2 weeks post op new pictures :) - Bay Area, CA

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*Treatment results may vary

I am 35 5'4" 170lbs. I have a 16 year old...

I am 35 5'4" 170lbs. I have a 16 year old daughter, so I was 18 when she was born and....yep you guessed it, my body has never been the same. Major stretch marks and no bikini for me all throughout my twenties. So now is the time. It is a very big decision and honestly I've been reading all the stories and checking out the pictures here for over two years! Currently I'm in the process of finding the right plastic surgeon and plan to do my procedures at the begging of June this year. I have met with two great docs, one of which I'm sure I'll use, but I must meet with one or two more as is the recommendation. I am also hoping to drop some pounds before. My ideal weight would be 125-135, but I'd do the procedure at 150 if need be and hopefully it will put me in a good position to then reach my goal. I just started the paleo diet (actually the whole30) loving it so far. I have learned so much from all the brave ladies here and I'm excited to have my time come soon. I was always so scared of the scar and the money. Now I'm more concerned with how my recovery process will be than anything, and of course I hope for excellent results. I'm planning a full tummy tuck, muscle repair and some lipo. So far my estimates are quite a bit higher than the norm. Maybe it's because I live in the Bay Area or maybe it's because I need more work! Post pics soon. Xx

Adding some before pictures. I'm doing ok on my...

Adding some before pictures. I'm doing ok on my diet.--down to 168. I still need to interview one more doctor. I have been thinking I want to do this sooner, if possible, just because I realize what a long recovery it is and I am not looking forward to being laid up during the beautiful long days of summer. Patience is what we all need, I guess. It's kinda like after 16 years I can barely wait!

---also, the doctor that I think I will end up...

---also, the doctor that I think I will end up going with does a drainless procedure. That seems like a big plus to me, though I realize it is not as popular. I'd love to hear some pro's and con's if any of you ladies has knowledge.

OK a quick update. So my boyfriend has been...

OK a quick update. So my boyfriend has been really busy at work and I have not scheduled a final consult. Both Dr.'s I've seen say I am a good candidate. One of the first questions I asked is if I need to lose weight before sx, both said no, but I've decided that I really want to. Everything is on hold. I need to talk to one more Dr. then choose which one. I will either do the surgery in June or in the fall--I'm not sure! I am hoping to get into as good shape as possible first and I am uncertain about recovery during the long days of summer, just not sure that would make me very happy. That being said I know the quicker I do the surgery, the sooner I will get through the recovery process.

On my weight loss. I am down to 165 but I have not been being anywhere near perfect on diet or exercise. I have started going to Bikram yoga which kicks my butt, but I love it. I really want to start CrossFit also but I'm lagging on it. You ladies are inspiring me. I added a couple new pictures today. I will update if I lose 10lbs and when I talk to final surgeon. I will also give my review of all the Dr.s I've met with, for anyone in my area looking to have work done. There are so many different techniques and I just want the best one! I want a natural looking (round) belly button, a low smooth looking scar that fades nicely, and to get the best shape possible! Oh how I wanna rock a Bikini and feel sexy!!!

Looking at all these reviews I get so excited and scared! Best wishes to everyone and Happy Healing and Bikini time for you too! Ha ha :)

I have now interviewed 3 doctors and done my due...

I have now interviewed 3 doctors and done my due diligence. I feel that I have enough information to actually make a decision but it is still a bit difficult. I am giving myself a couple more weeks to think it all over and to do a bit more research into the doctors backgrounds, well my BF wants to see if there have any complaints filed against them, ect. LOL I trust him to look at the things I'll miss and be the hard ball guy because that just isn't me. For anyone looking in my are (SanFrancisco Bay Area) I believe I met some of the best Dr.'s so here is my experience so far:

The first Dr I met with is Miguel A. Delgado, Jr. who is based out of Novato California. His office was by far the most fancy, the largest exam room, really nice exam gown to put on, and they gave me a very cool packet with pictures, my quotes, and all the information needed all put inside a sleek folder. They were also very professional and sent me a follow up letter. I did wait about 15-20 min after my scheduled time to see the Dr. No big deal and they were aware and appologetice, it was just a busy day. The estimate I got was 18,200.00 for full TT, and lipo of flanks and lower back. Most everything is included in that except for bloodwork and garments. The executive director, Colleen Ferrari called me afterwards to say that I can take 1,000 off my Sx cost because they were running a special on Real Self, so my new estimate is 17,200.00. I liked Delgado, he spent a long time with us and answered all our questions. He told me that my waist was small, so he would not have to do as much work on me in that area but my lower back/hips need extra. I asked if I needed to lose weight and he said no, that as long as I am at a comfortable weight for myself, that is most important. He said it is not good when patients lose a whole bunch of weight before surgery just to gain it back later. What I did not like was when I asked about belly buttons, his first response was, "Well they always look a little alien" so that told me he did not have confidence in his technique. Let's face it, to me the navel is very important because it is the focal point of the stomach and the center of the whole body. I don't want mine to look "alien" I want it to look "human" and natural! He had an extensive amount of work and many books full of great pictures. The executive director was good at her job and also explained a lot. Delgado uses Insorb staples, drains, and a pain pump as part of the procedure. They suggest silicone strips for scar treatment. He suggests that you should get a colonics treatment before the sx and I think that is a good idea, I will do that no matter what Dr I go with. Honestly, from the get go, Delgado was not my number one choice simply because I did not love his photos and I am curious about doing a drainless procedure. His office is also the furthest away from where I live in Capitola Ca. Novato is a 2 plus hour drive from my house.

The next Dr I met with was the one I thought I would go with because he is one of the only surgeons in the area who specializes in drainless procedures and what little photos I've seen of his looked like beautiful artistry. His name is Dr Ramin A. Behmand and is located in Walnut Creek, which is about 1.5 hours from my house. I met with him twice because the first consultation, I was by myself, so I still wanted my BF to get to personally meet him. His office also charges $75 consult fee which can be applied towards surgery if you go with him. Both times I went there I had to wait 30 plus minutes after my appointment time to meet with the Dr. It was a drawback for me because I am driving from so far, but honestly that would not be the thing that makes or breaks my decision, all I really care about is getting those results I want. So, Dr. Behmand has an amazing way about himself and I really liked him. He doesn't have any picture books in his office, which I think is a little strange. My BF gave him the third degree and asked if he could speak to any of his previous patients. Behmand said yes, that he would give them our number, so they can contact us. I asked him what he suggested for scar treatment and he said just paper, he said that I could use whatever I wanted but he did not think the silicone or oils make any difference. I asked him if I needed to lose weight and he said no, that I am not too overweight to have an issue that would worry him about sx complications. He did make me feel good because he said that my backside was attractive. His quote was the cheapest of the 3 and came in at $14,900 which includes an over night stay at the facility. The main reason my costs are higher is due to the lower back lipo because it adds on a good amount of surgery center time and that isn't cheap at all. After the second appointment with him, we were driving to my third Dr consult and I was so sure that Dr Behmand was the one I almost did not go to my third appointment.

My third consultation was with Robert M. Lowen located in Moutain View, Ca. and boy am I glad I did go. I got a last minute appointment with him and it seemed very serendipitous. I saw one of his answers on Real Self and was impressed by his technique. He creates a very fine scar and employs the lockwood technique (which I am also going to look more into). His office coordinator was a bit much for me (very bubbly personality) and also sort of a hard seller, but she was not so bad. She said that Dr Lowen is in the top 5 percent of plastic surgeons for abdominoplasty in the country. Ok, so I am getting excited, but it could just be BS, LOL. His office was the only one that I actually sat and spoke with the patient coordinator first, before the Dr. I thought that was a little strange. When I did meet him Dr Lowen is a tiny guy and very nerdy and technical about his work. Which I actually thought was very endearing and he seemed so into his work I can tell he is meticulous. He had a really nice photo book to look at and went through it and explained his procedures to me, it was impressive how he could remember what he did for each woman and how different the approach can be depending on the factors that make all our bodies unique. He asked me what kind of belly button I would like and I really liked his body of work and pointed out some that I thought looked good. He explained how he creates such a fine scar and (some were hard to even see they were so small and faded) all the time he takes in the operating room. His work is beautiful and I could tell how passionate he is. He said that he usually doesn't need to use any drains but reserves the right to use one if he thinks it is necessary but most of the time no, and he does not like to use them. That made me happy because I did not know there were even any other surgeons in the area that did not use them besides Dr Behmand. During my exam the intake coordinator lady was there and I thought that was odd. I am not sure why that was the case but I felt comfortable none the less. He really showed me how he figures out where to put the scar so that it will be low and a smooth line that follows the natural curve of a body and stays within the panty line. It made since and made me happy. He also noticed the lower back fat and how it was asymetrical and said it is basically a whole other procedure apart from the TT. He will be using Vaser lipo which supposedly only targets fat cells and nothing else. His quote says he will need to have me in the surgery room for 8.5-8.75 hours which is the most any of the doctors quoted. I believe Dr Lowen probably moves a bit slower, is very thorough, and meticulous. His quote was $17,800 if financed through care credit or $16,900 if paid by another method. All of the doctors say I am an excellent candidate and that I don't need to lose weight but Dr Lowen said that losing weight would be good. Dr Lowen does not require an overnight stay and does the Surgery in Santa Clara, he is the closet Dr to me only about 45 min from home.

So I have a lot to think about over the next couple weeks. As soon as I decide we are going to put the deposit down and get the date. I am not sure when I want to do this procedure, it will be the earliest in June, or September. June we will have all the money and time to do it, but if I wait till fall I will not have to do the summer recovery thing and it gives me more time to get in shape! I am leaning toward Dr Lowen right now but giving myself time to decide for sure. Hope this info is helpful to any and all and especially the women in my area looking for a top Dr.

I have been doing Ok on diet and exercise. Some weeks great on exercise and bad on food, some weeks diet good but no exercise. I keep trying to be the best me everyday to love myself and I will reach my goals!!!

I just realized how many spelling and grammar...

I just realized how many spelling and grammar errors I have in my post! So sorry, I just write sort of stream of consciousness and did not proof read before I posted. I am so embarrassed, but this site does not allow you to edit after posting or I would fix it. :)

Everything is on hold

Finances have gotten in between me and my tummy tuck procedure. I am not sure when I'll be able to do it now, could be next year. I am still working on getting in shape for now. I am not sure what Doc I'll end up going with yet either. I will still be here reading your updates, thanks again for sharing. I really love it when people keep updating a year plus post op because it really seems it takes almost that long to fully recover and get an idea of the final scar you will have--I guarantee if and when I do finally get mine, I will do that. My best to everyone!

Trying not to be jealous...

Of all you tummy tuckers! I have been upset/depressed about the fact that I cannot afford my procedure and due to that have stalled--no actually--gained weight. (175 today) I was just so inspired by thinking that I was going to be doing this soon. Now I have to realize from reading all these stories--no matter what, it's about my life and feeling good about myself, my "realself" no matter the circumstances. I love reading your stories, especially all the weight loss journeys that are so inspiring. Some of the transformations I've seen on here are just breathtakingly good. I get jealous! I have read some sad stories and stories of great struggle, and truthfully, it seems most people go through so much, emotionally and physically with this procedure. It's a major surgery and has a major effect on your life afterwords, during and before. Mostly people are happy with the outcome, but even then they go through roller coster rides with emotion to get there. I'm glad this community exists and we can all come together around this one procedure that we have in common, though we are all unique as individuals and have a million different yet similar stories. I will join you on the flat side whenever I can and until then keep sharing, I am rooting for all of us to feel beautiful and happy and healthy in our own skin!!!!

Yay!!! Scheduled for Tummy Tuck on July 14th

I am really Happy and Excited! My financial situation has changed and I scheduled with Dr. Behmand in Walnut Creek. Now I am going to focus on getting into as good of shape as possible between now and then. Yay!

10 days....

I am excited and nervous. I did not lose weight as I had hoped. I wrote a whole other review because I thought this one was too long and I can't figure out how to edit certain things (like my Dr), but it was rejected because I already have this one so I'll keep going. I have been unable to be as active on here as I wanted. I am really great-full to those that went before me and shared their experience, so I wanted to do the same.

I am having a hard time because of teeth problems. I don't even want to go into it because it makes me so upset. I have spent 2,000 on them in the last week and they have been a money pit. I am not able to be as fully excited about my major procedure next week because of it. Nightmare. I am not being good about being positive right now. I know I could have it way worse and I am so thankful to have this opportunity. I have been a mother half my life and my child is half my age and I am really ready for this. I know the next few weeks and months will be hard but I put my trust in Dr. Behmand's skillful hands and hope my final result is all I can hope for.

Happy fourth!! NO alcohol for me, as it's 10 days prior to sx--so have a blast for me!!!!!

Day 1 PO

The pain and discomfort are about what I was expecting, and it's no joke. I've been able to get up to go to the bathroom on my own without the use of a raiser. I am taking 2 percocet every 4 hrs, a muscle relaxer 3 times a day, and I also bought some Vita Medica supplements to help aid my recovery. I just took off my binder for a quick peek and I look tiny. Most of my stretchmarks are gone. I will post some more pictures whenever I can. I'm sure all this pain and discomfort will be worth it in the end...

Day 4 Pictures, feeling boxy but happy still

Well I am 4 days out and starting to feel much better. The first few days were a blur of pain. I am moving around well and today I had my first BM, so Yay! Apparently the day of my sx they were all really worried because my heart rate dropped really low. I am now weaning off the percocets and Im glad for that. I am happy with how flat I am but I am feeling really boxy. I've always been very curvy so I hope its just swelling making me look like that. I just can't wait to be able to exercise, I will get my arms and back more slender. I don't think the pictures do much justice, I'll post better ones soon. I can't wait to shower either agh, Im stinky! That's all for now.. xo

2 weeks

Swelling and bruising are not too bad. I hate the binder as it totally limits what I can wear with my new shape and it is uncomfortable too, especially at night. I am beyond words happy so far with my results. I feel like the doctor really saw who I could be under all the stretched skin and deformity that was my flanks. I had a cute butt hiding under there and it made it seem really big--not in a good way, and weird. He took care of the part that I could not and now I see clearly what I can be. It is really hard to eat perfect all the time and I really miss the way I feel after a workout, so I just have to be patient with this process, but it does inspire me more than ever before to get into the best shape of my life. I look good in all my gym clothes now and won't wince when I'm standing in front of a mirror doing my workout. I am so excited to wear a bikini after all these years. I am showering daily now and feel pretty great so it's hard to take it easy and just heal when I want to go go go and be out and about showing off my new bod. Again, patients is the key with this surgery and recovery and I know it'll be a full year till I am going to see what my final results are, scar and all. It's funny because I used to be so scared of doing this because of the scar and now I know that it will fade into a tiny white or flesh colored line and my left over stretch marks will be more noticeable. I don't even mind the left over stretch marks at all. My belly button is really cute and natural looking but the guard/tape came off a few days earlier than it was supposed to, so now I am just applying polysporin and covering with gauze and tape. It looks a little irritated and oozy so I am watching it and will probably send a picture into my doctors office to see what they think. Happy healing!

pre and post weight

I was 168lbs the day of sx and today I am 154lbs.

36, Lower Body Lift with Lipo...Amazing Results!

I am two weeks out today and am already amazed with the results. My scar is low and in a perfect natural curve--every pair of panties I own fit over it. My shape is completely transformed. Most of my strectchmarks are gone, but they were way above my belly button to begin with, and the ones that are left over are tight and do not bother me one bit. My belly button looks natural. I will be able to wear a bikini for the first time in my adult life, as I became a Mom at age 18 and I am now 36. I was 168lbs the day of surgery and today I am 154. The pain was rough the first 3 days but it gets better every day. My swelling and bruising have been minimal in comparison to what I have seen. All my clothes fit me way better that pre-surgery. I do have to wear an annoying binder for 6 full weeks of which I am 2 weeks into and I cannot wait to ditch it so I can wear more clothes and be more comfortable. Some of my clothes do not even fit me anymore and I look forward to shopping for some new digs soon! This surgery gave me a flat tummy and changed my shape from something I was always insecure about to a figure I am proud of. I am trying to eat as healthy as possible because I cannot do any exercise till I am 6 weeks out. There is not one doubt in my mind that I will not be getting in the best shape of my life when I am able to. My doctor took away the issues that I was helpless to change, and the rest is doable!
I am so happy and feel blessed to have had this procedure with the best doctor I could have dreamed of!
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon

My Doctor is Dr. Ramin Behmand, he has a wonderful demeanor. He is top in his field. I went to 3 consults but went with my gut instinct. I have seen several of his patients reviews and they all look very different and each have gorgeous results (to my eyes). I am traveling 70 miles to use him and I have the upmost confidence in my decision. I did so much research and met with three top surgeons in my area. I am so glad I went with Dr. Behmand. I went with my gut instinct as I just knew he was the right doctor. He is a caring person as well as extremely skilled. He has the ability to see what you can be and is a true artist with his work. His mannerisms are comforting and his staff are professional, lovely and extremely helpful. He is also very safety conscious and uses the latest and best techniques. I would highly recommend him.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
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