pkgs bcz your scissors might actually cut the clothing!
8. Right after you order, aliex will send you a confirmation email when the seller ships your order. I've found that going onto your order page and writing a little note in the comment box like "Can't wait to get my order" helps them to know you're on top of them and expecting the order. They email responses back IMMEDIATELY, too! If your item hasn't shipped out and it's been a while, you can "extend purchase protection" by 99 days so that they'll actually REFUND your money (back to your cc) if the seller doesn't respond. You can always cancel your order too and ask for a refund.
9. If you don't like your item, I'd suggest not ordering that type of item any more (I don't particularly like their tank tops or shirts - they don't fit me right bcz ppl in China don't have boobs) or selling your order on ebay. It's not worth it to send it back.
10. They get credit for 5 stars and really want you to "confirm goods" and want you to leave feedback.
11. If an order goes wrong, you can e-chat with an aliex agent and they're really really helpful. I had one item that I had to dispute (pretty good considering I ordered over 100 items since my sx) and they credited the money back to me right away after investigating.
Just a little FYI for those interested in all the dresses and bikinis that I post. Happy shopping!! :)
Who's ready for bikini season?!!
chiklet3 @ 7mo PO
I'm 7mos PO now... still hating the new RS site changes, still want a "friends following" list and an edit function, still have bugs in my over-extensive review with problems loading, not on as often bcz at 7mos there isn't much to update on, no new changes... I feel blessed to have had a smooth sx with an awesome outcome and I'm still ever-thankful to "DOT" for all he has done with my MM and botox. I would HIGHLY recommend his skills, expertise, and professionalism to anyone in the area (or not in the area). I'm ever-protective of my new boobs and am hyper-sensitive to anything that might harm them! lol. Love Love Love having boobs!! I feel like I've had them forever! My scar is still the same but I hardly ever notice it... just 5min while I wash and then it's - panties on. No swelling and no 6-pack (lol) and I'm every-so-thankful to be rid of the jelly belly I've carried and hid since baby#2. Love botox and it's now going to be my go-to makeover before summer and parties... 2 shots here, 2 shots there - and voila, instant facelift! No angry lines or crinkly smiles. Ahh, I hate the way RS updates emails and now it's all or nothing really. But I'm tired of making waves and I'll let you new girls take it from here. For those still following my thread - will post pix soon... Good luck to those still to come and happy healing to those on the flat side! xoxo
My PS is Dr. Martin O'Toole (owner and chief surgeon of Pasadena Cosmetic Surgery) in Pasadena, CA- just down the street from Old Pas, really beautiful modern gray and glass building with its own parking. I picked him out of 3 consults because he was a family friend of a good friend of mine who just had him do her BA - so I'd know where to find him if I needed to! Also, his location - about 15min from my house. His price$ - comparable to the lowest I heard. And most importantly, since my mom is a nurse, because he does his surgery in a surgical center across the street from his office (and currently building his own upstairs!) with a familiar emergency team readily available and right next door - Huntington Memorial Hospital... factors very important to me. He isn't all "rainbows and kisses" and I'm quite a chatty personality person, so I would've loved to have that social bond... But he is a very calm, very knowledgeable PS with 20+ years of experience and makes you feel like he knows what he's doing and is sure he'll do a good job- from helping to choose boob size, to being known for tight tummy tucks, to designing his own natural-looking BB. His staff is very nice- Sarah (pt coord) is such a happy and direct personality and Nadia (nurse) reminds me so much of my mom- skilled and gives her opinions. I like the professionalism of the office but would suggest that they update in terms of using more modern techniques like Exparel injections and technologies like the Vectra 3D imaging tv viewers that show you what you look like with different boob sizes. I went to 2 other PS consults. Dr in Beverly Hills- "boob capitol" of the world! But he was located in the heart of major traffic jams (for those of us who know the area), office where he performs his surgery was small and located on the 10th floor of a valet-only building! Can you imagine if there was an emergency??!! The nearest hospital was miles away- OMG. But the major neg was his bedside manner- not bad, just nonexistent... I didn't know what to ask so he didn't really give solid answers. Also, he wasn't PS board-certified. Oh and I was nervous as hell because he was my first consult and they said I could leave my undies on but I was so used to ob exams and took off EVERYTHING! So when he came in, he was like Oh! and then I realized... super embarrassing! But this guy was a friend that my husband knew and came highly recommended so too bad it didn't work out. The other consult was with a local PS very close to home. Kind of a gayish personality, which I really really like because he's so happy and bubbly and made me feel so comfy like we could go out for coffee and donuts after! A huge plus was his office had Vectra 3D imaging so I could pick whatever boobs I wanted and he could insert them virtually so I could see what I looked like with them in - on a big screen TV! Awesome! But he only had 10yrs experience and was quite pricey. Dr.O'Toole is a very serious, professional doctor. He doesn't act like your friend, he doesn't act like a salesman, he doesn't look flashy or like he's dipped in the pot and had all kinds of PS work tested on himself (haha). He's a what you see is what you get kind of doctor. He's very real, very present, is concerned about your needs and reassures you all will be well (and you will believe him), and he knows what he's doing. You can ask for what you want, but he'll tell you what you need. Professionalism all the way around.