The Long-Awaited Tummy Tuck! Miami, FL

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Hi everyone! It has been wonderful to get...

Hi everyone! It has been wonderful to get acquainted with all of you through reading your stories and experiences. Thank you for sharing your journeys with me, and being so honest and vulnerable! I have only been on RealSelf since February 1, but have already learned tons -- in fact, I have learned all the important questions to ask, the questions I didn't even know to ask at first. This month has been an emotional roller coaster, and I've already switched my doctor during this time.
Since I live in California, plastic surgery is very expensive. I basically thought it was out of reach for me after I had a consultation and was shocked at the quote. This was a year and a half ago, and it wasn't until recently that I started hearing about "medical vacations." I began researching Costa Rica for a tummy tuck, and was excited by the prices I was finding. Just a brief history about me --- I had twin boys at 23, delivered by c-section, and a daughter at 26 (delivered vaginally.) My belly stretched out so much with the twins that the muscles split right in half. And the c-section scar became the place where all the extra pounds collected. I am now 53, healthy ( 5'6" and 150 lbs) and teach yoga. But I've never been happy with my belly, and do all I can to camouflage it.
The more research I did, the more I got excited about flying cross-country to have my tummy tuck done in Miami. So, I will be flying back the second week of May and staying 12 days before flying home. I'm very excited and hoping for the best :) More later about my crazy sleepless nights wondering if I'd made the right decision about my doctor! Now I am very excited about the doctor I have chosen and really looking forward to coming to Miami in a few months :)

It's finally here!

I'm about to catch a night flight cross country to Miami. I'm so excited the time is here. Tomorrow morning will be my pre-op and then surgery on Tuesday. Prayers please!

Tomorrow morning bright & early!

I arrived in Miami this morning and had my pre-op. I really like Dr Careaga and his whole staff. I'm also settled into the new and very beautiful Miami Escape recovery house. I'm all ready! Tomorrow morning my surgery is at 6:30! Very excited :)

So far so good

Hi everyone! I had my surgery yesterday morning, and everything went smoothly. I arrived at 6:30 am, and had to give urine for a pregnancy test (LOL at my age!) Dr Careaga marked me up with a felt pen, then I was taken to the surgery room. The anesthesiologist started an IV, and the next thing I knew, I was waking up in the recovery room. I was comfortable, and they had a hose of hot air under the covers, keeping me toasty and warm. I ended up getting a drainless tummy tuck, which I am very happy about. I'm drinking lots of water, and getting up every couple of hours to stroll all around the house. The first time I got out of bed after sleeping for a couple of hours was very painful. But every time I walk around I can tell it is helping. I used the walker yesterday, but already don't need it today. I'm in good spirits and feeling encouraged. I will take some pics when I can. At this point, I barely got to see myself when my compression wrap was undone right before my first lymphatic massage. Looks good I think. And speaking of firsts, just had my first bowel movement. Yay! Thanks for all the prayers :)

Rough morning

I woke up in the night really nauseated. I think it was from taking the pain meds without food since I was sleepy. All morning I kept trying not to throw up, but I wasn't able to avoid it. Tried little bites of toast and yogurt but nothing would stay down. My dr was great and gave me a shot to help with the nausea. Doing better now, although I haven't taken any pain meds today because I am so afraid of getting sick again. Taking Tylenol instead.

Day six

Thought I'd better log back in and continue the saga of this journey. The nausea on day three was the hardest part for me. So after that I stopped taking all pain meds and switched to 8hr Tylenols by day and Tylenol Pm at night. And overall the pain has been manageable and not too bad.
Sleeping at night has been tricky since I have to sleep on my back with my legs and back propped up, which is not what I'm used to. Every couple of hours I get up to pee, which gives my back a break and feels good just to be moving. During the day I take laps around the house, and up and down the stairs every couple of hours which feels good too. The tightness across my belly feels so weird. I really don't like that extremely tight feeling.
I booked a 7 night stay at the Miami Escape Recovery House, which has been fabulous. Healthy delicious meals, a gorgeous house, fantastic staff, massages, transportation, etc. I'm SO glad I stayed there.
Today I moved over to a hotel at South Beach so I can experience some of Miami before flying home at the end of the week. I am looking forward to taking it easy, reading by the pool, and checking out the neighborhood as I continue recovering.
I really am doing quite well. I loved Dr Careaga's drainless tummy tuck and have been very well-cared for by his entire staff.
Today I developed a rash for some reason, so am now on a new antibiotic. I will start posting some pics so you can see the progression of this first week. Loving my results already!

Thurs May 12

Friday May 13

Sat May 14

Sunday May 15

Monday May 16

Miami Plastic Surgeon

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