I am 35 male, 6'3" and have been considering tummy...
I am 35 male, 6'3" and have been considering tummy tuck / lift for almost a decade. There are a lot of people here with experience so would love to hear some feedback. I am one of the few males on here so hoping that other males also join the party.
I was 220lbs as a 15yr old and average height for that age. One summer school holiday, over 6 weeks, I lost over 60lbs [of baby fat] with diet and exercise - lost 10 inches around my waist and gained 10" in height. The fast weight loss, I believe, killed my skin. In my 20s I had lipo, and then two other revisions with another surgeon. Lipo was horrible each time - it made things worse - caused dimples, hanging, asymmerty, etc. I got NO benefits out of it.
I consulted a few surgeons regarding tummy tuck and some are for it while others say I am too borderline and they would not want to cut me up. I ESPECIALLY hate my flanks - it sticks out when I wear tight clothes and I get very self conscious when people put their hand around my waist, some have even commented how soft it is!!
So I needed a surgeon who specialises in extended tummy tuck and even perhaps an inner thigh lift - body lift. And since I am soo tall I worry also that the surgeon will not be able to handle me properly during surgey giving me sub-par results.
The cost (money/scar/time) vs benefit argument. I understand that for many people this might be an easy decision because they feel they DEFINITELY need the surgery. It's because I am borderline that this is a tough decision.
So after 6 years of research and almost non-stop research over the last 3 months, I have decided it is better to JUST DO IT rather than keep thinking about it. I have lived 20 years wanting a better body .. worst case, i will have to spend the next 20 years hating a botched up surgery. Then after that I will be too old to care, I hope.
So I have short-listed three category of surgeons:
1. one specific US based surgeon. His credentials are impeccable, his experience in this sort of surgery extensive, and his cost reasonable. I am surprised to have heard very little of him on RS. I guess the hold up of choosing him is that in US I imagine the doctors will be very conservative with the surgery and lipo. With good reason too, I guess. And the extra cost of after-care as I am alone and non-US based meaning I will have to pay for after-care and hotels for 3 weeks.
2. a Mexican based surgeon - not much of him on here, but he has his own sub-forum at OH. His credentials Mexican (many int'l surgeons also have American certification and/or international plastic surgery certifications). But given the extensive reporting on him at OH I trust he gives good results. In Mexico I like that all costs will be less (he costs the same as doc 1 above but his price also includes 12 days nursed care in a hospital/hotel, transport, medicines, garments, etc).
3. Surgeons in Brazil - the land of the beautiful and surgically enhanced, and now the world #1 ranking of cosmetic surgery per capita! There has been extensive reporting of Brazilian surgeon Ivo Pitanguy - proclaimed by NY Times to have a hand gifted by god. He is surgeon to American stars and models. He is 87 and still practices - charges the same as doc 1. For other brazilian surgeons I have been looking at I have used the criteria that they have to be graduates of Ivo Pitanguy's training AND certified by American and International plastic surgery associations. Brazilian surgeons are not allowed to post before and after pics so that has been the biggest hurdle. It means I will have to go there in their office to see these pics. And ofcourse the language barrier - people in Latin American countries DO NOT SPEAK english and a bit ho-hum about customer and patient service.
Again the biggest draw on Mexico and Brazil is that they will be prepared to push the envelope more than Western surgeons.
I would love some feedback on my post and pics. Sometimes it is hard to think objectively when thinking about something so personal to me. IF you feel I should not have surgery at all then that is fine too - would love to hear all opinions.
No surgery needed
I saw a few surgeons in person. They included Dr Capella of NJ and Dr Triana of Cali, Colombia who were the front-runners. Hats off to their integrity - they both earnestly advised that tummy tuck will not give me as much benefit as it gives others and their recommendation would be to not get a tummy tuck. So ends this journey. I have removed my pics.
going ahead with it ...
So it did not end there :-)
I spent two months in Colombia - training my a$$ off (personal trainer 5 days a week), eating super healthy, walking 10+kms a day, etc etc. But yet I still had rolls of fat. I decided that I will go ahead with it and will have to live with the regret (but be able to move on atleast) if the tummy tuck is not successful).
So I am no longer going ahead with a body lift but just a tummy tuck (extended/circumferencial) if needed. And lipo all over.
While in Colombia, I saw many doctors (here they charge 100,000 - 150,000 COP for consultations - about $50-75). But I wanted to be 100% sure of what I am doing.
After a lot of surgeon and soul searching, I found the surgeon I am going ahead with - Dr Dario Juris in Bogota Colombia. On paper, he had all the things I was looking for - registered with various Plastic Surgery boards (including Colombia, American, and ISAPS). And then the best part - he is Alumini of Dr. Ivo Pitanguy. I verified all these by going to the various boards/alumini listing.
When I met him in person, I felt very comfortable with his manner, advises, and recommednations. He openly recommended against tummy tuck and suggested with Lipo he can give me great results also. Some other procedures I was wanting to do (laser to face) he said he does do but again said it is not for my case. He was great with answering my questions and he speaks English which was another bonus!!
His secretary, Claudia, has been amazing with answering my questions quickly and providing the info I need. The surgery is quoted as 7,000,000 COP (for the lipo) and 2,500,000 for the tummy tuck (for my particular case - he charges based on what the patient needs, size, etc etc). His quote included:
* one night in the clinic after surgery (great!)
* all other operation fees
* first binder
* medicines needed
With him you do need to get some of the basic blood tests done. When talking about lipo, he offered a variety of anesthesia choices - epidural, general, etc. I was going to go for general. But since I am 99.9% sure that I will be getting a tummy tuck also .. I will be going general anesthesia anyway.
with lipo I think he said he needed me to stay in town for 8-10 days, with general I think it is 14 days. He has recommended
I am trying not to think too much about this but I am very anxious about the operation and taking a leap of faith in Dr Dario Juris (Pretty much everyday of my life since I Was 13 (so 20+ years) I think about how fat I am and how it actually affects my interaction with other people .. and stops me from having a proper intimate relationship as I feel inadquate to meet THE ONE). I think when Dr Dario Juris is marking me up I will make one last request to 'suck me dry'.
I have been on this site pretty much every other day for years ... and want to contribute to it as much as I Can. I have researched quite a bit and will be putting up more details in the near future. You'd be surprised how many people have surgeries here and it's not seen as a big deal. Beauty is important to Colombians and they are not afraid to turn to the knife for assistance ... in return I believe the surgeons have a high standard to live to.
After the surgery, I will give my opinion on why I chose Colombia over USA (and no it was not the cost - the outcome is much more important to me than the cost).
gentle reminder that it is ColOmbia and not ColUmbia .. Colombia is campaigning hard to get the world to get it right and I am trying to do my bit for them O:-)
one last visit to the surgeon
So I landed in Bogota yesterday afternoon and today I went into the surgeon to pay the final amount and also pay additional for some bits and pieces (I had been told previously these things - special arnica cream, foam, etc - would cost a little extra - about 150,000 COP).
Dr Juris was in the office and he asked me to come in to his room so I can have any last minute discussions with him. He was very patient and I kept repeating that I have no fears, anxiety about the operation .. but I want every ounce of fat that can be taken out .. taken out. And since I am doing a normal full tummy tuck I don't mind if he wants to do an extended tummy tuck. An extra 10cm scar on each end does not bother me .. I don't want to walk out of this surgery and wish a little bit more skin or a bit more fat could have been removed. I rather walk out .. be happy with as much skin being removed as possible and be unhappy with a longer scar. That would be fine!
But, like all the other surgeons I saw in Colombia .. Dr Juris insisted that there is no need for extended scar and Vaser will take care of my love handles. Another surgeon I had seen in Medellin went as far as offer me a "money back guarantee" that I will be happy with just lipo on my love handles.
Anyway, so Dr Juris started drawing on me to show me where he would lipo (I have heard he is an expert on [high volume] lipo). He said he was doing this to show me where he would lipo and give me the next 36 hours to think about any additional areas I would like done. Indeed, there was ... outer thighs! He marked inner thighs, back of legs, all of my back, my chest, side of the chest, love handles. The front stomach area he will do muscle repair and tummy tuck so no need for lipo I guess. The scar line was SUPER low which I am happy about but I think I have very high hip bones so maybe he has to take it up to there on the sides. Pics from today's appointment ...
I miss Medellin! It was the most amazing city and having spent a few days in Bogota (on previous trips) ... it is unbelievable how HOT the Medellin women are and how much perfect surgery they have had. Bogota is so so, but it is quite cold here always so people cover up a lot more. It is also almost 3000m above sea level so it takes a while to get used to (so you should definitely come here 2-3 days before your procedure to get your body used to the high altitude. Even taking a few steps can leave you out of breath.
Operation took a bit longer than expected (5+hrs instead of 4hrs) because i had fibrosis due to my previous botched lipos. I am really appreciative to the doctor for taking the extra time to clean the mess (till almost 7pm at night)
I spent the night in the medical centre itself with my own private nurse and this morning i moved into a 'recovery house' .. I will write a very detailed report once i am a bit more mobile. I was surprised at how little to none pain i have had.
It's too early to tell how good the results are but doctor juris came to see me on Sunday and said he was very happy with the results. The nurses have commented the same. I wish i had the camera handy when i was opened up again after i was given a shower.
Its now day 3 and i seem to be on the mend with very little pain medication being taken. Doctor has given me all sorts of medication - something for blood conjugation, anaemia, anti-biotic, anti-inflammatory. I am getting daily lmd massages as well and she cleans all my dressings and changes my faja. This was all included in the package.
I think so far i would have drained 6+ litres thanks to the heavy Lipo. There is still quite a bit of swelling in places and too early to tell how good the outcome is. The scar i think is nice, clean, and low.
I am glad i stayed at the recovery house. I don't know how people do it on their own.
Practically no pain except that drain in my right leg feels like someone is stabbing me with a knife each time i try and take a step. Getting some constipation although understandable since i haven't done any walking and i am not taking much pain killers (prescribed winadeine f).
Got a 30 hour, 5 hop plane journey home with lot of luggage so that is the other big stress. Photos definitely coming.. Haven't taken any post-op yet.i haven't been assessing myself.
Draining kind of stopped but drains will be in till 10 days post op. The massage lady is doing amazing .... Really squeezes every last drop possible. And what looks like bloody fatty liquid drips out of the three open lipo holes and the two drain sites. The other lipo holes have been stitched sites.
Lipo areas are sore to the touch. Will meet Dr Juris this afternoon so will get some additional details including how much fat lipo removed and if there is any way this drain can be removed, although i know he is against it due to very high
8 day mark
When i saw doctor juris on day 4 and told him about the drain pain he agreed to take one of the drains out. It was very easy process and i did not even know it had been done.
Been going for massages everyday and draining a lot every day (into the diapers i am wearing).
The typical day starts at 6am with me taking some medications. Then a nice breakfast is brought in. Then on alternative days i make extra hard effort to go to the toilet. Due to the pain from the drain on my right leg (even after drain removal) and the complication of removing faja, packing material to absorb the fluids, constipation from pain medication i aim to go to the toilet every second day. Thank God i am a man... I can urinate standing and no need to remove faja.
Then the nurse helps me undress and with the shower. I get dressed into a diaper, etc - no faja at this time. Then i am driven to the doctors office every morning where i get the massage. After an hour of being kneaded, pushed, prodded, laser'd, creamed up with arnica cream massages, ultra sound... I am surprised how much liquid comes out ... Even from those Lipo holes with no drains.
Then i am cleaned up and a freshly washed faja is put on me (on day 7 the fajas started to become too big for me so the owner of the recovery house i am staying at took it to the faja shop where the made the faja smaller... Free). I am once again packed with diapers and pads. It's fine brilliantly and meticulously.. So far, especially considering how much i am draining (15+ litres??), my clothes nor the bedsheets have stained.
So as you can see all different things are well coordinated and i am glad i am staying at the recovery house. The three daily male are delicious, fresh and healthy.
Feel loads better, my aim is to be able to put on my compression socks myself and not be draining out any fluids before i start my long journey. There is the slight pain still in my leg from the drain. One drain is still in and i am aspirated through it everyday.
Dr. Juris had a quick look yesterday and said he will l let me know on Wednesday if it is safe to travel or not. Hoping he will take out the last drain then also, although it is not bothering me.
I have pics from day 7 or something but need my laptop to upload. Might get some more today and then upload together. Also, today is the final massage although i might pay for some more since i might be around for 5 more days and there is not much else to do - except go to a salon for haircut, manicure, pedicure, shave (total 20,000 COP). The recovery house is 180,000 a day i think ( includes airport pickup/drop off, transport to post surgery follow ups, really amazing meals, 24 hour attention, adjustment of your fajas, etc). The additional massages cost 40,000 COP.
other than that the only additional expenses have been lots of diapers and small amount of medicines. It's great that you can just call the local pharmacy and they drop off all the medicines and stuff (you don't really need a prescription here - LOVE that) to your doorstep.
Will be VERY sad to leave Colombia - it is a fantastic country.
An eye for detail
Went for my last 'free' massage yesterday and the different than usual massage therapist noted something unusual - immediately she took pictures and what's app'd it to the doctor who said he would come down in an hour to take a closer look. It turned out to be nothing but i really appreciate these kinds of attention that i am getting from all my carers. They are all very closely connected to dr juris so it's a very tight and seamless experience.
The doctor said i might have some seroma around my belly button, and i am having a follow up with him today.
I previously asked him how much fat had been removed and he commented 6litres which is great! I think previous lipo surgeons have only been able to remove 750ml and 1.2 litres. Dr juris, as already mentioned, is super agressive with his lipo. Another, tiny little girl staying at the recovery house (but on the heavier side) had 9kgs removed!! I saw her day before pics and saw her in person ofcourse after the operation and there was a remarkable difference.
My surgery was just after hers. I was asked to come into the medical centre (it's in the same 10 storey building as Dr. Juris's office; the building itself is full of medical practitioners who use the surgery centre so it's not like i am having the operation in the doctors office but more a specialist medical centre. It's the norm here in Colombia. Infact for about a 2-3 square km there is nothing but modern medical centre, hospitals, medical services.. It's quite incredible). Week before surgery i had submitted my blood results. The day before surgery i met with anesthetist who did further tests and took my history. The decision was to start off with epidural and then go with general anaesthetic after.
At 10am i arrived at the centre, was shown to my private room (1 night with nurse was included in the price). I put my heavy luggage, i had been traveling for last 2.5 months) and changed into my scrubs. Then i was taken into pre-surgery room and given a lot of medications intravenously. The cleanliness and following of protocols was done to military precision. All my vitals, etc were recorded. Dr. Juris' was running quite late.. He eventually came around and marked me up. I again told him how much i hate my love handles and i don't mind an extended TT scar .. Anything to get rid of my mushy love handles.
I was taken into the surgery room where on the walls they had written all my essential details incl list of procedures. A nurse came in and went through a last checklist with me ... Very nice! Then they applied some liquid to my body.
Woke up after the 5-6 hour surgery in the pre-surgery room. Then was wheeled into my private room where i think the nurse kept giving me pain medication intravenously at timely intervals. In the morning (12 hours after surgery) i was given a shower. After dressing up i went downstairs to doctor's office and was given my first massage.. Thank God for all the pain medication. I was then packed up with diapers to the Max and put me into a very high quality faja. I can't believe they managed to get m me into that. Dr Juris is very much into high compression immediately and for 20 days after... To the point, as mentioned before, the put in specially designed foams, triangles and a specially designed wooden board once the majority of the bleeding has stopped. You pay for these items separately.. They are not expensive and you are told upfront that these will cost extra. These items are common with Vaser lipo.
Two new patients of Dr Juris here at the recovery house - i can reflect from them the recovery progress i have made in last 10 days.
So it turns out that the intense pain in my right leg was due to a seroma in my abdomen on the right side. The minute it was aspirated with a syringe (the tube on the right side was removed quite early on due to the pain in my right leg ) the relief was just unbelievably instant. About 60ml was removed the first day and then 40ml the second.it's hard to believe that such little bit of liquid can render me completely unable to walk due to the excruciating pain.
Each time, the left abdomen was also aspirated but it yielded nothing.
Tomorrow I again see dr. Juris for follow up.. hopefully get the all clear to fly and no seroma.
Having problems getting my laptop to connect to network here.. so been a bit slow on that. Uploading now using my mobile phone.. hopefully it works. Comments welcome.