TT, Lipo, BL & BA 34 Y/o Mother of Two After Massive Weight Loss. Dominican Republic, DO

I am going to have surgery with Dr. Medina on 11/2...

I am going to have surgery with Dr. Medina on 11/2. I am excited because I am having a hard time getting used to my body after losing about 140 lbs. I am currently 5'7" and weigh 198 lbs. I have a lot of loose skin, but undoubtedly I have some fat as well. My goal weight was originally 180 but I have been having a difficult time getting under 190. I did meet with a plastic surgeon here and he said that I am a perfect candidate and do not need to lose any additional weight. He felt my bones and said this is just my body and that he thought I would likely lose weight after the procedure. I may be interested in having additional work done (thigh lift, vaser lipo) after this but have some concerns about having these procedures done abroad. In addition, I saw a recent review from a woman that said she was very unhappy with the breast lift and implants Dr. Medina did for her and that is causing me some stress. I am hoping to meet with other people that are getting the procedure done, or have had the procedure done. I am also interested in finding out what items are useful for the surgery and for after the surgery, I have seen lots of list but many women say they end up with things they don't need. I also have been left hanging on a lot of the reviews where women just seem to fall off the face of the earth, so I am hoping to be able to provide a complete and comprehensive account of my process. If anyone else is traveling in Nov. tomorrow is supposed to be the best day to buy airfare.

Getting Nervous

I need to have my boobs done as much as a person can need a cosmetic elective surgery. I have practically no tissue left since my weight loss and they just hang like a sock with a few pebbles in them. I used to be a dd now I am an a cup at best and the rest is skin. I have two kids that I nursed for a year each, but I am not having anymore and I would like the girls to sit up and pay attention. I planned on getting a lift with implants in DR but I was always on the fence. While I love the body sculpting, I cannot say that I have been blown away by any of the breast work I have seen. I have already begun to flirt with the idea of a second procedure ( lower back lift with spiral thigh lift) and given some of the negative reviews I have seen am strongly considering skipping the boob job. Some surgeons have also said that it is not a good idea to do the breast with the stomach because you are pulling the stomach in two different directions which may cause some laxity. I do not want any laxity, the plan is to get it tight get it right. I also have heard that after the tummy tuck you may change your mind about how bad off your boobs are or what you deem to be the appropriate size, in short I am talking myself out of a boob job.

Is there anyone that had a boob job with Dr. Medina and loved it? Do you have photos/want to talk about it? I have seen negative reviews lately (three) and there are not a lot of breast reviews for her. Even though I am open to the idea of another procedure, I dont want to have any procedure performed more than once, and would rather do it later if it is not going to be done right. My other concern is that as a weight loss patient, my skin is different that just someone that wants bigger boobs. I have excess skin and I know some surgeons just are not familiar on how to operated on this. Any feedback (negative or positive would be greatly appreciated).
If I dont do my boobs, I think I would like extra lipo but I am having a hard time figuring out how to pick where. I am happy with my arms they are fairly muscular at this point and I am afraid that lipo would just make the skin look hangy. My legs are a totally different story. My thighs have a copious amount of loose skin which is why I am considering the spiral thigh lift/lower body lift. In some cases people get lipo prior to the thigh lift to remove as much fat as possible to deflate the skin as much as possible before the procedure. The immediate outcome is that your thighs look even worse. More flabby hangy skin than before, I believe the long term outcome is that your thighs have even more skin removed resulting in tighter more shapely thighs when the lift is ultimately completed. Anyone have first hand experience with this? Can anybody recommend other lipo areas? I know she does the back, waist, and flanks, automatically, it seems like thats the whole body. I have seen people say pits but although I definitely have hang there my armpit fat is primarily empty armpit skin and Im not sure it can be improved by lipo. I am also concerned that lipo leaves large holes that I assume hurt like hell and I am not sure I want my entire body to be in excruciating pain. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Think Im going with boobs

So I looked over my quote from Dr. Medina today and realized that without boobs the price is only like $1000 less. I know that the price is not everything but I actually have thought a lot of her boob jobs looked really good. I think maybe Im being too hard on her. Three negative reviews out of a billion really isnt bad. One of the negatives had nice boobs but stitching issues. She indicated Dr. Medina was going to fix them for free and she was willing to go back to her, which meant she couldnt have disliked the work that much right? Of the other two I did not see photos but think the fact that they are unhappy is important to consider. Having said that, I think they are both within the six months that you are supposed to give the boobs to settle so they may be happy in the long run. I dont mean to invalidate their concerns, there are just a lot of people who dislike their immediate results and then have a change of heart after some time passes. I dont know what I am going to do ultimately, I guess I am hoping the more I write the more feedback I will get.

Before Pics

I am less than a week away and decided to post some before photos. I am super embarrassed of my body but I am so thankful for the information I have gotten on here from other people that I feel I owe it to everyone to share as much as possible. I have decided to go for the gusto and I am going to get everything that she is willing to give me.

My new plan is a tummy tuck with muscle repair, lipo to my flanks, waist, pits, back, and thighs. I have a lot of loose skin on my inner thighs and I know this will make it worse but I am thinking that a spiral thigh lift is likely in my future. Also a breast lift with implants ( I have no idea what size) and a brazilian butt lift mostly because its free. Even though I am getting major work done the funny thing is I really want my body to look natural and I am not hoping to be a video vixen, I just want my body to look like I be up in the gym just working on my fitness, because i do.

Two kids plus losing 140 lbs has left me looking like a melted candle and no matter how much I work out it doesnt seem to change. The other issue I am having right now is I cannot stop eating horribly. I hadnt had a period in months and the iron pills seem to have reincarnated it. OMG I am eating like a pig and I have no self control. Chocolate, ice cream snickers, pizza, chicken wings, cookies, everything you would think a person about to get a tummy tuck would not eat, I have no self control. Every day I say tomorrow, and while I still work out I really believe you cant out exercise a bad diet. It has gotten so bad that I am saying I will eat well after surgery because Im not optimistic I can change before.

I think that I have said it before but I am 5'7" and range from 190-200 lbs. If you want to know anything just ask.

Leaving in less than 24 hours

I cant believe that its almost time to go. I am excited but nervous as well. I called Dr. Medina tonight and found out that each girl has their own safe at Myhome which is good because I did not send a wire transfer so I am going to DR with a million dollars. I dont think thats necessarily the best idea, but I was confused about whether I should wire her all the money (the money for the driver, meds, transportation, massages etc.) or just the money for the surgery so I decided to just bring cash. I guess I could have asked her what to send while we were on the phone but I literally just thought of that.

At this point I think Im going to try to go for the thigh lipo as well as I think the thigh lift is going to be a necessity in my future. I have definitely been stress eating so Im hoping she doesnt tell me that Im too fat for her to help me. Thanks for all the well wishes, prayers and positive thoughts. Dr. Medina assured me that they have wi-fi in all the rooms at the recovery house so I am hoping to be able to give you guys lots of updates. I am going to DR alone so other than updating, reading, and walking I dont think I will have much else to do.

I guess I dont really have much to say I just wanted to say something.

Post op

So I am out of surgery and although I am very uncomfortable I'm not in too much pain. My incision on my stomach has some burning which is surprising because most girls say their tummy tuck doesn't hurt. I did not get boobs but did get thigh lipo. My back and flanks are the most sensitive. I got a massage today but I think she was super gentle because I just had surgery yesterday. It is very hard for me to be comfortable in any position besides standing and that makes me tired. I did not get boobs she said my Hemo levels were too low. I'm OK with that. When I got out of surgery I was wrapped and I got unwrapped and put into a faja. The masseuse did take a picturand I think it's flat just swollen. I'm pretty sure I need to poop and I am dying to belly button.

A hiccup at the clinic

So yesterday before I left the hospital they had me walk then sit in a chair for a bit. I was fine at first then suddenly I got very naseous. I started dry heaving which was very painful and felt like I was going to pass out. My entire body starting burning up and I was literally pouring sweat. The call button is in the bed but it did not work anyways so there was no one to help me. I yelled ayuda me a few times then got up and got back into the bed. I kept yelling and a nurse came in turned on the air and gave me blankets. They put my feet up and my head down (they thought I was dizzy) and left me like that for a while. I told Dr.Medina when she came and she said for me to eat (I hadn't eaten yet) and she would give me meds for nausea.

I have to be honest I was terrified. I have been nauseous after surgery but it is typically right after not the next day, and I have never experienced that kind of profuse sweating. I ate, got a massage and I was fine though, no nausea since. I didn't have time to post it yesterday but wanted to mention it in case it happens to anyone else, I hadn't read about it at all.

Day 2

Not to be gross but yesterday I had my first poop. If you have any poop problems (I usually do after surgery/trauma) I strongly suggest you take stool softeners prior to coming and during your stay. I had no issues other than being terrified, and used that opportunity to take more photos.

I'm not being critical just commenting that it seems like I have a roll on my right side. I'm hoping its just fluid. All the stretch marks and the mole that you see were at the top of my stomach, like a few inches under my breat at best. The only thing I'm worried about is my belly button. Not so much the incision I plan to sick a marble in there when is safe to do so but the line above it. That is not a scar it is a fold and I do not want it to become permanent. I go to see the dr. Today and intend to ask her about that and all my other concerns so I will let you know how it goes. Right now I have a pad over the bandage and I'm hoping that forces it flat.
I almost forgot as you can see in the photos I put on a sports bra yesterday, I DO NOT RECOMMEND UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES! I didn't even realize but by the end of the day this bra was like a tourniquet, I needed my roommates assistance to remove it and I swear it was like a fluid build up trap. Because your flanks and sides are sore from the lipo I didn't really notice until it was off. This bra was not too tight before I got here, I actually got a little nervous because I have been so much less active and thought could I be gaining weight? But decided I'm going to go with swelling because it makes me feel better about myself. Everyone will just have deal with my boobs dragging on the floor because bra time is over.

My Home Recovery House

Sorry for the hiatus I dropped my phone at the Drs. office so had no ability to communicate for the last leg of my trip. I have a ton of info but I want to talk about the recovery house I stayed at because I know that is a big concern for many women.

My Home is less than a year old and it is beautiful. There are three sitting areas downstairs as well as a screened in porch with rocking chairs. The front living room has leather reclining couches which I used quite a bit after my surgery. The middle seating area also had two computers. I didnt use them but I did see other people using them so I assume they were functional. The third seating area also has a dining table with tall chairs. I was not comfortable at the table after surgery and always sat on my boppy on the couch instead.

There are plenty of fans on the first floor but no central air. The fans were not enough to keep me cool and I spent a lot of time in my room. In fairness, I was most comfortable in my room anyways and only came downstairs to do laps. There were also lots of mosquitoes downstairs, the house did have off. There is wi-fi everywhere in the house.

It was tornado season when I was there and the power did go out a few times. It literally lasted for seconds, and the house had a generator. The house does not allow men and that was good because we were all half naked the majority of the time. The rooms do all have air and fans. I shared a room with two other girls, and thought I would hate it but ended up really enjoying it since I went alone. We had a bathroom inside of our room and it was beautiful, with a jacuzzi tub we couldnt use and an amazing shower with about 1000 shower heads from every direction. I didnt get to use that either.

You get three meals per day and one snack. There is not a menu to chose from the ladies tell you what you are having before hand and if you want something else they will try to accommodate you. Most days I asked for chicken and salad, which was never a problem. There is a kitchen but it is off limits to the guests, which I didnt mind accept for the fact that I felt I was constantly asking the staff for water. They never complained at all but I was drinking 15-20 bottles/day and I know it was annoying.

The house always had a Dr. on staff while I was there. I adored all of them. They were so kind and accommodating, they spoke varying amounts of english but I never had a problem communicating with anyone (in fairness I know some spanish). I became a bit drain obsessed and they would check it incessantly for me and remove clogs at both connection sites even when it required syringes. They would also check on and clean my belly button when I became obsessed with that.

I think the house would be better with central air everywhere and without the mosquitoes. The staff was so wonderful though it was easy to overlook those issues. I didnt take any photos of the house but it was very pretty and updated. It is gated and there is barb wire at the top of the walls all around. The ladies were clear that we could not walk around the property, but they would gladly call a taxi (usually George) to take us anywhere we wanted to go. They also coordinated our hospital visits, I pretty much never knew when I needed to go to the clinic but they always did and made sure I was there on time.

My Drain is Out

In spite of my best efforts I ended up coming home with my drain. I walked, I drank a ton of water, but I saw the Dr. 8 days post op and I still was draining about 100 ml every 24 hours. For the last two days I drained less than 50 ml but I wanted to be sure. I barely drained at all last night and for most of the day today so I decided enough was enough.

It was a little difficult because the stitches holding the drain were tucked so deeply into the incision that we could only see the end of the stitches that were hanging out. I had to pull the stitches out in order for my sister to see the knot she had to cut. Once I pulled it out enough she cut it and the drain immediately moved into the middle of my back. It didnt hurt at all but it felt super weird.

Then we had to cut the stitches around the drain, again this involved pulling the stitches out. When we did this the drain area did leak fluid and it was gross (I thought everything about the drain was gross). Once she cut the stitches I made her pull the drain slowly at first because I was afraid it might still be attached, this was stupid because I felt it release. She pulled it all the way out and we put a towel over the hole, which was a good idea because it did drain some.

It did not hurt to take the drain out at all but I can tell you now that its out it does hurt which I think is pretty weird. My daughter had mentioned bruising on my side and I realize it is where the drain was coming out. I also have bruises on the left side where the drain was sewn in. I dont know why I have these bruises, I didnt have them before, and I think maybe it is a sign my drain was in too long. Now that the drain is gone my sides are super sore on the ends where the drains were. Maybe this is just by body trying to heal the hole that goes around my torso? I dont know any advice would be appreciated.

Belly button problems

I am worried that my belly button is infected. I have emailed Dr. Medina and I'm waiting for a response but I thought somebody might be able to offer advice. None of the puss comes out when I wipe it, but it looks like the incision is opening. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Closer photos

Is it me or does it look like it's opening? It doesn't hurt but I think its getting worse and I'm freaking out.

Sorry here are the photos

My Belly Button

So I have finally gotten in touch with Dra. Medina and she has confirmed that at least one of the stitches in my belly button has ruptured. She advised that I find someone at home to restitch my belly button or return to DR so she can fix it herself. She indicated that given time, the stitch will heal on its own but it will likely take about a month, she cannot give advice on how my belly button will ultimately look, and I am at an increased risk of infection during this time.
I have contacted nearly every surgeon in my area to see if anyone is willing to assist. They are charging between $250-450 to even see me not including any treatment that ultimately needs to be provided. The alternate option is for me to continue to clean the area and to apply neosporin in hopes that it will close on its own. I dont want to spend a small fortune on a surgeon here and to be perfectly honest I am terrified that the stitches will really really hurt. I was unconscious the last time the stitches were put in place but at this point, although I know its probably all in my head, I swear I can feel everything in my belly button. Earlier today I was confident that the food I ate was going to leak out through the open hole.
I am not one of the incredibly dramatic people that regret getting this surgery and would never do it again, however, I can say in retrospect I would do some things differently if given the opportunity. I will elaborate on that later but will comment by saying I certainly see why some people disappear after their surgeries. I still promise not to but have a very different perspective at this point so stay tuned.

Some Issues in DR

So as I indicated I had some issues that I planned to update everyone on at a later date. I will start by saying that when I returned to the states I had some post surgical issues. None of the Drs locally were willing to perform work on me because I had my surgeries done abroad, so I was heavily reliant on texting and emailing with Dr. Medina. Accordingly, I would be hesitant to post anything negative about her or my experience, even if it were true, for fear that it may be held against me in terms of her willingness to provide e-help to me in the future. She has maintained communication with me, and I think it is very important that people have honest feedback so I am going to post some updates at this point.

When I went to DR I brought a certain amount of money for the procedures and extras for tips. I miscalculated the amount of money I needed because I ended up staying at the hospital for two nights and therefore did not have to pay for a 10 day stay at the recovery house, I also was only able to get 8 massages so this reduced my cost as well. To include spending money, tips, and because I am psychotic about not having enough money I brought a total of $8,000. When I went in to meet with Lauren I told her I was on the fence about boobs. She told me Dr. Medina had just done her boobs and offered to show them to me. As soon as I saw her boobs I realized that she and I had been communicating on realself. Of course she is more than welcome to have Dr. Medina perform work on her, and to post about her experience, however I felt misled by the fact that she did not mention in the realself post that she was employed by Dr. Medina.

At the end I told her I would pay for the boobs and ultimately if I didnt get them I would just get a refund. I counted out $6,750 on the chair next to me. The money was literally in the bands that the bank placed them in when I withdrew them, but I counted to be on the safe side. $6,000 that I gave to her in bands and $750, seven hundred dollar bills and one fifty. I did not count the money out as I handed it to her but she was right across from me. When she was counting the money I was texting my family on whatsapp and not paying any attention to her. At the end, she said "money is missing", I took the money back and counted it and suddenly it was $6350, $400 had disappeared. I told her that it was not possible that I counted off by $400, it was hundred dollar bills and that was a huge difference and was really strange. Confused and a little irritated, I gave her another four hundred dollars. I am not the best at math, and I figured I would count all the money when I went upstairs and it must have just been an honest mistake. When I went upstairs I counted all the money and confirmed that I was short $400, so instead of having $1,250, I was down to $850. I was hesitant to mention this before the surgery, I decided I would bring it up after since the surgery was at 5 am the next morning.

I strongly considered calling the whole thing off at that point and again asked for a sign. The cardiologist came to get me and I adored her. We just really hit it off. She told me I had a murmur, which I had never known, and let me listen to it. She told me about a fellowship that she had just gotten, we just got along really well. She was very smart and competent in my opinion and although I knew that she would not be part of my surgery but she made me feel like I was making the right choice.

The next morning when Dr. Medina came in, she began to look at me, and she did not seem to be very optimistic. She began by saying she was not going to be able to do my breast. She said my hemo levels were too low because they were only 13.5. I was really surprised by this because I was at 12.9 when I went to my own primary care physician, and I began taking 325 mg of prescription iron 3 months before I went to DR. I expected the levels to be higher. I wasnt completely sold on boobs and had prayed for a sign either way so when she said no I said no problem.

I then said since we cant do boobs can we lipo the thighs. I immediately realized and said oh no that actually wont be possible because lipo causes more blood loss than a boob job. She said no it was fine we could do the lipo to the thighs. I didnt think this made a lot of sense if blood loss was an issue, but again wasnt crazy about the boobs and wanted my thighs lipoed so I agreed.

After this she started pulling on my various body parts, and said that she was not sure she could provide results I would be happy with. She said that I had a lot of loose skin, and that I would need several additional surgeries. She said that she could not lift the outer thighs at all even though there would be an extended scar. She said that she would do a fat transfer to my butt, but that she did not think it would produce very good results because I did not have a lot of fat to transfer. She indicated that the areas I identified as fat on my body were actually loose, hanging skin, and that there was not much fat for her to take. I said if we were adding my thighs we would have more than enough fat, but she again said it was mostly skin. I told her I really was concerned about dog ears, and she told me that she could not guarantee that I wouldnt have them. She suggested I return for a thigh lift, a rear lower body lift, and also a bra line lift. This was not what I wanted to hear right before surgery, but I wasnt willing to leave and waste the entire trip, so I prayed called home, and decided to trust the research I had done.

When I woke up I was surprised by the fact that my thighs didnt really hurt, and the bruising was light. I asked the Dr. when I saw her what she ultimately was able to do, and she said everything we talked about. She listed everything except the thighs. When Lauren came to refund me for the breast I asked her about the thighs (which cost another $300) because I did not think she had done them and she assured me she had. I also told her about the money and asked if she could look around the office for it because I had checked all the money I had brought and was missing $400. She said the money wasnt there and suggested I talk to Dr. Medina about it. I talked to Dr. Medina the next time I saw her and she said she didnt know what happened, she was going to get cameras.

I wasnt satisfied with that response but there wasnt much I could do about it at that point. When I went to the recovery house, I was even more skeptical of my thigh lipo. All of the other girls had huge bruises on their inner and outer thighs and complained a lot about how much they hurt. I had very light bruises and no pain. In retrospect, I should not have added thighs. There was no way if my hemo levels were too low for a boob job they were high enough for any lipo to the thighs that would have made any difference. I am not commenting based on how my thighs look, I know that after lipo they will be swollen, I am basing this opinion solely on the lack of pain and bruising to my thighs. It feels like I wasted $700 for nothing.

I want to be clear, I am happy with my tummy tuck results, but I am not pleased with my experience. When I got home and my belly button opened Dr. Medina was responsive to my questions. She told me that a stitch burst and I could fly back to have her restitch it. When I indicated that I wasnt going to be able to do that, she said that it would heal on its own eventually. She has continued to communicate with me and to check on my progress. I finally found a Dr. here that is willing to treat me and she removed the stitches for me. She also took cultures of both the belly button and the drain exit wound. She also removed the external dissolvable stitches and is going to see me again in two weeks to take out the rest. I am also looking to get another faja in a smaller size because my stomach is starting to swell and I take that to mean the faja is too big, the problem is, it is only too big in my stomach and is still super tight in my thighs.

28 Days Post Op

So I dont have much news. I am really swollen and even look somewhat deformed as you will see in my updated pics. I ordered a stage two mariae faja today in a size large. I am worried about getting my ass into it, however the fact that I am swelling like this with four pieces of lipo foam, an ab board, and my faja on the tightest setting makes me think I have to get a smaller size. I did not follow the size chart which says there is no way I will be able to get into a large, but I did confirm that the sizes within the brand are the same so large is the next size down for me, Ill let you know how it goes. It looks like my belly button is healing finally. I bought this cream from the Dr. that is taking out my stitches and it is working really well. I was using neosporin but I think this was a little too intense a wound for neosporin to work on.

If you can see the giant welp, scab, burn looking things, that is just the fact that my body hates all of the medical tape in the world and is no longer willing to ignore that I put it on and rip it off daily. I am also concerned about the folded top portion of my belly button I think that is from the tape and maybe the faja, but thought it would flatten with the ab board, maybe once I am in the baby faja?

The swelling does go into my legs and feet but usually stays in my upper body, at this point it is even in my face. My right side is way more swollen and I attribute this to the fact that this is where my drain was coming out, but I totally made that up and have no idea why. I cant believe its almost been a month. One of the girls in my recovery house said you should expect to see 50 percent of your final results a month out. I hope shes wrong because if not I seem to have gotten fat. I havent gained any weight, but I havent lost any either, I am going with positivity so Im going to opt for swollen over fat and deformed. Particularly because my body seems to be so uneven and I think fat would be distributed better. If anyone has advice on how to pour yourself into a faja it would be greatly appreciated.

I am also super super dry, it is really hard for me to adequately moisturize because it makes the tape not stick, it really doesnt seem to matter either I cant keep my skin moist, it is literally flaking when I itch it. I am showering now but I still get really tired whenever I do anything. I cant believe I used to work out 2-3 hours a day, I feel like Im losing all my muscle and stamina.

Large Faja

So I got my faja off of amazon and once again it is on the smallest hook. Getting a medium is not an option because my legs are barely fitting into this large. I am going to see if I can get it tailored to take in the middle (and maybe let out the thighs). I have been hesitant to do this because it doesnt make sense that you wont pull the stitches apart when you are pulling the faja closed but I have seen some people on here say it worked for them.

My belly button is healed and now I am focused on trying to figure out how to flatten the crease over the top of it so it doesnt become permanent. I just started a juice cleanse to try to combat the crap that I have been eating and drinking since the holidays and I am hoping that helps with the swelling. I have seen a lot of people say that they can only eat a little because of the tightness of their muscles/the faja, I am sad to report that has not been my experience. I have been going to a billion xmas parties and there is definitely a visible bulge at the bottom of my stomach but I think that this is from swelling and will hopefully disappear soon. I am figuring everything will be perfect by summer, but I am hoping that all the swelling will be gone by may so I can be super sexy by my birthday.

Four Months Out

So I know I havent been on here in a while. It felt like nobody was reading anymore so I stopped updating. I am not sure if these are my final results but I hope there is still some swelling. I have a bit of pudge at the bottom where my stomach meets my vag and I am hoping that will go down. I am down to 200 lbs but that has been a really good diet, hard exercise, and a gallon of water/day. Even if these are the final results, my stomach is a million times better than it was. I think that I may have some vertical skin because of the amount of weight I lost but I dont think I am willing to have the long vertical scar that comes along with changing that.
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon

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