Tummy Tuck and Liposuction - Beverly Hills, CA

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My surgery is in 2 weeks. I'm very nervous but...

My surgery is in 2 weeks. I'm very nervous but more excited about doing this. I think about it all the time, looking at myself and imagining my flat tummy and thinner thighs.

Since I am starting this diary before having the procedures, I can't rate the pain yet- I will update when it's time. My satisfaction with my doctor is excellent so far. Pre-op appointment was very informative and reassuring.

Well I'm 1 week away from my TT and Lipo of my...

Well I'm 1 week away from my TT and Lipo of my flanks and upper thighs (and an umbilical hernia repair) and I'm getting pretty excited. I only get nervous at night when I can't sleep - like last night it occurred to me that I don't have life insurance and since my husband is a firefighter, how will he pay for child care for our 2 teenage boys if I don't come out of this alive? OK - is that a bit over-the-top for nervousness?!?!

My body's history: 1-9# baby at age 39, 1-10# 3 oz. baby at 41- both by c-section; 2 hiatal hernia operations...my belly is crying out for repair.

My husband is 100% behind this surgery. He's taken 10 days off to help me and take care of the kids.

I really hope this week flies by! I can't take the suspense much longer!!

3 days to go - started the Arnica Montana and...

3 days to go - started the Arnica Montana and Bromelian yesterday to help with swellling and bruising. Hope it works! Not nearly as afraid as I was last week, but definitely pre-occupied.

I hadn't told my sister until after Thanksgiving so I wouldn't have to get lectured. Then everyone was talking about the show on tv the night before about plastic surgery and saying how awful it was to try and change the way you look. SO GLAD I waited to tell anyone!!

My best friend, my sister and my mom are all afraid for me. They tell my I look great but I don't agree. My husband and all my other gal pals are excited and supportive.

Very very happy today. Back in my son bed- foxing...

Very very happy today. Back in my son bed- foxing back to sleep now!

Going, not 'foxing' back to sleep! Guess...

Going, not 'foxing' back to sleep! Guess that was a Freudian slip since my new body is so Foxy :)

I saw the doc yesterday he said everything went...

I saw the doc yesterday he said everything went really well. Took off the garment and cleaned my incision which made me horribly woozy so I couldn't stand up to take a post op photo. Had hubby take one while I was in the chair. Doc told me to take the garment off a few hours a day and told me to get prilosec for the reflux I'm now having- which he says is temporary. It feels great taking it off for awhile, but I'm such a wimp I can't be bear to look at my tummy yet! Drains coming out Monday. So far so good. Sleep is tough due to the low back ache, but that even improves a little every day.

I have a better system going for my meds so I'm comfortable most of the time.

How's everyone else doing out there? Chinababe?

Today I washed my hair, put my contacts back in...

Today I washed my hair, put my contacts back in and put on make up. I'm dressed and ready to go see the doctor. I Looked in the mirror and said "hey I remember you!".

More when I get back from the doc- maybe even my first post-op photos. Hopefully no drains and a showerntonight!

Well after measuring my drain output today I just...

Well after measuring my drain output today I just knew they wouldn't remove them so I called the office and read off the numbers. I was right, so they rescheduled me for tomorrow. It's a 45 minute drive each way so I just couldn't see the point. I've waited a year for this surgery; I can wait a couple of days for the drains.

In the meantime I stripped off all my garments and gave myself a good sponge bath. I taped up my drainage tubes and bulbs and stood naked in front of the mirror and took a good look at my new body. Even with the swelling I must say I look awesome! I feel so boastful saying that, but at this point I am really looking at it as the brilliant sculpting of my artistic PS. Once I'm out in the world I'll take ownership of it, but for now it's his work I'm admiring.

I can sing it from the highest mountain top - I...

I can sing it from the highest mountain top - I got my drains out today!! Wow I feel so free and unemcumbered now. I am still all bruised and scarred, but man do I love that silhouette.

I was going to go back to work next Thursday but my doc wants one more full week of no driving - fine with me! Since I work only when I make myself available...I will not be available until the 20th - a full 20 days of recovery. That sounds so much better.

My husband is going back to work tomorrow so I'll be relying on my teenage boys to keep things together around here. Hub is a fireman so he's gone 24 hours - that means the kids have to make breakfast, lunch and dinner - AND clean the dishes. I know they can rise to the occasion. If not - hubs can clean it up when he gets home Sunday. (He's making a big pot of Pozole today that we can eat for a few days) I can always call my BFF to take the boys away or feed us. I'm not worried at all.

I'm just so elated to have those stinking drains out!!!!

I am taking my first shower now. This crotchless...

I am taking my first shower now. This crotchless security blanket is going into the wash finally. I don't know why, but I'm a little nervous about seeing my scar- I tend to get light-headed at stuff like that. Thankfully we have a big seat in our shower so I'll stay low in case I feel woozy.

(But I think I'll take a couple of pics of my scar to look at later.)

Today is starting out well. Yesterday I only took...

Today is starting out well. Yesterday I only took 2 extra strenth Tylenol and it was a very uncomfortable day. Today I took a percocet right after I got up and I am feeling great. I do worry about the day when I won't have them anymore.....don't want to become another Rush Limbaugh or Melanie Griffith (only not rich and famous.) But I am only taking one in the day, and one at bedtime, so I don't think it will be a problem.

I'm adding a photo of my incision line to show how it looks. I've noticed others' photos and my belly button area still looks very red and funky compared to everyone else's. I hope it heals well so I don't have to have that re-done. I think it may be some bruising though....we'll see over the next few days. I don't see the doctor again until Friday 12/17.

Today I'm a little concerned about my meds....

Today I'm a little concerned about my meds. Intried to make it with just extra strength Tylenol on Sunday and that was not good. So I went to one oxycodone in the morning and one at night. Then today I decided to try just the muscle relaxer- again- not good. So finally at 2 pm I took a percocet and I feel so much better, but a little dopey.

I am worried that I can't be comfortable without the percocet. It's been 2 weeks since surgery. Am I too concerned? Is this still close enough to be taking meds? I'm so freaked at the idea of addiction.

I am so excited today! I went all day yesterday...

I am so excited today! I went all day yesterday without a pain pill, just Extra Strength Tylenol, then took a pill after dinner and felt great all night. Slept well and woke up without any pain. Took 2 Tylenol this morning and so far, so good.

I drove my car for the first time today. I think I could have before, but the doc told me to wait until after my appointment today (which isn't until later) but I had to take my car in for service...only a 3 mile drive. Man, it felt great to be out and about independently!!

My biggest thrill is being off the pain meds during the day. I'll try sleeping tomorrow night without them and see how it goes. Not ready tonight! We have a Christmas party and I think I'll need one to sit in a chair at the restaurant all night. The chair thing is still uncomfortable.

Yesterday I felt like a million bucks. Today...

Yesterday I felt like a million bucks.

Today I feel like $1.47

What a roller coaster ride this is! But SO worth it.

Wishing all my Real Self friends a very Merry...

Wishing all my Real Self friends a very Merry Christmas. I feel really blessed to have found such a neat circle of supportive women on this surreal journey of self-fulfillment. May you and your families enjoy laughs and love over these next days together.

Happy New Year to all my Real Self gal pals....

Happy New Year to all my Real Self gal pals. We've got an exciting year ahead with our hot new bodies! Have fun and be safe tonight.

Happy New Year to all! I am thrilled to begin...

Happy New Year to all!

I am thrilled to begin 2011 with a new sense of self. I look into the mirror now and see someone I thought I'd never see again. I am proud to have taken this step for myself. I know I will be a better wife and mother now that I have chosen to do something special for Me.

I thank my husband and sons for their support and love during this journey. I thank my plastic surgeon Jay Calvert and his staff for their understanding, compassion and comfort.

I am truly excited to enter 2011 with a renewed excitement about life!

Saw my PS today- I'm just past the 6 week mark...

Saw my PS today- I'm just past the 6 week mark. First the PA checked me out and said I'm a "good healer" and my scar looks great. Then she said the swelling looked normal. Then the doc came in - he admired my scar like he had created a work of art...but then he said the swelling down around my incision and mons is bigger than it should be. He said it could be a late forming seroma.

He asked if I minded him sticking a needle in to see if there was fluid. That did not thrill me...I asked if I could lie down as I'm a fainter when it comes to needles. He said I had to stand..yikes. I covered my eyes but i didn't feel a thing. And then he said there was no fluid! Hmmm?

So...he put me in a binder for 2 weeks. It's a bit uncomfortable (I didn't wear one before; just a full garment) but I like having my legs uncovered and just wearing my regular panties. So we'll see what happens in 2 weeks.

He has not cleared me to ski, pay tennis or do any core work. Walking and the elliptical bike and some upper body weights, pull-ups, etc. is fine. I really miss tennis. I broke my collarbone last Feb so it's been a year since I've played. I really miss it. But I'll be patient and follow instructions.

Before I went to see him I stopped at my favorite swimwear shop and tried some cute stuff on. But I wasn't thrilled with anything because of that lower swelling. Hopefully in a few weeks things will look better. But it was really fun trying them on!

PS. I got to meet a fellow RealSelf gal today.....

PS. I got to meet a fellow RealSelf gal today...Beachgal is getting ready to go in February. She's really excited and it's going to be fun to see her before and after in person!

Hi all- for some reason I have not received any...

Hi all- for some reason I have not received any emails about any new postings for 2 days now.....anyone out there?

Tomorrow I will be 8 weeks post op and today I...

Tomorrow I will be 8 weeks post op and today I finally had sex for the first time after the kids left for school! Yes, I'm a late bloomer- everyone else was doing it after 2-3 weeks, I know! (but in my defense...my husband is a fireman so he's not home every night.) Ok basically I was afraid it would hurt!

It was fine-more than fine- and we laughed and wondered why we waited so long. I must admit i had a strange feeling like a phantom belly hanging down when i was leaning over him, but then i remembered it was gone and it was really wonderful to feel uninhibited and free with myself again!

But then I got up to dress and my sides are so sore that it hurts
to breath. We didn't do anything out of the ordinary...just sort of lap sitting style so I don't know why I'm hurting so much. I took a muscle relaxer and we went to the beach for a nice long walk and lunch on the pier. A little cocktail, a seafood salad and some ceviche ....what a perfect day!

I am so happy with my new body and my new self-esteem! I feel fantastic! (Photos when my new bikini arrives from the UPS man this week.)

I saw my PS today for my 8 week follow up. 2 weeks...

I saw my PS today for my 8 week follow up. 2 weeks ago my lower abdomen was very squishy like a water balloon. He stuck me with a needle, but there was no fluid. He had me wear a binder for these past two weeks. Within 3 days, the whole area began to get hard. I wasn't sure if that was good or bad....

I was also concerned about some pockets of what appeared to be fat on my inner knees where I'd had lipo. He suggested maybe shooting saline in and re-shaping the areas.

Over the past week I noticed my upper abdominal skin was a bit saggy when I bent over and there was a tiny roll over my jeans when I sit. Standing up straight- no sag at all- perfectly flat.

We discussed all these things today. As for my knees- the litle pouches were gone...must have just been swelling. Yay! As for the loose skin and roll- there's just so much skin they can remove allowing you to be able to stand up straight- and allowing them to be bake to stitch you back together! As for the hardness- he said it. Was something that stared with a D- normal- I really should write some of this stuff down!

So all in all I am perfectly satisfied with the answers to my concerns. Things are healing nicely- my scar is nice and low (he measured- 10cm below my belly button is his preference.) he tries to keep the incision below the lowest cut jeans they make nowadays!

I am so pleased with my doctor. His professional but friendly manner are very comforting. He takes as much time as I need to feel good before I leave the office. And I am just amazed at how fantastic my tummy and thighs look now!

Oh - and a little birdie in his office told me that the Homedic handheld massager with the 2 heads works really well on the swelling. It is not FDA approved so it cannot be "recommended" but it works! I will be running out to buy one tomorrow!

As soon as my new bikinis arrive from UPS I will post new pics.

I ordered a new bikini for the first time in about...

I ordered a new bikini for the first time in about 15 years! Here's the very blurry photo...

3 months...still feel swollen in different areas...

3 months...still feel swollen in different areas every day. tummy feels hard most of the time, like scar tissue - not strong muscles, but it looks fine. time will tell. I'm very happy so far.

Well it looks like I have a seroma -- we've just...

Well it looks like I have a seroma -- we've just noticed it so now it looks like I'll be going in for draining. I'm going to talk to my PS about doing some revisions and more lipo at the same time. I think the seroma has been there since the beginning. It was an area of pain for me (upper right abdomen) and now that the swelling has gone down I have a bulge. He's poked it with a needle twice and nothing came out so I had an ultrasound and they spotted it that way.
My incision sags on one side and my knees are still pudgy. I'd also like a little fat removed from the lower tummy/mons area now. I just don't know what to expect money-wise. I would hope my original price would include the revisions....especially since he didn't do my knees right!

It's been just over 6 months since my surgery. ...

It's been just over 6 months since my surgery. Last month I was dealing with a seroma in my upper right abdomen. I'm sure it was there from the beginning since I had a very sore area there early on. It showed up on an ultrasound so the doctor sent me to have an ultrasound-guided aspiration. When they used the ultrasound to start the procedure, they had a very hard time finding it, though there is a visible bulge in the area. Two techs agreed that it must be dissipating and they didn't feel they could get any fluid out. They felt it would do more harm than good to attempt to drain it.
Being afraid of needles...I was fine with that so I left. But the bulge is still there.
My doctor seems to be avoiding the idea of any further surgery, though there are a few spots I would live touched up (sagging incision on one side, still have fat pockets on my inner knees that I wanted lipo'd during my first procedure. I know I'm being impatient and that I should wait longer for more swelling to go down, but I am still concerned about the bulge. My doctor isn't happy about it either (nor is my husband - he says I look "lumpy")
So - my doctor has recommended I go for some "Accent" laser treatments to help smooth the area out. He has offered to pay for the first treatment; if I like it, I can pay for more myself. Well first, I haven't read too many positive reviews about the treatment - especially being able to see results with just one treatment. I'm not sure how much more money I want to sink into this project! Second - I would like to have him do the touch-ups without my having to keep paying for things.
I'm scheduled for the Accent treatment tomorrow afternoon. I'll report back - but does anyone have experience with this as a post-tummy tuck treatment?

I will post some "pre-accent" bulge photos tonight and then some "after Accent" shots tomorrow night.

I am at about 8 months since my surgery. I am...

I am at about 8 months since my surgery. I am comfortably wearing a bikini in public (YAY!) but I am still not 100% happy with the way my tummy looks. I had an Accent treatment to try and smooth out the lumpy appearance but it didn't impress me. Call me a sceptic, but my feeling is this- if Accent worked to smooth skin and erase cellulite, why don't all the stars have perfectly smooth thighs? Surely they can afford the $300+ per section, per treatment price to have perfectly smooth skin...but they don't!

I had a seroma that was too ill-defined to drain by ultrasound guidance. There's still a bulge in the area and I don't know what to ask my doctor to do about it. I am seeing him next Friday for the first time in months. I know he has wanted to avoid another surgery, but I am ready to get this behind me - I want either some lipo to remove the tissue, or whatever other procedure can be done. I also have some areas where the lipo didn't do what I expected (inner knees) that I would like re-done.

I also can't tell if I'm still swollen or just need some lipo down in the lower abdomen and mons area. Isn't 8 months a long time to be swollen?

I guess my question at this time would be - when do I put my foot down and ask to get the revisions done?

I had my pre-op appointment yesterday to do the...

I had my pre-op appointment yesterday to do the final touch-ups and get rid of that mysterious bulge in my upper abdomen. The doctor is really puzzled by it. He figures it must be a little pocket of fat so he's going in to suck it out along with lots of other areas. He may pull the skin a bit tighter which could mean a drain (yuck) but I'm just happy to have this final step within my sights.

I go in October 11 - I'm not at all nervous. So different than last time!

So I'm back on my vitamins and zinc....I'll try to lose a few more pounds, though I've kept the 10 off that I lost last year so I'm feeling pretty good.

I wonder if a new season of Bridalplasty will be on to keep me entertained through my recovery like last year?
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Dr. is very down to earth and honest about expectations and risks. He came with great reviews from friends and colleagues. He is confident without being arrogant.

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
4 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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