Considering the insane amount of time I've spent...
Considering the insane amount of time I've spent on RS reading about everyone's journey, and finding it not only insightful but also very relateable. I've decided to document my own journey, in hopes that my experience will help someone else down the line.
Yesterday I had my consultation with Dr. Cortes, and everything went well, actually better than expected. I've read a lot of good reviews on him, as well as some not so good. In all, the good outweighed the bad and I made the call to schedule my consultation.
Dr. Cortes and his staff were all really nice, I didn't get a bad vibe from anyone. During my consultation he answered all of my questions and was pretty straight forward about what to expect. Luckily I had already done my research, and had watched his videos on youtube. Therefore most of the questions I had come up with prior to my consultation had already been answered. He did inform me that I must gain 10 pounds before surgery, because presently I do not have enough fat for a BBL. He explained that the fat from my stomach (which is a lot) will only be enough for my hips, which he says will need 250cc each. The rest of the fat will be taken from my upper/lower back and flanks, and isn't enough to build a decent booty. I'll need 750cc… per cheek! I specifically asked that he not take anything from my thighs, as I have what are referred to as "bird legs". lol Additionally he mentioned that I would need a tummy tuck in the future.
We also went over post surgery. Dr. Cortes keeps his patients in the hospital over night and discharge the next morning. He said that I could stay longer if necessary when I expressed a need for a recovery house or a home care nurse referral. The 1st night hospital stay is included in your total cost which is $500, and additional nights are reduced. He said that the first 3 days will be the hardest, but by the third day I should be better... at least enough to care for myself. So I did ask that he put me down for 2 nights at the hospital.
My quote came out to $11,400. This includes everything!! Labs, post op (3) visits, compression garments, prescriptions, foam boards, the thing to sit on, and $350 for the extra night in the hospital. I hope I didn't leave anything out. I don't have my paperwork from today nearby. And yes... I sealed the deal and scheduled my appointment. I asked when was the soonest I could schedule, and was told as soon as I can gain 10 pounds. I initially planned to wait until the holidays were over (plenty of time and opportunity for weight gaining), as in the beginning of January. But I was informed that the first available January appointment was the 11th. Unfortunately the 6 weeks of recovery time needed to feel normal again would overlap my February birthday, so that wasn't favorable. Luckily there was a December 28th available. I had no qualms about forgoing New Years in light of my birthday! So I put down a deposit of $500 to lock in my date.
Okay so... 30% of the remaining balance is duewithin the next 30 days. After that... the balance must be paid in full 2 weeks before the surgery date.
A little bit about me... I am 36yo. I'm 5'6 and to date I weigh 140 pounds. I have a small frame and my weight distribution is all upper body. I have very long legs, which means my torso is short. I don't work out, but have been able to keep my weight from getting too out of hand by watching what I eat. Up until the last 4 years I have been a runner. I ran track in school and as I got older I would run to keep lean... imagine a body like roadrunner... lol. I have only one kid, and no intentions of having anymore. Additionally my pregnancy was many years ago (19) by c-section. C-section recovery in no joke... hence why I'm in no rush for a tummy tuck.
I Want "THAT" Body
If I had my way… these are the curves I'd like to have!!
I fully understand that no PS is a magician, not even mine. You must
start off with a good canvas in order to get that work of art. So I'm
going into this process with an open mind and realistic expectations.
I went in for my consultation I told Dr. Cortes that I didn't have a
wish pic because I'm not sure what my "canvas" is capable of. I can't
base my body off anyone else's but my own. I did tell him to do his
thing. I've seen enough of his work to trust that I'm on the right path
to get the body I want.
I added pictures of my current situation. I'd like...
I added pictures of my current situation. I'd like to see those back rolls… Gone! My Buddha belly must go too. Saggy pancake booty… adios mf!
Yesterday I received an email from Dr. Cortes office including my BBL package. This package covers everything:
- Explaining the procedure
- Post Op Instructions
- Post Op Expectations
- Emergency Room Insurance
And last but not least a lengthy contract, stating in detail, that you understand all of this and agree to this procedure being done.
Lastly… I went a head and applied for the Care Credit. I initially planned to put the procedure on a credit card but wasn't too thrilled about the idea of having a maxed out card. So I opted for more credit. Please be aware that the Care Credit does not cover the entire balance ($11,400) it only covers the Dr fees less your deposit. This means that you must still pay out of pocket for your hospital stay and anesthesiologist. So I'll be paying the $2,225 cash. And the $8,600 will go to Care Credit where I can make payments. The application was quick and easy.
So once I finish going over, and signing my contract I'll send that in by Monday and let them know I plan to cover my dr. fees with the Care Credit, and by the 1st of December I'll take care of the hospital fees.
Operation weight gain is still in effect. I think mentally I understand why I have to do this, but years of being weight conscious makes it feel like taking steps backwards. That and it's just uncomfortable.
Week Three Update
So it's been about 3 weeks since I've committed to the weight gain for my BBL, and I guess it's coming along. The scale doesn't seem to be moving much, but I can certainly feel the difference in my clothes. Either way… I still have 5 weeks to go with 2 holidays that fall within that time frame where over eating is just what you do. I've been eating junk like there's no tomorrow, and I now get these smoothies from Smothie King called "The Hulk". The small is about 900 calories and it contains butter pecan ice cream and weight gain blend. Very delicious!
So since my last update I've completed and returned my signed contract to Dr. Cortes, and by the next business day I received another email. This email confirmed my surgery date and time, scheduled my 2 pre-op appointments, and scheduled my first post-op appointment. For my pre-op appointments one is at Dr. Cortes office and the other at the hospital. Also I received more instructions for surgery day… no smoking 2 weeks prior to surgery… no nail polish… no birth control… etc. The no nail polish seemed weird at first, but upon further googling I found that if your oxygen levels drop, your fingernails would turn blue; signaling it to the PS, but this would be hidden wearing nail polish. Understood! No Nail Polish. From what I understand… if you are a smoker many PS will refuse to do your surgery because of the additional risks. So if you are a smoker… this is a great incentive to kick the habit. I was a smoker and finally decided to quit in August before even deciding to do this surgery. I quit by switching to vaping. Vaping ultimately helped me kick my habit. At my consultation I asked if my vaping would be an issue for my surgery since technically it's not smoking. The answer was yes. I vape 3mg nicotine… the nicotine in my system will have an adverse effect with anesthesia and recovery. So after my decision to proceed with surgery… I decided I didn't want to stop vaping all together… so I switched to 0mg nicotine. The switch was easy peasy! And FYI… before surgery you WILL be tested for nicotine. And of course… if nicotine is found in your system this will result in your sx date being rescheduled.
Ok so… by pre-op appointments everything must be paid in full. The hospital fees may be paid when I go for my appointment. So far I haven't payed anything aside of my deposit. I'm still debating if I really want to use Care Credit or not. Yes there is a no interest promotional option… which is 6 months, 12 months or 24 months. But… if you don't adhere to that payment plan interest for the total procedure cost will be added on retroactively. Meaning if you get to the end and decide to slack off on your payments you will be charged for interest on the total balance in which you charged to your Care Credit card. And interest is like 26% (it might be a little more). That's definitely something to think about.
I started myself on Hema-Plex (twice a day) this week. It's supposed to help build up your blood so that you don't have any issues for surgery. It's chocked full of vitamins and iron. I decided to take these because any blood work I've had in the past always comes back saying I am anemic. Since I am aware of this it would behoove me to address this issue before hand. I don't have any other known issues, and I certainly don't want my sx date pushed back. It's bad enough that this 2 months feels like the longest 2 months ever. I can't imagine the angst of having to wait even longer.
BTW… none of the paperwork work I received mentioned me needing to build up my blood, but reading many of your RS reviews lead me to believe that I needed to prepare for this.
Lastly… I'm starting to buy stuff for life after surgery. Everything I've read has me anxious and nervous about what to expect on the other side (post op). So far I brought 1 thing… I got a chair from Bed Bath & Beyond "Multi-Position Relaxer Zero Gravity Chair. This chair is really comfortable. You can sit upright or recline with your feet up. My hubby is going to make the adjustments (cutting out the seat for my ass) to my chair after surgery. I love my chair now, I just hope I love it as much after surgery. Next on my list is a hand massager.
I really hope everyone has a very Happy Thanksgiving… and if you're in the same "must gain weight" boat as me… EAT!!!
Week Six Update
So I am now 6 weeks into my journey, and I am 2 weeks from my surgery date. Please believe this has been a journey in itself already.
I have tried to update my review at least 3 times on the RS IOS app, and that has been unsuccessful. Because for whatever reason, the app waits until I have typed out my novel for the day and am actually proof reading before posting when it decides to crash and delete my post. At which point I just say "eff it" and go on with my day.
I am happy to announce that I have gained the recommended 10 pounds I needed in order get the BBL instead of implants. At consultation I weighed 144 and was advised to gain 10 more pounds, which was a lot harder than I thought. No, it's not difficult to pig out and be lazy, but mentally it can be straining. Because you are on this path for the "Perfect Body", but what you're doing to your body seems counterproductive (to say the least). Your clothes don't fit,and when you look in the mirror you dislike what you see more so now than when you started.
I literally have a handful of fat outfits. You know the stretchy elastic waistbands and lose fitting tops. Everything else is just too tight, or its too form fitting. I really just want to stay home in my pajamas until my surgery... but I can't. I have to go out and face the world.
I will say that i am lucky. I have an awesome support system... my hubby. He's not only the junk food supplier, as he makes sure I have all the cookies, and junk a girl could ever want but he also knows how to make me feel sexy and desirable when i don't like what i see in the mirror. And for that I am grateful to have.
The last thing I wanted to mention about the weight gain is that the first couple of weeks seemed like I was being Punk'd. Because every time I stepped on the scale the numbers went down instead of up. I weighed in at 141 before the calories finally started to stick. And I think the reason for that was because at consultation I was bloated and constipated. I have never really been "regular". So when I began taking vitamins (which I haven't done in all my adult life) they made me go everyday, sometimes twice a day. So if you are anything like me and preparing for this surgery, please hang in there.
Well tomorrow is my pre-op at Dr. Cortes and at the hospital. Almost everything has been paid, and as of tomorrow I will be 100% paid in full.
Pre Ops Completed
On Tuesday I had my pre-op appointments. The first appointment was at Dr. Cortes office where I met with Cindy. She is Dr. Cortes' nurse and she is awesome. Cindy is the point of contact for anything that comes up before and after surgery. Additionally she is more readily available. She sat with me and answered all my questions. She explained that she would be my go to for whatever I may need. I left feeling as though I were in good hands. The total time I was there was 1 hour. She sat and talked with me for close to 30 minutes, and she also took my before pics. The pre op went great!! I received my instructions for surgery day, my prescription was called in at my local CVS, and I was also provided with the arnica pills to start 2 days prior to surgery.
Side Note - So I'm standing there in front of the blue wall in my bra and panties, in all of my 154 pound glory taking before pictures… why oh why is it that I find myself still trying to suck in my gut??? I realized I was doing it during my consultation too. It's such an involuntary act, like breathing. I had to consciously tell myself to let it go, let it all hang out. But it was like my body said "No! Girl we are not gonna let you look crazy out here."
Something else I wanted to mention. At this point I have been to Dr. Cortes office 3 times (1st-consultation, 2nd-payment, 3rd-pre op) and I have received outstanding service and minimal wait times. Consultation - I was in and out 1hr and 15 minutes. Payment - was maybe 30 minutes because I was chatting it up with Ashley. Pre Op - was 1hr. Additionally I noticed that I never see any "patients". I have only seen people there on my first visit. And even then I completed my paperwork and was called to the back before any of the ladies that were in the waiting room when I arrived. Could it be that I had lowered expectations based on the RS reviews I've read? Will this service change after I become post op? I certainly hope not… but I'll be sure to write about it in the event it does. This just goes to show that everyone's experience is different. Yes reviews help, but in the end your experience may or may not be like mine and so forth.
Anyhow after I finished my appointment I headed over to the hospital. When you get there you have to register and then pay the hospital and anesthesia fees. The lady that was getting me registered was super sweet and told me verbatim "you have the best doctor in Houston for BBLs, this is his niche, this is what he does". She went on to say that he does more BBLs than anything else and that I won't be disappointed. Knowing that this lady is not on Dr. C's payroll, she didn't have anything to gain from reassuring me that I chose the right dr. for my surgery.
After registration, and signing yet another contract signing away all my rights. Because you are informed of all of the scary things that could possibly happen to you: burns, imperfections, infections, scarring, seromas, necrosis, lumps, sagging skin, oh yeah blood transfusions and death. Etc. I didn't name but a few of the problems that could arise. Face it… we all know the risks involved and sign on the dotted line anyway. Shyt Just Got Real!
I completed my hospital appointment which entailed a blood test. They test for anemia. Hope I pass!! I told you before that I always come up for being anemic. I received my instructions for surgery day… no eating or drinking the night before, wash with the special soap (provided by the hospital) the night before and the morning of. They also answered more questions. Then I was on my way. That appointment start to finish 1hr and 15 minutes. And again… everyone was very nice and helpful. I don't have any complaints.
At this point everyone has been paid in full. I did use my Credit Care and my monthly payment amounts were setup through Dr. C's office. My first payment is due on the 1st. So really I only paid for hospital fees outta pocket and the dr. and anesthesia fees are Care Credit. Yes, the anesthesia has a separate payment through Care Credit as well.
I have been holding out on buying anything except my chair. That's because you are provided with everything you need from antibacterial wash to compression garments. I realized that some doctors charge more, but also include more. It takes the guess work out of the whole process. I was even advised, when I asked Cindy what to buy, nothing is needed except make sure I have Gatorade. I won't be changing any of my dressings because she will change and clean at my post op. I'm not to remove myself.
I'm buzzed right now. I had dinner and a few glasses of red wine. And now it's time for bed. Oh yeah, I asked about alcohol and was told no alcohol 2 days before surgery. That works for me. I like my cocktails! And to have to be without them for too long… is uncivilized!
I'll write again before surgery. I still have about 12 days to go. If you plan to see Dr. Cortes and have any questions. Please don't hesitate to ask. I'll answer to the best of my ability!
28 Dec 2016
Day of treatment
I have been planning for this day for 2 months, and it is finally here!! I'm soo nervous... and starving!!
I'm too nervous to write anything right now. And this app has already crashed on me once and erased my post. I'm not in the mood for this.
I'll update as soon as I can. Wish me luck or say a prayer for me please.
28 Dec 2016
Day of treatment
Surgery was a success today!! And surprisingly I feel pretty good for what my body endured today.
I woke up extra early to shower with the antibacterial soap, prep my bed with chux pads, and download a few movies to my iPad before kissing my hubby and doggy good bye. I hopped in the car and headed to mom's house to pick her up since she was to stay at the hospital with me.
I arrived at the hospital at 4:40am. I front door opened at 4:50am. We came inside. 10 minutes later I checked in at the front desk. Then went to give a urine sample. After that I went to the out patient surgery area. Was there maybe 15 minutes before I was called to the back. I was weighed (157 final weight) and answered a few health questions. I was then told to change into my gown and compression stockings. I was given these santtizing while to go over my body with. Surprisingly they were nice and warm. Even the sheets were warm and felt great. I remember a time you didn't get anything warm at the hospital and lucky if you didn't turn into a popsicle.
After that the nurse and anesthesiologist came back. That was for iv, vitals and more questions. Then came Dr. Cortes. He marked me up and then I didn't see him again for while.
I said bye to mom and was whisked away to the operating room. They gave me some kind of a sedative into my IV. And before I know anything I was waking up in recovery. Everything happened so fast. I got my surgery at 6:30am and was done in 3 hours.
I'm gonna finish part two… after surgery tomorrow. My vision is a little blurry and it makes it more difficult to write.
Bye for Now!!
It's NYE and I am ending day 3.
I wanted to finish my surgery day entry, but I'm not really up to it. However, as soon as I am I will finish telling about my surgery day.
Day 1 post op I got discharged from the hospital and was very ready to come home. I paid extra to stay another night. But staying another night is really nothing more than a room in the hospital. They don't "care" for you. You are pretty much on your own. So I came home.
Day 2 post op I was home alone, and then my mom came because I needed her. I had to "drop off the kids" and panicked. She came over and helped removed one side of the bottom compression garment slowly. Making sure I was still okay as she did. Finally I was free on one side. We pulled out the foams and we both looked quizzically at one another. What should I do now. I had been peeing in a cup up until this point. WTF?? I briefly considered the cup thought and decided against it. Mom suggested I sit on it backwards and part my buttcheeks but I wasn't ready for all that. My body was still very stiff, and my butt was very hard. I ended up lifting the seat and sitting on the edge of the bowl using my thighs. That actually worked out. I got it out and then used almost half a pack of wipes trying to get clean. Just know that your butt cheeks are big and fat and literally swollen shut. At the end of day 2 I had hubby home. I had been staying in the living since returning home. I had not been upstairs. So I told him I was ready to be in my room. The trip of the stairs really tired me out and winded me. But I got to my room and slept in my bed.
A few things I wanna mention
The first few days are gonna be the hardest!!! I've asked myself a million times why did I do this. The biggest thing is that you cannot get comfortable and you cannot position you body on a comfortable way. I have wanted to curl up in fetal position badly. But I know that I can't.
I had really bad blurry vision. I wouldn't even get on my phone because I couldn't see anything. I couldn't read text. Everything was a blurry mess. It was scary. That was a side effect from the nausea patch I received from the hospital and wore behind my ear. I finally took it off on day 2. I had my vision back by day 3.
That's all for now. I'm gonna upload some pics. I don't know if you will be able to tell from the pics but my butt is so freaking big. Like uncomfortable big.
Tomorrow is day 4… and I can't wait to feel even better than I did today!
First Post Op
Day 6… I just wanted to update with pictures. I haven't been updating like I wanted. This process has been a lot harder than I thought it would be. I went to my first post op appointment. I had the drain removed and stuffed into my compression garment that feels 10 sizes too small. The worse part was removal of the tape. It felt like my skin was being ripped off. That actually made me cry. The next part was the stuffing of me into a garment that is way too small. My ass looks like it's gonna pop not to mention my vag is swollen too! I haven't slept well in a week. Spirits are low today.
I have finally been able to remove and put on my compression garment on by myself. I'm so happy to be able to be independent again. Although it has been nice being dressed and bathed by my hubby, it's to be able to do it on your on time too!!
Here are some day 11 pics. Everything is shaping up nicely. And overall I am loving my new shape. Butt still feels like basketballs. Tummy is tightening and small, but with wearing a tee and foams under compression garment is very lumpy looking and full of indentations.
I plan on starting massages this week to help alleviate that.
Also this week is my 2 week post op. I'll get my stitches out and I'll be able to start driving too. Instead of using the bbl "pillow" I get from Dr. Cortes office I ordered the booty buddy and have received it. So I'll be driving myself to my appointment!
I have been cooped up in this house for what seems like eternity and I'm ready to get out of the house!!
Oh yeah… and last but not least my measurements:
Measurements before weight gain for bbl:
Victory is Mine
Just a quick post!!
Today I decided I was ready to go from my XL compression garment to the L… and I did it! All by myself at that!!
It wasn't easy, and it wasn't pretty. There was a lot of grunting, pulling, and sweating involved. But I did it. Victory is Mine!!!
Tomorrow makes 2 weeks since my surgery, and I also go for my 2 week post op.
I will finally have my sutures removed, and can begin using my Booty Buddy to sit and drive. I may or may not go to a smaller compression garment. I'll keep you posted on the outcome of that.
Still loving my new body, however now I'm anxious to workout for toning purposes. Currently I'm not crazy about the way my tummy looks… although it is definitely an improvement from where I began. There's still room for improvement.
To date my tummy is quite lumpy, but I attribute that to the compression garment and the foams. Right after surgery our bodies are like clay and ready to be molded. Our bodies are also very tender which makes it harder to put our bodies through more "torture". Especially in the beginning!
Even in the smaller compression garment I still don't feel like I'm getting enough compression on my tummy. So now I think I'm ready to start wearing a waist trainer. I'm considering the Ann Chery 2021 3 Hooks Classic Latex Waist Trainer Cincher. Has anyone tried it and know if it's worth the price or if there is better? Any help would be appreciated!!
Today I went in for my second post op appointment. This time I got to see Dr. Cortes. This is my first time seeing him since my surgery. It was definitely a pleasant surprise.
He looked me over and said that I was healing well and that everything looked really good. He also noticed the puffiness in my tummy and the creasing in my back from the compression garment. I explained that the compression garment is ill fitting because it's too long for me. My torso is really short and when I put on the garment, it can't help but to slide down and gather at my waist. Thus creating a space for my skin to create a crease.
He gave me a few shots in my tummy for the inflammation and said that it will help my tummy get flatter and also put me in a corset. Then Cindy removed my stitches and sent me on my way!
I'm both happy and surprised that I was told I didn't have to wear the compression garment any more. I was concerned about the creasing being caused by it. Which if you look at my pics are the rolls on my left and right sides. It's not fat. Because I've noticed some days when I removed the garment they weren't there, and others they were. At least true for the left side, I noticed it wasn't always there. However on the right, I have a tendency to lean toward my right creating a crease. Not to mention moving around and getting "comfortable" is a lot easier out of it.
I ended up leaving today feeling great and forgetting to ask my questions. So I called back and inquired about massages, alcohol, and sex.
Yes… I can begin massage only on my back and abdomen, and was given contacts for two locations to choose from.
Yes… I can drink alcohol. As long as all medication has been completed, I am cleared to drink.
And YES… I can have sex! I was told to keep off my butt and no butt smacking. So… doggie and cowgirl is allowed!
Last but not least… driving was not bad at all. The hardest part was getting into the car and getting situated. I had to put the seat down as far as it would go and put my pillow in. The pillow kept sliding back but once I got in and sat on it I put a throw pillow behind my back. I put my seatbelt on and felt pretty secure. Not much moving around after that. My butt didn't touch anything!