When I was 51
years old, I looked down…and just KNEW it was time!!! I had been
toying with the idea of having a tummy tuck for several years. The
only reason I hadn’t done it sooner, was the fact that I was so
overweight. I had even gone to one plastic surgeon for a consult
about 3 years prior, and he told me most surgeons wouldn’t even
touch me. He said he would do it, IF I didn’t expect too much out of
it! He said I might go down a size in pants, but he wanted me to
know up front I would NOT be flat! Isn’t that the POINT of a tummy
tuck??? I never went back to him, but did decide to see another
plastic surgeon. I did a lot of homework, and was told
Dr. Joseph DeLozier was the very best in my area, whose practice is in
When I saw Dr.
Delozier for the first time, I weighed 204 pounds, and wore a
Woman’s size 18-20, or Woman’s size 2XL. By this time, I was also
very depressed about the way my face was aging FAST!!! I lost my
dear Mother in law, then my own precious Mot her and 105 year old
maternal Grandmother all within a year and a half of each other.
I think stress had certainly added to the wrinkles on my face! When
I went for my consult, I simply asked him, “What can you do to help
me?”. We talked about what areas I was concerned with, and he
recommended two separate surgeries for me. First of all, he
recommended a breast lift, an extended tummy tuck, and lipo to the
flanks and bra roll.
The more I
talked with my PS about my hopes and expectations; he told me he
recommended I go with implants. At first, I was totally shocked! I
was already a DDD/DD cup, and was not interested in going bigger!
But he explained to me that it was not for that purpose. He said my
breast tissue was so soft, if I did only the lift, he said he
promised me I would be back in less than a year wanting implants!
So…I did decide to go with implants, and actually told him I did not
want to be any smaller. I said I had been this large all my
life…it’s just a part of who I am! On the day of my surgery, I asked
him how he knew what size implants to go with, and he said he
thought I should be a D cup. I was shocked! We had discussed this
several times…that I was not interested in going down in size! But
he explained to me that with the tummy tuck, I would be so much
smaller there, and that he thought I would look top heavy if I went
any larger. I knew how much I trusted him, so I decided to go with
his recommendation….as scary as it was! I had this done on January
I cannot begin
to tell you what an easy time I had with this surgery! It was a
dream recovery in every way! Dr. D. used a pain pump for the tummy
tuck, and I personally think it made all the difference in the
world!!! I also rented a recliner with a lift in it….something I
highly recommend! I can honestly tell you I never experienced any
real pain with this surgery…just discomfort when I moved around. And
I am a BIG baby when it comes to pain! I just loved having the pain
pump, which a t the push of a button sent numbing medicine straight
to the tummy. When I first woke up in recovery, the first discomfort
I was aware of was not the tummy at all…it was the boobs! I told the
nurse my nipples were killing me, and she said that was a very good
I had my surgery done in a surgical center, and was safely
back in the comfort of my own home by 2:00 that afternoon! I do have
to tell this story, which I now laugh at, but certainly didn’t that
first night home! The nurses instructed me to peep down into the
dressing on my boobs every few hours just to be sure everything
looked good…pink nipples, etc. Now mind you, I was heavily
drugged…but I had gotten up for a few minutes, and was sitting with
my family in our living room. I peeped down, and immediately told my
husband to RUN for the phone…I HAD to call my Dr! I reached the on
call nurse first…and told her we had a major problem...my nipple had
become detached!!! She asked me what I was talking about. I said, “I
see my nipple down in the dressing, and it is NOT attached!” Now…I’m
SURE you can understand my urgent concern…well, ok…my PANIC!!! She
told me to give the phone to my husband, and asked him to look. Of
course…as it turned out, I was only seeing some dried blood on the
dressing, but it totally freaked me out!!! I mean who wants to lose
a nipple over a breast lift and augmentation??? Whew!!!
As my recovery
progressed, I did have a few places that were slow to heal, and the
nurses had me come in once a week for the entire 6 weeks to check on
it. The nurses would debride the spots, and even make them bleed.
They also kept me on strong antibiotics for the full 6 weeks. I knew
going into this, that I would be seeing only his nurses for follow
up care until the 6 week post op visit. I was really looking forward
to finally seeing the PS himself…I had questions that I felt like
only he could truly answer, and we also were supposed to set the
date for my second surgery. When I went in for this visit, the nurse
took my “after” pictures, and he briefly came into the room, and
said he would be back for us to talk. Just outside the door, I
overheard him tell his nurses that he had to leave and would be back
in 30 minutes. I was a little frustrated, but was more than willing
to wait for him to return. His nurse then came in the room, and
instructed me that I was ready to leave. She said I was all set up
for my next surgery, and didn’t need to see him.
I did leave,
but by the time I got home I was so upset! I immediately called his
office and asked to speak with the nurse with whom I felt the
closest. I explained what had happened to her, and told her that I
found this unacceptable! Just because my next surgery was
planned…and PAID for…did not mean I didn’t have questions that I
wanted answered! She said she would talk to him. Well, several days
passed, and I didn’t hear anything, so I called her back. I told her
that I did not intend to have a second surgery until I spoke to him.
She was surprised that he had not called me, but said he was out of
town for the week! I was very frustrated! I waited two days after he
was back in the office, and called the nurse yet again. She promised
to talk to him again about the situation.
the end of that day, Dr. D. called me himself. The first words out
of his mouth were, “I need to apologize to you”. He went on to
explain that there had been an emergency with his young daughter,
and said he wanted me to come in at my convenience so we could talk.
I told him the reason why he left was not my business, but I
certainly appreciated his apology and wanted to come in. He again
apologized to me. I went in a week later for my post op visit, and
he sat down, and allowed me plenty of time to discuss any concerns
and questions I had. I knew all along he was the one I wanted to do
my second surgery, and was so thankful that he did own up to making
a mistake in the way this had been handled on my previous visit.
Again he apologized, and said he wanted to make it up to me! YAY!!!
For the second
surgery, we had planned to do a facelift, upper and lower
blepharoplasty, arm lift, and liposuction to the chin. At this point
overall I was quite pleased with my tummy tuck…but you know how we
are! I wanted perfection at this point! So…when he said he wanted to
make it up to me, I immediately asked him to do some liposuction on
my abdomen, which was much improved, but not as flat as I had hoped.
He agreed to do this at no charge to make it up to me. I say all
this to say…when you have concerns, don’t be afraid to speak up with
your doctor! They are only frail human beings just like the rest of
us. I was thrilled with the way things ended once we had worked
through this problem.
On April 21,
2008, I went back for my second procedures. Unfortunately, things
did not go as smoothly this time. He said that I bruised more than
the average person. I agree that surely I did! My family suggested
that Steven Spielberg could make a whole new series if he saw my
pictures! The next morning after surgery, I had to go in and have
the drains removed from the facelift. I was so bruised and swollen
that my adult children wouldn’t even look at me!
By the next
morning, I knew I had a problem…this time, a real one! My cheeks
were tremendously swollen, especially the right one. I called, and
they had me come in to check it. I had developed two seromas, one on
each cheek! The nurses drained them both, which were extremely
painful, being on the face. I ended up going back again the next
day, and this time, they did bring the PS in to see me. Looking
back, I wish I had requested to see him with post op care when I had
some areas that didn’t heal well with the tummy tuck. I think we pay
too much money to only see nurses when there is clearly a problem.
After this, he continued to see me himself for all follow up visits,
and I learned to speak up for myself! He decided not to drain the
seromas anymore. He said draining seromas on the face is just too
risky, and could lead to other problems. He hoped they would go down
on their own, which they eventually did. It took them about 3-4
weeks to completely clear. I cannot begin to tell you how much pain
I was in with this facial work.
The eyes hurt,
but not nearly as bad as the face work. I can honestly tell you I
was in severe pain, even taking strong narcotics for a full two
weeks; and still in pain for several more weeks. I remember saying
as much as I hurt that I would never say this was worth it…but you
know what? Enough time has finally passed now, that I can say it was
indeed worth it! I think it just goes to show we can’t predict how
recovery will be. The nurse just couldn’t believe what a hard time I
had with my second surgery after the way I breezed through the first
I gained from my surgical journey? Wow! Where to start? I have
always suffered from low self esteem. I never, ever thought of
myself as pretty. In fact, I remember when I was at my heaviest
weight about 4 years before I had this surgery…close to 300 pounds,
feeling sorry for anyone who had to be in the room with me. I felt
so ugly, I honestly felt sorry for those who had to see me! I did go
through therapy, and it did help me some with that, but I still
never felt like I was pretty. When I saw my PS for the last visit, I
told him I wanted him to know that he had honestly changed my life!
He immediately started saying it wasn’t all him, he didn’t deserve
the credit, that I had done very well with the weight loss too. But
I do give him a lot of credit!
Even though I
was still overweight, he didn’t tell me I was a lost cause! When I
had the tummy tuck, my stomach protruded so much in all my clothes!
I was embarrassed to even look at my own body when I would get out
of the shower. I certainly NEVER wanted my husband to see me! And my
breasts were so tired looking. They hung straight down...so sad!
Now, my tummy is flat…yep..FLAT!!! And my boobs are high and perky!
And as it turned out, I am glad that I did trust my PS as far as
what size to go with. I am now a big D/DD, but couldn’t possibly be
happier with my girls! I actually like for my husband to see me now!
I catch myself walking past mirrors, and just stopping! I can’t
believe it’s me! The face work and eyes have also made me look so
much more youthful!
I find myself smiling a whole lot more these
days! I will never be as small as a lot of girls, but the
improvements have added so much joy to my life! I have to tell one
more story…We moved to a different city about 6 months before I had
my surgery. Just a few months ago, we decided to go back and visit
the church where we used to attend. Everyone was talking to us after
services were over, and a man asked my husband where I was. He said,
“She is right beside you”. That said it all. He didn’t even
recognize me! So many others have made comments about how good I
look…and I just smile!
considering plastic surgery, please do your homework. Get the very
best doctor you can find. Know that there are risks with any
surgery, but for me those risks were so worth taking! I am a much
happier girl these days! And along the way, I found this forum, and
made so many new friends! The girls were so happy to share their
wealth of information with me, and because of that, I was totally
prepared for surgery. I cannot emphasize how much I learned from the
forum, and just how much it helped me. I stayed on every free minute
I had…but I am so thankful that I did! There were so many things
that I learned from women who had already been down that road…things
that a plastic surgeon never, ever thinks to tell you!
things that only experience teaches us, and I will forever be
grateful to the women who were so open and willing to share their
experiences with me. I know several times I would ask a question,
and add that I didn’t mean to be nosy, or I understood if someone
didn’t want to answer. Well…that never happened! Everyone told me
over and over to feel free to ask any questions that I had, and
added that if I wondered about something, chances were others were
so willing to talk about anything and everything, and that proved to
be invaluable to me. Stay on this forum, and learn all you can! It
truly made a difference for me! I want to say a very special thank
you to Bailey. I have learned so much from you! I don’t think anyone
could possibly be more interested in helping others through their
journeys with plastic surgery! You are a wealth of information, and
you totally devote yourself to this forum! It is absolutely the best
forum out there because of you!!! You are simply the BEST!!! Thank
you for all you do!