I am a 35 year old mother of four. I had my first child when I was a young teenager; my first pregnancy was the start of many years of low self body image. That first pregnancy did the most damage to my body. I gained a lot of weight (around 30 pounds) and inherited several stretch marks, sagging skin and a pooch from the C-section. Much to my dismay, I was pregnant again a little over a year later…. more stretch marks and weight gain.
Soon after the birth of my second child, I joined the military. The military put me into the best shape of my life!!! I was able to see curves that I hadn’t seen in forever. Everyone remarked about how great I looked. I admit I did look great in my clothes and I was a smaller size then before I had even gotten pregnant. However, little did everyone know there was a war ragging underneath my clothes? It was me versus my stomach. I hated being naked and having to look at my stomach; I longed to wear a bikini. Wearing a bikini was something I had never done before.
The years went by and I had another child, then another. While pregnant with my last child, I met a military spouse who introduced me to the idea of a tummy tuck. She was a beautiful tall dark skinned woman with a flat abdomen. I was so envious because I knew she had two sons. She told me her secret…she had a tummy tuck. She showed me her flat abs, but I was mortified at the terrible scar the surgeon left. The doctor did a horrible job on her incision. It was long and crooked. It looked like a butchered job. I was afraid….very afraid. I didn’t entertain the thought of actually getting it done myself for several years.
I did research for awhile, but I was unsure of what PS to go with. It wasn’t until years later when I went back to college and one of my peers said she was getting a tummy tuck during school break that I became interested in the thought again. She and I talked extensively about her procedure and I watched her go through the process and heal a little bit before I decided to go on a consultation with her PS. I was very pleased with the PS bedside manner and confidence in my surgery results. I decided to go ahead with surgery. Hubby was a skeptic, he didn’t think the surgery was necessary but he agreed to it reluctantly because he knew how important it was to me. I had my first TT in 2008.
Surgery went well, it was really painful but I was willing to fight through it, my self esteem was at stake. After surgery, I was disappointed to see that I still had stretch marks on the lower half of my stomach. I tried Dermablend and other products to conceal the marks so I could wear bikinis…it didn’t work. To make matters worse, I developed a dog ear. Also, one side of my incision was way higher then the other side. The PS said it was straight after surgery, it moved up due to the tension. Over time the scar healed, it was relatively long and dark. I was so unhappy with how high the one side was that I became very depressed because of it.
I went back to the PS a few times and he told me to wait at least 3-6 months post op to give my body a chance to heal and the swelling to subside. The scar bothered me so much that on one of my visits, I actually broke down crying in the PS office. After much debate the PS reluctantly agreed to attempt to fix the problem. I just had the pay the office fee and the supply fee for the supplies. He said he would do a procedure in his office that would require him to make a small incision and remove the excess skin pulling the incision down lower. The PS used a local anesthetic and a few snips later I was on my way home. It looked better, but it wasn’t great.
Looking back on the procedure I realized that I should have gotten the lipo option. The lipo option would have given me a more sculpted look. Don’t get me wrong, the results are good, but I want great!!! When I questioned the PS about the stretch marks he said that he was unable to get them all the first time and that I would have to return later for a revision.
Four years later I have decided to get a TT revision. I did have an overall good experience with my PS, however, this time I am going to a PS that specializes in the High Tension Abdominalplasty Revision. This procedure will be a combination of liposuction, a tummy tuck revision and thigh lift. This PS is all the way in Beverly Hills California. I have never been to Cali so I am so excited! My mom is going with me so she can help take care of me.
As a prior plastic surgery patient I will be more prepared this time with my questions and expectations. The family and I are going on a vacation before my surgery (I am so glad we planned it that way). When we come back, I am home for a day. The following day we fly out to Cali for surgery. My family takes a lot of trips, I am ready to wear my bikinis and flaunt around like everyone else. Is that too much to ask?? I will post pictures and check in from time to time to let everyone know how I am doing until surgery. Surgery is scheduled for 12/14/12.
Talk to you all soon. I am wishing that everyone’s plastic surgery dreams come true.