When Merci turned 40 last year and found Make Me Heal’s website, it was her wake up call to finalize her plastic surgery dreams. With the help of the Plastic Surgery Message Boards, going under the knife felt like the easiest decision she’s ever taken in her whole life.
See Merci’s Before & After Plastic Surgery Pictures Album.
But, after a few days Merci felt like her implants were falling off her chest and noticed two pockets that appeared at the base of her breasts. This condition, also known as capsulorraphy can be corrected with a revision surgery. In addition to this problem, Merci also needed to correct her tummy tuck scar irregularity, commonly called “Dog Ears”. The revision surgeries took place in September 2006 and though her tummy tuck scar is a bad dream left behind her, Merci still has a few issues with her breast augmentation. She experiences severe distortion with flexing and some double bubble that has to be revisited.
Despite these few problems, Merci refers to her plastic surgery journey as the “most liberating event of my lifetime” and is looking forward to re-doing her breasts in silicone over the next year.
Merci’s advice to her family and all those who would consider plastic surgery is: “Do what makes YOU happy. Never do things to make anyone one else happy. After all it is YOU that has to live with yourself in the end.“
Make Me Heal: When did you first have the idea to have your procedure?
Merci: I wanted to have my BA since my teens, but always wanted to wait until after I was done having children. After having had both my kids, I decided it was time.
Make Me Heal: What were your motivations behind your decision to have the procedure?
Merci: Turning 40! I thought it was all downhill from there. Instead it has been the most liberating event of my lifetime. I finally know who I am. Having the surgeries just tied it all in.
Make Me Heal: How long did it take you to make a decision and was it an easy or difficult one to make?
Merci: It was the easiest decision in the world to make. I’d been thinking about it for so long that it only seemed logical.
Make Me Heal: Did your family, friends, and any other people in your close circle give you support, opposition, or did you make this decision without considering them?
Merci: My family always knew of my yearning for bigger breasts, when I told them of my decision they were all elated. When I told them I was going to go ahead and get a Tummy Tuck with it, they just looked at it as an added plus!
Make Me Heal: How did you research the procedure and come to decide on this particular procedure?
Merci: I came online mostly. Make Me Heal’s website was a Godsend! The women here and the information on this website was crucial. What wasn’t directly ON this website there were links outside that I could research. I found the information unbiased. I also went on 3 separate Plastic Surgery consults and went with the Doctor that I felt most comfortable with and that best met my needs.
Make Me Heal: Please discuss if you used any of Make Me Heal’s resources.
Merci: I used everything on this board, the wealth of information was invaluable.
Make Me Heal: How did you come to choose your doctor?
Merci: I went on 3 separate PS interviews. Based on how they answered my questions, how their facilities met my needs and how comfortable I felt with the PS I chose the PS that did my surgery.
Make Me Heal: Please discuss if you have any role in deciding the type of technique used for your surgery by the doctor?
Merci: My PS and I discussed at length, what the best incision placements would be for me, based on my body size etc., especially my Tummy Tuck. I didn’t have a whole lot to take off. I almost wound up with an Anchor Lift. But he was able to do the procedure without it. However, we did discuss all the possibilities before hand. The anesthesia was mostly discussed with the anesthesiologist which was kind and patient, I am a very difficult patient to start an IV on and he was never rushed or in a bad mood. My implant size was mostly discussed with their coordinator, who took extensive time to help me find the exact look i was looking for.
Make Me Heal: How did you prepare for the surgery?
Merci: After “lurking” on MMH for a while I was able to get the gist of what all I needed to prepare for my journey. I just about drove my family insane. I talked about my surgery incessantly!.. Thank God the board was here. Who else would understand the excitement I was going through? My family was about to duct tape my mouth shut if I mentioned my surgery one more time during dinner time! I was just about to start a new job as well. I had 2 weeks to recuperate before starting. I filled the house with bottles of water, pillows, protein drinks, bought a shower chair, bought comfortable tops and bottoms that I can hang out on the couch in all day AND night!. I made arrangements for my mom to stay with me for the first 5 days. Lucky me! My mom is an ICU nurse and my hubby is a Pediatrician. What more can a girl ask for right?
Make Me Heal: How were you feeling the night before the surgery and on the moments before the surgery itself?
Merci: My nickname in my family is “Zipper Girl”.. God should have made me with a zipper!.. I have had to have so many surgeries in the last 7 years it’s not even funny! If it wasn’t my Gallbladder, it was my Appendix, or a Hysterectomy or Carpal Tunnel or Exploratory Laparotomy! So they couldn’t understand my trepidation about having surgery this time. I was like:” Hello! This time it’s ELECTIVE!” I’m doing this to myself!”. It’s different when you HAVE to have surgery but when you are choosing to have it, it’s a whole different game. I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off the night before. Thankfully my hubby was VERY patient with me and just watched me pace the entire house a million times while I fixed the pillows on what would me my “home” for the first week or so on the couch a million times. Before we went to bed he took all HIS pillows and made a place for himself right next to mine on the couch. I asked him what he was doing and he said he wouldn’t think of letting me go through any of this alone. That just about did it for me. The dam broke and I started to bawl. The reality of it all sunk in. Needless to say I had quite a night of interrupted sleep. When i got to the surgery center I was actually quite calm though. Go figure. Then the poking for the IV started. I wanted to be a brave girl. But about after the 14th stick, hubby had even tried and no IV in site. I was wheeled into the surgical suite for them to start a jugular line. Now THAT was nerve wracking. All the while, tears streaming down my face, the anesthesiologist and the OR team sweet as can be telling everything was going to be okay. And it was.
Make Me Heal: How was the recovery process?
Merci: When i left the surgery center i remember them saying: “see you tomorrow”.. and i was like.. “what? are you kidding me? surely, they gave me the drugs and THEY got the effects!”.. I don’t remember much of the ride home, but i do remember getting out of the car and walking what seemed miles down the corridor to the elevator and then down the corridor to my doorway again. My sweet mom wanted to wheel me an office chair insisting I should walk. But I wanted to walk. My first night wasn’t too bad. I took my meds on the hour. I ate even if I didn’t want to. I did exactly as i was told. Then day two rolled around. And it was everything i had heard and read. The pain was excruciating. Mostly from the Tummy Tuck. My chest just felt like it was so tight I couldn’t breathe. My hubby had to work, so my mom stayed with me. My mom and aunt drove me to my post op appointment. I remember making sure to take my pain meds just before leaving the house so i could make the trip there and back. It was slow going but i made it. The sweetest words i heard at the PS’s office were: “you could take a shower if you like today”.. For me, the most relaxing thing was to sit in my shower chair and take a warm shower. Note to self though. Never let hubby wash hair again. Bless his heart. He loves my long hair, but has no clue how to handle it and just tugged and tangled it more than it was already. So much so he actually offered to have someone come to the house and cut it if i wanted. Something he would never say cause’ he hates short hair.
Make Me Heal: Please discuss the pain or discomfort you experienced during the recovery?
Merci: Day 3 was the worst pain day. Adding a spiked temperature and spike in blood pressure. Which my mom quickly noted the elevated blood pressure was probably from drinking so much gatorade. We stopped it, went to just water and it normalized within a few hours. Most of the pain and discomfort came from the inability to get comfortable. Being an active person also took it’s toll on me. I couldn’t keep still. Just as i was comfortable in one position, i was anxious to move into another.
Make Me Heal: How well prepared were you for the recovery from physical, emotional, and mental respects?
Merci: Thanks to all the wonderful women on this board and their shared experiences, I was able to know what to expect. Knowing is MORE than half the battle for me. If I know what to expect, then I know how to deal with it. I don’t think I could have done this without this board.
Make Me Heal: What are your top recovery tips to other patients?
Merci: INFORMATION! Arm yourself with information. It is amazing what the power of knowledge can bring you!
Make Me Heal: How long did you take off from work? What did you tell your co-workers about taking this time off? Did anyone notice your cosmetic procedures at work and what did you tell them if they asked about it?
Merci: I had 2 weeks before I started a new job. I told my new employers of the surgeries prior to my starting the job just in case I had any complications.
Make Me Heal: How happy are you with the results?
Merci: I still have issues with my BA. I have severe distortion with flexing and some double bubble that has to be revisited. I am looking forward to re-doing them in silicone over the next year.
Make Me Heal: How has your makeover impacted your life from personal, social, career, and other respects?
Merci: I am way more confident! I love the way my clothes look on me now! I don’t hate shopping anymore. I am not so self conscious and I am not constantly comparing myself to others.
Make Me Heal: Would you have done anything differently if you had the chance?
Merci: I would have started out with silicone, but they were not approved yet at the time that I had them done.
Make Me Heal: What is your final word of advice to other people considering the procedure you had?
Merci: Do what makes YOU happy. Never do things to make anyone one else happy. After all it is YOU that has to live with yourself in the end.
Make Me Heal: Was Make Me Heal beneficial to you along your journey?
Merci: MMH has held my hand, it has given me advice, it has listened to me laugh, it has been there when I’ve cried, it has let me be silly and given me a shoulder to lean on. It has been my “family” through this journey.
See Merci’s Before & After Plastic Surgery Pictures Album.
Tags: celebrity, plastic, surgery