After many years of considering to do this...
After many years of considering to do this procedure, I've finally come to the conclusion to do it! My body hasn't been the same since I had my 12 year old son. Motherhood is a beautiful gift and I wouldn't give it back for anything, but it's time to do something for me that will make me happier with my body. I've read numerous reviews on Dr. Cochran and surprisingly they are all positive, which made the decision process that much easier. I went to my free consultation (on 3/9/15) and was pleased with the visit. Dr. Cochran answered all my questions without hesitation, showed me where the incision will be, explained that I do not need abdominal muscle repair and stated he will also do lipo of my waist line (flanks) in the total cost. That day I didn't make my final decision, because I was still unsure. I researched Dr. Cochran as much as I could and I'm satisfied that he is the Plastic Surgeon for me! Just yesterday (3/26/15), I called and paid my deposit ($250)!! I wanted to get the surgery done in May, but Dr. Cochran is booked! I was shocked, because May was open when I went to my consultation just a few weeks ago. Anyway I'm scheduled for 6/4/15, six days before my 36th birthday! I graduate from college on May 8th, so this will be a graduation/birthday gift to myself! I'm 5'6, 165 and curvy (booty, hips and thighs). I'm semi-active, I try to go to the gym at least 3 days a week. I hope to lose 10 lb. before the surgery. If I get the nerve, I'll post some photos of what I'm working with now
Just sharing what I look like now...
I don't think I look horrible..... But it's time to cut it off!! LOL ;-)
30 day Countdown!!
I have so many things coming up, I don't know where to start. Finishing up my finals and preparing for graduation on 5/8. This is surreal! I owe $1000 on my surgery and plan to pay the balance this week. Idk but sometimes you just hang onto money because you don't want to let it go. Lol! The upcoming surgery hasn't hit me yet because I'm so excited for graduating! I'm sure after this milestone, I'll become completely engulfed with the anticipation of this surgery. Time is flying by so fast.
Paid In Full!!
Well I'm excited to say, I'm all paid up!! The money is gone and it's really time for a countdown. I guess I'll be more anxious and excited after my Pre-op appt on 5/18. 24 days and counting.
Pre-Op Appoinment Complete! 15 days to GO!
So, yesterday (5/18) I went to my pre-op appt. This was the first time that I've seen so many people in the waiting area. I don't know why that seemed so funny to me. I guess we all are wanting to enhance ourselves!! LOL. Anyway Donna (RN) explained to me all the do's and don't's prior to surgery, I signed a lot of forms, received my prescriptions, told what to wear and what time I need to be there. She gave me a thick packet for me to re-read everything we went over. I'm so glad the only medication I take is birth control, because there are so many medications/vitamins they do not want you to take 2-weeks prior to surgery. The packet tells you about revisions and that this surgery is not a miracle worker. I'm not looking for a complete miracle body. I'm confident I'll be happy with my results and that it's a process on my part to assist in the overall outcome. It was also stressed to have someone with you at least the first night. I will have a drain that Dr. Cochran wants you to keep a log to bring to the appt after surgery. The last thing I need to do is get my blood count done with my doctor or a lab. There is literally a lab across the street that will do it for $12. I'll use the lab, so I don't have to worry about getting an appt with my doctor's office. Needless to say, I received a lot of information and I'm very excited!! I know they will provide a binder and I have two that I already have (waist cinchers). And I plan to purchase faja for even more support and help with the contouring. Donna reassured me that in her 26 years experience, this is the top surgery that people love their results and do not regret it.
Tomorrow is the DAY!
At this point, I'm so scared, anxious and nervous to get the surgery portion done. I've never been under the knife and this is very overwhelming for me. I'm a HOT MESS!! My nerves are bad.... :-( I'm in GOD's hands and trust I will be ok. Anyway friends, pray for your girl! I hope to stay up to date with my recovery posts. TTYL!! :-)
S/N I'm also Vlogging my journey on YouTube. If you're interested just search Jazzy Rachel
Now its Recovery Time (Day 1)
Well, it's the end of Day 1 post Op and I must say it hasn't been bad. I've been asleep most of the day and stayed up on my medicines.
I got to Dr. Cochran's office at 7, sat in the car with my family and prayed. I went in at 7:15 a nervous wreck! Kathy, greeted me and was with me the entire time. Dr. Cochran drew his magical designs on me and I was off to the surgery room. Kathy administered my I.V. and kept me calm the entire time. She rubbed my head and reassured me I'd be fine. She knew I was worried about the procedure. I was out in seconds. Next thing I knew I was coming too. It was around 10 am. The first thing I said was "I'm alive! and what time was it?" Crazy me asked that about 3 times. The nurses laughed and I chuckled myself. After laying in recovery for about a hour, they helped me put on my sweat suit jacket and into the wheel chair. My mom was waiting with the car around back. I was very tired and hungry. Dr. Cochran told my mom that I was doing fine and that he removed 8 lbs of skin and fat. But to not get on the scale excited, because it won't be accurate with the swelling.
After surgery I did throw up though. I love saltine crackers already and wanted to eat something, but saltines and dry mouth do not mix. LOL. I didn't realize how dry my mouth was until the cracker was stuck in my mouth, on my teeth and gums. So, I drank some water and it came right back up. Nothing major, and I didn't feel any pain.
My other issue I had was I bled through my binder on the left side at the lipo incision. It was a bit overwhelming to see, but I'm fine. No worries, I'll wash the binder tomorrow. I haven't held through the bandages again. I was able to get a peek at the incisions, but I was so out of it, I didn't see much. I've seen on YouTube how woman use maxi pads instead of all that gauze. That's a brilliant idea, you just stick them together and tape them down. Over laying gauze piece by piece tape by tape.
My mom, friend and son have been so very helpful. They've waited on me hand and foot. I'm sleeping in my recliner with my legs propped up and I'm comfortable. To get up I slide to the edge of the seat and use one of their arms and a cane to get up. I thought going to bathroom would be challenge for me. It's not. You just have to do everything in slow motion. Which can be hard, because you are used to doing things at regular pace.
I walk around the first story of my townhouse to stretch my legs. I haven't attempted the stairs yet. I plan to do so when I take a shower tomorrow or sunday.
I have one drain and my mom drains it for me. (she won't let me do anything!). I don't feel the drain at all. Maybe because I'm still a bit numb. IDK
Well this has been a good day for me. I'm the biggest scary cat, worrier and adult baby there is and I must say it wasn't bad. To rate the pain/discomfort from 1 to 10, I'd give it a 4. I plan to stay positive and trust in God that my recovery will be successful.
Post Op UpDate (Day 3)
Yesterday Dr. Cochran called to check on my which was nice. He said he's sure I'll love the final results!
Anyway, today I walked upstairs and took a shower all by myself! LOL. My mom was in bedroom if I needed her and I'm happy to say I didn't! I finally got a real glimpse of my tummy and I'm pleased. My sides are smooth and I couldn't be happier. I'm swollen which is expected, so I'm fine with that. To get back downstairs, I walked backwards. I was too nervous to go the correct way. LOL.
I'm starting to believe that I have a high tolerance for pain, because I'm not experiencing as much as I thought I would. My back is sore due to being hunched over, sometimes my incision tingles and I have yet to feel the drain area. Of course I'm taking my pain meds, but I'm not taking them as often as I was. I am glad I have the cane for security, but it's not necessary at all. I haven't had a BM yet, so I'm taking Duccolax to help. Hopefully I can go by tomorrow.
One thing I do suggest is a recliner. The best for this time of surgery. I sleep like a baby in it.
The Results are IN!! :-)
I've been feeling mentally challenged being trapped in this recovery process. I guess it's the selfish side of me surfacing. Just yesterday I burst into tears feeling sorry for myself. My friend didn't let that last very long. He gave me some tough encouraging love. Anyway, today I took my second shower and finally saw myself. And OMG, I love my results!! I'm still very swollen and numb, but OMG! I'm speechless!
s/n I went to the bathroom yesterday. It was the best!! LMAO
First Post Op Appt
I saw Dr. Cochran this morning and he stated everything looks wonderful! I agree 100%.
It's too soon to take out my drain, which is fine because it needs to do what it supposed to do and it doesn't bother me at all. The location isn't horrible, just not doable for panties. So COMMANDO it is! LOL! I've been commando ever since the surgery. My advice is, do whatever makes YOU comfortable. He and the nurse laughed at my gauze bullet proof vest around my incision. I fore warned him, because I know I'm over doing it with the gauze. But again, I gotta do what makes me happy. LOL.
This may sound bad, but I asked Dr. Cochran what he did exactly, because surgery day I was so worried about the anesthesia I didn't pay any attention to much else. Dr. Cochran was happy to go over what he did. He lipo'ed my entire waist line (I can really see the contoured shape), tightened my ab muscles, removed the excess skin (lost a lot of my big stretch marks), adjusted my belly button (it's cute), lifted and pulled then closed me up (incision is low). The location of my incision is genius. I'll be able to wear anything now. I'm so so so so pleased!! I know it's only a few days in and I'm swollen.... I'm so happy everything is coming together. Words can't express my excitement, because I know I'm going to look even better with time.
It's My Birthday!! 36 Baby!
So Why Not Try ON MY FIRST EVER BIKINI!!!!!! YAY!!!!!
Although the drain wasn't painful. It was annoying. Dr. Cochran pulled it out so easily and fast, I didn't have a chance to react. Lol! I'm free!! I drove and went out for grocery shopping and feel pretty good. Anyway, I'm back home resting I'm my favorite place. The Recliner!!
Next appt is next Thursday, I hope to return to work the following Monday.
Still Hunched Over!
Because I'm super tight!! LOL. I can't wait until I can stand straight up again, so I can take this pressure off my back. Other than that, recovery is going well!
Two weeks Post Op!!!
I'm excited and sooooooo happy with my results. I'm still swollen, but my body has changed dramatically and I couldn't be any more happier. Today I went to my 2-wk appt and Dr. Cochran said he couldn't be more pleased with my results and that I'm recovering very well. He removed the stitches from my belly button and I feel great. He told me I didn't need my binder, just wear form fitting spanx to help with the swelling. I'm going to wear the binder. LOL. It's like my security blanket. I'm walking my dog, moving freely, driving and sleeping in my bed comfortably. I'm happy to be going back to work Monday and I'll see Dr. Cochran in two months.
So I wore one of my firmer spanx yesterday all day and I was ok. The binder has more compression, but I wanted to go out and not look bulky. LOL. I got my nails done, out to eat twice and went to the movies. I'd say I had a productive day. Towards the end of my night I was tired, hunched over and swollen (not huge though). I took some tylenol to take the edge off. I'm back to work tomorrow and I will post how my body reacts to that. I wear heels (5-6 inches) normally, but I'm not sure I'm ready for them yet....
s/n I can fit all of my clothes. I'm so glad the swelling isn't so bad that I can't! Of course they fit better now!! :-)
Went Back 2 Work!
Well I went back to work this past Monday and it wasn't bad. Thankfully I work in an office and have an awesome boss. Around 230 I got tired and really stiff/tight (from my desk chair) and I go home early. I wore my Spanx and my binder. In the evening I'd swell like a Ballon from day to day activities. No worries. Anyway I've purchased the scar away strip from Walgreens and also use bio oil for my stretch marks. We'll see how that goes. My bellybutton is healing as well. Anyway I'm excited to start working out light this coming week because I'm almost 4 weeks post! I'm so happy with my results and sooooo glad I did this!!
Belly Button and Scar Away Strips
Just sharing what my belly button looks like. Its still healing and I love how it looks. I think the tape I used to cover it with gauze irritated my skin though. I bought the scar away strips from a local Walgreens. We shall see how they work! :-) Anyway I'm happy as hell!! LOL
My First Walk (cardio)
So I'm able to walk now and it felt really good to finally do something. I did 2 1/2 miles, not my usual speed but I'm glad I did it. I hope to walk 5 days a week until, I can get in the gym!! Still happy with my results!! Swelling sucks in the evenings, so I take it day by day.
I'm pretty much back to my regular day to day activities. I've been doing cardio for about 3-4 times a week. Today I added some ten pound free weights for my arms. Gradually adding in the weight training. The picture below is after a workout. When I wake up my waist is 29 inches, 30 inches after work, and sometimes 31 inches after work, gym, cooking dinner and doing household chores. So the more I do the more I swell. No worries. I put my binder on for compression. I also wear a band during my workouts and I feel great! My incision/belly button are healing very very well. The placement of my incision is perfect and my bellybutton is very natural looking and placed well. No Complaints at all!
I love my results!
I'm feeling great and 150% love my results! Dr. Cochran made a masterpiece! Anyway, I still suffer from swelling at the end of my day, but that's expected. I'll post again after my upcoming follow up in August. Happy Healing ladies!
TWO Month Check Up!
30 Aug 2015
2 months post
All is well with me. I'm still loving my results and very happy I did this for myself. Not much change as to how I'm feeling. I'm back to doing all things regular, I still swell after a long day, my scar is fading and I wear my binder or my waist shaper to help with the tightness (from the muscle repair). Dr. Cochran is very pleased with my transformation. The nurse made copies of my pre-op photos and current photos. I was completely floored at how I used to look. I know it was me, but I just can't believe it. Anyway, I don't have anymore appts, unless I feel the need to be seen by Dr. Cochran. Thanks for all the support and I hope my journey can help some of you ladies/gents looking into surgery.
Best Decision Ever!!
16 Nov 2015
5 months post
It's been about 5 months now and I'm very happy with my choice. I still swell from time to time, just depends on what I eat. No worries, because eventually it will all go away completely. I'm still numbish around the incision site, which is ok. I'm sure at a year out I'll be back 100%. Definitely not complaining, because I look great!!!
Last Office Visit
Well I'm at my six month point and I'm beyond satisfied. At this last appointment Dr. Cochran gave me some steroid injections in my bellybutton, because he said it looks "thick". Basically I keliod (not sure of the spelling). Honestly I don't really care, but because it was no cost, I did it. I'm a brown girl and my belly button is browner. LOL. Anyway, I know I'm not fully healed, because I have not regained 100% sensation around the incision and my belly button. I've been told it takes time to get that back. Don't get me wrong, I have feeling but its in between feeling and numbness. Very hard to explain. Swelling pops up here and there, depending on what I eat and how busy of a day I have. I'm routinely in the gym doing cardio and weight training. The only thing I can't really do is abs. I attempted to show my son an ab exercise and my abs politely told me "Chic are you crazy!!" LOL. It didn't hurt, but it didn't feel good either. Needless to say, I'll take my time with the ab workouts. :-) Please watch my YouTube videos for more in depth convo about my experience. Search Jazzy Rachel
14 Jan 2016
7 months post
I have no real update. Just sharing my amazing results! This was the best decision ever! My belly button has thinned out. I honestly didn't think the steroid injection would do anything. But I was mistaken. Anyway, the gym has been my best friend lately and I'm loving my new treadmill. Hopefully I stay consistent. The over crowdedness in the gym is annoying.. So ready for it go back to normal. :-)
Dog Ear GONE!!!!!
27 Apr 2016
10 months post
I've been soooooooo happy with my results. 99.9% happy, so you really can't get any better than that. BUT...... that .01% had me a little uncomfortable. I called the office a week ago and scheduled an appt with Dr. Cochran. I didn't have any expectations, I just wanted to know his thoughts. Anyway, I went to my appointment and showed him the area of concern (the start of my incision on my right hip). He confidently said, "Oh yes, we can take care of that." So he then proceeded to look at my left side (its a little puffy) and said, "and that too". In the mean time the without my knowledge, the nurse was already setting up. I was so focused on Dr. Cochran, I didn't realize what she was doing. Anyway, I'm thinking that I'm going to schedule another appointment to come back, thinking this is going to cost me an arm and a leg, and I'm thinking that I'm going to have to be put to sleep to perform the revision. To my surprise, he stated, " Let's do it NOW!" I was kind of thrown off, because I wasn't expecting that. He was straight to the point like, you are here, so lets do it! With a confused look on my face, I asked how much would it cost.... The price was right, So I did it! I'm not commenting on the fee, because I know every patient is different. But, I will say there was only one zero in the fee. Anyway, he numbed the areas (right and left hip). I had small piece of scar tissue that he cut off and stitched up and he did a little office lipo on the opposite him. There was teeny tiny bit of pain, but nothing to complain about. I just laid there with my eyes closed tight. It was over in 10-15 mins. I was bandaged up and that was it! I told the nurse, that I didn't have a chance to take a before picture, so I took a picture of the tissue cut off. She laughed. Dr. Cochran didn't give me a chance to change my mind. LOL. I hope you aren't grossed out about the photos. It's flat now. A little swollen and sore, but that will go away. Well I'm now 100% happy with my results. Can't get any better than this :-).
I've reached 1 year!!
No real update. I'm happy and I look great. This is the second best thing I've done for myself. (The first was LASIK).
So with that being said, this will be my final post. Thanks for following my journey. Don't forget to check me out on YouTube for more in depth videos. Search Jazzy Rachel.