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  • Nicole is a young and beautiful 25 year old woman who has never before been very happy with her body shape. No matter how hard she exercised or dieted, Nicole could not lose the fat off her stomach. Since age 17, Nicole (member name: hippytrippygypsy) wanted to undergo plastic surgery but was scared to go under the knife and be considered vain.

    See Nicole’s Before & After Plastic Surgery Photos Album.

    Tummy Tuck Photos, Pictures, Before & After

    Last January, Nicole’s life changed when she stumbled on the Make Me Heal website and saw some of the plastic surgery photos and read some patient experiences shared on the Plastic Surgery Message Boards that seemed almost like miracles. Not long after, she made a consultation with plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Gross (Cape Coral, Florida) and decided to get a full tummy tuck. Nicole decided to have an abdominoplasty to solve once and for all of her body issues and find happiness and in peace with herself.

    Dr. Gross performed her plastic surgery in June of this year and within days follwing the procedure, Nicole could already see transformations in her new body. With the support of her husband and her gal pals on the Make Me Heal Message Boards, Nicole is recovering fast and enjoying her sexy bikinis for the pleasure of all on Florida’s beaches.

    “Remember that you only live once! Plastic Surgery cost me a lot, but it made me happier than anything money could have bought,” tells Nicole to Make Me Heal.

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

    Nicole: When I was 17.

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

    Nicole: I was in ideal physical condition (BMI 21) but no amount of exercise would make my stomach flat. It was causing me a lot of mental anguish and body image issues. It had been like that for 7 years.

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

    Nicole: I looked into the surgery in January of 2007 and finally had it done June 2007. It was the hardest decision of my life because of the money and the way I felt about people who had plastic surgery. I just wanted to be happy with myself the way I was, but I was never able to do that. My stomach was making my life miserable, even more so after I started looking into having the procedure done and knew it was possible.

    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?

    Nicole: My husband was supportive. After I made up my mind to do it I told my mom and a few friends; they were all supportive too.

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

    Nicole: I mostly used this site, looked at other women’s pictures and read their stories and journeys. I asked a lot of questions on my initial consulatation. I’m very squeamish, so I couldn’t know everything about it that I probably should have.

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

    Nicole: I used the message boards and picture library a lot. My doctor had not yet been reviewed.

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

    Nicole: I had only one consultation and I chose him because he did a free one. That was when I wasn’t completely serious about it. I chose him overall because he made me feel comfortable and I’ve never been big on shopping around anyway. Once I decided to do it, I just wanted to get it over with as quickly as possible.

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

    Nicole: He explained everything to me, there were really no decisions for me to make.

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

    Nicole: Too much to type out really. I cleaned my house top to bottom, loaded the bed up with pillows, bought a big button-up men’s shirt and some gauze and sterile pads. I took a week off work and filled out a form for short-term disability beyond that. My husband took a week off to care for me.

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

    Nicole: I was scared to death and anxious from the moment I knew when the surgery would be. But I was also excited. I was actually calmest in the moments before the surgery, although I cried when I was separated from my husband. I don’t pray.

    Make Me Heal: How was the recovery process?

    Nicole: The worst part was the drainage tubes. They gave me almost excruciating pain at times. The incision was not painful at all, but I still have no feeling for about three inches above the incision. The muscle tightening wasn’t exactly painful, just sore. My husband helped me a great deal. I was helpless for two days – he had to help me stand to go to the bathroom and walk around. At day 3, I was able to get up on my own. I had no side effects.

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

    Nicole: The drainage tubes were incredibly painful, but only when standing up or sitting down, and the left one was worse than the right one. That was the only pain. My ab muscles did not give me pain, just soreness.

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

    Nicole: I knew it was going to be difficult. I don’t know if I was completely prepared mentally, but I got through it just fine. I knew it would take time and each day I felt better than the previous. It was nice to have that much time off work!

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

    Nicole: Have someone there to care for you 24-7 for the first few days. Take your pain medication as prescribed even if you’re not in pain at the time. Be prepared for the swelling that follows having the drains removed. Don’t overdue it, allow yourself plenty of rest and no strenuous activity whatsoever. Eat healthy, nutritious food.

    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?

    Nicole: I went back to work on day 9. I didn’t tell anyone what I was doing but they all asked when I came back hunched over. I told them I’d had a surgery. When they asked what kind of surgery, I said just a surgery. I still haven’t told anyone at work and they finally moved on to other gossip. (The results are not apparent on me when I’m clothed.)

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

    Nicole: Freaking thrilled! I love it!

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

    Nicole: I am more social now. Before, there were times when I wouldn’t want to go out because I felt fat and I hated all my clothes. Now I don’t worry about my stomach bulging out. I am actually going to the beach for the first time in ages this weekend and I’m not starving myself to prepare for it. Personally I am more confident and feel better about the way I look. Career-wise, no change.

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

    Nicole: I would have done it sooner.

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

    Nicole: You only live once. It’s a lot of money, but it made me happier than anything that money could have bought.

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

    Nicole: Absolutely. I would be happy to answer any questions more fully over the phone, please feel free to send me a private message on the message boards to get my phone number. I would like to help other women thinking about this procedure.

    See Nicole’s Before & After Plastic Surgery Photos Album.

    tummy tuck, plastic surgery


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