Below is an interview with a RealSelf community member, Cherita, about her tummy tuck
RS: once you were ready, how did you go about finding a doctor?
Cherita: I probably researched my Tummy Tuck for about 3 years. I got referrals fromweight loss doctor. I checked out every doctor online; I Googled them, checked to see if they had any complaints filed against them, found out if they were board-certified—all that. Then, when I met with them, I asked how many Tummy Tucks they had done, and whether they had pictures I could see. I did have a budget in mind, but I didn’t want it to dictate which doctor I chose. I asked a lot of questions—and I didn’t want to feel rushed. If I did—or if the doctor didn’t seem to want to answer some of my questions, I was out of there—and you should be, too!
One doctor recommended liposculpture for me, but I wanted the skin off—so that wasn’t for me. The doctors I met with also stressed that many patients have totally unrealistic expectations about Tummy Tuck surgery. You know, they can remove skin, but not the weight. If you’re pear-shaped before, you’ll be pear-shaped after. So many t.v. shows make it look like you get the surgery, and after the commercial you’re fine. It’s not like that—this is major surgery. You really have to think of why you’re doing it.
RS: Speaking of, did you have any surprises? Was there anything that you wish you knew before the surgery that you know now?
Cherita: Yes! The doctors said that it usually takes about 2 weeks (after surgery) and then people are up and around. Well, I just went back to work at 4 weeks after, and I’m still not great. You should probably plan to take 4-6 weeks off for recovery. It could be in part because I’m 52—but it has definitely taken more than 2 weeks. I just thought they’d cut this big smiley face and take the skin away and stitch me up! It wasn’t that simple. And you really should have some help afterward—I was lucky to have my daughter home from college—she was such a help!
RS: So now that you’ve gone through your Tummy Tuck surgery—and I realize it’s only been 4 weeks—how would you say your life has changed? What’s different now?
Cherita: It sounds silly, but even though I’m still swollen and have some pain, I get such a kick out of stepping out of the shower and not seeing that big ol’ bag of skin hanging down. It’s a joyous thing—I’m pleased as punch and thrilled with how I look. I wasn’t trying to look 20 again. And I didn’t just have a little blub of skin from being pregnant—that’s a badge of honor! I had a lot of excess skin that just wouldn’t go away. Now I’m happy with myself. It’s a dream come true. Oh, but now that I can see my thighs….
You may know where this is going… But Cherita seems to be very realistic about Thigh Lift surgery and Liposuction and what’s involved. So for now, she plans on trying out her Pilates class first…Thanks to Cherita for sharing her story with us. -- Nancy