It is SO easy to sing the praises of Dr. Christine Rodgers and her team for my recent tummy tuck. Where do I begin? How about at the beginning and with complete honesty? Go ahead and grab a cup of coffee, as this is going to be written in a way that I like to be informed; detailed. ; )
Perhaps I should tell a bit about myself and how I came to choose to have this procedure done; particularly by Dr. Rodgers. I am an athletic 54 year old described as "tall and skinny" since childhood; but after having two babies am now tall and skinny with quite a thick and "poochie" torso! I really did have a spare tire around my otherwise slim frame. My pregnancies gave me two beautiful daughters, but in the process split my abdominus rectus from sternum to pubis and herniated my umbilicus. No amount of exercise (horseback riding, running 10ks, dancing, skiing, hiking and more) or dieting ( trialling Vegan, low glycemic, and low caloric - not at the same time!) could make my tummy flat again; and believe me, I tried! I was forever so annoyed with how my clothes looked on me. I love dressing a bit more "fashion forward," but needed to buy big flouncy tops to cover my tummy roll and honestly felt forever frumpy. Simply put, I just missed my pre pregnancy waist.
So how to proceed with finally doing something about it? And how to decide upon a good plastic surgeon? Over the years and under the radar, I was doing my own unofficial research about area plastic surgeons. Whenever a friend would "have some work done," I would make a mental note of their experience. One friend in particular described her thrill in finding Dr. Rodgers to clean up a fairly botched bilateral mastectomy. My friend, a true beauty, tragically got cancer at the age of 32. She described the work that she had done by Dr. Rodgers as a "work of art." I really took stock in her opinion as she was quite particular in so many ways. Thus said, Dr. Rodgers moved up to my number one slot for area plastic surgeons. A few years later, my oldest daughter needed some minor skin surgery and I immediately sought Dr. Rodgers for a consultation. My daughter and I were so impressed. Her minor experience was excellent on every level. So, wanting to dip MY foot in the water, I began seeing the staff in Dr. Rodgers office to get bbl laser for my aging face, and even went so far as to try botox - something I NEVER thought I would do. I was gently educated by Brooke and Katie about how Botox SHOULD be done; we have all seen those overdone messes?! Needless to say, and in the department of "never say never," I now highly recommend a tiny bit between the brows and forehead lines; done at Dr. Rodgers office, of course. I wouldn't trust anyone else! Funny how no one could quite put their finger on what I had done, but the compliments were quite surprising. "New haircut?" "Recent vacation?" The results were simply that I looked rested and refreshed because my forehead was now smooth. And, making good use of my time spent having skin treatments, I would have the best conversations with Dr. Rodger's staff about what I could do to make other improvements, from skin maintenance to body work. I love the perspective of her staff members as they really see what goes on. So, feeling quite well informed, I scheduled a consultation with Dr. Rodgers to take a close look at me, from head to toe. I was pretty excited when she explained why my belly pooched and how she could fix it. At last, I found the right surgeon to help me correct my sagging belly. Oh boy.
Now I had something to decide. As a former ICU registered nurse with the hobby of performing in local theatre as a dancer and a singer, I was beyond nervous about "going under the knife." I was especially petrified about being under general anesthetic for 5 hours. Oh dear God. What was I thinking? How scary and do I believe I will be happy with the results? Is it really worth it? This was my choice alone. I mean, I HAD to have my appendix out - no choice in the matter - but I didn't HAVE to have a tummy tuck?! I really wrestled with this decision. Fortunately, two people brought me to my senses. First, my 21 year old daughter finally said, "Mom, you complain about your poochie tummy so much; either have something done, or quit talking about it." Ouch - the truth can really sting sometimes? Then, another dear and gentle friend who is a marathon runner with the afore implanted body of a 14 year old boy said she was thrilled with her recent breast implants. She said, " I just wanted my clothes to fit nice and once I had it done, I never looked back." She also added, "You only have one body and one life; if you can do something about it that will make you happier, you should do it." Thank you beautiful lady!
So, making the decision to have my tummy tuck, I spoke with Diane Bialcek, who handles Dr. Rodgers surgery schedule, and took the earliest surgical date she could find, three weeks later. I really appreciated Diane's compassionate approach with me. She knew I was particularly nervous and really listened and never pushed. The date was set and I told my husband and daughters as well as a couple of close friends. The rest of my world would just know that I was having a hernia repair. 'Nuf said.
I felt really confident about Dr. Rodgers and her staff, yet I was still losing a great deal of sleep over the general anesthetic part. Being an RN really has it pluses and its minuses. I was a very fastidious nurse and saw too many things in my day as being sub par, from the care of other nurses, to doctors and even janitors and cafeteria staff. I developed quite an eagle eye for the good and the bad. I was supposed to! Nurses, I was taught and believed, are the "glue that binds" every facet of care surrounding the patient. I was the best advocate my patients could have, and I took my job as patient advocate very seriously; unafraid of calling out anyone with improper technique or care, from sometimes arrogant physicians to less than kind family members. And, being a pretty stealth self advocate while I am awake and alert, I worried about how to protect myself when unconscious, or drowsy from pain meds? I needed to know I could depend on my anesthesiologist and hospital staff for that. Fear not, Dr. Rodgers colleague, anesthesiologist, Dr. Shirl Schaffer, PERSONALLY phoned to discuss all of the medications she would use for my anesthesia.Who does that kind of thing? Dr. Schaffer does. She is another true "STAR" in her profession. Imagine my amazement at actually being thirsty and hungry soon after settling into my post op room instead of being nauseous and throwing up? That has never happened. I am forever grateful, Dr. Schaffer; you realized I was a complete "light-weight" and took care not to over do the anesthetic meds. Thank you. And, the Rose Hospital surgical staff and post operative "Suites" staff and care provided in these areas were all a truly excellent. The nurses and ancillary staff from the surgical team to the bonafide CHEF on the floor were all positively magical in their abilities to provide such wonderfully professional and compassionate care. Remember, I am the uber picky one. They all exceeded my great expectations. You don't know me, but you can truly trust me on this!
Cutting to the chase, pun intended, my surgery went perfectly and even though I am just three weeks out and still a bit sore and swollen around my incision site, I am already beyond thrilled with the result. After 22 years, I have my slender waist again!!! The only drawback is the lengthy recovery of 6 to weeks - ugh. I am not accustomed to laying low, but I have been trying to be graceful with myself. I have also enjoyed reading, writing ( Uh, no kidding?!) and drawing. A true work of art isn't done in a day, so I will be patient.
All that said, I would highly recommend Dr. Rodgers and anyone on her "Dream Team" for their excellent quality care, every step along the way. At last, the confidence I have on the inside of me now aligns with the outside of me, and that is a very good thing. My hat is off to Dr. Rodgers and her team.