27, 2 Children by C-section, 235lbs, 5ft 2in - Tampa, FL

I started this journey knowing what I wanted done,...

I started this journey knowing what I wanted done, and had 2 consultations. The first doctor I had a consultation with recommended as panniculectomy instead of a tummy tuck, and I made a hasty decision to schedule my appointment with many unanswered questions, and no understanding of why she did not want to perform the tummy tuck. When I went for my pre-op, I decided to get a second opinion from another doctor who worked in the same office. I had heard amazing reviews about him, and about the first doctor I heard terrible things. When I went in for the second consultation I made sure to bring my list of questions. Dr. Welsh was amazing, he answered EVERY question that I asked, and said that I could have the TT which I originally wanted. I am scheduled for my surgery in just a couple days, and I cant wait. The excitement is a little overwhelming. I am preparing several meals today, so that while im recovering no one will have to cook. My mom is going to help me with my children, as I have 2. I feel like if this is the only selfish thing I do for myself, I deserve it. I have issues with pre-diabetes, high triglycerides, and high cholesterol. My hopes in this are that I will be comfortable in my own body, not have this hanging sagging flap of skin, and that it will help me with my health issues.

One day to go!

I am having liposuction as well as the TT, I understand there will be dog ears after my procedure, but those can be addressed later. I would also like to have a breast reduction, as I wear a 38 G. I NEVER expect to be a skinny girl, I just want to feel comfortable in MY skin. My medical doctor, as well as surgeon both feel that this surgery will help with my pre-diabetic condition. I am on medication for my triglycerides, because when they are high it makes your body not process your food correctly. With all the work that I am putting in, and getting done to me, I still have realistic expectations.

These are better photos, with more light

Tomorrow is the day!!!

Well, I went to walmart to get some things that I will need while im recovering, and now im home trying to finish alot of last minute preparations! Im very anxious about tomorrow, and my recovery process because I have heard alot of complications with recovery. But I am still very excited to be a brand new ME. Trying to chill out today, and calm down a little... Going to be going to bed early, because i have to wake up at 5am. My surgery is at 9am, but its a 1hour 45min drive to where im having the surgery... My 5yr old is very concerned that im going to be injured, so im trying to comfort him as well...

Its here!

I slept amazing last night which is a shocker.. I am loving on my kids now because I wont feel up to it for a couple days, I have a 9month old and also a 5yr old, both boys.. Anyways, My surgery time changed, so now its at 8am! Leaving the house now, will keep you updated!!!

ouch!!!!!

I will have u know this Is way more painful than a c section

restlessness

Oh my, well I am bummed out. Just hate being played up an helpless
Please keep us updated! Be well...
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YAY! I can't wait to see how awesome you look.
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today is day 3post op

Well, I went and got checked yesterday, the rn said the cut line was verry fine. The didn't remove any drains, but I'm glad they didn't because I don't want to end up with any fluid pockets, I'm emptying them 3times a day and they're draining at about 20. I can see a huge difference, but I'm still very swollen. The pain isn't that bad anymore. When i can stand up, Ill take picture!!!!
Sorry you are feeling helpless :( I am sure it will all be worth it in the end!
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Hope you are doing well! I am now 2.5 weeks post op and while the first few days are rough, it does get better and it's so, so worth it!!!
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I bet u look great!
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yesterday post op

Went for my post op check. The RN kaci said my incision was amazing.I am in alot of paid but its bearable. I did not get my trains removed, but I'm OK with that because I don't want any complications. I slipped up an smoke a couple cigs today, but tomorrow I am going to start over. I can see a bid difference, but with all this swelling I hope it turned out how I want..... I'm anxious!!!
Wow drains out already? That's great. Those are a pain!! Happy healing to you! It's worth it ;)
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No mine are not out
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Oh I misread. Well that's something to look forward to :-)
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yuck

I seen myself naked today and felt solo ugly, and fat. I hope its just swelling. I'm pretty depressed
Ma' I just went back and read you smoked a few cigarettes.. Try if you can to wait to be closer to the 2 weeks mark. That way the healing process is not interrupted/ hindered or delayed.. I know you're frustrated but hang in there sweetie..
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do you think that the nicotine patch will interupt it?
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I felt the same way on my post op appointment days after surgery. I was in shock, felt uneven and got discouraged and second guessed my decision. I had a mini meltdown w/ my Realself family here helped me snap out of it.. Two more days the belly looked more even. I switched a couple of things in my diet and day 11 I could notice a bigger improvement (the swelling had gone down alot) it gets better, day after day.. You'll see..take care :)
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drain pic

They started coming out on their own today, so the RN had me take them out, but I think they should've stayed in longer to avoid seromas if possible. I go for a recheck thursday
Congrats!!! Looking forward to seeing your pics...
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Please ask your doctor that question - people here are not doctors. Nicotine is still nicotine. I don't want to scare you, but many doctors won't even perform this surgery on smokers. I want you to be safe. Your doctor may prefer the patch to "sneaking" a smoke, but I don't know. Please get real medical advice! You'll be okay!
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Peanut butter (unless you have unsalted) is very salty. Look at the sodium content on the jar. The chicken and veggies is good though! I take a stool softener with both lunch and dinner, still, and half a dose of MOM at night. I'm going very nicely and normally.
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Today is a bad day.

I am soo down and depressed, filled with pain. My stomach feels like im 7months pregnant. I am really 2nd guessing, maybe i should have stayed fat. I am out of pain medication, even though I took it as directed. Im really upset about my drains coming out, because I wanted them to stay in longer. I dont have a recheck until thursday, but I am going to call monday and reschedule. My body feels so disgusting to me.
I am so surprised at how many patients go thru the sad emotional waves and not one review so far have I read where the doctor has given the patient any anti anxiety meds. I had a facelift in Canada and had all the regular pain meds AND an anti anxiety medicine to curb that emotional pain too! Why is that such an issue? If it is so known why not help it! I am goinbg to make sure my doctor gives me what I KNOW I will need.
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ok on a scale of one to ten what is the pain level at its worst? I am booked April 8th - just over a month away and fretting!
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to me, it feels like someone beat the hell out of me. I am sore everywhere, feels like my whole body is bruised, but i also do not have anymore pain medication to take, when i was taking my meds it was fine. Everyone handles pain differently
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photos from today

Thank you for sharing your story, emotions and pictures. I look forward to seeing more pictures along your journey. I have my TT this Friday and I'm prepared to my best ability. Praying for a fast recovery.
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I understand how you feel, I felt the same the first few days. My doctor was very good about telling me what to expect and that it was normal to feel depressed post-op. I remember thinking oh god am I going to look the same?! I went in to surgery at 240-245 lbs I was so afraid that because I thought to myself oh god I'm even fatter now! I stayed away from carbs, salt, sodium and ate a lot of fruits (especially pineapple to reduce swelling), protein and some whole carbs. I promise this is just a stage, little by little you will feel the difference and will feel so much better!! Just be patient, I know it's hard, but you can do it! I am now 48 lbs lighter ( still have more to lose) but I feel so much better and I wouldn't think about it twice if I had to do it again. It's hard, but its worth it!!! About the pain meds, CALL your doctor, I also ran out of pain meds and had to call for more. It's okay, do it don't put your body under more stress than it already is. Best of luck!!!
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belly button

We well I do not like how my belly button looks, it seems to be healing fine but its ugly. I'm still very swollen, which sucks!! Today I went grocery shopping an rode in one of those carts, I was worn out by the time we got inside the store. I won't be doing that again for a while. The RN told me to take extra strength Tylenol for the pain. I switched my recheck day for Wednesday instead of Thursday. I wonder how long till my stitches can come out. I was going to go to the salon to have my hair washed, but I was to worn out! I am the type of person who needs instant gratification, and I really hope that this remaining fatness is just swelling.
Good morning cutiejenn! How are you doing today ?
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im fine. Just woke up. Anxious to go to my check up tomorrow.. my back is killing me, and i want to take a shower but am not able to yet i was told...
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Hey babe. Sending love, prayers & good vibes your way... I hope you'refeelingbetter.
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coughing

I was coughing and it felt like something snapped... maybe my muscles. I marked the spot where it hurts with marker so I can show them at my check up tomorrow.
Keep us posted hun! Take care.
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check up

Went for my check up today, and they removed some of the stitches out of my belly button. They said that everything was healing very well. One thing that was kinda alarming, My doctor came in the room and said that of all the surgeries performed there, mine was the largest weight of skin weighing in at 12lbs. I was a little taken back by that. Next week I go back and get all my stitches removed, man when they were taking some of the ones out of my belly button, that was a weird feeling, kinda scary!!
Glad everything is on the right track!! :)
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Today, I am going to take my first shower. I have one of those plastic lawn chairs that im going to stick in the shower to help me. I am feeling alot better after my appointment yesterday. We should really get together once all of our Tummy Tucks have healed, maybe we could go to the mall or even the beach, just so that we can keep encouraging each other to stay on the right track. It makes me feel soo cared for when I see so many people taking and interest in my journey. This is just the beginning!!!!
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I am so do glad that you're feeling better Chica! I bet after your shower you're gonna feel even better! I'm definitely interested in having a Tummy-tuck-diva meet up! I am getting more excited for my day! I can't wait for the transformation!
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Took my first shower

Im thinking that looking at myself in the mirror is not a good idea. I didnt like how I looked before the surgery, but honestly looking at my new self, I dont really like that either. Hopefully this swelling is whats causing the ugliness that im feeling.
From what I've read, what you're feeling is perfectly normal. You look awesome! You're swollen and you have to give it time hun. You're going to be a knock out!! I'm counting on you to remind me of this next week when it's my turn! :)
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when is your surgery date? I will be sure to remind you! Im just not used to seeing my self like this, and its hard to imagine what im going to look like when the swelling goes down, and what if what i think im going to look like isnt really what i end up looking like!?!?!?!
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Omg yes a shower will make u feel like a brand new swollen women lol ;) jk it def helps just feeling clean really jus makes all the difference!
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In my naked pictures

I really hope that I dont end up being as big as I am in these pictures. My vagina is so swollen and very very hard where the incision line is. And I hate how my body comes down in a V. I know that im smaller than I was, but i feel like my shape is all messed up..... My mom is tired of hearing me complain an question my procedure, but as of right now, there is nothing else I can do but wonder and question. I dont feel like my procedure has made me look or feel beautiful.
Good for u to post naked selfies! This is not ur forever shape ... Promise. I went from all hunched over to sponge Bob square pants to my bum completely disappearing. It settles out. As for feeling sexy ... That comes from the inside :)
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Well I figured for people to get the best idea of what i was talking about, the only way they could tell is by seeing me 100%. I have no shame in them seeing it, because I know they are going through the same things that im going through. I hope that everyone is right about the swelling because im seriously unhappy with they way im looking.
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Keep looking at your before pics and see how far you've come. You are def swelling and need to keep your binder on. Try to find some peeps on here with the same body type/shape and it will give you a better idea on what your results will look like. I followed a couple of people and it really helped when I was not happy with my progress. I kept thinking about their pics and knowing it was just a matter of time.
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Honesty

I know everyone is claiming im swollen and that I will feel better once my swelling goes down, but I do NOT believe its all swollen as everyone claims. I think I personally put my self into a bad situation, and should have listened to what the 1st doctor told me. She wanted to just remove my pannis, and once I was at a stable weight perform a full tummy tuck on me. I am VERY unhappy with how I look, and especially about how I feel. I am now at the weight I should be, after having 12lbs of skin and 3lbs of fat liposuctioned out of me which is 220lbs. I thought that when you were swollen, you gained weight.. Maybe im wrong. My belly button is all kinda messed up, they cut it when they were removing stitches and now its oozing, I sent a picture to the RN, but she said it looked fine. Wednesday I am going to have all my stitches removed, hopefully. And I plan on going over my concerns with my doctor. My mons pubis as they call it, or my pubic region is still very large and protruding, makes me feel like I look like a dog in heat. I am going to address that also. I am not ready to do another operation, not even in 6months. I think that I will probably have a revision done, but I am going to continue with my lifestyle change, and losing weight and in a couple years, hopefully the ugliness i feel can be fixed.
Hey lovey!! I am having the same belly button issues! I was there monday n they missed some stitches and were digging all in there. She told me to pack it with that yellow stringy stuff n keep it covered. My body shape is similar to urs, my love handles are swollen and bellow my belly button is super swollen, I got a tighter compression garment n noticed swelling did go down some, try to just take it one day at a time. I still have good/bad days bur always feel better when I put on clothes and see how good I look! ;)
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I go tomorrow to get stitches from incision removed but last week they made a cut o accident in my belly button and it seemed to just be getting worse. I don't like the way my incision was done in a V, and after a lot of research I've read that my mons pubis... vag will stay pretty puffy unless I have sum lipo there. Wish Dr welsh had told me that. I feel like I look like a ken doll with my lower body having the v shape an puffy vag... do u have any recent pics?
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Where did u purchase ur garment? The one they gave me seems too big
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My belly button

There are still stitches in it, but they should be removed tomorrow. They accidentally cut me when they were removing some of them last week, and its just gotten worse from there.

Mr. Mom, and my at home doctor!!

These are my 2 children, I just thought I would share this photo because they are my world. In this photo, my oldest son is sleeping next to the baby, which is where I would normally be, but because I had surgery I cant pick the baby up. My oldest is 5yrs old and the baby is 9months old. He has been soo strong through all of this, and when I need anything he is right there to help me. He says he is my at home doctor
Love the picture of your kids, so sweet and special. I have 2 too, 5 and 2 - love them to pieces. I hope your BB situation gets better...
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Thank you!
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me and my big mouth or well my fast typing fingers!!!!!

So, yesterday I went for my appointment, and I was 15days post op. I have been a negative nancy about this whole thing, thinking I looked terrible. Well, I got all my stitches removed from my belly button, and over night its look like a whole different belly button, so seems like that problem is working its self out. About my incision, I had to be cut that way due to the way my skin/fat hung from my body. I seen my incision for the first time untaped yesterday, and IT WAS AMAZING. Soo thin and fine I couldnt see it hardly!!!! As far as my vag, the mons pubis I need to lose weight is what i was told in order for it to go down. Maybe later on after im done healing i will get some lipo done there!!! I am feeling better mentally, but ever since she untaped me and unstitched my belly button, I FEEL FRAGILE!!! Like im this wounded victim!!!! I really over did my self yesterday, and today my CG rubs against my wounds and INSTANTLY I have to check them out because im afraid ive opened up. GOSH If I could just get a break!!!!! Im trying to take it very easy today, even though at 2 weeks post op the doctor said i could pick up my 25lbs baby, I dont think so!!! I am NOT picking him up!!!
My surgeon told me not to life anything over 8 - 10lbs for a month! I definitely would be VERY careful if you lift your 25 lb child at two weeks. I'm glad you're doing well!!
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Hey! I've been hving a small area that ia still open ive been making a belt with pads and then putting on my garment it def has made a big difference with the irratation! Belly button is looking better I decided to not pack it and cover it today to let it breath but its def looking better. I STILL have not had an opportunity to actually sit and meet with dr welsh which is so disappointing! I have questions that I would just like some reassurance on and its getting frustrating :(
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Honey, the next time you need to tell them that you want to speak with him. You tell them that you have some concerns. Dr. Welsh left a surgery in order to speak to me this last time I went in there!!!!! You need to make sure your feelings are known!!!!!! Speak to the nurse Tamika she will make sure she gets him to come speak to you!!!!
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Me, today..

Looks giid
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I saw your comment on another's blog- the one about the labial swelling. I had a posterior body lift and a medial thigh lift (tummy tuck almost 3 1/2 yrs ago) on Feb 14 th. I'm just over 5 weeks out now and can tell you I think (hope!) the labial swelling is finally over! My God, they should give you more of a heads up about this. Lol. The worst of it was over after the first 3 weeks, but would swell after being up several hours. I think the compression garment contributes to the swelling as that area is about the only part that isn't compressed so it makes sense. But good Lord it's shocking when it happens!
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I dont have labial swelling, my mons pubis which is like the top of your whole vag area, that is swollen, or well i dont know if its swollen but its HUGE and should have been addressed during surgery...
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5weeks post-op

I would like to take a minute and let everyone know, my surgery although I have been depressed turned out pretty good. But, I need a revision at about 6months post-op to address my mons pubis, and also the fact that im bigger on the right side of my tummy than I am on the left side. My belly button is looking really good, and the main reason it was soo irritated was that there were sutures left in there, that shouldnt have been in there this long. I am finally able to pick my son up, and I have been very active lately. Not really exercising other than walking right now though. I have a interview in 3 weeks, which means I will be back to doing hair. I hope that I can keep up with this lifestyle change!
I agree with you about the panniculectomy being the preferred op, most PSs won't do a tummy tuck on anyone over a BMI of 35 for health reasons but not just that, you don't tend to a great result, I'm bigger than you so I do understand. Also, as you are continuing to lose weight you will get loose skin again. The sad fact is some doctors will tell you anything as long as they get their cash, and people believe them because that's what we should be able to do. Wishing you all the best.
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Thank you! Im not unhappy with my size now, I am unhappy with the way i was cut it made me look very manly as i am cut in a v, and also that he didnt address my mons-pubis correctly. He did lipo down there, but didnt do enough and didnt lift it. I talked to them about my unhappiness, and they say i could pay to have an additional procedure done. I feel like if it was supposed to be an additional procedure, he shouldnt have even began to address it during my tummy tuck!!
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Sorry to hear about this doll. You was excited in going through with your journey and now I read this.
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Photo update.

I spoke with the doctor about my monspubis, he told me I needed to lose weight. I guess it doesnt matter if I like the size I am now!! He said that he had done lipo on my monspubis... If you are going to start addressing a problem, then you should finish it also. Instead I was left with a hanging mound of skin there. They now want me to pay another $2,000.00 to fix what they should have NEVER started in the first place if they were not going to fix it correctly!!! Its whatever, but I wont go back to him nor do I recommend ANYONE go through him. He is very old school in his methods, and I think he needs to continue his education and get up on the times.
Thanks for keeping it real. You do look amazing though! Best of luck to you :)
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The first PS I went to have a consul with said I was borderline qualified. In order to get what you are paying for as sad as it sounds I think a lot of woman now days are using a tummy tuck instead of a diet. MYSELF INCLUDED and no pun intended. I did it because I am super lazy and don't want to exercise BUT now that I have done this and paid 10K I am going to work my rear off to make sure I am in the best shape possible. It such a bittersweet surgery. I wish you the best and hope you find some happiness. It's a lot of money and pain to go through to struggle with the results. I was so fearful of that myself. I thanks God every single day that mine went as well I could have hoped. Good luck Sweetie.
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Looking good!!
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Painful lumps

Well, recently I started having pain in different spots under my incision. I felt around, and I have several knots under the skin along my incision, and they are very painful. I have contacted the better business bureau, because my surgeon will not even acknowledge anything is wrong, and when I tried to contact the owner of the company, she never returned my calls and in fact had someone else call me back whom ive already spoken to. I hope that something can get resolved, because I hate the way this surgery has made me feel. Instead of it being a positive thing, it had turned into a nightmare!!! I also realized while I was filing the complaint with the BBB, there are numerous other complaints that have been filed against them.
Can you do a free consultation with another local surgeon (someone with a good rep) to get their opinion? Then at least you can know if it is serious. Good luck!
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Just curious what you mean by "the owner of the company." Isn't a surgeon's office? You might want to see if you have scar tissue called "fat necrosis" under the incision. It is very common - I have two lumps of it that my surgeon just went in today, at 4 months, and excised. Usually they don't do this right away because sometimes the body absorbs them. It is totally different than skin necrosis (more common) and not nearly as bad as it sounds. It's just fat that isn't getting enough blood supply, and it hardens. Very often it will dissolve in a year, but mine wasn't getting any smaller so he went in to get it. I'm so sorry your surgeon isn't responding to your calls!
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It is a medical spa, there are a couple different surgeons that work for their office. Its called the Premier center for cosmetic surgery.
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photos

more pictures

I can no longer wear my CG garment because my mons pubis is soo large its trapping moisture and causing infections... But again, the Dr. claims nothing is wrong. I never had infections like that (jock itch) where my thighs and mons pubis meet until now!!!!
I'm sorry you're having problems.....you do look really good though. I hope you can get the mons/one side larger issue fixed. One side of mine is slightly larger too, but so much better than before. Feel better! ((hugs))
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wow so have you lost any weight after your surgery?
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Ive lost about 10lbs
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Almost 5months post op

Maybe this will give you a better idea of what im talking about?!?!
Wow... what is it with these drs? Your dr should've lipoed the mons area or even made the cut further down. I am so sorry. I still hate my outcome too.
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Cutiejenn86 everything went great with Dr Welch I'll post pictures later this evening I love it.
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Glad to hear. Hope it stays that way! I didnt notice my unsightful flaws for a couple months! Hope you are feeling well!! Get lots of rest!!
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Havent updated in a while

So, after alot of consideration I have decided to see about having a revision and my mons pubis fixed. I am now 6 months post op, and still VERY unhappy with the way things turned out. I am going to see a different doctor, my appointment is October 3rd, and he is ALOT closer to where I live. Ive heard great things about him, and im hoping that he lives up to what everyone says. I am posting a very recent picture of myself, and yes I will admit I look great with clothes ON, but I want to look and feel good about myself with clothes off as well. I have not dated or been intimate with anyone since my surgery in Feb., because I am soo self conscious of how I look naked!!
I am so sorry u going thru this I can definitely see why u not happy. And u going to be out of more money to fix it. =(
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Yes, I have to pay for the procedure. Unfortunately, medical malpractice is a case that most lawyers don't want to take on. But I am still working on finding a lawyer. You only have 2 years from the procedure to file a claim.. so hopefully I can find one!!!
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Tampa Facial Plastic Surgeon

Very unhappy with my procedure. Things were not done the way I was told they were going to be done, and some issues were not fully addressed, only partially.

1 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
1 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
1 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
1 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
1 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
1 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
1 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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