It's been a long time coming!

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I've been looking into tummy tucks a little over...

I've been looking into tummy tucks a little over 13 yrs now. I decided that this year will be it. So far my coordinator (Lizbeth with Spectrum Aesthetics) has answered all my questions and I feel comfortable with my decision. Now that I made my $500 deposit I feel like a kid waiting on Christmas day.

Assistance for life - Miami

Originally I was dealing with Yania with New Life Cosmetics. That office was complete chaos, and literally I have yet to hear back from her. As if she was the only one able to help me. At that time my decision was with Dr. Llorente. After much thought and reading reviews I changed my mind and went with Dr. Ortega. I will be staying with Karla with Assistance for life. She is so nice and makes me feel super comfortable. Although I live in Florida, I booked 3 night's with her. I prefer to go at this with someone who experiences what I will be going through on a regular basis. I'm super nervous, scared but overall extremely excited for this life altering experience.

Achievable- Wish Picture

I know with weight training, squats and eating right I can have this look. I have a nice size booty (lol) and thick enough thighs. My set back is my stomach.

Stepped on the scale and was shocked!

I've noticed I've been looking quite plump in my pictures but obviously I haven't paid to much attention to it because I feel the most comfortable /confident with my body. Weird huh?! Anyways, it's time to shed 10-15lbs by July!! Lehhhhgo

21 year's of stretch marks and a lovely c-section scar that my skin hangs over.

The best motivation for me was making my appointment. To know that this is really going to happen OMG! I would never in a million year's post what I've been tucking, dodging and hiding had I not booked my appointment. My first outfit will be a high waisted skirt, belly showing and cute top. :)

Pain pump

Does anyone know if Dr. Ortega provides a pain pump after a tummy tuck procedure?

Fitness journey

It's been 2 weeks so far and I'm feeling pretty good about my weight loss. My coordinator Lizbeth told me that Dr. Ortega said at 5'9 and 170 lbs, I'd be happier with the results. So I started eating lighter and dedicated a minimum of 10-13 miles of walking on the treadmill per week. I'll post a picture when I reach 172lbs :)

Blood test

I went to LabCorp this morning to have my blood work done. I wasn't weighed and I'm hoping everything was done correctly. I peed in a cup and had 3 tubes the of blood drawn. On the paperwork it says I need a clearance as well. I've called Spectrum several times today and I can't get anyone to assure me of anything. Can anyone that has worked with Mel Ortega enlighten me?
I appreciate it.


Would it be ok to fly on the fourth day after a tummy tuck procedure.
The flight is for 1 hour verses a 4.5 hour drive. I've been reading a
lot about blood clots and it concerns me. I purchased my flight months
ago but now I'm thinking if that was a good idea. As my surgery gets
closer it's harder for me to get answers from my coordinator.

Survival kit

I'm missing Slippers, granny panties, elastic band to hold my drains and maybe something else... Hmmm

Prescriptions filled

My caregiver Karla dropped off my prescriptions and that was a big help. I picked them up today, paid $73.00 for all 4 prescriptions. (pain meds, anti nausea, muscle relaxers and antibiotics) Tomorrow is the BIG day. Needles to say I am nervous and super excited at the same time. I felt this day would never come. My appointment is at 8am and nothing to eat or drink after 10p.m tonight. I passed by Spectrum a few hour's ago looking for a nail salon, so now I know exactly where it's at. Can you believe that 8 out of 10 nail shops are closed on Sundays.. Ugh Miami sucks if you ask me. Anyways that's a whole other issue cuz I have a lot to say about it. My hotel is nice though. :-)

The day of surgery.

Everything happened so fast. I had a paper that I had written down all my questions on so I wouldn't forget with my nervousness /excitement. Dr. Ortega came in and answered all my questions. He drew on my side and tummy. Before I knew it I was heading towards the operating room. I laid on my back while they injected some kinda of sleepy stuff into my IV and then took deep breathes on the breathing mask. I had to tell the anesthesiologist that I couldn't breath and the mask was blocking my nostrils. After that brief convo, all I can remember was being put into a van and driven for what felt like forever (35 min or so) to the recovery house Assistance For Life.

One week post

Wow, this has been a struggle. I'm taking my recovery day by day and no longer comparing myself to other's. Everyone heels differently. Every day gets a lil easier. I still have shortness of breath and cringe everytime I need to get up from sitting down. Ugh, it feels as if my drains are ripping my skin. I wanted to share some pictures with my realself sister's.



It seems as if I've developed an infection on my left drain site. From the picture's that I've sent Dr. Ortega to look at he suggested that I clean the area with hibiclens antiseptic and to not be scared to get in there.

Hibiclens antiseptic

Just one day later I can see a significant difference. I hope this will help someone before they actually need it. Clean, clean and clean...

Incision bleeding

After the shower today I noticed blood drops coming through the tape. That area is very swollen, not sure if I should be worried. The bleeding stopped and I put hibiclens antiseptic on it. Yeah me!! Not :-/

Hot mess

So today I'm noticing a more of a brown color coming from my drains. The M. A for Ortega said to email her a picture once my "grenade" gathers more fluid. (I just emptied it at 25cc. Next my belly button is still red and I'm not sure about the drainage site.


I'm so depressed :(

Drain removal

So this morning I woke up and the stitch on my left drain had torn. The drain is not draining enough fluid and I felt as if it was time for the drain to come out. I watched several video's on drain removal, popped a percocet and decided after many should I should I not moment's to just remove the drain. It was causing more damage. The drain and the stitch began rubbing on my skin causing it to become more irritated. So here we go. I took a deep breath and as I exhaled I had my partner pull the drain out. It didn't hurt, it was more uncomfortable and pressure. You can feel the tube hopping over thing's in your stomach. The drains criss cross over one another, left drain is on your right etc. (I discovered that as my drains was pulled) ... Ugh

Left drain site infection (update)

Removing the drain was the best thing I could of done. The hole is almost closed and the infection is working it's way out. The area is very sore and as I continue to clean it somewhat aggressively. The only thing I worry about is it not healing fast enough because it's covered.


I'm here getting my right drain removed. I've been here for 1 1/2 hrs and so far I haven't seen the Dr. I can hear them performing a surgery in the room right next to mine. I hear the drill, suctioning (I think that's where Ortega is) it sounds like a party, everyone is taking and the music is super loud. I want to record a video but there's "friendly reminders" everywhere saying it's illegal to record in FL without their consent. All I gotta say is wow!! You can literally hear everything! Smh And as a matter of fact, I just heard Ortega's voice in there. So unprofessional, why have me here? I still need to drive 4 1/2 hrs home!!

New infection

I went to Spectrum today. Ortega removed the last of the surgical tape which was on the incision line right about my pubic area. I just got out the shower and I felt the stitch underneath. I'm so worried...

Must haves

These Curad pads are everything! I bought them at Walmart yesterday for $2.??. No more tape and cutting gauze. And they size is perfect. I've been cleaning the 3 infected areas with Dial soap, peroxide and then the Bacitracin.


I can now see that I'm finally healing. The infections are slowly but surely going away. The culture came back on the swab from my midsection. Ortega was treating me for a staph infection and I was given Bactrim 800/160mg. Turns out it's something else (too long of a name) but the new Antibiotic is Ciprofloxacin 500mg. It's horrible, it makes me loopy for a few min but doing it's job. Not quite at 100% straight but getting there.

Back to work

Out of no where I started standing straight. Although I'm a bit hunched over after sitting or when I get out the car. I can sleep on either side (finally) :) Still sore but it's going away. My infections have gone away just waiting on the holes to close and heal. I bought this amazing faja but since it's so tight it makes my wounds bleed, so I'll start back on it once they are closed. I'll post pictures later. Happy healing sisters. <3

Almost there

My wounds are closing up :)... I'm still swollen on my right mid section, not extremely mainly on my pubic area.

Belly button

Not to thrilled with my belly button and I'm not sure how long the "training" takes for it to permanently stay in. I've decided to start using a marble (my order should be here by next week) because I'm not to happy with the silicone ear plugs.

Belly button training.

This is what I'm talking about! Perfect depth, size and roundness. I'm not sure how long I will have to do this for it to permanently stay this way. Does anyone know?

Hi haters.. Waving

At first I wanted to close my account when I found out my 2 nosey coworkers Jessica and Toya were on here looking at all my pictures and following my every move. I decided to keep it up because this is my journey, progress, happiness and dream. I never mentioned my surgery nor have I discussed it with them. As you 2 continue to look and talk, type in dentist, gynecologist and plastic surgeon BOTH of you can be happy like me if you focus on YOU. Big smile :-D

Swollen pubic area

To the ladies that have had a tummy tuck procedure. How long did it take for the swelling on your pubic area (if any?) to go down.
When I look down, the right side on my pubic area is swollen and sore to the touch. Any feed back?

Craving the gym.

I feel like the pounds are spreading throughout my body. Lol I spent a while resting letting my body heal, along with having a major sweet tooth. Throughout my whole experience it feels so good to show my tummy. My right side is a bit swollen but all in due time thing's will get right. My incision is low and I'm very happy. Enjoy your Sat sister's.

Craving the gym.

These were supposed to be connected to the previous post.

Pain towards the top (center of chest)

I have such soreness in the middle of my chest. Is this normal? It's in the upper mid section just below my breast. It feels as if I've been kicked in the chest,almost as if it's extremely bruised. It's really bad at night when I'm changing sleep positions.

Results are looking good.

I'm heading back to the gym today. Yeah!! I love how my stomach is looking. I swear I have abs and haven't even started working out yet! WATCH OUT NOW... LOL :)

Bloating with extreme pain.

Is this part of the healing process? I've been in pain for 2 days now. I can't walk straight either because my stomach hurts really bad. It hurts when I pee because when I sit it puts pressure on my butt. I bought a enema yesterday and it didn't seem to work because I'm not backed up, just bloated with a lot of gas. It doesn't come out freely. I'm not sure what to do. Any suggestions?
Miami Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Ortega is a awesome surgeon. I think he's a tummy tuck specialist. BUT if he had better organization, follow up care and professional coordinators, he'd be the Ultimate!

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
3 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
4 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
1 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
2 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
1 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
1 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
3 out of 5 stars Payment process
2 out of 5 stars Wait times
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