Leola’s (member name: Almostfine) life-long ambition has always been to get a stomach to match her petite frame. Ever since her teenage years, Leola was self-conscious about her stomach and vowed to get a tummy tuck when she was rich. Motherhood only made matters worse for her stomach. Watching a tummy tuck episode of the plastic surgery television show “Dr. 90210″ last year motivated her to get her first consult, after Leola realized from the show that a tummy tuck was much more affordable than she thought – not a dream reserved for the rich. She worked overtime doing 65-70 hour work weeks to get enough money for the tummy tuck and has never had a single regret since that day.
See Leola’s Before & After Plastic Surgery Pictures Album.
Leola’s tummy tuck was performed by Plastic Surgeon Dr. Donald Griffin, in Louisiana. Leola was amazed by the photos of Dr. Griffin’s patients and knew that he was the right surgeon for her. The recovery journey was tougher than she imagined, but Leola had her friends and family by her side. After getting her tummy tuck, Leola’s self-esteem soared and now she loves shopping for her new, fabulous body.
Leola has a few words of advice for prospective patients: “RESEARCH! Don’t tell anyone you know of your surgery until a week before. People can say discouraging things and you would want to change your mind. Just hold out before telling anyone until surgery.”
Please join Make Me Heal in this hilarious interview with the charming Leola.
Make Me Heal: When did you first have the idea to have your procedure?
Leola: Well I have pictures dating back to my freshman year in high school with a big stomach. For some reason I was this little petite girl with this big stomach that I could not loose. As a teenager, I’ve always said when I’m rich I was going to have a tummy tuck. I had my first child my senior year in high school and it made my stomach even worse. All my life I wanted this and bad but I realized just last year you don’t have to be rich to have this procedure done. Believe me I’m not rich. lol…I worked my butt off for that overtime. I was putting in like 65 to 70 hours a week. I did that for about 3 months. Again I knew I wanted this procedure since high school.
Make Me Heal: What were your motivations behind your decision to have the procedure?
Leola: To be honest… This website is GREEEEEEEEEEAT! If it wasn’t for the ladies on this board I wouldn’t went through with it. You all need some kind of award for creating this board. This site has helped me before and after the surgery. #1 in my book.
Make Me Heal: How long did it take you to make a decision and was it an easy or difficult one to make?
Leola: When I went to my first consult I knew immediately I could afford to have this procedure. Also, after seeing the results of other ladies on this board I knew I could do this. I wanted to feel and look like they did. It was an easy decision because I wasn’t afraid. I knew once that stomach was gone I was going to be FIERCE! lol
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?
Leola: My husband was behind me 100%. He even put in $1000 towards the procedure. He just started a new job himself on the road and he saved the money for me. I was so thrilled. After knowing my husband backed me I didn’t care how anyone else felt.
Make Me Heal: How did you research the procedure and come to decide on this particular procedure?
Leola: One day I was watching Dr 90210 and I had heard of the show but every episode was on breast augmentation. I didn’t want that procedure so one day I actually saw a couple ladies who was having a mini and a full abdominoplasty. I was like abdominoplasty, what is that? I was an amateur at the time but I had no idea it was the same as a tummy tuck then I kept hearing the doctor say tummy tuck and at times he would say abdominoplasty then it hit me that it’s the same. I just started typing in the web browser tummy tuck photos before and after. So I actually did my research online but mainly Make Me Heal had all the answers because the ladies and men actually went through the procedure. So I trusted them.
Make Me Heal: Please discuss if you used any of Make Me Heal’s resources.
Leola: I used the message boards a lot but definitely the [plastic surgery] picture library. Seeing the before and after pictures of the members helped a lot. I was addicted to the photo album part. I know this sounds disgusting but the ones who posted the actual procedure being performed is what I really wanted to see. After viewing those photos the comfort level for me in surgery was a breeze because I knew the procedure as if I could’ve given it to myself. lol
Make Me Heal: How did you come to choose your doctor?
Leola: I went to 2 other doctors before choosing my doctor. Each charged $50 for a consultation but I didn’t like the before and after pictures they showed me. Then I typed in the web browser something like Nashville cosmetic surgery and stumbled across Dr Griffin’s site. First thing I did was call and schedule a consultation and to my surprise he was free. Also the biggest thing was he was from Louisiana. That’s where I’m from and he went to a school where a lot of my relatives went. After seeing his photos he actually had a lot of photos of women of color and the results looked GREAT! I knew then he was the one. Doctor that is. lol.
Make Me Heal: Please discuss if you have any role in deciding the type of technique used for your surgery by the doctor?
Leola: None really. He basically knew what I wanted. He knew I wanted that flap at the bottom of my tummy gone.
Make Me Heal: How did you prepare for the surgery?
Leola: Now I can go on and on with this question. I actually changed the surgery date twice because my husband works over the road and each time he would tell me he couldn’t make it to take care of me. Well the 3rd time he said the same. I wasn’t going to keep pushing the date ahead so I found a good friend I confide in to help me out. She was thrilled and agreed. I have 2 girls. Ages 13 and 4. 2 days before surgery I loaded up on microwavable foods for the kids. I set up a bed downstairs so I wouldn’t have to climb the stairs after surgery. I moved furniture to the garage so it could leave a wide open space while I was heading to the half bath down stairs. I took out my tank tops washed them all because I knew I wasn’t going to wear anything else. (Thanks ladies and fellows of Makemeheal). I even took planter stands (because they sit so high) and set them in the bathroom in case I need to reach something and I wouldn’t have to bend too much to get it. I had my toothbrush, toothpaste, tissue, everything just about on a planter stand. I really didn’t buy much. OOOOOH I bought several pillows. Can’t forget about my pillows. I purchased a waist cincher as well for post op. Setup was a breeze. I was so excited.
Make Me Heal: How were you feeling the night before the surgery and on the moments before the surgery itself?
Leola: The night before my surgery was actually my first PRE OP visit that day. May 7th. I only had been to a consultation but he gave me something to relax me because I couldn’t sleep. I didn’t have any fears just excitement.
Make Me Heal: How was the recovery process?
Leola: The 1st day of recovery was rough. I felt so tight and bloated and drugged up. Didn’t feel any pain, just discomfort of the swelling and medication. The 2nd day I started to stand upright and doing mainly everything on my own. I slept most of the day for about 4 days straight but I was taking pictures and online chatting with the ladies since 1st day after surgery. Again I confided in a girlfriend to help out a lot. She was keeping up with the meds count and the drainage levels, etc. Love you Anna.
Make Me Heal: Please discuss the pain or discomfort you experienced during the recovery?
Leola: None really. Just the drainage tubes. It was a little uncomfortable but it wasn’t that bad.
Make Me Heal: How well prepared were you for the recovery from physical, emotional, and mental respects?
Leola: No. I had it all nailed before surgery. I asked my question with the ladies on the board. I was ready for whatever.
Make Me Heal: What are your top recovery tips to other patients?
Leola: Hmmmm… let’s see. Don’t be lazy and don’t lounge around. Move. I know you’re going to be tired but even if you can’t stand straight, get up slump over and just walk around in circles and it helps you to gain energy and you’ll be upright in no time. Also keep that binder on. It helps with bloating. Mine was tight and uncomfortable but it works.
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?
Leola: I took 10days but with weekend it was a total of 14days when I got back. Yes I told them all about the procedure but first I sent before and after photos so I wouldn’t hear ooooh you didn’t need to have a tummy tuck but after seeing my before pics they were like “where did you hide all of that”. I didn’t know your stomach was that big. A lot of people noticed the weight lost but not the procedure. I was still wearing loose fit clothes to work because I know I was still having a little swelling. After I told them of the surgery, they really notice now.
Make Me Heal: How happy are you with the results?
Leola: I’m so THRILLED! Best thing that has ever happened to me. For those who haven’t had the surgery you just wait.
Make Me Heal: How has your makeover impacted your life from personal, social, career, and other respects?
Leola: OH MY! I used to hate to shop. I’m shopping everyday now. Hubby is forever transferring money from his account to mine. Also, I never wanted to dress up in heels and accessories but now that’s all I’m buying. With tight shirts. I can wear them now
Make Me Heal: Would you have done anything differently if you had the chance?
Leola: NOPE! I wouldn’t change a thing.
Make Me Heal: What is your final word of advice to other people considering the procedure you had?
Leola: RESEARCH! Don’t tell anyone you know of your surgery until a week before. People can say discouraging things and you would want to change your mind. Just hold out before telling anyone until surgery.
Make Me Heal: Was Make Me Heal beneficial to you along your journey?
Leola: As you know I mentioned several times above Makemeheal has been so helpful in my decision. Thank you THANK YOU THANK YOU!
Tags: Abdominoplasty, cosmetic surgery, Photos, Pictures, plastic surgery, Tummy Tuck