I don't even know where to begin! Hmmm...a little...
I don't even know where to begin! Hmmm...a little about me...I am 24 years old, married, mother of 3. I live in Orlando, Florida. I have wanted elective surgery to perfect my imperfections since I was about 16 years old, however, I wanted to have kids first. Now that I am done having kids (my youngest is 15 months old) and I am fully recovered from cervical cancer, I am finally ready to make my move! Lol. I have been stalking this website for years and I just can't believe I am finally here writing this review. It doesn't feel real. Anyways, enough about me for now. At first I was considering going with Dr. Fisher in Miami but after hearing all the horrible stories about Vanity staff I decided to look elsewhere. After a little research I have decided to get my procedures done in the Dominican Republic (word on the street is they do it better over there with less regulations, however, be sure to do your research because there are tons of horror stories). After extensive research I have decided on Dra. Fatima Almonte, and I feel she is the safest choice for the results I'm looking for. As far as I know she has 13 years of experience and she has never had a death occur, (correct me if I'm wrong) she is very by the books, and only performs up to 3 surgeries in one single day. Not to mention she has some great results. I follow her on instagram (drafatimaalmonte) check her out. Anyways, I have been in contact with Leslie, Dra Almonte's surgical coordinator and so far she is great, minus the fact that she can be hard to get ahold of which is completely understandable, I'm sure she is very busy and receives many messages each day. My trick to getting ahold of her fast is to just call the office in the DR. I simply just downloaded an app called "Viber" and paid $2 for some minutes. I believe it costs 5 cents per minute to a landline or 13 cents per minute to mobile phones. Luckily I did because I was becoming impatient (Lol) and when I spoke to Leslie on the phone there just so happened to be a cancellation for August 22, 2016...which was less than 4 weeks away at the time. So of course I took the date, paid my $500 deposit via Sharemoney, booked my roundtrip flight which came out to $529, and I have also sent my $100 deposit for Maria's Recovery House (Total cost for my 10 day stay will be $600 which includes transportation to and from the airport and appointments, 3 meals per day, and a live in nurse). Oh and before I forget, my total cost for Dra. Almonte is $4400 which includes Tummy Tuck + Liposculpture full back, full abdomen, flanks, waist + BBL and I also added chin and arm lipo which makes it come to $4600. Not bad right? It also includes:
Preoperative Cardiovascular evaluation and blood tests, EKG, X-Ray
Post operation medications:
*Levo antibiotics 750mg. Every24h am
*Azitrom antibiotics1g. Every4h pm
*Artricom Relax pain medication Every12h
*Tasec Omeprazol 40mg Every24h
*Falcifor Ferro Every8hr
(Heparin shots is not included = US$ 40.00 additional for a box with 4 injections)
1 Post op garment
1 night at the clinic
Free of charge consultation post op
Also I was told my hemoglobin has to be at least a 12 to have an Sx done and above a 13 to have everything done. Mind you, I'm 3 weeks away from surgery and I have no idea what my hemoglobin is but I ordered an expensive hemoglobin meter that is coming in the mail tomorrow and for the past 4 days I have been taking my vitamins with iron, folic acid, vitamin b12, and plenty of vitamin C (be careful with the vitamin C though, too much can cause diarrhea), I am also eating healthy foods rich in these nutrients and drinking lots of water and pineapple juice. I am so scared my hemoglobin will be low but I am praying. I know it can take many weeks to raise it.
I went for my passport yesterday and expedited it, everything came out to about $250 and it can take up to 3 weeks which also has me nervous as hell. I just pray there is no problems. I would be devastated after spending so much money. Another thing is finding a babysitter for when my husband is at work, I don't trust anyone with my kids and family is always busy so this is a tough cookie to crumble but I am confident we will figure it out.
I will keep you ladies up to date with before and after pictures but for now here are my wish pics. I am 5' 5" 155lbs (used to be 128lbs before my 3rd child, this time the weight didn't come off). If anyone has any suggestions on what I should bring with me to the DR please help me out so I can start ordering what I need. Also any tips would be greatly appreciated. I am a little nervous and scared to be having surgery outside of the states...especially alone. That's all for now, feel free to ask any questions. Any input or opinions would be great too. Thanks for reading.
Today my hemoglobin meter came in the mail. It said my hemo was a 12.0 and according to reviews the device is relatively accurate. My Sx is only 3 weeks away and I need my hemo to be a 13 but my goal is to reach a 13.5. I will be having my hemo professionally checked next week to get an exact result. Is it possible to achieve my goal in only 3 weeks? I have been taking my vitamin 2x per day...it has 18mg iron and I have been getting plenty of folic acid, vitamin b12, and vitamin C. How much iron is safe to take daily? I know it can be dangerous to take too much. I have also tried eating as much healthy foods as possible (we all know how hard that can be!) If anyone has any tips on raising hemoglobin fast please let me know, it would be greatly appreciated! I still can't believe this is real, I have been feeling very nervous and scared about going to the DR alone for Sx. I'm scared I won't come back alive and that I will leave my kids without a mother. I'm sure these are normal feelings and most likely everything will be just fine. At the same time I am so excited...I've wanted this for so long. My Sx is scheduled for August 22, is anyone else having surgery around then?
Starting to oder what I will need...
Does anyone have any suggestions on where to buy lipo foam? Also lists of things I might need would be appreciated. I want to make sure I don't forget anything important. Thanks in advance.
Passport came in yesterday....
So my passport came in yesterday, which is great because it only took a week (expedited). I'm glad to have that out of the way. I have also ordered everything I need for my trip. Now my main focus is my hemoglobin. I had my blood drawn yesterday and I should have the results on Monday-Tuesday, then I will know where I'm at as far as my hemoglobin goes. Right now I am currently taking a chewable daily vitamin 2x per day (it contains 60mg of vitamin c, 6mcg of b12, 18mg iron, and 400mcg of folate or "folic acid") also I am taking 800mcg of folic acid 1x per day, 500mcg of vitamin b12, and just added ferrous fumarate 325mg (elemental iron 106mg) which I break in half and take 2x per day (1 pill total per day) just to be safe. I know too much iron is not a good thing. I'm praying I can get my hemoglobin where it needs to be before I leave in 20 days. So that's what's going on with me currently and I will keep you all updated as I go along. I attached pictures of my current supplements.
Found out what my Hemo is
Today was my follow up appointment for my blood work that I had done last week. My hemoglobin was a 12.7! Yay, I'm so happy! Not quite where I want it to be but with dedication I know I can make it to my goal of a 13.5 in 13 days. Last week my blood was drawn before I even started my iron supplement. So I imagine the iron supplement will bring it to where I need it to be before Sx. Besides that my blood work all came back with normal ranges, minus the fact that I'm slightly vitamin D deficient....already ordered a Vitamin D + K2 supplement and will start taking on Wednesday when it gets here.
I'm getting more nervous and scared as I count down the days. I read somewhere that Dra Almonte only uses sedation & local anesthesia (Epidural). Does anyone know if this is true? I read someone else say they had to pay $500 for general anesthesia...which is what I prefer! I do NOT want an epidural! I never had one when I gave birth to my children and I damn sure don't want one now. Can anyone confirm that this is true? I try messaging Leslie on Whatsapp but I haven't gotten a response.
So anyways, it looks like I'm all set and everything is going smoothly. Now all there is to do is count down the days! I'm freakin out! Lol. I will be making a few more posts before I leave, including my before pics, more wish pics/some of Dra Almonte's work, what I packed, and what I decided to buy instead of a booty buddy pillow for less than half the price. Stay tuned ladies :)
I heard back from Leslie about the anesthesia
This morning Leslie got back to me via Whatsapp. She told me Dra Almonte uses epidural block for anesthesia. If I prefer general anesthesia (which I do) there is an additional cost of US $500. She also said there is an additional cost of $150 for insurance. She also told me the first stage faja is free, but I have to buy the second stage (US $150-175). She also recommended bringing along an extra $600 in case of emergency/for other things I may need to buy. Just wanted to give you ladies a quick update about that. If anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask.
Some pics of Dra Almonte's work ????
Just some pics from her instagram
Cheaper alternative to expensive booty pillows
So I'm sure my idea isn't original but I decided to use a BOLSTER PILLOW. The size of the one I bought is 18.5" x 8" and you need to make sure the pillow is FIRM. The sizes vary so make sure you get a size that is appropriate for you and make sure the length is appropriate for the airplane seats. And as far as height, I personally think 8" is tall enough and I wouldn't recommend getting a pillow taller than 10". They come in all sorts of colors and some even have handles for easy carrying. Please make sure the pillow is FIRM or it will just sink and you won't get enough support. I learned the hard way and ended up having to buy a bag of polyester fill from Walmart (it was only $3.50) opened the pillow, stuffed it, and sewed it back up. Now it's perfect! Hope my idea is able to help some of you ladies out there. There is no way I was spending $100 on a butt pillow lol. ????
I need to come out like this please ????
Small waist, big hips, fat booty. YASSSS.
This drink is SOOOO GOOD & it has a lot of Iron
I just found this drink today at Walmart and it has so much healthy stuff in it, including Iron....I didn't actually expect it to taste as good as it did. For anyone looking to raise hemoglobin, you need to try this! They are $2 at walmart in the fruits/veggies section. Today I found out my hemo is only a 12.8...I hope it will come up before I get to CECIP. My bags are all packed and ready. I will make a post tomorrow, and will include my before pics. I'm so scared but I'm excited at the same time. I just want to get this over with.
Hey ladies, I have been so busy that I literally haven't had the time to get on here and post an update. Yesterday was a very busy day for me (I saved everything for last minute so I was rushing around all day). I actually didn't even get a chance to sleep last night because I got to the airport at 4am and my flight was at 6am. I arrived in Santo Domingo around 10:30am. My driver from Maria's Recovery House was near the exit of the airport waiting for me with my name on a sign. When I arrived at Maria's Recovery House I was brought to my room, there is 1 woman in the same room as me, and I was immediately served some delicious food, which was great because I was starving when I got there. Now I am currently at CECIP. I just had my bloodwork done which only took about 20 minutes for the results and guess what???? My hemoglobin is at 13!! Woohooo yay for me lol. Now I am in my room waiting to have the ekg and xrays done in about an hour or so. In the meantime they brought me a tray of food, which was pretty good. I also have a small fridge with a couple bottled waters in it. Looks like this is my room for tonight and tomorrow night. My stomach is in knots just to think I'm having surgery tomorrow I'm sooo scared! Ahhh omgggggg! Attached are the pictures from my room right now at CECIP.
Here is my before pics as promised.
Finally just met Lesley.
Lesley is the bomb.com lol. She just came in and we filled out paperwork and she answered all my questions. She told me I might be the first surgery in the morning because I am having general anesthesia. She also mentioned that I will not have my phone after surgery for around 6 hours, so I told my husband and we will arrange something so he will know my surgery went well. If anything I will have him call Lesley or vise versa. I will try to post an update in the morning before I get sent off to surgery, but just in case I don't, I will tell you right now that if I don't post an update by the end of the day tomorrow then something went terribly wrong....lol I'm trying not to think like that but it's natural feelings. I'm sure I will be fine. But definitely expect an update from me as soon as possible after my surgery...I won't leave you ladies hangin lol. That's all for now, I'll keep you ladies updated.
Looks like I'm the 2ns surgery this morning
22 Aug 2016
Day of treatment
They just came in my room and told me to shower and get ready for my surgery. I've never been more scared of anything in my life. I pray I will live to see my children's faces again. I'm crying and nauseated. Please pray for me. I will update by tonight! If I don't then something went wrong....
Just waiting, any minute now
22 Aug 2016
Day of treatment
I just met Dra Almonte, she came in and marked me up. She is a very nice lady, I was crying and she hugged me and assured me everything will be ok. Now I'm just waiting for the nurses to come in an take me away! I just said my prayers. See you on the flat side !
Judt got the blue pill
22 Aug 2016
Day of treatment
Here I go. Scared scared scared scared scared scared scared scared :(
So much pain
22 Aug 2016
Day of treatment
I can't move. Threw up a couple of times and it hurt like a mf. This pain is 10x worse than having a baby. That is a FACT. I will update when I'm not in so much pain.
So much pain
This pain is almost unbearable. The most painful part is most definitely the muscle repair and back lipo. I feel like I'm dying. What makes it even worse is the fact that I'm stuck laying on this bed and I can't move and they won't let me get up yet. I'm worried the pressure on my butt is going to kill all the fat because the pressure is that bad. I feel like the longer I am in this bed, the more painful this is becoming. Pain meds don't do crap for me. I really need out of this bed and they keep telling me to wait. I am not happy about this and I want to be able to see myself in a mirror. I did not get the chin lipo but I did still get my arms which hurts the least out of all the areas I had lipo on. I promise this pain is worse than having a baby. I have a very high pain tolerance and birthed all my babies naturally with no epidural or pain meds. I just want to get out of this bed :'(
Back at Maria's Recovery House
So far I'm loving it here. I have not experienced any issues at all and they are taking great care of me. The food is awesome! I will be doing a full review when I get back home. Here is a couple pictures of the meals I've had here so far.
Still in so much pain :'(
This pain is torture. There is no relief from it. I feel so sick in the mornings and I have to force myself to eat slowly so I can take my 100000000 medications without throwing up. I have went through a stage of regret because at times the pain is just too unbearable. I just pray I will be happy with my final results so that it will all be worth it. Yesterday I had an appointment to see Dra Almonte and Raquel unclogged my drain and cleaned my incisions. It is very uncomfortable/burning feeling when they use the syringe to suck the clogs out of your drain. Dra Almonte told me she transferred 1200cc of fat to each side. I just can't wait to see my results. I finally was able to get a few hours of sleep last night but I did wake up feeling dehydrated because I could not drink in my sleep so I am catching up on fluids now. When my stomach gets air/gas bubbles it feels like a baby is kicking me on the inside....very uncomfortable feeling, I imagine from the muscle repair. My whole back still feels like moosh. And my spine is hurting from not being able to straighten my back. Does anyone know how long it will be before I can start standing straight up? I feel like the recovery is going SOOOO SLOW.
Before you come to DR check your money
Nobody accepts USD that has any ink spots on it. Make sure you bring fresh, crisp, new looking bills with you or you will run into problems paying for things because they are very strict and absolutely will not accept it if it's not flawless money.
Question about drains
Today at my appointment I had my drain slightly moved. Ever since, I have been getting a severe burning/stinging sensation on one of my sides. It hurts A LOT. What causes this pain? Is this normal? Can anyone please tell me?
Just a quick update with pics
My bum 5 days post op! Loving it already!
I can only imagine how awesome my final results will be. I'm in love with my new body. Pain is subsiding a little more each day. As of now I'm not taking anything other than tylenol for the pain....mostly because I'm taking so many pills that it makes me nauseated. Anti nausea meds are your best friend! Trust me! As of today my drain fluids are now yellow instead of red and I am draining much less fluid. I really hope my drains can come out before it's time for me to come home. I really hate the whole drain thing.
Heading to the airport to go home in 6 hours!
I am so excited to finally be going home! Recovery is going well for me these last few days. The pain is not nearly as bad as it was those first 3-4 day. I actually haven't even taken anything for the pain in a couple days. Looks like I will be going home with my drain and I will have to remove it myself. I will be doing a video when I remove my drain. I still can't stand up straight and don't expect to for about another week or so. So far I have had a great stay here at Maria's Recovery House. I think they have taken excellent care of me. Maria is great, I forgot to mention that she is 8 months pregnant with a baby girl! Congrats to her. I would definitely recommend Maria's Recovery House to anyone looking for a recovery house. And as far as the massages I recommend that everyone tries at least 1 at the spa inside CECIP....they are $25 and you will love it and keep going back for more. For everyone on here I definitely recommend that you make a surgery instagram page. I wish I knew to do it before my surgery. You find a lot of great useful information and a community of girls to talk to about surgeries and doctors, etc....kind of like realself. Instagram has been very helpful for me just like realself has been. Follow my surgery instagram @almontedoll_2016 for now here are some updated pics!
Tummy tuck pic
Just a pic of the tummy tuck incision. Still have my drain in, which is an absolute nightmare. The drain has made my entire experience a complete hell. I'm still draining 100ml per day and can't remove it until it reaches 50ml per day. I'm ready to rip this thing out already!
Removed my drain successfully at home by myself!
I removed my drain a few days ago at 15 days post op. Let me start by saying the first inch hurt like hell! But after the first inch, the rest of the drainage tube came out smoothly and pain free. It is simple to do. Just pull and it will come out. Nothing special. Just be sure to cut the stitch that holds the drain in place before pulling. That first inch is no joke though. My tummy tuck incision scabs have finally came off and I am starting scar treatment with bio oil, vitamin e, rosehip oil, merderma, and silicone sheeting/tape. My belly button also seems to be healing nicely. A couple days ago it looked like it was closing too much and I was freaked out that it would close all the way and I wouldn't have a belly button....so what I did was put a small marble in my belly button (of course make sure you clean it before doing this) and I put tape over it to hold it in place and it worked wonders! I only left it there for a day and it's looking great. As far as how I'm feeling, I still feel very sore, I'm still very very swollen, my stomach still feels tight and I'm still slightly hunched over when I walk. I finally took a shower last night and it was soooo heavenly! Here are some updated pictures.