DONT GO TO THIS DR!!! Davenport, IA

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I am 5'9 215lbs and I have had 4 children ages...

I am 5'9 215lbs and I have had 4 children ages 14, 12, 8, and 10months. I have been wanting a TT for ages and I am finally done having kids :) so it is time for me to get this body of mine back in shape. I know I am not a small woman, but I personally like my curves.

I love my hips, butt, thighs and boobs....even after having 4 kids. What I hate in my stomach and my back fat at the bra-line. I am having an extended TT w/lipo of the abs and flanks with muscle repair and lipo of the back. I cannot wait. I cant lie and say I am not nervous, but I gave it to God and I trust my surgeon.

This is hands down one the the best sites for getting a feel of what the process is like and seeing other womens stories. You women have inspired me to move forward with my journey. Thank you. Pray for me and I will pray for you. I will be posting before and after pics very soon.

I am almost one week away from my big day, and...

I am almost one week away from my big day, and today is my birthday!! Ya!! This TT is my birthday gift to myself. I cannot wait to become a part of the TT club. I am soooo looking forward to my surgery, but as most people I am scared. I know its all normal, but my emotion are all over the place I am soooo concerned about this surgery that I forgot it was my birthday today. My boyfriend had to remind me. I had my final appt. a few weeks ago, The dr. went over everything for me. Told me to keep on a multivitamin schedule and to get my scripts filled. I have done all of that. Now is just the countdown.
I am sooo excited!! I cant wait to get rid of this stomach I have been carrying around for 14 years. I have not worn a bikini since I was 18 years old and I just got the courage to wear a one piece for the first time last year! I feel like its time for me to get my life back. I am donr having children. I want to be able to enjoy the beach with my kids and not feel like the odd man out.
Pray for me and wish me luck!
I will post pics after the surgery.

Almost here!! :)

I am 6 days out from my surgery and I am feeling...

I am 6 days out from my surgery and I am feeling better about doing it now. I was really nervous for a while, but I know that the odds of anything traumatic happening are pretty low. Anyway, I feel better. I am just waiting for my day.
I will update after my surgery.

I am only a few days away from the big day....

I am only a few days away from the big day. Everyday gets better and better. i am now feeling ultra excited, optimistic that everthing is gonna be alright.
I will pst after photos asap.
Keep praying :)

I am really excited!! Its almost my big day. I am...

I am really excited!! Its almost my big day. I am just tying up loose ends. Cleaning house, getting my food together for the next few days etc. I will post pics after the sugery.
I looked at myself in the mirror tonight and I realized I made the right decision. My belly and back fat have got to go. i dont have to do one more summer trying to fit into the clothes that I love with rolls hanging out andjeans not fitting. I am thanking the lord everyday for this opportunity. Cause as we all know, this surgery isnt cheap :)
Pray for me. Its almost here!!!

I am very happy this morning. I can tell he really...

I am very happy this morning. I can tell he really made my back and waistline smaller. I am having a hard time standing up straight. The drains are hell! I can't wait til those come out. I had. Ton of fluid pumped in me for the lipo so I am using the bathroom a lot.
My dr. said he took off 7 pounds of skin and four 16 ounce bags of fat! I still can't get over that. I was carrying around that much excess skin and fat on my back abs and waist. But thank the lord I am here.
I truly feel like crap on morning 2. Tons of fluid coming out of me. I can't mustar up the strenght to take a pic yet. I will have my boyfriend take one later this afternoon and post for you ladies. I haven't really looked in the mirror yet. Kinda scared to see. But I can't feel that I am alot smaller. I have a bit of a bulge in my tummy but I know that is from all the swelling. He didn't give me a compress to wear so maybe that's why. He said he doesn't recommend them unless truly necessary. So we will see.
All in all I'm taking percocet,vallium and celebrex. I am also taking iron pills and multi vitamin. I am supposed to be taking vitamedica but I think they forgot to give it to me when I went home yesterday. So I called about it this morning and am waiting to hear word on what to do.
Any questions feel free to ask.

Sorry about all the upside down photos. Its just...

Sorry about all the upside down photos. Its just the way they are coming off my phone :-)

Here I am on day 4 and I cannot poop. I know I...

Here I am on day 4 and I cannot poop. I know I know TMI but its killing me. I have taken prune juice hot and cold, exlax and milk of magnesia. I'm about to lose my mind! I feel it but it won't move on out.
I have a dr. Appt tomorrow. Hopefully it will happen by then. My stomache is so swollen and tight from this.
Oh well. Ill update when the magic happens lol :)

Hey everyone I had my first post op appt. Today...

Hey everyone I had my first post op appt. Today and he said everything looks great! I even got all of my staples out so that made me feel good. I can now officially shower :) I am still very swollen but I tried on a form fitting summer dress and even with all of the swelling I almost cried. I haven't ben able to wear anything like that without spanx on since I was 19 yrs old. And I'm only 5 days out. Thank you Jesus!!! I still have my drains booooooo!! "LOL but oh well, whatever gets me to my goal faster.
Any questions feel free to ask.
New pics later today.

Hey there today is day six and I'm feeling so...

Hey there today is day six and I'm feeling so so. I am hating my swelling. My tummy is big and tight. I know its all part of the process but aughhhhhhh!
Hopefully progress will come soon. Its just one of those days. Blahhhhhhhhhh :)

Almost 2 weeks. It is amazing how time flies. I...

Almost 2 weeks. It is amazing how time flies. I have had ups and downs. The ups are I tried on some bikinis in the store for the first time since I was 18 yrs old. I'm 34. That was life changing for me. Although I still have cellulite I hve learned to appreciate my body and thank god I don't have a huge bely and back rolls anymore. I don't care what anyone thinks about my thighs I'm gonna rock a two piece this year! Lol
The other plus is I got my last drain out yesterday and I feel soooooo much better. I will post pics very soon. My dr told me my incision looks amazing and I agree. Its so light for only 2 weeks. I'm happy.
I still have a lot of swelling above my navel. A LOT! When I'm standing my tummy looks great but when I sit it still is. Little pudgy. I guess I have to hit he gym hard once I'm cleared.
The dr did tell me I can start liht walking but no lifting for another month.
Now onto the worse part I think I pulled a muscle yesterday in my abdomen. Ouch! It hurts so bad I went back to square one with pain pills and vallium cause I started having stomach spasms and everything. So pray for me I'm hurting.
But all in all I'm happy.
I will update again soon.

I am 3 weeks PO and kinda feeling better. Its...

I am 3 weeks PO and kinda feeling better. Its truly a process. I have lost 20 lbs to date since surgery and for that I am thankful. I am having some issues with my tummy. Right about my navel I havea part that's sticking out... it won't flatten out and it kinda hurts. I thought I popped a stitch or something. I find my self holding my tummy right there when I walk sometimes cause it hurts. I need to mention it to my dr. Also now my hips and thighs appear huge due to the smaller waistline. Now I know I have to go to the gym LOL!
All in all I am down from a 16 to a 12 in the waist but my butt and hips are in need if some help.
Notice in the 3 week pic I appear bigger in the waist... right after my period I justlooked bigger for some reason. But my weight i s down. I don't get it. I feel swollen though.
I will update again soon.

By the way I cut my hair off! And I just bought...

By the way I cut my hair off! And I just bought the swimsuit ij the photo and I just noticed I still had the tag on it...oops! Lol

I went to the dr for my 1 month post op and it...

I went to the dr for my 1 month post op and it went better than I expected. I thought I might have had an umbilical hernia but I don't. Thank God. Its just swellin and irriatation from the stitches in my abs. He told me if the swelling doesn't go down he could do spot lipo or a mini tuck pulling upward under the breat to fix the protrusion. We wil see. Still in some pain but I'm looking and feeling better everyday. I will post new pics soon.

Week 5 and feeling better, doing more. I'm...

Week 5 and feeling better, doing more. I'm still not aloud to lift much due to my pain an protrusion above my navel. I have been walking a few miles a day. Trying to drop some more weight. But feeling good about life.
My incision is healing very well. My dr ad his nurse were shocked and excited about how great it looks after a few weeks. I havent been doing anything accept neosporin and vitamin e oil occasionally.
I do feel buring and tightness on and around my incision. I am still very tender to touch. I can sleep on my sides but I do feel pain. This is truly a process but well worth it. I have new pics. Don't mind the tags in some pics I was so excited to take the pics I forgot to take the tags off lol!

Its been a while since my last update. I'm sorry...

Its been a while since my last update. I'm sorry for that. I have had death knock at my familys door over the past few months. 1st my father passed away and now my grandfather all in the past 4 months. I mention this because my recovery was going good and then I started to swell and my stomach was huge. I don't know why. Maybe stress. But it was horrible. I looked like I was 6 months pregnant at one point in he past month. But once the stress subsided a little my stomach went down. So go figure. But that freaked me out.
Now I thinking I'm gonna need some more lipo maybe ever a mini tuck on my dr said the same the last time I was in for a visit. I still have noticable loose skin above my incision and some protruding above the navel. I'm ready the get it fixed but I have to wait.
All in all I wouldn't change anything. I definately look better than I did. I am 4 sizes smaller than I was Wooo Hoo! I started at a size 16 I'm down to a 12. Praise God. But I will say my butt and hips are like whoa!!! Lol.
Question: is anyone doing ab work 2 months out? Let me know if u are and how that's going.
Anyway, I will try to stay more current. I miss my tummy tuck family.
Sidenote: I'm now considering more surgery....nose job, lipo of the legs.....maybe :-) maybe not.

2 1/2 year update!!!

Well I had my surgery in May of 2011. I cant believe its been that long already. I have been through ups and downs with my body since then. After the surgery I thought it was going to be easy for me to keep my weight down and within a year of my surgery I not only gained back the 30 pounds I lost but I gained more! I went from 230lbs before surgery, to 200 after. I kept that off for about a year and then it slowly crept back on me. I got up to my heaviest at 252!! I was so upset!! Well I decided to do something about it and Dec. 2012 I went to another Dr. and he helped me to get down to 190!! It took me 6 months to lose that 60 plus pounds. I am planning on losing 40 more by march or 2014!! Lets pray!! LOL
Needless to say this weightloss affected my surgery aftercare progress.
I gained alot of my weight in my upper body. Mostly my arms. I had heard from many people that they struggled with this after a tummy tuck. It is true!!
I am still dealing with that, I just have to focus my efforts on my arms and back now.
Over all here are my pros and cons since having this surgery:
Pros: Flat tummy (mostly)
It has definately helped my confidence
able to wear a bikini
Cons: Having a hard time with my stomach (hardening)
Issues with using the bathroom (blocked up often)
Pain in my abdomen (I feel stitches still and I feel like one area never healed right)
I have a hard time working out without pain in my abs afterward
My arms and back carry my weight now (top heavy)\
I look "box-shaped" in my middle" no real shapely curve. I never looked like that before the surgery and I have had a hard time trimming my middle since the surgery because of the pain when I workout.

Overall I am happy with the external results. I never expected some of the long term sideeffects. I can live with it, but I dont think I ever want anymore surgery for cosmetic reasons. There are so many things your body goes through afterward it unreal.
Im not trying to be debbie-downer...Im being blunt and honest for those getting ready to embark on this journey. Its worth it, but be prepared for the changes that may come later.


First off, anyone that is even remotely thinking of going to Dr. Van Raalte ...DONT GO!!!
All he cares about is getting your money. As soon as he got my money (and I paid in cash by the way) he stopped treating me with any kind of respect! I stated in prior updates that I felt a "pop" happen in my abdomen 3 weeks after the surgery and my stomach was sticking out, he told me that he thought it was just a fat pocket and that it was from too much pizza and donuts. Then he told me that I need to lose weight. I had already lost 30 pounds after the surgery and if it was a fat pocket.. Isn't that what I just paid you 10,000 dollars to remove!!!
Anyway, over re next few year my stomach was giving me problems... Lots of swelling, pain. I have been unable to work for years at this point. Just walking and doing laundry hurts by the end of the day.
Well I decided to go back and see him after about two years because it wasn't getting any better and I ended up in the hospital with so much pain I couldn't walk. They told me I had two hernias. Umbilical and Ventral. Stemming from the abdominal surgery. I knew when I heard that POP that was something wrong in my stomach.
Well I went to talk to Dr VanRaalte about it and he berated me. Told me I was overweight, out of shape (which I can hardly workout because it caused so much pain) and it wasn't his fault. I also stated to him that my back where he did lipo was worse than when I came I to see him. He didn't want to discuss it. He decided to finally refer me to a friend of his regarding my "possible hernia" and I went to see him but I wouldn't allow his friend to do the repair. I went to another dr that I trust.
Well since that hernia repair I have still had problems. I was recently told that the abdomial repair of my diastase a was never really fixed. My walls are separated bigger than before the surgery. And that now it is medically necessary for me to have my abdomen repaired.
I can't work, I can't hardly lift and I am restricted to walking mostly for exercise. I'm pissed!!!!
I want my money back!!! I want to be able to see a dr that knows what he's doing to fix this mess he made of me.
I don't even know if my insurance will cover this abdominal repair!!!
DO NOT GO TO IOWA PLASTIC SURGERY FOR ANYTHING!!! He's mean to women unless you're getting a breast aug!! He loves that!!! I refused and he was not happy with me.
Hopefully I can get myself fixed... Right now I'm a mess!!!!
Davenport Plastic Surgeon

UPDATE!!!! DO NOT LET HIM TOUCH YOU!!! He did tumescent lipo and extended tummy tuck with muscle repair and upper back lipo 3 years ago

1 out of 5 stars Overall rating
1 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
1 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
1 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
1 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
2 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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