See Julie’s Before & After Plastic Surgery Photo Album.
After the birth of her youngest son, Julie (friendname: Morgandy) began to lose all of her baby weight but could not get rid of her “tummy pouch”. After getting down to her ideal weight, she decided she might need some liposuction on her trouble spots, so she called up Dr. Linda Huang, who had performed Julie’s breast reduction previously. Since she was so happy with the results of her breast reduction, she trusted Dr. Huang’s opinion. Dr. Huang explained that her “tummy pouch” was loose skin from her pregnancies, and a tummy tuck would be necessary to get rid of that skin. After spending time lurking, and finally posting, on the Make Me Heal Message Boards and buying a stage one compression garment to help with her recovery, she finally had her abdominoplasty procedure on June 10, 2008. Though it took a few weeks of dealing with back and abdominal pain, with the help of her husband and kids she recovered with amazing results.
Julie’s words of advice to anyone considering a tummy tuck are:
“Be sure to do research. Ask questions and don’t be afraid to visit more than one doctor before making your decision.”
Please join us for an interview with Julie:
Make Me Heal: When did you first have the idea to have your procedure(s)?
Julie: I have been thinking about having a tummy tuck for several years – ever since my youngest son was born. I had lost a lot of weight and my stomach was really stretched out and no matter how much I worked out that area, it didn’t budge.
Make Me Heal: What were your motivations (physical, emotional, social, etc.) behind your decision to have the procedure(s)?
Julie: My motivation for having this done was emotional for the most part. I did not like the way my stomach looked after I lost the baby weight.
Make Me Heal: How long did it take you to make a decision and was it an easy or difficult one to make?
Julie: It was a very easy decision to make. I knew I wanted a tummy tuck after I had lost the baby weight, but still had the tummy pouch. I went with the surgeon that did my breast reduction.
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?
Julie: The only person who knows about this is my husband. I made the decision myself and he supported it. I feel it’s a very personal thing and did not want a lot of people to know. We told our kids that I was having surgery to take care of stomach scar tissue due to my c-section.
Make Me Heal: How did you research the procedure and come to decide on this particular procedure?
Julie: For research I looked online at various websites and came across Make Me Heal. I lurked for quite a bit – viewing other people’s photo albums and reading their stories. I had a consult with my surgeon and viewed before/after pictures in her office as well as checked out her website.
Make Me Heal: Please discuss if you used any of Make Me Heal’s resources such as the message boards, pictures library, doctor directory and doctor reviews, and any recovery and preparation products that you used.
Julie: I bought a stage 1 garment from MMH and then started posting on the message boards. There’s a wealth of information on the MMH website and the people on the boards are always very helpful and willing to offer advice and suggestions.
Make Me Heal: How did you come to choose your doctor?
Julie: I chose my doctor based on the fact that she did my breast reduction and I am beyond thrilled with the results from that. I know how the scars will look after a few years and knowing that helped me see how the tummy tuck scar will turn out. She has amazing bedside manner and is very nice.
Make Me Heal: Please discuss if you have any role in deciding the type of technique used for your surgery by the doctor, incision placements, implant brand, anesthesia type, etc.
Julie: I first went in for just some liposuction on the tummy, but she suggested the tummy tuck and explained why – extra skin etc. I didn’t really have a role in determining things, but she explained everything so well and clearly and answered my questions fully.
Make Me Heal: How did you prepare for the surgery?
Julie: For surgery prep I started taking Arnica Montana pills and Bromelain 2 weeks before. I also was sure to take a multi-vitamin. My husband took a week off work and we arranged for our kids to stay at Grandma’s for a vacation.
Make Me Heal: How were you feeling the night before the surgery and on the moments before the surgery itself?
Julie: I was pretty nervous before the surgery, but even more excited. I got to sleep late and we had to be up at 4:00 to leave by 4:30 to be at the hospital by 6:00 am. I think being a bit tired helped me not be as nervous. I prayed that things would go well and felt comforted by that.
Make Me Heal: How was the recovery process? Please discuss what side effects you experienced. What were the worse parts of the recovery? Did anyone help you during the recovery?
Julie: I stayed overnight at the hospital and went home the next day. Recovery was longer than I thought it would be. The worse parts of recovery was when I had to do anything that involved moving my torso. Sneezing and coughing were the worst, followed by trying to get up out of bed. My husband was there to help me with getting things I needed.
Make Me Heal: Please discuss the pain or discomfort you experienced during the recovery?
Julie: I had enough pain for the first 2 days to take the prescription pain medicine that I was given, but was able to switch to Advil after that. My stomach was very sore and tight and my back was sore as well from being hunched over due to the fact that I couldn’t stand up straight.
Make Me Heal: How well prepared were you for the recovery from physical, emotional, and mental respects? Did you do any research (i.e. online, books, message boards, etc.) to make your recovery smoother?
Julie: I believe I was very well prepared for the recovery from reading threads on the MMH message boards. I knew it would be tough from reading about others experiences and that helped me know that what I was experiencing was normal.
Make Me Heal: What are your top recovery tips to other patients?
Julie: Recovery tips to others – make sure you have plenty of help so you can sit or lay around and do NOTHING! If you feel better, don’t get up and start cleaning. Be sure to take a good 2 weeks or so to just lay around and recover. Make sure you have help to get medicines, cook meals and take care of kids (if you have any).
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?
Julie: Fortunately I don’t work, so that wasn’t an issue and so my husband took off a week. After that, I was better able to move around and by that time, my kids were home from Grandma’s and they were able to help me out.
Make Me Heal: How happy are you with the results?
Julie: I’m extremely happy with results. I thank God everyday for the wonderful results I have and how great a doctor Dr. Huang is.
Make Me Heal: How has your makeover impacted your life from personal, social, career, and other respects?
Julie: I think I am a bit more confident. I can wear better fitting clothes which in turn make me feel more pretty and confident.
Make Me Heal: Would you have done anything differently if you had the chance?
Julie: I’m not sure I’d have anything different done. Maybe some more lipo around the flank area, but everything is looking so well now.
Make Me Heal: Was Make Me Heal beneficial to you along your journey?
Julie: It was very helpful! The people on the message boards are extremely helpful and the wealth of information on the website is amazing. Everything is explained so well. Highly recommend this site!
See Julie’s Before & After Plastic Surgery Pictures Album.