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My goal is to have a very flat tummy that I...

My goal is to have a very flat tummy that I haven't seen since high school and before kids. No matter how much I lose or workout I can't get rid of all the gross flab in my stomach. I want to look in the mirror and not be disgusted with what I see. I want a chance to build a six pack of abs. I want a flat tummy that is attractive.

Pretty Certain that my doctor will be Dr. Mel Ortega

Pretty certain that I will be going with Dr. Ortega, from what I have seen on here and on their website, I feel very confident that he will be able to give me the results I want with my tummy tuck. I had gotten a lower price from Dr. Hasan, but after reading reviews and discovering that he is not even certified to do plastic surgery, I would be a fool to choose him. I am 99% certain my doctor will be Ortega, just wanted to see about pricing from a doctor here in Georgia to make it a little easier on me. I am so ready to pay my deposit, book my date and pay my balance. I have no fear of the pain, I am sure it will be kind of bad, but after a complete vaginal hysterectomy and 4 horrible rotator cuff surgeries, I believe I can handle anything. I just keep seeing all the beautiful reconstructed tummy's and think any pain is worth it if I can look like that. Pain is temporary, but Pride is forever. Looking forward to getting this show on the road.

Getting Impatient!! It is only because of reviews that I wait for my quote!!!

I must say I am a little frustrated, partly in myself and partly with the doctor's office. Myself because I should have just taken the time and drove to Columbus for a consultation that certainly would have taken place by now and the doctor office for it being a little over a week since I sent pictures, but still have no quote. Poor Vicki is probably wishing they would disconnect my phone because I have called almost daily. Normally I am such an impatient person that I would have gotten angry and just went elsewhere, I guess maturity really does come with age. Instead I have just continually reminded myself that he is a very busy man and that he certainly wants to help everyone, I just have to wait my turn. I am just DEAD set that HE is the ONLY one I want to do my surgery. I have seen his reviews and his work and the biggest ADVANTAGE for me is that he is only an hour and a half from my home. I am keeping fingers crossed that I get a call from Gail today the surgery coordinator with my price. Funny thing is unless it is some insane amount I am ready to pay almost half of the cost today. I just want to get this ball rolling, I am so anxious to get this over.


Well, i am now 9 days away from surgery. It seems as though the day can't come quickly enough. I am nervous, no lie there, i had a hysterectomy, but it was vaginally so I am not to sure about this whole incision thing.. I am covered in tattoos, had 4 rotator cuff surgeries and a few others, but this incision will be the ABSOLUTE biggest cut ever in my life on my body.. lol.. definitely nervous about that. I know there will be pain, ain't even fooling myself about that, but the results are going to be worth the pain for me. I have waited so long for this day to come, really never even believing that it would definitely happen. I am thankful that I found Dr. Cochran, I believe I am in good hands with him and of course God who controls all. My real concern is the down time after the surgery, i am raising a very energetic 2 year old granddaughter who commands my full attention, so it should definitely be very interesting. It is so great to see all of the women who are also being seen by Dr. Cochran, we have a little family going.. but for real thanks to everyone who answers my questions and for all the chats we all have. It is a huge decision to do this and even though we all want it, it does not make you any less nervous. Happy healing to everyone who has already gone and good luck to all those who will be going soon. I look forward to a continued support system within RS. I also love to follow the progress of everyone, nice to see how we all will evolve once we can feel comfortable in our own skin again. Peace be with you.

1 Week from Today! Trying not to be Nervous, but it's slowly creeping up on me.

1 week from today and about this time I will probably be waking up from surgery and heading to my hotel for a couple of days. I am trying not to be nervous, but I can't even lie, reading people's updates and seeing their painful stories and swelling stories I am getting very nervous. I mean I have been through some stuff, but nothing remotely close to the size that this incision will make on my body. I know I am making the right decision and I definitely want the surgery, just have to remember everyone is different and we all don't have the same experiences. Hoping those that are going through a rough recovery right now, will heal quickly and feel better soon.


The day has come, looking forward to a new me.

More Before

Ugh the nastiness and fat


Well day 1 of post op, I won't lie this is not fun. Yesterday it was bad enough I cried, but I stayed on my pain meds and did ok the rest of the day. The worst part for me is the burning I feel at my incision and drain point. I don't recall anything after my IV. My procedure took almost 3 hours. Here are a few pics, will post more when I get ready to shower.

More Pics


Today has been the worst so far. I traveled back home and that was rough. It was just way to much movement, way to soon! Then I got into a very odd position in the car and hurt myself VERY badly trying to get right. In fact, I am terrified that I tore something on the inside, is it possible to tear a stitch lose? It burns so bad with every movement, I'm really scared I messed up. Then I can't have a bowel movement, I have eat healthy stuff and I can feel I need to go, but I can't push, this is horrible. I drank a whole bottle of magnesium citrate and tomorrow I am making my hubby do an enema on me. I am miserable right now and really got to go. Ugh today is a bad day for me. Does anyone know do the stitches at our bellybutton dissolve or do they have to be removed? Also can I use a heating pad on low?


So day 5, I'm dying! My back hurts soooo bad, I caved and bought a walker today that I am hoping will help. I am also wanting to burn this binder, for one it is not made so short torso ppl and it rubs the hell out of my incision. Needless to say today has been my melting point, my breakdown day! I'm so over being helpless, over the pain, and over this binder and tube, UGH!!! GEEZ someone please tell me that better days are coming. I am so beyond frustrated right now. Did anyone ever feel a fire sensation inside when their tube was pulling stuff through it? Mine got clogged and when my daughter stripped it, a fire erupted inside my skin. I am ready for progress and to get some movement.


Did anyone ever remove their steri strips before they all lifted? My incision looks good and has scabbed, but apparently this tape is bad for my skin. It has literally ripped the skin off my body and it hurts. I'm afraid the longer it stays, the worse it will get. Does anyone know?

Week 1 Down!! Definitely LOVING MY NEW TUMMY..AND ITS ONLY 1 WEEK!!

So far it has been a week, I am so overly happy with my results and that is with all the swelling still. I am anxious to see my progression. I hate this drain and can't wait to get it out. I have some questions though..how long does the numb last in the flank areas? Is it normal for my abs and flanks to be really hard feeling? I'm thinking this is all normal just wondering? So far though, I am beyond excited about my results.


I am really worried about parts of my back and sides, they are so hard, like really hard and they are rigid with ripples... i know some of it is from this stupid binder they give you because it wrinkles up and then also where it ends at on the torso. Ugh I am so nervous that something is messed up or I have done something to mess up my recovery, all I know is that it can't stay this way. I really hope that it can be taken care of. This is rough, I just can't wait to go back and see the doctor and if all is ok with my back flank area. Please someone tell me this is expected and will get better.


I know the hardness and swelling are all normal, but ladies look at the deep ridge indentions, this is what I'm scared about. Did anyone else have these???


So yesterday marked my 2 weeks since my surgery. As far as I know i am healing normal, but will feel better when i hear from my surgeon. I have noticed some improvement in my flank area since switching to a compression garment and not using the binder. The binder just cut me in the wrong places, i didn't have the right size for my torso size if you ask me. It was helpful in the beginning, but i feel comfortable now with a compression garment, I am still wanting to get a FAJA and have ordered a couple, but can't get my butt in them. Partly I believe swelling, but also this drain is pretty horrible when it comes to finding attire to wear it with. I think i might could shimmy into one if not concerned about my drain. Either way, I am overly excited to get my stitches out, i am getting nervous, the longest i have ever had stitches is 14 days and these are going to be almost 20 as of Friday, I also want to see what my belly button looks like, it was so ugly for so long. Well I hope everyone else is doing well. Have a great day folks.



So until my last appointment I was very pleased with Dr. Cochran, but after Friday I can say that he truly pissed me off. I first had my appt. for 12, then they changed it until 11:30, on the way there they called and said can I be there at 11?? I was coming from Dallas, a 2+ hour ride which they knew. I get there and he gets pissy with me while removing my stitches because it was hurting pretty bad, I mean he was picking at the scabs and my belly button is very tender, not to mention i have a very big phobia about people touching it anyway. He looks over at my daughter and tells her to feel around and take out the rest... really?? So now I have 3 left that she has to remove and my tube also. For the amount of money I paid and the fact that I have a far drive, you would think he could be a little more friendly. He also got pissed because I didn't have on my binder, well i was frustrated from the whole stitch ordeal that I failed to tell him that his staff was the one who said I could take it off. Obviously I didn't take it upon myself to just take off the binder. He was in and out in 5 minutes and my drive was 4.5 hours +... yeah that pissed me off. I know doctors are not always the best, but considering that we paid for our surgery out of pocket with no type of insurance help, i do believe we deserve a little more time. Now i have to go back in a week after I take my drain out... next time I will drive down the night before, in case they want to play yo-yo with my time. He is an excellent doctor in terms of surgery, but he needs to work on that tude of his.


So from post op day 1 i have felt that something was very off with my drain tube. I could feel it inside me, I could feel a very painful burning sensation and when my line would clog and need to be stripped it burned like a fire was inside me... it has made me worry about having it taken out. Well last night we tried to remove it and it would NOT come out. It has adhered to something inside me. Not to mention, it hurt so bad I almost passed out on my daughter, it was the worst pain i have felt since the surgery. It burns like fire and it literally feels as though it is ripping something apart on the inside. After trying to remove it the line became bloody and has been passing a lot of bright red blood and some pretty big pieces of tissue also. I called this morning and told them I will pay them to put me to sleep, but awake I just can't do it. My fear is that is has attached itself to something on the inside and removing it is not going to be so easy. I expected some pain don't get me wrong, it has been inside me for 21 days now, but I truly believe something terrible is wrong. All I know is paying for pain meds or to be put to sleep is worth it to me. Can anyone else share with me what it was like when your tube came out? I am so scared and nervous.


So my drain is out, can I get an Amen on that one. When you get that thing out, it truly is a new turn around the bend. Not having to deal with that thing hanging everywhere and trying to dress with it was an absolute nightmare. My drain tube removal was exciting to say the least. I tried to let my daughter do it, but we were feeding off of each other's fear entirely to much, her not wanting to hurt me and me not wanting her to hurt me... in the end we totally screwed each other up. My drain was not lodged or stuck, I am just an idiot. Dr. C had it out in 2 seconds, no pain, no blood and just a quick, but odd ripple across the belly that kind of surprises you a little. He said the pain I felt was because she was pulling it just enough to make it hurt and not just snatching it out. Either way, I apologized for seeming like such a big ass titty baby and he gave me a hug. He really made me feel so much better and told me not to worry. I am guessing last week maybe he was busy or preoccupied in his mind. Either way he totally REDEEMED himself with me and I am thankful for that No more visits until 3 months. Now it is a waiting game... changes come daily, so I look forward to my continued healing process. Good luck to all those healing

Progress Photos ! It is a Marathon race, not a 50 Yard Dash! In Due time!!

I'm happy with my progress so far! Anything was an improvement over the prior way I looked. I know it will change as I heal, but I'm so happy to have the pouch gone!! Looking forward to getting back to my training and bike rides! Patience will most definitely be a virtue in this situation! Thanks to my ladies on RS for ALL your support! We are a team!


So I got 4 weeks down, going to call and see what type of activity I can resume as far as the gym goes. I had a great day for the first time in a while. The more I heal, the better I feel. So nice to actually like the way I look so much that I look forward to pictures again. Finally was able to get in my FAJA, but only lasted about 2 hours. It is still a little painful to say the least. I'm guessing I will start out slowly with wearing it. Happy Easter everyone!

Happy Easter

4 weeks down


So today marks 5 weeks post op for me. I still wear my binder everyday and sleep in it, until it pisses me off and I will take it off mid way through the night sometimes. I don't wear it because I need to, but I do notice it gives me comfort and makes me feel more secure to have it on. I also wear a compression garment daily, all day, only remove to shower. I can feel myself swell and tend to notice it more as the day goes by, worsening after lunch usually. I still sleep with my feet elevated, but have removed my back wedge and only use pillows now. I put my FAJA suit on sometimes, but that thing makes me feel faint after a while, I know I need to work my way into wearing it longer, but for now I will use my other compression garment. I have went down a size in them already, so I know I can continue to use them. My results make me extremely happy, only have one concern with my left flank.... I am hoping it continues to flatten out, as it has a lot, but I still feel there may be a need for a little more suction of some fat from that one side. It is the area circled in the pics I will post. I am happy that my boobs are a little more perkier looking. I have small breast, don't really mind it much, I am fortunate that they are on the smaller side because they haven't really sagged from having children and the tummy tuck only made them look a little better. I plan to get them done also, but will probably wait until late this year or early next year. I need to recover from this ordeal first. I am also happy with the way my scar is healing, i just need to keep the sun off of it. Anyway, I am definitely happy I had the surgery, I have not one single regret and I know I will only continue to see my results get better, especially, when I am cleared to exercise again. Happy Healing my fellow RS'rs.


So I hit my 6 week mark yesterday, and I am so glad to finally have the ban on exercise lifted. I already told my trainer and plan to go back to my training on Friday. I have already been doing some arms on my weight bench at home, but to have the official go ahead is nice, and what I have been waiting for. I am still trucking right along in my recovery, still see changes weekly, which makes me happy. I am still very concerned about my dog ears, especially the left side and believe something will need to be done to my incision on the left side also. I called yesterday and spoke with Jenny, I explained that the dog ears are quite profound and very noticeable, she asked that I wait 2 weeks and if they are still really big send her pics and they will see about correcting them sooner as opposed to later. My only issue is that they are very noticeable and I don't want to have to spend all Summer with those things sticking up on my flank area. Hopefully they will continue to flatten out, but if not, I will be getting those fixed pronto! He did such a great job, that I don't want one single thing to overshadow the rest of it. I am so excited about the Summer and a bathing suit for the first time since I have been 19 years old. Looking forward to getting back into some exercise and possibly losing a few more pounds. I am down 8 since the surgery. I am so happy I was finally able to have this surgery done for myself, it has truly been a LONG time coming. Happy healing to all my fellow RS'rs.


Well it has been almost 9 weeks since my surgery. Lots of changes, many emotions and a flat tummy I am DEFINITELY happy with my decision to have the surgery. I can't even imagine not having done at this point. I have never been sorry I did it, I just knew eventually it would heal and I would be so happy about it. I love my flat tummy, but honestly I do still have a few of the mental aspects I am working through. I keep thinking one day I will wake up and have the big flabby gut again or I look at my scar and feel as though I look like Frankenstein. I know I would have this scar any day over the gut I used to have, it just freaks me out a little if I am being honest. I have been back training for about 2 weeks now, doing some light abs, but quickly discovered my abs are not quite healed enough to do full blown ab workouts. My trainer says in due time, it will get better as I heal. I did a lot of planking with no issue and some workout with a tree and a gymnastic ring (my trainer creates the crazy, most hard exercises ever). It feels good to be back training, but trying to get that flexibility to stretch my skin is going to be some work. I feel so tight still, again, he says a slow process. The only concern I have at this moment is an area on my left flank, it is a strip of blubber that just needs to be sucked out I guess. I am hoping to get it fixed sooner than later, but will see what he says. I also have a pucker on one side that will most definitely need to be fixed. I am happy with Dr. C and what he did for me, aside from the 2 little issues, he did a GREAT job on me, I know what I looked like before and what I look like now, is a miracle. I look forward to more progress as I heal and get back into regular exercise routines. Happy healing to everyone.


So I got 12 weeks behind me now. I love my tummy, everyday I love it more and more. I just never thought this day would come and I am so happy that I was able to finally have the surgery that could return my confidence in my appearance. I still feel weird showing my belly in public due to my age, but then I stop and think, first I worked hard to lose all my weight and keep it off, second I paid a LOT of money to get my tummy back to a flat state so deserve to show it off. Either way you will always have people who look at you sideways just because they don't agree or have an opinion of their own. I am very pleased with my surgery and the outcome. I still have a very small strip that will need a little touch up as it flattens out mostly, but you can tell there was some fat left in the area that needs to be taken care of. I also have a small pucker on that same side that he will need to fix. I can honestly say anything was a huge improvement over the prior me, for that I will forever be grateful. I love my new tummy!! Now to get some boobs to go with the nice new flat tummy.


So i am a little past my 4 month post op point and STILL very much LOVING my results. I am going tomorrow to see Dr. C for my follow up and he is going to fix my flank area and the left side of my incision where it has a pucker. I have hated having to wait so long to get this done, but I had to do what they ask me too. Now I am scared because it will be done in the office with only a local pain medicine, if you want to be put to sleep it is $500... so needless to say I am not going that route, although I definitely considered it. I look back now and wonder how did I ever live with that gut for so long. I am so thankful for Dr C and his great skill. He has definitely given me a renewed sense at life and I have a confidence I have NEVER had in my life. I look forward to getting these last 2 little areas corrected once and for all. This surgery seems like such a small hurdle compared to how great it makes me now feel.


Well I reached the 10 month mark on my tummy tuck and I am pleased with the results, I would love to have my back flat so I am going to go forward with a Flankplasty. I wanted to lose the weight on my own, but ultimately I don't believe I can get my back flat without having the additional procedure. I love having a flat tummy, and some nice taut muscles. My breast are healing nicely and I love the new girls. My only regret is that I didn't go bigger at the time. I really wish I would have went bigger, but at the end of the day a 36 DDD is I guess big enough, I don't want back issues from having big breast. It is so nice though to have breast and to have a body that is more proportioned as a whole. Either way it goes, I love my tummy and my new breast. Anxiously awaiting to hear how soon I can schedule my flankplasty.

COLUMBUS GA *** COLUMBUS GA **** DR COCHRAN IS MY DOCTOR OF CHOICE!!!!!!!!. Dr. Cochran is my doctor of choice and I can't get this location thing to change which is super aggravating, but he is in COLUMBUS GA!!! I have enjoyed dealing with his entire staff and enjoyed my chat with him. I am 9 days away from my procedure and will update more after the fact. At this point, I believe myself to be in great hands and feel totally comfortable with my doctor of choice.

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