37 YO Mother of 2, BA/BL TT/MR (Mommy Makeover) - London, GB travelling to Belgium

I'm currently researching prices and...

I'm currently researching prices and companies/surgeons for a breast augmentation and tummy tuck. I'm leaning towards the Belvedere Clinic in Kent as it's not in Central London (hate going into town, I live in South East London) even though it's a longer car journey. The surgeons seem to have great reputations and I would like a consultation with Dan Marsh but I can't find many reviews on him. Has anyone had surgery performed by him? I know Mr Ghali and Mr Joffily are also surgeons under Belvedere but Mr Marsh's experience and stats seems better suited to me as I want under muscle implants and possibly a lift as well as a moderate tummy tuck.

I'm very thorough with research and after looking into Transform, My Breast, MYA etc I keep going back to look at Belvedere. I trust my instincts so have sent an email for a consultation request so who knows, I may change my mind after I've been there!

I'm apprehensive for many reasons but the main one is that I suffer from Fibromyalgia and after complications during lung surgery in 2014 which almost killed me and an extremely long recovery, I've never been the same so going under the knife, by choice, isn't filling me with happy thoughts. Mr Marsh seems to have a sympathetic demeanor from what I've found online and with my medical history I really need someone who will take all of of it into consideration and be gentle with me.

I don't know ladies, I've got so many emotions running through me, but this is something that I've wanted for over 10 years and I'm now finally financially able to do so, I'm excited at the prospect of not hiding my body from my husband and to not look at my body in disgust every single day. Yet, I've already been to hell and back from surgery that was to save my life and the prospect of going through that again just to look better, just fills me with doubt.

Are there any Fibromyalgia sufferers here that have had cosmetic surgery?

Anyone had any contact with Dan Marsh?

If anyone can help me out, I'd be ever so grateful.

If I was braver, I would document my journey on YouTube as the ladies that have already done so have been a huge help to me and it would be nice to give back, but it's just a bit too personal for me to share that way.

Kudos to all who have taken the leap and had their bodies put the way they want it to be, you are all inspiration for me.

Fibromyalgia and surgery

I've spoken to the manager at Belvedere Clinic and she has recommended that I go for surgery with a company that is within an actual hospital due to the medication I'm on and so that overnight care would be possible.

So now I'm looking into BMI Healthcare and Transform. So far they seem quite expensive but I don't think I have much choice. I've considered going to Belgium, but post op care is a huge concern. I could stay in Belgium for a week so that I could attend the first post op appointment but what then?

I've read so many stories where ladies have said their post op appointments were a waste of time because all that happened is that they get told everything is fine which took less than 5 mins and had pics taking for the after shots!

Decisions, decisions :-(

Breast Augmentation & Mini Tummy Tuck - Dr Oelbrandt, Belgium

Done some research and have decided to try Dr Oelbrandt in Belgium. His reviews are really good and the fact that consultation and followup appointments are with him in London takes a weight off my mind. I have sent an email to his assistant explaining my Fibromyalgia and that I would like breast augmentation and mini tummy tuck so fingers crossed they will accept me for a consultation.

Yes, got a Consultation date with Dr Oelbrandt from Belgium, woohoo!

I've got a date for my consultation with Dr Oelbrandt for 3rd September 2016, can't wait!

Am I weird for feeling excited yet sick to my stomach at the same time?! Mini tummy tuck and breast augmentation is a lot of surgery which means a lot of pain but once I'm healed I won't feel ashamed or disgusted about my body anymore, it'll be so liberating to take my son swimming or put on some sexy lingerie for my husband instead of always making sure I'm covered up in loose baggy clothes.

This consultation is my first step to looking the way I did before going through 2 pregnancies and breastfeeding both babies.... well I want the boobs I had whilst breastfeeding, they were bigger than before being pregnant so promptly disappeared when breastfeeding stopped, both times!

My journey is only just beginning and I've wanted it for so many years that I can't quite believe that I'm actually going to finally do this. I've researched a lot and watched every youtube boob job vlog there is to ensure I'm clear on procedures and recovery and expected pain, which seems to vary greatly from person to person. My only concern is that I had a bad experience of surgery 2 years ago and almost died so I'm wary. That surgery was necessary to save my life but nearly killed me anyway and it hurt for a very long time. Oh well, I survived that so this should be a walk in the park right!?! (Nah, I don't believe me either lol)... I'll be back again once I've had my consultation with 'The Man'!!!

To whoever might read this... I'm pretty much using this as a diary as it feels good to put my thoughts somewhere so they can stop swirling round my mind so my updates will most likely be long-winded!

First (and hopefully only) consultation with Dr Oelbrandt tomorrow 3rd Sept 2016

Can't sleep, my mind is racing! I've got my consultation tomorrow with Dr Oelbrandt and I'm both excited and apprehensive. (This is a long post, as I've said I'm using this as a diary, if it helps someone, all the better, but if you're not into long-winded feelings, you probably won't want to read on lol!).

I did inform him of my fibromyalgia in the contact form so I'm hoping it won't be an issue but can't help but worry that he'll refuse to perform surgery because of it and all the meds I take.

I know my recovery wouldn't be easy in any sense of the word but I can't stand that someone else has the power to decide whether I can handle it or not. I'm fiercely independent as you've probably guessed, so I don't take kindly being told what I can and can't do. I've lived all my life with this condition dragging me down and having to stop working was devastating for me, so I'll not take no for an answer in getting my body back to looking half decent again. I can't have surgery to take away the fibromyalgia but I can have my saggy boobs plumped up and my pregnant wrinkly looking gut can be mended flat again. This is my choice and I should be free to make it. My hubby isn't keen as I nearly died after lung surgery complications 2 years ago, but he is supportive and is making sure he's available to take me tomorrow and give moral support, bless him, he's a good man, how I love him. Most men would have run a mile with my health issues, not this one, he asked me to marry him! So 11 years of marriage, 2 children and we're still in love but I want to feel beautiful and sexy when he says I am, not think that he's just being kind, you know?

I don't want to feel embarrassed when we go out because I'm wearing frumpy clothes to hide my shape and everyone else is dressed nicely. I want to look in the mirror without feeling disgust at my reflection. I want to not be ashamed of my body when my husband has to help me wash and dress on my bad days. He doesn't think I need to change a thing and loves me for me... but I don't love me and it's been like this since the birth of my second child. You know how it goes, the body just didn't spring back like it did with the first one and my fibromyalgia was getting worse so exercise wasn't and still isn't an option for me. Believe me I have tried several times but my fibromyalgia just doesn't do well with exertion of any kind. Tried the just got to push through the pain malarkey to the point of not actually being able to move at all, even under GP and trainers guidance it failed miserably.

OK rant over, onwards and upwards! I'm looking forward for tomorrow, will be back tomorrow night to update on how it went, fingers, toes everything crossed for good news lol!

Good luck and healing to all that need it. God bless.

Part 1 - Consultation with Dr Oelbrandt - He's the ONE!

So, I had my consultation with Dr Oelbrandt on 3rd September 2016, and this is how it went:

Arrived 15 mins early with my husband and 9 yo son. The entrance is a small black door, slight inset. Upon opening said door, was faced with a mountain of stairs, so with crutch in had (ew, not my actual crutch, I mean a walking stick type of crutch, you have a dirty mind lol), I started the long ascent with my son before me and my husband after in case my knees decided to give way, thankfully they behaved!

Once at the top we went through another door which led to the receptionist and waiting area. It's a small space, but nicely furnished. I gave my name to the receptionist, whom by the way, isn't his secretary Tahira, and took a seat to wait. There was another lady already there with her friend, she had clearly had facial surgery, so I assume was having a post op check up.

The receptionist asked if this was my first appointment, which it was, she then asked me to fill out a long double-sided form and pay the consultation fee (£60 for the 2 procedures). I was told to keep hold of the form and hand it to Dr Oelbrandt when it was my turn.

In between all that Dr O appeared and said hello and asked who was next and the lady and her friend were so he ushered them up a few stairs to his office.

The wait was long, I was a bit peeved, but it showed me that he cares for the wellbeing of his patients during their aftercare. When thought of in those terms, I didn't mind the wait anymore. It was almost an hour past my appointment time before Dr O led the lady out and ushered me in. He made sure that my husband and I had chairs to sit in then dumped a container of implants onto the examination table and said that I could touch them and try them on with the bra that also fell out of the box. He then said that he needed to sort out some paperwork that the lady needed urgently and that he would be back soon, then left the room closing the door! I must say, I was a bit put off by this, but I had already paid, so walking out wasn't an option.

So we messed around with the implants, but I didn't put on the sports bra, just tried them in my normal bra. It was good to have a play with the implants as it gave me a chance to see that the 300cc I had in mind, might actually be too much.

Eventually Dr O returned and apologised, and surprised me by going into relaying his adventures with the printer not printing and his trouble with the ink cartridges! It showed a softer side to him that put me at ease. He asked me to remove my top and bra and try the implants with the sports bra he provided so I did. He asked what I thought I would like implant wise and showed me the difference between high profile and moderate. He didn't think high profile would be right for my frame and the look I was going for and I agreed. He asked me to remove the sports bra and stand with my back to the wall so that he could take photos for the 3D imaging. Once he took the pics, he immediately uploaded them into the programme. Whilst that was loading, Dr O took some measurements with a tape measure, drew over my breast with pen (that stuff didn't come off even after I scrubbed at it in the shower!). He recommended a lift and nipple reduction for me, which I suspected I would need. He explained that he would place the implants through the imframammary fold and use sizers to see which would look best then perform the lift to make sure that the size is correct before closing the imframammary incision. Dr O said I could redress then showed me a presentation on his laptop about BA and also had before and after photos. He showed me particular befores and afters that were very similar to my before. He showed one lady who looked like me who had refused the lift and the implants didn't look good, her boobies were saggy still and Dr O said that she ended up going back in for the lift as she wasn't happy with how they looked.

The 3D imaging was ready by then and it's so cool! He put in the lift and 2 different implant sizes so that I could see what 300cc and 200cc would look like. He also agreed that I didn't need 300cc, and thought that 250 to 280cc would be enough. Of course, the 3D imaging is just a guide and isn't exact, but it gave me a chance to see what I'd look like with nice boobies, that aren't empty saggy sacks! So I now know that I'll be having 250-280cc Silicone Mentor implants. There is a choice Mentor or Sebbin a European brand that isn't FDA approved so not used in the USA and there is a price difference between the two, the Mentor being £300 more expensive, but these have been tested extensively so feel that it would be worthwhile to pay the higher price.

Dr O took my email address so that he could send me access to the 3D imaging, quite handy to be able to look at it any time I like. Next it was onto discussing the tummy tuck. I'll start a new post for that, as I think this one is long enough now, don't know if anyone will ever read this but if someone does and want to know the rest, check out part 2 (which I hope to get around to this evening!)

3D imaging of BA

Couldn't add the pics to my post so here they are. Let me know what you think of my choice in size please!

Dr O Consultation Part 2!

I just didn't have time to get round to doing this sooner, hopefully I can still remember what happened.

So the next bit was about the tummy tuck....uhm.... I remember he had me standing up and had a look at my belly and drew around my belly button and from hip to hip and a small vertical line in the middle a few centimeters below my belly button (the photo is the morning after so the marks have faded but still there, it's not easy to get that pen off!)

Dr O then asked me to lay on the examination table and felt my tummy. He asked me to lift my head whilst he was pressing on my abs then my legs and the top part bulged up and he said that was from muscle separation. He was able to pretty much put his whole hand into my abs. It was the weirdest thing to see his hand disappear into my belly as he pushed, it didn't hurt as my flabby skin just sank down with his hand, it just felt and looked very strange! I knew I had diastasis recti, but I didn't know how bad it was until then. Needless to say he said he would need to sew my abs back together as well and cut my belly button to pull the skin down then make a new hole for my belly button to be reattached.

After that he said I could redress and showed us a video of him actually performing the muscle repair himself! My husband went white! He clearly didn't realise what the surgery entailed lol! I have watched numerous yt videos so was well aware that my entire belly flap would be cut and lifted up to reveal the muscles ready for stitching. He used an electric current to simulate the muscles and you could see them move either side, but the gap in the middle didn't and he explained that this is how my muscles would be and he would need to do this kind of surgery to fix them. My husband was totally freaked out and when we left he was in shock and I don't think he wanted me to go ahead at that point and we ended up in an argument, but by the time we had reached back home he had calmed down and was back to being supportive. It was scary for him to see the surgery being performed because all he was thinking, in his words was "that's going to be my Mrs on that table, all cut open like that" and it scared him. In fairness to him, I actually nearly died 2 years ago whilst having lung surgery that was supposed to save my life, so it took me a long time to recover, and in his words again he said "I've only just got you back, but if this is going to make you happy, I'll be there with you every step of the way". God I love my husband. We've been through hell but he's willing to go there again if it makes me happy.

Anyways, I digress. Back to Dr O. He explained the procedure and asked if I wanted to stay in hospital which he thought would be a good idea given my medical history. He also asked about my lung surgery and for my lung surgery records as he wanted to see them and also give them to his anesthetist so he could maybe lower the pressure of the breathing apparatus so as to avoid causing another pneumothorax which believe me is no walk in the park, I've had 3, hence the surgery.

We chit chatted for a bit, he told me about his son, he was sooo cute when he said that his son was like a little teddy bear that you just want to cuddle and eat up! I can imagine him kissing and snuggling his little one! He asked about my family and whether I had any more children as I only had my son with me. My daughter is almost 18 so I didn't need to bring her along! It's nice to see the other side of him.

After that he was all business again and we started talking prices. He wrote the price for the tummy tuck, breast augmentation and hospital stay separately. Dr O also said that I could have further consultations free of charge and even by skype if I couldn't make it to the office. This is standard practice with him, which is very reassuring.

I didn't need another consultation though, I knew he was the right surgeon for the job and after my husband and I talked (argued lol), I was ready to book the date. So the next day I sent a text to Tahira requesting the available surgery dates and she responded with September, October and November dates. I chose the 17th as it's the week before school half term so it would be easier if I didn't have to worry about getting my son to school during my second week of recovery. Unfortunately the 16th is my daughter's 18th birthday so I did ask her how she would feel if I went for that date as I would be leaving on her actual birthday, but she was really good about it and said that I should go for it as she knows it's something that I really want for myself which isn't something I usually do. I shall be making it up to her before I go, bless her. I thought she was going to make a fuss so didn't book it before I spoke to her!

So there you have it, I've found my surgeon, yay!

Surgery Date Booked - 17th October 2016

It's official, Dr Oelbrandt has confirmed the date is booked as mine! 10:30am on 17th October 2016.

I've booked the ferry from Dover to Dunkirk on 16th and we'll stay at the Hotel Beveren until Friday 21st the we'll drive back to Dunkirk and get the ferry home. Hope I don't feel like s**t by then lol!
I'm so excited, but am totally bricking it! I'd like to thank all the lovely RS ladies that have been kind enough to answer my questions and share their experiences. They are the reason I'm sharing mine. Special thanks to vik45 for putting up with my millions of questions and giving me support, I appreciate the kindness more than you know xxx I hope that my journey will in turn help someone else on their journey.

I feel like I should be doing a countdown to the day lol! I'm prepping like mad, I like to have all my ducks in a row and be prepared so have ordered zip front sports bras, full body shapewear, arnica, biotin, vit C, button front pjs, hibiscrub, micropore tape. I already have a zimmerframe, wheelchair and recliner as I have to use them on my bad days anyway. I sleep with a wedge pillow under my knees already as I can't lay flat on my back for long without one so I'll be bringing that and a few pillows to prop up my back.

I'm so excited but also pretty scared! Aaah! Next month, I'll be on the flat side, wooo hoo! :-)

Had to do, all your fault vik45 lmao!

So vik45 said that I'll probably start a countdown now sooo.... of course it made me want to do one!

Been Shopping!

Got 2 long button down nightshirts and 2 button pj sets. Do have some already, but had an excuse to buy more so did lol! Going to wash them ready for the big day ????

Yucky Belly!

1 month to go till I get to say buh bye big belly and I can't wait!

Uploading photos is never easy as the shame and disgust is real, but I'm trying to deal as so many others have done so and it helped me so much to see that I wasn't alone.... so I'll just man up and hope I help someone too ?

I've realised that I haven't given my stats so here it is... 5'4" tall, 133lbs (hoping to lose a bit more before surgery), belly makes me size 12-14 (UK size), saggy 34b or 36a cup bra size, mostly skin no upper pole fullness at all. I have back fat but I'm not bothering with lipo anywhere, I get rid naturally... I hope lol!

Freaking Out!

20 days to go and I've been freaking out about EVERYTHING! How will I cope with the pain? Will I look like frankenstien forever if my scars don't fade? Will 220cc to 280cc be big enough or too big? Can I really trust my PS to make that decision for me? Will the TT scar ride higher than my knickers? Will I be too small after the lollipop lift to fit in decent sized implants? Will I really recognise a seroma or haematoma in time if I get one? Is removing the drains after 24 hours too soon?

I have so much going round in my mind I can't focus on anything else, feel like I'm going crazy! Did anyone else feel like this or am I just an absolute nutter lol?!

Compression Garments

Dove21 asked me about the compression garments I purchased so here are some pics of what I bought. Dr O does include compression garments in his price. If you want to purchase additional garments the bra is £30 and the girdle is £50. A lot of women buy the Macom compression garments but they are quite expensive so the choice is yours. Hope this helps ?

Oh no!

I've got 2 days till surgery and have caught a cold from my daughter despite trying desperately not to and taking Vit C and Aunt Flo decided to visit 2 days early, which actually isn't a bad thing as it means I'll be on a lighter flow day by Monday so hopefully won't bleed all over the operating table and my bed seeing as I won't be allowed to wear underwear due to the TT.

Praying I get over the worst of this cold by Sunday night as Dr O is coming to my hotel to see me at around 8pm so I've got to make sure I don't show any signs of illness! Ugh, the timing is pants, can't believe my luck. Fingers crossed it'll be okay.

Good luck to Wonderwoman today, and I hope everyone else who is also having surgery has a uncomplicated and smooth one. All the best ladies ?

Almost my turn!

Can't believe I'm doing this... tomorrow morning I'm going in for surgery. I'm nervous but excited... and anxious yet happy do basically a whole range of emotions are running riot lol!

The trip from London to Belgium was uneventful thankfully and my hotel is nice.

I'm on the flat side!

Had my surgery yesterday and boy did I wake up in pain! The nurses at St Josef hospital are lovely though and have made sure that my pain is minimal. Think I used my left arm too much as my left breast started bleeding, hope I haven't pulled my stitches. Dr O is coming to see me this morning so he'll no doubt check under my bandages. Am glad I chose to stay the night in hospital, there's no way I would have been able to leave.

300cc Mentor Moderate Plus

Dr O managed to fit the 300cc in! Didn't think he would because of the lollipop lift making the skin tight, but he did it, yay! I've been able to move my arms just fine which is probably a bad thing as I know I've been using my arms way too much so I'm causing bleeding. I've only got one drain still in on my right breast. More moving means higher fluid output so I'm going to keep my butt in bed now otherwise I won't get the drain removed tonight.

My tummy is sore but not hurting as much as I thought it would thanks to my friend morphine. No problem with bm as I started dulcolax 2 days before surgery. Can't eat much so it's little and often, I'm hungry but I just can't fit a lot in with the binder on. Dinner booked at the restaurant tonight so am just going to rest till then Oh and Dr O will be coming before I go to dinner so fingers crossed he takes out my last drain.

Hope everyone who is on the other side is healing well and good luck to those waiting their turn xxx

Good morning!

I was taking some pictures last night and as you will see, I don't have the vertical scar on my breast so it looks like Dr O didn't need to do the full lollipop lift. Makes sense though, because he didn't think the 300cc would fit after the lift so it seems that he just did an areola reduction/lift. I'm going to the clinic on Thursday to see him so I'll ask him then.

When he removed my last drain last night he said that he did a bit of lipo on my tummy. He said that my muscles were so far apart that when he tightened them I had a pouch of skin at the top of my tummy so he had a choice of either a full vertical cut or to just make a small cut to remove a bit and see if it will settle. I'm glad he didn't do the full vertical cut but I do have a small vertical scar now and he said if the skin doesn't flatten, he will do a small revision for me but that won't be for a good while yet.

Even with all the swelling my tummy still looks way better and knowing it's going to get flatter is beyond belief!

Thanks Dr O.

More pics

Clicked update instead of add more photos!

Doughnut Lift & Lipo... Whaaaat?

Well had my 2nd post op appointment with Dr O, this time at the Singelberg Clinic. He confirmed that he he didn't need to do the lollipop lift as it wasn't necessary so just did doughnut lift and areola reduction. He was concerned that there was fluid in my tummy so used a syringe to remove some, then asked if I could wait half an hour so that he could open me up an inch to just make sure because he did a bit of lipo. I didn't request lipo as it adds to the cost but he took it upon himself to do some so that my results would be better. He told me at my 1st post op about the lipo but I was drugged up and had totally forgot! So I got freebie lipo, no wonder my tummy hurts so damn much more than the breasts do!

My husband and I waited until his OR was free and he cut the stitches below my belly button and open me back up all whilst I was awake and my husband was watching! (He did use numbing meds before starting.) Dr O used gauze to dry out the fluids and had a good look around for anything untoward but upon not finding any dark blood or clots he was satisfied that I was healing just fine and therefore stitched me back up and once the nurse put the dressings on my incisions and helped me get my clothes on (she kept telling me off for lifting my arms lol) we left the clinic and had dinner in the pub 2 doors up from the clinic.

My husband has been a surprisingly good nurse and has done a good job of looking after me and I'm so glad he came with me even though he hates hospitals and was worried about my going under general anaesthesia. I'm thankful to have a supportive husband who didn't pressure me either way, he just wants me to be happy and I really am, although the pain today has been the worst day yet and that was before the extra bit of surgery so the journey home tomorrow morning is going to be a bit of a chore. Until then it's just rest rest rest.

Hope everyone is well whether waiting for or recovering from surgery xxx
Dr Oelbrandt

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