So Excited for Makeover (T.T, Lipo, BA), but Are These Fears Part of Normal Jitters or Unusual? - Charlotte, NC

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*Treatment results may vary

I am so excited to have this surgery done. I have...

I am so excited to have this surgery done. I have been dreaming about having these procedures since my second child, but after my third, the desire to do this became stronger and I finally decided to make the leap. I picked a doctor whose work (that I have seen) and personality and staff are incredible, (Dr.Pratt-Refine Institute) and am counting down the days. I could kick myself for saying this later but I am prepared for a lot of pain and discomfort and 3 weeks of downtime (GOSH, I DO NOT WANT IT TO BE LONGER-I know recovery can take months to a year but I have an office job that I need to be back at on week 4). Any tips on ways to have the speediest recovery possible? I've bought Arnica, Bromelaine and all of these vitamins that are supposed to speed up surgical recovery. I have been drinking a ton of water already and already started taking probiotics and have tried to eat as clean as possible. Any other common little dos or don'ts would be highly appreciated.


I am having serious cold feet. Ive wanted this for a while but recently got stressed and started smoking like 4 ciggerettes a day during work days again (slowly cut down to two then one this morning) . Havent had one since 8:45AM and it is 8:38PM now. I am two weeks out and I do not want a seroma or necrosis, so maybe it's best I postpone? I just dont think I could deal with that mess. Plus, I am having multiple treatments at once. Anyone have any advice?

Day After Tomorrow-Big Day

I'm a mix of emotions right now as to be expected. Nervous: what if my body doesn't handle the stress well? How badly am I REALLY going to hurt? Do I have everything at home ready? Excited: cannot wait to get this behind me. Cannot wait to see results!
Prayers please! I'll post pics!

Big Day Approaches

I think the anxiety and panic subsided and reality really hit that it would all be worth it today. I took the leap and took photos of myself. I haven't gone a day without spanx in who knows how long. I suck in when I see myself in the mirror. I'm not intimate with the lights on so while I knew this was something I needed to do for me to feel good, when you start getting anxious about the pain and recovery you start to think..."maybe all those things that I do to fool myself aren't that bad".

Take the pictures ladies. Not to make you feel bad about yourself. Not to make yourself become more critical but to make yourself get honest if you're having the procedure and starting to get cold feet as to why you wanted it in the first place.

Breast Implants: Subglandular over sub muscular. Why I'm choosing "the old school" method

I was told by a friend once who had amazing results that she chose Subglandular and I couldn't believe it. We've all seen the porn star look and I instantly thought of big round melons with this choice. Hers looked natural to me because of the softness ( silicone) and because she had a slight "droop" that appeared more natural to me. My PS agreed that I could do either and that the down time was less this way but he usually prefers submuscular but let me make the choice. I'll post after pics soon. Here is pre op. Surgery tomorrow.

Wish Pic

Long shot but a girl can dream

Surgery went well today

Today went great. Dr Pratts beside manners were fantastic! He even asks what music you in OR to help you relax before your sedated. I'm excited to see results

Day Two Post Op Momme Makeover

I'll do a before and after when I shower next. I was given a garment that zips up and goes from knee to chest so it's hard to do.

#1Hiccups after TT suck. No one ever mentions those just coughing. Wow

So I went into office and waited a few minutes. Dr.Pratt had the best bedside manner and sense of humor and a fantastic staff. They were all extremely nice and made you feel more relaxed.

I had my naked pictures taken and was then marked up. That was bittersweet. I got to see how bad it really was and to see what they'd be doing visually. Dr Pratt asked what music I wanted on in the op room. I think he's trying to make the environment as comfortable as possible even when you sleep.

Then I was in operating room being told to count backward and I don't remember the rest until later that night. I had a good nurse who helped me overnight. Her personality was dull but I guess that's on your mind because the rest of the staff was so nurturing and fun. But the night nurse was helpful and attentive.

Pain has been very tolerable. I take bromelaine, arnica, steroids, vita medics recovery vitamins one oxycodone and flexiril on time but if your spouse doesn't write it down it can be hard to remember and you don't want that.
I'm not draining as much as I'd like and I only have one drain. That scares me a bit..
Walking around hurts at first but it's wraith because you feel so much better after you do. Promise.
Ive been sleeping like a baby but anticipate a few days where that won't be possible.

Boobs don't hurt at all because I went over the muscle and probably bc of pain pills.

Tummy mostly hurts because of muscle repair but don't feel much else/yet. Knock on wood. ?????

My fiancé saw everything today while they were checking out my dressings with Dr and said that he couldn't believe the transformation. Dr Pratt said -"you just wait until swelling goes down. You'll be really impressed then". I'm totally obsessed with belly buttons and Pratt is known for his belly button so I hope mine is looking good down there. I wish I had a wrap around garment so I could see.

Day 3 post op Mommy Makeover

I actually don't feel near as bad as I thought I would. This isn't hell. It's uncomfortable at times but not so much that I would say that I wouldn't do it again if I didn't have it done. If everything looks good in the long run and the swelling goes down in my boobs and stomach soon I will be ecstatic. Here are my gross after pics. Fingers crossed I slim up in belly and boobs stop feeling like they're engorged.

Mommy Makeover update. A few things that aren't talked about too often that you may want to be prepared for.

I had my surgery on Wednesday and if is only Saturday and I feel so much better than I expected. "Pain" ( for lack of better words" was tolerable and more like soreness if anything. I know everyone is different though and I still have a ways to go before I have felt all the feelings I will. As for now though , it's not so bad. I also understand that staying on top of my pain meds has made a big impact on how I feel everyday and without them I probably would sing a different song right now.

What I don't like aside from the uncomfortable itching and the garment and nagging drains- the side effects from the pain pills. Tmi?Probably but I'll say it anyways. BM: None yet and it is to be expected but bothering me. I've taken mirolax and prune juice and coffee this morning and still nothing. Hope it doesn't all catch up at once when I least expect it. So far I only produce has!!! I've never in ten years passed gas in front of Nick but starting yesterday I did..a lot! How embarrassing!
Don't take Gas-X if you can help it. I heard it doesn't help with the constipation that seems inevitable.

Go ahead and expect your vajayjay to be swollen. Not just a little swollen but MAJOR swollen. Scary swollen if you have to wear the garment that goes from knees to bra line. Omg, Nick saw and almost passed out. Dr said totally normal as I've got compression stockings and garment on- where is the swelling going to go? It has no where else so I guess that leaves your girl parts. Fun!
If you're having breast augmentation I can tell you that for me they just feel hard and in the way and look a bit boxy. They look and feel exactly like they did when I was engorged. Exactly and I cannot wait for them to settle into place and soften.
If you are anything like me, Hydrocodone makes you itch; badly. Benedryll helps with that a little but makes you incredibly sleepy and it is hard to wake up from them so I strongly advise only taking one and never ever two. You'll sleep past time to pour out drain bulbs, etc. I think the garment is just itchy too and also stretched skin itches so expect to itch-Bad!

Also, everyone will tell you to walk around and I cannot stress how much better I feel after I walk around periodically through the day. Sitting makes you stiff and sore but it is easy to overwork yourself. I've just been listening to my body; no pushing myself and that is helpful.

OTC things I bought in hopes of speeding recovery

I have spent the last three months reading reviews on different OTC supplements, scar creams and other "stuff" to aid in the recovery process. I may have gotten ripped off on some things but I will never have anything to compare it to so I will never know. Here is a description of what I've bought. ( I wrote a little earlier but am explaining a little more)

#1Biocorne Advanced Scar Supervision: this came from my doctor in his goodie bag. I read great reviews but I am doubtful that a cream or gel will heal any scar as good as the strips will. We will see. It has high level of spf and does feel silly to touch. I'll start using it after dressings come off.
# 2 St.Ives Gentle Cleansing Wipes: I think any waterless cleansing wipes you prefer are helpful. If you don't feel like getting up you still can wash your face. Duh-no brained. You won't feel like getting up too much at first.
#3 Medihoney Gel: I bought this because my next door neighbor is a Nurse Practitioner in a Phsyical Therapy Clinic that specializes in wound care. He sees all the gory stuff that happens to soldiers when they come back and swears by this stuff. I hope I don't need it but just in case I were to get a nasty wound somehow; I have it. I think I will replace #4 with this for my belly button once dressing comes off. Read up on Medihoney.
#4 Bacitracin: I was going to use this for belly button before I heard about Medihoney.

#5: Mirolax. No taste, don't know how well it works yet though.
#6: Walmart Brand Benydryl. For the itchies
#7 Quease Ease: I have no idea where you buy this. My nurse gave it to me and it's fantastic! You open the top and sniff it when you're nauseated and it helps a lot. It's cute too!

#8 VitaMedica products: these were expensive, I won't lie. You start taking the morning and evening vitamins two weeks before surgery and quit after two weeks post op. I doubt I'll quit though because they give you so much energy, my skin is blemish free and they're packed with all kinds of good vitamins for healing. Most plastic surgeons offices either sell them in the office or recommend them. I have explained them and the Arnica and Bromelaine in an earlier post.
#9: Isagenix IsaLean Shake: protein and vitamin C are vital for recovery and these shakes have more of those two things than any other shakes I have seen and they have tons of other vitamins that I haven't seen in any other shakes. My doctor doesn't sell these but he loves them too. I had a friend at work recommend them. I get busy and don't have time to make breakfast so I make a quick shake. If used to replace two meals a day with one healthy meal for lunch or dinner, this stuff helps the weight come off. Girl at work lost 60 pounds.
#10 Isagenix Amped Hydrate: like Gatorade you mix in water but with less sodium and more vitamins.

#11 Isagenix Greens: Mix it with water. The name is pretty self explanatory.

If you have questions let me know. I'll let you know if any of this stuff is worth it soon.

This was totally worth it!

I wish I knew how to update my first review to put that in, instead of "not sure".

I'm not taking me pain meds as much because they made me feel like. Lunatic and sleep all day. Plus, I hate the itching feeling. I am taking Tylenol and that isn't often. Dr. Pratt did such a good job that I only have one drain and my pain is minimal without anything at all. I really appreciate that.

Now I just wish I could take a BM!!!

It pays to be patient!

For all of you ladies out there having any work done; I suggest that you do not even look at yourself for the first few days after surgery unless you really do understand that things will change after your body heals. I looked at my surgeons work and LOVED it on other people. I knew he would do a great job with me because of what I had seen but then I started thinking things like " what if I am one of those people who have weird breasts to begin with and surgery doesn't help" or "what if I am one of those people who get a tummy tuck but still have a stomach that sticks out afterwards". My dr reassured me and I trusted him but boy after I came out of the office did I start questioning myself again. You're emotional after the surgery, nervous, excited and on pain meds -HA! So I suggest not to even look. I love my results on day five already and on day three thought all kinds of things due to the swelling. I can imagine I'll be even happier at two weeks and on!

1week post op appointment today

Dr. Pratt said everything looked great and that I was a bit swollen but not need for concern. Took off my tape and reapplied new tape, removed stitches. Still have drain. I saw my belly button for the first time and it looked cute! My dr and his staff are so warm and easy to talk to! The nurses that were with me even stopped to come back and see results. ?? them! Erin is awesome!

Then he told me I had to wait until next week for drain to be removed since I only had one. Boooo! I guess it makes sense though since I still have output of 75 per day.
I had a painful gas bubble in my stomach and couldn't walk afterwards. I bet they thought I was just in pain from surgery but I know what the deal was. So embarrassing. Lol

Oh and I really want to use the Medihoney on my belly button instead of aquaphore but I'm scared. If it heals it quicker though, wouldn't one of you want to know?

Mommy Makeover with Refine Institute- Best Decision I've Ever Made for my Appearance in my Life

My goal was not to be a swimsuit model but just to be able to tuck a fitted teeshirt into my jeans without muffin top. I wanted breasts that looked naturally voluptuous and although mine were a good size I didn't like the shape of them or my jelly belly after 3 kids. I just looked like my arms and legs didn't match my boobs and stomach. I decided to get a tummy tuck with Lipo of flanks,crests and abs and a breast augmentation with 405 cc mentor textured silicone subglandular (gasp! I know everyone advises to go under the muscle but I didn't want to at all). Oh and muscle repair.

I read every crazy scenario and story so the tummy tuck part was scary for me. I did my best to quit my smoking habit of 4 per day ( cut down to one a day with my coffee until a week prior. It was hard) I had my surgery on a Wednesday and know that I will sound like I'm downplaying it but really the pain wasn't unbearable at any time. Annoying but never agonizing. I took only Tylenol after day three for pain but wouldn't be able to manage during that time were it not for my muscle relaxers. I just felt so stiff from being hunched over. You see all of these YouTube videos where the woman are crying like its the worst pain ever but I think it's all about expectations and realizing that you won't be able to pull up your jeans the next day and go to the mall.  So far so good. I'm still a bit bruised and puffy and my boobs are slowly looking less and less like torpedos and more and more like real boobies every day and I am grateful. I can feel my hips and waist now minus the fat and I know that every day I am getting better. I am already wearing that fitted teeshirt. I wonder what I will be able to wear ( or not wear because I wore spanx with jeans pre-surgery for 6 years) 6 months from now. I would do this whole thing all over again without hesitation.

On Wednesday it will be two weeks and drain comes out!!!??????

I way overdid it yesterday and Saturday and was in pure 'swell hell' last night! Still recovering from that this morning.
I have noticed that when I don't eat like I should; I swell (like if I skip meals) and my dr acknowledges that this happens even if you drink water. Your body starts looking for fat reserves and retains fluid so snack up, ladies! I always keep an apple or dried apricots available ( lots of fiber so it's good for BM which helps belly flatten). Speaking of BM....I got bored last night and started typing in random words in the RS search to see what crazy things people might say and I typed my most hated word 'dookie'. Omg! ???? ???? I almost popped stitches laughing so hard. I highly advise you to wait until recovered but to at some point do this with your best friend of partner. So funny!!!!

Anywho...I'm using Medihoney on my belly button even though I have a few stictches in and let me tell you-that stuff seems to be amazing and a miracle ointment (disclaimer-if something funky happens after my stitches come out as a result, I did not see it coming and don't blame me if you try it and same thing happens before my next update). I used it on my sons cold sore, a pimple that wouldn't go away on the side of my face and wow- the next morning both were wildly less visible!

Here is my pic today from shower. As you can see I am still very bruised and swollen but even though my breasts are also swollen I think they're healing well and same with my tummy. I will be so sad if I don't get my drain removed Wednesday as I return to office Friday. ????

Drains removed today. So happy

Dr said my scar was incredibly small. Can't wait to see. I'm still very swollen.

Let me tell you what. The drain being removed was the weirdest feeling in the world!!!! So odd. Like a snake coming out of your hip!

Still swollen but not nearly as bad

Tummy Tuck Scar Peeking Through. Looks good so far

I begged nurse to put tape on again and promised I would start scar therapy next week but I'm kind of scared to leave it exposed already. Will either get scar away or get up nerve to take it off and use this bio....cream that they put in my "hoodie bag" after surgery.

3 Weeks Post Op

At this point I feel the swelling is getting better but definitely all of it isn't gone. As most patients and RS peeps say " it's worse at night and if you skip the H2O". My breasts bother me more than anything at this point, they feel tingly and sore around nipples and areaola and just around that area of the breast all together and one is more swollen than the other. I'm feeling so much closer to myself when it comes to tummy; aside from occasional tightness and swelling around my incision. Also, still having odd sporadic pain below belly button. I really do feel great though. I go back to dr this Friday for check up and he wants to remove all of my tape although I've heard that it's best to leave it on six weeks ( just keep putting new tape on) for the size of scar as tension makes scar wider and tape helps most with tension? I guess...

Scar Progress

I must say; I think my doctor did great with the incisions because the scarring isn't nearly as bad as I expected for 23 days out. I had mostly tape on until today but one small pta b that came off I used scar away and the other patch where tape came off biocorneum cream. Too early to see a difference so I am not posting which is which yet but starting today I am using scar away over most of the scar and the cream only on outer edges. Will let you see soon if it makes difference.

5 weeks Update

Hi to anyone who is reading this!
Here is my update. A lot has changed. I quit taking my vitamins and bromelaine and arnica ( ran out of everything but arnica and I didn't think it was as effective as bromelaine for swelling and bruising is gone). I haven't been eating well this week but will get back in that train now that I'm not traveling. Im slowly starting to walk again and hope I can job within the next few weeks. That's taking me a while because after half a block I get swollen and the part that makes that hard is I hunch over as a result without meaning to. On a day to day basis-A lot of the swelling that I was experiencing has gone down which is nice. I know it will get bad in a few weeks but most of my swelling was in the first and second week. Now I seem to have a little more towards the end of the day or after I walk around too much. I've quit wearing my binder and it kind of feels like wearing a dress without panties. I know I need it because I want it but I don't really "need" it.
I really miss the binder but every day is better and I won't lie-not wearing it makes you enjoy your results more. I like my results a ton. I wish my boobs were a little less mushed together but I've always had that type of chest and it was to be expected that I would have a lot of cleavage now too. I think it just makes my chest looks fat but I love otherwise how natural they feel and look and the size is exactly what I wanted. My stomach is great. I'm happier than I've ever been with my body because of it. I did have to have an area above my belly button repaired, so now that my belly button is new and the old belly button scar is way down near pubic area I have a scar that serves as a reminder of " hey, this is kind of where your old belly button was pulled down to and cut off!" Ha! In time I would like to get that revised but not now. I'm enjoying less pain for the time being.

More pics

I like to cut the scar away strips. Any weird lines are from my shirt while I was sleeping with an exception of what is definitely a scar.

Things moving along great but noticed recently upper ab muscles appear to swell more at night

I expected swelling but for some reason upper abs seem to swell more with activity. This picture shows after a day of walking around and shopping what my stomach looks like in a loose shirt and I feel I look bulky. Anyone else experience this?
Charlotte Physician

I can only attempt to clearly describe how grateful I am to everyone at The Refine Institute for their superior service across the board. I've read a few stupid reviews on here about Dr.Pratt and I honestly think they are fake. My experience was honestly exceptional. I made three different appointments for only liposuction. I had a feeling the dr would tell me I needed a tummy tuck but I had a fear of my belly button getting messed up so I was against it. Dr.Pratt was my first appointment and when I went in and met with him and Erin, I felt like I had already made my decision. They were so kind and humorous and down to earth. Loved their personalities and Dr.Pratt talked to me in a way that I understood. I felt confident in him but before I made my choice I had to go back to work and look up his before and after photos and compare to the two other VERY well known and high rated South Charlotte PS I had appointments with. Dr.Pratts results were better and his belly buttons blew the other two out of the water. I paid for my down payment that day and canceled my other two appointments. Now onto the staff: I had a billion questions, irrational fears from junk I saw on Botched and expectations that weren't easy to explain let alone for someone else to understand. Not once did this team make me feel like my silly questions were anything but totally reasonable and a top priority. Erin, Dr.Pratt, Marta, Kathryn and Jan all made this pretty major decision and surgery one of my best decisions I've made and a fond memory. I think Dr.Pratt scouts the globe for only the very best staff to assist him because I have never met such a phenomenal bunch of people anywhere! Oh my gosh, and not only did I actually get the results ( maybe better?!?!) that I was trying so desperately to explain (thanks to Dr.Pratt's detailed work) but I wasn't a nervous wreck the day of surgery. I'm obsessed with belly buttons and mine is already cuter now than it was when I was 16! I have seen so many that look like little coin slits or are too high up or too far down or too far to the right or left. Mine is right where it was. Erin is like your cheerleader from day one until your post op appointments. She remembers detAils and has answers to your questions pronto. From payment types to pep talks; she's got your back. Jan was so patient with me it's ridiculous. Yes, the imagining machine wasn't working and I wanted to "see" what my results may look like in a shirt. I came in for pre-op and she grabbed a few boxes of different sizes and bras and we stood in front of a mirror and tried them all on until I finally decided to let Dr.Pratt choose. (this is after I called Erin and before I even could tell her what I was calling for she said " you're wanting to add Breast Augmentation aren't you". She said she could tell from our initial meeting and my questions that I might. Lol) Day of surgery Marta was my nurse and she is outstanding. We laughed and laughed and honestly I remember laughing down to the second when the anesthesiologist sent me to lalaland. When I woke up I had a nurse named Danielle for after hours care and honestly I don't think she works with them full time so I cannot rate Refine Institute any less for this but she lacked in the personality department at first and I did have to remind her to do things a lot at first ( she made a comment s out "forgetting the small things as she tried to focus on more important matters) but she came around after a few hours. I think she was a little green and probably felt nervous.

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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