Finally Putting Me First! - Tampa, FL **** 1yr update***

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*Treatment results may vary

I had my first consultation with Dr. Jaime Perez...

I had my first consultation with Dr. Jaime Perez today... I am very happy I found him. After much internet research, I was compelled to make the appointment based on his before and after gallery. For me, its all about the belly buttons and hour glass figure. He made me feel even more comfortable by making sure that this is something that I wanted to do for me and not someone else. I have yet to set a date, since I have to get the time approved at work first but I am hoping for March. I can't wait and I am so glad I found Real Self.

Questions and Dates...

Need to set a date, but want to talk to the Boss about vacation in person so I have to wait until next week when he is at the office. I am hoping to do my surgery April 17. Now that I have a date, even though its not confirmed at work or with Dr. Perez, it still seems more definite. I have been thinking about this for so long!!

Thanks to this site I have also realized that I really don't know much. Yes, I have done a ton of research, but there is still so much to learn! I also did not take advantage of the consultation I had, yes I asked a few questions but I should have gone better prepared. Oh well, I will call Dr. P and Victoria and get my questions answered. I am just happy with how I feel about Dr. P. The more I research, the more I feel that he is the choice for me.

Pre-Op pictures

While reading others blogs and looking at pics, hubby said OK, lets see where you are at. Here are two of the nastiness!

Stats and wishes

So here is a little about me.

*36 yrs old
*3 beautiful kids that are almost 13, 11, 8. All full term, tiny babies (two at 5lbs and one at almost 7lbs). I gained anywhere from 30-50lbs during my pregnancies which I really did not lose much afterwards
*5'1 and current weigh 154lbs, I wear a size 13 pant, 10 dress, and M-L shirt
*Highest weight 185lbs after my 3rd baby, then went down to 174lbs
*Lost 20lbs 2 yrs ago, and since I have yo-yo'd with the same 5-10lbs

This picture is my wish picture, and it is also me! When I was 21-22 yrs old and living the life in college before hubby and babies. I was at around 125lbs and wore a size 7/8 pant, 6 dress, and S-M shirt. I know that I will not be back there again but would love to get as close as possible.


So looking at Dr. P's gallery, I think that this belly is comparable to mine. I would be very please with results like hers!

Another wish pic...

I already have the booty and working on slimming the thighs and toning the arms. Just need to get rid of the belly!

OMG!!! So excited!!

My boss approved my time off and I have paid my deposit and secured my date! The next two months need to fly.

Pre-op necesities

So in reading/stalking everyone's stories I see that a lot of ladies are giving these long lists of vitamins and extra things that they need to take/buy prior to surgery. I asked my patient coordinator and she said that I need not worry about anything. That I would get a list of what I needed to do during my pre-op consultation 2 weeks prior to surgery and that they would provide me with prescriptions and the garment I would need besides that I would not really need much. I do want to do as my PS says, he has great results, but I also want to be prepared!!! Aggghhh I don't know what to do.

Pre-Op done... So close!

I had my pre-op today! I can't believe my surgery is only two weeks away!!! I feel so unprepared. Have not bought anything really, just a couple of yoga pants and some anti inflammatory. I will most definitely get on the ball this weekend and next. I really need to purchase a recliner, I just don't want to shell out a bunch of money after paying $8900 for my surgery! ANY recommendations you can give me are welcomed.

Oh BTW, naked mug shots are not fun. LOL


Yay!!! I finally found a good recliner at a great price!! Only paid $35. So happy, it was one of the things I was stressing over.

Blood work

Blood work, is done! My doctor should receive the results in 2-3 days. I am not worried about anything, but it will be nice to have this last hurdle taken care of. I can't believe my surgery is next week!!! I am so excited.


So the price I paid for my surgery includes a faja, which I really like, but I am thinking I should get another one. Similar to the one in the link except that the shorts are to the knees and its black. I can either buy a second one for $100 from the PS or get it myself... My question is, should I get it before the surgery or wait until after some recovery has happened? I do want a second one for washing purposes and I would like one that has shorter shorts so that I can continue to use after recovery under short dresses, but at $100 I don't want to get one that I wont use afterwards.

Counting the days...

OMG, the day is almost here!!!! AHHHH.... Luckily my sister in law had 2 of her fajas from when she had her tummy tuck and she let me borrow them. So glad I don't have to buy more. I have bought a few more things. Got some new panties that are not grannie panties, a grannie PJ with a robe for after my surgery and a few more essentials like cotton, gauze, hydrogen peroxide, magnesium citrate.

I need your prayers for this time to go by quickly, safe surgery and even quicker healing!

Flat side

I made it and I'm in pain. And whenever I get up I throw up!!! Not having fun.

Po day 1

Had a hard night with lots of vomiting and pain. Had my first follow up today and doc is happy with my results so far. I know that it's wrinkled but I expected that in order to have a smaller incision.


I can't believe I got struck with three drains. And one of them is a real pain. Oh well. Doctor knows best. I can't wait until all of this recovery is done and the results are visible. I want all this pain and money I spent to be worth it.


Two liters of fat were sucked out of my belly and back. Even with all of the swelling I already have, I can feel my shape.


So the surgery pain in manageable, but my headaches are killer!!! Last night while I was trying to sleep I could actually hear and feel my blood pumping in my head. I usually have headaches because I have bad vision and work at a computer all day, but this is ridiculous!!!

I am still very hunched but not as much. It is worst when I get up from being in the recliner for a while and gets better after a few laps around the house. I tire very easily and start hurting if I walk too much, but I am making sure that I am moving.

PO day 3

Feeling better. Standing a little straighter. Saw my ps this morning ahead of schedule. Had a slight fever last night and he wanted to make sure everything was ok. Said it was probably from not breathing in deep enough. Finally had a bm and am getting ready to take my first shower. Have a happy Easter and quick healing to all!


I am worried that all that in the front is fat and skin and not just swelling. I am happy with every where else but the very front of my tummy right below my new BB. I feel like I still have a pooch. Feeling a bit disappointed today. IF it were just swelling then I should see some flatness at some point like in the morning when the swelling is down. Instead I feel like I have a slab of meat sewn on me that doesn't even feel like part of my body! :(

PO Day 4

Had another follow up with my PS today and had one drain removed! Yay but holy fuck did that hurt! At least that pain doesn't last long but that plus motion sickness from my car ride left me feeling light headed. I saw Dr. P's partner today and voiced my concerns about my belly. She said that it was swelling, and gave me some foam pads to help with the compression. Also said that my "cookie box" (that is what Dr. P calls it. LOL) is very swollen too and gave me a pad for it too. I have only seen it in pictures and in the mirror since my belly still overhangs.


So this recovery has been harder than I expected. I really did expect to be more at my normal activity level by now. Instead I walk hunched and get tired/in pain of walking so quickly. I had 1 bm two days ago, but not since then. Taking mom now so hopefully that will improve quickly. I also started taking calendula pills to help with the swelling. So ready for these two drains to be out. I feel that I will be able to do more once they are out! Any advice is greatly appreciated. Especially with the swelling.


My stupid drains are out. One did not hurt, it was that weird sensation that a snake was writhing inside my skin. But the second, that snake was on fire!!

Still so swollen...

Took my garment down to adjust my foam pads and all I can see is fat!!! I hope that it is swelling. Dr P did say today that if it is a fat area he will revise it. Excuse my cookie box!! Lol. I said I was not going to post any pics with it showing but hey. When it's the only pic you have.


Finally took a shower without drains and it was a much better experience. I did not shiver uncontrollably afterwards like my previous showers and I was able to reach more places today. Still swollen and hunched but just a little bit better than yesterday. Last night I also walked around the neighborhood which is the longest I have walked and am planning a grocery trip for tomorrow. I need to seriously get moving since I go back to work on Monday. Praying for quick healing for all!!

A pic is worth a thousand words

Incision, swelling, bruising. OUCH. I had foam pads in my garment to help with the swelling and they did but it got to the point that it was painful so I took them out.

Swell hell!!

I wish I could see my cookie box when I look down. :( that was one of the things I was really looking forward to! This is normal swelling for me. I have to seen my self flat yet.

Feeling discouraged

Just the incision

If I look at just the incision it is what I expected. My PS and I talked about pleating to get a smaller scar. When I look past the incision is when I get disappointed. Why can't I have a reasonably looking tummy? I went to a good doctor and paid lots of money. It's not like I bargain shopped and went with any Joe blow off the street. And is it me, or does my new BB too low?

The swelling process

I choose to view this swelling as the cocoon phase from being a fat little caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly!


Feeling accomplished today. I actually cooked all three meals for my family. The husband is gone for a little guy fun in Orlando and I am alone with the kids. They are a great help with cleaning up and even had the boys put on my compression stockings since I can't get those on by myself. Now we are doing a late night movie marathon singing along to Frozen. Thanking God for a normal day!! Have a blessed weekend and happy/speedy healing to all.


Today's word is perspective. I can't compare myself to others. I need to compare myself to myself!! Here are some side by side comparisons of myself in jeans the day before surgery and today 10 days PO. If I only look at these I am happy! I am looking better today, just a smidge less swollen. Also some pics just in undies and a camisole.


First day back at work and I feel miserable!! Waaaahhh I want to go home and lay in my recliner with my feet up!

2nd day at work..

Was actually worse than the first! Yesterday I lasted all day. yes I was uncomfortable and very swollen but not too big of a deal. today I got a really sharp pain on my right hip that just would not go away. So I came home, took everything off and rested for a little while. Took my Percocet and it has started to kick in so I feel good. Tomorrow morning I have a follow up appointment so we will see what the doctor says. Looking about the same as the last few days.


Been playing with my before and after pics...

2 weeks

Had my two week appointment today. Will be truly two weeks tomorrow. Doctor said that everything is looking great. I am down to 146.4 from 154.6 from my first consultation. He also took out the stitches from my belly button and the sides where he did the incision for the lipo

This morning I noticed less swelling on my left side and am standing a little straighter.

Happy healing to all!


So I am at two weeks and a little bit of an issue. I have a hole in my incision that keeps bleeding. It started yesterday afternoon. I keep putting gauze on it but it's like a small drip of really deep red blood.

In other news, I am now using a marble in my belly button to make sure that it's not too closed up. Since it is so low and in my tattoo it almost looks like I don't have one. Lol.

PO day 15

Went to see the doc about the bleeding this morning. He said that it is a hematoma caused by the blood thinner they gave me during surgery and it not have drained while I had my drains in. As soon as the little spot in my incision opened it found a place to come out. I just have to let it continue to bleed until it is done. Otherwise I am looking great. I noticed that I was slimmer this morning. I am so happy. I am even wearing jeans for the first time today and feel human. I am also wearing a shirt that used to be tight on me and now it is loose!! Happy girl today.

My progress to date...


Put in a tighter faja today and the end result is a swollen upper tummy and painful back! Going back to the old one for at least another week. I have not had a swollen upper belly at all until today. :(

Small victories...

Today I am keeping my small victories in mind. 1) Yesterday I was finally able to shave my legs! 2) Today I was able to put on my prom dress!! Mind you, I was only able to zip it up to by bra strap area since my back is much wider that it was 17 yrs ago and although the dress is a 3/4, the material is stretchy allowing room for my wider hips but hey... I still put that sucker on. Bahahaha...My new goal is to be able to zip it up all the way. So as soon as I can I am going to hit the gym. Blessed Sunday to everyone and happy healing.

Swell hell!!

I am really swollen and uncomfortable today!! I can't wait for the work day to be done but I have to take the kids to karate once I get home! :(

Keeping positive

Yesterday I was so over this whole thing!!! You don't realize how painful, uncomfortable or long this recovery process is. No matter how many kids you have had and how quickly you bounced back, this is NOT the same! I thought, sure I'll have surgery and after 2 weeks if recovery I will be back to my old self. Yeah. I DONT THINK SO! Now that I'm done ranting, fitting in my jeans and having extra space that used to be filled with fat makes it so worth it! I am still waiting to see the final outcome to declare the whole thing a success or not.


I ordered a cute little purple swimsuit from Victorias Secret, that is on back order until June. So, while I wait I decided to try on some old swimsuits that I had laying around. Since my scar is concentrated to my pubic area I can wear string bikinis!

PO day 21

Today makes three weeks since my surgery. I am not in love with my results not am I completely disappointed. I am better than I was before I started this journey but I am still waiting to see the ends results. I have a pooch that has gone down, a big crease on my left side and I am pretty sure I will need revision work on the scar area on the left since this but seems to be more than just swelling.


Comparing day 1 to day 21

Now that I am home I can really sit down and compare my pictures. I have been taking a pic from each view everyday since the first of the month. I only wish I had started doing this from day 1 and that I had also taken pics of my back but those are too hard! LOl... At least I managed to get frontal pictures through out the beginning. So here is a comparison of day 1and day 21 post operation. The changes are definitely very visible, even with all of the room for improvement. Along with the crease on my left side I have an indentation from the foam pad I put in my garment to help smooth it out. What do you TT sisters think?

Trying on clothes..

Trying on clothes that I have not been able to wear in years lifts my spirits. I have a few things that I have hung on to for sentimental reasons or just forgot I had. I think Victoria and I can become friends again!

Happy Mother's Day to all!!

Most of us here do this because our beautiful kids destroyed our bodies!!! So be proud of your tiger stripes and your back to me scars!!! Have a wonderful Mother's Day.

Almost at 4 weeks...

Things have not really changed much since last week. As of Sunday, I have not taken any pain medication. I was taking just Tylenol during the day and my Percocet at night before bed. But I have stopped that now. On Saturday I went to Disney with the family and over did it a little. We went around 2pm and stayed until 9pm. and I paid for it the next day with really sore abs and swelling.

Happy healing!


Went to the pool today and wore a bikini. Stayed in the shade but took a pic in the sunshine. I am a work in progress and loving me more everyday. Happy healing!


Lil stitch

I had a stitch poking out. Found it this weekend and a lil spot that was oozing some puss. Went to the ps today and both stitches were removed. Didn't really feel anything but a weird tugging sensation. Was told that it is normal for it to happen.

5 weeks PO...

Tomorrow marks my 5 weeks post op and I have been feeling a bit discouraged. This recovery has taken so long and there is still so much more to go!!! :'(

My results so far have been an improvement over where I was before this journey, but not where I expected to be. I guess I read too many flower and sunshine reviews, where everything went quickly and bellies were flat, with thin and almost invisible scars. AND I feel that I am stuck with an ugly, puckered belly, that still sticks out a bit. Also, where my pleat extends to my hip my muscles are bunched and hurt. Can't wait for that to smooth out!

My PS did say that I will get a gold star for most improved. :) but I don't just want most improved, I also want flat and pretty. At least what discourages me can be hidden under a bikini, so the only ones that see it are the hubby and I. On a positive note, I did kind of see my Vajayjay this evening while looking down. Which is a first for me in a long time.

Hour glass

Not much has changed in the last few days except that I have not been wearing my cg since Thursday and I love it! My doc told me not to wear it for a week before my next appointment sine we are going to the official after pics in his office. It feels weird at times but my muscles are very thankful. The bunching I had on the left side is basically gone, still a little sore there. The bunching I have on the right, the one that leads to my pleat, is still pretty bad and it hurts but I have seen a little improvement.

Week 6

Today marks a mile stone in my recovery. Week 6...

Yes things are getting better: My waist is smaller, I am going to start back at exercising, I am eating healthier, and I am losing weight.

Some things I am still unhappy about: I am still not flat, I have a very large pleat/fold that has not improved, I still have pain. The pain is not unbearable but quite annoying most of the time and it doesn't let me sleep some days.

I am looking forward to the next milestone at 3 months! Pic is a collage of a week by week comparison.


Went shopping for shorts for the first time this year and I had the best experience since I can remember. It has been years since I have actually smiled while in a fitting room. I am now from a juniors size 13 to a 9!!! I don't like to wear "ladies" pants because I refuse to wear "mom" jeans. LOL


So annoyed and a little disappointed with my results so far when I am naked!

8 weeks

Well... I am semi-happy. I am happy with clothes on not so much with them off. I am getting flatter but the flatter I get the more I see the pockets of fat that I still have.

A view that I have not seen in a while!

At the pool today. Actually looking down my body and seeing all of my body parts that used to be hidden by my big fat belly!! Also wearing my new VS swimsuit, even though you can't see much of it.

Comparison of my left side

You can see the improvement to my fold and to my swelling. I am starting to see flatness.

Visit with the doc

Had an appointment today. We discussed my concerns and he said that we will wait until we are closer to the one year mark and see. I am still healing and losing weight. If needed/wanted he will do it at no charge. All I would have to pay for is the anesthicialogist. Since I am considering lipo to the tighs and arms it can all be done at the same time.

3 months

It has been three months since my surgery and nothing has really changed since my last update. I am still happy with my clothes on and not so much with my clothes off. Just waiting for the time to get my revision. The only thing that I really need to decide is if I want to do lipo on my thighs and arms at the same time, since I will be paying for the anesthesiologist anyways. I am concentrating on losing a little more weight and getting more toned. I am seeing less cellulite on my thighs which is a good thing.

Current weight: 141lbs, - weight at the day of surgery: 157lbs = total weight loss after surgery, 16 lbs

Comparison in jeans

Not sure if the first picture is in the same pair but the last three are the same jeans. It is nice to see there is a difference. and that my working out is helping. When you look at pictures just naked it is hard to notice minute differences because there is no reference point. I am glad that I occasionally do the jeans pictures. Will remember to keep doing them, if I don't alter these jeans that is. LOL

Almost a year later

Well. I am still at 141lbs. I still have my fat pockets. I am still loving my new shape in clothes and not so much naked. I have scheduled my revision surgery for May 6th. I can't wait to actually be completely flat, but I am not looking forward to the recovery process again. I will post a pic on my actual 1 yr anniversary and keep you guys in the loop!

1 year later

Here is a picture comparing my 1 month post op to 1 year post op. Not much has changed, so you can see why I want/need a revision. Hopefully it will be right after this surgery. 2 1/2 weeks and counting! Shit... I need to prepare. I have not gotten anything except some Bromelain.

Link to my revision review
Tampa Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Perez has a wonderful attitude and is very skilled!

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