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Tummy Tuck & Lipo of Back and Inner Thighs - Mexico, MX

So, I have been one of those lurkers. I have been...

So, I have been one of those lurkers. I have been reading, looking and watching. I am a 50 yr old widow with no children. I am doing this alone and for myself. A little afraid to be a woman traveling the world on my own but I do not feel like the outside matches the inside in anyway. As if this body is not my own. OK, yes for 4 years I have been eating my feelings but I need out. I need to be me again.

First, I went with a company called PalcidWay and had a very good co-ordinator. However the people at Mexicali Health Care representing Dr. Maurice Aceves Guirard could not even spell my name properly. This after it was pointed out to them a minimum of 7 times and the surgery was cancelled.

Then I tried GoSulputra and after getting a very low quote for a Dr. in Tijuana I got excited again. However I could only find information on their doctors on their own web site. None of the association they had listed would confirm the doctors are members in good standing. So, yet again no surgery.

I was depressingly thinking this is never going to happen and I am now to afraid to go to another country for plastic surgery. How can I trust anyone. I do not want to be one of those news stories about women disappearing in foreign country. Anyway.....

I started contacting doctors directly mostly from what I read on this very site, from ordinary people who seem to have no connection with the doctors. I finally found Fatimeh at Dra. Cardenas and Ronnie at the Beauty Care Recovery House in Tijuana. I am now scheduled for surgery on October 28th, 2013 but the details have not yet been finalized.

Who knew posting pictures of a body you don't like on the web would be this hard!! I am hoping this is the one place I do not have to be alone.

Work

Well I am a medical laboratory tech in Canada, which means I work in a hospital all day. So, I do have some insider information. No one seems to be saying when they go back to work or what they do. Truly I am more worried about going back to work that being able to go to the gym. Anyone want to share their back to work experiences?

Medical Grade Honey

For those who have opening incisions or drain holes that open or even your belly button, think about honey. Yes, I said Honey. Specifically medical grade honey. I have seen it do wonders for incisions that opened and became necrotic and had white smelly stuff in them and did not heal for LITERALLY months be miraculously started on the way to healing with honey. In once instance it was applied to a surgical incision that had become infected and refused to heal, left covered and 3 days later took it off and a whole schwack of gook came out and it was pink under neath!

In my kit for after surgery I have some MEDIHONEY® with Active Leptospermum Honey. Just thought I would share some of the none medical healing that I have seen in my medical career. As always research for yourselves if you are interested.

Worry

So today is filled with should I / shouldn't I. As I get all the information together there are little costs everywhere and if I write it all down I am 1,000 over the budget I have set for myself and that is not even taking into consideration my flight from Canada to Mexico, well San Diego really. I wonder how everyone else gets past this point. Although I really really want to feel on the outside how I do on the inside at what point do I say no, this is just to much budget pressure & unknown recovery or just do what I want in my heart come hell or high water. I am having very vivid dreams all mixed up and have no idea what to make of them. I do know everyone here says it is a major emotional roller coaster but I thought that was after the actual operation.

My post op kit includes

- Bach Original Flower Essences, Rescue Remedy Spray ( for the emotional ups & downs)
- Medi-Honey (just in case)
- Boiron, Arnicare Gel (for the bruising) this brand only because I like the gel form it soaks in better, but any brand gel would work.
- Now Foods, Turmeric & Bromelain (for the swelling) this brand only because I can't find the combo in any other brand
- Magnesium Bis Glycinate (to help muscle pain & cramps) this form of magnesium is better absorbed than most others
- lots of yogurt (ok, greek yogurt) to help the flora that the antibiotics will kill.
- pineapple & cucumber & ice slushy (will help with retaining water)
- Boost with extra protein (in case my appetite is not good) You need lots of protein to assist your muscle in recovery.
- A couple of "Chillows". No don't laugh. One day I was watching a commercial that said this slim thing put in your pillow would stop you from sweating at night. I got sucked in and bought 2 for the price of one!! and it definitely works. I no longer wake up with sweaty neck & hair. anyway I plan to use them to cool down spots during recovery so I don't have to get up and get ice so often.
- Book - Being you, Changing the world by Dr. Dain Heer. A very good motivational book that helps people get through the times times faster. Yes, I have read it before but it won't hurt to read it again when I think "what have I just done to myself"

If you haven't realized by now I am a little bit off centre and open to trying things that are not in the main stream. If things work, I pass them on as often as I can, my form of spreading the word as it were. If they don't I say nothing or if someone else is talking about I will share that it did not work for me.

I am sure I will add to this weird and wacky list. If anyone has suggestions, no matter how weird you think they are..PLEASE, share them with me.

Cash-ola

Does it bother any of Dr. Cardenas' patients that she requires you to pay in cash? Did it bother you to be going into a foreign country with thousands of dollars of cash? What was your experience with that?

cancelation

I have canceled all plans for a tummy tuck this year. I have just had some personal issues surface and will not be going forward for the time being.

Mexicali Health Care

I have finally received my refund from MHC that was promised by Carlo Bonfante, International Patient Co ordinator. I can not stress enough how I am so glad I did not use this company. Over the 7 or 8 weeks it took me to research this company who was recommended by PlacidWay not one person from MHC could spell my name correctly not even on the contract! Each time I corrected them it seemed I was the one being unreasonable. I was offer a refund by Carlo Bonfante and he actually told me the cheque was sent August 21, 2013. When I received it September 20th, 2013 it was dated September 9, 2013. This is only one of the issues which leads me to believe this is a company not to be trusted for any medical service, little own anythign else. During my research I found a woman who had a terrible time with MHC and Carlo's excuse was that it was many years ago (2009) however I can guarantee you that the Customer Service has not changed in the past 4 years.

Doing your research if anyone from Mexicali Health Care says this review must be from a competitor please contact me. I am from Canada and would be glad to give you information to contact me in person.
Mexico Plastic Surgeon

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Comments (21)

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SO HAPPY WITH YOUR OUTCOME. YOU LOOK NICE! I am having Surgery April 3, 2014 with Dr. Victor Ramirez and I am posting all my before and after pictures and details on Real Self. Follow my blog (s) for updates. *Very Excited* realself.com/review/mexicali-baja-california-mommy-makeover-abdominoplasty-full-tummy-tucks-full
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Thank you. He was one that I considered and was $2000 cheaper, but I could not find any info on him from others or pictures other than his website and with his background being Military hospitals it made me nervous so decided not to. Please post your results so everyone else can see that are considering him. Good luck.
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I just had surgery from Dr. Victor Ramirez it has been 18 day sense my surgery. Not once have I received a follow up from him. Not to mention My incision has opened up on the left side and I have been trying to make contact with him and no respond as of yet.
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I would love to!!! I had to cancel due to lack of funds. I will look into it again in 2014. Good luck
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There is a company you can check into called fundmydr.com I have researched them and they seem legit. I am thinking of using them for financing my surgery.
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Hi there! I am also from Canada and work in the medical feild. I am going to Dr. Cardenas for TT and BBL surgery is booked for October 29...Are you still going end of October? If there is anyone else going for surgery around this time I would love to connect and have a surgery buddy for support and share our experiences. I
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CHB97, I am posting because my wife and I traveled to Cancun for her Mommy Makeover. She did have complications that delayed recovery but 1+ year post-surgery, she is 100% and thriving. Her body image has rebuilt from her constant disappointment of having her "skin apron" so much. First, I was delighted to have you recommend the MediHoney for cases where wound infection does happen. I would recommend that any person traveling to get any surgery have a pack available at home - just in case an infection occurs. Western medicine has forgotten so much and over-prescribes antibiotics so often. (end of sermon) Jenfrogrn gives you good advice which I hope you consider. I don't think you will have arm-above-your-head limitation she mentions because you are apparently not having a breast augmentation. But, the lifting / weight limitation should be taken seriously - especially as your abdomen / TT flap bonds to the underlying layers. Seroma are no fun to have treated. But since you work in a hospital, you will know the best way to schedule time with an Interventional Radiologist to diagnose the rare case of a seroma. I provided my wife rather continuous care during her 13 day post-surgury recovery in Cancun plus after we returned to the US. It was not continuous, 24/7 care - but she needed me to keep her oral pain meds on schedule - based on her level of pain. Her major pain was not from the tummy tuck or the breast lift, but mostly from the liposuction. Do not underestimate need to treat the pain of the lipo. My wife is smart & capable, but the pain meds did dull her judgement and awareness of time. Also, I made certain that she kept pushing fluids and wearing her anti-emblism stockings plus keep her walking during potty visits. It will be important to arrange for wheel chair service on your return flight home; that you have an isle seat and you walk the isle once per hour. Post-surgical embolism risks must be taken seriously and you should wear properly sized anti-embolism stocking (order at least 2 pair.) I hope you will have someone with you from the time you arrive at home airport and for at least the first 5 days - especially at night. Be certain that you drink fluids and that you are easily able to lay so your feet are lifted higher than your heart often - especially after you have been out and around. This is one way to reduce the "Swell Hell" that is so often mentioned here. Be certain to have two, properly-fitting, 2nd stage compression garments. Wear them as your surgeon prescribes, keeping one clean/dry at all times. Regarding compression garment and your (remote) Dr followup, please learn from our error. My wife wore the compression garment _all_ the time - except for shower time. They really did become her friend/security blanket. Yes, she had abdominal swelling but we did not notice that she was developing an obvious seroma - that did require aggressive treatment. It remained undiagnosed for far too long. I believe that your remote surgeon should follow up with your every 10 days after you return home, using Skype-like video conference - so he/she can actually see your incision _and_ your body profile. Please don't think I am cursing you with a post-surgical complication, but just like the Medi-Honey, preparation is often prevention… Good Luck to you!
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Thank you so much! I never even thought of that. So now I can watch closer for it. My Dr. wants me to stay in the area for 14 days after the surgery and has got several follow up scheduled. I guess that is why the newer system is to use "medical glue" or the quilting technique where they put stitches all through your abdomen as they lay the skin back over. I will have to ask if she uses either of those techniques. I am very grateful to you for keeping on this site to share you experiences. It is good to get a 'non-patient' view. For those of you who do not know a seroma is a pocket of clear serous fluid that sometimes develops in the body after surgery. When small blood vessels are ruptured, blood plasma can seep out; inflammation caused by dying injured cells also contributes to the fluid. This fluid can become infected, which is only one of the complications it causes.
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Actually, the no reaching above the head applied to me for my tummy tuck as well...reaching puts undesirable tension on the scar line and the muscle repair. I was instructed to stay bent at all times for two weeks to avoid that tension, which can affect wound healing and can widen the tummy scar and make it heal less attractively. So stretching or twisting or reaching was prohibited for a month to protect my tummy....
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Now I understand, Jenfrogrn, Thank you. As my wife and I were preparing for the mommy makeover surgery, I kept reading how important it was to pack some front close/zipper tops for my wife - because she would not have range of motion - or be allowed to move her arms to put her arms up for a pull over top. I had them with us for her to use, but discovered that this is only relevant to women who have breast augmentation / implants under pectoral/chest muscles. My wife only had a breast lift - as she was already a D cup. Anyway, I agree with the recommendation to avoid big arm movements and twisting/stretching plus also avoid trying to stand up straight during the the first two+ weeks PO.
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CHB97,Fourteen days days is a good amount of time and if all goes as planned you will have your drains out and showering - mostly on your own. The medical glue may be used rather than classic sutures for the skin flap closure - depending on what the Dr is comfortable with, of course. The incision close is separate from the technique for how the layers of skin and fascia are tied down after any muscle repair farther north. The newest technique that I am aware of is the quilting technique. Seroma occur less with this technique, but they still occur. My guess is that fewer than 10% of US surgeons have begun using the quilting technique - but I have not proof of that. I also suspect that very few cosmetic surgeons outside the US have adopted the new protocol. Same thing is true with providing a pain pump. It will be interesting to hear what you surgeon uses for all this. If I were you, (which, of course I am not) I would ask for details on the brand compression garment the surgeon will have thou placed in as you arrive in recovery. If you have any questions on compression garments, just ask. We learned a LOT about the best CGs. Good luck to you!
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I would LOVE to know about compression garments. In 2000 I have my saddle bags removed with lipo and woke up in the compression 'pants'. But I understand now that I will not be up into the CG until 2 or 3 days after surgery and she will be using other wrap until then. But tell me what kind is best... comfort, washability, flexibility ... This is the information I need!
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I will be happy to tell you what we learned. I will do my best to be brief, but I am running fast on other things - if I had more time, I would be more brief and concise. And, this being your RealSelf review space, tell me if you need me to butt out. Stand by.
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nope, no need for my butt to be out.
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There is always the huge concern before a few weeks before surgery, excitement when you decide to do it but worry when you actually know what is going on. I was dead worried for a few days. About budget yes, it is not only what doctor charges, but garments, medicine, endless stuff to cure yourself, scar treatment, etc a whole bunch of things. But you know what? from the point I am standing from today, it is sooo worth it and I am sooo happy!
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Best of luck and thx for the honey tip!
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Looking forward to following you!
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I am also in my 50's and had a set back but hoping to have this done early next year. I am anxious to see your transformation. Dr. C does amazing work from the reviews I've seen. You're going to look great!
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For sure I am going to follow you posts. I am 53 years old mom of 3. Iwanted tot do TT couple of years ago but had a complication after my previous herni surgery which have to be repeat. And now I am ready. Just today started to search internet for soem info and got to this site.
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You are more than welcome to lurk as I did. The worst part was actually putting the pics up!
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You certainly won't have to be alone on here! Welcome! You can make lots of friends on the October tummy tuck thread, the 50-plus one, and any others that interest you. That will give you an opportunity to make friends who are going through the same things you are as you prepare for and recover from surgery. I have had a great time with my July group, and it was very valuable to trade ideas for recovery, compression garments, scar treatments, supplements, etc. I hope you have a very positive experience, as I have. Do you have someone to help at home during the first few weeks? You will need lots of assistance the first couple of weeks, and still some help for a few more. Being unable to lift over 5 lbs or bend over or reach up for four weeks makes us less independent.... I wasn't allowed to do the dishes or vacuum or anything for a month. And the first week or two is spent barely functioning, almost passing out in the shower, emptying drains, unable to stand at the stove and cook, etc. Not meaning to scare you, but I didn't want you to be unpleasantly surprised! Having someone come in each day to help, to get your groceries, to help with dressing changes and bathing, etc. would be WELL worth any caregiver fees. Just trying to help! I hope everything goes great for you! Please let me or any of us known how we can help you throughout your journey. Best wishes! :-)
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