So excited for this surgery. I had a gastric...
So excited for this surgery. I had a gastric sleeve in 2014, much needed circumferential tummy tuck and liposuction with fat transfer in 2015. This will be the final icing on the cake to get my boobs done.
I LOVED my surgeon for my tummy tuck, however I felt her specialty for tummy tucks and not as much for breasts. Not that I thought she would do a horrible job, but my breasts are not your typical reduction or lift and so I felt that with spending the money it was worth going with someone who specializes in breasts over tummy tucks. This is how I came to decide on Dr. Carmona. He was the first Mexican plastic surgeon said I did not need implants. Yes, I want nice boobs when all is said and done, but the idea of getting implants while getting a reduction seemed crazy to me. I also wasn't too fond of having the actual implants in and dealing with them down the road. So when Dr. Carmona said I had enough volume to work with, I was sold.
This is my third surgery in Mexico, and somehow it really doesn't get easier. To be honest though, surgery in the US would still have me nervous. However after 2 surgeries in Mexico, I am certainly very confident in going to Mexico for surgery. The facilities have always been beyond clean, and the doctors truly care and love what they do. I hate the way I go over EVERY LAST "What if...???" scenario.
I am excited that Dr. Carmona is in Cancun. My other 2 surgeries were in Tijuana. I am also looking forward to a MUCH easier recovery than the circumferential tummy tuck. Being able to walk after this surgery is a huge bonus.
I am excited for the adventure and a little mom vacation.
Dr. Carmona has his work cut out for him on this surgery. The good part of such uneven breast is I can't imagine them being anything worse than they are now...so they can only get better. Can not wait to be able to properly bra shop, help ease some of my neck and back pain and not need bras to work a miracle to hide these puppies. Cleavage here we come and non full coverage bras!! Also can not wait to have the liposuction done under my arms/side boob and love handles.
Tomorrow I head to Cancun!
Still nervous and it is my 3rd trip to Mexico for surgery...will be so glad to make it to Cancun and to wake up after surgery and all went well.
My anxiety has been HORRIBLE. I have a history of basal cell carcinoma, so of course I get a new spot that just won't go away...so I headed to the walk in yesterday to ease my mind the doctor only thought it was an ingrown hair. While at the clinic, I had a slight fever of 100.1. While waiting for the doctor I emailed Danny to see if this was an issue. By the time I was finished at my appointment, Danny had spoken to both Dr. Carmona and the anesthesiologist to check. All was good and they weren't concerned. Both my kids have been sick, son actually has a fever. Thankfully the doctor said if I have no symptoms, I probably won't get sick at this point...so hoping this is true. Come hell or high water I want this DONE!!
Then it was time to find my passport...it was a frantic hour of FREAKING out I lost it in the move. Thankfully my wonderful husband stayed calm and found it...exactly where I thought it was, but couldn't find it...my mind is a MESS.
Perhaps the saddest news of he day was that Danny is taking a medical leave and I won't actually meet her in Cancun. However Christina the nurse will pick me up. Wishing Danny all the best with her health and glad she could take some time to take care of herself.
Excited for some "fun" in the sun and new boobs!!
Surgery is COMPLETE
Oh my goodness, am I glad to be out of surgery and heading home tomorrow. My surgery ended up being 7 hours, as my one breast was many inches lower than my other, so a lot of work went into the surgery. Dr. Carmona was not able to do fat transfer as it was just too much. He did however liposuction 4 liters of fat. I was groggy for the first 24 hours after surgery, but today feeling a million times better. Dr. Carmona was nervous I would have narcosis around the nipple, but explained it wasn't all that scary and worst case scenario I would have a wider scar. My new boobs are so cute and perky, I love them. Not sure if I will end up a B or C cup, but it really makes no difference for me. You can also add a little something than take away. I see my silhouette and feel normal size now and not all boob...I love it.
Pros and Cons of my Cancun Plastic Surgery
Hotel (Malecon - Vancouver Tower)
- great location attached to an amazing mall with great dining options and grocery store
- across the street from the hospital
- Price of $60 USD a night was an incredible price for large one bedroom, full kitchen with sea views from patio.
- delicious breakfast available for $8 USD
- VERY Secure - security guard into parking, security into building and key needed to access everything.
- not very sound proof, could hear neighbors on both sides
- bed was hard, thin blankets, little musty smelling. Only 2 pillows.
- VERY Clean
-Professional looking, similar to US hospital
-operating procedures were very sterile
-recovery rooms private, clean and homey.
- Bed and pillows were uncomfortable (hard)
- my bee's foot height adjustment didn't work
- VERY professional and takes his job serious at all times.
- explains worst case scenario and tells you what plan of action would be - makes worst case scenario seem not bad at all.
-Confident in what he does
- takes his time - he did over 2,000 stitches in my breast reduction/lift. Spent 7 hours doing my surgery to make sure my results were as close to perfect as possible.
- no fuss or added precautions that are un-neccessary (compression stocking for weeks before and after surgery, ekg's on those under 40 etc.)
- does thorough follow-up, making patients feel important.
-understands customer satisfaction is key to return patients and new patients.
-my results far out weighed my expectations.
- honestly can't think of any.
Comparison of Plastic Surgery in Tijuana vs. Cancun
In just over 6 months I have had two major post bariatric plastic surgeries. The first in Tijuana by Dr. Cardenas (the tummy tuck QUEEN) and 6 months later, breast reduction and lift in Cancun by Dr. Carmona's.
It is important to not my body needed a FULL overhaul and I needed to do the surgeries separately. My first choice of choosing where to go is certainly the doctor and credentials. I feel I made the best choice in doctors for each surgeries as they both specialized in the surgery I had done with them. They are both good in all surgeries but I wanted the best of the best for both. So without a doubt my choice was largely based on the doctor. However when looking for a plastic surgeon, you will have a completely different experience where you go. Like everything in life, there is pros and cons to both Tijuana and Cancun. Here is a list according to my experience of the pros and cons of Cancun and Tijuana for plastic surgery.
For information purposes, I am a middle class young mom with pretty high standards. I like to save money but not in order to sacrifice quality. So the best prices were NOT my top priority.
- Travel is easy as you fly into San Diego and the driver of the surgeon picks you up. Flying domestically is always MUCH easier and most times cheaper than international. The border going into Tijuana involves NOTHING, just drive straight through.
- there are PLENTY of amazing plastic surgerions located in Tijuana for it's close proximity to San Diego and LA.
- MANY recovery house options to choose from. Traveling alone, I would say this is VERY important especially with MAJOR surgery.
- A lot of people speak English
- the atmosphere is VERY Mexican and there is certainly a bit of "culture shock". City busses are OLD school busses painted green.
- overall not very safe feeling and you certainly don't want to venture out alone.
- most surgeries are done in the doctors office. If you choose wisely this isn't an issue and saves you money, however there isn't a ICU or that extra protection of being in a fully run hospital. In a hospital you have the standards of the hospital plus the standards of the doctor. However choosing a great surgeon in Tijuana this isn't an issue if your safety is their top priority, just gives you a piece of mind.
- blood work, ekg's are double the price, still inexpensive, but worth mentioning.
- it is important to ask your surgeon on what is NOT included in the price. At first Tijuana seems significantly cheaper but then when you add in all the extras you need to pay for it is about equal.
- The drive back to the airport can be LONG. The Tijuana border is the busiest in the world, so expect to spend about an hour even with a medical pass to cross the border. Border interrogation is more intense by land than air.
-Most surgeries are performed in an a,ericam standard hospital that is beautiful and CLEAN. it felt very "American".
-HIGH TOURIST area, so it is very safe in touristy areas. Higher end and lots of great things to do and see if you are there long enough.
-Lots of great hotel options for every budget and needs.
- flying international is STRESSFUL and requires a lot of walking through immigration, customs, security. It can be daunting after having surgery. Plus you likely won't find many "direct" flights. This makes your travel day long and tedious.
- English seemed to be a problem and frustrating at times. Make sure to have google translator to stay sane if you don't know Spanish.
I am sure this is not a complete list, and at the end of everything I am thrilled with both places and neither one is a top choice over the other. But if you are doing MAJOR surgery with a long recovery period and would require a wheel chair at the airport, then certainly go with the shortest travel and best recovery options.
Feel free to contact me with further questions.
5 days post op
I am pretty bruised up from the lipo suction...but surprisingly Advil is enough of a pain killer. The pain is actually much less than I expected.
Still in the beginning stages of healing, but couldn't be happier with the results.
Day 9...turning a corner!
Woke up this morning (Day 9 post-op), feeling the best I have yet. Granted I have been dealing with sinus problems and those seem to be getting some relief which certainly helps the healing process.
My pain level is minimal (and I have a LOW pain tolerance). More just a slight constant ache in my breasts...nothing that requires pain meds. Same feeling as working out and being stiff, not painful, just kind of an annoying sensation.
I still have some bleeding and discharge, so far Dr. C has said it is normal and nothing to worry about. It is great to be able to send photos to him and he can reassure you. In the US...any concern would likely result in an appointment and more money...so I love the ability to contact the doctor and not need an appointment is wonderful.
My boobs truly look better and better everyday. I can't wait to see the final product.
Day 12 Post -Op and want to kick myself
Sometimes the best of intentions doesn't end well. I have this big fear of infection, especially with my doctor out of the country and not sure what I would do if I ended up with an infection to get antibiotics. So I thought I would use an antibacterial spray after showering to make sure my incisions would stay infection free. Sounds logical I thought. However my incisions weren't healing, no infection but oozing and one nipple spot started to open. Needless to say I began to freak out a little. I did my reading (not really all that helpful in a panic). However I realized the antibacterial spray was causing the wound issues and breaking my skin down. Oh my goodness I want to go back and NEVER use that spray again. The goodness is with just one day without spraying my incisions they are all drying up and starting to heal. Now it is my understanding that even with the spray and oozing, the wounds would eventually heal, but who in their right mind wants the healing process to take what would seem like forever. So my lesson learned is doctors orders are the ones to follow, even if your intentions are good...soap and water is all you need to heal your incision. Oh to go back and redo all this, but I guess you live and you learn.
Well here are my photos as of 30 minutes ago. They are healing, but still feel like I have a LONG road ahead. I am terrified of getting an infection. I have sent photos into Dr. Carmona, so hopefully by tomorrow I know what to expect and how bad things are. Tomorrow is 2 weeks post op...so hopefully I have not derailed healing too badly. I wasn't expecting this to be such an emotional healing process. I don't even know exactly what my fear is...maybe that everything was for nothing and I ruined my results. Insane I am sure, but staying calm has never really been my strong suit. I am greatful for my husband doing his best at reassuring me. My mom went through this about 10 years ago and had horrible healing problems, so she has been a good person to get reassurance all will be ok in the long run...just takes time.
Answers to my Healing Issues
Dr. Carmona has been wonderful to work with, Danny as well is a treasure of a coordinator.
As far as my healing issues, Dr. Carmona has given me both good and bad news. The good news is there is no infection. The bad news is the antibacterial spray (meant for this purpose...so I had no idea it was a bad idea) has basically burned the skin.
My new wound care protocol is wash with soap and water 1x per day. Pat dry with sterile gauze and let air dry. Once dry apply Neosporin and bandage with non stick bandages...and pray they heal FAST!
I am sure Dr. Carmona would like to shake me (as do I) for "ruining" his hard work. Thankfully he or Danny have been so kind, but stern with moving forward. I appreciate that. Mistakes happen and it was made with the best of intentions.
My scarring should still be favorable as I stopped the spray soon enough, only time will tell. Thankfully scarring isn't something I am overly concerned about. The shape and fullness is incredible and that is WAY more important to me than scarring. Less back pain, and cute boobs under clothes is enough to make me happy.
Hopefully this post helps other people heal better and faster and avoid the mistake I made.
Pictures Day 18
Lowly but surely I am healing. So excited for how awesome the shape turned out!!
Dr. Carmona's Advice
Well I sent the last photos I posted to Danny to discuss with Dr. C. Turns out he isn't too happy with the results of the open wound. I am doing wound care and if in 2-3 weeks there is no improvement I will likely need to return to Cancun for him to do something to get the healing process going.
It is slightly nerve wracking thinking of having to make a return trip. The logistics of running a business, and having two you d kids doesn't allow for a ton of flexibility on travelled no. However if this is the best option, I will make it work. Perhaps what scares me the most is having to have another procedure. Obviously it will be much simpler, but there is always a chance of complication with anything being done. So I am crossing my fingers everything starts healing and full recovery is right around the corner.
I do have some more liposuction I need done, so any scar repair can be done at that time. Thankfully the recovery of that is much easier as it is only surface skin that is involved.
The follow up care is wonderful with Dr. Carmona
Well I must give a shout out to Danny and Dr. Carmona for always being available for my million questions.
I asked about different options to heal as fast as possible and Dr. C requested a current photo to make the right recommendation and to offer his advice on how "bad" it looked. He responded (through Danny) quickly with the advice to use start using Hydrocolloid Dressings and no need to visit a doctor here for anything more at this point. So here goes the new dressings and I am hoping for the best.
From bad to WORSE!
I feel defeated and almost regretting the surgery at this point. I feel like there is no end to the tunnel of healing...in fact it is getting worse. I am at a total loss of what to do. Dr. C is very helpful, but at the end of the day it is me who has to live with this day in and day out with no hope. I am emotionally exhausted about all of this.
When my husband looked at my incisions today they looked so brutal he almost passed out.
Anyone else dealt with this? I need some encouragement here.
Dr. Carmona called...
I guess my pictures were alarming to Dr. Carmona...me too. So he called me and went over the plan going forward.
No more hydrocolloid bandages as it was without a doubt making things worse. He believes the tight seal was keeping oxygen out and spreading bacteria. I am to keep washing with soap and water, then apply honey and put a dressing on. Do the honey 2x a day. Then hope for improvement. I am also to increase my protein. So more Ensure drinks and pray we get the healing started.
He was very nice on the phone and said to call him anytime. He also said it was his job to make sure everything healed. I appreciate him calling and discussing a path forward. Still really hoping there is no trip to Cancun in my near future.
The pictures are from yesterday...they look slightly better today after 24 hours with out the hydrocolloid bandages.
Manuka Honey is my new favorite thing!!
I am shocked at how well the Manuka honey is working. My wounds are certainly have a ways to go, but FINALLY things look to be healing rather than getting worse. The honey tingles when I put it on, it isn't painful but certainly is doing something on the wounds. The wounds have filled in and don't look as gruesome.
Watching Paint Dry
For some crazy reason every day when I take my bandages of to shower I have this hope of everything being healed. This is amplified if the day before I saw progress.
This morning I started to panic as I was hoping for almost healed wounds (wishful thinking) and was shocked. The realization made me think no healing had taken place. The thought of heading to Cancun sounds horrible to me.
I sent pictures to Danny...I was RELIEVED when she messaged back that Dr. Carmona was pleased with the healing and to keep doing what I was doing. To me it didn't look much improved, but at this point I know he is more than willing to let me know if there is a concern. Felt great to hear and Manuka honey is doing the trick. I would do almost anything at this point to be healed up. The scar is the least of my concerns.
It has been awesome to see the swelling almost gone form my liposuction. I must say I look sculpted...can't believe this stomach is attached to me.