Tummy Tuck Experience With Dr. Andrew Mcallister at Coastal Plastic Surgery Institute
Procedure specific satisfaction rating
My name is Kelsi. I am from Panama City, Florida and I’m 27 years old. I began my weight loss journey 4 years ago. I was tired of being the “big girl”. I am 6ft tall and I weighed 317 lbs at my heaviest, wearing a 3XL top and 24/26 pants. I made the decision to get active and count my calories. Once the weight started to come off, I became addicted to not only the results but the process as well. I fell in love with the gym and learning new things about all things involved with it. I was active in Zumba and sometimes I would even do two-a-days at the gym to expedite my results.
After I lost 65 lbs, I plateaued. I began seeing a nutritionist and trainer. I learned so much from him! I stopped counting calories and began to actually eat more than I was before! I lost several inches and an additional 19 lbs. At this point I was officially at the smallest I could ever remember. I got down to 233 pounds! I was not even this size in high school, unfortunately, because I was obese ever since elementary school, sad to say. I became fairly complacent at the size I was at. There was only one problem… my body did not look at all like I planned it would when I set my goal at the beginning of my journey. I had always thought to myself, “When I lose 100 lbs, I’m going to look like her!” What I didn’t consider was that after so many years of being overweight, that my skin elasticity was gone in many areas of my body. Therefore, I was left with excess sagging skin. It didn’t matter how many ab workouts I did, my abs were nowhere to be seen, nor in any good shape for that matter…just saggy skin. I started thinking of the idea that I would need an abdominoplasty to get the desired look I had worked so hard for. I went to a well-known plastic surgeon in my area. He is getting older and it was evident he no longer enjoyed performing this particular surgery. I felt defeated after leaving my tummy tuck consult that didn't go so well.
After a month of wondering what my next step was, I spoke to my boss (who is a facial plastic surgeon). He recommended a newer doctor (to this area) to go consult with. I called Dr. Andrew Mcallister with the Coastal Plastic Surgery institute. I was able to get an appointment within a week. The staff was AMAZING! Even more amazing was Dr. McCallister. He had an amazing personality, great knowledge, and made me feel right about my decision. We discussed our plan and course of action then scheduled my surgery. I decided to have it done in December to help with work schedules between my husband and I.
I had my surgery done at the Surgery Center for Excellence on December 12th, 2016. The perioperative experience was smooth and graceful. I arrived at 6 AM. They brought me back immediately and handled all of my preoperative steps before I saw my doctor one last time before surgery. I was not very nervous about the surgery itself because I am a Certified Surgical Technologist and Surgical First Assistant, therefore the surgical environment is like home to me. I remember going to sleep as soon as they took me back to the operating room and nothing until recovery.
My abs were the most painful when I woke up. I went home that day with 2 drains (one on each side of my hips), a pain pump with Marcaine, and an abdominal binder. This surgery put me out from work for 2-3 weeks, physical activity for 12 weeks, but it took 16 weeks and longer to actually start getting back to being my normal self. The 2nd and 3rd day were the worst for me pain wise. At first I wondered what I had done to myself, however, I would go back and do it again in a heartbeat to feel as good as I do now. I had my surgery on Monday and I went out of the house (walker and wheelchair bound, mind you) on Thursday and Friday of the same week. I was not able to shower while I had drains in. I had drains in for 16 days and I slept in my recliner for 33 days straight. The bed created too much gravitational pressure on my abdominal muscles so I stayed in the recliner for a while longer.
In June, following my surgery (6 months after surgery), I decided to join a Spartan Obstacle Course Racing team here. My nutritionist that I had been seeing was our trainer and also a Spartan SGX coach. I had put back on about 10-15 lbs after surgery due to no activity and just sitting all the time. I needed something to push me through. This was the best decision! I don’t know that I would have done it, had I not had my tummy tuck. Insecurities with the sagging skin does tend to hinder a lot of women. My trainer was with me through my whole surgical process for support and nutrition. He was aware there were things at this new training I would need to modify due to the muscle repair I had on my abdominus rectus muscles.
Since my surgery I have completed a trifecta in Spartan racing and now gearing up for another season. I went from NEVER running and not being able to run more than a minute, to running 14 mile races (yes running! And no walking…) I finally broke out of that “big girl” shell. I found myself and got out of a comfort zone I had been stuck in. I’m so much more confident since my surgery. I have referred several patients to Dr. McCallister since. While trying to prepare for my surgery, I was researching everyone I could on YouTube for help. I just did not feel like everything I needed/wanted to know was available to me. So I decided to put my entire journey on YouTube and help as many women as I could. I since have talked to hundreds of women whether it is questions or just them telling me “thank you” and about their upcoming journey. I have not once regretted my decision (other than my painful day 2 and 3 haha). I have become more confident, happier, proud, etc. Clothes fit better than ever and it is so much LESS stressful now shopping because all tops fit! Please feel free to contact me for any help, support, or questions you may have! You can post a question below and I'm also on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Good luck with your endeavors!
Videos of My Tummy Tuck Journey
Video 1: Everything You Need to Know About Tummy Tuck Surgery
Video 2: Week 1 Post Tummy Tuck Surgery
Video 3: 10 Days Post Tummy Tuck Surgery
Video 4: 2 Week Post Tummy Tuck Surgery
Video 5: 1 Month Post Tummy Tuck Surgery
Video 6: 3 Month Post Tummy Tuck Surgery
Video 7: 6 Month Post Tummy Tuck Surgery