A Review of My Tummy Tuck, Liposuction and Brazilian Butt Lift With Many Before and After Photos
Hi - My name is Doris and I wanted to share my personal experience having a tummy tuck, liposuction and a Brazilian butt lift (BBL).
In 2015, I had my last child and was not satisfied with the appearance of my body. After the birth of my children, I was left with excess fat, excess skin and a saggy butt. I decided to start seriously considering plastic surgery to assist with my appearance, as I knew no weight loss technique was going to help. I had done a significant amount of research on different cosmetic surgery procedures that would best benefit an individual of my body type. After months of contemplating having surgery, I finally decided to visit Dr. Tania Medina, a board certified plastic surgeon in the Dominican Republic. I know what you're thinking -- why would I go to the Dominican Republic to have plastic surgery when there are plenty of great doctors in the United States? Well, my husband was thinking the same thing. In fact, we constantly argued about me wanting to travel to the DR for my surgery. Especially since having a BBL, liposuction and tummy tuck surgery is no small procedure and comes along with serious risks. However, I had read many positive reviews about Dr. Medina and she was significantly cheaper than US-based plastic surgeons. I felt very confident that the trip would be worth it.
I decided to call Dr. Medina, do a virtual consultation and eventually schedule my sugery, which was to be on June 21, 2017. From that moment on, all I could think about was what I would look like after my BBL, liposuction and tummy tuck procedure. I also wondered whether I was making the right decision, and continued to have tension with my husband over my decision to travel to the DR.
A month prior to surgery I began to get very nervous and had difficulty sleeping at night. The thought of surgery was constantly weighing on my mind. Even though I had researched the procedure and my doctor for months, I knew things did not always go as planned.
As my surgery date approached, I kept telling myself that all the reviews I had read about Dr. Medina told of her great work and how she always prioritized surgery. Reading these reviews over and over again reinforced my confidence in her abilities to do a great job. I was even able to connect with other patients who had been operated on by her, and they bolster my confidence in going with her. Regardless, this was a major surgery and whether or not it was overseas or here in the states, problems could definitely arise.
Several days prior to my operation, I traveled to the Dominican Republic by myself. On the second day in the DR, I traveled to Dr. Medina's office for my consultation and spent the entire day at the clinic. I finally got to meet Dr. Medina and her assistant, who I had spoken with for months prior to arrive at their over. After examining me, Dr. Medina told me that I was a candidate for the BBL, liposuction and tummy tuck. However, when I asked her if I could also have a breast lift, she told me my hemoglobin level of 12.9 was too low to have all of these procedures at once. She also told me that I didn't have enough fat for a BBL, so she would have to do outer thigh liposuction to get the increased volume in my butt that I wanted. She concluded the consultation by telling me that I could come back in 6 months for the breast lift if I was still interested in it. Satisfied with what I had heard, I paid Dr. Medina's office $4,575, which is what remained after the $500 deposit I placed when I booked my surgery date.
After that, Dr. Medina sent me for labs, x-rays, an EKG, and a fully cardiovascular evaluation. Later that evening, Dr. Medina's assistant told me all of my tests had returned and I was cleared for surgery. My surgery time was set for 4:30 am the following morning. It also just so happen, that there was another patient of Dr. Medina's in the hotel, who I had spoken with online. We both comforted each other to prepare for our surgeries the next morning.
As I went to bed that night, I was excited that the moment I had waited so long for was just around the corner. Unfortunately, I was unable to sleep that night and ended up watching TV all night. When the morning came, the other woman staying at the hotel who was having surgery with Dr. Medina and I said a prayer. We then both headed to Dr. Medina's surgery center.
When I arrived at the surgery center, I checked in, was given a blue pill and then a nurse took me into a room with Dr. Medina and 4 other doctors. I was placed on a table and that is honestly the last thing I remember before waking up in the recovery room. I guess the general anesthesia worked well, because I seriously did not remember a single thing from the procedure. My surgery was a number of hours and I woke up around 6 pm at night.
Upon awaking, I felt weak and stiff. Fortunately, my private nurse, Denise, was waiting by my side when I woke up. Denise told me my husband and mom had called to check if everything went well with my surgery. At this point, I didn't want to move, drink or eat anything. I vomited a few times and slept for the remainder of the evening.
Once the morning came, I was able to drink and eat a few fruits but no food. I still had a little pain, but was mostly sore. Denise got me up and had me walk. I was only able to move with baby steps, because of how weak and sore I was. Around 11 am, Dr. Medina came in to my recovery room and told me I needed a blood transfusion, because my hemoglobin was too low (6.1). She told me this would cost an additional $400 and I would have to pay an extra $100 to stay an extra night at the recovery facility of the clinic, but I could not go home until my hemoglobin level came up. This made me cry, because I've never had nor needed a blood transfusion every before in my life. I also had a fever, which the doctors could not lower, despite twice giving me medicine through my IV. I started to get very nervous and called my mom to vent. Like mothers do, she was able to calm me down. The doctors were finally able to get my fever under control by giving me medicine through by rectum.
At around 3 pm the same day (1 day post op), I was taken to a blood transfusion room and given 2 bags of blood. When the blood first started going into me, I was very cold and could not stop shaking. Eventually, I fell asleep and by the time I woke up, the procedure was almost over.
After spending another day in the recovery facility, I was told I could return home but needed to have a follow-up appointment in 5 days.
The first 3 days after my procedure were the worst, but with each passing day, my bruising, swelling and pain levels diminished. My abdominal area felt tight too, but that wasn't unexpected based on what I had read from other people's tummy tuck recovery stories. I was also able to move around better and did not feel weak anymore. After 12 days of staying in the DR, on July 1, 2017, I was allowed to go home. However, I was sent up with my drainage tubes still in my body. Dr. Medina didn't remove the drains because I was still expelling too much fluid. She told me I could have the drains removed in the states, which I did, on July 5, 2017. Having daily massages in the DR did, however, help rid my body of more fluids and reduce some of my swelling.
It's now been over a month since my procedure, and I feel pretty good. Every week I continue to get stronger and a day closed to seeing my final results. Even though my recovery time wasn't all roses, it wasn't terrible. Even though I'm still waiting for my final results, I am already very happy with what I see. I am also very happy I chose Dr. Medina. She was wonderful throughout my entire experience. My best advice for anyone considering similar procedures, is to stay positive and prepare yourself mentally for your procedure and the recovery. Good luck!