You might be one of many affected by loose skin after having bariatric surgery. If you're thinking about having plastic surgery, this is the series for you!
My Surgery Experience
I had a tummy tuck in October of 2019 to deal with the excess skin in my abdomen from mothering two children and losing over 70 lbs with the sleeve. My surgeon was Dr. Oliver Pope Simmons in Miami, FL.
Dr. Simmons successfully took off 12 lbs of skin from the area, and honestly, I feel like a brand-new person.
Note* After my recovery, I worked as a sales consultant for the plastic surgery center for about a year. I'm sharing my personal experience and my experience as an insider in the industry.
Choosing a Surgeon
Many factors go into choosing a surgeon for plastic surgery, but the main points you want to cover are:
- Board Certification: Make sure your surgeon is board-certified at the very least. Many doctors take a course on plastic surgery and can legally operate without board certification. However, the difference between a cosmetic surgeon and one certified by the board of plastic surgery is an average of 7 years of additional training and hands-on experience. You can check if a surgeon is board-certified here: https://www.abplasticsurgery.org/VerifyCert?section=SurgeonSearch
- Experience with excess skin removal is a big plus! You want to choose a surgeon who knows that bariatric patients' skin behaves differently from regular patients. Our skin becomes very thin and can tear easily or become misshapen in the hands of an unskilled surgeon.
- Just as important is the doctor's specialty (their bread and butter if you will). You wouldn't want to go to a facial reconstruction surgeon for a tummy tuck and vise versa. Like the rest of us with jobs in which we can become specialists, a surgeon is usually not well versed in ALL procedures. You can see real reviews of board-certified surgeons here: https://www.realself.com/
- Choose a surgeon in your state if possible (especially for big incisions like a tummy tuck). Surgical tourism is common in Miami as we have patients from all over the world. Remember, there's nothing wrong with traveling for plastic surgery, but if you have a complication and your doctor is out of state, you will likely have to travel to see him/her for follow-ups.
- Don't go for the lowest price! When you go for the lowest price, you'll get precisely what you pay for. I saw many botched surgeries in my time as a consultant, and most cases came from cosmetic surgeons or from other countries (Colombia, Dominican Republic, and Mexico, among others). Most cosmetic surgeons charge lower because they lack board certification (and experience). It's your life, do your research!
- Lastly, find out if the surgeon has any deaths to his name. Please understand - surgeons are human and can make mistakes. In cases of patient death, the surgery board runs an investigation where many factors are considered to determine if the surgeon's negligence caused the death. If a surgeon has lost his/her board certification, call the board and ask why. If a surgeon has many deaths (accidental or not), please, I beg you - go elsewhere.
Safety should be your focus when choosing a surgeon for plastics after bariatric surgery.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks as we tackle the rest of the journey to plastic surgery!
If you'd like to connect, you can find me on Instagram at @ana_vsg_miami. I love sharing my journey with everyone. You never know who you might help with your experience.