46- My journey to a new and improved me! Tummy Tuck/Lipo & BL Dominican Republic, DO

A little about me. I'm 46 years old, 5' 3" 135lbs...

A little about me. I'm 46 years old, 5' 3" 135lbs and I have 2 kids and a wonderful husband. At my highest I weighed 190lbs. I've been able to lose the weight and I've kept it off for several years. However I have stubborn areas that just haven't responded well to diet & exercise. Also 2 c-sections and my yo-yo weight gain/ loss has left my belly looking pretty scary.
My measurements are:
Chest: 37
Waist: 30
Hips: 37
Plastic surgery in the US seems unattainable for me. The prices are just way too high. I'm starting my journey by looking at Drs in the DR.
So far on my list:

I'm open to hearing from others who are in or have been in my position. Did you have surgery outside the US- how did you determine the right Dr for you.

Before pic's - yuck

Quote from Almonte

Thank you for your images you have a great body shape so with this procedure you will obtain great results. Dr. Almonte has reviewed your request and suggests the following procedures:

Tummy Tuck + Liposculpture full back full abdomen flanks waist armpit area + BBL

It is very important that you check prior to planning your surgery the following : Hemoglobin levels and BMI.
The BMI limit is 35, it is very important that every patient is physically ready to have these procedures. The hemoglobin level must be minimum 12 to have any procedure performed and 13 and above to have full liposculpture.

Below I have detailed the costs for these procedures. When are you planning to come?

US$5,100.00 includes:

?10 days in Recovery house, meals, 24 hour nursing monitoring
(Recovery House available: My Home Patient care RH, The new life, Armonia, Tropical. Due to the high season the RH will be assigned depending on the availability of each one)
Transportation from airport/clinic/consultations
Preoperative Cardiovascular evaluation and blood tests, EKG, X-Ray
Post operation medications
1 Post op garment
1 night at the clinic
Free of charge consultation post op

Quote from Yily

Package 1:

· Tummy Tuck
· Liposuction of the abdomen, full back, flanks and waist
· Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) via fat grafting to buttocks (hips optional)
· 10 days of stay at one of the best Recovery Houses available in DR
· Post-op medication (listed below)

Makes a total of: $5,500 USD

With 15 days of stay in a Recovery House
Makes a total of: $5,900 USD

Package 2:

· Tummy Tuck
· Liposuction of the abdomen, full back, flanks and waist
· Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) via fat grafting to buttocks (hips optional)

Makes a total of: $4,500 USD *

Evaluation from Dr Goico

Thanks for your contact.

I apologize for the delayed evaluation, but I am simply getting way too many emails per day and I try to respond as soon as possible, but (as you may well see) I like to deeply evaluate each patient and reply with the best option available for them.

So, I have evaluated your photos and have a few comments about your case:

First of all, let me tell you that I am very honest with my evaluations, but you will perfectly see that I do it in the patient's best interest. With me it's always safety first, and if a procedure will not give you an important change, I am the first one to recommend it's not worth it or if it's simply too much.

Now, I honestly do not like it when patients just ask: "What would you do on me?". The real question would be what bothers you, what part(s) of your body would you like to enhance. I am the type of person that would never like to create a new inconformity on your mind by mentioning what would I do.

You seem to be an excellent candidate for surgery when it comes to health status, and you are one of the very little number of patients that has reached me for the true purpose of what plastic surgery is all about: enhancing the shape of the body. Not loosing weight, like most people think. You are young (which means you body reacts better to liposuction and fat grafting), and your BMI is excellent (23.9).

Let me detail each area that you have exposed, just to mention what could be done to enhance the area assuming that you exposed it because you would like for them to look better:

- Breasts: your breasts have two main things that would call my attention: the falling and their asymmetry. Your right breast is clearly bigger and more fallen than your left one. All of this can be corrected with a Breast Lift. Depending on what breast volume you want I'd recommend getting breast implants or not, but to be honest, you seem to have a nice volume and we could work upon your existing volume.

- Abdomen: There is some evident and very important muscle separation seen in your abdominal region. This, added to the moderate skin and fat excess in the area, clearly tell me your abdomen aspect could be greatly improved aesthetically with a Tummy Tuck. The tummy tuck not only eliminates fat and skin, but it defines the waist line more, giving the patient a curvier body because of the "corset" effect created by the abdominal rectus muscle. Another good point on your favor is the fact that you have enough skin to have a very low positioned scar, meaning, this surgery should allow you to use a very low bikini bottom or panties if you feel like it.

- Body: Liposuction could also greatly improve your body silhouette by eliminating the unwanted fat from unwanted areas. In your case, the areas that mostly call my attention are, abdomen, back (upper and lower) and flanks (love handles). You're one of those cases that could greatly benefit from an important liposuction, so you have to make sure your blood levels are high (specially your hemo). If you have anemia, you cannot (and should not) have this surgery, as you may put your life at risk.

Again, I don't feel comfortable mentioning the areas to be treated, and if you decide not to have one or more of this surgeries, I can honestly tell you that it is not as bad as you think. I am just commenting from a professional point of view, but you already look like a healthy beautiful person.

Karel, my assistant will send you your quote (usually less than 24 hours)for:
- Mommy Makeover: Breast Lift + Tummy tuck + General Liposuction

Any medical doubt you may have, please feel free to contact me directly to this address or via whatsapp to my cellphone at +18098017900.

Take good care of yourself,
Dr. Luis A. Fernandez Goico

Deposit Sent!

Nervous and excited at the same time. It's all starting to come together!

One step closer

Sent my deposit to Serenity House. So far Liz has been very good at answering all my questions quickly- I'm impressed. Now I need to start my supply list.

Flight booked!

This is getting real. Thanks to my sx buddy who works for an airline - I was able to get a great rate on a flight. We'll be in the Dominican for 18 days. I know that seems long but id rather stay a bit longer just to be safe. Now I need to concentrate on buying supplies for my recovery.

Costs So Far

I figured I'd to start listing my costs. Maybe it would help others who are considering surgery out of the country.

$4,505 - MMO - TT, BL, and Lipo
1,500 - RH (17 nights in a private rm - 2 nights free)
100 - Plane ticket ( big discount since my sx buddy works
for the airline)
300 - 10 massages after sx
150 - mandatory insurance
140 - DVT shots
50 - airport transportation
125? - stage 2 faja

$6870 - total so far - still less than 1/2 than what I was quoted by several Dr.'s in the US :-)

Supply list

49 days till my sx. Seems so far away but I know it will be here before I know it. So I'm starting to put together my supply list. Here goes:

4 Maxi dresses
2 House coats/dusters ( the kind grandma used to wear. Button front with pockets to hold drains)- found them on Amazon for $12
6 pairs-Granny panties
7 white undershirts - not sure if the tank kind is better or the t-shirt type?
1 pair flip flops
1 pair slides. ( easier to wear with the compression socks)
Deposable baby wipes
1 antibacterial soap-Dial
Hand sanitizer
4oz bottle of hibiclens for shower before sx
1 tube of anti-itch cream or Benadryl pills
Hair turban/scarf
Protein bars
Extension cord & charger for phone & ipad
Baseball hat
Maxi pads
Peri-bottle- this is the small bottle they give you after childbirth to help wash yourself
neck pillow
Heating pad
Tums or pepto
Go girl urinal
iPad - with books and movies downloaded
Medicine: ibuprofen, cough drops, Tylenol PM
Usually toiletries- toothbrush, toothpaste, brush, make-up, etc

Thoughts-suggestions? What am I missing?

Tip - tourist card/visa

Other women who have traveled to the DR suggest purchasing your tourist visa online. It costs $10 and you need it to enter the country if your traveling from the US. The bonus to buying it online is that it saves you from standing in a very long line after you get off the plane.

Recovery Home Recommendations?

I done know if it's all the stress in my normal life, or the nervousness of my surgery being 3 weeks away but I'm second guessing my choice of RH's. I've put a deposit down with Serenity but I've read a few reviews that haven't made me feel so good about my choice. Any recommendations are greatly appreciated

To tell or not to tell

So what is everyone is telling family/friends/coworkers about their 2 week absence? I plan on taking FMLA from work and telling them its abdominal surgery/ hernia repair. My dilemma is what to say to my kids. My son is 16 and my daughter is 12. She's my major concern. Body image/self-esteem is so important at this age. I don't want to send her the wrong message, but I don't want to be a hypocrite. Would love to hear your suggestions- thanks!

Change in plans

My surgery buddy and I have decided not to stay at Serenity House. We will be staying at Harmony Deluxe instead. I've been speaking with the owner Mabel and she's so sweet! We just feel it will be a much better fit for us. I'll be sure to review the RH and take pictures since other than Dr. Goico's recommendation there aren't many reviews on RS

Disappointment and a severe case of anxiety!!!!

I've been religiously taking my supplements and after my blood test yesterday I'm so disappointed in the results. My hemo is only 12.6. I was hoping for at least 13. I reached out to Dr G and he said I'm borderline.... I may be able to have all the procedures but he'd like to see it higher. So for the next 12 days I plan on increasing my iron to 3x a day and consuming foods that are rich in iron.... Like spinach, red meat, Kale and beets. Hoping this 12 day blast will help push my hemo up. Wish me luck
I had a panic attack when I got the news. I really don't want to go all the way to the DR only to be denied sx. But I trust my doctor if it's not safe I will not put my life at risk and neither will he

Hoping to raise my hemo

I won't lie the beet root juice tastes like dirt but I'm determined to raise my hemo. I'll be drinking these 2x a day, taking iron 3x a day and trying to eat foods that are rich in iron from now until my departure. Wish me luck!

Updated costs

Here's my revised list since I made some changes.

$4705- MMO - TT, BL, and body lipo w/additional lipo to inner knees & thighs
1,400 - RH (17 nights in a private rm Includes transportation)
100 - Plane ticket ( big discount since my sx buddy works for the airline)
250- 10 massages after sx
150 - mandatory insurance
140 - DVT shots
125? - stage 2 faja
10 - tourist card

$6870 so far

Now I'm just trying to determine how much extra to bring for tips or anything that might pop up. I won't be using a debit or cc - worst case scenario my husband can wire me cash if I need it


My bags are packed.... Purchased my tourist card... Told my kids that I was going to be away ...... And I can't believe that after 6+ months of planning it's finally here!

My flight leaves tomorrow at 7am. My sx buddy and I will have a stop in Atlanta and then we arrive in Santo Domingo at 2:00. I'm so excited and yet still nervous. l'll be staying for 18 days. I've never been away from my family for that long and the realization of this is really starting to hit me. I'm going to miss them soooo much! I hope I'm doing the right thing. I still have feelings of guilt for spending so much but I really want to feel good about myself. My husband has been really understanding and that has definitely helped.

I've been in touch with Mabel at harmony. She the sweetest woman! I'm so glad I switched recovery houses. She texted me today to ask me what I wanted for lunch when we arrive! She's also been very reassuring when I told her about how nervous I was about my hemo only being 12.6. She's already making special smoothies to help me when I get there :-). How nice is that?!?!!

Hopefully I'll be posting soon from the flat side

Not what I wanted to hear

Well I just received the results of my blood test, and it wasn't the news that I wanted. My hemo dropped. It could be because my period just ended but the result is still the same. No mommy makeover for me. My first reaction of course was to cry and feel sorry for myself. I've been locked in my room at Harmony wondering why. I did all the things I was supposed to... Took the iron supplements along with all the others.... Tried to eat healthy.... Stopped drinking soda and limited my caffeine to one cup a day.....Drank nasty beet juice & a greens concoction made of spinach and kale......So WHY!!!!!!!

Well I'm over that. Yes I'm disappointed but I appreciate the honesty of Dr Goico. He took the time to call me and explain why I shouldn't have all the procedures that I had originally planned. I will have the tummy tuck with some lipo. I doubt that I will be able to have a round 2 in the Dominican. Logistically it's just too hard. But I will look into having some lipo maybe in the states.... I will take better care of my body! I plan on using this as a beginning to a journey that will make me a stronger and healthier person.

Tomorrow I take that first step.

Update on the last few days

Ok so I did what I swore I wouldn't do.... I became one of those women who posts constantly and asks a ton of questions before her sx but when her time comes- POOF - she disappears! I apologize for that.
A short recap- I came for a TT, BL without implants and lipo on my lower back, upper back and inner knees and thighs. Well my hemo fell before I got here from 12.6 to 11.7. Way too low for all I wanted to have done. I'll admit I was disappointed at the time but decided that the TT and some lipo was still the jumpstart I needed to get my shape back on track.
Looking at it now- I am sooooo glad I didn't have everything done. Honestly I don't know if I could have physically handled it all. Ladies - back lipo is NO Joke. It hurts like nothing else I can describe. My TT gives me no problem at all but my back is sooooo sore.

The first 2 days weren't so bad but on the 3rd day...Depression- why the hell did I do this to myself....my husband loves me as I am! Then the nausea- I'm thinking this is a combo of all the medications and coming off the anesthesia. At one point I couldn't even look at food on TV without feeling sick and finally very bad headache knocked me on my ass. Plus I was (still am a little) so homesick.

All I can say is thank god for the ladies at the RH that are taking such wonderful care of me. Mabel and her mom Nancy have been Angels.

I'm also grateful to Dr G who came in on a Saturday when he wasn't working just to check up on me. What doctor does that? None that I know of back in the states. It was so great of him to reassure me and help me realize what I am going through was normal.

I haven't taken pictures yet- to be honest I don't know if I'm ready to look at my new shape- weird huh. But I think I will at my massage tomorrow the suspense is killing me.

Oh today is day 5 and the nausea is gone...so are the headaches. I'm still a little homesick but I doubt that will fade. I miss my family but I'm being very well taken care of... I feel safe and that I'm getting a very high standard of care. I promise not to POOF again - feel free to ask me questions

Harmony Deluxe rh pictures

I'll post a full review once my stay is over

Day 6 po

I finally snuck a peek. I'm still a little swollen

Before & after

Day 7

All I can say is WOW! I feel so much better today! Went in for my massage and Dr G saw me - he said I looked like a completely different person. The headaches and nausea are gone. My back is still sore but I feel great! I actually enjoyed my massage today. I think the drains will come out either tomorrow or Thursday! Can't wait to finally take a shower. Not looking forward to the smaller sized faja... Oh well no pain no gain!

Day 10

Dr Goico removed my drains today. All I can say is that I feel like a new person. I even took the time to check myself out in my new faja. Ladies - I promise you there will be bad days.... But when the good days hit...,OMG it's amazing

Day 14

I can't believe that I've made it to 2 weeks! I'll be leaving Santo Domingo tomorrow and I'm so excited to be going home. The hardest part of this journey has been home homesick I've felt. I miss my family so much!!! Can't wait to see them again.
I'm wearing my stage 2 faja. It's tight, and its on the second to last hook. I'm supposed to move it to the final hook by Thursday but I'm not sure I really want to.... I've gown fond of breathing and Id like to continue :-)
I'm very grateful to the ladies at Harmony House. I've never felt as though I were a stranger and I received great care. There were some pros and cons and I'll give a full review of the RH once I'm home. I can say Nancy and Mabel took good care of me during my stay.
I'm also thankful for my sx buddy. She's been so supportive and helpful even though she was going through her own pain. We had some great laughs together and I know we will remain great friends for years to come!
And it goes without saying.... But I am so grateful to Dr Goico and his staff. Dr G is an amazing doctor - I felt safe and he was also there to answer my questions and to calm any of my fears. I love my results! My waist hasn't been this tiny since I was in my 20's. - I feel great. I don't have a measuring tape but my sx buddy swears it looks like I have a 24" waist. Not bad considering I was at 30" before the sx. When I get home I'll take photos of the scar but I can assure you it's even and clean. And my belly button is soooo cute!
Lastly I'm thankful to all the women on RS that have given me so much support! Thank you! I hope to pay it forward!

3 weeks PO

Can't believe it's been three weeks. Im feeling pretty good. Still sleeping in a recliner but hopefully I'll be back in my bed soon. I went back to work yesterday. I have a desk job but I'll admit by mid afternoon I'm pretty tired. I'm still wearing my faja 24/7 only take it off to shower. Thought I'd take a pic of my scar to show how it's healing. So far I'm pleased with my results. In fact a coworker asked me what I was doing to lose so much weight so I guess it noticeable even with the swelling

7 weeks PO- I feel great!

Today marks 7 weeks PO. I feel great! I've had no PO complications, and my recovery thus far has been relatively easy. I'm even considering going back for a rd 2 for the thigh lipo I wasn't able to get due to my low hemo.
I originally lost 10lbs after the surgery but because of the holidays I've gained back 3lbs. Dr G has given me the ok to exercise so hopefully I'll lose the last 10lbs soon.
Also had to get a new faja. The stage 2 was too loose. Got this one from Amazon. So far I like it... As much as you can like a faja- aka torture device
I've been more than pleased with Dr Goico. He still answers all my questions and I love my results

4 months PO

So far I've been pretty happy with my results. Id love to go back to get the lipo on my inner thighs that I couldn't get because of my low hemo, but I'm not sure I could handle being away from my family. Trying to work out and eat clean..... Hoping that will help

Body by Dr G

Forgot to upload- this was me 12 wks PO

Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
Was this review helpful? {{ voteCountOthers + ' other' + (voteCountOthers == 1 ? '' : 's') }} found this helpful