Fresh Start. MY Tummy Tuck Journey - Louisiana

Ok here we go.... I am 35 years old I have 6...

Ok here we go.... I am 35 years old I have 6 children (4 by birth 2 by blessing) 5 of them are girls. AAAHHH and the youngest is a lil man. I have an amazing and supportive husband. I have a full time job and then come home, as most of us do, to my full time family job. As long as I can remember I have been on the plumper side. lol. As an adult I've tried just about every craze diet and sometimes even got skinny (which for me is 125-135). However it never "stuck". I had always been the "yea im big but im cute" kinda girl. But on 10/18/12 I decided enough was enough. I don't want to hide behind funny anymore. I want to look good in clothes and I wanted true confidence in my appearance. I started eating less calories and doing just about any physical activity I could think of. I started off with literally a few mins walking and thought I was going to die. When I could walk those few mins and not want to pass out, I increased my time. As far as food I still ate everything I normally ate, just not as much. I read it on a blog and adopted the following motto as my own "I eat everything I want, Just not as much as I want" and in a years time I lost 65 lbs. SIXTY FIVE POUNDS. Yep pretty awesome if I do say so myself. I started off in the 220 range and I'm currently in the 150-160 range. From a size 22 to an 8. I'm about 5ft 1in. I like to say 5ft 2-3 on a tall day. lol.
Now... I still want to lose about 20 more pounds but have been at a stall for a year now. Honestly I haven't given it my all and I know that but the motivation is definitely making a come back. By no means do I want to be skinny. I, me, yes me, Iiiii like a little thickness. (and so does the hubby)
Of course I would LOVE to have a BBL and get big ole bubble bootay but if I can only chose one procedure it would be the tummy tuck. Due to being so overweight for so long and multiple pregnancies I have the dreaded "apron" which means even though I'm smaller, clothes still don't fit quite right.
I look forward to researching Drs, hearing all you lovely ladies opinions, good and bad, and hope that you all remain open to hear MY experiences in this journey. I believe too often we down each other for whatever reason and I hope and wish that as a gender we learn to love and empower each other. Much love ladies.

Eat, sleep, Research

So excited to finally be moving forward in my journey. Got a savings started and a list of Doctors that I'm researching inside and out and upside down. I'm reading reviews, checking before and afters, making list of prices, getting together my questions for consults. The main things I'm looking for are scar level, realistic belly button and visible amount of lipo. I try to focus more on people who had my body shape and size before so that I keep my expectations realistic.

The Doctors I'm currently looking at are:
Dr Gill (The Woodlands). Current top runner
Dr Ortega (Miami)
Dr Basu (Houston)
Dr Salma (AdventuraFL)
Dr Newall (Houston)

Love to hear if you ladies have any input.

Mommy makeover?

So I was wondering if it was possible to have a mommy makeover but without saline? Instead using fat from lipo to inject in the breast

Out of towners?

Wondering how you wonderful ladies handled it if you Dr was out of town. Did you go for a consult or just email back and forth? How did you handle post op visits and getting drains out? Im currently looking at Dr Gill but he is nearly a 3 hour drive

Heartbroken!

feeling so defeated and crushed. after losing $2100 to a surgeon who I never got work done with I thought I had found my for sure choice. Ive worked hard, Ive lost weight and Ive put in a total of 3 years researching. I started saving up. Ive read reviews Ive done my homework and I was ready. My surgeon of choice's price range for the reviews I read ( for the same work I want) ranged from 6-8K. Not there yet but was prepared for that amount. Well I sent my pics last week and just got an email $14,558. Theres just no way I can afford that. So upset!

Updated Quote!!

I had them take off lipo to upper and lower back and they took off fat transfer to the hips. So that brought my total to 8820. Much more Do-able. My husband and I are discussing it and hoping to get scheduled for late sept. I did message them and ask how far out Dr Gill was scheduling and she said feb of 16 but they still had a few open dates in 2015. (their patient coordinator is great btw)
In the meantime Im going to try to lose more weight. I quit smoking at the beginning of the year and I put on a few lbs. Im currently at 178 and 5 foot 1ish and Id like to get down to about 155. The struggle has been REAL. For me... I don't want to be skinny. I prefer a little thicker curvier shape. but my apron and back fat are my problem areas.

Thinking Ill add a photo temporarily. Id love yalls opinion

Wish pic!!

Ok so heres a front and back of me (this image will self distruct in 5...4...3...2)

And heres my wish pic (a woman I came across on another page, she is 240 lbs I believe and wears it better than post ppl do at 140) her shape is stunning IMO and I wish I could look just like her. Without futher adue... My wish pics...

Consult DONE

Ok so this is kind of a break down on my consult with Dr Gill's office.
I contacted Dr Gills office through his website and got a reply from Mellissa pretty quick. After emailing back and forth (see previous entries on quotes) I decided that I wanted to do an in office consult. (I'm in a different state) The office we visited was fairly easy to find, its right next to a hospital. The inside of his office is very upscale, very beautiful. His staff was very friendly and had my paperwork waiting on me. The wait to be seen was less than 10 mins. Once I got to the back Mellissa came in to explain how the consult would go and if I had any questions. After asking her a few general questions, she stepped out and I changed to the plush robe and waited maybe 5 mins until Dr Gill came in the room. He explained that he would do a physical exam, and then I could point out what my concerns were then ask any questions I may have. So he pointed out to me the area that would be cut to be removed and the areas that he would perform lipo. Just an FYI I thought the flanks were located more towards your back area and that's not were he does the lipo. For Dr Gill its more of above the hip bones on your sides. He did say on surgery day to wear the panties that I plan on wearing post op and that's where he places the scar. He asked if I had any concerns and I told him that on my back (where I thought flanks were) and in the bra line. He said that he could do lipo and it would be two small incisions at the top, under where the bra strap would be and lower under where panties would be. After that he let my husband and I ask questions (which I will post along with answers after this post). I then changed then Melissa came back in and we went to her office to discuss pricing and dates. My org quote was for 8820 which breaks down to be Dr Gill 6300 OR/Anesthesia 1,970 Hospital 550 and the surgery would take about 3 hours. Now to add the lipo to the two areas on the back that brought it to about 12280, lasting 4 hours. I have until, if I'm not mistaken, preop to decide if I want to go with the smaller quote or larger one. As it stands right now I think for financial reasons its going to be the smaller quote. I went ahead an scheduled for Nov 9. He already had one scheduled that morning so I will be the 12:30 slot. My preop is about 2 weeks before surgery. I can say they did seem to work with me on dates since I would be traveling for the surgery. She explained that I would spend my first night at the hosp. He had a few options on where it could be done. I chose the hosp with the private room where my husband could stay with me. We will also be staying for 2-3 additional days in a hotel close just to be safe. I paid my deposit of 500 which comes off my over all balance. I got a folder to keep all my info in and I headed home to prepare. I gotta say I'm nervous but this has been a LONG time coming.

Questions

Will the mons area be lifted? Lipod? With a TT the mons area is lifted (no lipo)
Do you feel that you are conservative or aggressive with lipo and skin removal? He didn't specifically say either way but he did say that fat is in layers and he doesn't take out all the layers because that is what leaves women with the dimpled effect and also causes the burns. (which Im glad he doesn't)
What do you think can be done to avoid lipo burns? see above answer
How often do your patients encounter fat or skin neurosis post op? Not something he has had an issue with as long as post op care is done properly. Says he is very big on not causing any tenson to the scar post op until you are healed.
How long do you require that I stay in town post op? 1 day in hosp 2-3 in area (pending how you are doing post op)
When are drains typically removed? 10 days or so post op
Is this done in office? yes
How long of a recovery period can I expect? varies
What method do you use to close incision? Staples or Stitches? Sutures
How do you decide where the scar will be post op? He has you wear the panties you plan on wearing post op to decide where your scar will be located
How long until you can shower? 2 days
What garments are recommended post op? one will be provided
Will losing 10-15 lbs post op affect the results? You need to be as close as possible to your goal weight but he wouldn't advise more than 20 lb loss
What are my options if a revision is needed? Are there discounted prices for revisions? If a revision is needed surgeon charges will not apply
If dog ears occurs is that something that can be corrected in office? yes but he has not had this issue before
Are there any hidden costs that I should know about, such as lab work, postoperative
check-ups, additional medications? 40 lab fee from hosp at pre op OR this can be done by your primary and 3 scripts that may be covered by insurance
Do you offer any discounts? Early paid in full? Fully paid in cash? he does run different monthly schedules and a paid in cash discount
What if I reschedule the surgery for some unforeseen reason? How is that handled? First time reschedule is ok if you have to reschedule again you must pay in full first

um ok?

Apparently my wish pic, that was used for my profile pic got deleted? Anyone else having issues?

24 days EEEEKKKK

I planned to updating so much more. :( I guess I have been trying my best to keep my mind off of surgery (as hard as that is) just so I don't overthink things. I am super excited but have my days where I am anxiety ridden and scared to death.
As far as weight loss goes I've stalled out for quite a while at 178 to 183 pounds but for the past six days I'm trying low-carb and keeping my carbs per day under 60 a day. I'm down 5 pounds in six days I'm sure most of it is water weight but I'm OK with that I was hoping to go in at 160 but I don't think that's going to happen. Haven't really purchased anything yet just because I don't know what to purchase. Don't want to waste money on things I don't really need and I don't want to pack a ton of stuff since I'm going to be traveling for almost 3 hours to get to my doctor. My surgery is scheduled for 11/9 around noon I plan to leave very early that Monday morning drive out there have surgery that day stay in the hospital overnight, my husband and I will be checking in the following day to a local hotel and remain there until Friday. Then we will come back home and I believe my first post op appointment is the that first following Tuesday.
My pre-op is October 30 and I am going to ask about the Flintstone with iron vitamins that I take every morning and the Endoflex essential oil that I use three times a day, topically for hormonal imbalance. I'm really hoping he doesn't make me get off of these for obvious reasons.
Got to be honest I've been a little worried that what if I'm not small enough don't get me wrong I want to be thick (see wish pic) but with a flat tummy postop. I'm just worried that what if I haven't taken enough weight off. I hate to waste all this money. Dr. Gill assured me that I'm good but if you can't tell already I'm an over thinker.
I will try to do better updating I know how important it is to see reviews especially from the same doctor you're looking at preop

9 days pre op

So I had my last preop appointment the other day, before surgery. I went in and the surgery assistant saw me. We went over how to clean the drains out, the items that you have to refrain from taking preop and we took preop pictures. Dr. Gill came in and went over again where my markings will be and told me to wear the panties that I want to wear post op to the hospital so he can see where to place the scar. Then I went to the hospital to preregister and pay do my lab work and get my preop soap. My nurse was super friendly and spoke very highly of Dr. Gill I'm super excited. Things are getting real!!

Items purchased

Update!!!

Ok day Of surgery we left around 1 am made it to hosp 445. Checked in registered and was in the back witin an hr. I remember them coming in so many times confirming what I was having done and my medical history. Dr Gill came in and marked me up then I was given my nite nite med and was in surgery by 7am and the next I remember I briefly opened my eyes in recovery and was thinking "shut up" lol I was trying to sleep and I could hear talking. Later I woke up in my room. The day of the surgery I was more nauseous than I ever have in my life. Dry heaving the entire day, I even felt a pop. I asked Dr gill and he said it would be fine because there were several layers of stitching. For the first 24 hrs I only had small sips of water. Pain in general was 1-2.

The day (1 day po) I ate only a cracker while we tried to figure out what was making me so neaseous. It began to ease up and i was discharged around 530pm. We checked into nearby hotel and my husband ended up taking the bed off the rails so i could sit comfortably. I ate a few crackers and unseasoned chicken breast and went to sleep. These first few days my husband Always helped me up by letting me brace myself on him. My advice USE YOUR LEGS. I took antibiotics at 11 and 5 am and pm and my hubby milked and emptied and charted my drains at 9 am and pm
The next couple of days were pretty much the same.
Po day 4 we checked out our hotel and went to Dr Gill so he could do a once over. He said drains will still outputting too much and he would see me again on fri 11 dpo to take the drains out. then we left for the 3 hr drive home (expecting to stop hrly to walk) but I got car sick within 10 mins so our 3 hr drive took more like 5.
Finally home I had solid food and Im starting to feel better. I tired to include as much detail as possible but feel free to ask any ?s and I'll try to update with any thing else I remember
Oh and 6dpo finally BM I was like a proud toddler who went in the potty for the first time.

Forgot to say

Switch from pain med to tylnol day 5 po
Binder 24 hrs a day so far (directed til 3 weeks)
Walking completely hunched over (directed til 3 weeks)

Curse the binder

Ok the worse part of this entire experience has been this God Awful binder! It rolls under my back fat (bra roll) and feels like it is compressing my ribs and rubbing my sin raw!. I HATE THIS THING. That is all

Torture device

Day 8 update

Ahhhh ! So refreshing! I took a shower! Got to wash my hair. Carefully shave. And bathe. I chose to keep my binder on while I showered. After getting out the shower I took the binder off and sat while it quickly dried. All in all it went well.


Tmi warning Forgot to add earlier that first BM was 6dpo. As I stated earlier I didnt eat very much solids early on so I wasnt very worried. I did drink magnesium citraite yuk! with no luck and went ahead with the much tastier option of warm cookie and cold ice cream. Worked like a charm

Love my results bummed about pics

I just assumed the dr took picks of skin removed so I never asked. But I contacted the Drs office and no pics :( He removed 2L from Lipo and 3kg of skin which in total comes up to 9.5 lbs!

Drainless!!!

Drove into Houston for my appointment was in and out within 20 minutes love love love Dr. Gill's bedside manner. He clip the stitches, twist the drains and gently pulled them out. what a relief

Love Dr Gill

I'm so very please with the work that Dr. Gill did. My scar is very symmetrical and it's a very clean line. I'm very very pleased with outcome!
My only complaint would be that he charge $100 extra and do the garments that are full body not just the wrap around the stomach kind. This thing rolls SO bad I dread wearing it for the next four weeks and the crazy part is the compression doesn't bother me around my stomach doesn't bother me nor my scar it's simply whererolls under the back fat bra area. it's killing me.

Dr Gill pps?

2 1/2 weeks out and Im standing fairly straight and can sleep only slightly proped in my bed. I dont feel any pulling or pain (outside of bunching binder) Dr said I would probably br hunched for 6 weeks. Should I be worried?

Noooo

I tried so very hard not to get sick for weeks before surgery and following surgery. My Godsons who are 4 came to visit me and apparently their mom didn't realize they were sick so guess what, IM SICK. first day started with awful sore throat painful to swallow and that was bad but for the past three days. COUGHING COUGHING and more COUHGING,
Someone please tell me that constant coughing will not ruin my results. I have my binder on and I'm holding a pillow every time I cough and trying to cough as shallow as possible but man it hurts and it's constant!

5 mo

*** disregard the red lines across my stomach it is from my scrubs **

Well Im pretty happy with my results. As you can see my scar is low and easily coverable. I would like to note that I have not put anything on my scar and I stopped wearing my garment months ago. For me the scar was not as important as getting the huge hanging skin off. I do feel like I have slight soft dog ears but I dont feel that could have been forseen. Dr Gill has assured me that this is an easy fix. Super happy with everything and would do it again 10 times over. Cannot begin to express how happy I am with Dr Gill and his staff.

Side by side

When you feel like you're getting down I beg of you to pull up your preop pictures
Houston Plastic Surgeon

I have only had my consult so keep in mind my review is only based on that thus far. I was very pleased with my visit to Dr. Gill's office. I felt like the staff was friendly and professional. My wait time to be called to the back was less than 10 mins and the wait to see Dr. Gill less than 5. When I met with him I had a very long list of questions and I feel that he gave me adequate time to ask them. Previous to my appointment I emailed back and forth on several occasions with Melissa (Patient Coordinator) and I believe my emails were answered in a timely manner. I look forward to my journey with Dr. Gill as my Surgeon

Was this review helpful? {{ voteCountOthers + ' other' + (voteCountOthers == 1 ? '' : 's') }} found this helpful