"I had a tummy tuck, and lipo done on my stomach and hips. The interesting thing is that I had this surgery exactly three years to the day after I had my gastric bypass surgery."

Age: 40
Occupation: Mother & Homemaker
Hometown: Taft, California
Surgeon: Dr. Darshan Shah
Date of surgery: February 2008

What procedure was performed?

I had a tummy tuck, and lipo done on my stomach and hips. The interesting thing is that I had this surgery exactly three years to the day after I had my gastric bypass surgery.

What was your primary motivation for undergoing this procedure?

I had it primarily to get rid of the excess skin that was left after my weight loss (following the gastric bypass). Last summer it got really hot, and my skin would rub and get raw and irritated in fact, Dr. Shah removed two huge handfuls of skin. You could say I did it for health reasons and to help boost my self-esteem, but it was more than that. It wasn't about the bikini or clothes; it's about completing the cycle I started and about finally being able to be at peace with myself and the skin I'm in.

How long had you been considering this procedure?

I had talked about it with my husband for two to three months before; at that point, he said, "Go and look for a surgeon."

What were your biggest fears regarding the surgery?

After meeting Dr. Shah, I didn't really have any fears. I had to reschedule once because I hadn't lost the weight Dr. Shah said I needed to before he would safely perform the procedures. I wasn't really scared though because he had answered all the questions I had... I was just ready.

What made you choose Dr. Shah at Beautologie to perform your surgery?

I went on the Internet and looked, and he was the first person I saw. I went to his site and looked at the testimonials and listened to him talk about what was involved in the surgery. I went in on that Thursday, and we met Dr. Shah. As soon as he left the room, my husband told me, "This is who we are having do your surgery; we're not even looking elsewhere." I knew as well that I wanted him to do it the moment we met. Beautologie is the cleanest facility I have ever been in, and the sound of Dr. Shah's voice was so calming. If I was scared, his tone calmed me. I knew I was in good hands.

Describe your consultation & pre-operative experience? Did Dr. Shah thoroughly answer all your questions and address your fears?

Oh yes! Originally, after my gastric bypass, I went from 315 pounds and got down to 199. I met Dr. Shah at the end of November (2007), and at that time, I was at 220; he told me that for my safety, I needed to get down to 190 before he would perform the surgery. Well, I had been walking, but before the surgery, I walked three miles a day, and with Dr. Shah's encouragement, I finally got weighed on the day of my (rescheduled) surgery: I had hit 191 (laughs)... yes, he did it anyway.

How was the actual surgery & recovery process?

It was similar to my c-section... I did love my pain pump, but I was up and around on the fifth day after surgery I could get up for the bathroom before that though. Even with any pain, I would do it again in a heartbeat, without any hesitation!

How do you feel about yourself and your appearance after surgery?

Dr. Shah has helped me complete my cycle. I feel complete; my life is totally complete, and now it's just maintenance and healthy diet. It's funny: My sister has weighed 110 her whole life, and I've been jealous of her all my life. I was always the big girl and always a food person. Just recently, she said, "I'm jealous of YOU"...and I answered, "BE jealous!"

What has changed in your life as a result of having this procedure at Beautologie?

Before, I couldn't walk, couldn't breathe, and I had sleep apnea; my doctor had said I could die of a stroke. I was 300 pounds. Now, for the first time in my life, I have a flat stomach! I am also walking without my (post-surgery) girdle now, and my stomach muscles can hold my stomach in for the first time ever; before the surgery, my muscles were gone, and Dr. Shah fixed that.

Would you recommend the center to friends & family? If so, why?

First, let me just say that I LOVE Dr. Shah! The completion of my cycle is because of him. Before (after the bypass surgery), I was jumpstarted in the cycle. Now, it's completed. I would do it again, right now, and if I have any other surgeries, I will go to Dr. Shah. I would recommend him to ANYBODY. After my surgery, he said to me, "You are the reason I do these surgeries."