Affordable Tummy Tuck at UPenn Residents Clinic - Philadelphia, PA

I've wanted to have this procedure done for over 6...

I've wanted to have this procedure done for over 6 years. I'd gone to several consultations, but just couldn't go through with it due to the price. After doing some digging around I found an option with the Residents Clinic at Penn Medicine. John's Hopkins (Baltimore) and UPMC (Pittsburgh area) have these clinics as well.

My procedure, including pain pump, totals $4,900. I feel very comfortable and confident with the doctor who will be performing the procedure. I actually called today with a case of the pre op jitters and he called me back. His advice - make sure you bring your filled perscriptions along with you, find time to relax this coming week and arrive on Thursday in the good frame of mind.

The procedure will be performed at a world-renowned facility, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

I live a healthy life, I eat well, exercise, but due to bringing 2 amazing children into this world, I've been left with an ugly tummy. I have a husband who loves me regardless, but I want to be able to sit down and not worry about trying to hide my belly rolls.

I've you've wanted to do this, but can't quite afford it, I'd encourge you to look into a residents clinic. Be patient. These clinics don't function like a normal private practice where someone is waiting by the phone trying to get your business. They often have just one person scheduling patients and must work around the residents' rotation and schedule. Don't be afraid to call back, leave messages and ask a lot of questions.

1 week to go! I'm nervous and excited. I'll keep you posted and will share pictures soon.
Look forward to following your journey
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Thanks. I'm nervous and excited. Can't believe I'm really doing it. Finally!
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Favorite skirt before pics

I'm excited to see how my favorite skirt will look after the procedure.

What I dislike the most.

I can't believe I'm sharing this. Kind of freeing in a way. This is what bothers me the most.
I go next week as well. I'll be watching your updates as we will be recovering together. Along w the tt I'm getting a br....I figure I may as well do both at the same time and only have one recovery. Good Luck next week
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Thanks. Good luck with everything this week. The whole thing doesn't seem real yet to me. I've wanted this for so long and the week is finally here!
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I had not thought of the residents clinic. I will have to look into that. I look forward to seeing your results. Good Luck. God Bless.
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Hotel stay

My doctor recommended spending the night in a hotel near the hospital since my TT isn't scheduled until 3pm. This is one of the things I'm not looking forward to. First night post op and I won't be in my own environment.

Anyone have suggestions on what to pack?
My body type is pretty much like yours and so I will be following your recovery closely. I am pretty concerned about how the belly button will end up looking. Thanks for posting the pics, it requires courage and is very helpful for those who need some sort of benchmark to compare their own case with. All the very best. Hope it all goes well. Will look forward to your posts and post op pics. I am planning to do it in August. God Bless!
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Belly buttons are so important. One day to go! I can't wait to update my blog with the new an improved me. I kept searching the photos on here for someone who was the same age/build as me as well. Couldn't really find anyone but my doctor assures me I'm the perfect candidate for this and will love the results. Thanks for the support and kind words.
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Gosh! Tomorrow's the D Day!! I am getting butterflies in the stomach just thinking about you. (Sympathy pangs I guess).. anyway.. wish you all the best! Hope it all goes well for you. And hope you feel physically relaxed and mentally strong for tomorrow. Waiting for you.. hugs... xoxo
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One day to go!

Tomorrow is the big day. Today is a bit busier than I'd like but such is life.

Getting in one last vigorous workout before surgery. Tomorrow I plan on doing some light cardio.

Need to pick up my meds, pick up my mom who will be taking care of me and the kids while I'm out of commission (so blessed to have such a great mom) and one final day of work.

Slept well last night :)
Best of luck tomorrow!
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I went there in 2005 dr lo did my sx....the residents r great good luck...u stay over night...
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I am following you and looking at the Residents Clinic option, so post when you can (and remember to post for months afterwards, so we can see the final result)! Good luck tomorrow.
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Last evening with this tummy

About to go in. Thank you everyone for your well wishes. Will post an update soon :)
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Good Luck, looking forward to your update!
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omg!!! its today. im so excited for you. cant wait for my turn.
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Checking in!

Thanks for all the well wishes. I'll post an update soon :)
How did you get them to call you back? I have been leaving quite a bit of messages lol. Good luck btw! I hope you are feeling well and looking great :)
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It's hard. They just have one person who does the scheduling and they also wait to call people back depending upon the residents rotation ( who is available at the time ) I'd say if you don't have any success at Penn, Johns Hopkins is going to start scheduling consultations mid-June.
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Day 1 post op

Well everything went well. Took me a while to wake up from the anesthesia. My anesthesiologist gave me a patch & meds through the IV so I wouldn't get sick.

I'm happy to report it worked. No throwing up! Small bouts of nausea walking from bathroom back to bed but I was able to breath through it & it passed.

I have binder on & my incision is all bandaged up so I haven't really gotten a good look.

The pain pump is a god send and the combination of pain pills be prescribed are keeping me comfortable. No trouble sleeping either.

I'm very tight/sore right now, feels like I did 2000 crunches and the skin at my public area is really tight.

I've been walking around a little bit, mostly just to the bathroom.
DId you also have lipo (since you say your flanks are sore)?
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Yes. He did lipo on my flanks too. I'll post a pic. I keep icing them and it's helping.
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You are looking terrific!
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Day 2 Post Op

Feeling good. Abs are beginning to loosen up. I can sit straight up and stand upright. Still walking in a slight hunched over position.

Removed the pain pump today since it was empty. The pain meds really knock me out. I sleep a lot, wake up, walk around for a little while then go back to sleep.

Lower belly and flanks are very swollen but I'm very pleased with how I look thus far.
wow. your results show in such a very short amount of time. is that you incision site right above the pubic bone? i hope mine is that low too. i have no clue what a pain pump is but is that in addition to taking actual pills? im really looking forward to mine now. thanks for the updates
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The pain pump gets placed right in the center of the abdominal fascia. It looks like a little hose that sprays a numbing medicine right onto the muscles (just like novocaine at the dentist). It's in addition to the oral pain meds. I'll post a picture of it.
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Ohh I forgot to see your pic before posting. You look amazing! I am really excited! You don't even look swollen. Can you please post a close up whenever possible. Lots of love..
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Picture of pain pump

The blood isn't from inside the tube. It just leaked from the incision site and was trapped under the tape.

Left Flank

Bruised left flank from lipo

Left flank bruising

ok. thanks for posting. not too scarey looking at all. approx how many inches was your incision?
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Good days and Bad days

Funny how I was expecting my abdominal muscles to be the pain I'd dread the most and in actuality my abs feel great.

What bothers me the most is the horrible swelling of my pubic area and the drains. I swear it is as swollen as a grapefruit.

My flanks are bruised and sore but it's completely manageable.

I spoke to my doctor today and I'm starting to wean myself from those wicked pain meds. So far extra strength Tylenol working.

One day at a time :)
I also used a resident. I had a breast aug in 2005 and a tummy tuck back in April. I used a resident for both and I'm very pleased with result.
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I got mt tt drains out po day 3 and I still feel like I have " a grafefruit" in between my legs. The vag is definately swollen, and I didn't expect that.
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Early next week I'll be getting them out. The fluid output is beginning to slow down. They want it at 30ml for a 24 hr period. I'm at 100 ml right now. I was so NOT prepared for the grapefruit vag :(
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The dreaded swelling

Well like most of the posts I've read, my swelling is so bad I'm bigger than before the tummy tuck. My doctor warned me about this as well, I just didn't want to believe it. Hoping this stage of the recovery process passes quickly.
how long is it supposed to last? does it hurt? seems like my posts are not posting then they duplicate. argh................
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Well I'm 8 days post op and still very swollen. If I move around a lot the swelling is even worse. At my initial consultation I was warned that it takes a while to improve. At 6 weeks, most patients are 75% healed then it can take up to a year to get the to 100%. I have a post op appointment on Tuesday and have a whole list of questions. Hope you're well.
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how long is it supposed to last? does it hurt?
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Still in swell hell

Honestly, all I can say at this point is that I hate the swelling and I hate these drains. While the fat and the flabby skin rolls are gone, I'm bigger than when I started. I can't fit into anything I own unless it's a big flowy dress.
Wishing I could fast forward through this phase of the healing process. It's depressing. Normally if I'm feeling down or stressed, I'd workout and feel better, but I can't do that. :(
checking in to see how the swelling is?
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Thanks for checking in. Wish I could say things have improved but they really haven't yet. The swelling goes down in one spot but just finds another to inflate. I see my surgeon tomorrow to get the drains removed. My mom keeps telling me I'll be much more comfortable once they're out. Managing the drains isn't easy. They're painful. I won't be sorry to see them go :)
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glad those pesky drains are going! good luck!
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Follow up tomorrow

Well tomorrow will be 12 days post op. I have my follow up and hopefully drain removal with my surgeon. I have a laundry list of questions to ask him. Praying all goes well.
Lynne, so so many of us face that regret, "why did I do this to my healthy body?" And I hope you will believe me when I swear to you that that emotional rollercoaster will stop, you will be able to get off the ride, and be glad you did it. Get the stitch resolved so you're back on the road to a sane recovery. Your doctor should help you with this pain immediately...be dramatic and persistent if your call for help is not dealt with as you wish. Be that thorn in his side! Hopefully his response is swift- this pain is not normal, though hopefully it is a minor cause. I know the drain that ran on my left side sat by a nerve so I could not lay on it or put any pressure there because it would be a searing, horrendous pain. The simple solution was just removing that drain, and I did have 2 of 3 in for 17 & 21 days. Hoping for the best for you. Thank you for sharing your journey so honestly.
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Thank you for your words for encouragement. My recovery had been so up and down. One day I feel great & the next not so much. I was that thorn in my doctor's yesterday and I'm now back on a muscle relaxer (it's helping manage the pain) I also developed an infection after the drain pull so he called in an emergency antibiotic at 8:40pm last night. I spent most of my time in bed yesterday in terrible pain with the chills, burning pain, fever and nausea. Took my first dose of the antibiotic at 9pm and this morning I feel more like a human being. I had no idea recovery would be this hard and everything is suffering. My health, my kids, my husband, my home and my job. Somedays the light at the end of this recovery tunnel is so dim.
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glad to hear you are feeling quite a bit better. were you off work for two weeks? are you able to drive ok? praying that turning point arrives soon. take care!
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The good, the bad and the ugly

I'm in a good place today. Yesterday was my breaking point and honeslty, I'm glad I had it. I needed to cry, vent and just get over it.

I honestly did not prepare myself for the swelling. I thought I'm in great shape, I'm going to bounce right back and honestly -- I really did bounce right back. I only had 3-5 days of pain and limited movement. I've been able to move without pain, resume my normal activites, go for walks, sit by the pool, do things around the house, go shopping. Yes, I had to modifly, I got tired quickly but I was able to do all of those things and not just sit around or lay in bed all day.

From the very beginning, my surgeon encouraged me to be active.

The swelling was something that caught me by surprise. I'd go about my day, feeling really good and by about 5-6pm I'd be so swollen my skin felt as if it was going to rip. It's nothing I did wrong and nothing I could really do to prevent it. I've been doing everything right (drinking lots of water, eating right, going for walks, wearing my binder) The blood in my body just hasn't figured out how to get back to where it belongs yet. It needs more time and I need to be patient.

Patience has been difficult. I think it's becasue you live with this ugly stomach for so long, finally save the money and build in the time to have the surgery done and then you expect perfection right away. Perfection takes time and through the tears rolling down my face at my surgeon's office yesterday, he assured me that I'm almost there but the drains just can't come out yet. I'm just too swollen and by body is draining too much fluid.

Soooooo, after 13 days of dealing with these pain in the ass drains, I have 7 more to go. Yep, 20 days of drains. I cried and cried and vented to my friends. I got it out and now I know, I can do this, I am strong, my tummy will be perfect, but it will take time.

Even with the drains and being up 4 pounds since surgery, I can see a huge change. My workout pants are all too big. I can't wear my fitted clothes yet because my hips and lower abs are swollen but I can see changes. It's happening and everyday will get better. The day will come when nothing in my closet fits because I'm smaller :)

I'm grateful for this forum and being able to talk to people who are going through the same things. It isn't easy, but you can do it. It's a lot of change for your body to deal with.

My advice, find somone you can cry to if you need to. A good friend, your mom, someone who will just listen and encourage you and remind you that you're a strong woman.

So next Tuesday I pray my blood has figured out it's new path so I can be finished with these darn tubes and bulbs that stick out of the worst possible spot. LOL

Day 13 - new photos

Drain removal

After 20 drains those pesky drains have been removed. You'd think I'd be celebrating but I'm in horrible pain. I wish I could come on here and have only positive things to report but for me, this has been no picnic.

I have a popped stitch & a sharp stabbing pain about 2 inches above
my scar. It feels like a knife scratching and stabbing at my insides. I have nausea, headache and dizziness just to add to the discomfort. I cried to my husband and called my doctor.

Why did I do this to myself?
Hello Lynn, It's been a week since your last update. Is everything ok? I hope you are healing well after the initial difficulties. xoxo
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It has been a while. I was dealing with a very serious infection but I'm on the mend now. Feeling better each day. Praying for no more set backs. Thanks for checking in. God bless.
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great news!! so good to hear your update its almost my turn. have my pre-op appt on monday surgery next tues. i think im ready. i dont feel nervous anymore
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3 weeks post op infection

3 weeks today! In my mind I would have been cleared to workout. Instead I'm dealing with a popped stitch, burning/stabbing pain and an infection.

I'm on the mend. I don't feel like death anymore but I feel like I've been set back so many days. I'm back on the muscle relaxer to help with the nerve pain and I'm taking an antibiotic to get rid of the nasty infection that developed after the drain pull.

I've been praying for god to heal me. I feel bad not being able to help my kids, my husband is trying but it isn't the same. My home isn't clean, laundry is piled up, I can't function at work & had to miss 2 days this week.

This past weekend I was feeling great. I even saw a picture of myself & thought "wow, I look great" my waist looked so tiny I looked like a Barbie doll (big natural boobs, tiny waist and long legs).

Again I guess I just wasn't prepared for this recovery process. It's not easy.

One month post op.

Well it hasn't been an easy recovery for me but I'm finally on the mend. I developed a very serious infection and was terribly sick & in pain for a week.

My PS had to use a long syringe to remove fluid that had become infected. He cut two holes that I pack with gauze 3 times a day for a week to continue to flush out any remaining infected fluid. I've been on an antibiotic for 10 days now and continue with those meds for another 14 days. *sigh*

The good news is I'm finally healing. Praying for no more set backs.

I do love my PS. He's taken great care of me. Even though complications are discussed before surgery we rarely think about them until they happen. He's assured me that it was nothing I did wrong. I'm just one of those patients who have bad luck. Lol

I hope all of you who are close to your surgery date have a complication free experience. My advice - this is MAJOR surgery. Your body needs a lot of time to recover. If you think something isn't right, doesn't look right, feel right, hurts or is red, call your PS right away. Don't wait. They work for you and hopefully want the best for you.

God bless.

One month photo

Wore my bikini for the first time. Still recovering from the infection and I have a decent amount of swelling but I wore or anyway. Please ignore my big boobs.
So at 4 weeks were u back to normal? I felt the same as you while others are up I'm still down but you look great!!
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I still have a ways to go, but I'm not depressed anymore, I can move around again without pain. Sadly, nothing has felt normal for me since this TT. I was in great shape and thought I'd bounce back. Nope! Hang in there. Rest and call your PS if the pain is not manageable. Hugs
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Loving that morning tummy

Don't you just love the way your tummy looks first thing in the morning.

When will it stay this way? Stupid swelling
Sorry I've been MIA. I hope you all are doing well. I'm finally at a place where I can say it was worth it. My recovery was a real challenge, especially with the infection and 24 days of antibiotics. I'm really enjoying the new me. My stomach is flat, I have abs and my clothes look amazing. It's a great feeling - FINALLY! I started working out at week 6. It feels good to be able to reclaim that part of my life. I can't do much at this point and I'm no where near the level I was pre TT, but the fact that I can go out for a bike ride now is amazing. Running still hurts, can't do it :( I still struggle with swelling in my lower abdominal area and although the doctor said I no longer need to wear my binder I wear it for half the day. It just makes things feel better. I'll post some new pics for you :)
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So good to hear from you. I started to worry a bit! Lol
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Glad you're getting through and finding your happy place now! You're right, recovery is not easy. It's major surgery and with complications it can be very challenging. Your abs look fantastic, I hope you are enjoying your new tummy!
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Seven weeks

wow. two month already. how much were you draining daily when your pumps came out? hoping to get mine out tomorrow. the left is down to less than 20 cc per day but the right was 24 yesterday and today so far .5 for the left and 34 for the right. not sure why the right side is misbehaving
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That's tough. My doctor wanted my numbers to be consistently below 30cc before he would take them out. Sounds like your close but not quite there yet. As much as they suck it is better to keep them in until your numbers are lower. When I got mine out I was draining below 20cc for 4-5 consecutive days. My advice for tomorrow - take a pain pill before you go or as soon as you get home. The drain pull hurts but it's over quickly. I experienced mild cramping that evening and the next day. Good luck tomorrow.
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Thanks for the advice. Will let you know!
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Closing in on 8 weeks.

The other day after I got back from my bike ride I took my shirt off so I was just in my sports bra and shorts. I've always been jealous of the women who could work out like that. I never could because of my ugly belly.

I looked in the mirror and was happy with what I saw. I didn't critique myself or feel sad because no matter how much I had worked out or ate right I didn't look the way I thought I should. I looked at the woman in the sports bra and shorts and smiled. I saw the me I had wanted to see for so long.

It was a great feeling.
What a great update! Happy for you. : )
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Thanks. I'm happy
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You look amazing! So glad to hear that you are happy with the reflection of you in the mirror. I can't wait to feel that way :-)
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Scar close up

On Thursday I'll be 2 months post TT. This is how my scar looks. The arrow points to the spot where I had the infection. My PS had to open up two spots in that area & I had to pack the infection with gauze for a week.

According to my surgeon my belly button was healed by week one. It's weird having such a tight little belly button. I'm guessing over time it will loosen up.

The two "eye balls" in the pubic area are where the drains were located. I'm hoping that once the swelling is completely gone these will be less noticeable. I'm not growing a 70s bush to hide them. Noway!
hello. how have you been? how has your scar healed? mine is still pretty dark at the sides and i still have swelling but apart from that im super happy with my results.
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Looking good!!
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I have to hand it to you...u r brave..u r. TT was the one last procedure I've wanted performed (BA done in Miami). But, TT will be my dream, 2 children, a home, work, school, and soon to be husband to care for? I believe we are due for those things that give ourselves an extra ray of sunshine every one in awhile, rt? YOUR BEGINNING story sounds just like me. Right to it.. $$ and realizing the recovery time and family understanding "supermom"may be out of commission for awhile. I wanted to go back to my original PS in Miami from the bond we built, however, am I right to assume living 1 1/2 hr away from U of PA in Philadelphia would be in my BEST interest incase there were (God forbid) complications? 2. The $4900 is truly the total fee (besides travel and stay)? THANKS IN ADVANCE
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Tummy Tuck 8 months later

It's been almost 8 months. I still swell, still experience numbness on certain days, can't do more than 25 sit ups or push ups before the strain on my ab muscles is too much to handle BUT... I look good. Hahahaha - the price of beauty.

Seriously, the recovery from the surgery is no joke. Be prepared for it. And the magically six month mark that your surgeon will tell you about may come and go and your belly still won't feel "normal".

I keep trying to convince myself that perhaps the way I feel is just going to have to be the new normal.

Am I happy I did this? I am. It beats the ugly skin and stretch marks, but I wasn't prepared for a lengthy recovery.
I had my tummy tuck done at Penn by Dr. Kovach. I regret it EVERY DAY. Horrible results. He floated my belly button and did a mini vs a full tuck. It was NOT what we agreed on. His reply was "well I guess we should have communicated better" Seriously, I hate my body every day. All I needed was skin tightening. I am correct weight in great shape ( I do triathlons), was wearing a bikini before and now I had my body and dread a bathing suit. I have a pooch in my stomach that was not there before. It is so emotionally upsetting to go through all this and get absolutely nothing and have a clueless surgeon. Do not go to him. Disaster and doesn't give a care.
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hello. happy to read your update. you are super flat. i still have alot of swelling. i reached the six month mark yesterday. i need to do an update.
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Thanks! I get swollen on a regular basis too but I'm happy with my results.
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Penn Medicine Residents Clinic

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