My Plastic Surgery Story: Mommy Makeover Consultation

Dear Readers,

As a mother of three adult children and a few months into my 50th year on this Earth, I have decided to give myself a gift – a mommy makeover. I’ve honestly been thinking about plastic surgery ever since I can remember.  I didn’t breastfeed my kids but I have always been extremely flat chested since a teenager and extremely self-conscious.  On top of the physical changes my stomach experienced from pregnancy, I hide my 5’5/130lb. figure under size large and extra-large clothing.  With the encouragement of my daughters (I really just think they were tired of hearing me complain honestly), I decided to go see Dr. Whiteman and explore my mommy makeover options.  My consultation was just last week and I am so excited to share with his readers that I am scheduled for my mommy makeover in a little over a month’s time.  I keep asking myself if this is real life and pinching myself because the fear that I had prior to my consultation is now filled with excitement and happiness just at the thought of what my mommy makeover results that I have been longing for over several decades will finally look like.  I’m tired of hiding and now I want to share my story with as many mothers, daughters, and grandmothers out there!

I’m a detail oriented person so research has always been my first step when making any big, life-changing decision.  I was recommended to check out Dr. Whiteman at Southern Plastic Surgery (SPS) from friends that had themselves had previous procedures at SPS (none of them had a mommy makeover but most had either had a breast augmentation or a tummy tuck).  I live almost two hours away so I was worried about actually being able to make a consultation with my work schedule, but the SPS staff was amazing and worked with me to find a time for me to meet with Dr. Whiteman (he made a special trip from the hospital to meet with me!).  I brought my oldest daughter along for moral support and I’m so glad I did honestly because it’s nice having family support and someone who can help with questions that I may have forgotten – and did.  From the time I filled out paperwork to the time I went into the office, I have to say I was beyond nervous.  I was scared that Dr. Whiteman wouldn’t be the type of doctor for me, or that he would tell me that there was nothing he could do (sounds crazy, but hey, this is all new for me).

They set up an account on their TouchMD consultation software and I was able to look at before and after pictures and read more on the procedures I was interested in until Dr. Whiteman came in to the consultation room to introduce himself and get the consultation started!  I met his sweet intern and we all just started with a simple conversation about what were my biggest concerns and more about me current and previous medical history.  Up next was taking before and after photos so they could be uploaded to my TouchMD account to discuss his thoughts on my procedure.  After taking measurements of my breasts and examining what he was going to be working with, he shared that I had excellent breast tissue and skin to work with and I wouldn’t need a breast lift, just an augmentation!  Next he examined my stomach.  I have a pooch that makes me look bloated but I honestly wasn’t sure if I had what research considers muscle separation or not.  Turns out I did have minor muscle separation but his “Fab Ab” tummy tuck (that’s the name his patients gave it – isn’t that clever?!) combined with liposuction was going to help me get my flat stomach back.  Dr. Whiteman hit me with a TON of education and I have to admit that of my millions of questions I had written down, he covered EVERY SINGLE ONE before I even had a chance to ask them.  To say I was impressed is an understatement.

Once we went through the techniques for both the tummy tuck and the breast augmentation, it was time to try on implants!  I had done my research on the various breast augmentation techniques and we talked about the look and feel that I wanted to go for.  I’m not trying to go obnoxiously big since I’m a fairly small woman, but I wanted something noticeable but understated so friends will wonder what changed, but may not be able to place it, if that makes sense.  I wanted natural looking breast augmentation results so we settled on trying silicone breast implants.  Best part of this was that I literally was able to place the implant in a sports bra and see what my results could look like when wearing a t-shirt (ya’ll it was a size medium shirt too – and I actually filled it out!).  I can’t describe the feeling I had when I examined myself in the mirror; just pure anticipation and joy.  I knew that I was most definitely going to have the tummy tuck done, but it wasn’t until I tried the implants on that I decided to just go with both procedures.  After all, since I was already going to be in recovery over Christmas break, why not just do those both now?

After the consultation was over I met with Jackie to go over my expected costs and we talked about plastic surgery financing and possible surgery dates.  Generally they would just send you home with a packet of goodies and you let them know what you decide at a later date but I was ready to go.  I think that surprised my daughter as I like to really take my time to deliberate, but it just felt right.  I was really nervous that they weren’t going to have open dates because I had my consultation so late in the game, but Jackie worked her magic and was able to get me scheduled in enough time to allow my body to heal, meet with Dr. Whiteman for my follow-up consultation, and also be back to work without having to take a lot of time off.  I’ve never had a team work so hard to make everything work out for me, regardless if it wasn’t their usual routine, it didn’t matter to them.  Usually I think it’s cliché for businesses to claim to be a family, but for the SPS team that is exactly what it felt like.  Dr. Whiteman didn’t sugarcoat anything or try to sell me on anything he honestly didn’t think I need.  For that and many, many other reasons, Southern Plastic Surgery is like my Fairy Godmother and I cannot wait to share my results with the rest of the world!

My Plastic Surgery Story: Why I’m Choosing Plastic Surgery

 

Dear Readers,

It’s not every day you get inspired to share your personal story with the public, but here we are, so bear with me if this seems a bit scattered, it’s my first time!  I guess I’ll start with a little background about myself.  I’m 29 years old, no kids, no spouse and have lived in Atlanta for about 5 years now.  I’ve always been pretty fit – standing at 5’8” and weighing 140lbs, give or take a few donuts (sorry Dr. Whiteman I know, I know – I’m not supposed to be fluctuating weight before my plastic surgery procedures but I’m trying to fit everything in before I make the change for good!).  All through elementary, middle and high school I was a competitive swimmer with very little body fat to my name thanks to twice a day workouts and a lot of time in the weight room.  Fast forward to today and everything has seemed to sloooooow down, including my metabolism and confidence.  The dining hall food from the University of Georgia, nights out on the town with my friends and less gym time than before has left me with a bit of a permanent food baby that I can’t seem to get rid of.  On top of that I can barely fill out my size 36A bra without feeling like my shirt is going to get swallowed up by my bra.  I can’t say I’ve ever been one to consider plastic surgery before now; those who know me were actually surprised to hear that I have not been entirely happy with the way I look.  Don’t get me wrong, I understand nobody is perfect and wholeheartedly believe beauty is really in the eye of the beholder, but I decided that I wanted to do something for myself; something that makes me happy and is entirely my own.

There’s been a lot of buzz in the media about the stigma of plastic surgery shifting and I’ll be the first to admit I was one of those “I’ll never get plastic surgery…blah blah blah” people until recently.  Sadly when I was younger (and dare I say more naïve) I was one of those who saw it as a vanity and a complete waste of money, but as I’ve grown I realize that plastic surgery is no different than buying a particular purse or pair of shoes because they make us feel good about our look.  I’m so used to hiding my body under baggy clothes in the hopes that nobody will mistake my breasts for bee stings or my stomach pooch for a fanny pack, but why should I feel that way?  Before you judge and think I just need to get on a treadmill, trust me, I’ve tried that.  It got to a point where no matter how much I watched my diet and exercise regularly, nothing would budge.  That’s about the time that I decided to stop wallowing and do something…so I started a little research on body contouring procedures.

Nonsurgical treatments prove that technology and science can accomplish amazing things.  But for me, that’s not enough because I want something that’s longer lasting.  I did some research on plastic surgeons in the Atlanta area; male, female, old and young – you name it and I probably goggled it.  For me, doing the research was exciting because it was the first time I was actively working towards my goal so I started with an online community detailing procedures and real patient experiences to get an idea of what I could potentially be going through.  Sure it was a bit overwhelming and got a bit daunting trying to figure out who was worth meeting for a consultation and who wasn’t, but I felt like I was investing more into my procedure and not being hasty like I tend to do.

Once I met with Dr. David Whiteman, it was a wrap.  It was during my consultation that we talked about my stomach pooch and he explained that I was an excellent liposuction candidate because I only had a small amount of fat to address and was already in great health.  What I wasn’t expecting was learning that combination procedures were a “thing.”  I honestly hadn’t factored breast augmentation into my procedure because I thought I wouldn’t be able to afford more than one procedure.  But I was wrong!  Dr. Whiteman and his staff did such a great job at giving me ALL the materials I needed as far as financing, what to expect during my procedure and lots of visuals (I’m a visual learner so before and after pictures are my jam) that I was sold on combining a breast augmentation and liposuction for my upcoming procedure.  The reason I decided to do them both at the same time is because I don’t have unlimited vacation days and it actually saved me money by not having to pay surgical fees more than once!  That, plus my recovery time was not going to be as long as I thought.  Sure it’s not an exact science but just a few short days/weeks sounded extremely reasonable to me.

So here I am, writing this as I stare at my calendar with my surgery date circled in obnoxious exclamation points.  Right now I’m not nervous…well maybe a little, but it’s an excited nervous because I can’t wait to see what my plastic surgery results are going to look like!  I’m already planning my new wardrobe, have started hitting the gym more to work on underlying muscle tone and added just about every bra on Victoria’s Secret website to my wish list for when I get out of surgery.  When Dr. Whiteman asked if I would share my story in a series I thought he was crazy, but I’ve found this is sort of a nice outlet to express what I’m going through leading up to my big day.  As I wrap up this long diatribe, I kindly ask everyone to put their judgments aside for a second and consider the underlying reasons so many people willingly choose cosmetic surgery.  It’s a very personal matter for me, an intimately personal choice and one that I know I am making on my own – free of judgment or pressures from others.  For once it’s about me and I couldn’t be more proud of myself for taking these steps.

The internet is only able to cover so much and it’s not until I was face to face with my future surgeon that my dream became more of a reality than I ever expected.  There’s no pressure to you or the doctor to just have a conversation but it’s the only way I would recommend getting started.  You may be just as surprised as I was.  Just remember, do it because YOU want to – forget the haters!

Raquel’s Story: Don’t Always Believe the Hype

I get to work with a lot of great patients – for some, on more than one occasion.  Being able to hear how a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure has positively impacted their lives later in life is part of the drive that keeps me motivated to help patients achieve their goals!  Today, I’d like to share with you Raquel’s story.  When Raquel first came to me nine years ago, she was interested in pursuing her first breast enhancement procedure.  “A friend of mine was also consulting for breast implants around the same time and had recommended Dr. Whiteman.  She had explained how comfortable she felt with him versus other doctors she had met with,” Raquel recently shared, “but what sold me was that Dr. Whiteman also worked with breast cancer survivors for breast reconstruction surgery.”

breast implant surgery in atlanta georgia dr david whitemanDuring Raquel’s consultation we discussed her goals and explored several different breast implant sizes and types to find the fit that worked best for her.  “I had always been flat chested, smaller than an A cup, so I had always wanted breast implants to balance me out.  Fitting into bathing suits or tops and dresses was always a problem; I never wanted anything too big, just natural,” Raquel recalled.  “Once in my 20s, I was mentally ready and went for it.”  A few years after her procedure, Raquel gave birth to her first child and experienced capsular contracture, a condition associated with breast augmentation where scar tissue forms around a breast implant causing the breasts to harden.  “I had the misfortune of having one of my breasts capsulate after my first pregnancy, which is something random that could happen for no rhyme or reason, and replacing them was the only solution.  I chose to have them replaced and both experiences with Dr. Whiteman and the hospital staff were the best.”  When we have a patient come to us with something like capsular contracture, breast revision is the procedure of choice to eliminate the scar tissue and exchange the affected breast implant.

Since her breast revision four years ago, Raquel has welcomed her second child into the family (her kids are currently 5 years old and 5 months old) and keeps busy as an active mom and wife, fitting in home projects and decorating in her spare time.  “Life after my surgery is great; my husband has no complaints!  I have been extremely happy with my breast augmentation results; they are the perfect size for my tomboyish body and it has given me a confidence boost.  I enjoy not having to worry about clothes fitting me!”

For breast augmentation patients, breastfeeding with implants is a common concern.  While it’s true that some patients may have difficulty, don’t believe the hype for discouraging breast augmentation and breastfeeding because each person is different.  When we asked Raquel how it was for her choosing breast augmentation prior to having kids and breastfeeding, she would tell you what she told us, “I had no problem breastfeeding both of my kids.  It’s been nine years since my first breast surgery and four years since replacing them and they still look as good as when I had my first surgery.”  As a double board certified plastic surgeon, it’s my job to educate my patients on maintaining their results to the best of their ability. This could mean incorporating a healthier diet and exercise plan, finding the time to have a procedure that fits into your lifestyle and discussing what’s best for you and your body long-term.  With open communication between you and your surgeon, hopefully your experience will be just as rewarding as it has been for Raquel.

I’ll be sharing more patient testimonial stories with you in the upcoming months and invite you to reach out to my office if you have any questions regarding a procedure that we perform at Southern Plastic Surgery.  Be sure to also connect with me, Dr. David Whiteman, on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for the latest plastic surgery trends, patient features, news and information.