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What’s the real payoff of having plastic surgery? Julie, a Marina Plastic Surgery Associates patient, who holds a management position in local government in Southern California, says, “I’m turning forty in six months and I feel more attractive, more self-confident and more comfortable than ever.” As she talks about the process that brought her to this sense of contentment, it’s soon clear that it wasn’t by chance and it didn’t occur overnight. In fact, it’s still happening.

Mirror, Mirror

A few years ago, Julie took a hard look at her body in the mirror and didn’t like what she saw. She was overweight and uncomfortable. She felt unattractive and dissatisfied with her appearance. “As I looked in the mirror, I told myself I should think about this,” she recalls. She soon went beyond thinking about it and took action. First she enrolled in a physician-supervised weight loss program and dropped 20 pounds. Her next step was to hire a personal trainer, planning to get rid of the remaining bulges on her tummy, hips and thighs.

After three months with the trainer, Julie went forward with her fitness plan on her own. Unfortunately, she just wasn’t seeing the results she wanted. And she was unhappy with her droopy breasts as well as the lower portions of her body. “You know,” she says, “there’s just something about a woman’s body when it goes through pregnancy. You gain weight, and no matter what you do, some of it just stays put.”

Julie started thinking about having plastic surgery. She was married to her second husband at this point, a man who supports her to do what’s right for her. With a son and stepdaughter well into their teens and becoming more independent, she felt it was a good time to consider plastic surgery. “I thought about the fact that I had been a single mom for several years, I put myself through college and I worked my way up in my career.” Julie felt it was time to do something just for her.

The Next Step

Julie started her research, doing most of it on the Web. She found the Marina Plastic Surgery Associates Web site and read about the surgeon’s training. She was impressed by his training and credentials, including the fact that he is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. She felt his expertise in liposuction in Los Angeles was especially evident – in fact, she discovered he is nationally recognized for research and experience with power assisted liposuction (PAL). His skill with the PAL technique, which is less intrusive than older methods, appealed to her.

She also learned he employs other state-of-the-art techniques as well such as the Laser Bra breast lift procedure to elevate her sagging breasts back to a youthful position. According to Julie, another surgeon had discussed using wire mesh inside her breasts to support them, a prospect that didn’t sound appealing to her at all.

When she went to Marina Plastic Surgery Associates for her consultation, Julie and her surgeon designed a full mommy makeover consisting of a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), the Laser Bra breast lift and power-assisted liposuction. The Los Angeles area mom remembers that rather than viewing the procedure as traditional plastic surgery, she felt that the surgeon “would be re-sculpting my body.”

Julie’s Surgery

After thinking through her decision carefully, Julie signed up for surgery in November 2005. “The part that made me feel most comfortable was that they offered me so much information up front. ” Julie could tell that the organization invested in their Web sites, plus they offered videos, books, before and after photos and handouts. “Everything was so up front and open,” she says. She remembers they even gave her a chart showing what to expect emotionally after surgery.

“I really felt that I was dealing with a top-notch surgeon. The practice takes the time not only to invest in their own backgrounds and in the technology they use, they also take time to educate their clients. When it came time to write the check I knew exactly what to expect.”

Julie’s mommy makeover procedure took about four hours. She stayed three days in the after care facility, then went home to continue her recovery. “The first week was the toughest,” she remembers. Her strategy was to take the prescribed pain medication around the clock for several days to handle the abdominal discomfort of skin and muscles healing. “To me, the best pain management plan is to feel no pain!” she laughs.

She was able to go back to work in about two and a half weeks and, anxious to continue her fitness regimen, she resumed light workouts in about four weeks. “I played tennis at six weeks, and maybe that was a little too soon,” she admits. Julie advises that plastic surgery is just like any surgery – you have to understand the healing process and be patient. In the next breath she adds, “It wasn’t what I would call easy, but I would do it again in a heartbeat.”

Julie Today

“After all is said and done,” Julie remarks, “I feel I have been given a gift. I’m a size zero or two. I have my body back, the body I had in my twenties. I can’t begin to explain how good it feels to get back into a bikini, or skinny jeans or a cocktail dress.” Julie’s husband is enthusiastic about the results too. “He married me when I was at my heaviest, but he certainly enjoys the ‘after’ much more!”

Julie was so pleased with her surgery that she lost another eight pounds as she kept to her diet and exercise program. She explained that while the surgeon helped her get her body back, it’s up to her to keep it that way.

Advice for Others

Asked about her experience with her Marina Plastic Surgery Associates surgeon, Julie says she had the sense he really cared about her results and about building a relationship with her. “You go in to meet with him, you get his input, he performs your surgery and after care, and you really feel like you’re being taken care of.” Julie says she trusted her surgeon and his staff and just knew that her procedure would turn out well and she’d be happy with the results. She had a “very high level of confidence” in her surgeon, she said, “based on the way he presented himself, and I wasn’t disappointed.”

To others considering plastic surgery, Julie advises it’s a decision a woman should make on her own. She should decide what she wants for herself, how she can be the best she can be. But, Julie cautions, it’s critical to listen to the surgeon, do your research and be realistic in your expectations. “Don’t expect that surgery is all you have to do. The surgeon doesn’t have a magic wand.” Julie says you need to live a healthy lifestyle every day, taking care of your body with diet and exercise. “The surgical results can be amazing, but you have to make a commitment to take care of yourself.”

Request a consultation

If you’d like to learn more about what a mommy makeover could accomplish for you or find out about abdominoplasty, the Laser Bra breast lift or power-assisted liposuction in Los Angeles, request a consultation with one of the board certified plastic surgeons at Marina Plastic Surgery.

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