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  • Amy Rueter (member name: Forca) from Bothell, WA is a 32 years old young woman that feels and looks sexy as ever. This mother of two adorable girls chose to have a full tummy tuck last September and since…dropped 6 sizes – from a 14 dress size to a size 8 in less than 13 weeks!

    Tummy Tuck Pictures, Photos, Abdominoplasty

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

    Amy’s first thought of plastic surgery came after having her second daughter and not being able to lose some sagging skin left by her pregnancies. As a fervent Christian, she was not sure if this was the right move for her but actually, going under the knife freed Amy not only from her physical issues but helped her to come out of her shell and be happier in her daily life.

    Amy truly recommends considering abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) not as a weight loss solution but as a way to re-contour one’s body and restore youth. As an athletic patient, Amy’s fast recovery is surely due to her active and healthy diet and that is the message she would like to share with all Make Me Heal’s members: “Get as fit as possible, have realistic expectations and go for it! A 3 hour surgery restored my body to better than pre-baby! I’m thrilled!!”

    Dr. David Pratt from Washington performed Amy’s abdominoplasty.


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

    Amy: I thought about having a tummy tuck after having my second daughter. I have always been athletic and active, and I simply couldn’t lose the skin left over from having my 10+ lb babies, so I spent a few years thinking about having this done.

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

    Amy: I wanted to be able to fit into pants that fit my size 10 hips. My waist and extra skin made it hard to find pants that made me feel good about how I looked. I was also sick of ‘fat’ days where I felt like I was oozing over everything. It was disheartening to have this extra ‘stuff’ even though I was really eating right and working out hard.

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

    Amy: It took me about a year to come to the decision. It was hard to make b/c of the stigma attached to plastic surgery, especially as a Christian. I know I could have used that money in other ways–so it was very hard to justify using it in this seemingly vain way. I found in the end that it freed me up in many ways to come out of my shell and simply live life joyfully, without thinking about that skin hanging out the top of my pants.

    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?

    Amy: I had a lot of support from everyone–they all wanted the best for me.

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

    Amy: I mainly looked at different surgeons’ websites and then this particular forum: Make Me Heal! I read about people’s experiences and looked at lots of before-after photos, especially of those women who were shaped like me.

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

    Amy: I used the message board primarily and got my healing information from my private Naturopath. I got a lot of good support on the Tummy Tuck board and don’t know what I would have done without them!

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

    Amy: I chose my doctor (Dr. David Pratt) first based on his online examples of his work–I had originally thought about having an augmentation at the same time, so I chose him b/c he had the best breasts. I went for a consult, saw his tons of tummy tuck photos and decided to go with him–I felt confident in his skills from our discussions, and I liked his philosophy–’surgery as art’.

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

    Amy: I didn’t have much say in how he would perform my particular surgery–I didn’t go to medical school, so I don’t feel like I could really decide that. I did let the anesthesiologist know of previous reactions to anesthesia, and he did a great job in adjusting the mix so I came out of it just fine.

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

    Amy: I made sure I was in as good a shape as possible, so in the months up to surgery, I was at the gym working hard. I also took Arnica Montana prior to surgery and had Bromelain and Vitamin C with rose hips and bioflavinoids for post-op. I had my Mom come out to take care of me and the kids for at least 2 weeks, and stocked the fridge with real food–healthy, whole foods. The most important preparation was getting my legs really strong so I could rely heavily on them to get up or sit, etc.

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

    Amy: I was nervous!!! I had had several surgeries before, and was mostly nervous about reacting to the anesthesia. I mostly spent time reading and trying to not think about running away. The hardest part was after I had gotten in the gown and was waiting for the surgeon to mark me up. I was alone in the cordoned off area of the pre-op room, and I just prayed for my safety and spent time thinking about the Lord and being in His presence. It calmed me down quite a bit, and once the marks were on, I was fine and the next thing I knew, I was waking up!

    Make Me Heal: How was the recovery process?

    Amy: Recovery was long–no sugarcoating that. I was so glad I had help; I wasn’t supposed to move for those 2 weeks, so it was nice to not have to worry. I had no side effects at all, and found that my workouts really helped prepare me! I needed those squats when trying to get off the toilet!! The worst part of the whole thing was the muscle repair–I was always worried about ruining the work my P/S had done. Laughing was rough, getting up and down was hard, etc. I was always worried about seroma and all the other things that can happen, so that was probably the worst thing. It took me about 5 weeks to be able to stand upright, so my back was not happy, either. I also bothered my ulnar nerve from reading so many books lying down.

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

    Amy: The pain was much like doing a thousand sit-ups. That was the muscle repair. I didn’t feel my incision at all. It was hard to deal with not being able to use my core muscles for so long–I’d tweak them at the wrong time!

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

    Amy: I lived on the message board here to see what to expect. I feel like I was very prepared for the recovery process from reading other people’s stories, though everyone is unique; I used the board as an average, and asked my P/S about how his patients recovered (sometimes what he said was different than the board–and he was always right).

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

    Amy: Do EXACTLY what your P/S says!!!! He/She knows what was done to you, and they know much better than anyone what you need to do/not do!! Eat well–like whole foods. Have lots of good books and help–I wouldn’t have dared do this surgery without a lot of help.

    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?

    Amy: I stay at home with my kids, so I took 2 weeks off, then very carefully eased back in. I had a cleaning lady for 6 weeks (that was FABULOUS!)

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

    Amy: I LOVE my new body–best thing I ever did for myself! I finally look like I should with how much work I do!!

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

    Amy: I am so much more confident than before–shopping is much more fun, I carry myself differently, I don’t mind walking around the house nude, etc. I used to feel awful about this skin hanging down, and now that it’s not there, I feel wonderful.

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

    Amy: I would have relaxed more–it takes a long time to see the final results from this surgery. I noticed on the board the tendency to start freaking out at about 6 weeks post-op b/c one might be still swollen and thus look ‘fat’. Looking back, I was also that anxious! So I would relax more and be more patient.

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

    Amy: Get as fit as possible, have realistic expectations (this is not a weight loss surgery), and go for it! A 3 hour surgery restored my body to better than pre-baby! I’m thrilled!!

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

    Amy: Yes–the board was so great for encouragement and seeing how everyone else was doing in those first few weeks.

    Abdominoplasty Photos, Pictures, Tummy Tuck

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

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