Occupation: Registered Nurse
Hometown: Bakersfield, California
Surgeon: Dr. Darshan Shah
Date of surgery: December 2007
What procedure was performed?
I had a breast augmentation and lipo on my hips and inner and outer thighs. I came in initially wanting liposuction, with a thought of implants. I got more excited about the implants after my consultation and trying them on.
What was your primary motivation for undergoing this procedure?
(Regarding the lipo) I was in good shape, I worked out, and I eat right. I just had a problem area of my hips and love handles. I had really thought about it, and as I was graduating from nursing school, I wanted to do something for myself, to reward myself. Even though I had tried diets and exercise to change these areas, I was bothered every day: I was self-conscious and couldn't wear the clothing I wanted like low-rise jeans. In fact, even though I was in shape and worked out, I felt I had to wear big baggier clothes. I was a confident person except for that.
(Regarding the breast augmentation) I had always had smaller breasts and an athletic build, which I liked, but I wanted a bit more womanly shape, especially in a bathing suit. Basically, I wanted to feel more proportioned. I started out as a 36B and am now somewhere around a 36D, but that might go down a bit when all of the swelling is gone, probably to a full C. I wasn't entirely sure about size, but Dr. Shah really made me feel like I had options and explained which sizes would work best with my body.
How long had you been considering this procedure?
Even though I initially came in more for the lipo, I had been considering the breast augmentation for longer. I had been thinking about the lipo for about six months before I even called and the breast augmentation was more distant in the back of my mind for about a year.
What were your biggest fears regarding the surgery?
Since I'm a nurse, and actually interested in becoming an operating room nurse, I had seen a lot of surgeries. I was initially fearful of the surgery itself and the anesthesia, and I was concerned about safety. While I have been present for a lot of surgeries as a nurse in the operating room, I had never had surgery myself. That was really my fear about the lipo, all related to the actual surgery. Seeing that Dr. Shah operates at his AAAHC certified surgery center and knowing that Dr. Shah has never had a major problem in surgery made me feel at ease.
With the breast augmentation, my fears were more about complications-I was worried about contractures (the formation of scar tissue)-and about the outcome, being too big. I wanted to be sure that I maintained a professional look.
What made you choose Dr. Shah at Beautologie to perform your surgery?
Dr. Shah was the only surgeon I needed to meet with. I heard about him through referrals; I have friends who have gone to him and they look amazing! I had heard other doctors on radio commercials having specials, and I wasn't interested. I researched Dr. Shah's credentials on the websites for the California boards of medicine and surgery and found that his record was impeccable.
Describe your consultation & pre-operative experience?
Yes. Dr. Shah was actually great at reassuring me with information. He performed a very thorough exam and took a detailed history during the consult. Actually, a couple times before the surgery, I got nervous and started having second thoughts. One thing that Dr. Shah did that I really liked was that he returned my calls right away and reassured me as to how he would take precautions and teach me how to prevent complications, including things like breast massage and scar care. I felt relaxed because he gave me the freedom to change my mind about the size of the implants until shortly before the surgery. He gave me a lot of information and emphasized that I was healthy.
I got verbal and written instructions, which was really helpful because I am a visual person. The pre-op nurse was great too-she brought out everything, showed me the medications I would be taking and everything else.
How was the actual surgery & recovery process?
It was actually pleasant! I was apprehensive and nervous the morning of the surgery, but Dr. Shah was warm and reassuring. The operating room nurse was nice and took good care of me also. The recovery was fine. I did everything he told me, and I think that's why it went really well. There were no problems because Dr. Shah had given me good instructions, and his post-operative care is excellent!
I also liked that he gave me information on how to lead a healthy lifestyle. He explained how lipo doesn't mean that you can stop exercising. He was honest that you have to keep working out and eating right, and I really appreciated that.
How do you feel about yourself and your appearance after surgery?
I feel really, really good, even though I'm still healing. I just had my one-month checkup a while ago. Lipo takes three to six months to notice results, but I'm already down one pant size! I'm also starting to pick up where I left off with exercise.
What has changed in your life as a result of having this procedure at Beautologie?
My life has changed in the way that my overall confidence and comfort in my own skin has improved. I realize confidence comes from within; however, it's a joy to be able to go out and feel beautiful and feminine without wearing a sweater and baggy jeans to cover my imperfections, that without Beautologie I never could have changed. I'm actually enjoying shopping for clothes as well, something I haven't done in a while.
Would you recommend the center to friends & family? If so, why?
Absolutely. The atmosphere was one of professionalism from the entire staff. Something that particularly impressed me was that Dr. Shah actually called me personally at home about three days after my surgery just to check in and see how I was doing and to see if I had any questions.
Most of all, Dr. Shah really has an amazing gift of making people feel relaxed and confident in his abilities. He's not only talented as a surgeon; he's also a really great person. I would do it all again in an instant!