36 Yo, TT, Fat Graft to Face and BBL and Lipo to ARMS, Thighs, Knees, Waist and Back - Tijuana, Mexico

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TUMMY, ARMS, and FACE. I am having an extended...

TUMMY, ARMS, and FACE. I am having an extended tummy tuck which may become a circumferential tummy tuck. I will be having lipo to my inner/outer thighs, waist, and ESPECIALLY my ARMS. I will have conservative fat grafting to my butt and thighs. I will be having fat grafting to my cheekbone area and probably my jawline and lips. I weighed 245+ pounds in high school. I lost 80 pounds over the course of many years. I have kept the weight off for 10 years. Most of the skin shrank down as I lost the fat.

Unfortunately, my stomach area did not shrink down. I'm left with a double roll to my stomach. I tried liposuction to remove the upper roll and simply get a smoother look. No luck. I'm having the fat grafting to my butt/hips and the liposuction of my thighs merely to aid the look - very conservative, nothing drastic. Is there anything not drastic about a tummy tuck?

Due to the fat loss in my face I have premature jowls and have lost much of my cheeks. I also have a week jawline (not due to weight loss). I'd like to get the fat grafted to my upper cheek area and jawline to improve this. I'm not ready for a face lift. Any ladies had facial fat grafting with Dr. Cardenas? I would really like to know if you liked your results.

I also carry a lot of weight in my arms. My body fits well into nice blouses, etc, but my arms won't fit. My arms are 14 in diameter. Is this weird? The breadth/fat on my back doesn't help either. Did anyone take the photos for the doctor and realize that you had never looked at your bare back before? I'm a hairless gorilla. I missed my calling - linebacker. So, I'd like Lady Cardenas to be as aggressive as she feels is safe with my arm and back liposuction. I expect to return for an arm lift later.

Other than that, I'm pretty lucky with what I've got going on. Seriously. Good waist, good face, all 10 toes, great breasts, not too much body hair. Yada, yada, yada.

My quote above includes all the procedures I mentioned, a 7 night stay at the Beauty Care Recovery House and a few minor things. My flight will cost ~$250 round trip. I'm still trying to figure out how much all the little extras will cost and trying to factor in tipping the staff. Any experienced ladies out there have good info?

I chose Dr. Cardenas because of the before/after photos I've seen posted by other ladies here on RS, because of her track record with healthy patients (also knowledge from RS) and because of her ISAPS qualification. The fact that she called personally, has great before and after photos on her website, seems knowledgeable, seems concerned with safety, and has an expedient staff also helped me to make my choice. She has all of her qualifications (certifications) listed on her website. I think the only thing I need to know is whether she has hospital rights or not. Anyone here know?

Some Stats

Some stats:

Age: 36
Weight: 185
Height: 5'11
Waist: 30"
Hips: 43"

Prior procedures:
Breast Augmentation
Fillers (been doing fillers to cheeks and lipes for years)

I talked to Fatimeh about Dr. Cardena's Hospital Rights.

I've read a lot of tips on both RealSelf and other websites about how to be safest when going abroad for surgery. One of the www.surgery.org tips was to ask, "Is there an acute care hospital nearby if complications should arise? Is it a fully licensed, modern facility"? Therefore, I e-mailed Fatimeh asking about where Dr. Cardena's had hospital rights. This is her reply:

"Our facilities are equipped with everything to attend a patient in case of an emergency, we can offer even medium care unit and if for some reason there is need for Intensive care we have a hospital next door named "Hospital de la Mujer y el nino"

I have been working with Dr Cardenas for more than 4 years, and God bless we have never had any complications with any patient to the point of moving them to the Hospital, Dr Cardenas strongly believes that is important to minimize risks and complications with a strict preop protocol."

I looked up the hospital (Hospital de la Mujer y el nino) and it is within walking distance from her clinic (~350 feet). Which means that it's a little less than three miles from the Recovery Center also. And, as MicheleMyBelle mentioned, the Scripps Mercy Hospital - Chula Vista is about 15 miles away, but you have to think about the border crossing.

Also, Fatimeh mentioned that, since Dr. Cardenas is board certified, she can refer a patient to any hospital in the area. I was not concerned with her ability to perform a surgery at a hospital (since she has her own facilities). I was concerned with the "what if" situation. Even the greatest doctor can have a patient whose body reacts poorly to surgery and needs acute care. The only additional bonus of your surgeon having hospital rights is you know that the hospital has approved THAT doctor to perform THAT surgery in their facility.

One Month to Go!

I have one month to prep for surgery. I'll be staying at BCRH for two weeks and then going home.

Does anyone have any advice on:
How to prep your body for surgery?
What to bring to BCRH?
How to "surgery proof" your house for recovery?

Also, if you have any advice as to the best way to pay, or how to keep your money safe, please message me! I'm very worried about this part. Having to carry this much cash around (anywhere) is the only reason that I would back out at this point!


All set.

I was very worried about carrying cash around, so I e-mailed Rocio. We worked it out so that I could pay all by wire transfer. I'll have to pay some additional fees, but the security is totally worth it!

Surgery on Tuesday

I don't know why people put boxes over their eyes in these photographs. I'm not sure that it really adds any security, but I wanted to be in the "it" crowd.

Getting very nervous now. SUPER stressful week. I've decided to post photos of my face, since I'm having fat grafting to my face. I'm hoping to have fat grafting along my jawline and along my cheekbones, to both define my cheekbones, jawline and give my face more width. Also, I'd like to have fat grafted to the apples of my cheeks. I hope that all this will refill some of the skin that was left over after my weight loss. I'd also like to have some fat grafted to my lips. Why not, right?

Also, for the ladies who have been to BCRH before, could you tell me how tipping went? About how much money would you bring to tip? How many people will be around that I need to consider? Stuff like that. I'll be around for over a week.

Will anyone be around BCRH next week? Or the next?

I got a lot of help form the photos that people posted on RS. However, it always seemed that something was missing that I needed to see though. So, if you have any specific angles or what not that you'd like to see a before or after of, just message me.

I'll try to be as thorough as possible in my reviews of the "after".

Today is the Day

I spent last night at BCRH. The food is good, the place is clean and the ladies are super nice. Wish me luck for today. Thanks!

11 Weeks Post. Super happy.

I got busy after week 3 of recovery. I think I'm pretty well healed, so I thought it was a good time to show some after pics. I've been back to full activity for a couple of weeks now. Super happy with my tummy.

Also, I wanted to mention about the lipo and fat grafting that Dr. Cardenas did on my face. SO happy that I had this done. My jawline is so much more defined!! Also, my cheekbones are more defined also. I had fat grafting to my jawline and cheekbones. Iwould like more fat grafting, but I'm not sure how long I have to wait before I can get more. I feel like the apples of my cheeks are a bit flat (I didn't have fat grafting on the apples of my cheeks.)
Mexico Plastic Surgeon

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