My journey began June of 2012 when I got my first round of Plastics with Dr. Gloria De Olarte in Pasadena. I got a tummy tuck and breast augmentation. She was very expensive and honestly didn't feel it was worth the $16K that it cost especially since one of my implants bottomed out due to her lack of providing the appropriate supporting garments. I do commence her for her aggressive tummy tuck although since I had so much skin it left me with a muffin top. I waited the recommended 6-12months for all swelling to go down before approaching the next round. Ultimately I was left with these ugly bulges (balls) of fat on each side of my thighs that made it impossible to wear pants, it was so frustrating at that moment I regretted getting anything done but it was too late now and all I could do was look forward.
I went on a journey once again to really research another plastic surgeon and I found very good reviews for Dr. Campos Leon. I had the online consultation that took about 3 weeks and ultimately what I wanted wasn't addressed so I scheduled an in-office consultation which was given 2 months from the day I called. I was in awe that I had to wait so long for just a consultation but I figured it was fine and meanwhile I went to other doctors in California but all were very pricey for only two procedures I was looking at 13k for only lipo on all my legs and an armlift. So I decided to wait for Dr. Campos.
On July 4th I had my consultation. I had him give me quotes for everything I wanted to get done in total it would be 2 additional rounds of surgery with a total of no more than 15K. Now I was very concern with the placement of scars so we addressed all that in my consultation. I opted for Lipo of the arms in hopes that after the swelling has seized Dr.Campos could perform a successful Arm Tuck (Scar in the UnderArm only) as oppose to an Arm Lift where the scar goes down the inner arm to the elbow.
First Round w/Dr. Campos was to include: ($7,900)
Lipo Inner and Outer Thighs
Lipo Back and Flanks
Change Implants to Bigger and Repair Pockets
Brazilian Butt Lift
Fat Transfer to face where needed (LIPS, SMILE WRINKLES, IN BETWEEN EYES)
Second Round ($5800) to include:
I left very satisfied with the quotes and how Dr. Campos addressed all my issues. I had been a bit shy about other things I wanted to get done but I figured there would be time for that since I was handling my major problem areas first.
Now it took me til November to get everything in order but once I called to scheduled a date for surgery everything happened in a glimpse of an eye. A date open while I called to see what days were available and I had surgery within 5 days. Day after Thanksgiving I was informed that due to a cancellation a day for surgery the upcoming week was open. I confirmed and accepted so saturday i went to Tijuana to due my labs, get the iron and antibiotics to start prior to surgery. I also went to go visit the recovery home I was going to stay at. My surgery was that upcoming Tuesday.
RECOMMENDATION: If there is anything I can give a full recommendation was the recovery home Casa De Lilas. Knowing that I was going to have so much done all at once I knew that I wasn't equipped with all the necessities or help that I would need for a safe recovery at the beginning. So anyone contemplating having multiple procedures at once please consider a recovery home at least until the doctor gives the ok to go home without jeopardizing your health. This was by far the best decision I made. Just keep in mind add an additional $1000 for a weeks worth at a full serviced recovery center.
WARNING: I need to warn everyone the office coordinators Angie and Ruby are very incompetent and very money hungry. My first experience was with Angie. Since I had had 3 different quotes and I couldn't find all of them Angie requoted me with a $2000 surcharge Ruby tried to cover up by saying that the prices had gone up and that the original quotes were only valid for 2 months. I informed them that I would take it up with Dr. Campos but just needed a ball park figure since they were requesting half of the quote to be deposited to Dr. Campos US bank account. So after I found all my quotes and did my calculations I was able to figure out how much half would approximately be so instead of depositing $5000 I gave an additional $2000. FYI they request the remaining half in Cash. Also I suggest that you get receipts for everything and you question everything also make sure you tell your family members not to give them any money if they need to charge something they should deal with the patient. To my dismay they waited until I went into surgery to charge my mom $300 for who knows what and didn't get a receipt at that. Also they have you sign the papers and adjust quotes when you are already drugged and are all loopy prior to going into the surgery room. Furthermore I'd be cautious about using your credit card since when I stayed at the recovery home after speaking with other patients that had surgery with Dr. Campos they had issues with their cards trying to be used without authorization for thousands of dollars purchases, also cash had been missing etc. This is why I say be very weary of the office staff, if you could prevent it do so if you're staying at Casa de Lila's Recovery home, they have safes there to keep all important things there and they are trust worthy in keeping your personal belongings including any cash or credit cards. I'm still yet to let Dr. Campos know about his staff and I will when I return to my follow up.
So Tuesday December 3rd I went in for surgery, I had my final consultation with Dr.Campos and told him everything I wanted to get done.
Lipo on my back, waist, flanks, legs, monspubis and knees.
Breast Implant Exchange go a size bigger and repair the pocket.
Lipo on my Chin and Cheeks
Brazilian Butt Lift
Fat Injections to my lips and aging lines in between my eyes and mouth.
Dr. Campos immediately told me it was way to much for 1 round that he would not put my life in jeopardy. I greatly appreciated his concern therefore I took his advice and recommendations . So the final procedures where as followed.
LIPO ON ARMS
LIPO ON WAIST (I requested a smaller waist)
LIPO ON LOWER BACK AND FLANKS
LIPO ON INNER AND OUTER THIGHS
LIPO ON KNEES
LIPO ON MONS PUBIS (I had a really fatty pubic area)
BREAST IMPLANT EXCHANGE TO A SIZE BIGGER (Dr. Campos suggested a breast lift but he stated that he wouldn't perform it this round since it was too much, Also I left the size increase up to the doctor since I have a large chest frame)
BRAZILIAN BUTT LIFT
I opted not to go completely under just epidural since I have bad reactions to general anesthesia. For those thinking about it was definitely more comforting and no you are not awake you actually drift off to sleep then slightly wake up. The anesthesiologist is in front of you the whole time so the times that I came conscious he asked if I was ok if I felt pain then he would inject something in my IV and I would drift back to sleep. There is no nausea afterwards or dizziness which for anyone who has had surgery and had this reaction, its the worse.
I stayed overnight at the surgical center the nurses were completely nice and very attentive. They didn't allow me to feel any pain while there. Then in the morning the doctor from the recovery center Casa de Lilas alongside with an associate were there to pick me up to take me to the recovery home. Now I'm not a worry freak but I thought it was very thoughtful of the doctor from the recovery home to attend to the patients from the moment the patient steps out of the office.
Now I do have a two minor complaint on Dr. Campos in regards to his pain prescriptions for Low-Tolerance to Pain individuals. He doesn't give the appropriate pain medication and for those that have had gastric bypass this is an issue since we only absorb a certain percentage. Needless to say I was in severe pain after I was released from the surgical center. The medication given to me didn't help out at all, I'm glad that I didn't have to advocate for myself and instead the doctor of the recovery center, Dr. Antonio, did all the mediation for me and was even prepared with alternative medications for situations like these while the we awaited the surgeon's response back.
The second complaint is that Dr. Campos is not very compassionate to those that have no pain tolerance and is not gentle at all during the post op follow up. Lets just say he had me crying with pain after he squeezed one of my knees that I repeatedly stated was hurting immensely.
I'm not going to sugar coat anything. My recovery has been hell. I've had about 8 surgeries through out my life, including an abscess after an open appendectomy and still I have to say LIPO has been the most painful. Even more so when you go for those lymphatic massages, I was screaming with pain and scared many patients waiting outside. Now in my perspective to go through that experience after I informed the doctor that the pain medication was not helping was completely unnecessary and very irresponsible of all medical staff to allow that. I did not complete the 5 massages since in 2 I thought I was going to pass out and my pressure would drop. I have not seen the doctor since the post op but when I do see him again I will address this to him, since it is his reputation on the line I'm just a very dissatisfied patient with the aftercare provided by him and his staff.
NOTE: I do need to point out to those getting a Brazilian butt lift, thigh lift or lipo on the waist/back , the girdles provided in their office are NOT suitable since they do not adjust at the waist and will not provide enough compression or support. The response given by the office is that you will need to take it to a tailor to adjust it as needed. I'm sorry but if I'm spending $120 on a surgical girdle it should give me proper support. I'm a frequent girdle user due to all my other surgeries and so far the best one has been the brand Marena Comfort wear. You can look it up online and how to take measurements. Also some recovery homes offer it onsite as a secondary girdle while the other gets washed. That's another thing YOU WILL NEED 2 GIRDLES TO ALTERNATE (they get dirty real fast when you're draining).
As far as the results, I have to commence Dr. Campos because I saw immediate results after surgery. Now after a couple of days my body decided to react and I blew up, suffering from severe EDEMA. It is very important that everyone educates themselves regarding the products that are out there that assist in speeding recovery. The cream offered for after Lipo helps relieve and with the bruising. Compression stockings help with swelling of the feet which I was suffering from along with my entire legs.
Now I had minor complications with my blood pressure which kept dropping and then would go high. I cant express enough how important it is that you plan accordingly for recovery. The nurses and doctor at Casa De Lilas were on top of any medical condition that was existing or that was arising. The last thing anyone wants is to die from a complication or blood clot just because they were too cheap to pay an additional thousand dollars to be adequately taken care of, and I say this with the utmost respect since I've had friends that have been casualties of blood clots after lipo in TJ but they opted to rent a motel room, no one to look after them and they were found after the fact, and another lipo in California that passed away at home because again you don't have nurses at home that are checking your vitals. It saddens me but if anything this part should be as important as choosing what doctor you are going to go to.