So far I have only had my consult with Dr. R, but...
So far I have only had my consult with Dr. R, but everything is going great so far. I'll be posting in detail as things move along :)
Hoping this helps anyone still doing research, & those that are experienced can give me advice as well :)
I'm 30 yo, 5'1, 124lbs, 2 kids & am getting a TT, BL & lipo.
A little about me.
I'm 30 years old, 5'1, about 124lbs-ish. I have 2 kids.. 5yo girl and 2yo boy. My son will turn 3 before I have my surgery and my daughter will turn 6 just after. I breastfed them both, and breastfed consistently for over 5 years straight. I went from nursing my daughter all the way up until I had my son, then nursed them tandem until literally this last May. So my daughter nursed until 5 years old, and my son almost 2.5. I'm super proud of myself for having done that as long as I did, and in fact I would have gone longer had it not been for a trip my husband and I were taking sans kids. So they got cut off cold turkey (poor kids.. my daughter still asks for "nursies" till this day, haha). I know it's not the cultural norm.. not American culture anyways.. but I'm happy about it. BUT you can imagine it took a toll on my boobies, and now they're as flat as pancakes haha. I went from having double D's, and even bigger when nursing, to sad deflated C's.. and that's me stuffing excess skin to fill a C. I would joke that I could babywear my son on my back and just flip a boob over my shoulder to nurse him. Ha! I imagine, though, I'd be about a full B with a lift alone, taking off the excess skin.
So with my pregnancies, my first, I gained a good 50 pounds. I didn't feel like I did.. it was mostly all belly, but I did get some stretch marks on the back of my thighs, on top of how shredded my stomach looks. I had a c-section with my first. She was nearly 9lbs with too big of a head to fit through my tiny cavity, haha. My c-section scar is practically nonexistent, so I'm told I scar well, and should have good results from the TT. My second pregnancy, I only gained 35lbs, but I had my son 4 weeks early. He was a healthy 6lbs 6oz. I can only imagine how big he would've gotten if I went that extra 4 weeks. I had a vaginal delivery with him.. a vbac. That was a much more pleasant experience.
Anywho.. so I'm done having kids (the husband is snipped), and I'm done breastfeeding, and I'm super pumped to get my mommy makeover on the road and finally feel my age again. I'm tired of not feeling comfortable in my own skin. The problem is mostly when I'm in bathing suits or naked. But also even figuring out the bra situation is getting really old. For a long time I lived in my nursing bras and was content never having to wear a wired bra again, haha. Now that I'm wearing wired bras again, it's just obnoxious that if I even bend over a little, loose skin just starts slipping out and then the whole boob just plops out with it! It's like stuffing a sausage into a casing. I talk about getting a mommy makeover a lot because I have no shame in wanting to get this done, but I'm starting to think I should just keep it to myself, even though I'm not ashamed. People constantly ask why and say I look fine. I'm getting really tired of having to explain myself. They have no idea what I look like naked, or how I feel in my own skin. I want to be able to wear a two piece again, and not look like I'm 5 months pregnant by the end of the day, and I don't want my boobs slapping against me when I'm doing the deed with my husband, lol.
3 consultations total, before deciding to go with Dr. R.
My first consult was with Dr. Umansky in San Diego. He was nice. His practice is a family practice. Him and his brother are plastic surgeons, and their father owned the practice before they took over. It's pretty much a one stop shop. They do their consults and their surgeries in house. They even have a spa across the hall where they offered me a complimentary facial (I definitely took them up on that offer and glad I did.. it was amazing). While I liked Dr. Umansky, the quote I received from them was rather high for what he wanted to do.. he seemed to want to only do the bare minimum. He said I didn't really need lipo (I beg to differ), and he does not do fat transfers and thus I would only be getting a breast lift by itself, since I am not interested in getting an implant. So my quote for tummy tuck and breast lift only, was $16k. I imagined my cost would be that high with extras such as lipo with fat transfer, or an implant.. but not for the bare minimum. Their coordinator was also fairly new and was having a hard time finding the right before & after photos to show me. I also dislike the idea of being sent home only like an hour or so after waking from surgery, unless you pay even more to stay a night or so.
My second consult was with UCSD Plastic Surgery Center. This is the place I would have gone to had I not found my doctor. Since it is associated with the University, their main resident doctor assists the "students" that are there to get certified. The doctor that I consulted with, is already a certified general surgeon, but he was in his last year with UCSD, to be certified in plastic surgery. So bec it is a school, they greatly reduce their fees. I really liked the doctor I consulted with (Dr Charlie Chen), and the main doctor Marek Dobke. For a tummy tuck, breast lift and some lipo, they quoted me $6,200. That's including anesthesia, operating room fees, and surgeons fees. The only thing they said that could be an added cost after the fact, would be if they removed any breast tissue and needed to dispose of it properly. But that probably wouldn't have applied to me bec I have very little breast tissue and only need excess skin removed. So yeah, considering their fees were 10 grand less than Dr. Umansky, that would be a no brainer. I really liked Dr. Chen's before and afters and I like that he showed me himself.
My last and final consult was with Dr. Rodriguez. I already had emailed my pictures in for a quote, so my in-person consult was just an added bonus to see more the specifics of what he would do. I drove down to TJ on a Monday morning with a friend that spoke Spanish. It probably would've been fine if I had gone alone, but I just wouldn't have been able to ask where to park very well, the way my friend was able to in Spanish lol. The office is pretty close to the border so we got there pretty quick. Dr. R went through some pictures first to explain some of the procedures, then we did my exam. He showed me all the places he would lipo to shape my body, which were areas I didn't even think to bring up as I didn't think they would be significant, but he did, so I thought that was great! And then he showed the areas he would do the fat transfer to.. my breasts, my hips where I have indents, and then the rest to my buttocks. I already have a little bit of a booty, and I don't want a big butt by any means.. but a little plumper would be nice, and I think that's his plan. I was really glad to have made it in for the in-person consult because that really solidified my choosing him. I was already attracted to the idea of going to a recovery home, but knowing how much this doctor cares about really shaping the body, is what makes the difference. So the plan is, is I get picked up the day before surgery on the US side, get taken to the recovery house, have surgery the next day, stay that night in the hospital, then taken to the recovery house for an additional 5 nights. Recovery house, meals, 5 lymphatic massages and one compression garment set are included in my quote. I'm so excited, I can't wait for April!
Forgot to add info on one other quote
So my last quote was from Dra Carmina Cardenas. I had thought for a very long time that I wanted to go to her. Then I started seeing some complaints about her on RS.. some complaints about prices starting to get too high (basically comparable to US pricing.. which I found to be true in my quote.. and I'll post screenshots of my emailed quote here), and other complaints of errors and poor bedside manner etc. That made me feel pretty uncomfortable, like maybe she was getting too popular and it started getting to her head and ego, but I still didn't have a specific doctor locked in so she was still pretty high on my list. It wasn't until someone from here suggested Dr. Rodriguez to me. They told me about the Facebook page dedicated to the recovery home that Dr. R uses and once I checked it out, I was hooked. All his patients post there.. their before & afters, pictures of the recovery home, but most importantly.. the Dr himself, his patient coordinator Paulina, and the recovery home Owner (Angel) all answer everyone's questions and are very transparent in regards to the practice. There's a huge support system within that Facebook page that I really like :)
So with my quote with Dra Cardenas, it was 10 grand just for the surgery, then it would've been an additional grand or so for the recovery home, plus the extra little costs of medication etc. So basically several thousand dollars more than what I'm paying with Dr. R. Obviously price isn't everything when choosing a doctor, but I also don't want to feel like I'm nickeled and dimed for every little thing.