I've been self conscious about my...
I've been self conscious about my body shape for a long time. I've never made peace with my stomach nor my boobs. I'm 5'6, 140 lbs, 34B, athletic built with not much shape around my stomach nor chest. I've been stalking Realself since April, but officially made the decision to do the surgery (and also quitting my day job...partly because my coworkers chattered about another girl's obvious breast implants, so I rather just not deal with that kind of office gossips. I'm pretty confident I can find another job haha). I'm from Canada, but I wanted to look into traveling out of the country for the procedure mainly because of cost and talent. I've been following Dra. Tania Medina's work for some time and I'm really impressed with her IG and reviews here. My top picks were Robles, Goico and Medina, but at the end, I am going with Dra. Tania Medina due to consistent positive reviews (and I read thoroughly, from verifying how active the reviewers were, in case of fake profiles, to matching people's tattoos in there before and after. I should've been a detective.)
Communications with her was fairly easy, she responds very quick on Whatsapp. Any questions I've had was addressed quickly, although some of her responses are a copy and paste (can you blame her though? imagine 100 people asking you the same thing all day via text message.) I couldn't wire her the money via Bank of America (we don't have one) so I had to send the $500 USD to Marielle Jimenez via Moneygram. From there, I had 3 weeks to plan for my surgery on August 23 2016.
I've booked my flight with departure from my city to Mexico City (11 hours layover...sightseeing time!) and expected arrival on August 22 at 6am, just one day before RX. I've booked my RH with Medina's team because Airbnb may sound cheaper, but I wanted the reassurance of having wifi, food, nurse on site, etc. I think that extra $675 will bring a peace of mind.
I just did my blood test at the local clinic last Tuesday, I should expect my results by the end of the week. Dra. Medina advised me that I need a minimum of 13.5 for my hemoglobins in order to have lipo and BA on the same day. Fingers crossed.
Today I've picked up some Vitamin C and Multivitamins and compression socks. Any post op girls have other reccomendations?
Man, I am going to DR in the next 12 hours, it's a bit nerve wrecking since I am traveling alone.
So I called my clinic for my blood test results and my doctor noted that I was at risk for Iron deficiency. My heart sank because I know my iron levels have to be a bit high in order to have a higher hemoglobin level. I really wanted to do both liposculture AND breast augmentation, but if I had to choose one over the other, it would suck to spend so much money to get it done out of the country when I could've done it in Canada. LUCKILY, my hemoglobin level was at 13.7 so I am good to go! I was so relieved, my only issue is that it MIGHT drop because I am expecting my mensual cycle around the same time as the RX (on August 23).
I've had to exchange CAD to USD (again, don't do this last minute, I've done it on a Thursday afternoon, 4 days before my departure. Most banks told me I cannot withdraw 6.5k USD without making an order, but luckily the teller referred me to a currency exchange place with a bank draft, so I didn't have to walk around with 9k cash). My money exchange was another story:
"What is the money for?"
"For travels, eh?"
He kept insinuating I was smuggling money or something. Dude, just give me my damn money. I wasn't going to say the money was for these titties. Seriously. Note: don't bring over 10k cash because you will have to declare it.
I've packed the following:
$6500 USD cash for surgery and any unexpected expenses
Bunch of crappy tshirts (those free tees)
Toiletries (sample size stuff)
Loose fitted dresses
Cheerios (don't judge, I love that stuff)
Vega: One All in One Shake - Vanilla Chai
Arrival + My Recovery House
23 Aug 2016
Day of treatment
So my flight arrived a bit late and to my relief, as soon as I exit the airport, I see a sign with my name on it. Jeremiah was the driver and he brought me straight to My Recovery House right away. I've briefly met some of the other girls (about 5 for now) eating their breakfast and we waited for another girl in the house to get ready to go to the clinics to do their blood work and x-rays. Along the way, we've picked up another future Medina patient, so we were 3 girls getting our pre-op requirements. We arrived at Cellipe (not sure how it's spelt) and it's actually a really nice and clean looking. It's not too crowded, and there's mostly foreigners in the clinic. They put you through a quick session with a psychiatrist and a psychologist, consent forms and then final lump sum payment. After that, we were driven to another clinic to get our x-rays (this is super quick process, the driver guided us through the nurses and all health care staff, and as you walk through the crowd of people waiting at the X-ray clinic, you can tell foreigner gets special treatment).
Now that I've actually returned to the recovery, my first impression is that this is a nice space. Imagine what a luxury hostel would look like. The housemates are mostly women, so we call chat during lunch and supper times. I actually feel very comforted to befriend women going through the same situation. I was lucky that when I arrived, I get first dibs on a large room (I specified that I want AC in my room, trust me, this is a big deal because it's humid af in Dominican), but the downside is, I'm going to have to share my room with 2 other future patients (ugh no privacy). So far, the meals have been pretty good, the head of staff speaks English fluently and the rest of the staff is very accommodating. Pretty good experience so far.
En route to RX on August 23 at 5am
23 Aug 2016
Day of treatment
Reporting live during my ride to the clinic. Today is my operation, at 5am, I am the first Medina patient for the day. I've already met the two other patients yesterday, but since our RX times are apart, I'm the only one going first. I haven't really slept much last night, a toss up of nerves and taking a nap earlier. I've been fasting since 10pm and we're not even allowed to drink water (rinsing and brushing your teeth is acceptable though).
One thing that I didn't understand is the $15usd charge per night for luggages overnight while you're in surgery.
Okay gotta go, I'm seeing Medina now!
23 Aug 2016
Day of treatment
Made it to the flat side! The driver initially picked me up for 5am and all the staff looked confused to as why I was here so early because the doctors and cardiologist aren't even in yet. I was a bit irritated, so I just took a nap at the reception. Come 7 am, the cardiologist did my tears, I passed with flying colours because I'm generally pretty athletic. Once that was okay, I had to change into a gown, and get an IV injection. Sooner, Dra. Tania medina comes into the room and our consultation begins. I told her I want a large c or a small D cup, but because due to my lack of muscle tissue, she suggested we use 300cc gummy bears, which she showed me here and let me feel her gummy bear implants (definitely more reassuring when you surgeon uses it herself). I told her I wanted Saline and she told that she used to have saline implants and hated it. Once it bursts, you have to redo, whereas the gummy bears won't leak and are sturdier than silicone and have a lower chance of rupture. After marking up where my "trouble areas" on my back and front, she told me I did not have a lot of fat so the BBL will not be a major enhancement. I've been fortunately blessed with an athletic butt prior, so bbl wasn't q priority for me, but hey if the injections is included, sure. She just told me to sign a paper that says I might not get "ideal" results due to minimal fat removal from my Lipo. After that, I took the little blue pill in the operation room. The anestheologists and her team were cheerful and trying to keep me calm. They said they will insert an epidural, which freaked me out because I just imagine scary things going in my spine and the blue pill hasn't kicked in yet. They injected sedation liquids on my Iv and it felt like weird burning sensation going down my arm. The assistants kept running my arm and distracted me, and before I knew it, I was knock up. I was so terrified of waking up in the middle of the procedure, but nope, I was just knocked out.
Day 1 post op
I had a terrible time sleeping last night, and it's all because of the fajas being too damn tight around my knees (I've asked the nurse to cut the cuffs, to which no one was able to find a pair of scissors in a medical clinic?) I keep waking up on the middle of the night to ask the nurse to pull down the cuffs. My waist size is about a small now, but my thighs are still a size 6, so I ended up getting rashes on an area I didn't even operate. I've also had issues with my lower back, given that I've slept on it for so long, I was completely sore and can't sleep on my back. Again, I couldn't sleep because of my sore back, another area I didn't get operated on. The nurses all speak Spanish which made it a bit difficult to communicate but luckily I have two battery charges to keep my google translate up and working. Surprisingly, I felt no pain on my abdominal and breasts all night, just a bit tight as if I had a chest workout. They stick a kinda tube and pouch in your vagina so you pee through the tube, which I thought was gross because I ended up wetting myself a few times because it doesn't absorb down the drain completely. The tube was like the ones the dentist uses to suck the water. It was just uncomfortable but I got use to it.
I didn't feel nauseous, in fact, my appetite was pretty strong after surgery.
Now here's the difficult part, Anni did my massages in the morning and holy shit, did my stomach feel sore. It was not one bit pleasant, imagine having a huge bruise some someone just roughly presses it continuously. After that, I've been discharged from the clinic and back to the recovery house. Most of the women were surprised that I was already walking around and I had initially mentioned that I had a good tolerance for pain. I felt fine right after surgery so the next few days must be a breeze? Nope, 5 hours later I was limping like an old lady. The real pain sets in after your body realizes the trauma it just went through. I've been bed ridden for some time now, mostly due to overall soreness and lack of sleep post op. The girls suggested I walk around and hold onto my bed just to keep my body moving. Two of my roommates have been at the RH for over a week now and I asked if it would get better. They told me NOT to use Medina's team of masseuse for $25usd a pop and go to the "spa" for a lymphatic massage. This woman was in her second day of the machine massages and was walking around totally fine. In fact, all 6 girls in the room demanded a refund from Medina's masseuse team in favour of going to the spa together. Of course the establishment was t happy about this, but they still obliged. Apparently the cost per round trip with the driver is $10, so if you fit 5 girls in one trip, it comes to $2 a person. I was told the spa only takes appointments and not walk ins. Since I'm day 1 post op, Medina said I can only go after day 5-7. Nothing against medina's masseuse, but I'm paying for recovery, not loyalty here. All the girls swear by it, at$49 a pop, I'm okay with paying if it accelerated my healing process. Liposuction is such a bitch, my stomach and back is so damn sore. Well, I'm going to take a nap now, hopefully I feel a bit better in the morning.
Day one post op
Holy crap, medina really does the body well. As mentioned, I'm 5'6/ 140lbs with an athletic built to begin with. Work was done my my breast and liposculpture on the stomach. The faja really help accentuate the shape.
Day 2 post op
The first day was extremely difficult, I was sore all over and my chest was hurting really badly. It's almost like my body had a delay response to the pain! I had trouble sleeping at night because I was lying down and it felt like someone was sitting on my chest, making it difficult to breathe. I ended up panicking, thinking that something went wrong and I was slowly losing my breath. I've texted Medina to let her know of my concerns and she told me it was probably the faja I'm not use to. I was not taking any chances, I have the nurse check my blood pressure and heart rate, and everything turned out normal. I spoke with some of the post op girls in the house and they told me they've experience the same thing too, and it was normal. I just had to sleep upright (mhmm comfy) and practice breathing slowly. I felt like I had to consciously remind myself to breathe, to a point I thought if I fell asleep, I might just stop remembering to breathe altogether. Well, the next day, my breathing was back to normal, to my relief! I've been drinking a lot of water because I want these fluids out of my system ASAP because it's causing me to swell up. I had my check up with Dra. medina today and it looks like everything is fine. Attached picture is my swollen body on day 2 post op.
Day 7 post op with stage 2 faja
So the swelling really sucks, I find it really kicked in on the 2-5 days. I'm swollen on my crotch, which is so weird, but apparently this happened to another dude at the recovery house too. The second stage is not that painful, the shoulder straps are way more comfortable. My waist looks so unbelievably tiny! I can't wait til this swelling goes down so I can see my results, but so far I'm really happy. I've missed about 3 days of massages because the spa was fully booked, so do this in advance!
Back to Canada
So I'm back in Canada now, just a bit of an update in no particular order:
-I strongly suggest using the wheelchair service at the airport. You will bypass a lot of people in waiting and you won't have to carry your bags. Not only that, you board the plant right after first class, so it's pretty sweet!
-before your flight back home, you will have to get a shot to prevent blood clots and another shot to take home and do it yourself after 24 hours. I damn near want to throw up at the thought of having to inject a needle in myself, but luckily my boyfriend helped me. For people like me who are easily nauseous, enlist a friend to help you inject the blood clot prevention shot.
-I'm almost a month post op now. I am moving around, back to normal. I still get really itchy due to the right compression garmet. The second stage faja becomes easier to fasten over time, I'm actually on te third hook and I can do it by myself. Just suck in your stomach haha! I haven't gone to the gym yet, mainly because I still feel some tightness on my flanks, which I massage on a daily basis. The fluids on my back is pretty much gone, the bruising is also gone (I didn't have much to be fine with) and the stitching on my nipples is about 75% fully healed. My breasts felt softer and has dropped a bit since my Rx and I'm really excited to see the final stages.
-be patient, for the first few weeks, my stomach looked the same when I removed my faja. I was a bit bummed even though I knew I was swollen, but at almost a month out, I'm starting to see my waist looking a bit narrow now. This is exciting because I've always had a straight waist with a bit of love handles.
-since I didn't have much fat to remove, I kind of regret getting a bbl. I had a cute shapely butt to begin with and now I have two stitches from where I got the injections. I don't really see a difference in my butt other than the stitches lol
Officially over one month post op
I've been eating lots of high fibre foods in hopes of flushing out all the nasty bloating and swelling, and I think it's really working. My stomach is getting less lumpy and much less painful when it comes to moving around.
25 Nov 2016
3 months post
Breast implants healed well, I still have a bit of scarring around the nipple where the incision was made. I was a bit surprised to see my nipples get stretched a bit, it's about 25-30% bigger than its original size. Overall, I'm still really happy about going with Dra. medina for the gummy bear implants because they feel incredible natural. Like, it's movement and shape looks really good! However I do get self conscious when wearing low cut tops because my boobs look really big and round, so I mostly stay with crew necks or loose tops (I'm a more conservative, style wise).
The lipo on my stomach is still healing, there's about 30% of the lumps left, and on my left side, I have some light lines. I'm still optimistic about it because everything is healing very nicely.
5 Jul 2017
11 months post
Hmmm it's been almost a year since my surgery and I can't say the scars were totally worth it because I find it to be a tell tale sign of cosmetic work.