32 Years Old, Lost 130lbs! Ready to Start my Skin Removal Surgeries! - Dominican Republic

I have stalked the reviews of RealSelf ladies for...

I have stalked the reviews of RealSelf ladies for a full YEAR and I swore that as I started my journey, I was going to document my entire experience as well!!

So, in 2014 I had gastric sleeve surgery and went from 301lbs to 170lbs. As you can imagine, I have SO MUCH extra skin!! About 6 months ago, I started looking into plastic surgeons for an extended tummy tuck. I had consultations with 3 surgeons in the U.S. (Pennsylvania) and HATED each of their work!!! The doctors themselves were great, but I felt the quality of work was HORRIBLY lacking (it was being covered by my insurance, so that may or may not have something to do with it), plus I didn't *really* feel comfortable with any of the doctors and their aftercare.
So...after feeling incredibly disappointed, I finally got the idea to look at other countries. I talked with doctors in:
1) Brazil - Brazil seemed good, but ultimately it was hard to find very many patient reviews, the cost wasn't any different than the U.S. when you factored in travel, recovery house, transportation, etc, and most importantly for me, it was a loooooong plane ride of 14+ hours
2) Costa Rica - Costa Rica was my favorite choice. Many doctors have pristine reputations, the health care system is rated much higher than the U.S., they have socialized health care (so if something did go wrong, I would be covered). Ultimately, I decided not to go to C.R. because, again, the cost for my surgeries plus other expenses would have made it the same price as staying in the U.S.
3) Dominican Republic - This is where I ultimately decided to go! I was originally scared because of some horror stories, but they seem specific to a handful of doctors, so before I made my choice I researched THE HELL out of every doctor and scoured the internet for ANY information I could find. I picked Tania Medina because her work is BEAUFITUL, she has studied post-bariatric weight loss plastic surgery, has an impeccable reputation, QUICKLY responded to any email I sent her (and I sent dozens!). The list is endless.

Anyway, tonight I officially sent my deposit and will be having my surgery June 6, 2016!!! I am SO excited to begin my new life without all this horrible extra skin and finally have a SHAPE for the first time in my life!!! I'll post before pictures soon!

Paying the deposit

Well...my first hiccup of this process! Dr. Tania Medina gave me the information to send her my deposit to book the surgery date, but I encountered A LOT of problems (on my side) trying to get it to her!

First, my bank does not accept wire transfers after Friday morning, so that was out. When I looked at going to a Bank of America branch (her bank), there wasn't one any closer than a 3 hour drive from my city. Yikes! No thanks! Next, I went to Walmart, but they don't do bank-to-bank transfers. Then the Western Union location was "down" for the day....oh my gosh, would my problems with this never end!! Haha! Next, I went online to Western Union, but they don't to bank-to-bank transfer from a U.S. account to a D.R. account either. WHAT?!?!? FINALLY, about 48 hours after I started this process, I finally went through ShareMoney.com which does international wire transfers for only $4.99 - Not only was the this cheapest option I found (my bank was $35 fee!), but it was the quickest! I sent the money at 11:30pm on Saturday, had it taken out of my bank within the hour, and received an email from Dr. Medina that she received it by noon the next day. WHEW!

The only downside is that because it took me so long to get my deposit over to her, she's now booked for June 6 and the next available day was June 8th. She even called me on my cell phone to ask me directly if that was okay! She was SO SWEET and speaks wonderful English! I swear, the more interaction I have with Dr. Medina, the more and more comfortable I feel with her. Can anyone imagine a U.S. surgeon calling you on a SUNDAY AFTERNOON to make sure everything is okay?!?! I can't wait to meet her in person! June 8 is now my day!!

Recovery Houses

Ugh....I've spent SO MUCH TIME researching recovery houses! So far I think I have it down to Maria's Recovery House (cheaper, hospital beds, trips to beach once a week) or Sea Lily (newer, very clean, and REALLY fast responses to any questions I have). Hopefully I can make a decision soon!!
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon

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