Ready, Willing, and Able - but VERY Nervous!

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I am 37 years old, 5'9 and 194lbs. I have had one...

I am 37 years old, 5'9 and 194lbs. I have had one c-section.

I just beginning my journey.... I have thought of doing this for many years, but I am finally at the point that I know I want to do this. I am very comfortable with my size (as I have been a big girl all my life), I would just like to be rid of this kanga pouch. I do not like the way it looks in clothes, and I have the way I look naked! Bless my hubby for loving me just the way I am and for being so supportive.

I have my very first consultation scheduled with Dr. Bruno in West Hollywood on January 20th. Curious what he will say and what the whole experience will be.

I am also very interested in Dr. Carmina Cardenas. Initially, my friend mentioned that she was having her procedure done in Tijuana and I was very hesitant, but after reading many reviews and articles, I am open to it. I really like the idea of staying at a recovery house, plus from all of the pics I have seen, she does an AMAZING tt. I have my consultation with Dr. C scheduled for January 25th. Any advice, tips, suggestions on traveling to TJ would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks and best wishes to everyone!


I had my consultation with Dr. Bruno on January 20th. His office is beautiful and his staff (Mary and Marisol) were very friendly and welcoming. Initially, they were unable to locate my appointment, but told me not to worry, they would take care of it. I completed some personal information onto an iPad (they are a paperless office), then sat and waited for Dr. Bruno. He was about 40min. late, but was quick to apologize for that. He proceeded to take his time to discuss my needs and concerns in full detail. He never tried to upsell me or talk me into procedures that I did not go in for, as a matter of fact, I asked him about lip on my inner-thighs and he said it really wasn't necessary, that my legs were fine and that the skin there was thin, so it could dimple. I appreciated his honesty. His calm professional demeanor put me and my husband at ease. He seemed to be everything I would want in a PS. We then met with his Marisol, his Patient Care Coordinator, she was such a sweetheart. She provided us with our quote and answered more of my questions, even sharing her personal enhancements. Then we were on on way, never pushy, never any type of urgency to book that moment. She did not call me or harass me right away, she gave me space then politely called me to see if I had any questions.

After meeting with Dr. Bruno, my Husband and I decided that as interested as I was in Dr. Cardenas, we were going stay local. For me, it relieved a lot of the extra anxiety I was feeling. So with that being said, I cancelled my consult with Dr. Carmina Cardenas. I think I would have loved her if she were in the US.

As much as we loved Dr. Bruno, I felt like I needed to meet with another PS. I booked my consultation with Dr. Kenneth Hughes for January 25th. After reading all the reviews, I felt that he was someone that was comparable. I was mistaken. There were many differences. They had a radio station tent out in the front blasting music and promoting their business with lines like "come and get a body like Kim Kardshian". When I checked in, they asked me for my DL which I provided, yet for some reason, they still misspelled my name on my chart. Once I was taken to the exam room, I had to wait approx. 25min. for Dr. Hughes. I found him to be friendly, but not warm. The consult was short and sweet. He did not have me change into a gown, just stand and drop my cloths. After we discussed what I was interested in, he suggested additional lipo and a possible thigh lift. We were then introduced to Heidi who provided us with our verbal quote (she never provided anything to us in writing), then suggested that we make a decision soon as the calendar was getting full fast. I thanked her for her time and let her know that we would let her know.

For me, when comparing the two on my first impression and "gut" feeling, Dr. Bruno was superior. This is not to say that I do not believe that Dr. Hughes does not do good work, I just feel like overall, I feel like Dr. Bruno is a better fit for me. I am excited that one stood out more than the other, so that there is no room for confusion, but no I am getting nervous. I really want to move forward and do this, but I am so worried about everything. What could go wrong, results, etc.

Any suggestions or advice would be much appreciated!

Before Pix...

I am booked!!!

So after thinking everything over, I am very happy and comfortable with my decision to go with Dr. Bruno. I phoned Marisol this morning and scheduled my surgery date for February 4th. Eeeeeek!

PO Appt. & PO Bestie-

I have my pre-op appointment tomorrow. Not really sure what to expect, other than blood work.

I also purchased my PO bestie - a walker! I hear that this is really helpful the first few days, so I am hoping it will be. Still trying to determine if I should make the investment in a recliner or not. Any suggestions, thoughts, tips, etc. are greatly appreciated! I cannot tell you how happy I am to have found RS. To be able to talk to people who understand how I feel is amazing. THANK YOU!

It's surgery day!!!

It's 5:30am and I am on my way to the surgery center. Hoping and praying that all goes well!

Day 2 Post Op

I was nervous going in, but don't remember a thing after they started my IV. I was in pain when I woke up. Got home and had some soup and took meds. Dr. Bruno called me last night to check in on me. Today I am feeling okay, not great, but not horrible. I am starting to swell and the bruising is starting. The pain meds are definitely helping and my hubby is the best nurse ever. I go in to see Dr. Bruno today at 1pm. Haven't seen anything yet, very curious!

Flower's help...

I have received so many flowers! I am in awe of the love and thoughtfulness! The three that stood out the most were from my boss, my god-mother and Dr. Bruno. He sent me am adorable and delicious ediable arrangement.

I am day 5 post op and for me this is turning into a mental battle that I was not expecting. It is very difficult to be so helpless. I am uber grateful to my loving hubby for taking such good care of me, but it makes me feel bad. I knew I would be down, I just did not anticipate how long and to what capacity. I feel like I eat, sleep, pee and repeat!

Sleep is becoming a challenge. I did not expect to have so much lower back pain. The recliner is my friend, but My butt is so numb from sitting on it for four days. I tried sleeping on my side, but they are sore from the lipo too.

I am still draining out quite a bit. I wonder if Dr. Bruno will be able to remove the drains on Tuesday. Also developed some blisters on my back which sux.

Afraid to look at everything! Has anyone else felt this way?

HOLY Jebus!!!!

I finally went poopie and let me tell you it was the worst pain ever - EVER! I was juicing and drinking smoothies with flaxseed before the SX so I was pretty regular, but this poopie was downright traumatizing. First thing that has brought me to tears! I have been taking colase (stool softener) since the SX and have been eating light, but no sure anything could have prepared me for that.

Updated Pic - 8 Days P/O

2 weeks P/O - Drains out & First day back at work!

Visited Dr. Bruno to get my drains out yesterday. It was a quick process, just very odd feeling. He said I am healing well and everything looks as it should. I saw my incision for the first time, looks good. There are a few "lumpy" parts, but he said I had stretch marks there so the skin pleated a bit...but it should heal fine. He recommended that I purchase a silicone cream to help the incision heal nicely ($100). He would like to see me in three weeks.

Have I mentioned that I am sooooo happy with my decision to go with Dr. Bruno?? I really am! Everything has been wonderful. He is so sweet and his staff is wonderful. I am so pleased at this point!

Went back to work today, even though I am not walking straight up (I am at 90%). My boss said I could stay at my desk all day, and that is pretty much what I did. I was trying to avoid all the questions/stares/comments. The only time I have been out of work for so long was when I had my daughter, so the rumors have already started. My husband who works for the same company, said that many have already approached him about me being ill. So needless to say, I stayed at my desk! I had one person ask if it was my back, and I just said yes. Walked to the cafe at lunch, which is just across the way - it felt like a 4 mile walk!!! By 3pm, I was exhausted and very swollen. Happy to be back, but worried about tomorrow.

22 Days P/O Update

So I am one day past the three week mark. I am doing really good, but I really wish I could walk 100% upright. It has really taken a toll on my lower back. I got my new compression garmet/faja...OMG! I could barely breathe in it at first. But it is a bit better now and seems to be helping with the swelling. My incision is healing nicely. My BB is still looking a bit gunky (is that a word?) still using Neosporin daily per Dr. Bruno's instructions. The bruising is gone, but the swelling is there. If I had to say one thing I am not loving at this point, it would be my mons pubis area, it looks so CHUBBY!!!! I have read that other have experienced this and it is very normal and should go down once the swelling is gone - fingers crossed!

On a side note, I did something I have NEVER done before... I bought a bikini!!! Not sure I will really have the balls to wear this out in public.

Happy healing to all that are P/O and good luck to all those beginning their journey!

Long time no post - updates & pics!

Sorry, I haven't posted in a while, got so busy with work and life in general...

I was finally able to stand straight and wear high heels at the four week mark. It was a huge relief for me and my back!

Work has been good, lots of gossip going around about me. It amazes me how interested people are about me! I have also had three people ask me if I had my boobs done (I am taking this as a compliment)! I have found that it is easier to just tell them I had a TT, when I would say it was my back they would ask a ton of questions. As for how I held up physically, I would tire out at 3pm, but I have gotten better everyday. I do swell a lot, by the end of the day, I have kankles!! I will be so relived when the swelling goes away for good and I can see my true results. Wishing my tummy was a bit flatter at the moment.

On a super good note - my chubby mons pubis has gone down! AMEN!!!

I am wearing my faja daily. I must say, it was sooo tight at first (had to get professional help just to get it on), but it made me feel secure. I can't Ok sorry. I was waiting to hear from class lady.handle the idea of not wearing underwear, so going potty is quite the chore! I sleep with it at night as well - trading off with a spanx when I need a breather!

I am using the silicone gel twice a day. Everything is looking pretty good, so I would like to believe it is working.

It's amazing what a difference a few weeks make. I am definitely at that point where I am sooo happy I did this! I have purchased two new dresses, both were a size 14 (I was a size 16 prior to surgery).

Feeling excited and wishing everyone the very best in their journey!!

Pics with clothing!

4 Month Update w/ Pics!

It has been a while since I last posted an update – just been busy and didn’t have anything SUPER interesting/exciting to report.

I am now 19 weeks post-op. I have lost a total of 11 pounds. I was 191 lbs. the morning of the surgery and I am currently at 180 lbs. I am still in a size 14 – mostly because of my large hips & a$$.
I had a follow-up appointment with Dr. Bruno on June 9th. He was pleased with my results. I mentioned to him the two things that I do not love:

1.) The lower part of my stomach is rounder than I would like.
2.) I have a small pocket of fat on each end of my incision.

Dr. Bruno was really sweet, and funny about it. He said I could do some sit-ups (gasp!) to help with my first issue!!! As for the second issue, he said it can be hard to tell how much to cut and where due to stretch marks. He said that we should wait until I reach the one year mark and if things haven’t improved and I am still unhappy with them, he will go in and lipo the three areas. I asked him how much that would costs and he said if he can do it locally in his office then he will not charge me anything – he just wants me happy! If it needs to be done in the surgery center, I will just pay what they charge him, but he will not charge me a doctor fee (have I said how much I LOVE him – seriously, he has been AMAZING)! He gave me my “before” pictures and the picture of what was removed (a request from my hubby – don’t ask), it’s crazy to look at. I have recently posted them on my treadmill as motivation to keep it moving! I got the green light for light weights and sit-ups, but he cautioned me to take it slow. He would like me to come back in 3 months to take my “after “pictures. He asked for my permission to use my “before” and “after” pictures in his book (I’m thinking he must ask all his patients). I told my hubby that is he uses my pics – he will officially be married to a model!!! :)

My incision is healing nicely; I continue to use the silicone gel. My belly button is really small, but cute; I continue to use Neosporin on it. I stopped wearing my faja daily at the 3.5 month mark, now I wear in on occasion. If I’m wearing a dress, I still put my spanx on – got to keep my legs from rubbing!!!

I can’t even tell you how liberating it is to be rid of my kangaroo pouch.
• My clothes lay nicer.
• I can do a jumping jack without it flapping up and down.
• When I lay on my side, I no longer have to worry about it flopping down onto the bed.
• My undies no longer roll down and get trapped in the flap.
• You get the picture….

All in all, I am SUPER happy with my results and soooo glad that I finally went through with it. I won’t lie, there were a few rough days, but it has all been worth it. Without sounding conceited, I now like my reflection!

Best wishes to everyone in their journey to a happier self!

5 Months P/O - Vacation Pic!

I can hardly believe that this is me. Actually went in the pool - first time in years.
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

So far, my experience with Dr. Bruno and his team has been nothing but amazing! They have all been wonderful, so thoughtful, helpful and very patient. I felt so comfortable with them since day one. I am still afraid to look at my results, but I feel like I was in very good hands and would recommend Dr. Bruno I to anyone at this point in my recovery!

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