As office manager for Dr. Paul Parker’s Paramus plastic surgery practice, I’ve enjoyed a front row seat when it comes to seeing people make positive changes in their appearance.
Although Dr. Parker performs a full range of procedures of the face, breast and body, I felt a special affinity for tummy tuck patients. I related to their stories. After two pregnancies, I was hyper-aware of my own extra skin and forever holding in my stomach. I also identified with their anxiety about anesthesia, recovery, the scar and most of all the guilt of doing something for myself.
My son is 2 and my daughter is 6. At 41 years old, I really don’t look too bad from the front, but my profile made me self conscious and I had to be clever with how I dressed. The day of reckoning came when I was helping my daughter with her homework and she asked, “Mommy, are you having another baby?” I was wearing a t-shirt and sweat pants—not what you would call “form fitting.” That was the tipping point. I scheduled my surgery the next day.
Having complete trust in Dr. Parker’s skill and care was an advantage. I have seen hundreds of happy patients, thrilled with their results. But even so, I was apprehensive. Elective surgery still involves risks. It helped to know both Dr. Parker and his anesthesiologists are board certified. Safety has always been a big issue in our practice.
Recovery sometimes presents a hurdle. In a tummy tuck, the muscles are actually tightened from the inside and in my case some liposuction was done for contouring.
Truthfully, it wasn’t as bad as I anticipated. I felt a little stiff, because it takes a while to straighten up, but there was no real pain. The liposuction was actually more uncomfortable than the tuck.
You want to be sure you have a strong support system waiting at home. My husband and both sets of grandparents took over for me. I was able to watch TV and do puzzles and homework with the kids. They knew mommy had a “boo boo” and were careful around me. They liked that I was in the room even if I couldn’t do everything.
Within 10 days I was back at work, but not at full capacity. The Rapid Recovery program Dr. Parker designed really accelerated my healing and kept me comfortable.
Today, my abs are back and so is my self image. I knew I would look better, but I never imagined the impact a cosmetic procedure would have on my confidence. I feel amazing and can wear anything I want.
No longer dreading summer…