I had a tummy tuck with muscle repair and liposuction with Dr. Alvarez and I could not be happier with my results! Dr. Alvarez's surgical skills and medical staff are the best I could have hoped for! I documented my entire journey having this procedure on Zwivel's tummy tuck page. I would definitely recommend Dr. Alvarez to any other patient considering tummy tuck surgery.
My name is Rosanna Torres. I’m 35 years old and I live in Tampa, Florida. The surgery that I had done was a tummy tuck with liposuction and muscle repair. My procedure was performed by board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Sergio Alvarez of Mia Aesthetics located in Doral, Florida.
I decided to get a tummy tuck because I lost 88 pounds after gastric bypass surgery and after having two kids, my body was never the same. I went to the gym day in and day out and my body started to look good, but my abdomen was not improving because of all the loose skin I had. I was ready to do something about it, but for many years I was unable to afford plastic surgery. That was until I found out about Mia Aesthetics and the special price they were running on tummy tuck surgery. Mia Aesthetics was running a special for a tummy tuck with liposuction and muscle repair for $3,300. The typical cost of tummy tuck surgery alone in Miami is $5-10,000. At such a discount, I could finally afford to have the procedure done! I had received a tax refund around this time and decided to use the money for myself for once! I wanted to feel good about my body again and this was my chance.
I contacted Mia Aesthetics and was put in touch with Karla, a wonderful woman who is a coordinator there. Karla had me email her pictures of my body at different angles. I also told her what I wanted to have done and she gave me suggestions on the best procedures and cost for my body type. This is how I found out that I needed a tummy tuck with liposuction and muscle repair. As mentioned above, the total cost of my whole was procedure was $3,300, which was a special deal. Happy with what I had heard, I booked my surgery! To book my surgery, I had to put a small deposit down to reserve my surgery date.
Once my surgery was booked, I had to schedule my vacation time from work and purchase stuff I would need after surgery to take care of myself, since I would be unable to drive for a while. I also had to force myself to stop watching videos of people who had tummy tucks, because I quickly realized everyone had a different opinion and results of their surgery and it was driving me nuts!
When I arrived at Mia Aesthetics for my pre-op appointment, I finally got to meet Dr. Alvarez and he examined my body to discuss what my procedure would entail. He was amazing and since this was a surgical procedure, meeting him gave me reassurance that I was making the right decision and would be in good hands. My surgery was the next day and oddly, I was not nervous. I think this is because I had been mentally prepared to have this procedure for a long time and was glad it was finally time to have it done.
When I arrived at the surgical center the following day, I was brought into a pre-op room, changed into a gown and met with Dr. Alvarez. Dr. Alvarez took a marker and drew a line across my abdomen, showing where he would place his incisions and indicating what parts of excess skin were going to be removed. He also marked up the areas where he would be performing liposuction and my abdominal wall muscle repair.
After that, I was brought into the operating room, where I was prepped and then put under general anesthesia. I must say, that the medical staff in the operating room was amazing. They really comforted me before I was put under and this helped calm my nerves.
When I woke up in recovery, I felt a bit weird but didn't have any pain. My body felt numb, but I wasn't in any discomfort. I was allowed to return home that day, but since I lived 4 hours away, I decided to stay in a hotel.
Day 1: I was able to walk a bit and didn't feel any pain, only some numbness. I sat and laid around unable to shower. I just took it easy. I also took pain medication as indicated, because I was comfortable and did not want to experience any pain. I also monitored my drains and tracked the fluid collection, emptying them on occasion. I was able to sleep well that night with a lot of pillows propping my body up, almost like I was sitting in bed.
Day 2: I woke up, cleaned myself, tracked and emptied my drains. I went back to Dr. Alvarez for a follow-up appointment. He said everything looked great I was doing well. He also said that he was surprised I standing straight so quickly after surgery. He mentioned that a lot of people don't stand straight because they're scared of damaging their abdomen or they feel uncomfortable when they stand up. For me, my back was killing me, so I always try to stand as straight as possible. I still did not have any pain. I did, however, feel a slight pain once in a while near my drainage tube areas.
Day 3: I returned home and slept in a recliner from this day forward. I felt the same as the previous day. I was still pain-free and was taking still taking medication to prevent feeling any pain. I still had swelling and bruising but this is expected from all the cutting and stitching that took place! On the bright side, I could already tell I was going to have a more flat stomach and was very happy about it!
The Rest of My Recovery (Day 3+): I ended up taking my pain medication for 5 days post-op and after that, I had very light pain for two weeks after discontinuing them. My pain completely resolved when I had my drains removed 2 weeks later. My entire recovery was not bad at all. In fact, I went dancing for 2 hours a week after my procedure. Most of my friends and family thought I was nuts for doing this, but thankfully, I didn't have any complications from it. I actually thinking moving around more helped me recover quickly. I also took care of my self - I ate health, didn't lift anything heavy and took vitamins.
In general, I had a great surgery with little to no pain. The only complication I had was that my new belly button got infected and I had to take antibiotics for a bit longer than expected. It was also a bit annoying having to keep my surgical area dry (no shower) and I hated the binder garment I had to wear. I found the binder to be very itchy, especially when my skin was so dry, but eventually solved that by using coconut oil. Besides the binder and drainage tubes, I had no other complaints about my surgery. If you're mentally prepared to have a tummy tuck to get a flat tummy, then I would absolutely recommend going through with it! Life is about taking risks to get what you want, and for me, I was uncomfortable in my own skin and I was tired of it. I would advise others considering this surgery to do their research and find a good doctor by reading online reviews and checking their malpractice history. I picked a great doctor and I'm so happy I had this procedure. I would do the whole surgery over again if I had to. This has been one of the best decisions I have ever made in my entire life.
I've attached a video of my experience having a tummy tuck.
Dr. Sergio Alvarez – Alvarez Plastic Surgery, Miami Beach, FL
Cost: No charge, I worked for the doctor
Being a make-up artist and beauty blogger I’d been wanting lip injections for some time. Being that my lips were not too thin to begin with and injections can be quite pricey, I’d never really done much research on it. When I moved to Miami, I started managing social media and creating content for a board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Sergio Alvarez,MD, in Miami Beach, FL. I watched him do a few lip injections and I was sold!! One day after work I rubbed my lips down with some numbing cream and he set everything up. I was very nervous about the procedure and putting a foreign substance in my body but not more than I wanted big juicy lips. We used Restylane Silk, a hyaluronic acid (HA) lip filler made specifically for lips (vs. regular Restylane filler made for other parts of the face). Restylane Silk has a smaller HA molecule than regular Restylane (both are part of the Restylane family of lip augmentation fillers). I had the filler injected into both my upper and lower lip. I must admit the injections did hurt and my lips were sore and a little bit swollen for a good 24 hours. Was it worth it? 100% I absolutely love the shape of my lips now! The filler gave me a much desired lip enhancement. I will be having it done again, though I think I may try a different substance such as Juvederm (another filler made by a different company), as I would like to achieve a bit more lip volume. My lips didn't get a whole lot bigger with Restylane Silk but I asked my doctor to make them curl over on the top, similar to the Kylie Jenner look. He injected directly around the top of my lip and though one side does have a little more than the other, I don’t mind. I still love them. I will say the feel of my lips has changed. They're not as soft as they used to be, I can feel the pockets of filler but again nothing to call home about, I don't mind. If you are thinking about getting some lip filler, I would say go for it. I can’t wait to do it again! I love the way it makes my face look!! It's been 4 months since I've had it done and they still look great and have plenty of volume!
Dr. Sergio Alvarez – Alvarez Plastic Surgery, Miami Beach, FL
Cost: No charge - I worked for the doctor
I must admit, I was always a bit skeptical about getting a Botox (botulinum toxin) treatment. The idea of injecting a toxin into my body scared me. Being in the beauty industry since my teenage years, I've heard many mixed feelings about the product. I honestly never thought I would try it but being a beauty blogger and having always had bad skin, I like to wear a full face of make-up. Although I’m only 26, I have rather dry skin and I was starting to see the make-up creasing and falling into fine frown lines on my forehead. At the time, I was managing social media for plastic surgeon Dr. Sergio Alvarez, MD, in Miami Beach, FL and at the last minute as we were setting up to inject my lips I asked him to perform Botox injections on my forehead as well. I was extremely nervous until the first needle went into the injection site. The needle is so small you honestly feel nothing! There is a slight crunch when the needle pierces the skin, similar to the popping of a pimple but no pain at all. He injected my glabella, and above my brows into my forehead lines. Although there was no pain during the procedure, I had bad headaches in the few days following. Headaches are something I never get and I have had them on and off since the injections. I also had a little bit of swelling, but it went away after a day. The injections are now starting to wear off in month 4 and the headaches have seemed to ease up a bit but I am also starting to see my forehead lines reappear again. It is such a weird sensation while the Botox lasts, almost as if your forehead is numb to the touch and when you try and move it there's no movement at all even though you feel like it is moving. Will I do the injections again? Yes probably, though if I have the headaches again I probably won’t continue with it a 3rd time. I do, however, absolutely love the way my Botox-treated forehead looked!! I feel like I had the forehead I had at 18 years old! I'm hoping next time it will last a bit longer. I would recommend getting Botox from a board certified plastic surgeon or other board certified health care provider (dermatologist), if you are not happy with the lines on your face. The one thing I can say with certainty is that Botox will absolutely help with your facial lines.