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I'm currently 22 days away from my surgery date....

I'm currently 22 days away from my surgery date. What an overload of emotions. Long awaited, 14 yrs to be exact. I'm flying to Florida for the procedure I'm returning 6 days after to New York. With my husband in hand and family support I'm hoping for the best!! So nervous. Any words of advise?


Everything is booked and the countdown begins!!!

This all has happened so fast!! I made the decision to do this....Next thing I know, my flights are booked, reservations are booked, date and deposit confirmed and the waiting game of full anticipation and anxiety begins...

I did however, make a change. I decided not to go for it all at once since I only gave myself a week to be out there (Florida). So I'll only be doing the TT, which is fine. I can manage my tatas for a little longer. My biggest challenge has always been my gut. I just didn't feel safe being under for so long for the first time.

So cheers to the new me!!!???? I'm trying really hard to stay positive and I find that to be so challenging for me when usually, I'm so optimistic about everything. Is it normal to think so much about dying? It's so strange how life is taken for granted and when faced with something like this one begins to contemplate life, your children, family.... It's all a day at a time and I leave this journey in Gods hand. ???? Praying all goes well.

Tks for listening dolls... Xoxox

Did a little shopping...

I walked out with the store!! Gotta love Wal-Mart!!! So ready!!!

Dream Body!

Body Profile

Body profile Before

2 Weeks 2 Go

14 days on the count down... So far so good. I've been able to address a lot of questions and concerns, thanks to this amazing site and the internet. I'm feeling a lot more confident these days an I'm focusing more now on the long term benefits this will provide. Pretty exciting!!! I think I've prepared myself about as much as my brain will allow. Everyday I'm that much closer to that dream come true. That new me! That skinnier person whose been trapped inside of me for some time and I'm so ready to meet her. ;) she's waited long enough...

So with all that being said I'd like to thank everyone here who has shown support it means a great deal to me. I thank you!!

Lab Work

Hello Everyone!!

Just wanted to give my current update. I went and did my labs yesterday. CMP, CBC and EKG all of which came back normal. Everything about this TT has turned me into a worrywart. So I was very excited today to receive the news that my results were good. We are a go team!!! 6 days till my flight out to Florida and 8 days till my TT. I cry every single time I say this is actually happening. It's a long time dream of mine. I don't even know how to act. It's like all these yrs of crying over it, wanting it more then anything, wishing and praying and it's finally here! How do I except this new emotion?!?!

Any-who this is where it's at... Hyped excited and can't wait to wakeup wit this all behind me so that way my new life can begin.

Tks for listening...

My realistic wish pics

Body Profile

Body Profile

I've made it through the storm.... 2 weeks PO

Hello Friends,

I officially make two weeks tomorrow. Apologies for not updating since...

Its been very real these last two weeks. I start with the day of surgery. I was the Dr. 1st morning PT scheduled at 6 am and procedure to begin at 7 am. That morning was many things for me. It marked one of the biggest milestones in my life. All my many emotions over the last 15 years had lead me right up to this very moment. I woke up that morning thinking today is the first day of my new womanhood and I lay to rest the old me.

That morning I met my surgeon for the very first time... I was so nervous. The staff and team along with the surgeon were absolutely amazing!! I really felt confident that they had my best interest at heart and mind, which was a comforting feeling. They were all very assuring. I made a phone call home to my children, kissed my husband goodbye and I was off to the OR.

I awoke in recovery and honestly speaking, at that very moment that was all I cared about... I was blessed to see another day and start a new life as a new and improved me. Vanessa was my recovery nurse and she was so sweet. I don't remember much about waking up other then, hearing the staff of nurses talk amongst themselves. I was not in any pain. I remember them saying my husband wanted to see me... next thing I knew I was being hugged with excitement and seeing the smile on my husbands face was reassuring everything went well.

The drive home from Fort Lauderdale to Miami was okay. I was in and out a lot. Theres not much I remember about it. My husband was my rock and he made everything as easy as possible for me. His love for me truly shined at this time.

Heres a pic the morning of that journey....

1st day PO

Where do I begin... LOL!!

Day one was a blur for me. My husband can probably explain more than I can. The days following were not necessary hard, just very challenging. I didn't sleep on a hospital bed or have the luxury of a recliner. I slept on a normal bed with loads of pillows... I was made very comfortable. I had a heating pad on my back at all times because I knew the lipo of the flanks would probably hurt me more than the TT.

Next Day PO Visit

One this day I was super excited!!! This would be the day my CG/binder would come off for a sneak peek at my new body.

I was accompanied by my husband and sister in law. We arrived and the excitement in us all overwhelmed me...

Dr. Pinnella arrived and the smile on his face said it all... He began to give us details of the operation.

He was able to take off 8 pounds of fat and extra skin from my tummy. My muscles were 3 inches apart on all sides. Where he originally marked me for surgery he was able to go 3 inches higher over my belly button. He said he was shocked how badly my muscles were separated. He lipo 1 liter of fat from the flank area. The procedure is normally an 1 hr. It took him 2. He mentioned he took his time, which assured me a job well done. He also added he was very pleased with the result of my TT. He was "ecstatic" wit this work.

The Dr and I had great conversation so much the nursing staff had to come and steal him away from us... Lol!!

The big reveal left me in shock. I stood up in front of the mirror for the 1st time and cried my eyes out. I couldn't believe it was me. I couldn't believe I was finally seeing in real life what I had imagined myself to look like for 15 yrs. my husband was in total shock and yelled out "your so hot babe!!!" My sister in law was in awe. What great feedback I received. My dream came true....

1 & 2 Week PO

Some challenges were using the restroom. The meds do make you constipated so with a little help of stool softeners, when you go.....be prepared. This is when being married really came in handy for me because this was a little humiliating.... But my husband amazed me. It brought my love, respect and relationship to a new level. Lol!!! Tks for the helping hand babe!

I was only given one drain which some doctors do and I already knew before hand this was my surgeons way of doing things. I couldn't imagine another attached to me..... So my sympathies to those you have two drains. I would die!!!

If you ever had kids and experienced a c-section then the clean up and maintenance should come easy. I clean the drain area twice a day along with my belly button care to avoid infection and minimize the scaring once drains are out.

I was very active after my TT. I really didn't stay in bed much if I didn't need to. The day after my TT and day of my follow up, I went out to eat at IHOP for breakfast with my family bc I felt up to. I definitely listened to my body and do not recommend you do anything as I did. After two c-sections I am fully aware of my bodies limitations. And know when it's had enough activity.

Sleeping, I kept my surgical socks on for one full week taking them off as needed to shower only. I was sure to have my legs always elevated while in bed.

Eating was a little uncomfortable for me at first because I hadn't had a bowel movement in 3 or more days. I was fuller a lot faster and really couldn't eat.

The bloating, tightening, and pulling of my TT was and still has been the most uncomfortable thing of all. I drank lots of water and walked to get my bowels to move. Not an easy task when you feel like if you move you'd pop like a ballon. But it all worked out in the end.... Once you taper off the meds your body will go back into routine motion (Eventually).

Showering at first with assistants was difficult do to standing hunched over. Being out of breath sometimes and lack of energy at times. Do not attempt this alone. My 3rd show I did alone and was completely winded.

Some Before & Afters

Belly Button & Drain

I had 3 stitches in place. One came off on its own with cleaning it. The two that remain will come out when my drain comes out.

I will be two weeks PO tomorrow. I'm still draining over 30 cc in a 24 hour

Belly Button & Drain

I had 3 stitches in place. One came off on its own with cleaning it. The two that remain will come out when my drain comes out.

I will be two weeks PO tomorrow. I'm still draining over 30 cc in a 24 hour period so I don't know how much longer it will Elbe till it is time. I am back in NY and my cousin who is a nurse will be removing my drain when the time comes... I feel it can't come fast enough. I noticed that before when I wasn't cleaning it at all it was beginning to become bothersome a lttile infected. As soon as I started to care for it the drain has no longer been an issue for me, just annoying to lug around.

2 Week Po

Here are a few pics along with some of my likes and dislikes at the moment. My mind may change later on with some minor changes to my diet and exercise but this is where it's at for me right now....

I miss my Yoga!!!

My drain is still in.... May come out in a couple days. (Dislike)

My c-sections scares are gone!!! Yay!! (Like)

My TT scar is very low.... (Love) however, on my hips it tends to be a lot higher like a U on top of a V shape. (Dislike/hate) All my panties and bathing suits are the trending style of hipsters right along the hipbone like low rider jeans... =-/ so the scar will show. Have to find a totally different style of garments.

I may or may not get a tattoo to cover it. (On the fence)

That surgical tape stuff is still on my incision line since the next day PO visit. So I don't know how my scar is healing.... Nor have I been able to start scar therapy. Totally bummed.. I was told to let it fall off on its own. Could take a month.... (Major dislike)

My tummy is still very swollen I can feel it internally. (Normal)

The lipo to my flanks Im okay with other then one side looks more defined then the other and I have a fat roll still on my left side. (Totally dislike)

For right now these are my concerns.... Overall I love how I look in clothing and have to learn to give time, time....

Happy healing!!! Xoxo

Before & After

It's coming out!!!

Yay!! Finally got word to pull this awful drain out.... So nerves. Afraid it's gonna hurt to all holy hell!!! Ahhhhh it is really bad? Anyone??

Pics to come and maybe a lil vid?!!?!

Pray for me RS!!!

My Husband My Hero

Not so much to my surprise my nurse cousin had a busy schedule and was unable to remove my drain. I was not waiting another week for this....

I set the stage for my husband at home and we played doctor. I had seen a lot of people on YouTube removing their own drains so why not my husband and myself?!? Two educated people and myself wit a medical background, I was confident we could handle the task.

1 2 3.... Deep breath and it's out!! We both realized the pain I was feeling on my right side (upper stomach) area was the end of the drain. I'm guessing bc there was a lack of fluid the suction was inducing a soreness and a pain. All I can say is thank God it's out!!!!! I felt no pain or discomfort from the wound but major relief once it was out. Wow!! I feel amazing!!! It was that darn drain bringing me down for sure. So happy that is no longer an attachment I have to lug wit. Now I can focus on healing more....

Happy healing....

(HELP) What's Going On Wit My Flanks???

I'm about 19 days PO and I don't know if this is normal but the flank area where the lipo was done has really been causing me some serious pain.... It been like this for the last 4 or 5 days the pain is increasingly getting worse. I don't know if this is apart of the healing process but if it is, I swear to never get lipo again....

Getting up from a sitting position or laying is extremely painful. Laying back down is even worse. I know I have to keep some type of compression there so I've switched from my CG to a spanx like undergarment and anything touching the area is so painful.... I'm taking IBUprofen 400mg and thats not helping me at all...

Anyone out there having this issue? Is this normal to be getting worse after nearly 3 weeks po?

Please help me!!!!

4 week PO How Sweet It Is...


How sweet it is.... Time does heal all. Patients is a virtue...

I'm two days shy of 4 weeks po and I've never felt better, more like myself since this whole journey began. I'm walking taller, sleeping on my sides, sleeping better overall. Moving about, which includes standing, sitting and showering without assistance. I'm completely independant once again. What an amazing feeling. I'm sure not to push myself beyond any limits I feel can cause more harm than good. But I do try a little harder everyday.

What can I say to the people out there recovering... My suggestions and advice to you at 4 weeks po is; yes the internet is a great help, a wonderful tool to have at your fingertips, but please keep this one thing in mind. Everyone is different!! Take it a day at a time....even though we may experience the same systems we'll have them at different points in time in our healing process. Remember it is a process and this takes time. Everything plays a major factor to your healing. This journey has been give and take for me... you need to learn when and what your body is saying. Listen to it..... It's the most crucial thing you can do. Don't stay stagnant. Train your mind to adjust to your new body. Don't be afraid of touch. Explore your new curves, the new you. Massage your areas. You have the power to heal from the inside out. The mind is a powerful thing... Stay positive!!! Be active but be cautious. Take vitamins, drink lots of water... Eat clean and healthy that will aid in your healing. I myself Juice everyday. Have been for about a year. It does get better.... It does take time. Don't overload yourself. I know for myself as a mommy that was hard. But healing and getting the best results and bang for my buck, I had to put myself first for a change. These are my tips. I hope they help in the healing process of anyone who cares to read this. Everyday is a new learning process.

I'm so happy with my results. This still feels very out of body for me. Sometimes even alien like or frankenstein. But I could never imagine myself going back to the former me. That woman was in a lot of pain for many years do to her appearance. I'm learning to love the new me everyday and the more I do the more a piece of that old me dies. It's liberating. It's refreshing.... I'm learning to take care of me in a whole new way. What I was on the outside was a deeper reflection to how I felt on the inside and I'm slowly winning the battle. You're a lot stronger than you think my dear. Give yourself credit where credit is do... The scariest part is over. You've made it this far. Lets see how much further you can go....

Re: My "Flanks/Lipo"

Massage, massage.... I was building a lot of scar tissue. So everyday twice a day or more these areas are massaged to aid in the pain, lumps and healing. I can't tell you how much this helped me. Btw I massage with Raw African Shea Butter and Organic Coconut Oil. Read up on the benefits of both those products you'll be pretty shocked....

I switched to a stage two full body Spanx like garment. I wear it all day everyday, expect to shower. Tight enough to compress my flanks, sides and tummy but comfy enough to sleep in, move in, dress in and still feel secure.

I re-tapped my scar with Stristrips. Some areas were not done closing and I didn't want to take any chances on infection. Also I've read it aids in pressure to the incision to avoid in widening or thickening of the scar. So far I myself believe that to be true b/c the bumpiness on one side has gotten a lot smoother to the touch. I'd rather be safe then sorry later b/c I feel like being impatient just to see my scar. I have the rest of my life for that, as well as to start scar therapy. I'd rather heal thoroughly and clean without infection of inflammation.

I'm planning a trip back to Florida so I may follow up with my PS. So far so good all communication has been VIA phone or email. I'm hoping to be there for my two month F/U if not sooner.

I do have some swelling which is totally normal. Some days are better than others and some aren't. Its all part of the process. Trust it!!! No seroma... fingers crossed.

I haven't fully gotten back to normal routine like cleaning, yoga, driving ect all in due time...

Well I think i blogged a mini book here.... So happy healing and here are some pics of me at four weeks.

Officially 1 Month

The good the bad & the ugly!

5 weeks... I can't believe it's been this long already. It has gotten better. Though I am very tender and sore on my sides still. Damn lipo. I do however, see results. My body is becoming more defined. Clothes are fitting a hell of a lot nicer. The only thing that concerns me is certain items of clothing are tighter on the hips and waist then before the surgery. Maybe it's still swelling maybe my ass has gotten bigger?!?!

I still can't wear clothes that are tighter around the waistline. The extra pressure hurts and is very uncomfortable.

I recently went on a bathing suit hunt.... Every department store I can think of that sells them I was at, from Wal-mart to Macy's and every online swim suit company there is... I was lucky enough to find two bikinis I fell in love with...

1st Bikini In Yrs

I haven't been the owner of a real two piece bathing suit since I was about 14. I'm scared to even count oh long it's been....but boy this feels great! I don't look like a super model or even Barbie. Haven't started working out so only time will tell. Next on my to do list are smaller boobies!!!!

2 month PO

There is light at the end of the tunnel..... Amen!!!!

As far as an update... I waited this long bc from my last update things were slowly getting better and kinda staying the same if that makes any sense to ya. Let me tell you that I've never felt better!! I can honestly say I am 100%. It's crazy how everyday throughout this journey your health continues to better in prove. I never thought that I would be where I am today emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually.... This journey continues to shock me on a daily bases. For starters I am no longer in pain. Sleeping has become a lot better. Wayyy better but not the same. I still haven't been able to sleep on my tummy. I don't know of it's fear or discomfort. I'm 100% self dependent. I can still feel a tenderness around my incision. It reminders me to still low down at times. I remember feeling like I did way too much in the beginning of my recovery process and now I'm super picky with what I do! I leave nothing to chance! My tummy is starting to feel more normal and not so stiff like. It's very flat but I have the smallest little pooch? I don't know how to describe it. I guess this is the way a "normal" stomach is suppose to look and feel like?!?! Even though I feel 100% I haven't really gotten back into old routines, I tell ya I don't want to chance ruining anything!!! So still no working out or yoga! I really can't wait to do that! I'm taken it easy... I want the best results I can get! I'm stuck wit this body for the rest of my life I really want to show it love this time around. My scare is looking pretty damn good. Some places I can't even see it anymore standing in the mirror. The line is so thin I can't wait to see myself at 6 months. Everyday it seems I'm getting smaller and smaller, more definition then day one. Swelling has gone down a lot! I look a lot better in my bikini then I first did! I had to get rid of a lot of clothes... Lol!! They no longer fit or looked right on me anymore. I'm down about three sizes. I haven't started scar therapy bc I honesty don't know which route to go, so if you have any suggestions pls share!!!!

I'm more of a shopaholic then ever. I can't go into the mall without wanting to try everything on.... It's a liberating feeling to not feel restrictions anymore. I can stay here for days telling you how I feel. I sum it up with it's the best life altering decision I've ever made for myself. Hard as hell but the best!! Would I do it again, hell yes!!! I still take the time to massage my scar with my oils. My eating hasn't been the cleanest or the best. That is one thing I need to snap back into. I didn't come this far to fail!

I still get very swollen at the end of the day! I can look about two months pregnant. So that hasn't stopped. I no longer wear my binder but throw on a spanx every now n then. Two months and feeling fabulous!!!!

Time is key!

Where has the time gone?!?!?

4 Months & Counting


I'm shocked! It's funny how time works. It can either work with you or against you.
Coming into the 2nd month I think I begain to ignor the obvious and take a few steps back. I had overwhelmed my life and family with this surgary and I think we all needed a little mental break. I stopped knit picking at every little single thing and started to appreciate I no longer carried my own burden around anymore. Anything was better then where I was and how I felt. So here I am!! 4 months post op and truly happy with my overall appearance.

Just to touch base with you all on a few things....

1. I never made it to the gym. Still haven't not have I made it back to Yoga!

2. I now notice everything else about my body I dislike.

3. Eating habits have gone back and fourth overall still eating organic! One too many cookies lately...

3. Swelling has improved 85% no longer have those horrible "swell hell" days. More like bloating!

4. I still use my CG from time to time.

5. Still haven't stated scar therapy.

6. Still using Shea Butter and Coconut Oil.

7. Still massaging scar after every shower.

8. 90% comfortable sleeping on tummy.

9. Never made it bk to FL to f/u with surgent. I know... I know...

10. Still have some discomfort in my tummy right side where the drain layed. Whenever I'm too active it tends to pull there, I get like a burning feeling and a pulling like sensation. Don't know what that's about and if I get too swollen it hurts in that area more then anything.

I can do pretty much anything I feel within limits.... And I feel great!

July 4th weekend I wore my 1st bikini out in public and received a compliment from another mom! That was awesome!!!! The hubby and I love every new adventure this has brought! So worth the pain and discomfort! I feel so much better about who I am! I could never imagine a life like that again. Never!!!

Enjoy ladies... Keep strong!! It's worth it in the end.... Xo Ivala

Almost 6 months!!!!

Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon

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