My take on things the third time around:
I am writing this review on my way home from Santo Domingo, seating in Dallas waiting for my connecting flight home. This is going to be long, so please excuse any typos.
Procedures done - thigh lift, upper back lift, fat injection to lips, minor lipo (not much fat left anywhere), touch-ups to hips and butt, just filling in dents and any additional projection possible with the little fat the doctor could harvest.
I was nervous going in this time, I don't why, but I was a little bit afraid. To make matters worse, my sister told me she had a dream where I went to DR for surgery but did not come back alive, nobody could say what had happened to me and my husband and kids were crying. She did not know of my plans for another surgery, she knew I had already done my round 2 revision, she concluded it was just another bad dream because I was done with surgery as far as she knew. When I told my 9 year old, I was getting surgery, he said " but mummy, you could die". So you can imagine my misgivings going back this time around, I was actually praying that my hemo would be low or the Cardiologist would not clear me for surgery, I would have just turned my trip to a mini vacation. I decided that if I was going to do it, it had to be now, because by the new year, I would be starting a new job and moving across country with my kids, this is virtually the last time I can leave them with their dad for the next two years. So I decided to just have faith that I would be okay and go for it, be as safe as possible. I prepared myself physically and mentally, I got to DR on Sunday December 7th, though my surgery was for Tuesday December 9th, I didn't want to take any chances with blood clots, since I was going to get cut in the leg. I met with Cabral on Monday and it went pretty well, I explained what I wanted and he marked me up. I specifically told him I wanted the cut for the back lift to be along the 2 sides of my body running from breast down towards the hip bone because I wanted him to take away some excess skin from the breast area which would result in my nipples being properly centred. I didn't want the traditional bra line back lift. By the time I was doing my lab work, I met only one other girl, I was given the impression by Cabral's assistants that we were only two, both when I booked and when I arrived in DR. I was happy that I would either be the first or second which was okay. You can imagine my shock on the next day when I show up for surgery to realise that we were 5!!! I was not comfortable with this at all. Now in hindsight, I wish I had moved my surgery to the next day. I was neither 1st nor 2nd because all of us had done labs the day before all hoping to be 1st for surgery. My markings had gone off when I took a shower and Dr Cabral had to come and mark me again, he was in between surgeries and was so much in a hurry, ladies that is a recipe for disaster and I should have run. He marked me up differently from the day before, I assumed he was still doing what we had agreed when he held all of my excess skin together, but that is not what happened. I still asked to see him again before I took the blue pill, because I just felt like he had left something out, but he also rushed in and out of my room. I finally took the blue pill and was taken in for surgery, I was asleep during surgery but may have woken up 1 or 2 times in between. After surgery, I was so happy to be alive that I wasn't bothered by my results, I was happy that this is the last elective surgery I would ever do.
I stayed for 2 nights in CIPLA, I noticed a big improvement from the last time I was there. My room was big and spacious with clean sheets, I got a pillow and blanket, the only negative was that I had a regular bed not a hospital bed. The nurses were a lot more attentive came in regularly to check my IV, give medications, empty the catheter and check if I was bleeding or staining myself. I had someone from my RH stay with me all through the 2 days. Post-op care from DR Cabral's team also improved; the day after surgery, they came in, cleaned me up, put me in my t-shirt and panties, no faja yet since I wasn't leaving till the next day, got me out of bed, the sheets were changed, my room was cleaned. They made sure I was comfortable before they left. When they put me in my faja the next day, they padded my incisions and told me not to let the RH staff touch it, they would do the cleaning themselves at my post-op. During my two post-op visits they cleaned me and cleaned my incisions and put the antibiotic powder. I was not cleared for massages and I haven't be cleared to move to 2nd stage faja yet. Recovery has been way easier than the last 2 rounds, I haven't taken any pain meds since I left CIPLA and I have been more mobile than I thought I would be with the thigh lift. I could even manage without the wheel chair assistant at the airport.
What do I think of my results:
I cannot say right now. I love, love DR Cabral, I love what he has done on my body, with my last revision but I am not happy this time; DR Cabral did not do what I wanted on my back. Yes he did the vertical thigh lift I asked for but for my back, I have a scar running from my breast lift scar high up towards the middle of my back on the 2 sides. Remember I said initially I wanted the scar by the 2 sides of my body, that is not what he did. I understand he wanted to reuse the existing scar from my breast lift and his previous attempt on a mini back lift, but that was not what I asked for, this is exactly the procedure he did during my last surgery but it did not take care of the excess skin. This is my 2nd time paying for a back lift, that is why I wanted it done differently. If he had told me during consultation that it would be better to go through the back and not the sides, then I would have gone for the full bra line back lift which would have given me a smoother back than what I have right now. I would have preferred for the scar to be across my full back and low enough to be covered by my bra strap instead of high up on my back. Did he get rid of the excess skin? yes he did but not all of it. Why am I upset then? When you start this journey, you already decide on the scars you want or do not want on your body, I don't like that decision to be made for me by someone else without my agreeing to it. Moreover the incision I wanted would have fixed 3 issues: excess skin on back, arm pit and sides of breast. Now I have a somewhat smoother back, excess skin under my arm pit and breasts that my nipples are not centred on. Not that my breasts are not beautiful, don't get me wrong. Did I talk to him about it? No I did not because I hadn't seen my back in a mirror without my faja till this morning when I was getting dressed to leave. All the times I have been changed has been in his office and there are no mirrors in those rooms. I had an idea where my incisions were but wanted to be sure, see them for myself before saying anything. Will I talk to him about it? What's the point? I'm not going back to DR for surgery ever again, I've made that promise to myself and my loved ones who were all scarred out of their minds this time around, I won't put myself or them through that again. I refuse to spend any more money in pursuit of beauty and vanity, total spent on surgery fees alone to date is $19,900 (Round 1 $6,700; Round 2; $9,700; Round 3 $3,500), excludes flight, accommodation, supplies and incidentals. I'm done, they won't get my money again.
Do I look good? Yes I do, my belly looks a lot flatter (if that is possible, it was already flat before), I had additional lipo on upper belly, upper back, knees and back of thighs. I have the silhouette I always wanted, my waist looks a bit more defined now that the excess skin has been taken from my flanks and back. My knees no longer knock together and my thighs don't slap each other and make their own music when I walk. By the time I start proper compression, I'm sure everything will come together nicely. I hope my hips even out, I filled out a dent on one side and it is now bigger than the other one. I look like Donald the duck with my swollen upper lip, which is way bigger than my lower lip which I think should have also been injected with fat, I hope a lot of the fat re-absorbs. My nose looks a bit crooked (I seem to be the only one that sees it though) and one nostril is slightly bigger than the other. I took selfies at different angles and had a good laugh at my own freak show. Next time when something is not broken, I will definitely have the wisdom not to fix it.
After all said and done my verdict is that we are just a number and dollar sign to the doctors out there, no matter how much they pretend to care. They are swamped with the number of surgeries they do daily especially Cabral and Yily. Monday and Tuesday almost all the ladies doing labs were either Cabral or Yily with 1 or 2 for Duran, who has actually cut back on her no of surgeries per day. How can you do all those many surgeries everyday and not make mistakes? aren't they human? They still get off work whenever they are done and respond to ladies sending pics and requesting for quotes, wow! When would they rest and prepare for the next day? So being the first for surgery might actually be risky cos they may still be drowsy from sleep or not at their best yet, but by the 2nd or 3rd surgery, the caffeine or whatever keeps them going from day to day would have kicked in. I actually hail DR Baez who has stuck to 1 surgery per day and 2 on Tuesdays and Thursdays no matter how alluring the dollar signs are.
That is it from me ladies, pictures will follow later when I'm up to it. To all post-op dolls: happy healing & speedy recovery, to all the ladies getting surgery soon: I wish you a successful outcome, be safe & prepared (there is nothing like perfection, your doctor is human and can make mistakes) and for the ladies starting their journeys: good luck, be wise in your choice of doctor and procedure, learn from the mistakes of those that have gone before you.