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  • Plastic Surgery Gift For Bridget

    August 17, 2007 in Personal Interviews by Makemeheal.com Staff | Leave a Comment

    Bridget VanGinkel (member name: carat-queen) first went under the knife in 1996, when she decided to have a breasts augmentation with saline implants. But living in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, neither the town nor Bridget was yet ready for a big change and decided to only upgrade one size bigger, from a B cup to a small C cup.

    See Bridget’s Before & After Plastic Surgery Pictures Album.

    As years went by, Bridget did not watch her diet, nor she exercised much, had beautiful babies and…gained a lot of weight. In reaction to her new appearance, Bridget became anti-social and avoided most of her friends or even going out. She refused to let her husband see her naked and ultimately had a tearful breakdown. With the help of the Weight Watchers’ program, she lost 75 pounds. But her weight loss left her with excess loose skin and she remained unhappy and unable to look at her own body.

    For her 32 birthday, Bridget took the best decision she’s ever made and decided to enjoy life to the fullest and get a no-expense-spared makeover. Without being discouraged by the cost of plastic surgery, she took a loan and soon, was scheduled with Dr. David Janssen to have a full tummy tuck, breast implant replacement, liposuction, and arm and thigh lifts. The new Siltex-Gel-filled implants looks much more natural and was inserted through her breast fold and placed under her muscle. With 600 cc’s, Bridget boosted herself to a beautiful 38D size. The liposuction was performed on her inner thighs, arms and abdomen along with a full tummy tuck that helped Bridget to wear a size 8 dress (she was previously a size 12). And happily, the thigh and arm lifts solved the loose skin problem.

    To describe how much her plastic surgery experience has impacted Bridget’s life is beyond words.

    Bridget says, “Only being nine weeks post op the impact is slowing kicking in. My social life has improved I am not tugging at my clothes constantly. On a personal level words can’t explain what changes I am going through. I wore a tank top out in public for the 1st time the other day and I was nervous and felt like I was having a panic attack, but all was well. Getting your mind to catch up with the physical changes is the new challenge. I look in the mirror 100+ times a day. I can’t believe what I see. It really is me.”

    To best prepare her surgery, Bridget met people through the Make Me Heal community, and participated in the Plastic Surgery Message Boards and saw before and after pictures of real patients in the Plastic Surgery Pictures, all of which helped her tremendously in validating her decision to have her makeover.

    Dr. Abu Jama from Green Bay WI, performed Bridget’s first breast augmentation.

    Dr. David Janssen from Oshkosh, WI, performed Bridget’s latest plastic surgeries.

    See Bridget’s Before & After Plastic Surgery Pictures Album.

    Make Me Heal: When did you first have the idea to have your procedure?

    Bridget: Two years ago I had made the decision to have these procedures done as a gift to myself for losing the weight and maintaining it. I had wanted to have these procedures done a long time ago, however I wanted to wait until I was done having Children and I was ready to commit to myself the life changes involved with being a healthy weight.

    Make Me Heal: What were your motivations behind your decision to have the procedure?

    Bridget: My emotional state was a wreck. I never wanted my Husband to see my naked. He is very supportive of my and did understand however It was really hard to deal with as I saw myself differently than him.

    My physical activity was low, as I never wanted to do anything that would make me feel upset for the way I look. I knew my life would be different if I was happy with myself.

    My social activity was very anti social. I never wanted to be with groups of people. I even had a hard time going to church at times. I would get a workout trying on many different outfits trying to find something I felt good in. Many times it would result in a tearful breakdown and me staying home.

    Make Me Heal: How long did it take you to make a decision and was it an easy or difficult one to make?

    Bridget: It didn’t take long to come to the decision to have the surgery. It was an easy one to make. I needed this. I had to correct what having children and being over weight had done to me. I also had to be happy with myself. Money was the issue and it came to me taking a loan out from my bank.

    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?

    Bridget: I only told a few people I had this surgery. Most my friends are from church and many of them view this as I should be happy with God has given me. I am thankful God has given the Doctors the skill to perform this great skill. My husband was my greatest support. He was great through the whole process pre op and well as after care. My decision was not based on what anyone thought. It was based on what I wanted and needed.

    Make Me Heal: How did you research the procedure and come to decide on this particular procedure?

    Bridget: I did all my research online. I started with the Doctors in the state, and what they specialized in. Viewed their websites. I made sure they were all board certified. Once I had it narrowed down to 5 I called and talked to the receptionist as well as their heath nurse. That helped me narrow the Doctors to 3 than I did a criminal background search. I was surprised what I found and I was than narrowed down to two Doctors. I never let cost pay a part in what Doctor I picked. The Doctor I had picked specialized in extreme tummy tucks and had written textbooks on particular procedures. I also like the fact he does arm lift without the huge scars running from armpit to elbow, same for the thigh lift. The scars are hidden in the groin area, not from groin to knee.

    Make Me Heal: Please discuss if you used any of Make Me Heal’s resources.

    Bridget: I did use the pictures on make me heal to help prepare me for what I was into. It was nice to see real pictures of real woman that weren’t fixed up to make then look better. I found it also useful to view and see the bad outcomes as well as you should keep in mind things can go wrong, however if you pick a good doctor they should be willing to do revisions later on if needed.

    Make Me Heal: How did you come to choose your doctor?

    Bridget: I was able to narrow it down with researching the Doctors on the internet and viewing their websites, emailing and calling them. In the end there was only one Doctor I was willing to see for a consultation.

    Make Me Heal: Please discuss if you have any role in deciding the type of technique used for your surgery by the doctor?

    Bridget: I was to pick by the techniques the doctor was going to use. I was happy with the placement of all the incision placements. I felt he knew what he was doing and trusted his best judgment.

    Make Me Heal: How did you prepare for the surgery?

    Bridget: I prepared for an entire month. I deep cleaned the house from top to bottom. Made sure all laundry was washed. Went grocery shopping the day before. It was like preparing for the new baby to come home, But I was the newborn person coming home.

    I bought was 2 body pillows and a brand new satin blanket for comfort. I didn’t involve any family members besides my husband and children. I needed to prepare my 14 yr old as well as my 9 yr old. I am self-employed so I didn’t have to make arrangements for work.

    Make Me Heal: How were you feeling the night before the surgery and on the moments before the surgery itself?

    Bridget: The night before my surgery I was excited. I wasn’t scared at all. I felt this was in Gods Hands and didn’t help to get all upset about it. My night went on just like every other night of the week.

    Make Me Heal: How was the recovery process?

    Bridget: My Husband had taken a week off of work to help me recover. The worst part of recovery was trying to sit and stand back up after using the toilet. Showering was uncomfortable as well. I spent the 1st week sleeping on the sofa with my pillows under my legs. I tried to sleep in the bed ,but it was not very comfortable for me.

    Make Me Heal: Please discuss the pain or discomfort you experienced during the recovery?

    Bridget: The pain wasn’t bad. I had a pain pump for the first 3 days. That helped a lot. I also made sure to take my pain medication every 4 hours so I could manage the pain. I think that is key to keep the medication in your body so you don’t hit rock bottom with pain. The second week I was able to take over the counter pain medication to help. By the end of the second week I was off the medication.

    Make Me Heal: How well prepared were you for the recovery from physical, emotional, and mental respects?

    Bridget: Having previous surgeries in the past I knew what I was in for. So I was mentally and physically prepared, however the emotional recovery surprised me. I did cry

    Make Me Heal: What are your top recovery tips to other patients?

    Bridget: Relax and don’t try to over do your activity even if you feel you good. Use good pain management. Keep your binders on. Take many pictures so you can see your transformation.

    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?

    Bridget: Being self-employed I did what I could. I was out of the office for about a week. When I would work I would work until I was uncomfortable and go rest for a while. I kept my surgery a secret to most people in my circle.

    Make Me Heal: How happy are you with the results?

    Bridget: At first I didn’t like the results. It takes your mind some time to except the new you. Plus I was quite swollen so it is hard to see the results. Now going on 9 weeks post op I am loving the results.

    Make Me Heal: How has your makeover impacted your life from personal, social, career, and other respects?

    Bridget: Only being nine weeks post op the impact is slowing kicking in. My social life has improved I am not tugging at my clothes constantly. On a personal level words can’t explain what changes I am going through. I wore a tank top out in public for the 1st time the other day and I was nervous and felt like I was having a panic attach, but all was well. Getting your mind to catch up with the physical changes is the new challenge. I look in the mirror 100+ times a day. I can’t believe what I see. It really is me.

    Make Me Heal: Would you have done anything differently if you had the chance?

    Bridget: The only thing I would have done differently would have been to have this done sooner.

    Make Me Heal: What is your final word of advice to other people considering the procedure you had?

    Bridget: Don’t let the fear of these procedures keep you from having any of them done. You are worth it, and have the right to be happy about yourself inside and out. The most important thing is doing the research of the doctor and choose one that suits your procedures best, not the cheapest!

    Make Me Heal: Was Make Me Heal beneficial to you along your journey?

    Bridget: Make me heal was a huge part of by journey and very important before and after. I have given out the website address to a few of my friends that are considering surgery as they also have lose weight are faced with extra skin.

    See Bridget’s Before & After Plastic Surgery Pictures Album.

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