Tummy Tuck and Breast Augmentation-June 21st - Birmingham, AL

Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 322 reviews
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I am 26, happily married for eight years, with no...

I am 26, happily married for eight years, with no children. I have been overweight all my life. By the time I was in 6th grade I weighed over 300 lbs. I yo-yoed back and forth for years with my lowest weight being around 200 lbs. After I got married I shot back up to 275 and began a three year journey, resulting in the loss of over 100 lbs using Sparkpeople.com for the first 80 lbs and Medifast for the last 20 lbs (because I stalled for over 7 months no matter how hard I exercised). I am now at 169 lbs (my weight in 3rd grade) but despite diet and exercise I cannot loose the excess skin around my abdomen. It’s been almost a year since I stabilized between 175-169. Below my navel is nothing but excess skin.

Before I get judged, this is not vanity. This is grace and faith. The faith that comes from believing that (no matter how many people laughed) that at 275 lbs I believed I could do the impossible-I could loose over 100 lbs, switch careers, and completely transform myself and my life according to my dreams, that I could rewrite my fate through nothing more than will power, determination, and God’s grace. Life is the most precious gift we have and being made in the image of the creator, I believe the ability to create is instilled in each of us and it is this ability and right to transform that made me proceed. I have always been trapped inside my skin. I have never looked in the mirror and saw my true self. I don’t have low self esteem, sure there are things I would change, but I am a wonderful person (lol) and everyone loves me (lol-most of the time).

Am I scared? Darn right! Many are the nights I have laid awake (especially after watching the surgery on youtube, twice-I hate that I always go into things with my eyes open!). But, I don’t believe, I can’t believe that God and the angels let me come this far to drop me now. That said, I am scheduled for an augmentation and a tummy tuck on June 21st. I am going out of town to have it because after a few local consultations, I did not find a doctor I felt comfortable with. After nearly two years of searching, I finally found a surgeon I fell confident in. He and his staff seem wonderful, he is very skilled, accredited, and despite the fact I had to reschedule twice (when financing fell through), now that I am finally on track they’ve helped me through the whole process. I am scared, especially because my husband and I are traveling from the northeast to Alabama (I am terrified of tornados) where I don’t know anyone, but I have confidence in my choice of doctor which I hope is most important. I am scheduled for June 21st but I am considering moving it up because I am anxious to get it over with. I would love to hear about anyone else’s experiences.

Well, my financing finally came through, so I...

Well, my financing finally came through, so I rescheduled for May 21st! OMG I am so scared(partly cause I am scared of tornadoes in Alabama-lol), but so excited! It is very surreal to think that after all of the years of wishing and hoping this would work, I am finally getting it. Any suggestions?

I am getting nervous. I wish I could just have it...

I am getting nervous. I wish I could just have it tomorrow and get it over with. It is so hard to wait for over a month (after waiting 15 years-lol).

I am also struggling with the size of implant to get. I know that the larger the implant, the larger the risk of complication. But, I have heard of people with only 200 cc implants getting CC and people being alright with 1000 cc implants.

I am planning on getting saline beneath the muscle (which shrinks the implant by at least 10%). Despite loosing over 100 lbs, I still weigh 169-175 lbs. My hips (with the excess skin) are still 42 inches, my waist is 32 inches and my rib cage is 36-38. I have always been larger, despite being only 5'2.

I know it sounds silly, but I have no idea what I look like under all the excess skin-I've never not had it. So, I don't even have a clue as to what I will look like afterwards. My only goal is to not have hanging skin and full breasts. The 800 -850 cc sizers looked right on my body for a nice DD to DDD look. I know this is huge (at least I keep reading this online) as most people opt for 400-500 cc implants, but it looked right under my clothes and the last thing I want is to wake up (after being nervous about having surgery the first time) and want a revision, wishing I had gone bigger.

Two weeks until I leave for Birmingham! I'm...

Two weeks until I leave for Birmingham! I'm nervous, but I am starting to get excited. I have never felt comfortable in my own skin and being overweight my entire life I've never felt (or looked like) a "normal" girl. I've stopped trying to loose weight and have shifted to just eatting healthy until the surgical date to keep my strength up. I've begun making lists of everything I'll need to take with me.

It's so surreal to think that in two weeks (provided I make it-lol-and I will *dear god/dess please!*) I will look totally different. Not to mention I can stop wearing all these extra clothes-it's been years since I've gone out without at least two extra layers of clothes to hide the skin. I'm scared of the actual surgery (the anestetic and the idea of the actual procedure-because stupid me watched it-EWWW-I didn't even know you could do that!), but I know with my entire heart I need this, I want this, I'm just praying the God takes care of me and helps me heal.

Scared. Nervous. Upset. Excited. So, only my...

Scared. Nervous. Upset. Excited. So, only my husband is going with me-originally my mother was supposed to go-but I think she's afraid for me (which my nerves aren't bad enough without needing to hear all the dangers again!). I'm a little bit hurt by it, because I've always tried my best to be there for her-but, it's okay. I know I need this, I'm just scared-what if...you know? I love my life and am terrified my vanity is going to jepordize it--but than I remind myself-God is love and the universe wants me to be happy-and never feeling comfortable in my own skin-is not truly living-especially when I worked this hard to loose the weight.

The doctor's office is so far (9 hours away). I don't know anyone there and the money is really tight for the trip down there, but honestly-it's scheduled, so it's now or never.And I'm tried to waiting to create the life I hope to live-so it's now. My husband has been a saint (even though he loves me the way I am), he wants me to be happy. It's just the nerves are starting to get to me and as the time approaches I find myself thinking about it more and more-checking on hotels, checking recovery things. So far what I've found is I need to eat healthy foods, low artifical sugar and as low sodium as possible.

I made the mistake of watching the video on youtube of the procedure a few months ago-and after freaking out-certain I was going to die-I got a Reiki and meditated-and realized that my soul wants this excess skin gone and took a deep breath. I thought I was over this fear, but it creeps back in. I think it's the unknown-the what if-even if you know it's what you want. I'm going to put my anxiety and fear (FEAR=False Events Appearing Real) into God's hands.

Any advice?

Well, today is THE DAY I leave for Birmingham and...

Well, today is THE DAY I leave for Birmingham and I have never been more nervous. After a VERY emotional few days my mother made several attempts to stop me from having the procedure-she believe's I'm crazy for going out of town/having it with a doctor I had a consultation with over the internet-not matter how qualified her is. I went through emotional hell hearing comments like-"I have a bad feeling" and "how do you think your husband will feel without you?" "You're my baby I want you safe." I mean, I appreciate her love more than she will ever know, but it isn't like I found some back alley butcher and said, "hey, can I get an elective surgery for no reason cause I feel like being dangerous?"

I have like 15 lbs of excess skin on my abdomen. It is uncomfortable and embaressing and I've lived my whole life this way. 10 years ago-when I just turned 18 I went (at the weight I am now) and got a consultation. Then I couldn't afford it (not that I really can now, despite earning two degrees). I gained and lost over 100 lbs in the meantime and I will not make the same mistake twice. No matter how much I exercise, no matter what I do-my body will not tone. It is just skin. It hangs and effects my life, my self esteem, and honestly, my health. But, a mother's job is to worry, but that worry caused so much anxiety, I nearly canceled it. I had nightmares. I finally called her and said, "I'm leaving on Friday, what I need is a friend" and just started sobbing-after that everything got better. I even looked for a doctor closer-as I promised her-but not only is my doctor the best-my credit card company wouldn't work with me. So, it is what it is. And honestly, I am very confident in my doctor. He has amazing reviews and his staff has never been anything but kind to me. I am realy anxious to see them though. I'm also a little nervous about going in on Monday and having surgery the same day.

My TT and Augment are scheduled for Monday at 7:30. Even thinking about a change that radical is making my hands shake. Both out of excitement and fear. I did not get alot of support this week-the week before surgery-from anyone except my husband-my rock-who always tells me to follow my heart and keeps my purposed fixed no matter how emotional I get. I am so happy he's comming with me. My boss even came back from her vacation a day early to cheer me up and be supportive, and yesterday my mom even started to come around. It was nice to finally get the love and support I wanted after having such a crazy week.

So, this morning I woke up earlier-butterflies-and we're leaving. The hotel is paid for and the surgery, but money is tight and I don't get paid until Monday. I'm so scared. I'm a writer so, I imagine every scenario in depth. I kept thinking OMG =what if this is the last time I see my house? Or my cats? What if I don't get to finish my book? Lol. It's silly-but not really. I think fear is a normal part of this-especially when I can't imagine how I will look afterwards, because I've never not been significantly over weight or had a ton of extra skin.

DAY TWO: POST OP-I DID IT! This entire thing has...

This entire thing has been an emotional roller coaster. My husband and I had to drive for literally two days-freaking out/believing in this surgery the whole way, warring between doubt and fear. We stayed in Tennessee the first night before getting to Birmingham the following day. I got into the hotel room at the Wingate-had a minor nervous breakdown-it was not what I pictured. But, after being told we couldn’t cancel our reservation, I dealt with it and honestly came to like it-due to the seclusion of the hotel in a busy area.
Thanks are to God my paycheck went through the night before surgery so we were able to get the Taxi to take us there and take us home, we were also able to go to Wal-Mart for supplies the night before.
When I got to Hedden Plastic Surgery, I was surprised-it looked like a Spanish Palace complete with villas. I was terrified, cried, shook, made my husband a nervous wreck. I checked in (this place looks like a dark palace-lol). And I went into the back of the surgical ward with a very friendly blonde nurse who looked like a cute, perky little Barbie. She was so very sweet to me, especially when she saw how scared I was. I almost yanked the IV out of my arm and ran out screaming-“I’ve got to be out of my mind!” But, I calmed them and eventually Dr. Hedden came in with this surgical nurse. I have never in my entire life met a doctor so skilled, so thorough, or so completely knowledgeable. He is straight forward and honest and when I told him my fear of blood clots-he said-yes you could get them and yes you are at a higher risk and yes, you could die, but that’s what these boots are for. He answered all my questions and told me that he would take four hours to four days to take me back until I felt comfortable with everything. They answered all my questions and were so thoughtful, especially considering how terrified I was. I was shaking like a leaf (no matter how much I wanted this I love my husband and the idea of leaving him ever terrified me more than death-I know it sounds corny-but it’s true-even if I believe in heaven there is so much I love about life.)
But, he answered all my questions, the anesthesiologist was hands down the kindest man on the planet-thoughtful, considerate answered all my questions, gave me something for my nerves and even held my hand and pat my head after surgery. I told him I was afraid of waking up during or not waking up at all. He laughed and he said that doesn’t happen to healthy people-sure people die but it’s because they’re meant to and their usually in the middle of trauma and there’s no way to bring them back. I don’t know why, but when he said he would take care of me and held my hand I just knew he cared and I knew I would be okay. I am the most anxious person on the planet and I trust these people.
The doctor came in and marked me, we picked the size and he said he’d try to fit the implant I wanted and drew a line clear across my huge amount of excess skin-after being overweight my entire life it was terrifying to think that in a few hours it could be over-all my hard work could finally pay off. I was so humiliated of my body.
It was cold, they took me back, the medicine the anesthesiologist gave me helped calm me down, they walked me back, I kissed my husband, and I went in and laid on the table, they gave me a really warm yummy blanket and told me to breath in through the mask. I prayed and before I finished the prayer, I woke up. Swore and shaking. My chest felt like a 200 lbs moose sat on it, I had trouble breathing and I started shaking so violently I was an afraid I had a seizure. The anesthesiologist came over and gave me something to stop the shaking and told me it was over and it all went great. It was hard waking up-about 30 minutes and they told my husband he could come back. They gave me a Gatorade and I felt like I was going to throw up.
I was so freaked out about blood clots-because I drove I was as at a higher risk-they even gave me boots to take home-which I found it was a good thing I wore because I was sleeping with my legs up. My stomach (know on wood it doesn’t change) barely hurts-the drains are fine. My breasts (800 cc) feel god awful. They are so sore and I never knew pain could feel this bad. I had a lot of problems with being nauseated-I was allergic to the medication, so I didn’t eat much first two days-huge mistake. Because by this morning-day 2 after surgery-I was a medicated mess snapping at everyone-including the nurse and even blinking out. So I stopped taking Loritab-switched to Tylenol and continued with the valium-this stopped the nausea, so I am not sleeping as much. I have been up trying to walk as much as possible to prevent blood clots-now that I had to return my boots). I went to Wal-Mart for an hour and stumbled through it like a crack head while my poor husband helped buy me more ensure-still am having a hard time with food. But the food and the Vitamin /Propel water make it so much better! Breasts still hurt but
I am using an ice pack. Wish my luck! My two biggest fears now are avoiding pneumonia and blood clots!
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon

I was an out of town patient and the doctor, his staff, and the anestesologist were amazing. I had ten pounds of excess skin and I look like a different person-the surgery was only three hours and he was AMAZING! This is a top of the line place, I would never recommend anywhere else.

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