42 Years Old---I had a Mommy Makeover and I'm so glad I did!

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I just wanted to begin a blog of my experience...

I just wanted to begin a blog of my experience with researching and interviewing plastic surgeons. As noted in the title, I'm almost 42 years old with 3 children and an 8 month old grandson. I work in health care and am an advanced practice registered nurse/certified nurse midwife. I had my first child @ the age of 19, the second @ 23, and the third @ almost 33 years of age. I've had ups and downs with my weight, worked nights, days, and all of the above. I've tried to maintain a healthy lifestyle with diet and exercise, but no matter how much weight I lose, I always have the skin of my "2nd butt" sagging below my belly button. I'm very self-conscious about this. My breasts aren't too terribly saggy, but they need a lift, especially after being pregnant 3 times with 34D size when NOT pregnant or breastfeeding.

I began researching about a month ago, thanks to this wonderful website/community! I'm so glad I found you all! Yesterday, I started the process of interviewing PSs to get a feel for who I think will do a good job. I went to Dr. Behar in Franklin, TN. His entire office staff is wonderful and very personable, as is he! Everyone answered all my questions thoroughly and didn't try to sugar coat anything. I'm a little nervous about the post-op pain. I've never had any time of surgery other than a tonsillectomy when I was about 6 years old. He made sure I understood that I would not be feeling too keen after the surgery but that I would NEED/HAVE to be up walking multiple times the day of surgery and everyday thereafter to prevent complications. I know this as a nurse/nurse practitioner, but it is very different when YOU are the one who is the patient.

I have another consultation on April 15th and I'm really asking myself if I should even go to it because I really liked Dr. Behar and his staff so well. I will keep the appointment because I know that I shouldn't just go with the first physician I have a consultation with. I feel like Dr. Behar's charges and the facility and anesthesia fees are very reasonable and comparable to other quotes I have received from other PS offices.

I will keep you all up to date. I know I want to do this. I just need to make sure I don't want to go with anyone else other than Dr. Behar. :)

Before pics to come!

2nd consultation completed and surgery scheduled!

Today I went for a 2nd consultation with at different PS. I have to say that I really like Dr. J.J. Wendel! He is very down-to-earth and answered all my questions, took some measurements, and even drew out a few pics of what the procedure would entail. I just felt more comfortable with him than with the previous physician with whom I had a consult. The office staff was awesome! I got some great discounts (one was a 20% off special and the other was a multi-procedure discount). I am scheduled to have a full abdominoplasty and bilateral mastopexy on July 23rd. WooHoo! Now to continue working out and eating clean so my body will be more likely to recover a little more quickly and smoothly. :)

A little less than a month to go!

27 days to go until my surgery. I'm a little disappointed in myself that I've not lost the weight I wanted to lose prior to surgery, but with vacations and work, I've not made the time to fit my workouts in on a regular basis. There is still time, but I have another trip coming up the beginning of July. I will be happy with a 5lb loss which would put me down to 145 on this 5'2" frame. More than I wanted to weigh for surgery, but I guess it could be worse! I will definitely add some before pics soon!

Before pics

25 days till surgery!

Saggy boobs and protruding belly: Your days are numbered!

3 days til my lift and tuck. I'm working this weekend but was able to get to the store to pick up a few last minute items. I got low - sodium chicken broth and Milk of Magnesia. Lol Seems constipation is a common issue after surgery and I want to be prepared. I also got a step stool for when I am able to sleep in the bed again. Our bed is a pillow top plus we have a 4 inch memory foam topper on it. At 5'2", I need all the help I can get! I have lots of pillows and a couple of bolsters that I use for yoga, so they will come in handy for propping and positioning. Getting super excited! Still not really nervous. Hope I don't panic on the OR table!

It's the big day!

Surgery at 1130 this morning. Have to be there at 0930. I'm not nervous....yet. Hope I don't freak and panic on the table. I'm just ready to do this. :)

Doing quite well!

2 days out from surgery and I'm really doing quite well. Tired alot, but I'm thinking that's from the Percocet. I had only been taking 1 at a time but took 2 at 1:50 this morning and slept for 3 hours straight! Is anyone else having to pee every hour to hour and a half? I've been drinking lots of water, smoothies, juice, and ginger ale, so that combined with all the IV fluids from surgery have something to do with it. I have pitting edema of both feet and ankles. My husband has been wonderful as has my 18 y/o son. My PS, an office nurse, an anesthesia doc, and the hospital where I had my procedure all called to check on me yesterday. I've had a great experience thus far and am looking forward to seeing my results. The boobs feel like my milk has come in! I know that's just swelling but they are nice and firm! Lol Will post pics when I get a chance to take them. :)

Post-op day #3

I'm doing very well this morning. The swelling is still there but much less than yesterday! Surgery day I weighed 148.8. Yesterday I weighed 157.9 and this morning I weighed 150.9. Before today, I felt do tight that it was difficult to take a full breath. No pain, just extremely tight. This morning however, I can take the deep breaths without feeling like there's a vice grip on my rib cage. Two Percocet before bedtime and one every 4 hours during the day seems to work best for me, but I'm going to try to wean off them today. My back is more of a bother than my incisions because of the Hunchback of Notre Dame posture. The breasts aren't as tight as they were, so I no longer feel like I'm supposed to be breastfeeding! LOL

Post-op day #5

Still pretty swollen but feeling good other than tiring easily. Here are some pics of how things are looking so far.

Post-op day #5

1st post-op visit

Doing great. :) I got the drain on the right removed. Hooray and good riddance! Still tiring easily but overall I feel much better. I have a 2nd appointment next week. I'm looking forward to getting this other drain out. Love Dr. Wendel, his nurse Lynn, and the rest of the office staff. While the drive is 2 hours for me, I am happy to make the trip knowing I'm in good hands.

2 weeks post Full TT and bilateral mastopexy

Not sure why my 2nd pic is sideways. Can't correct it so sorry in advance for the crick in your necks for having to tilt your heads to the side! LOL

Any way! I'm 2 weeks post Full TT and bilateral mastopexy without implants. I had my appointment yesterday. Got the last drain removed (hallelujah!) and I feel like a new woman. Still a little sore but I'm standing almost completely straight and I've been sleeping on my sides with a pillow between my knees. I'm continually losing weight. :) I'm down 5 lbs from my weight the day of surgery, and I still have some swelling in my tummy and breasts. I have a love-hate relationship with my abdominal binder. Hate that I have to wesr it but at the same time I know that if I don't, I get horrible swelling in the tummy. No longer than I had it off to shower last night, I felt like Mrs. Puff from SpongeBob! I will keep wearing it and suck it up. This is a short - term inconvenience for my long - term reward! :)

21 days post-op full tummy tuck and breast lift

I just went back to work 2 days ago. 24 hours of call plus clinic then another day of clinic the morning I went off call. Tummy was definitely puffy. I got a new smaller binder to wear since the one from the hospital was too big for me at this point and I was having to attach the velcro grip to the elastic. Smaller is better! :) Watched my 1 year old grandson today. He was busy but a good boy. My tummy is agsin puffing out in disagreement. :( My pics are from this morning but I was still swollen a little more than usual for the morning due to work the previous two days.

28 days post-op mastopexy and full abdominoplasty

I took my 4 week pics tonight because I was watching my grandbaby first thing this morning. My breasts are no longer swollen and settling nicely. I still have abdominal and mons pubis swelling but I know the mons is the last to de-puff! I have binder wrinkles from my mons to my breasts! I've come to terms that the binder is my friend and I'm having mixed feelings about parting with it in a couple of weeks. Call me crazy!

Breast Lift--Dr. JJ Wendel

After having 3 children, breastfeeding, and weight fluctuations throughout the years, my breasts were sagging, to say the least. I wasn't happy about the way I looked and wanted to get the girls back up where they belong. They look amazing and most people think I have implants. No, I have decent genetics and an awesome plastic surgeon! I would do this all over again in a heart beat. Best money I've ever spent.

42 with 3 Children and Lots of Extra Belly Skin

Growing up, I had always been active and had a very flat stomach. After 3 pregnancies and my largest baby weighing nearly 9lbs, I was left with a saggy, floppy tummy...or as I used to endearingly call it, my "front butt." I wouldn't trade my children for anything in the world, but mental health is very important and I just didn't feel good about myself due to my protruding tummy. I exercised and was weighing around 125lbs which is good for my 5'2" body, but the saggy front butt stayed put. It was hard underneath, but it was obvious that nothing short of surgical removal was going to get rid of the stealer of my self-esteem. I sought out plastic surgeons on realself and had 2 consultations. The 2nd consultation was with Dr. JJ Wendel, and the rest is history. I feel so much better about myself and at age 44, I look much better than many women half my age. I'm so glad I had a tummy tuck and I would definitely do it all again (not that I'm planning to gain weight or get pregnant again!).

Through reviews on realself, I found the perfect plastic surgeon for me: Dr. JJ Wendel. I had my consultation and knew right away he was the best PS for the job. He and his office staff are very down-to-earth yet professional. His work is absolutely amazing. I had minimal pain after the procedure and I really think this has to do with physician technique. I work in healthcare (I'm an APRN), so I've seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. Dr. Wendel is top-notch. I would recommend anyone to go to him. My scars are minimal and my breasts look like they did when I was 18. Not bad for someone who is 44! Thank you, Dr. Wendel for your precision and expertise! Dr. Wendel and his office staff are top-notch. Everyone is very professional and I cannot give enough praise for Dr. Wendel's talent as a surgeon and an artist! I was really concerned about post-op pain following the abdominoplasty. I have really only been sore. I never had pain and took my pain meds for only 3 1/2 days post-op, mainly because I was afraid I might hurt. I could be wrong, but I believe post-op pain is linked to not only one's pain tolerance, but also physician technique. I highly recommend (and have been recommending) Dr. Wendel to anyone for any plastic surgery needs/desires. My incision lines have minimal scarring, especially since I'm not even 4 weeks post-procedure. I only gave 4 stars on the payment process because I wish I'd known sooner that the anesthesia group and facility in which I had my surgery do not accept Care Credit although Dr. Wendel does. I had to come up with other methods of payment just 3 weeks before surgery when I had planned to use Care Credit for the majority of it. Faux pas on my part for not asking but I feel that this should have been mentioned on the day I scheduled my surgery.

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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