Tummy Tuck With Liposuction To My Sides After 2 Kids
Living in Miami, you become very self-conscious of the way your body looks. I had the last of my 2 kids 3 years ago and had gained 59 pounds with each pregnancy. I lost 50-60 pounds after each birth and the dramatic weight loss and damage to my stomach muscles caused me to have a lot of loose skin.
My friend was the first person who told me about Dr. Careaga, who is a plastic surgeon in Miami, FL. She told me that out of all the consultations she went on, he was the only doctor that didn't rush her out of the office. Having lived in Miami for a long time, I can tell you there are a lot of plastic surgeons and a lot of people who want to go to them. The warm weather makes everyone want to look their best. Hearing that Dr. Careaga was the only doctor that seemed to care about my friend made me want to only visit him. My friend also said he was very cute and to be prepared.
My consultation with Dr. Careaga was really good. Dr. Careaga seemed to be a very soft spoken surgeon, was cute and he took the time to examine me. When he examined my abdomen and held my excess fat and skin in his hands, it really hit me that I needed to have this surgery. He told me I would benefit from a tummy tuck and that tightening my abdominal wall would give me a nice flat stomach. He was also going to be able to restore the location of my belly button to it's original position before my pregnancies too. The last thing he suggested was liposuction to my sides, which he said would give me a nice contour.
Before leaving his office, I asked him one more thing. I wanted to know if I was a candidate for breast augmentation with a lift. (Adding a breast augmentation and lift would have given me the complete 'mommy makeover.') He told me I could have one done but he did not think I absolutely needed it. I thought it was nice of him to not sell me on a procedure that I may not need.
I left Dr. Careaga's office knowing that I was going to go with him for my tummy tuck surgery with liposuction to the sides, but I wanted to wait a week to book my surgery. I wanted to go home and make sure I was thinking with a clear head.
Later in the week, I exchanged calls with Dr. Careaga's patient coordinator, Juni. She really went above and beyond what I expected and provided me with so much information about what I should expect leading up to surgery and what my recovery time would be afterward. She was great and I had mentally prepared for surgery. I booked it exactly 7 days afer my initial consultation.
Prior to my date of surgery I needed to go for a pre-op appointment and be medically cleared for surgery. My internal medicine doctor was able to do this for me and then I anxiously waited for the day of surgery to arrive! All I kept telling myself was I went through 2 vaginal childbirths, how bad could this be? Turned out I was right - it really wasn't bad.
The night before my surgery I was not allowed to drink or eat anything passed midnight. This had to do with the general anesthesia I was being placed under. I live a healthy lifestyle and rarely eat past 6 pm at night as part of my diet, so this wasn't difficult for me to do.
Walking into the operating facility to have surgery was a bit surreal. The whole drive to the surgery center I kept thinking I was about to be cut open in a few hours. This was tough to get out of my mind, but I had all the confidence in the world that Dr. Careaga would do me no harm.
Upon arriving for surgery, I signed forms and got changed into hospital clothing. Dr. Careaga and some nurses spoke with me and then it was time for surgery. I remember having medicine injected through the IV I had and then waking up in a recovery room with a nurse. That's it. It was a good deep sleep and I woke up feeling shockingly okay. I was in recovery for about 1.5-2 hours and then they let me go home.
The first week of recovery I had some pain in my lower abs, but was able to control it with pain medication. Dr. Coreaga told me he wanted me walking right away and I was able to. It was annoying having drains attached to me though. I had to monitor them for fluid collection and they needed to be emptied daily. My hubby loved helping me that. LOL.I did have to sleep at night in a reclining chair to make myself more comfortable and experienced aches where the liposuction was done to my sides.
I ended up taking my pain medication for about a week and once my drains were removed, I felt much more comfortable. I would say it took about 2-3 weeks for my bruising to go away and about a month for much of my swelling to go down. I had numbness around where my new belly button was (which looked great!) and some phantom itching that was likely caused by the disturbance of my nerves. I recovered from it though.
It's now been several years since my operation and I am over the moon with the results Dr. Careaga was able to deliver for me. I am so incredibly happy with how flat my stomach and often receive compliments from friends about what a great tummy I now have. I no longer have all that excess skin and fat hanging over my waistline. I feel so confident in a bathing suit in the Miami heat. All of my stretch marks have been removed and I don't have any bulges from the love handles I used to have. You can't even see the scar across my abdomen because Dr. Careaga had me bring in my smallest bikini to make sure he could hide the incision well. I won't tell you this surgery is a joy to go through, but for the small amount of pain and a few weeks of recovery you'll have to experience, it so worth it. I feel like my body has been completely rejuvenated and it's as though I've wound back the clock and returned to a young age before I had children. My self-esteem has been boosted over the mountains and I believe I received the best results possible and for that thank you Dr. Careaga!