35 y/o TT and lipo to hips, arms, thighs, back and chin - Mexico

I can't wait to have my body back after 15...

I can't wait to have my body back after 15 years!!!
I had my first child when I was 20 and gained 90lbs during my pregnancy. Because I was young, I lost the weight pretty quickly, but my stomach was left with saggy skin and tons of stretch marks. I didn't plan on having any more kids and always dreamed if getting a tummy tuck but I could never afford it. I'm so glad I never did it before because I met my wonderful husband 7 yrs later and decided I wanted another baby. We got married in 2010 and
after trying for a year I finally got pregnant in 2011. I swore that time would be different, I was very active and healthy. I went to the gym 5-6 days a week and ran 4-5 miles 3 days a week. I was in the best shape of my life. I planned on continuing to exercise everyday and eat right during my pregnancy....then the morning sickness set in...All I could keep down was greasy bad for me food and exercise was out of the question. I ended up gaining 105 lbs!!!
It was truly horrifying. I've managed to lose 70 lbs but the last 35 just won't budge and I'm left with not only saggy skin and stretch marks but a nasty overhang as well. I even did the entire Insanity program and didn't lose a single pound. It's so frustrating!
I've decided it's time for my TT!
I started researching doctors about a year ago and found one near me in Northern California I really liked. I had my consult with him last Monday. I just about fainted when they gave me my quote for TT, lipo to outer/inner thighs and hips. $13,500 and didn't even include lipo to my upper/lower back and chin, that would have been another $4500. That's just not in my budget.
MEXICO IT IS!!
My cousin told me to look up Dr. Cardenas in Tijuana. She met her while staying at Beauty Care Recovery House after her TT with another dr in 2011. I'm so glad she did!! I was immediately impressed with Dr. Cardenas' reviews and TT photos. I looked into a few other doctors in Tijuana as well but Cardenas seems like a better fit for me.
I sent her an email with my photos and received a response from Fatimeh the next day stating that the dr would get back to me soon. I couldn't believe it when she called me personally 3 days later! She's sooooo nice!!! I spoke with her for a short time, we discussed what procedures I wanted done and she answered all my questions. She told me I'm a perfect candidate for TT and made some other suggestions for lipo to upper/lower back and love handles. I asked her about arm, chin and thigh lipo and she agreed to do those as well. She told me I have a nice butt! I don't think so but I'll take a compliment from somebody who makes beautiful butts for a living haha.
Immediately after I got off the phone with her I received an email from Fatimeh with my quote. $6500 for tummy tuck with muscle repair, lipo to upper/lower back, 270 degree arms, inner thighs, love handles and chin. Hell Yeah!!! She also included an all inclusive quote for $7570 that includes all my procedures plus:

- 1 night prior surgery
- Complementary Pain Pump
- One Compression Garment with Sleeves
- Outpatient Meds (Complete Treatment of Antibiotic, Pain Killers, Gastric protector, Antiseptic Spray and Post op Blood thinners)
- 7 night Post Op recovery stay at All Inclusive Beauty Care Recovery House.
My husband will be staying at BCRH with me for the first few days (extra $90 a night for him) just because I'll probably freak out if I go alone. I don't know how all these ladies do that. I'm not that brave!

I emailed Fatimeh Friday evening and told her I want the all inclusive package and that I want to schedule my surgery for April. Fingers crossed she's available in April! I'm hoping to hear back from her on Monday (tomorrow).

I just have to say I LOVE THIS SITE!!
I've been stalking Realself for about 6 months and I've learned a lot about ps. Thank you so much to all the ladies that share their ps journeys with us!!! I plan to do the same.

Eeeek!! It's really happening!!

I just paid my deposit so my date of 4/13/15 is set in stone!
Talked to Ronnie and confirmed our stay at BCRH too.
Getting my list together. Here's what I have so far. Please feel free to give suggestions!!!
Also would love hear know what you guys think of Epi-Foam. I can't decide if I'm going to use it or not.

To bring with me:

Slippers
Button down night shirt
Comfy clothes for flight home
Arnica montana tablets
Bruisestick (standardized topical arnica)
Dmso for swelling
Bromelain
Sports bra
Socks
MediHoney wound care
Kindle
Epi-foam???
Chin strap (because I'm having chin lipo)

For home:
Yoga pants and baggy shirts
Dial
Hand sanitizer
Q-tips
Scar fx silicone belt
Bed pads
Gauze
Tape
Scissors

More before pics

Arnica and bromelain?

I have seen a ton of reviews and questions answered by doctors on here about taking arnica montana and bromelain for 2-3 days before surgery. Seems like most doctors believe doing this helps with bruising and swelling post op. I just asked Rocio (dr. Cardenas assistant) if it would be ok to do this and she said I can take them but have to stop 2 weeks before surgery. I'm so confused!!!

Random question...

I literally cannot take my wedding ring off because it's stuck. Have any of you worn rings during sx?

A little over 4 weeks to go!! Nonsmoker and 5lbs lighter!

I've managed to lose another 5 lbs! Yay me!! I would really love to lose at least 5 more but I'm not gonna stress on it. I quit smoking about two weeks ago, yay me again!! It was WAY harder than I thought it would be. I quit with both pregnancies with no problem so I figured quitting for surgery would be just as easy. Wrong. It was way easier knowing I had a tiny human depending on me to grow it. I've yet to see anybody on here say anything about quitting smoking before surgery, maybe it's because nobody wants to admit to the nasty little things. I can't possibly be the only smoker on Realself. I had no intention of admitting it, I've always been ashamed of being a smoker BUT I decided that since I had such a hard time I would share what worked for me. Maybe it will help somebody else when it's crunch time.
I discovered this wonderful book called Easy Way to Stop Smoking by Allen Carr. Stumbled upon it by accident while searching the great world of Google for help to quit without gaining a shit ton of weight. I though eh, I'll give it a shot, fully expecting it not to work BUT IT DID!! Just like that I was a nonsmoker and I've lost weight too! For good this time!!
So there...I confessed to my dirty little secret. And I smell much better now too ;)


Hope this helps somebody.

11 days away!!!

I'm finally more excited than I am nervous!!!!! I figured I'd post some before pics of my double chin and flabby arms for after comparison. I'm just as excited about having lipo on those areas as I am the tummy tuck. I absolutely hate my profile and arms.

Lookin SEXY as F#%K in my compression stockings!!

In less than 48 hours I will be in surgery!!! I had a terrible cold and possible sinus infection this week and I was sooo scared I was gonna have to reschedule. I became a part time witch doctor trying all kinds of natural remedies ( I made sure they were all ok before sx) and something must have worked because I'm feeling much better today, just a tiny bit of a stuffy/runny nose. No cough at all, thank god!! My whole family has this cold and they all have a cough. I was petrified. For reals.
Rocio called me this morning to touch bases and to make sure I'm feeling better. She's so sweet. I'm the first sx of the day on Monday which is awesome! I don't know if I could handle waiting for hours.
These compression stockings make my butt flab look weird. Like where they hit the top of my thighs they create a nice little butt flab overhang. It's not cute.

At the recovery house.

Everyone is really nice. Marcos picked us up from the airport. Filled out paperwork when I got here and met Carmen. My husband is already bored out of his mind haha. Oh well.
The flight really messed up my sinuses and this cold I'm recovering from, not feeling too good, gonna try and take a nap.

I survived.

I'm super tired but feeling pretty good. I'll update more later xoxo!! Here's a pic. Sorry bout the twat shot.

This is long...

Here goes...

Marcos gave us a ride to the clinic. When we arrived, they took us up to our room and I paid my balance. Rocio took before pictures. After that I met with Dr. Cardenas and she marked me up. She said a circumferential would be good for me but I told her no, I don't want one. The way my ass is always trying to escape out my pants like a caged animal, I just really don't want a scar right there for everyone to see every time I bend over. She said she understood that, a scar is for life. I asked her why she sometimes does circumferencial after quoting extended and she said it depends on how loose skin is and how many stretchmarks they have along the hip area. I voiced my concern about not having a good result without circumferencial and she said I will still get the results I want. She did say that sometimes when people are bigger she has to insist on a circumferencial for good results. She said she couldn't be aggressive on my thigh, arm or chin lipo because it would cause loose skin. I figured that anyway. My chip lipo was only going to be from a small hole in my chin but there are holes behind both ears too. Yay!!! That means jaw line!!! I'm so flipping excited about that!!
I met the Anesthesiologist before I went it. He seems very knowledgable and nice. He put the epidermal in after I was passed out. That's good because that big ol needle freaks me out a little.
I ended up leaving my ring in because it would not come off my fat finger, but it's all good. No swelling at all in my fingers.
So heres the crazy part...I could hear them talking a lot while I was in surgery. So weird!! I think even said "I hear you talking" or something like that haha. It was all in Spanish so I have no idea what they were saying but I pictured a scene from Greys Anatomy where they gossip about people or talk about the sex they had the night before hahaha. At one point I could tell what area of my body she was working on. Didn't hurt at all and please don't let this freak you out!!! It honestly wasn't bad at all.
No pain yet, just a tightness in my abs, sorta like I just did a bunch of sit-ups.
There's a huge language barrier with the day shift nurse at the clinic. Shes very nice though, and its not too hard to convey what I need.
Some advice if you're bringing a companion to the clinic, they don't provide food here for them so make sure to bring extra cash so they can go into town and get food.
The recovery house provides meals for companions but they don't have coffee (I think my husband almost died from lack of caffeine this morning lol).
Dr. Cardenas just came in to check on me. She took 5 lbs of fat from my stomach and about 10lbs in lipo. She said she got a lot of fat from my arms!! Yes!! She took in 5 inches on my muscle repair. She said she could hve taken at least another 2 inches but because I recently quit smoking it could cause problems. I'm happy with 5 though and I'm glad she's so concerned about safety!!! Starting to feel a bit more pain in the incision area but all in all feeling like half a million bucks :-D

Some pics.

Loving my results!!! Really happy with the chin lipo too.

Yesterday was a bad day.

I had a little scare yesterday. My hemo went down to 8.8, I was 14.9 when I had my blood work done. so ladies, get those hemo levels up before sx! Very important! I became really lethargic and had a bad headache so the dr told me I would need a blood transfusion. $170 later I was feeling better. Not too happy about the idea of some strangers blood in me but you gotta do what ya gotta do. Yesterday was a bad day for pain too, but it got better during the night. They told us yesterday before we came back to the recovery house that my husband would have to stay in a hotel until he leaves because they have no room. Just a heads up, even if you let them know well in advance that your husband will be staying with you I guess they can still kick him out :-/
Hopefully today is a better day!!

BCRH is awesome but....

There's still no reason why my husband can't stay here with me. They said it was because they are full but the other bed in my room is STILL vacant two nights in a row. Not sure why they lied to me. A woman just got moved into the room down the hall and she has her husband and her son with her...
It's not the nurses, they are very sweet. I'm so confused.
Just venting....

Some pics

Feeling a ton better today. Pain is moderate. Pooping is magical you guys!! So is showering!!!
The nurse just took some pics of me before my shower and I'm not loving what I'm seeing. My love handles are HUGE and I'm afraid my belly button is crooked. I really hope it's all just swelling :-/

Feeling great today

My faja is sexy too. And comfortable. Get some tank tops to wear under it! It is pretty weird going to the bathroom with clothes on though!

Lymphatic massage. Do it!!

Any of you coming to stay at BCRH have to get the lymphatic massage with Mariposa (sp?) It's seriously amazing. It feels really good and I could see the fluid going into my drain as she did it. My back feels a lot better now too. Getting another one on Monday.

Hips are looking better!!

My chin!!!

My face is still swollen but I am so happy already!!! I don't have the chin of an 80 yr old woman anymore. Hooray!!!

Pics that didn't load :-/

Had a freak out yesterday!

When I got home last night, I took off my faja to change the gauze and my tummy was reeeeally swollen and a very weird color. I freaked out! I was crying, convinced it had necrosis. I've never seen anything like that on realself so that confirmed (for me) that I was dying lol. I emailed Dr.Cardenas some pictures and had my aunt, who's an lvn come over. They both said its bruising from sitting up straight all day. My aunt told me to ice it. I'll take some more pics when I take a shower today. Pray it looks better today!!!

Swelling has gone down a little

Looks better today, color is getting lighter and swelling has gone down a little. My waist with the faja on looks awesome!!! :-D

ugh! The swelling!!

Besides major case of cabin fever, I'm doing good. Sometimes I feel like Jack in The Shining.
I'm almost able to stand up straight. Unfortunately I still have both drains :-/ the front drain has been draining a lot in the last few days, more than before. It's a dark purple color now too. Dr. Cardenas says it's fine, that it's old blood. I look really weird because of the swelling along my incision and lower back. It's hard for me to picture what the final result will be. I'm able to do more for myself now but get tired easy. I can not wait to be normal again!!

Forgot pic of drain.

Strange color

Pic that didn't load

Videos

Just thought I'd let you all know, if you don't already, Dr. Cardenas has a few YouTube videos of her performing a tummy tuck. If you can watch that sort of thing without getting freaked out, check em out. They're kinda cool.

Looking good ;)

I'm loving my results! I was soooo swollen at first it was hard for me to picture the outcome. I'm still very swollen but I'm happy that today my ass isn't blending into my back as much haha. I'm hoping I end up a little curvier than I am now, but if not I'm still WAY better than before. My arms look fantastic too!! She lipo-ed my armpits you guys!! :-) I never even noticed how fat my armpits were before.
My scar is looking a little ropey but I'm sure that will look better as it heals.
I'm almost totally upright now. I notice I end up hunched over more by the end of the day.
Still stuck with these annoying drains but they're both way less than 25cc so far today. Fingers crossed!!!

Finally!!

Drains are out and I finally left the house today to run some errands. I only got one thing done though, because my back drain hole sprung a leak all over my skirt
:-/ gross. In spite of all that, I'm loving how I look!!! It's so nice to not have to worry about muffin top!!! It felt good to put some makeup on today too.

I can't sleep!!!

I've heard of the post tt insomnia but I didn't expect it to hit me almost 3 weeks post op. For the last 3 nights I've been staying up until around 5 am. Just laying in bed trying to fall asleep the whole time. I have a toddler. Enough said.
Here's a pretty picture of me in my pajamas. Pajamas are cute again! That's happy.

Update

I'm doing well, still very swollen but loving my results!! My belly button has become irritated and red from using hibiclens. Oops, won't be doing that anymore. I am seriously amazed at how thin my incision is. I haven't used any scar treatment yet but the scar is already very light and thin. I'm having a blast pulling out all my old shirts I haven't been able to wear for years!!! The jeans I wore to my surgery don't fit due to swelling in my hips but that's ok, I know they'll probably be too big when I'm totally healed. When I was shaving yesterday I noticed that there were a couple of stitches about an inch below my incision. I can't believe I didn't notice them before. Dr. Cardenas told me to go ahead and remove them. I still have some soreness in my abs and where the lipo was but I'm healing well.

Forgot to mention..

The post tt depression hit me bad the last few days. Horrible. I'm feeling a little better today, thank god. I read a lot of reviews that talked about the depression thing, even the nurses at the recovery house said its a roller coaster. One minute you're happier than you can imagine and the next your crying because there's no more creamer for your coffee. I think it has a lot to do with our daily routines being thrown into a blender, and staying indoors for more than a couple days has always put me in a funk anyway. I have only left the house twice in the last two and a half weeks. That. Is. Crazy.
I'm glad I was mentally prepared for this.

Almost 4 weeks post op

I'm still REALLY swollen but looking better every week. Since I've become more active the last week or so I've noticed I get extra extra swollen by the end of the day. My whole abdominal area starts to feel real tight and uncomfortable.

Wow!

I just made these before and after pics for my own comparison and had to share with you guys!

Quick chin update for those considering chin lipo

I PROMISE I'll post a real update soon with tummy pics. Taking pictures of my chin is a whole lot easier than prying myself out of this dang garment at 1 am. Love love loving my profile!!! Still numb though but that doesn't bother me. Sorry about my horrible picture crop job :-P

6 weeks post op!!

Sorry I haven't updated much lately. I've been really busy since I went back too work a couple weeks ago. I'm doing good, very minimal pain and discomfort until my stupid period started last Thursday. Holy shit, the swelling!!! I always get bloated that time of the month but this was seriously crazy. Because of the swelling I had a nasty painful pulling sensation just under my left ribcage. I was starting to get worried so I took a lasix (water pill) yesterday and as soon as I peed all the extra water out the pain went away. It's back tonight along with the swelling but I did manage to get some pictures this morning when the bloating was still down. And by down, I mean still swell hell but not Goodyear blimp swell hell. I'm honestly not much different since the last pictures I posted. I can hide the swelling with panties so that's nice.I'm looking pretty good! And I just have to say the before and after picture of my back is weird. My back does not look that wide in real life haha! I'm really happy with my back lipo, no more fat pockets!!! I am sooo anxious to see the final result!
The depression is gone since I went back to work. Hooray!! I started taking 5-htp to give my serotonin a boost and I think helped too. So, now my body is looking a ton better I'm noticing how fat my knees are!! I wish I would have had lipo on them :( I swear sometimes I wonder if I'll ever be happy with my body. I can't wait to start running again!!!!! I've read stationary bikes help get rid of knee fat too. I neeed one lol. I forgot to take my measurements this morning but I did weigh in and I'm down 7.5 lbs from pre surgery. Still wearing my faja because I feel totally naked and weird without it on. My back drain hole is still open a little and it still seeps a teeny tiny bit. I tried using the scar fx belt I got but it makes me sweat like crazy and I can't stand it. Gonna have to get some strips or probably some scar gaurd. Not sure yet but I'm open to suggestions!!! Ummm...I think that's all :-) hope you are all doing great!! Xoxo

Two month update!!!

I've been going without my garment during the day for the past few days. It's so liberating!!! Its just too flippin hot, I couldn't stand it anymore. I still wear it at night to keep the swelling in check though.
I'm still swollen along my incision and lower back and I always get really swollen all over my tummy towards the end of the day, especially with no garment. My back is still numb in spots, really tender in other spots, and my abs are slightly sore.
I started using scarguard on my incision about a week ago and I can already see a huge difference!!! It was a little ropey and thick in two separate 2 inch long spots just above my pubic area and it's almost totally flat now. Most of my scar is already completely flat and thin (thank you Dr. C!!) so I'm honestly not too worried about it. I just have to wait for it to lighten up, it's a dark purple right now. Just a heads up for anybody looking into scar treatment, I bought the scar fx silicone belt from makemeheal because my cousin recommended it and I can't stand it! It makes me sweat like crazy and causes weird indents in my skin. I'm sure it works good (it did for my cousin) but after wearing that garment for two months straight The last thing I want is to have something else wrapped around my waist, squeezing me. Scarguard works! It's a silicone that you brush on your scar like nail polish and it dries within seconds.
Also an FYI, you have to avoid sitting in the sun for 6 months after TT or lipo because your skin can get blotchy and stay that way!! Dr Cardenas didn't tell me that but she told my roommate at bcrh, who passed it on to me. I spent a few days on vacation where I was in the sun more than usual and I noticed my arms started to get blotchy. So weird. The blotchiness went away, thank god, but I'm not sure if it would have had I stayed out in the sun much longer.
I've been doing the elliptical lately too, it feels sooooo good to be working out again!!! I haven't started running again yet but I plan to soon. I'm posting some pics that the hubster took this evening so I'm a little swollen but I still look gooood ;-) no regrets!!! Loving my new bod!!! I do need to get some self tanner though haha, my tummy is pasty as f*ck.

Quick update 11 weeks po

I'm doing great!! Had a ton of fun shopping for a new wardrobe last week!! I bought a bikini!!! I'm still swelling towards the end of the day so I've been wearing the cg at night to get the swelling back down. Monday will be 12 weeks po so I'm gonna try and go without it after that. I seriously can't wait to throw that thing in the garbage!!

Rocio sent me this before and after

I can't believe the difference!!! Loving my new body!!

I think my incision might be opening??!!!

I just noticed this this morning. I have two small open areas on my incision. It's hard to see in the picture but it looks like some black stitching is coming through. OMG, I'm freaking out!! I emailed the doctor, waiting to hear back.

Update!

I haven't been on here in FOREVER!!
I'm doing really good. I'm 16 months post op. I still have some numbness near my incision and every now and then I have a weird muscle spasm or a pinching feeling in my abs. I'm hoping that will go away with time. Overall I'm still loving
My results. I don't think I look much different since the last pics I posted but I'll post a couple recent pics for the hell of it :)
Mexico Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Cardenas and her staff are great! I was very well taken care of at the clinic and at Beauty Care Recovery House. Now that I am home, she has been very good with follow up care, requesting pictures every other day and having Rocio call to check in. The most important thing is I LOVE my results. Dr. Cardenas knows how to sculpt a woman's body! If you are considering this doctor, do it!! You won't be sorry.

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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