MALLOL BELLA - Lipo Full Torso & Upper Thighs, BBL, Mini Arm Lift

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*Treatment results may vary

So, I'm finally doing it. A few years ago, I lost...

So, I'm finally doing it. A few years ago, I lost about 100#. Even then, I had back rolls. Not biscuits, big buttery ROLLS. I've since gained about 30#, but I'm holding steady. Still, I decided I want the rolls gone, and since I had so much to work with, I thought I'd go ahead and buy the butt I was hoping the Big Guy would give me one day. I've been reading about Dr. EMC, and he sounds like a wonderful, very skilled PS. Still, I'm pretty nervous. Looking for buddies and advice.

Does Lipo Require Drains? PS is Dr. Mallol

Reading about various experiences after lipo, and all of them seem to involve drains. Then, I read an 'Ask the Doctor' post and two of the three docs said no drains with a lipo-only procedure. Now I'm confused. Any feedback would be helpful!

Time To Step Up This Game

Ok, ladies. I'm scheduled for May 17, but I'm one of those people who likes to have it together WAAAY early. So, a few things:

1 - DRIVER: how are people finding drivers if they don't go through their PS?

2 - RH: how are you deciding on your RH ? I know ZIP about any of this. Does my PS give me a list, or pick the one I'm going to or something?

3 - anybody NOT do an RH? My husband is coming, and my mom, so we might ask just stay in a hotel or a time share. Has any one here tried that?

4 - would you advise getting my tourist card online? Can I get it now or do I have to wait until closer to my procedure?

Sorry for all the questions! Just excited about getting started and don't know where to go to ask. Thank you in advanced for your help!

47 Y/o Mom of 4, LIPO + BBL

Lipo + BBL. Trying to keep my expectations real. I want my tiny waist back, with a MUCH flatter back, round butt, and slimmer thighs. Oh, and slimmer arms too! Think I'm not doing too well on the expectations thing. Anyway, I'm about six weeks out and have yet to nail down my RH, transportation, and supplies. I have my ticket and my date, that's it. But I'm super excited though!


Finally have the courage to upload these.


Rented a beautiful apartment on AirBnb - $612 for two weeks! 15m from Dr. M's office (or so I'm told). My hubby and mom are staying with, and my mom is a nurse, so I should be OK not being at an RH. Nobody takes care of you better than your momma!

47 Y/o Mother of Four Ready to ROCK!!

I have to look good AND feel good. I'm not giving up, I'm fighting back! I'm ready to work for it - I've BEEN fighting for it. But, I don't know, I can't just keep being strong about it, I have to get SMART about it too. I'm glad I can do it here, with such an amazing and informative group of people!

STEP FOUR TO "SNATCHDOM": Get your Tourist Card

OK, so you've found a doctor and reserved a date; you're now on your way the Kingdom of "I've Been Snatched!" - Snatchdom! This incredible journey has SO many moving parts! What are we supposed to do next?

One of the things I LOVE about RS is that there is so much information here, and the ladies are SUPER helpful and supportive! My one problem is this - I can't seem to find a centralized list of the steps I must take to go from scared to snatched. So I'm starting my own, with the hopes that the more experienced will chime in and help us all through this new and crazy journey!

(NOT in order of priority - just in the order I encountered them)

STEP ONE - Find a place to stay.
STEP TWO - Get your tickets.
STEP THREE - Get your Passport.
STEP FOUR - Get your Tourist Card.
STEP FIVE - ??? Find the next update and see!

From "Skip the Wait and Purchase Tourist Card Online," Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana News, posted March 20, 2014

WHAT IS A TOURIST CARD? The Tourist Card is a tax fee that all recreational visitors must pay prior entering the Dominican Republic.

WHAT ITS IT FOR? The Tourist Card is mandatory to all incomers but it allows these temporary visitors to stay in the country for 30 days without needing a visa. This time can also be extended for an additional cost.

WHO HAS TO PAY THE TAX? Everyone except incomers from the following countries: Argentina, Chile, South Korea, Ecuador, Israel, Japan, Peru, Uruguay and Dominicans residing in the country.

– Upon arrival at any Dominican airport.
– Some tour operators may include the tourism card on the trip fee.
– Dominican embassies and consulate offices overseas.
– It can be purchased online here -

Click the link at the end of the page -->
Click 'Tourist Card ' at bottom right (if needed, tell Google to translate page) -->
Click 'Buy Tourist Card' at the top of the page -->
Select your language -->
Select the Quantity of cards you wish to buy, Click 'Select and Continue' -->
Click 'Continue with payment' -->
Enter payment and verification information. Mine was ... ok, just playin'. -->
Click 'Agree and Buy' -->
Pop up box "Are you sure to buy X Tourist Cards?" Click 'Ok' if correct.
The next page will show your Order Confirmation #. Click 'Download'
Download, save and print your new cards!!


STEP FIVE TO "SNATCHDOM": Start taking your supplements

OK, so you've found a doctor and reserved a date. You've officially taken your first step of your journey to the Kingdom of "I've Been Snatched" - Snatchdom! This incredible ride has SO many moving parts! What are we supposed to do next? I'm a TOTAL neophyte here; still, I'm happy to share the steps I am taking to go from 'scared' to SNATCHED! Hope it helps!

And to all the beautiful bellas out there with experience: please chime in and help us all through this new and crazy trip!

(NOT in order of priority - just in the order I encountered them)

STEP ONE - Find a place to stay.
STEP TWO - Get your tickets.
STEP THREE - Get your Passport.
STEP FOUR - Get your Tourist Card.
STEP FIVE - Start taking your iron supplements.
STEP SIX - ??? Find the next update and see!

From RealSelf Ask A Doctor, "Will Low Hemoglobin Level [Effect] Tummy Tuck," answered by Dr. Luis Suarez on March 9, 2013 (a few typos corrected - sorry; that ish drives me nuts)

Having a good hemoglobin is essential for any surgery but yes especially for a large surgery like a Tummy Tuck. It is important to have at least between 11 and 12. During a tummy tuck alone there is not that much loss of fluids so hemoglobin does not go that much more down, but usually it is combined with liposuction and that makes the hemoglobin diminish a certain percentage because of fluid loss. So, if you're at a 11 you can go down to a 9. It does not affect the result of your tummy tuck or the healing of the scar, what it could affect is the risk of getting infection because your red blood cell count is down, but that is why they give you antibiotic that is the only risk your taking. But it does not affect in the result of the surgery at all. But I would recommend, to first keep your hemoglobin up and eat healthy and do not do extreme dieting keep your self healthy and then go ahead and do your surgery.

My doc's goal is 12. This is what he advised (though all docs are different).

IRON pills: Take 65mg (= 325mg Ferrous Sulfate) every 12h.
FOLIC ACID: Take 400 mcg at day
VITAMIN C: Take one 01 mg daily.

High-protein diet as eggs, red meat, etc... Eat healthy!

I know you more experienced bellas have specific brands, or other substances you've found helpful. What are they? If you have a pic of the bottles or packaging, that would be great!!

The Cost of the Stuff BESIDES Your Procedure

Wow - this biotch is costing me a GRIP, and I haven't even set foot on a plane. Does anyone have ballpark prices for: driver, masseuse, other incidentals? I've already spent about $2300 and my behind is still sitting right here in this chair.

~$1450 - Tickets
~$612 - Apartment for two weeks/3 people
~$334 - Compression garments, sleeves, boards; Waist Trainer; GoGirl; Arnica Gel; Arnica Pills

Whew! Amazon LOVES me right now. Starting to sweat up in here!


OK, this is what I purchased on Amazon. If I'm not squared away by now, it ain't happening. I bought these things because I saw them on various lists throughout my RS travels. Of course, I can't VOUCH for this stuff because clicking 'Order Now' is the closest I've gotten to it. Fun fun fun!!

Mallol Dolls (I prefer "Bellas," though I have to admit "Dolls" has a better ring to it)

I was wondering why Dr. Mallol had so few reviews, given his 11 years of experience, so I asked his office this and other questions. Thought I would share my questions and their answers: 1. Dr. Mallol has 11 years of experience. How many BBL/Lipo procedures has he performed, please? A lot, imagine that he perform at least 2 surgeries in a day 2. After 11 years, why does he only have 39 reviews on Real Self? Eventhoug he has that time of experience, he doenst have to much time on realself 3. Where does he perform his procedures (hospital? surgery center?) Centro quirurgico Cenigest/ Centro Medico Gazcue 4. Does he use an anesthesiologist? Yes, and its the during the surgery 5. I live in Japan. Will he talk to my local physician if I need long-distance follow up support? Yes, if its needed 6. I must take antibiotics before any procedure (even dental work). Will he work with my local physician so I can get them here? When you book we sent the list 7. Where may I see photos of his work besides Real Self? Facebook or instagram 8. What work-up is done prior to surgery? lab test 9. What are your available dates in April and May? what week would you like to come Next, I went down all 40-something of his Bellas' reviews. Some had really great info, so I thought I would post their list here in case any of his current Bellas wanted to go look. Dec2015 – Eime25 (?) – Lucidely09 (pics; infection) – MorganRoeb Feb2016 – Daneli2427 (GREAT pics, and lots of them!) – CutieBaby – TigerBabe – JMartinez1191 – Gigi3209 (pics) – TheDiva413 – ASIA_DOLL 03/04 – Mini2522 (pics) 03/07 – Natalie2791 03/21 – GlamBBL 03/23 – ShakrGotCake 04/01 – Miss Monica 04/05 – Prettinee Three - question: what do you think about posting a list of his upcoming Bellas? From what I can tell, there are at LEAST 14 of us, with dates from 4/12 to 8/1, with one Bella's date unknown. I got the dates from their posts, so it's not exactly a secret. Still, I don't wish to be rude and post the list if some would find it invasive. Thoughts? Ciao laides!

COMPRESSION GARMENTS - The Three Garment Stages

Great explanation of the value of compression garments, by Dr. Gabriel Chiu, written September 2014.

There are different garments made for different stages of your recovery.

Immediately after liposuction, it is nearly impossible to put on a compression garment that does not have zippers or hook & eye closures (These are known as first stage compression garments). This includes Spanx and similar garments.

It takes a couple weeks for enough swelling to go down and for the patient to be comfortable enough to wear a zipperless compression garment (These are known as second stage garments). These zipperless garments still have the surgery-specific extras built into them, such as an open crotch design.

Then there are third stage garments, which is the category that Spanx falls into. These compression garments are designed to be used long term on a regular basis and look more like undergarments or sometimes like normal athletic wear. For instance, the garments I recommend look like camisoles and leggings but have 15-20 mmHg compression when sized properly.

Unfortunately, I researched for some time to find proper garments when too many patients complained about Spanx and similar garments. These complaints varied from being too uncomfortable (tight, hot, chaffing), compressing unevenly (leaving depressions and creases), and not being designed to compress all their lipo areas.
As you can see, I no longer recommend garments that are not designed specifically for your surgical areas. By the time you realize they are compromising your results, it may be too late, and you deserve better than that.


I made this list by going through Dr. Mallol's reviews. The information is based on what the review said. Don't hold me to it. It's just to help upcoming and interested Bellas with research. Just add anyone I missed / any mistakes I've made in the comments, ya'll. **** means the post comes with pictures (only did for past patients). UPCOMING BELLAS APRIL 2016 – Pie33 (04/12) – MyKidsRMyHeart (04/12) – Ms. Lore (04/13) – 4EverMore (04/21) – Leatrica1 (04/27) – DatGurlMe (04/28) MAY 2016 – Marlene0291 (05/03) – Van101 (05/10) – Bey1115 (05/17) – Tlundquist (05/20) – FashionColette (05/23) – TaraBaby (06/09) – JennJen29 (06/28) – MzBrownEyes (07/??) – MzBrownEyes’s Mom (07/??) – Vee007 (08/01) UNK – Fit4Life PAST PATIENTS UNK – Sincere2013 – McPuermas01 – LeslieMosko (I think) APR 2016 – Emdmatos **** (take with caution) – Prettinee – Miss Monica MAR 2016 – ShakerGotCake **** (lipo burn) – GlamBBL – Natalie2791 – Mini2522 **** FEB 2016 – Daneli2427 **** (GREAT pics, and lots of them!) – CutieBaby – TigerBabe – JMartinez1191 – Gigi3209 **** – TheDiva413 – ASIA_DOLL DEC 2015 – Eime25 (?) – Lucidely09 **** (infection) – MorganRoeb OCT 2015 – Williams Marcia SEPT 2015 – Yina – Marlenny JULY 2015 – Mercado1088 **** MAY 2015 – Carmenyajaira – Nashmary – Hbaerga.24 **** – Brenda9980 APRIL 2015 – Amilka **** – Glamgirl28 **** MAR 2015 – Sgaines – Sexy32 **** FEB 2015 – KimberllyMoore (yes two l’s) JAN 2015 – Lauabriela **** JUN 2014 – Ymariel

Shout out to Pie33, MyKidsRMyHeart, and Ms. Lore!!!!

OK, if my calculation is correct (I'm 13 - 16 hours ahead of most everyone here), Pie and MyKids are done, and Ms. Lore is on her way in. Love and prayers, ladies. Lead the way!!!!

Kandi103 - your post

Kandi103 - In case that last one was too hard to read

Super Hyped - Hemo is 12.7!


Compression Gear Tutorial!!!!

OK, if you're anything like me, you've been wondering how the *bleep* you're supposed to wear the faja, lipo foam, boards, waist trainer, pads and compression socks/hose. That's ALOT of gear! I've had nightmares, Bellas. Dark, ugly nightmares. And then I found this INCREDIBLE training video on the net.

Good news is, you don't wear the trainer AND the faja at the same time. Whew! Also, it gives us BBL girls some guidance about how our fajas should fit over our tush. And it has some super cool tricks about how to minimize risk for a lower back seroma, and how to maintain the shape of your belly button!

Bad news is the video is in Spanish. That's OK though! If you don't speak Spanish, you still can easily follow along by just watching (also, listening is great practice for our sojourns into the DR!). I am not certain about RS's rule for pasting links, so if the link is removed, let me know and I'll try and get it to you some other way.

Here it is -->

Last note - many of us will have to wear pads over our surgical sites for drainage. The pads should be the first thing that touches your skin. All your gear goes on top of the pad. That probably goes without saying, but ...

Anyway, happy learning!!!

"First Time Buyer's Guide for Compression Stockings"

Note - I had to search for "compression stockings" to find them - "compression socks" took me to sports stuff. I found this great reference guide online and thought I would share. Based on it, I bought thigh high compression stockings made by Truform, 20-30 mmHg. I would have preferred 30-40mmHg, but Amazon was out of stock. ~Ciao Bellas!

Source: Compression Therapy Guide,


Your doctor or therapist just told you to buy compression stockings. Now what?
There are 4 main compression levels which are measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). The higher the numbers, the higher the compression.

8-15 mmHg* [Mild Compression]. Provides relief and minimizes tired and achy legs. Prevents fatigued legs from long periods of sitting or standing. Helps relieve minor swelling of feet, ankles, and legs. During pregnancy, helps prevent the formation of varicose and spider veins. Helps maintain healthy, energized legs.

15-20 mmHg* [Moderate Compression]. For the prevention and relief of minor to moderate varicose and spider veins. Helps relieve tired, aching legs, and minor swelling of feet, ankles, and legs. During pregnancy, helps prevent varicose veins and spider veins. Helps prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT), also known as economy class syndrome. Used in post-sclerotherapy treatment to help prevent the reappearance of varicose veins and spider veins. Ideal compression level used for those traveling long distances.

20-30 mmHg* [Firm Compression]. Helps prevent and relieve moderate to severe varicose veins (also during pregnancy). For post-surgical and post-sclerotherapy treatment to help prevent the reappearance of varicose and spider veins. Helps in treatment of moderate to severe edema or lymphatic edema. Helps with the management of active ulcers and manifestations of post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS). Helps relieve superficial thrombophlebitis. Helps prevent orthostatic hypotension (sudden fall in blood pressure when standing). Helps prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT), also known as economy class syndrome.

30-40 mmHg* [Extra Firm Compression]. Helps prevent and relieve severe varicose veins. Used in the treatment of severe edema and lymphedema. Used in post-surgical and post-sclerotherapy treatment to help prevent the reappearance of varicose and spider veins. Helps reduce symptoms of Orthostatic Hypotension and Postural Hypotension For the management of Venous Ulcers and manifestations of Post-Thrombotic Syndrome (PTS). Prevents deep vein thrombosis (DVT), also known as economy class syndrome.

"Wish" Pic, with Detailed Instructions! Hahah!

I love Dr. Mallol, and it's not personal. But I need to be CLEAR about what I'm expecting (or at least looking for come May). Fresh, snatched and stacked Bellas!

Countdown - Current State of Supplies

OK, so the pics = where things stand vis-a-vis supplies. Still waiting on Hibiclens, lipo foam, silicone tape, liquid iron, waterproof bed pads, back up faja, gauze, compression stockings, Arnica gel and maybe the back triangle to arrive in the mail. And, of course, I have to make a run to the store for the basics (hand sanitizer, pads, benadryl, etc).

I won't recreate my list here 'cause there are good lists everywhere (Leatrica1 has a great one). However, there are three things I haven't really seen but think might be helpful: thermometer (early warning signs of infection), Midol complete (seems to pierce those day-2/3 headaches), and mosquito wipes/repellent ('cause its about to be that time). This stuff might already be at your RH, but since I'm not going to one, I'm taking them with me.

MMMM, is it me or .....

Is anyone having trouble getting a quick response from Dr. M? Normally, he's great, but lately it seems, not so much.

Ummm...Is there such a thing as a Stage THREE Faja?

So, I just got my faja in the mail. My plan was to buy two fajas, so that I had two for Stage 1 and one for Stage 2. If this one fit, I would use it as my backup S1 and buy an S2 while in the DR. If this one was too small, I would use it as my S2 and buy my backup S1 in the DR. Perfect! Just one problem though ... when you start making "perfect" plans, Jesus laughs.

First - when ordering, I followed the faja guide on Amazon. I am roughly 43-37-43 and fell into the "large" category, so I ordered a large. I knew they ran small but with my plan above, I was sure to use it if not now, then later.

I rushed home, stripped, and squeezed my thunderous thighs into their new home ... almost. As it happens, I couldn't get my faja past those two cheesy balloons. No amount of stretching and tugging was going to do it; anything after the top of the thigh was a 'no.' When I heard a little rip, I quit.

Amazon clearly - CLEARLY - said they ran small, but the comments at the bottom left me a bit confused. Did they or didn't they - there was a war going on between contributors of which I was unwittingly about to become a casualty.

Yeah. They run small. WAY small. So at this rate, even with surgical shrinking (A LOT of surgical shrinking), I won't be able to use it S1. And even with the extra added swelling shrinkage, the odds are not looking real good for any S2 use either. No worries, though - at $139 bucks it makes a DAMN good abject listen. Go big or go home.

Supply List - The Definition of Overkill

Remember what I said - I love to shop, I hate to be inconvenienced, and frankly, I can afford it. So laugh darlins - Lord knows my sister (also a Dr. E patient) does - but don't judge! ;)

o Fish Oil & Naproxin, Bromelain, Omega 3 for post surgery inflammation
o Liquid Iron
o Water pills
o Arnica tabs and gel
o Benadryl
o Yeast infection medication
o Ibuprofen/Acetaminophen
o Laxatives & Gas pills
o Metamucil
o Midol
o Perc or Oxy (if you can get it)
o Mosquito wipes/spray

o Moo Moos / Baggy clothes
o Toilet Donut
o Boopy pillow
o Pillows, blanket, towels
o Heating Pad
o Warm socks
o Undies
o Tank for under boards

o Wipes
o Puppy pads/Chux
o Go girl
o Maxi pads
o Hand sanitizer

o Antibacterial soap
o Gauze
o Scar tape
o Medical Tape
o Thermometer
o Wahl Cold N Hot Deep Massager

o Arm compressors
o Compression Socks
o Foam
o Board

o Ensure/protein bars/yogurt

(Notice I removed any reference to fajas - don't have to tell me twice)

Much Love to FashionColette and 4Evermore! Sexy, Snatched and Stacked Bellas!!!

(Both are up this week) Can't wait to join you on the flat side, ladies. You're going to be STUNNING!!!

Excellent Review by Beautiful10 - Spans 3 years, with Pics

Beatiful10 has a great review on RS. She talks about her journey, including what worked well and what didn't. She gives a great glimpse into the post-procedure roller coaster ride. Finally, she checks in at three years, and talks about the lessons she's learned. I really found her review quite informative.

In case you are interested, here is her link -->

Mallol's Consultation and Surgery Centers

OK, Bellas - the scoop of WHERE our procedures will be performed. I called Dr. Mallol's office today and was told this.

All CONSULTATIONS take place here: Centro Médico Gazcue, Av. Bolívar esquina Leopoldo Navarro. Suite 406 - 4ta. Planta., Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The earliest you can arrive is 8a. It is not by appointment. Your owrk up will be done here. If you are cleared, you will be given your surgery time and surgery center location.

SURGERY CENTERS. Dr. Mallol uses two surgery centers. I have no idea how he (or whomever) determines which surgery center you go to.

One is Centro Médico Gazcue, which is the same place your consultation takes place. This building is older than his other Center, but looks to be in great shape. Copy and paste the name in Google to have a look at the Center's web page and current reviews.

The other is Centro Quirurgico Cenigest. This is the newer of the two buildings. I do not know the address, nor have I been able to find it on Google or Google Maps (any help?).

I included pics of both.

Dr. Mallol informed me that he does, at the MOST, three surgeries in a single day.

~Ciao Bellas!

HottaHada, Leatrica1, and DatGurlMe Are Up This Week - Mad love ladies!

Sending good vibes your way!

How Can I POSSIBLY Be Having Second Thoughts?

TODAY'S MOOD: I am totally completely terrified right now, and that's saying a LOT. Tickets, housing, passport, travel visa, deposit, gear, everything. I literally have every single thing I need to walk out my door right now and have surgery. Twice. And yet …. what if? Did any of you "graduates" go through this the closer you got to your big day? I am 47 years old. I have four kids. I have had eight major surgeries in my lifetime. I had breast cancer in my 30s. Both my breasts were removed, and my stomach muscles were tunneled up through my chest and used to rebuild my breasts. That, alone, was four major operations. I developed an infection about a year later from the mesh used to support my now weakened muscle wall - not at all uncommon. I had surgery to remove that mesh, and became septic - also not uncommon. Then, I had surgery to clear out the infection and spent two weeks with a home nurse with the wound left open and healing from the inside out, and IV antibiotics. A year ago, I had my right hip replaced, and one month later, my left. None of those recoveries was easy. All of those operations were necessary. But this? I want the RESULTS so much, but I can't help but feel as if I've used up all my surgical "good luck." So my current mood is WTF am I doing? Just thought I'd share. I included a pic, front view. I wear my battle scars proudly. ~Bey

Supercool Animated Video on How Liposuction Works

Animated Liposuction Procedure

Explicit - Click to view

Somehow (probably b/c I skipped med school), I assumed the fat removed during lipo was just under the skin. This animated video seems to show what actually happens. Pretty cool!

Marlene0291's Big Day - Love and Prayers Bella!

Hey beauties. Sending positive thoughts to Ms. Marlene. I believe she goes today!

18 PRE- & POST-BELLA PICS (Dr. E. Mallol Cotes)

OK, I once again trolled through Dr. Mallol's Bellas. These are all patients who have identified Dr. Mallol as their PS. I only included shots where there was a before AND after, in close to the same angle. Man does good work. What I like about this is that the women he works are not pin up dolls. While they have tiny waists and curved a$$e$, they can keep their day jobs, you know what I mean?

Great Idea BellaCP!

This is a SIMULATED PHOTO and how I would like to look after. Before = Real. After = Fervent Wish. (the software I used is Plastic Surgery Simulator Lite). The dunk might be a little on the big side, but if I came out looking like this, I'd call that a win. #IWokeUpInANewBugatti

Realistic or Pipedream?

Yes. I have been playing with the PS Simulator again (once more, the software I used is Plastic Surgery Simulator Lite). I'd rather use me for a B&A than use a pic I find of someone else, 'cause no one start with my ingredients, ya feel me? So I did up my front and back - realistic or pipedream?

Bella Questions

Guys, I have an idea. Post anything below you would like me to specifically be on the lookout for, so when I post surgical updates, I can tell you what to expect. EXAMPLES: ~Does Dr. M assess you before you leave to confirm that it is safe for you to do so? ~How did Dr. M let you know when to show up at the clinic for your consultation with him? ~How did Dr. M determine which of the two hospitals he intended to perform your procedure in? Like I said, if I know now, I can be on the look out and make sure I post specific responses. ~Ciao Bellas!

Big Shout Out to Van101, Malika.Reid, and JennJade!

Mad props for not chickening out like I want to! Seriously, Bellas, you're going to be beautiful! Check in when you get to the flat side.

The DREADED AUNT Has Arrived!

No no!!! I can feel my iron levels plummeting by the second! Any suggestions as to how I can keep my iron levels up?

LIVER: Kill. Me. Now.

OK, so I tried. I bought it. I researched how to cook it. I seasoned and floured it. And I fried it. I ignored its slimy-look. I put the grossness of it out of my mind. I had bigger goals, right? I wanted this surgery more than I DIDN'T want that disgusting liver, right? Wrong. Very very wrong.

OK, just playing. But it's KILLING me ladies, it's KILLING ME!

Did I HAVE to get my iron through meat? Couldn't I just double up on pills or something? I had to know. If there was ANY way to get out of this, I was taking it, and FAST. True to form, I went back to the data. I wanted to know whether getting iron from supplements was as good as getting iron from food. As it turns out, no.

This is what I learned, so I thought I'd share. I wanted YOU to suffer as much as I am suffering right now. But I wanted you to be INFORMED while you did it. (Nice of me, right?)

~Iron from a protein source is better absorbed that iron from a liquid supplement.
~Iron from a liquid supplement is better absorbed that iron from a tablet supplement.
~Iron from a tablet supplement is better absorbed that iron from a iron powder supplement.

So best source? Iron from a protein source. Break out that liver, ladies! More fun facts

~In most cases, the best time to take iron supplements is about one hour before or two hours after meals, with water on an empty stomach. Taking your iron supplement with food may decrease how much iron is absorbed by the body by up to 50 percent.

~On the flip side, citrus items, such as lemonade or Vitamin C can increase your iron absorption.

~There are a number of foods and minerals that inhibit iron absorption, including coffee, grains & legumes, fiber, egg protein (from both the white and the yolk), minerals (such as calcium, zinc, magnesium, and copper).

You can thank me later. For now, eat up Bellas!!!!


P.S. I had to eat pinched-nosed and mix it with spicy hot Doritos to get it down. After about six or so pieces I gave up and gave the rest to the dogs.

4 More Mallol Before and Afters with Two of This Weeks Bellas!!

Ladies, what a transformation!!

Greetings from Narita Airport, Japan!

I'm on my way! I'm going back in time. I'm leaving now, Sunday morning. When I arrive in the DR at 8p Sunday night, it will be 9a Monday morning here at home. Think that means I get younger too?????? ;). On my way to the flat side!

WiFi It, and Call Around the World for Free

Since I live outside of CONUS (the continental United States), virtually all of my phone calls are to other countries. I noticed on another post that folks were trying to figure out how to call friends and family back home without paying international fees. I have all of the below installed on my phone AND computer. As long as I have a WiFi connection, I can use the apps to call around the world for free. Messenger (EVERYONE with Facebook already has it and this is what I use the most) Hangouts Skype Ooovoo WhatsApp Both sides have to have the SAME app installed. For the first four, you have to create a contact in the software itself; you need the other person's user name to do that. For WhatsApp, you create a contact in your phone's Rolodex; you need the person's cell phone number to do that, and you need to put "+1" in front of their number. Then, open the app on your phone, go to the contact, and make the call. Super easy, super free! Good luck!!!

NatalyPerez, Bey1115, BellaCP, NattieVanessa, TLundquist, & 4Evermore - Alright Ladies, Are We READY???

In case I have trouble connecting to the Internet, just sending some love to this week's sorors! Ready Bellas?!

Checking In!!

Wow, OK, so I made it! Thank you for all you luv, baby girls. Alright, what did I learn? First, you will be given at least two forms to complete before you deboard your plane. Have the address of your RH/accommodations handy. You will need that and your passport number to complete the form. Keep those forms - and your passport - out as you deplane. It is nice to arrive on a Sunday night because everything is quiet. First thing you do when you deplane is pick up your luggage. MAKE SURE YOU KEEP YOUR LUGGAGE CLAIM TICKET; I had to show mine to claim my luggage. From baggage claim, you walk down a long hallway and leave the terminal. Stay to the right; the left exit is for people who live in the DR. Once you enter Imm/Cust, the Tourist Card desk is to your immediate right. MY ADVICE: BUY THE CARD ONLINE BEFORE YOU GET THERE AND AVOID THE LINE. Tourist card in hand, you go to the Customs line. There, they take you Tourist Card and send you to an agent who takes you BLUE FORM and asks why you are there, how long you'll be in the country, where you are staying. The agent verifies your identity and sends you on your way. One thing I did not do - and should have - was CONVERT SOME DOLLARS TO PESOS. You may not want to do it at the airport, but do it somewhere because while the doc demands cash, some of the locals deal in pesos only. From there, you give the lady at the exit your WHITE FORM, and walk out into the space right before you exit the building. You walk down a ramp that is lined with cab drivers. Catch your ride and bounce. We took our driver (our own, not one of Mallol's) out to dinner and then came to our gorgeous apartment. Doc had already called our driver before we got there (I was travelling with my husband and mom). Still, per Dr. M's request, our driver called him once we'd arrived and - in keeping with all reports - he was a doll. I think much of the reason he can only respond to texts occasionally is because he gives so much attention to the patients who are actually in the DR. He told me to get some rest and see him about 2p (before we arrived in the DR, he sent me the address of the clinic where he would be meeting with me). My sister had arrived by then (BellaCP) and were scheduled to see him together. Interestingly, he told us not to eat after 12p because we were doing labs. Before we went to meet him, he pushed the time back to 4p because he was still in surgery. We arrived at four, were taken to a room around 4:45p, got our labs done around 5p and saw him around 5:30p. He met with me and my sister for about 1h 15m combined. He spent A LOT of time with both of us. While we spoke, he reviewed out WhatApp chat to make sure we covered everything raised in our communications. He also had the wish pics I'd sent him earlier. Our labs came back while we were meeting with him. My hemo was 12.4 (effing liver) Hers was 13. Because my hemo was under 13, he pretty much said he would be giving me two units of blood after the procedure (we're still discussing that). My sister's was more or less optional b/c her hemo was 13. We tallied up our bills and paid him. Make sure you take a copy of your quotes and messages. I never had to show them to him, but he HAD forgotten the figures and I had to remind him. He directed us to return in the morning at 7am, where we would have our work up and get prepped for surgery. No food after midnight. Shower with Hibiclens in the morning, and pay special attention to your belly button. OK, that brings you to where I am right now. I'm going to respond to a few posts and then it's off to bed!

Made It To The Flat Side!!!!!

Hey ladies! Just wanted to let you know I'm alive and well! Checked out of the clinic last night and had no computer, but I am back at the apartment now. The trip has been AMAZING thus far. I have a lot to update about (clinic stuff, info about the doc, and so on), and will both do that and post pics after my follow up with Dr. Mallol tomorrow (by the way, that's pronounced "may-YOLL"). I haven't seen myself - oddly, my apartment has no mirror that goes below my shoulders. But the little bit I can see I think I love. I cannot believe this went from dream to reality just that quickly. Until tomorrow - XO, Bellas!

My Truth: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly – Part I

I know. It’s been what seems like forever. Before surgery, RS was an hourly addiction. After, I could barely open the page. So what happened in the nine days since my surgery? Why have I said so little?

Because I feel like I made a mistake, and admitting that just to myself has been hard. I read all your ‘after’ reviews and you are all so happy. “Snatched!” “Thick!” “Do I really get to keep this body???!” I feel none of that. I couldn’t bring myself to pretend otherwise, so I said nothing. And I am sorry.

Because we promised to do this together, right? Promised to walk each other through not just our experiences but our feelings about those experiences. We rely on each other for that, to help us make smart decisions. I owe you – my Real Self Sisters – honesty. You guys have been there for me and each other in a way that humbles me. You have my love, you have my respect, and you have my thanks, ladies. Bella Forever.

Because there is so much to share, I am breaking this up in parts. In this first one, I want to answer clear procedural questions – what was Mallol like, how was the pre-interview, what was the surgery like, and so on. That’s what most of us want to know, anyway. In later parts, I talk about post surgery stuff and – for those who are interested – I explain why, at least at this point, I regret making the decisions I did.

I included a photo that I took today because above all, we want to known whether our doc can deliver. As you can obviously see, he can. My waist is tight, my ass is big, my back is virtually flat. About this, I want to be clear: Emmanuel Mallol Cotes was the right choice, beginning to end, and any feelings I have about my outcomes have ZERO to do with this man. There has been much talk about him in these forums – does he know what he’s doing? Does the lack of B&A pics mean he isn’t good? Is it really all about the money for him? The man is extraordinary and the speculation stops today. The only thing I would REPEAT if I could do this all over again is this: Dr. Emmanuel Mallol Cotes would be my surgeon. Period. In fact, when you see him, tell him Bey sends her love.

Let me introduce you to him (and Dr., I apologize in advance for not asking your permission to share this information). Dr. Mallol is an Officer and surgeon in the Dominican military. He serves his country, performing reconstruction for service members injured on duty. He also works at least once a month at a local public hospital for – I believe – the underprivileged. There, he provides an extreme range of reconstruction work for cancer patients who, like me, suffer extreme physically deformities because of their disease. And while he is doing all of this, he takes care of us. He seems to do what he can for those approaching surgery. But once you are there, his focus rests on you completely. If you ever again wonder why whether he’s abandoned you because you can’t get him on the phone, don’t. He is honorable and dedicated, and does all he can to meet an incredible lists of needs.

In my case, before I arrived, he sent me a massage asking for my flight information, recovery location, and driver contact info. As you have heard with many, I spoke with him almost immediately after I landed. Remember, he could not call me – my phone is a Japanese line. So instead of hoping I found him, he tracked down my driver and routed the call through him. He welcomed me, told me to relax after my long flight, and told me when I would meet him the next day. The next day, he greeted us (my sister, me, and mom) personally at the end of a long day of surgery, rounds, and reporting for duty at his military HQ.

We met Dr. M at his de Calderon clinic. A BRIEF NOTE: Dr. M works out of two surgical centers. One is a clinic – de Calderon – newer; the other is a hospital – older. My impression is that his clinic and hospitals schedules are pre-set, and he meets his patients for their consult, surgery, and follow-ups wherever he is scheduled to be on a particular day.

When we arrived at his clinic, we were taken to a 1st floor patient room. My sister and I were taken, in turn, for labs while we waited for him – simple blood draws by a phlebotomist with an office also right there on the first floor. After our labs were complete, Dr. M arrived. He has this notebook where he keeps his “brain.” He had clearly reviewed our files, and made notes. He also seemed to have all the pics we sent him open on his phone. He had our entire WhatsApp conversation open on his phone too. I only know this because I peeked when he was writing in his book. But he reviewed it while we talked, constantly cross referencing our discussions, fears, concerns.

He started our consult by walking us through our medical history – height, weight, previous surgeries, illnesses, and so on. Then, we discussed our outcome wishes. Then, he did a physical examination (stripping in front of a man NOT my husband was interesting). Finally, he gave us his opinion. In my case, he felt strongly he could achieve my goals without a backlift, and suggested a mini-armlift instead (more about that later). He also cautioned me that he would not do aggressive lipo on my thighs despite my wishes because the outcome would not align with my expectations (more on this too). He took all the time with us we needed. He didn’t rush us AT ALL. He directed us to be at the clinic the next day at 7a, I think. No food after midnight, blah blah blah.

During our meeting, the lab staff popped in with our hemo values (mine was 12.4 – traitor). Dr. M advised that I would probably require a transfusion, which as you know is not my thing. My sister, whose hemo was 13. something, was only recommended to have a transfusion. I could refuse, but it would limit my surgical options. I agreed (wimp).

FOR YOUR INFO: Dr. Mallol, in my opinion, gives you more than enough time to work through your goals. But ladies, USE THIS TIME. Be prepared. Have your questions ready. Understand that this is it. Because once he sees you on game day, it’s all business. No – “just one more question, Dr.” He has his game hat on and that’s that.

When we arrived on surgery dsy, we went to the 2nd floor, where the procedures are performed and the patients do post-surgical recovery. We were greeted by his team, both nursing and medical. They spoke very little English but remained patient and communicative throughout. FOR YOUR INFO: Google Translate is your friend. And remember, you are in a foreign country – make sure you download the Spanish module before you leave the US. That way, you don’t need an Internet connection to use it. They gave us tons of paperwork – all in Spanish, and just pointed to where we should sign. Be ready for that; you have ZERO idea what you are agreeing to.

They took us back into the patient rooms, where we got a visit from the cardiologist for an EKG, and the anesthesiologist for more surgical history information. My sister – a smoker – was also assessed by a pulmonologist. They were all doctors, and all women. Once we got the all clear, I was gowned and wheeled back as his first surgery of the day.

This brings me to the end of part I. I apologize for the length, Bellas. As you can imagine, a lot has happened and I am trying to feed the hunger for information that I had before my trip to the Dominican.

Made love, made respect, and thank you for being there. You are an AMZAING group of proud and powerful women, and it has been my honor to meet you along the way.


Ladies - Check in With DatGurlMe - Bad Infection ...

... This is very very serious. Sending payers her way!

Before and After

To really appreciate where we are, it helps to remember where we came from.

I am sorry, my sweet sisters.

Before I continue with my experience, I want to say something about where I’ve been. Like most of us, I’d been thinking about the surgery every waking moment for months leading up to my procedure. I woke up thinking about it. I tugged at it all day. I went to sleep, and dreamt about it. What do I have to pack? Do I need new clothes? What will I look like? How much will it hurt? It consumed all my thoughts, all my time.

Then, the big day came. Like all big moments, the lead up was so much bigger than the event itself, and this was no exception. But that was OK too; that was normal in the scheme of things. It wasn’t until after the surgery that things started to unravel for me. My blood pressure crashed. I got sick, feverish, and left the DR early with my mother so I could access comprehensive medical care. One of my incisions separated and then became infected. I had to do daily sterilization and wound dressing changes. Two more of my surgical sites became infected and I had to start an aggressive course of antibiotics. I had to see a doctor twice a week for weeks. Now, I have to see a surgeon to monitor my wound closure. And, of course, while all this was going on, there was the pain. The all-consuming scalding sunburn under my skin. My underskin felt like I’d spilled a vat of boiling water on my back, along my sides, over my belly, inside my thighs.

And in truth, the whole thing got to be too much. I was pretty angry a lot of the time. I didn’t want to think about it anymore. I wanted my old life back. I didn’t want to hurt, didn’t want to walk around with this gaping hole in my armpit (I called it my other vagina). I didn’t want a faja and two inches of sterile gauze stuffed into my arm each morning. I didn’t want to talk about it. I just wanted it to fade away, wanted to catch my breath. Worse, after all I’d gone through, I wasn’t that thrilled with how I looked, at least not with clothes on.

So, I went dark and stayed there. Like the last time, I knew that if I spoke, I would have little good to say. I knew I wouldn’t be fair. I knew I wouldn’t be balanced. I would take all the pain and fear I was feeling inside and let it come roiling out, all over you guys. And I just didn’t want to do that.

What’s different now? You guys. What I mean is, a few days ago, I started looking at RS again. And I was stunned at some of what I saw. I realized that no matter what I felt about my experience, I owed the truth to this family of women with whom I’d become friends. I used this site to make an informed decision about what to do to my body, and who to trust my body with. The only way others can do that is if those of us who have gone before are open about what took place. So, for what it’s worth, and for anyone who is still interested, here it goes ….

Photos - 6 Weeks

For better or worse, here I am.


When they wheeled me back to surgery, I was put in this room. The walls were that flat lemon green that we’ve come to associate with government offices and 3rd World country emergency rooms. There were two beds, both empty – I was the first patient of the day. That’s important because when I was taken to the second bed, the sheet was littered with debris – hair, dust, other stuff. No stains, but clearly not a clean sheet. So I chose to stand instead of sit.

Remember when I said that I regretted my decision? This moment – this one right here – this is why. I knew better. I knew that if the staging room was unclean, so was everything else. All of my alarms were ringing, screaming for me to just get up and call it off. But I couldn’t. I was willing to let this inexplicable quest for the me in my head continue. So I started bargaining with myself. I reasoned that others have done this right here in this very room, and they were just fine. I reasoned that my mother was here; she would protect me. I reasoned that this was not the US – maybe this was normal. But if it was too dirty to sit, it should have been too dirty to stay. But stay I did.

After a few minutes a very nice man came in, the anesthesiologist. He asked me a lot of the same questioned I’d been asked before, but that was OK. He was very nice, very reassuring, and I let myself e calmed by the distraction. I could hear Dr. Mallol talking away in the room next door – in Spanish, of course. When we were done, the Dr. walked me into the room next door.

You know that spacious supply closet at your job? Spacious for a supply closet, but you wouldn’t want to WORK in it? That’s how big the room was. Two things struck me immediately: it had a surgery table so narrow, there was no room for my arms (who was supposed to be getting on THAT?), and it was full of men. I got on table and, of course, my arms hung. Irrationally, I kept wondering how I was supposed to hold my arms up during surgery. Someone turned me on my side. Men were talking in Spanish and moving around me. My gown was taken. It was totally surreal. I remember this one guy was doing something to my IV, and he draped the cable over my face. My face. Just another nameless fat chic on a table.

Dr. Mallol came in. I’d been trying to pull him aside all morning. I met with him, but he had a list he wanted to go down before he marked me up. Remember how I said get ALL your business done during the meeting the day BEFORE surgery? On the day of, he’s done. He knows what he’s supposed to be doing, and he doesn’t want any last minute discussions. Finally, he asked me what I wanted to tell him. He’d advised that I not get a back lift, but I’d wanted one so badly. I’d agreed the day before, and I was regretting that decision mightily. But after looking at his face, knowing he’d been avoiding an extra discussion, knowing I was on the table, knowing he was ready to go, I gave it up. “Nothing,” I said.

The next thing I know, I was back on the unit, in my bed. I could hear my sister in the room across from me. My husband was there, my mom, going back and forth between the two rooms. There was no pain. I was in a faja. And I was on the other side, the flat side! I went back to sleep.

If I had any doubts before that I was not in the US, the hospital stay made that fact completely clear. Let me say this: with one exception involving my sister which I won’t go into (you’ll have to ask her), I loved the nurses. But their patient care? Hit or miss. Let me give you just one example: one nurse entered my room with a syringe, uncapped. She’d just left my sister’s room. She came over to my bedside, to flush my IV after my blood bag cleared. And her syringe had a small pocket of blood in it. She’d just left my sister’s room where, I learned later, she had just flushed HER line. When I saw the blood, I stopped her, asked her if the syringe had been used. She smiled so nice, said no, grabbed my IV line, and plunged. Before I could stop her. My mom came in, railed at her for that (my sister and I have different blood types). She feigned total innocence, and the deed was done.

OK, this is already way to long, and I haven’t gotten to the wound you see in the pic. But I’ll get there. Next time. About it, I will say this – it is under my arm, where Dr. Mallol did a mini-arm lift. It became infected, and then the sutures separated and the wound broke open. I was on antibiotics for weeks, and had to see both my GP here (sometimes twice a week), and then a surgeon. I had to do daily dressing changes, which I could finally stop doing one week ago - it's been THAT long. The wound is now closed (without another operation). More later.

I love you ladies. And I missed you more than you know.


P.S. Thank you for all the love and prayers

It was because of you that I could finally shake off this inexplicable disappointment. You guys stayed right there by my side, reminded me you were there, circled me with your love and support. I owe you all so much. And while I normally reply to every single person individually, I wanted to take a minute and say thank you to this entire family of incredible women that you all are. Mad love, mad respect. Always.



Hey chicas!!! So, I'm back to doing a million things but I thought I'd do a 3 month update.

PAIN. What. The. F$%K? So, Dr. Mallol must have seared the fat right off my back, which is exactly what I asked for. Feels as if there is a sheet-sized "scab" under my skin (back and inside thighs). That would make sense. It tugs when I move. Initially, I moved less thinking I just needed to give it time to heal. At about week nine I gave that up. Now, WHENEVER I feel that lovely little rip/tug/burn, I stretch, hold it, stretch some more. I got that from AntiBoxgal20's posts about her physical therapy (mad luv). It's not gone but it's on its way.

(Side note: not one single doctor ever recommended this to help mitigate the pain - props to Real Self for this forum of shared experiences and AntiBoxgal 20 for the solution).

FAJA. Gone. Wore is 24/7 for just over 11 weeks, then broke up with it cold turkey. I'm not even sure where it is. The first few days HURT - what was that about? I just assumed it was swelling, and while there was some, it was almost indiscernible on the curves. It's been a week and the faja removal pain is gone, with no negative impact on my results. So, bye Faja-lecia (ok, that was pretty bad).

HEALTH. I feel like me again FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Interesting, that happened right around when I kicked the faja to the curb. Coincidence? I think not. I also developed something called C-DIFF. It is most commonly seen when a person takes multiple courses of antibiotics, or multiple antibiotics at once - check and check. Had it for two weeks, and I'm pretty sure I died somewhere in there. To say it causes diarrhea is like saying Trump is a bit mouthy. I had to be put on yet ANOTHER course of antibiotics, and if that didn't work, it was back to the hospital for me. The antibiotics worked. C-DIFF can be fatal, though, so if you get the runs for more than three days, see your doc.

PROGRESS. As you can see from my pic, no big change from 6 weeks (faja 24/7) and 12 weeks (no faja). I can see some SLIGHT upper hip shrinkage if I blur my eyes, dim the lights and hold my head at an angle.

I can finally say I am happy with my results. So what changed? My head space. If I am being completely honest with myself, I walked into that surgery fully expecting to come out looking like a picture. Not only did I NOT look like the picture, I was miserable in every imaginable way (and even a few unimaginable ones) afterwards. I was also too focused on what Dr. Mallol missed (dude never touched my actual arms). And I was FLOORED at how unflatteringly protrusive my boobs seemed (turns out the faja was making them stick up and out like highbeams).

Now, I've lived with this body for three months. The body "in my head" is a faded memory. The body of my past is long gone. The body in my "here and now" is the only one I have left. I've stopped seeing it through a lens of comparison, and turns out that I love it. Go figure.

Well, ladies, I have to dip back into my world for a few months, so I can only pop on to RS occasionally. You know me - I like to answer everyone - but if it takes me a minute to hit you back, that's why.

Love you, miss you, and may the angels walk with you.


SUPPLIES - What I Used & What I Didn't

As promised, this is how my supply purchase worked out. Your results may demand different supply use, but for what it's worth, here's mine.

o Fish Oil & Naproxin, Bromelain, Omega 3 for post surgery inflammation - USED NONE OF IT
o Liquid Iron - PRE-SURGERY ONLY
o Water pills - YEP
o Arnica tabs and gel - NOPE
o Benadryl - NOPE
o Yeast infection medication - NOPE
o Ibuprofen/Acetaminophen - YEP
o Laxatives & Gas pills - YEP
o Metamucil - NOPE, BUT I COULD HAVE.
o Midol - NOPE
o Perc or Oxy (if you can get it) - YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES
o Mosquito wipes/spray - NOPE

o Moo Moos / Baggy clothes - HELL YES
o Pillows, blanket, towels - YES
o Warm socks - IN THE HOSPITAL, DEF
o Tank for under boards - YES, BUT WELL AFTER SURGERY

o Puppy pads/Chux - 100X YES
o Hand sanitizer - YES

o Antibacterial soap - YES YES YES
o Gauze - YEP
o Scar tape - NOT ONCE
o Medical Tape - YES
o Thermometer - YES

o Arm compressors - NO
o Compression Socks - A MILLION TIMES YES
o Foam - YES
o Board (back board) - A FEW TIMES, BUT WORTH IT

o Ensure/protein bars/yogurt - YES, YES, YES

Things I wish I had, but didn't bring: more pain pills, but that's about it.
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon

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