26 Years Old, Cancer SURVIVOR, Mom of 2 Heading to Almonte 4/29/2015!!!!

Hey RS Sistas! I've gone to RS for tips, reviews...

Hey RS Sistas! I've gone to RS for tips, reviews and answers for a couple of years now so finally decided to join. All I can say is why didn't I do this sooner???? There is so much support in this community, you guys are awesome! So my story: I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year in the first trimester of my pregnancy. I decided to continue on with my pregnancy and undergo treatment beginning in the second trimester. I lost 40 pounds while pregnant because of the medicine and developed loose sagging skin under my arms. After I completed chemo and delivered my daughter I underwent a bilateral mastectomy(breast removal) and total hysterectomy. The hysterectomy sent me into menopause and I have now gained 30 pounds. Between the sagging arms, stretched tummy from pregnancy and rolls from this new weight gain I very unhappy with my body :'(

I can not afford traditional plastic surgery in the US because having cancer left me with temporarily poor finances and bad credit. Sooooo I posted a question about pro bono work on RS. A wonderful surgeon responded and I meet with him next month! He said he would do his best so I pray I can afford his best. If all else fails a client of mine got me hip to plastic surgery in the Dominican Republic. I've been stalking Almonte with no response but received a great quote from Baez. I've also heard back from Yily and Robles and sent over a request to Diaz. How do we contact Duran?

Anywho I'm completing breast reconstruction by January so hope to schedule my makeover for April.
I am so looking forward to this. Ladies that have been to the DR how much cash did you carry with you and was it enough? Any recommendations from your own experience. Who NOT to go to? Where NOT to stay? How many massages did you require and did it actually help? How long did you stay? How long were you in severe pain from the tt and lipo? I have so many questions. Thanks dolls!

On My Way to Almonte!!!!

My impatience has had the best of me! After tons of researching and finally decided to have these procedures done I was dead set on Almonte. However after requesting quotes from multiple PS's I heard back from every doctor but her. After I week or so I decided to go with Baez (who was very sweet, professional and affordable). But low and behold Almonte's assistant Lesley contacted me. I can not express how happy I am to know the surgeon I originally wanted can perform my surgery and at an awesome rate! I am having a tummy tuck, lipo on my upper arms and underams, lipo on my abdomen, waist, flanks, full back, chin and am thinking about adding the thighs. My quote was $5400 without the thighs and included 10 days at My Recovery Home so that is amazing. Hubby will be accompanying me for an extra $55 per day. I just need to decide what dates will be best as I have 2 young children I must leave behind with their grandmother. I have never been away from my babies for 10 days and I'm having little panic attacks over it :( But at least they will have a new snatched up sexy mommy to take them to school! Yaaaaas Honey! Anywho, here are a few questions I have. :)

1) The enfamous Blue Pill- thoughts, concerns, experiences, rumors. Please tell all. I'm definitely happy not to undergo general anesthesia but I heard of people waking up during surgery. Ahhh!

2) I plan on doing a very small amount of touring during my second week of recovery. Any suggestions? I found this website very helpful: http://www.santodomingotourism.com/

3) Please give me recommendations on items Ill need to get through this. Here's what I have thus far: Omeprazole, Arnica Gel, Anti Nausea, Water Pill, Benadryl, Pain Medication, Stage 2 Faja Compression Garment, Dresses, Gauze, Toiletries, Anti Scar Tape/Maderma, Urine Funnel, Iron w/ Vitamin C and B12 + Folic Acid and Chux Pads.

Confirmed Date with Almonte and Paid Deposit! Need travel buddy!

Hey Ladies! I'm staying at Family Recovery in Santo Domingo, DR beginning 4/28 and need a travel buddy! Just to bunk with, talk to, complain about our pain with lol. Maybe even get a connecting flight with :) I'm flying out of Las Vegas 4/28. I only have 7 weeks to go and am loosing my mind stalking Dr. Almonte's Facebook and Realself! If anyone wants to hook up let me know. Ahhhhh I'm too excited! I guess I'll post a before pic since its set in stone. I'm so depressed just looking at it ???? but I know I'll be on the flat side next month! :)

Got My Passport!

Yay! I paid to have it expedited but it still took 4 weeks :/ Oh well, I'll be purchasing airfare next week! If anyone wants to buddy up let me know :) im departing 4/28 and staying at Family Recovery

Vitamin Regimen and Surgery Plans

I forgot to say I changed what procedures I'll be having. I opted for the tummy tuck, full abdominal, waist, back, underarm, arm and chin Lipo plus Brazilian butt lift. If I feel that my arms are still too big I'll go back in December for an arm lift and also have inner thigh lipo while I'm there. :) I've been taking vitamins b6, b12, e, iron and folic acid. 6 months ago my iron was at a 9 :( last month it got all the way up to 11.8! By next month I'm sure I'll be at 13.5-14 :) I started off taking one iron pill (65mg) and graduated to taking it twice a day.

Breast Reconstruction- Breast Augmentation- Breast Cancer- Mastectomy

If anyone is in need of an absolutely God-sent breast surgeon PLEASE contact Dr. Annie Oneil of Las Vegas Surgical Associates. I had a bilateral mastectomy about 16 months ago and just underwent augmentation last month. She did an absolutely amazing job and provided me with the utmost in patient care! I believe she only works on Cancer patients so if you know someone let them know. You can see the scars from my mastectomy but I'm going to have medical tattooing virtually "erase" them :)

Flights purchased!

I may have a travel buddy! But if anyone else is interested, the more the merrier :)

Hemoglobin

Lesley said to drink a smoothie of watercress, spinach and carrots with Apple juice. Not bad tasting but very thick. What ever it takes to get this iron up!

Ahhhh!!!! Only 17 days left!!!!!!

Hey Ladies! So the anxiety is real! I'm only 17 days away from making it to he flat side and just wanted to post a few pics. I've been working out everyday and lost 15 pounds :) My Hemo has reached a 13 and I couldn't be happier. I also began taking liquid iron and drinking spinach and carrot smoothies as Lesley suggested. I'll post my luggage as soon as im done packing!

Lost 15 pounds :)

Just a side by side comparison of my 15 pound weigh loss. I have NOT had my tt yet. I hope to lose 5 more over the next 2 weeks :)

Lipo Foam?/Packing List/2 Weeks!!!!!!!!

Well, I just spent $200 on Amazon :-O !!!!!! At least everything is taken care of. Does anyone know when we are actually supposed to begin using the lipo foam? I read not for a few weeks because it has silicon adhesive and that could disturb the incision. The only thing I need now is a disposable suit case. An RS Sista recommended getting one from the GoodWill and tossing it before departing. I'm so excited I'm shaking! Only 13 days left but it seems to be going by so slow. The anxiety is killing me so I'll apologize in advance if I begin to over post lol.

What I have so far:

Compression socks
Pain Medication
Ambien
Dresses
Flats
Baby wipes
High underwear
Urine funnel
Lipo foam
spirometer
Neosporin cream
Books
Toiletries (soap, toothbrush, lotion, deodorant, toothpaste)
Benadryl pills and spray
Stool softner
Safe
Black tees
Gloves
Arnica
Boppy pillow
Chux Pads
Clorox wipes
Wash clothes
Liotin gel
Massager
Fanny pack
Hibiclens
Cough drops
Robe
Adult diapers
Neck pillow

11 Days!!!!!!!

Starting to pack! I'll post more pics later :)

4/29 Dra Fatima Almonte!!!!!

Intro:

Hey Dolls and Future Dolls! So long story short I've been stalking RealSelf for a couple of years now. I'm 27 years old, recently encountered a terrible battle with breast cancer and underwent 6 surgeries including a c-section. I won the fight, gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and am ready to get SNATCHED! If any of you are traveling around that time please let me know!

Getting Ready:
Although I find contacting Lesley (Dra Almonte's Assistant) to be somewhat difficult, she is very sweet and apologetic for the time lapse. I guess we are all trying to get to the Dominican lol. I selected Dra Almonte because of her amazing reviews, results and bedside manner. I want a doctor that still cares about you even after the surgery. She gave me a fantastic quote which included TUMMY TUCK, HIP GRAFTING, BRAZILIAN BUTT LIFT AND LIPO TO THE FULL ABDOMEN, FULL BACK, WAIST, FLANKS, ARMS, UNDERARM AND CHIN for $4500. This does not include the recovery house. Unfortunately I was very anemic and my hemo only tested an 8! :( So I've been taking one cap of liquid iron every morning and drinking a spinach and carrot smoothie all day as Lesley recommends. Half a bunch of spinach, half a package of shredded carrots, 1 cup apple juice, and about 6 cups of water fill up my 8 cup blender and I drink it all day. Start off by adding only 4 cups of water or your blender will overflow! Blackberries are also a delicious addition because this drink is pretty bland. I also take 325 mg of iron, folic acid, vitamin c, b6 and b12 twice a day with orange juice. I was taking vitamin e but stopped about 6 weeks ago because it's an anticoagulant. I tested my iron last month and it was a 13 ladies!!!! I've also lost 15 pounds by eating less and working out :)

Recovery House:
So based on the personal recommendation of a friend I decided to stay at Family Recovery with Tania "BETTY" Cisneros. Thus far I feel confident with my decision! She is very sweet, responds to messages fairly quickly and has awesome reviews. In an attempt to be cost effective I am staying in a triple. I don't mind the company and its more affordable. My quote for 8 nights, transportation, laundry service, 5 massages and for someone to stay with me at CECIP after surgery was $750! This is amazing considering that it includes all of your food and 24 hour staff/nurses. I'll post pictures of the house after I arrive. Btw, I'm only staying 8 nights because my surgeon at home is going to monitor me and remove my drains.

Packing:
After reading tons of reviews of what you'll need in the DR I made list and ordered most of it from Amazon. Total cost was about $200 for everything. Seems steep but was actually VERY CHEAP considering everything I purchased. Another RS Sista had the fantastic idea of purchasing a "disposable" suitcase from the Goodwill and only placing items in it that you will dispose of before returning home: chux pads, sanitary napkins, toiletries, etc. I found a suitcase for $1, bleached the hell out of it and did exactly that! So before returning home I can toss the whole thing and have less to carry. Brilliant! In my personal bag I placed medications and necessities. In my carry on I placed clothing and pillows.

List:
Anti Embolism Compression Socks- to prevent DVT and PE
Pain Medication
Ambien
Loose Dresses
Comfy Shoes
Baby Wipes
High Underwear- to fit over adult diapers
Urine funnel
Lipo foam- (Will buy when I return)
Spirometer- to help lungs after surgery
Neosporin cream
Books and entertainment
Toiletries (soap, toothbrush, lotion, deodorant, toothpaste)
Benadryl pills and spray
Stool Softner- A MUST!
Safe- for cash, passport, etc
T shirts- to wear under faja and prevent faja burn
Gloves
Arnica- to help with bruising and swelling
Boppy Pillow- to sit on after BBL
Chux Pads- to keep my bed clean after lipo
Clorox Wipes- it's surgery so I won't to keep everything sanitized
Wash Clothes
Liotin gel- Couldn't find any so I'll buy it there
Massager- to increase lymphatic circulation
Fanny pack- for drains
Hibiclens- to shower with before surgery
Cough drops
Robe
Adult Diapers- to keep clothes clean from incisions
Neck Pillow- comfortability after surgery
Sanitary Napkins- for incisions
Gauze and Medical Tape- for incisions

Confirmation:
Only 10 days until I leave!!!!! Lesley just sent me an email confirming my arrival date and time! Oh yeah, it's real! I'm so tired of looking at this belly :'( I love the beautiful children I gave birth to as a result and wouldn't exchange them for Beyonce's body.....BUT, Dominican here I come :)

Packing!!!!

Quick pic ;)

Still trying to loose weight before my tummy tuck

Why is weight so easy to gain but difficult to lose D: I'm trying, struggling but trying :'(

8 days!!!!!

I think.......I'm ready :-O :D :-P Soooo the idea of a disposable suitcase is freaking awesome! However I couldn't find one large enough to hold everything I'm taking! I would keep looking but am honestly just being lazy lol. Rather than having to worry about toting my own luggage around I went online and requested disability access and a wheelchair :) problem solved.....ok Ill post tomorrow!

How to schedule with Dra Almonte

How to contract Dr Almonte:
1) I contact Dr Almonte's office through her assistant Lesley: dralmonteassistant@gmail.com. Their office is extremely busy so expect a delay in responses. Lesley typical takes 1-2 weeks to respond to emails but is it worth it! She is very sweet and informative.

2) Be sure to include your photos and the procedures you are requesting so she can respond with a quote the very first time. Also include when you would like to have it performed.

3) You also need to include all of your medical information such as illness, weight, previous surgeries, smoker, medications, child births, etc. These are questions they are going to ask so beat them to it.

4) Wait for a response. When she does it will include very specific information. Be sure to read ALL of it so you do not have to ask them questions you already have the answer to. She will inform you of the $350 deposit that mush be paid to hold your date.

7 days!!!

Betty at Family Revovery sent me an email with my drivers information. I thought this was great because now I'll know who to expect at the terminal upon arrival! Does anyone know how close thus Revovery home us to SDQ?

Contacting Betty at Family Recovery

To book with Betty at Family Revovery email her at familyrecoveryhouse@hotmail.com or facebook "Betty Recovery House" :)

6 days!!!!

My doctor filled my prescriptions! I received augmentin (antibiotic) , valium (muscle relaxer) , omeprazole (antacid) and ondastetron (anti nausea); hope I spelled these right lol. I already had norco but don't know if they will make me nauseous :( well that's all for now!

5 days!!! Pre BBL and Scar Regimen!

Hey Ladies! I can not believe I forgot to discuss something so important in regards to how to treat your skin if you are having a Brazilian Butt Lift! I have read that many ladies were denied receiving over x amount of cc's transferred to either the hip or butt region because of the lack of elasticity in their skin. So you have basically lost all of that good fat that could have been grafted to your derriere :-O I began researching what products increase skin elasticity and overall skin health. I read numerous articles promoting the benefits of raw tea tree oil, raw vitamin e, raw jajoba oil and raw cocoa butter. These natural substances have been proven to not only increase the elasticity of skin, but to improve scar appearance as well! So I strolled on down to Whole Foods and spent a good $50 on the 4 products shown below. I've been using them for about 3 months and truly do notice a difference! Since the coco butter is raw I fill my bathroom sink with hot water and let it melt while I shower. Using these products after a shower or bath is best because your pores are open and better suited to absorb the vitamins. After I finish showering/bathing I towel dry and apply the heated cocoa butter to my hips, butt, stomach and arms. Since I am having a tummy tuck I am trying to increase elasticity in this area to receive a better overall result. I apply it to my arms since I am undergoing lipo. After I have applied the butter I apply the oils. I mixed about 2 ounces of both the jajoba and vitamin e but only used about 1/10 of the tea tree (it is very powerful and should NEVER be used directly on skin unless highly diluted). Water is a HUGE factor in skin elasticity so I have also been drinking 8 cups of water (with Crystal Light) a day. This should be continued after all incisions are fully closed (about 4-6 weeks) as a scar regimen to help reduce the appearance of tummy tuck and lipo incisions. Ladies please do this at the end of the day because you will be very oily! You dont want to get these products on your clothes but it is perfectly fine in the bed (and smells good). Trust me, you will wake up to amazingly gorgeous skin :)

4 days!!!!!!

My friend bought me a beautiful pen and a quotes journal from Pier One so I could write a fulfilling entry everyday while I recovery. That was so sweet!!!! :') the journal has passages that encourages you to stay away from one form of technology (video games, phones, computer, tablets, social media, email, etc) each day so you can better enjoy your surroundings. I'll post a pic tomorrow :)

3 days!!!!!! (In one hour and ten minutes that is)

Lol, I'm not quite there yet, but I'm not going to be awake at midnight to post this lol. So I'll just say I'm 3 days away an hour early :) I posted a picture of the journals and pen my friend bought me for while I'm away. If that isn't the sweetest gesture ever I don't know what is :) I'm going to write about my pain, misery, big butt and snatched ass waist every day! Hahaha!!! :D Love you Letty!

2 Days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At this point I don't know how I feel. I'm excited, nervous, anxious, scared, happy, hesitant, everything!!!!!!!!!!! I assume this is normal :) In a little over 48 hours Ill be hopping on that plane. Ahhhhhhhhhhh...to be continued :)

Girl Dies in DR :'(

It absolutely breaks my heart to hear of woman so young loosing her life on a self empowering journey. I researched my doctor for nearly a year and prayed that I made the best decision. There are so many doctors whose careers are questionable, have been accused of malpractice, have dozens of infection cases, and worst of all, have a HISTORY of deaths. But we continue to choose these doctors despite their reckless track record. Ladies, we too must ensure we are in OPTIMAL health prior to embarking this mission of self confidence. I truly understand that we can not hide from death, if it is our time to go, He will bring us home. This has definitely placed a small amount of fear in my heart since I leave in 2 days. But I can only trust God and have confidence in Dra Almontes amazing career and reputation. I just pray we aren't being taken prematurely. I am truly disheartened. Lord, please give her peace in Your arms and bless this young woman's family to find hope in such tragic times. Rest in Peace Charlin, and let's pray for one another :(


Article:
Santo Domingo.- Charilín Cedeño, 23, died Thursday during cosmetic surgery at Contreras Clinic, owned by Edgar Contreras, whose notorious practice has been blamed for the deaths of several patients. Cedeño arrived Tuesday with a friend from the US for a liposuction but died at the clinic located in the Arroyo Hondo sector of the National District. Relatives say she
died of cardiac arrest resulting from medical malpractice. Previous deaths
At least three women charged Contreras of malpractice at the National District Office of the Prosecutor in May last year but was released on bail. In June that year the Public Health Ministry temporarily closed the clinic for violating the Health Law and its regulations.

1 Day Left...Girl Dies in DR :(

I thought this would be the most anticipating day for me. Only one day before I board this plane. But I'm still trembling over the death of the young woman the other day. Does anyone have any additional information? I have faith in Dr Almonte, so thats not what has me feeling so shaken. It's just the thought of that poor girl trying to find a better self, and dying because of someone elses foolish mistakes. I want to be excited about going, but now I have so much.....sadness. Sadness for taking joy in doing something that someone just died over. Sigh, this is very emotional. :'(

Final e-mail from Lesley!!! Bags Packed!

I emailed Lesley and asked if there was anything else I should do or bring before departing. It's really hitting home. :-O Here's her response:::::::::::::::::: Good evening Alexis,

Thanks for writing, just bring comfortable shoes clothes and underwear :) be sure that your hemoglobin is 13 or above and let me know if you have any health condition that I need to know prior sx.

Please remember that the rh that you choose will pick you up at the airport and when you arrive they should take you to the clinic for the preoperative evaluation.

Best regards

At the Airport!

Ahhhhhhhh!!!!!! I was all big and bad until I stepped foot out of the car. Then it all came down on me at once. I'm going to be without my kids for 9 days. It's only been an hour and I miss them soooo much!!! I have an hour before my flight so I'm going to have this drink, that I shouldnt, but my nerves are going bonkers lol. I really hope I can sleep since its a red eye. Wha the other ladies say is definitely true. It all feels so surreal. This belly is going to be gone very soon!!!!! Lol. I'll pos when I touch down in the morning :)

Dr Almonte is the BEST!

I haven't even had surgery yet and I'm in love with her and Lesley!!!! Beautiful both inside and out :) heading back for pre op, I'll post more later :)

First day in DR!

So the Dominican is geographically beautiful. Perfectly situated amongst clear blue waters and green terrain. BUT, aesthetically it looks like the ghetto :( Dilapidated structures, graffiti, etc. I saw 3 people on on one moped, NO ONE abides by any form of driving law, a guard operated a toll gate by pulling a STRING to open or close it! I saw someone driving with a crushed in windshield, and about 10 young men piled up in the back of a truck. Ooooommmmmmgggggg doesn't describe it. On top of that my driver from Family Recovery forgot me :( I had to pay a taxi driver so that really sucked :( Upon arrival to the recovery house I was pleased to find a clean home with delicious smelling food being prepared. My room was ready and furnished with recliners as well. The driver then took me to CECIP where I met Dra. Almonte and Lesley who are both very beautiful. They have personalities that radiate kindness and put you at complete ease as to having the procedure. I know I made the right choice of surgeon. Not to mention how modern, chic and fashionable her office is!!!!! Very trendy with crystal pieces, mirrored decor and damask wallpaper. Very nice! I went down to have my labs done and the methods are sooooo retro! Rather than a needle that streams blood through compression, she manually filled a syringe and the poured the blood into 3 viles. Lol! It's the 70's up in here! I just had a chest x Ray performed and am waiting on an ekg. I've already met about 3 ladies who just had surgery performed by Almonte! They look freaking amazing!!!!! My surgery is at 11 am tomorrow, I am so amped :) :) :)

Argument at CECIP!!!!! Surgery in 3 1/2 hours!

Part 1- I was awaken around 6am to hear SCREAMING and yelling down the hall! I'm not certain if it was a patient or the friend of a patient but someone was PISSED OFF!!! She was screaming to get her someone that spoke English because the nurse was a f*cking stupid idiot! I could not hear clearly but I believe she said the nurse turned off something she needed. Not certain. I hope I'm not mistaken, but it sounded like she said that b*tch better not come back! :( Yikes! Of course I don't know all the details, but it appears to be a result of poor communication. The language barrier makes communicating very difficult, I plan to come back in December and will be using Rosetta Stone before I do. That's not a joke either I needed to understand the people.

Part 2 Wow it's really happening! After having all of my labs performed, a dinosauric ekg, and respiratory exam I was pooped! They were very thorough in examination which made me feel very comfortable. I went back to the recovery house where I was able to meet Cisco, he is sooooo nice! He's very considerate and speaks English. Quite the conversationist so we talked for a considerable amount of time. Dinner was delicious and consisted of an amazingly seasoned baked chicken, white rice, these awesome black beans, salad and bread. It was goooooood! Lesley arranged for me to stay at the clinic overnight so I packed an overnight bag and headed back to CECIP. My room looks like that of a Catholic Monestary; plain walls, hospital bed, desk, bathroom w/shower. But it does have a tv. Then nurse that conducted my registration and preop evaluation was very nice and spoke English :) I'll post after surgery!

Made it to the Flat Side!

Ladies I'm too tired too reveal details, I post information tomorrow :) I'm snatched!!!!!!!!!! It was all worth it :)

Forgot the Picture

I'm snatched!!!!!

Dra Almonte couldn't do my arms because she said she ALOT out of my waist and back!!!! I have NO rolls at all!!!! Ahhhhh! My stomach is extremely swolen in these pictures but still tight, flat and firm. Omg it's like a dream come true, I'm going on line right now to some some bikinis lol!!!!! I woke up during surgery yall!!!!! I said "ummm, are yall done" lol lol lol. Then they knocked me right back out hahahaha. It actually wasn't scary because Dra Almonte makes you feel so calm :) my pain is mild to moderate. Not bad at all. I'll let you know how the pain is after i stand up. I'll be heading back to Family Recovery today, they are veeerrrryyyy nice! Definitely recommend!!!! I'll be back in 6 months for inner thigh lipo and arm lift.

Family Recovery is great!

Ladies when I tell you I miss home, the feeling is indescribable. Please prepare yourself for loneliness and depression. I miss my babies so much I cried twice. With that being said Family Recovery is amazing. They are so sweet, genuine and caring. Mama Tata is the BEST so please be sweet to her. She's takes care of everyone! Senior Rubin takes you to and from appointments. Narcisso is part owner and so very kind, he runs errands for us. His sister Lucy is the nurse and does a very good job. I haven't seen Betty too much but when I do she is very nice. The pain and stiffness is somewhere around and elevated moderate. This F*CKING drain is a B*TCH!!!! It burns :( :( :( oh the cost of beauty. The recliners are you friends ladies. Don't even think about getting in a bed. There are 4 of us here and we all use the recliners.

Dra Almonte and her staff are absolutely amazing. Raquel is like a coordinator. I couldn't read her personality at first, but once I started talking to her she was so warm and welcoming. Very sweet. Lesley is amazing and very kind. Dra Almonte tops it all off with a personality that just glows. Definitely coming back for round two in 6 months because these arms have to go. But I would never come back alone. Definitely need a friend or spouse. The girls in the house are fun, but we're all in misery. It's the cripple trying to help the cripple :( lol

Betty at Family Recovery (Massages)

Hey Ladies!!!! I have finally had the chance to meet Betty! She is the massage therapist! Ladies, when I tell you her talent is crafted by God Himself, you will never find a masseuse as talented, caring, sensual and passionate as her. The massages are lymphatic so have the purpose of pushing the built-up fluid from surgery towards your lymph nodes so that it can drain out of your body. You can begin massages between days 3 and 5 dependent upon how well you recovery. Betty completely undresses you and starts by examining your incisions and surgical areas. She checks for which areas have the most fluid and then rubs you down with an anti bruising cream and massage oil. I had tt, lipo and bbl. She started with my back and used a heated ultrasound massager and hot towel to loosen the tissue. Then she uses her hands to work the tissue and manipulate the fluid towards your drain and lymph nodes. It honestly is moderately painful BUT very important. These massages reduce swelling and release tension. Next she lays you down and works your front. I also had chin lipo so she massaged that area. My feet were swollen she I had the added bonus of a foot massage. Lastly she cleans your entire body with a hot towel! Omg it's amazing!!!!! I love Betty!!!! I purchased 6 massages so will have 2 a day for three days. Gosh I hope I can find a good masseuse back home. Btw they're only $30 for an hour! At home they're triple that :/ still can't wait to go home but I wish I could take Betty with me

Things You Need to Know!

PLANE:
Ladies, it is imperative that you book a non-stop first class return flight home with wheel chair assistance!!!!!! I was in such much on that plane it was unbearable :( I must admit, enduring cancer treatment made me a tough cookie. So if I AM COMPLAINING, it's real lol. The main cabin seats are too congested for someone who just completed surgery. Not nearly enough seat space or leg room for you to stretch seeing as circulation is extremely important after an operation. Remember to wear you "Anti-DVT/PE Compression Socks" on the plane and to bring your boppy, a neck pillow and regular pillow for your back. You will not be healed enough to carry any baggage so your carry on should only contain your valuables (passports, credit cards, ID, cash, medicine, electronics, etc) and pillows. Put everything else (clothes, left over supplies, etc) in a checked bag that will meet you baggage claim. BE ABSOLUTELY SURE TO EAT, POOP, AND TAKE A MODERATE DOSE OF MEDICATION PRIOR TO BOARDING!!!!!!! I took 10mg of valium so was able to sleep the majority of the plane ride.

TUMMY:
So many of our RS Sisters have warned of just how serious recovery is. Well let me say I did not listen. I have had so many surgeries that I assumed I'd bounce right back. What I did not account for was the fact I was having multiple procedures performed. The tummy tuck is the least painful but extremely restricting and confining. Dra Almonte removed a good 6-7 inches of skin! Ladies, I couldn't stand up straight if I tried (besides the fact that you're not supposed to). The skin is so TIGHT and pulls in every direction. Dra. Almonte made an approximate 18 INCH from one side of my back, clear across my abdomen, all the way to the other side of my back. If you stand directly behind me you can see the incision! But I have already tried on a new bikini and it hides my incision effortlessly!!!!!! So amazing!!!!! I've been cleaning my incision and belly button with alcohol and neosporin cream everyday and covering it was bandage wrap and tape. My stomach is very swolen, fluid-like in some areas, hard and firm in others.

DRAIN:
The b*tch of it all. The drain is the devil incarnate!!!!!! Ladies it is so agonizing I can't explain it :( :( :( Because each procedure separated the skin and muscle wall, blood and fluid develope. This requires a drain to flush out the fluid so the the skin wall can reattach to the muscle. The fluid initially comes out a dark red, clotty consistency, then a lighter red, eventually an orange like red and finally yellow with a red pale tinge of blood. I'm in the final stage but still draining about 200cc a day. When I reach less than 50cc per day (in about one more week) I can remove the drain. DO NOT REMOVE YOUR DRAIN EARLY!!!!! This is how serous is developed! When fluid builds up between the skin and muscle too quickly for the body to absorb it! It will look like a huge bulge and you'll have to have it manually drained with a needle! And not just once ladies, usually about 5 times. So I'm saying f*ck it, deal with this dumb drain, make sure all the fluid is done releasing, and take it approximately 2 weeks from my surgery date.

LIPO:
Yeah this stupid too lol. I absolutely love my results, all of my rolls are gone, and the Lipo incisions are very small :D I had lipo to my chin, underarm (sides above rib cage next to breast), full back, waist, and full abdomen. The lipo feel as though someone beat you to a pulp and now your in the hospital recovering. It burns, is very tight and extremely tender. I had a lot of bruising but use ARNICA gel everyday so it is subsiding very well :) I bought a hand massager for $16 from Walgreens and use it on the lowest setting over my tummy. The vibrations help loosen and reduce the fluid.

BBL:
I got some ass yall! Not too much but definitely a difference! My previous measurements were 41-38-41 (ugh, very boxy). With the swelling I am 36-32-45! Oh yeah! I can't wait to see my new measurements after the swelling subsides completing! I guess 34-29-43 :) this ass hurts a lot though! Very tender and don't even think about sitting on something firm, it is soooooo uncomfortable :(

OVERALL:
This is an extremely painful and difficult process. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE HELP WHEN YOU RETURN HOME!!!! I only stayed 7 days after surgery. So I am unable to keep up with my baby, walk my son to the bus stop, cook for myself, clean, nothing! And you're not supposed to either! I get these short burst of energy when I feel like I can do do much! Problem is you can damage your incision and wind up in the ER. So ladies, make sure you take 3-6 weeks off work dependent upon your specific physical case, and pay all of your bills up fir the month you will be out :). I'll be back with news on this drain next week :)

REMOVING MY DRAIN!!!!!

PHYSICAL:
Hey ladies! I'm 23 days post op and finally starting to feel normal! My skin is not nearly as tender and I am able to sleep on my back or side. I still sit on my boppy pillow religiously and still have 3 small stitches at the sites where Dra Almonte performed the bbl. My TT incision is healing perfectly! This lady is TALENTED! The scar fits perfectly beneath my underwear and swim wear. I am very swolen and can literally feel the fluid under my skin. This is informed to last approximately 6 months. I hope to return to the gym (just for arms and extremely light cardio) as soon as I can stand up straight to permanently. As of now I'm bent over directly after sleeping or sitting; its takes a few minutes to be able to stand up straight because of the tension and stiffness. Oh yeah, sleep has got to be the worst of it all. Although I can sleep on my sides now it is soooo uncomfortable! I use tons of pillows and my husband sleeps a good 3 feet away from me so we don't collide during the night. I use arnica gel and RAW cocoa butter (picture above) on my skin (tummy, back and butt) every day, sometimes twice a day. I cleaned my incision with alcohol and bandaged it with rolled gauze and GENTLE skin tape every day for about 18 days. Once all of the scabbing was gone I stopped taping it up.

DRAIN
This drain gave me anxiety!!!!! When I say I was terrified to remove it...I was have heart palpitations lol! So I removed my drain on day 14. By this point I was draining less than 50cc per day. I was going to have my doctor remove it but would have had to wait much longer than I wanted for an appointment. I decided to take to the slow and less painful method. I gave it a very slow and slight tug to expose the stitches and easily cut them with scissors I had sterilized. From there I SLOWLY twisted the drain fully left and fully right (a whole 360 degrees) attempting to loosen it. I felt internal scabbing loosen up and could tell the drain would just slide out now. I slowly pulled the drain out 1/4 inch by 1/4 inch. The pain was not bad at all! It took about 3 minutes to get the entire drain out; that's how slow I was going. It measured a total of 20 inches that was inside!!!!!!!! The drain hole is gross and I keep it cleaned and bandaged. After that point I stopped taking stupid sink baths and was able to take regular showers. I cover the drain site with extra tape, shower with dial anti bacterial soap, get out and dry off with a new clean towel, clean and bandage my drain site, use the raw cocoa and arnica since my pores are open after showering, and put my faja right back on with a t shirt underneath. I'm going to start scar therapy as soon as my drain site has closed completely.

ROUND 2
I couldn't get my arms done so am going back in about 6 months! I should not be this excited for pain to be inflicted upon my body! I'm going to have an arm lift, inner thigh lipo and hip grafting. I want a more curvy look from the front view. I'll be back with new information as it develops :)
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon

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