I have to say...I've wanted to do this for a long time, and just reached the point that it became a necessity. I am the biggest "scaredy-cat" and was not trying to have any surgeries! But, it was impacting my health, and, I did not recognize myself. I did a lot of research, and went to see 3 board certified surgeons. And, my advice to anyone who needs to have this procedure done, do your research! The first 2 surgeons had very impressive credentials, but, I did not connect with them. To me, their bedside manner was lacking. They seemed to take it for granted that, because of their "celebrity" status, they did not have to really be an integral part of the consultation. They seemed "too busy" to take the time to really talk to me, and to explain the process to me. As soon as I met the third surgeon, Dr. Richard Wellington Swift, I immediately knew that he was the one! He sat down and talked to me. I was a nervous wreck, and he was a calming spirit! He was a great listener, and very thorough with his questions and answers. He did a thorough examination of my body, to determine exactly what would need to be done. He touched, pressed, molded, and took pictures. I needed extensive muscle repair, abdominoplasty, and lipo of the flanks. He explained the surgery, the recovery, and beyond. He also explained how I would retain my original belly button. I walked out of the consultation room feeling well-armed with information, and happy. I had found the perfect Doctor for me ... Someone who cared about me as a patient, and who understood why I was seeing him! I went directly to the front desk to speak to his office manager, Stefanie, booked my surgery, and gave them my deposit. I KNEW I had met the doctor who I would later call, my "miracle worker"!
The morning of surgery was scary, not because of the surgery itself (I was confident about Dr. Swift), but, because I was going to be "under" for several hours. Dr. Swift was sweet, comforting, and spoke to me about the power of faith! (I love him for that, too!). My anesthesiologist came to see me, and we had a great conversation! By the time I walked into the surgery room, I KNEW that God had it all under control, and I would be fine! Surgery would be performed by a great surgeon, assisted by a great anesthesiologist!
When I came out of surgery, I felt GREAT! Why? Because it was over, and I made it through! I felt minimal pain, but, of course it was because of the medication.
Two and a half weeks later, I am healing well! My body is BEAUTIFUL! My belly button is BEAUTIFUL! (Honestly, this was my first introduction to it since my early youth. It had been buried in layers of fat for so many years ....). I have to say, I've read stories and seen pictures of how some people's belly button look after this type of procedure, and I am fortunate that I found my "miracle worker", Dr. Richard Wellington Swift! Some people are left WITHOUT a belly button, some people are left with an obviously MANUFACTURED/CREATED belly button. Not me! I have my ORIGINAL BELLY BUTTON, and it looks amazing!
Also, my scar is so low, I can wear a bikini. Since I've had 2 C-sections, Dr. Swift did the procedure along the C-section area. And, it is healing beautifully. No staples! So, I don't have to worry about any staples being removed from that area! Thank God! Seriously, every time I see myself in the mirror, I am excited! That Doctor, Dr. Swift, is REALLY REALLY a miracle worker! I still can't believe this is me!!
Also, some people end up with what is termed "dog ears". Not me, thank God! The thought of any type of surgery, at this time, is unthinkable! My scar is beautiful and smooth. I think it has to do with the surgeon, and how your body heal...but, I don't know for sure.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention, I did have one drain after surgery, which was removed on day 5 post-op. I know that some doctors don't use the drain method anymore, but, although it was uncomfortable and a pain-in-the-butt to have, it did keep me from moving around too much. I didn't have that false sense that I was done! I am always busy, always on the go, always have "something that I must do", and don't know how to sit still. Having the drain forced me to sit still, and that, I believe helped in my healing process. FOR ME, I am glad that I had the drain. Again, it may not be for everyone, but, I'm glad my doctor used it!
In case you didn't realize ....I love, love, love my surgeon...DR. RICHARD WELLINGTON SWIFT. His office is in Manhattan. He is an amazing and gifted surgeon. He is truly my "miracle worker", and I'm so happy that God led me to him!
With all that said, please understand that deciding to have this procedure done was not an easy decision. For me, it became a necessary decision. The healing process has not been easy for me, since I hate pain, and I don't like to take medication. But, I am making it through. You HAVE TO HAVE someone with you for a couple of days! And, you HAVE to follow your surgeon's orders! Also, be kind to yourself! Whenever, you start questioning yourself as to "why did I do this to myself?" Remind yourself of how unhappy you were, and that you deserve to take care of yourself, and be happy too! A lot of us who are moms, forget that we deserve to treat ourselves well ... We give to our jobs, to our friends, to our families, to our husbands/partners, and to our children! We almost never have anything left to give to ourselves! This journey is a "giving" journey....for ourselves!
I have to say, I am not a "You-Tuber", but, as I've been "immobile" for a little while, I started following a young lady named "Jazzy Rachel". She, too, went through this process. And, although her healing process was quicker than mine, she helped me through this very challenging time period! She is kept it "real"! I thank her for sharing so much of her journey. She is also on realself as "jazzygul".
To all of you who are contemplating this procedure, either out of medical necessity, or just because you want to do something to make youself happier with the way you look .... Good luck! I wish you well! And, I wish you a speedy recovery! It may not be an easy procedure, but, it is well worth it!
The last question I asked Dr. Swift, as I was being prepped for surgery was, "Dr. Swift, do you promise to make me beautiful?" His response to me was, "I will make you EVEN MORE beautiful!" And, he did! For that ... I will be forever grateful!