Cardenas Tt/lipo Tijuana After 4 Csections - Tijuana, MX

I decided 2014 would be the year to finally fix my...

I decided 2014 would be the year to finally fix my stomach and get my tummy tuck done. I researched many doctors in the US and Tijuana. Received quotes from a few doctors ranging from $5000, $6000, $8000, up to $16000. Some doctors never replied and others pretty much never answered. At the end I was debating between pantoja and Cardenas. Pantoja's quote was $5000, an Cardenas quote was $6200. Pantoja never replied back after I told him I wasn't interested in BBL, which made me wonder If I'd be able to get a hold of him in case of post op problems. Cardenas on the other hand, has always been reachable, Fatimeh has answered ALL of my questions no matter how silly they've been, calls me to personally clairify any misunderstandings, and with a 10% discount Cardenas is offering, I couldn't resist! So I booked for 9/11/14! I've paid my deposit, waiting for lab results, and passport to arrive.

I'm so anxious!

Date is getting closer, and I'm so excited! I feel like I have dragons in my belly!!!!! I started taking iron yesterday 2 pills a day. Got my passport today. It took 3 weeks to get it. Got my bag packed ready to go. Haven't heard from Rocio sp I'm not sure if I packed what I will need. I packed 2 loose tops, 4 tank tops, 2 sweat pants, 3 undies, 3 comfy bras, 2 socks, house slippers, flip flops, a cap, meds (anti-nausea, iron, stool softeners, cough drops, and Tylenol), toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, Deorderant, hair brush and hair clips, panty liners, pee funnel, a book to read, and deposit receipt.
I asked Fatimeh about bromeline and arnica but she said its up to me if I want to use them since they won't work on everyone, so I'm not too worried about that. I will buy faja once I'm there because I am positive I will end up getting the wrong one!
I'm more nervous about flying alone than the actual surgery. I requested wheelchair assistance for the flight home, It should take about 2 1/2 hrs to fly home, hopefully I won't be in too much pain.

Lab results are back

Well, I just got my lab results this morning and my doctor said they look great, just have to fax them over to dr Cardenas Office. Rocio said labs should be faxed a month before surgery, that way abnormalities can be fixed. but since I wanted TT done ASAP, I only had about 1 month to prepare for sx. Good thing I'm healthy enough for sx! I can't post pictures from my phone :( it sucks! I am 5'2" weigh 159 lbs at the moment (lost 13 lbs) not interested in loosing much weight since I'm ok with my lower body (not skinny, not too big) my main problem is my big stomach and my big arms. I will be doing arm and armpit, upper and lower back, and waist lipo. I still need to get some medium compression stockings as soon as I can figure out my proper size.

what if...

OK so I'm all packed and ready to go. I've been wearing my compression stockings like rocio asked me to do since this morning. Been eating clean, my mom is here to watch the kiddies, and hubby will be dropping me off at the airport.
Now my worries: 1) Rocio called me to say that my EKG was inconclusive so she wanted me to be there early which is impossible. So EKG will be done early morning on the day of surgery. What if something is wrong and cardrnas can't perform the surgery?! I'm praying for a miracle at this point! I really don't want to go out there and have wasted all this money for nothing! 2) what if something goes wrong during or after surgery?! I believed I chose the right doctor for my surgery but things happen. 3) what if my incision opens?! It might not be possible for me to return to see dr Cardenas after surgery and I'm not sure if my insurance would cover to reclose incision.
All I can do at this point is pray, there is no going back now. I've invested too much time and money to make this happen. Besides, if I don't do it now I might not have the same opportunity later.

Tummy tuck, lipo and bbl done!

It seems like a dream! I see my flat tummy and I still can't believe it's me!!!!
I arrived to BCRH to be received by the wonderful nurses! They really are AMAZING! The only issue I've had is the heat has given me headaches, but windows and fans are on to keep me cool. They had my dinner ready for when I got here since my plane was behind schedule (they had a 9/11 scare).
The next morning (surgery day) I redid a EKG because US med assi messed up the EKG she did and TJ doctor found it inconclusive. Thank god everything turned out great!
So I filled out paperwork and put my gown on while we waited for doctors. Last thing I remember was the doctor talking to me and waking up post surgery about 6 hrs later. I remember I woke up once during surgery but didn't feel no pain at all, just being moved around. Anestiologist said its very normal to wake up during surgery.
When I woke up post surgery I had zero pain, I felt wonderful, just tired and thirsty.
Today I woke up very sore from my stomach, doctor closed a total of 7 inches on my mucsles and removed over 4 lbs of excess skin! She also gave me a vagina lift which looks WONDERFUL. She even included a mini bbl because my booty has always been pretty nice, she just added enough fat to fill in the few dimples I had. Now the problems so far: my iron level went down to 9 so she ordered iron through IV, and she's keeping a close eye on me because I might need blood transfusion if I don't get better; I've had headaches since I left my house for TJ but they've been keeping the pain under control; I have fat right under bra above stomach which dr Cardenas couldn't remove for 2 reasons-1) too much work on stomach will cause necrosis 2) my underneath bulge is somehow attached to my ribs so doctor couldn't pull skin down. So I'm left with a fat area above flat tummy. Doctor said she would need to do lipo in 6 months to remove that fat. But I have faith that it will reduce with weight lose (crossing my fingers).
I had lipo of entire back, sides, arms, underarm fatty area and transferred a little fat to butt and thighs. Lipo areas do not hurt at all but I am very bruised. What is most uncomfortable is my muscle repair it feels like I'm wearing a tight corset. I've peeked a bit but not at my entire body because I can't stand straight, and I'm walking using a walker. I can't eat very much and doctor assures me it's normal and it will make me lose weight. They say the second and third days are the hardest so I'm hoping to feel better.
Do I regret it? No. Would I do it again? Yes but I'd lose more weight before.

Recovery is no joke!

Well I've had 3 iron bags since surgery and I feel much better today. Cardenas will continue to keep a close eye on my iron level. Today she told me I'm healing wonderfully, and Tomorrow i will wear my compression garment (faja). I also had my first bm since surgery today which was not pleasant at all. I've been moving a bit more today also and transferring a bit more by myself. Always with the help of my walker ofcourse! Dr and nurses remind me not to walk with my back straight, but even if I wanted to its impossible to straighten my back. I'm peeing less frequent now which is nice because I can rest longer. The food is fantastic! Carmelita is a great cook, too bad I can't finish my plate! She serves me small portions and I still can't eat all of it. I'm drinking pineapple juice which helps with pain and water. Lots of veggies and some fruit. I've been craving ice scream or yogurt like crazy so I think I will ask my nurse if they have any in the house, otherwise I'll have to wait :(.
I wish I could stand infront of the mirror and just stare at my new self for ever, but I can't stand very long. I think walking is easier than standing. My front drain isn't draining much anymore so I'm sure it will be removed before I leave. Drainage is changing from red to clear pinkish which is good.
There is another lovely lady recovering with me and we have our own room. She's also Cardenas patient and she already looks amazing! We both had the same thing done but I required more work due to my muscles being so damaged from previous pregnancies. Headaches have gone away, and I'm reducing my pain meds unless my belly feels uncomfortable or too sensitive to move. My stomach is so sensitive without pain meds that it sometimes feels like I'm tearring, but nurses assure me it's normal and all I'm feeling are drains being stretched.
Most of the nurses have had tummy tucks done so they are extremely assuring and knowledgable of how I feel. They always put me at ease.

No place like home

Well I've been home a few days and I'm doing great! The first 24 hrs home were awful! I was so use to having the nurses from BCRH do almost everything for me, and I get home and I find myself teaching my loved ones how to help me! Having the hospital bed at BCRH was great, and now that I'm home It's hard finding a comfortable position just to sit! The nursing pillow on my butt is a godsent. The hardest part is getting up from the couch and bed.
I've been draining less but I've also been resting more. The cg helps me feel "together" and it supports my back. I've been using a simple folding chair in the shower, and I borrowed a lazy boy and a walker. Dr Cardenas told me I shouldn't walk straight for 10 days because my skin can stretch causing blood circulation which will then lead to necrosis. I am not in much pain anymore but I continue my treatment.
My results are amazing!!!! Dr Cardenas exceeded my expectations! The fatty upper abdomen is not as bad as I expected, and as the swelling continues to go down I keep seeing the drastic change! My loved ones agree that dr Cardenas did an ANMAZING job on my tummy, and many are now planning on going to her for sx! Nurses recomened I get a long sleeved compression garment to help tighten my loose arms after lipo, which should arrive any day now.

Open incision!!!!!

Oh great! So I removed my drain too early (as indicated by dr Cardenas) I was told by US doc. My drain hole kept draining which caused an infection, a new 1/2 inch hole, incision separation, swelling and stinky-yucky drainage! I'm so upset crying doesn't even help (hurts my belly button)!
I was at the ER yesterday and they gave me an antibiotic shot and antibiotics for 10 days. Today I saw my primary doc and had my wound cleaned and referred to wound care center. Now all I can do is keep the area clean and pray. I am so depressed I can't help regret my decision.
I've been emailing dr Cardenas back and fourth but I haven't heard from her since sep 26, today is oct 1st. A long wait for my issues!
I haven't worn my cg since dr Cardenas approved my request to stop using it, because it was making my drain hole ooze more and hurt. My guess is that my drain hole was infected way before I removed it.

This has turned into a nightmare!!!!

Where to start....
Well I've been seen twice a week at the wound center and doctor scrapes all the gunk out o my huge incision wound! I have 3 wounds. 1) the drain hole which is 3 inches deep, 2) new hole 1 inch away from drain hole which is 3-4 inches deep and it traps drainage, 3) abdominal open incision wound 4 inches long 3 inches wide and 1/2 deep.
Culture test was done and is positive for Penicillin Resistant E Coli inside my abdomen!!! How in the world did I get E coli inside my abdomen?! Doctor said I got it in Tijuana. My guess is that my drain was contaminated since I always itched and drained pus-like material in my front drain. So I'm on strong antibiotics.
This surgery was suppose to be a dream come true for me, and now I regret every second since surgery. This is so emotionally draining! I can't do anything but sit and lay on bed. I have 4 kids who need me, an they are taking care of me!!!
I went for my very first small 10 minute walk today because I felt a little better, but a complete stranger asked me if I was ok.
My stomach overall looks good if it wasn't for my 3 lovely draining holes!
I think dr Cardenas did a great job on my surgery but I was expecting more post surgery support from her.
Her reply to my pictures and questions were and I quote "I've seen millions of patients, you have only seen yourself...and don't be showing or asking for other opinions from people who don't know about surgeries"
This wasn't suppose to happen! Ugh. I'm just taking things day by day.
The hubby insists that I post pictures to show the bad side of cosmetic surgery and what can happen. So hopefully he will help me do that soon.

Positive thoughts...

I still can't get over how good my body looks with clothes on! You can hardly see my bandages covering my 3 lovely holes under leggings. I look so good I've been asked if I'm wearing fajas (CG) under my clothes, which I don't due to my wounds. Cardenas truly did a great job!
The incision line is very thin and low enough where it doesn't show over undies. My butt looks like my own but a bit rounder. I look younger too!
I've had a total weight loss of 27 lbs! I went from a size 2x to a size medium/large. That is a huge difference! Yardsale!!!! Lol.
My arms are still sore from the lipo and feels lumpy and painful after they check my BP @ wound center so I think I will refuse having it checked from now on.
Ok so wounds update: I'm still on antibiotics and have been doing the wet-dry dressings. Drain hole is looking better and has been bleeding a tiny bit, I think it's a good sign since all it did before was drain pus. the new hole isn't draining anymore and looks clean and dry. The abdomen incision wound is huge and still obviously infected. wound center doctor has been removing all build up and dead skin. I will ask about wound vac and resuturing options, so I'm keeping my hopes up for that.
Dra Cardenas offered to resuture wounds for $700-$800, but I don't really trust her at this moment. It's difficult to trust her after she kept telling me my wound pictures looked great and didn't look infected when my pictures obviously showed my wounds oozing with pus, and I don't feel i was offered enough postop support.
According to wound doctor, my wounds should close in about 2 months, so I'm looking forward to being my old self again. I'm not really conserned about how my scars will look once they heal, I just want to heal!

post op pictures-warning- graphic!!!!

i was finally able to post pictures. i will be posting more pre-op and current wound condition pictures eventually.

Healing super fast. Wounds are closing.

Thank you all for your prayers and good thoughts.
My wounds are healing and closing super fast! My drain hole is completely closed. The new hole I think will take longer to close but it is 100% Granulated. The big hole in the middle of my abdomen is starting to close after wound doctor removed inside stitches and debrided inside dead fat (yellowish-white stuff).
I've also started using my CG again which I believe has been they key to my wounds closing.
I continue the wet-dry dressings on both wounds but added a bit of silver ointment to inside of big wound.
I took my last antibiotic (cipro) yesterday. I continue to use ibruprofen 500 mg for swelling at least once a day.
The wound doctor said I might not need wound vac afterAll which is good because I have a wedding to attend.
My abdomen is still swollen and the more active I am the more it swealls. I've been walking 30-1 hr daily, and doing more for myself and my children.
I've been sleeping more on my sides than on my back =]. I still can't bend over completely to pick up small stuff nor put my shoes and socks on.
I continue to sleep very little at night but take naps during the day if I'm too tired.
I'm very fortunate that I am not working at this time otherwise I'd be rushed to heal and with my complications that would just be impossible.
I have a HUGE support system at home and everyone pitches in so I don't overdo it.
No one has seen my final results and I know they will all be shocked at how amazing I look. I went clothes shopping the other day, just bought 4 shirts because dra Cardenas told me I should wait 6 months to buy anything. Dr cardenas told me I'd continue to lose weight. I still cant beileve i went from a size 2x to a size large/medium!!! I lost a total of 20 lbs post op. I saw my doctor yesterday and she didn't recognize me!!!! She couldn't stop telling me how good I look!

honest review.

everyone has been asking me if i regret the surgery. i know i said i did regret it in one of my previous updates. but now that my wounds are healing super fast and the shock is gone, i can speak from the heart, lol.
i think all the pain and suffering has been 100% worth it!!!!!!
ive been dealing with the shame of hidding my belly for 15 years now, and 2 months of suffering from post op and its complications have been totally worth it!!!!! the joy i get from looking and feeling fabulous in ALL clothes and actually being able to shop in ordinary stores (not many plus size stores where i live) is undescribable!!!! i am slowly gaining my confidence back! i look good and i feel great!
i had the opportunity to make this dream come true for me and i took full advantage of it. i think to myself "if i would have chickened out from getting the surgery, i'd still be feeling and looking miserable." i am so glad i did this.

now second question i get asked, do i recomend dra cardenas?!
yes, i do recommend her.
reasons why i do after my bad experience. the majority of her patients have had great experiences with her and many continue to to her repeatedly. her work is flawless and she will do everything within her ability to make sure her patients look their best as she did with me.
just because i had a bad experiese with sx does not mean everyone else will nor that dra cardenas is a bad surgeon, because she is not. dra cardenas is a great doctor, and risks run will all sx and all doctors.
im not quite sure if i'd go back to her again, or get anything done again for that matter. i do have other things that bother me, but i feel good with the way i look now.
Mexico Plastic Surgeon

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