Can't Wait to Get Rid of This Stomach! - Miami Beach, FL

I'm scheduled for surgery with Dr. Alvarez on 4/6!...

I'm scheduled for surgery with Dr. Alvarez on 4/6! Im getting implants, tummy tuck, lipo in arms and flanks. I got a bbl done in October and I have to say my experience with Dr. Alvarez personal practice is a totally different experience. I wish I would've known about him back then! Lena is my coordinator and she is hands down the best! Very personable, friendly, and always responds to any questions you may have promptly. I had a phone consultation with Dr. Alvarez which that alone (being able to talk to the doctor) was a plus because no other surgeons will really speak with you directly in Miami when you're coming from out of town.

Dr. Alvarez really seems to care about his patients and I am nothing short of confident that he will do his best to make sure everything is done perfectly.

3 days til surgery!

Soooo... Dr. Alvarez requires you to have a BMI of 35 or less to operate, and I'm like 2 pounds shy of being under 35. Lena said they'll have to cancel my surgery if I'm over 35 at all :( I've been doing my best the past couple of days to eat clean. I had a BBL with dr. Ortega last October and I had this same issue then. Smh I told myself I wouldn't go through this again this time around but if everything didn't go wrong this last two weeks smh. I've been sooo stressed. The lady I booked my accomodations with cancelled on me last minute because she was hospitalized and about to get surgery herself to have some cysts removed. But get this, she already spent the money I gave her for the rental smh. So now I have to wait until she can pay me back. This happened literally two days ago. I had to shell out $200 from my Miami money because my car needed the o2 sensors replaced, I'm in class full time this semester, so I've been just carelessly eating. Y'all pray for me that I lose this weight or I'll be in the hole over $3000 plus my surgery cost. :(

3 days post op

I flew into Miami on the 4th, saw Dr. Alvarez on the same day I flew in. Over the phone Dr. Alvarez said I didn't need a BL w/ implants because if we went with a big enough implant it would lift my breast to where I didn't need a lift. I was quoted $7500 for tt, mr, bl, and implants to begin with. When I had my consult over the phone and I was told I wouldn't need a lift, I asked Lena would that make the price come down any she said no. So I added arm lipo as well which added another $600 on to my total price. Well, when I had my pre-op when I got to Miami, Dr. Alvarez decided that I did in fact need a lift. So after my pre-op Lena said that the lift would be an extra $1000. I don't know about anyone else, but I planned months in advanced to be able to pay for the surgery and save up for my accomodations. car rental, spending money, flight, etc. I didn't have an extra $1000 to just give for a lift, esp because my quoted price was supposed to come with the lift to begin with. I was actually kind of pissed at the whole situation because there was no point in me getting my boobs done if I needed a lift but couldn't even afford to pay for one. Lena said she had to charge me for it because it wasn't in my contract. Make sure you get everything in writing Ladies! This has to be the only complaint I have about my whole experience. So after going back and forth with Lena, and texting Dr. Alvarez about how I had concerns about the pricing.. she called me and said instead of silicone implants I could get saline, and I was supposed to get lipo in my axillary area, she said I couldn't get that anymore either and it would stay the same price. Even though I did want silicone and everything to stay the same and her to just add the lift in like it was originally supposed to be anyways, I was at their mercy because it was literally a day before my surgery and I didn't have the extra money. :(

My surgery was scheduled for 7am Wednesday morning and everything went well. The operating room Dr. Alvarez uses is beautiful. The anesthesiologist was really nice and definitely made me feel comfortable. He talked to me and joked around for a couple of minutes and before you know it I was out! When I woke up, I was in terrible, terrible pain. The nurse kept trying to get me to eat crackers so I could take my meds. I was so out of it. All I can really remember is having a hard time moving and being really hot. She put a warming blanket on me after surgery which is why I was hot. Moving from the hospital bed to the wheelchair was a real struggle as well.

The first 2 days were the absolute worst for me. I feel much better now, still in pain but not as much as 1-2 days post op. I literally felt disabled. Getting out of the bed was so hard. I bought a wedge pillow and everything but it didn't help much. It was still very uncomfortable. My boobs made my chest feel so tight and under my armpits hurt so bad it made the use of my arms almost non-existent. The muscle repair in my stomach made it hard to get up and walk around, it didn't hurt as bad my boobs though. I've been having some phlegm in my throat probably due to being intubated, and I had a few uncontrollable coughing episodes... (coughing hurts so bad) I felt like I was going to die. Last night, I started getting really gassy. My whole stomach feels like a big balloon full of air. Its been hurting today, and I felt like I needed to go #2 earlier, but I can't push it out bc of the MR. :/ I really didn't think that recovery was going to be this hard, but now that I am on day 3 post op, I think it gets easier and easier every day that passes. I've actually been awake the whole day today which is surprising. The past 2 days I would just be sitting there dozing off. Probably because of being on 2 percs every 4 hours faithfully. Today I've been taking one perc and two advils because I haven't been feeling all that miserable today. My left breast feels like its dropping and getting softer, my right one does too but slowly. My right breast still hurts and it hurts under the armpit but its definitely more bearable than the past couple of days. As far as in my arms, one arm is a lot more bruised than the other, and both have been leaking blood mixed with fluids when I take my bandages off. My arms don't hurt all that much but are still very swollen.

Overall, even after the whole thing with the lift I am still happy with my decision to go with Dr. Alvarez and his private practice. From what I understand, he's filling in for Osak Omulepu at Spectrum right now as well, but if you want an office that actually cares about your health use his PRIVATE PRACTICE!! I dealt with Spectrum for BBL with Dr. Ortega and never spoke with Dr. Ortega, only the day of surgery and my post op visit. When I had an issue afterwards, Dr. Ortega never even called me or anything. Who knows if he was even aware of my problem? At the end of the day, my health and well being during and after surgery is my #1 concern and I'd rather pay a little extra to be able to have that assurance that I can contact the doctor when I need to. Dr. Alvarez is also very good at answering texts and the day after surgery I told him I was in excruciating pain, and he told me he wanted to see me that afternoon to make sure everything was ok. That for me, spoke large volumes and showed he actually cares about his patients and they are just another name on his calendar. I also still love that I had Lena as my coordinator as well! She is really great and she doesn't disappear after she gets your money (like the coordinators at Spectrum lol). She is a real sweetheart :)

Sorry my review seems like it was all over the place! I haven't really been able to concentrate too much on anything.. Bare with me!

Side effects from the anesthesia

Soooo it's 3am smh and I'm up.. Ever since surgery I've been having hot and cold flashes. One minute I'm freezing cold it feels like needles are in my skin, and the next minute I'm sweating. I've heard this is a side effect from the anesthesia? It's the worst!! I always heard that itching is also one of the side effects. The day before yesterday I took a shower and was itchy everywhere! It was driving me crazy! I had to take my nose ring out bc I was so damn itchy on my nose. So I looked it up about the hot and cold flashes and Google said the tip of your nose being really itchy is one of the common side effects too.

So, I've been having problems with being so gassy for like two days now, and also not being able to go #2. My stomach has been so uncomfortable because of this so I got some ducolax and gas x strips. Sooo.. Today I thought I felt a little better and needed to go grocery shopping again so it took me forever to shower and get dressed, do my hair, (all of this with the help of my husband of course) and just as I was about to put my shoes on my stomach starts just burning like its on fire. Omg worstttt pain ever! It was almost worse than child birth! So I immediately went to the toilet and of course I did have to go #2. I read an article yest that said to use ducolax as like a second option bc it may make u feel uncomfortable. Omg. Did it!! Excuse the TMI but my butt hole and stomach felt like they were on fire. This was like the type of poop you take where you have to concentrate and don't want to hear any noise!! Lmao ???????? when I was done I got up and sat down bc I didn't wanna leave and risk it happening again and ten minutes later my stomach was on fire again! So guess who didn't get to go anywhere ?! :( it's cool though, I am so relieved I finally got it all out. I probably made 4 trips to the bathroom and that was from taking a total of 4 ducolax in three days. Those little pills are strong as hell! My husbands stupid self had me laughing so hard (it was so painful) when he saw how much I had pooped out. He said it was massive. Lol but hey, rather get it out then be uncomfortable for two days straight.

So I've pretty much been in the house since surgery. I left once to go to target to get a bra, my implants feel like they're about to fall out the bottom of my breast because I had no support since the surgical bra I bought was too small. I also forgot to mention when I saw Dr. A on Thursday I have a air leak in my drain so I don't think it's draining properly at all. I hope I don't end up with a seroma:( he said he will take
A look at it again Monday. My post op is tomorrow (or today since it's after midnight) at 5pm. Everyday gets easier but I still have to admit I am still in a significant amount of pain because of my breasts. My MR does feel a lot better than day one. I feel like it's not so hard to laugh or cough anymore but I still feel super tight when I walk. The implants are the most troublesome. I called Southwest Airlines today to tell them I needed a wheelchair, I think you ladies should do the same no matter what airport you're flying out of!! It's a real big help and you don't have to wait in line :) when I got my bbl done I ended up missing my connecting flight like a dumbass bc Atlanta airport was HUGE and I was still so sore and swollen. This time I'll be prepared in advanced!

I'm still super, super swollen.. I haven't even been eating a lot of high sodium foods or anything, and when I do eat it's not much anyways. I prob eat 1/4 of my food. i also get tired so easily. Everything has me feeling like I wanna just sit down and relax after. I washed my hair today with my husband help and sat I the recliner and blow dried it. I got up to straighten it (I have shoulder length hair) and I was so tired afterwards. I wonder when I'll get my energy back up. Id really love to at least go riding around with hubby but when I went to target the other day I got dizzy and nauseous real fast so I think that's why I've really been opting to not go anywhere at all. I hate feeling sick. Hopefully tomorrow I'll feel a lot better, I'll update you ladies on how my post op goes tomorrow!

Infection :(

So.. I wrote part of this Monday when I had my post op. I had my post op appointment today with Dr. Alvarez. It was supposed to be at 5pm but got moved to 3pm at Spectrum (blah) lol because this morning my right breast was in a lot of pain again and he didn't want to wait to see me. It felt like the day after surgery again smh. My right boob is always giving me shit!! I took two Advil and a perc and it didn't do anything, I didn't even wanna move this morning. Then when I was about to shower, I took my bra off and notice some yellowish bruising that wasn't there before so I started freaking out. Lena face timed me to see the bruising and said she was a little concerned. When I went to spectrum dr. A said everything looked fine.


So an update from then... I've been really in a significant amount of pain which is why I haven't even had the patience to update on here. This morning when I woke up my pain in the ass right boob... Smfh it was red underneath, swollen, big, tight... And just didn't feel right at all. Last night I had the chills for like 6 hours but all this time I've had chills it was probably a fever the entire time and I thought it was a side effect of the anesthesia. So I sent a picture to Lena and Dr. A and she said that it was concerning to her. Dr. A was at spectrum again today (smfh) so I had to go up there, Lena also came and met me up there. So he said that my boob was definitely infected. He said he needed to take it out, wash it, and put it back in... Or he may need to leave it out if the infection is that bad. Of course with my luck, I wake up with a drain coming out of my right breast and no implant ???? he told my husband the infection was really bad. I'm so sad and devastated. I've been crying ever since I got out of surgery. I had to also pay another $350 for facility fees. I feel like I wasted my money on the breast aug. I could've saved a couple thousand if I would've just gotten the tummy tuck. I honestly just don't even wanna go through this again after I'm healed from the infection. I wish he would've just taken both implants out because now I have to worry about travel expenses all over again and they're probably going to charge me when I come back and get it re-done. I'm sorry but for the ladies getting their surgeries done at spectrum.... It's really a hit or miss on if you're going to have a good experience or not. It wasn't bad when I went and got my bbl until I had issues. But let me tell you, when I woke up from surgery today.... I wanted to smack the shit out of the nurse. There was a girl next to me moaning and in pain and she kept rushing her to get dressed. The girl kept telling her to hold on. She was in a lot of pain and I felt so bad for her because I know the feeling and it doesn't help when you have someone that doesn't give a fuck about you and just wants to get you out of there. So I was telling my husband about it and he said he saw her too. He said her ride wasn't there and they wheeled her to the parking garage and just had her sitting there looking crazy until her ride came. Smfh. Thank God I felt pretty normal (still in pain but normal) enough to tell this bitch to let me get myself dressed. Cuz I have three drains and she was being really rough. I don't want to be in anymore pain than I'm already in. I just hate that they treat their patients like shit.

Anyways, I'm just ready to get home back to my babies and put this shit behind me and recover. I'm so sick of the whole situation.

Bye-bye Miami !

I had an appt with Dr. A this morning to get another dose of IV antibiotics. He also talked to me about my infection. He said it was really bad and the implant was swimming in pockets of puss. He got his colleagues to come in and take a look at it while it was still open and they said it was bad and he shouldn't replace the implant. I appreciate him doing what was safe for my health. I've been crying since yesterday and feel so depressed because I damn near went broke to be able to get this surgery done and now I'm going back home broke, with one boob with an implant and one without, sick with an infection... Ugh, I'm just so depressed now. My throat hurts from being intubated. I hate that I had to get that all done at spectrum. I feel like the staff at spectrum doesn't care how they treat their patients. Getting my initial surgery at the operating room Dr. A uses for his private practice I didn't have a sore throat from the intubation, but now I have a sore throat, my neck hurts, and busted up top lip???? smh.

Dr. Alvarez said that textbook says that he shouldn't put another implant in until 6 months but his colleagues say they've done it as soon as 6 weeks. He said we will play it by ear. He said I'll have to pay for facility & anesthesia fees, and he was going to try to get the implant free... I didn't think I'd have to pay all of that but what choice do I have? I can't walk around with a messed up boob for that long ???? now I'll have to save all over again for flights, accomodations, etc.

On a positive note, I love the way Dr. A handled everything. He truly showed genuine concern and handled everything promptly. He has been very responsive as well anytime I text him. He's such a great doctor, I can't say enough good things about him. I'm just so sad this had to happen.

I just landed at Baltimore airport, about to drive home. I can't wait to see my babies and be in the comfort of my own home.

Almost a month post op!

I'm almost a month post op and been having the absolute worstttt swelling in my stomach. I'm hoping it's JUST swelling. My abdomen protrudes, it's not completely flat. I want to believe it's swelling because it was pretty flat the day after surgery. The cultures from my infection came up positive for Klebsiella. Dr. Alvarez has been amazing at being reachable whenever I have any questions. Lena called me today and said that I wouldn't have to pay for my implant, so that's a good thing. I would have to pay facility fees though which is $850. I thought that was pretty steep seeing that when I got it removed it was only $450. Dr. A also said that if I get the implant put back in at 6 weeks I'll be at higher risk for infection. But if I do it at 3 months, 6 months, or even 6 years I'll still be at risk since I've had an infection before. I have planned to go back out to Miami at 6 weeks because I've had such a hard time walking around with one breast a lot bigger then the other. Esp trying to stuff it to look normal whenever I need to go somewhere. It's so sad and pitiful. I am second guessing myself though since I've read everywhere that I should wait a minimum of 3 months. The way everything has already been set up this year, it would just be very, very hard to do it any other time because no one would be able to watch my kids. Lena has told me that she's been getting a lot of calls from people booked at spectrum and getting a lot of complaints from potential clients because of reviews they read due to coordinating issues, surgery dates, etc. let me just be the first to say that when you're booking with spectrum, don't be surprised to have all of these issues because the coordinators don't really care about you! They're dealing with so many other people. When reading reviews, you really have to take into consideration where this person is going for their operation with dr. Alvarez. The doctors have no control over what these coordinators are doing and what they're scheduling for Dr. A. Lena doesn't either since she works with his private practice! Pay the extra money and go with his private practice because it ensures that you'll get the best care. Not saying that dr. A only cares about patients he operates on at his private practice, but Sometimes the coordinators at spectrum also won't relay messages to the doctors so that's another thing to keep in mind.
Miami Beach Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Alvarez and Lena are a great team together! They are both very personable and friendly which makes you at ease about the procedures you're interested in getting done. I have no complaints what so ever!

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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