St. Louis Cosmetic Surgery Inc

I’ve thought a lot in the past week about what to say about my actual surgical experience. I could go on and on for days talking about menial things that meant a lot to me, or I could sum it up in one sentence: “It went perfectly.” I’ll try to find a happy medium.

The weekend before was an absolute whirlwind. I anticipated spending that weekend in an anxiety-induced haze, but the events of early July prevented me from over-thinking anything surgery-related…I just had too much to do. I did have slight normal anxiety, which I dealt with by downloading meditations for pre-surgery and listening to them at night, drinking tea, and pestering my nurse, Angie, and Dr. Huffaker with questions. I have to say, that the fact that I know and work with the man who would be operating on me was such a tremendous boost to my confidence, I didn’t spend nearly as much time worrying about the procedure as my poor mother did.

I did spend a lot of time fretting over silly things, like what to wear to the hospital. You’ll get a lot of advice…wear a button down top, wear loose fitting pants, blah blah. In reality, I spent about 5 minutes clothed once I arrived at Progress West at 5:45am, and after that, it was a rush of nurses undressing me, redressing me, and prepping me for my doctor to come in and mark me up (a process that took about 20 minutes). I figured I’d have time to take pictures with my doctor, maybe even post a small Facebook update, but no. Surgical nurses are nothing if not efficient. Thankfully, each staff member I encountered at Progress West was efficient and kind and really, really good at their job. I’ve never received such good care at a hospital. From the nurse who put in my IV without me even feeling it, to the recovery room nurse who did everything in her power to make me comfortable after surgery, they were all wonderful.

The surgery itself was scheduled for 6.5 hours–that’s a long time, and they do a great job of keeping family and friends updated by handing out little pagers that continually beep with messages during the procedure. “The tummy tuck is done, Rhonda is fine.” I know my mom really appreciated that, especially when it was discovered that I had a massive hernia that needed to be repaired as well. My 6.5 hour surgery ended up being 7.5 hours, but I had a great surgeon and everything went wonderfully, and even my recovery wasn’t too bad.

I stayed the night there, and again, I cannot say enough about the nursing staff at Progress West. The RNs, the surgical techs, even the people who make the food (which is really, really good) were all fantastic. We chatted, and laughed, and they really encouraged me to rest or walk…whichever thing I felt I needed. I never once had a bad experience or had to ask for anything twice. The standard of care was beyond what I could have hoped for and I’m really proud that we send our tummy tuck patients there.

I won’t lie, I was in pain….I had a lot of procedures done at once. Breast lift, augmentation, tummy tuck, lower body lift, liposuction and a hernia repair. But it was always bearable and I truly believe that pushing myself to get up and walk as much as I could was one of the best things I could have done. You’ll be sore, especially after a tummy tuck…but you’ve got to walk. Even if it’s just 20 feet. You’ll feel so much better faster, than if you don’t.

Right now, I’m just recovering. Trying to take it easy, which isn’t easy for me, while I wait for my final result. Your body does look a little bruised and beaten up afterwards, so I’m incredibly impatient waiting to see what everything looks like when all the swelling goes down and the bruising fades. But if I’m being honest, the first time I saw myself, even bruised and swollen…I cried. Dr. Huffaker changed my life, and for that I will be eternally grateful. If you’ve worked hard, and lost weight, and really want that body confidence back, I can’t say enough about the mommy makeover or post-weight loss skin tightening. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

The best part, though, is my son. He’s so happy that mommy is feeling better, and often brings me teddy bears or offers to share his fruit snacks. The fact that I’m happy makes him happy, and I think all of us moms can learn from that.



4 Responses to Mommy Makeover Diaries: Rhonda’s Surgery Day

  • Melissa Gertken RNFA says:

    Thank you Rhonda for sharing your experience! Your story brought happy tears to my eyes. I’m an OR nurse that works at Progress West and quite often with your surgeon, Dr. Huffaker. I tell everyone that’ll listen that I have the best job in the world simply because of grateful patients like yourself and amazing surgeons like Dr. Huffaker! I’ve also had an abdominoplasty about 4 years ago so I can relate to your experience on “the other side of the drapes” as well. It greatly improved my self-confidence and made me feel more like my pre-mommy self. Thanks again for your kind comments and good luck with the rest of your recovery!

  • Heather says:

    So beautifully and soul-fully written. Even though the surgeries you went through are SO daunting, they are also extremely interesting. Thank you for making your experiences so transparent. Instead of scaring the wanters away, you make this sound even more doable!

  • Amber says:

    I’m so excited for you. It makes me happy that you were so well-cared for and even happier that you cried when you saw the initial transformation. I can’t wait to see you once the healing is complete <3

  • Andrea says:

    So happy for you, Rhonda! Can’t wait to see the results – I love that you cried with happiness when you saw yourself – even bruised and swollen. I do also completely agree with your assessment that you’re making your son happy because you are happy with yourself. You are a beautiful person to begin with and now you can truly shine with your beautiful post-mommy makeover body.

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