Episode 18: How to Travel for Plastic Surgery

Published on February 24th, 2020

In this week’s episode, Dr. Barrett’s guest is an out of town patient. Like many of Dr. Barrett’s patients, Holly does not live in Beverly Hills where Dr. Barrett’s office is located. She is from Colorado and was looking for a Board Certified Surgeon who had extensive experience in performing the type of cosmetic procedure that resulted in the natural look that she was desiring.

Learn how Holly, an out of town patient prepared for her cosmetic surgery and what her advice is for those who are also considering cosmetic surgery away from their home town. Be sure to tune in!

At Barrett Plastic Surgery, we frequently welcome out-of-town patients to our office in Beverly Hills. To make it more convenient for out of town patients, we have set up a simple online consultation that you can take from the privacy of your own home. We can determine if you are a good candidate for your cosmetic surgery procedure, put together a preliminary surgery plan, and set up any financing all prior to visiting our office. If you are interested in undergoing plastic surgery at Barrett Plastic Surgery, we invite you to schedule a virtual consultation: https://www.drdanielbarrett.com/out-of-town-patients/

For information on skinuva scar gel, please visit https://skinuva.com/

Check this episode out on our Youtube channel and be sure to subscribe, comment, and click the notifications bell for our latest!

Visit our website at www.drdanielbarrett.com for more information.

On this episode of The Natural Plastic Surgeon…

Dr. Barrett:…wait, they had no after photos?
Holly: No. No.

Dr. Barrett:…like, you’re not getting a good vibe.
Holly: Right.
Dr. Barrett: And you’re not feeling like they’re, like, identifying what it is that you’re trying to achieve, you know so…
Holly: Exactly.

Holly: The people that wouldn’t show me the pictures?
Dr. Barrett: Yeah.
Holly: They actually looked you up. To make sure…
Dr. Barrett: They looked me up?
Holly: They looked you up. To make sure that you were a good doctor to come see and you were certified…

Dr. Barrett: Like, we taught you how to tape your incisions.
Holly: Yes.
Dr. Barrett: Okay, so you’re gonna do that for the next four weeks.
Holly: Right.
Dr. Barrett: Okay, we’re gonna check in four weeks. And make sure that you’re healing appropriately, make sure you don’t have any spitting sutures or anything like that.

Dr. Barrett: You navigated this like a boss. You know this is, like, a huge operation. Like, to…I’ll cut you in half.
Holly: Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: Cut you in half. And we, you know, we, like, we did the breast lift, the fat transfer, the lipo and you just look phenomenal. It’s great.
Holly: Thank you. I’m always laughing and I feel like I’m gonna bust open my stitches.
Dr. Barrett: Laughing isn’t gonna bust open your stitches.
Holly: Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: But it hurts sometimes.
Holly: Yeah, it hurt a lot. So I was like, stop.

You are listening to The Natural Plastic Surgeon Podcast. I’m Dr. Daniel Barrett, Board-Certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon located right here in Beverly Hills. I specialize in cosmetic surgery of the face, nose, breast and body. This podcast is dedicated to those deciding if plastic surgery is right for them and revealing all the latest beauty secrets. Let’s get started.

01:20 HOLLY IS OUR GUEST TODAY

Dr. Barrett: Everyone, it’s Dr. Barrett. We’re here at The Natural Plastic Surgeon Podcast and we have a special guest. A patient of mine, Holly, who is two weeks out from an amazing operation.
Holly: Yes.
Dr. Barrett: Welcome, Holly.
Holly: Thank you.
Dr. Barrett: How are you feeling?
Holly: I feel pretty good.
Dr. Barrett: All right. I want to tell the viewers what surgery you had done.
Holly: Okay.

01:38 HOLLY HAD A MOMMY MAKEOVER

Dr. Barrett: Okay. So let’s go through it. Now you’re 37. You have two children.
Holly: Yes.
Dr. Barrett: And we did a combination of procedures a lot of people call a Mommy Makeover, but we added a few extra things on it. So we did…
Holly: Yes, we did.
Dr. Barrett: Yes. So we did a tummy tuck.
Holly: Yep.
Dr. Barrett: We did liposuction of the abdomen and the flanks.
Holly: Yes.
Dr. Barrett: Okay. We also did liposuction of your arms and your neck.
Holly: Yes.
Dr. Barrett: Okay. And now for the breasts. We did a fat transfer to the breasts. As well.
Holly: Yes.
Dr. Barrett: And a lift.
Holly: Yep.
Dr. Barrett: Okay. Au natural. And we just did our post-op exam. And you look amazing.
Holly: Thank you.
Dr. Barrett: Yeah, we got your last set of stitches out. And you’re only two weeks, but it’s all starting to come together.
Holly: Yes.
Dr. Barrett: How do you feel?
Holly: I’m excited. I’m glad that it’s done. But I’m eager to see what the outcome is going to be when I’m fully healed and everything’s done and over with. So I’m happy and I feel good.

02:40 HOLLY LIVES IN DENVER

Dr. Barrett: Right. Well, so the reason why we have you on here is, is, is even though it’s two weeks, you’re not gonna see your final result until about six months, right? So we know that. And we know at about six weeks is going to look good. Right now, there is still a lot of swelling and a lot of bruising and all that other stuff. So the reason why we have you on here is because you are out of town patient. Where do you live?
Holly: Denver.
Dr. Barrett: Denver, Colorado, and you came all the way out here to Beverly Hills.
Holly: I did.
Dr. Barrett: To get this magnificent operation done. So I want to, kind of, dive into that a little bit. What…when did you start this process and how did you find me?

03:15 HOLLY WATCHED A LOT OF Dr. BarrettARRETT’S VIDEOS

Holly: So I’ve been thinking about it for a while. And I’ve been looking because if I wanted to do it, I didn’t want any horror stories or anything like that. I mean, it’s a big commitment to do. And so I’ve seen a lot of your videos. And scarring was important to me. I didn’t want to have, you know, noticeable scars or, you know, anything like that, and I’ve seen enough of your videos where it’s, like, okay, I think if I’m gonna do it, I wanted you to do it. So you, kind of, made me do the leap into it.
Dr. Barrett: So, so you found me, you found me online, basically.
Holly: Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: Watched some videos, and were, like, this is the guy. Now did you look, try to look in Denver at all?
Holly: I did. I did. I went…
Dr. Barrett: Okay, did you go on any consultations?

03:55 HOLLY WENT TO TWO CONSULTATIONS

Holly: I did. I went to two. One of them, they couldn’t give me any after pictures, which I wasn’t okay with.
Dr. Barrett: Wait, they had no after photos?
Holly: No, no. Because of HIPAA laws. So they couldn’t show me their after pictures.
Dr. Barrett: Okay.
Holly: So that kind of scared me a little bit and then…
Dr. Barrett: Well, see, HIPAA does exist, but patients can give permission to show their photos.
Holly: Right. Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: Yeah. Before and afters, and so forth.
Holly: Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: And I’m surprised there’s not, like, one patient that’s given permission.
Holly: No. No.
Dr. Barrett: That’s kind of scary.
Holly: Yeah so I was, like, okay, that’s not okay with me. And, you know, the price was, you know, okay. It was, you know, a good price. But I need photos and I need to see the aftermath of everything. And that was, kind of, one of my determining factors. So…
Dr. Barrett: Yeah.
Holly: Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: So there was another one, though, you went to?
Holly: Yes.
Dr. Barrett: Did they have before and afters.
Holly: They did. And they were, they were okay. It wasn’t really, I just still didn’t feel I really wanted to go to them. I think I had my mind set on coming here and…
Dr. Barrett: Okay.

Holly:…coming to you.
Dr. Barrett: Yeah.
Holly: Basically. And the work, your work, compared to theirs was very different. So…

05:02 DR. BARRETT GETS PERMISSION TO SHOW BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTOS

Dr. Barrett: Well, that’s awesome. I mean I, when I get permission, I do put before and afters out there. I do a lot of surgeries so I have a lot of them. But it, that’s kind of important. You got to do your basics, right? I always talk about, it’s, like, a pyramid of what you need to look for in a plastic surgeon.
Holly: Right?

05:14 HOW TO CHOOSE A DOCTOR

Dr. Barrett: The base is like, are they a real doctor? Are they a real plastic surgeon? Are they board-certified? Do they do this kind of procedure? What does their results look like? And at the very top, is it a good fit?
Holly: Exactly. Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: Do I, kind of like, is this, is this Doc gettin’ my vibe? They could be great, do awesome work, but, like, you’re not getting a good vibe, right?
Holly: Right.
Dr. Barrett: And you’re not feeling like they’re, like, identifying what it is that you’re trying to achieve. You know, so to me, I’m always into, you know, natural-looking results. I don’t want it to look like you’ve had plastic surgery. I want to minimize your scarring, all that good stuff. And so I, I spent a lot of time doing that.
Holly: Yeah and that was so important to me. Because really what…I’ve lost 60 pounds since March. And that was, like, my commitment. I was like, okay, I’m gonna do this. I’m gonna do it big.
Dr. Barrett: Yeah.
Holly: You know lose this much weight…

05:58 HOLLY LOST 60 POUNDS

Dr. Barrett: Wait a second, you lost 60 pounds since March?
Holly: Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: I knew you lost weight, but I didn’t know it was this fast.
Holly: Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: How did you do it? I know, I know, some of the listeners want to know this because there’s a lot of people out there, they’re, like, in your, were in your shoes, are in your shoes.
Holly: Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: And they’re struggling because, you know, it’s, like, you don’t want to get plastic surgery until you, kind of, hit your goal weight, right?
Holly: Right.
Dr. Barrett: ‘Cause if you get it done and then you gotta, it’s like going to the tailor and then you lose 10 pounds. You gotta get your clothes fit again, right?
Holly: Yeah, exactly.
Dr. Barrett: So tell me about that.
Holly: So it was, it wasn’t easy. It was, you know, strict diet, you know, strict healthy eating, and exercising and…
Dr. Barrett: So tell me about the diet. Was there a specific one that you use?
Holly: You, you know? No. I, there really wasn’t. I just ate natural and healthy. And no takeout. And you know, really no alcohol.
Dr. Barrett: Yeah, you’d be surprised how many calories, like, having a couple drinks can be.
Holly: I know. Well and Starbucks too.
Dr. Barrett: Yeah, so it’s, like, people are, like, oh, I’m just having a cup of coffee. And then they have, like, you know, it’s, like, this mocha frappuccino with whipped cream on top. I’m, like, you know, this is, like, a thousand calorie drink.
Holly: It is. It is. If you really look at it, it’s, it’s, it’s a lot. So I cut all that out. And, you know, it just started coming and, you know, working out, you know, twice a day, sometimes.
Dr. Barrett: Twice a day?
Holly: Sometimes, yeah. In the morning and at night.
Dr. Barrett: That’s, that’s badass.
Holly: Yeah, yeah.
Dr. Barrett: I love to hear that.
Holly: I, well, when I set my mind to something, it’s like, I’m gonna do it.
Dr. Barrett: Right.
Holly: You know, you, and you have to have a commitment because it was, you know, why come here…
Dr. Barrett: Right.
Holly: To not really have that?
Dr. Barrett: You need to go all in. Why, you’re spending this kind of money, this much time? You know, you want to do it right.
Holly: Exactly.
Dr. Barrett: Yeah. And I, and I tell people that too. It’s, like, you really got to spa…you know, we only get one body. If you go out to buy a car and you don’t like the, the seats, you don’t like the, you know, the, the fuel economy or whatever it is you don’t like about the car, you can always trade it in, right?
Holly: Right. Yes.
Dr. Barrett: You can’t do that for your body. You know, if you, if you mess up, it’s like, that’s is all, this is the only shot I get. Unless you, unless you believe in reincarnation but, you know, it, that’s, that’s not what’s here now, you know? So it’s, like, you gotta, you gotta really do your research and do your homework. It’s not something you wanna take lightly.
Holly: Yeah. Well, to tell you something funny about the people that wouldn’t show me the pictures.
Dr. Barrett: Yeah.
Holly: The people that wouldn’t show me the pictures?
Dr. Barrett: Yeah.
Holly: They actually looked you up. To make sure…
Dr. Barrett: They looked me up?
Holly: They looked you up. To make sure that you were a good doctor to come see and you were certified.
Dr. Barrett: Yeah. Oh, cool. Yeah, so by the way, that’s a really good point, you can actually go to the American Board of Plastic Surgery and look up plastic surgeons by their name and see if they’re board-certified.
Holly: Yeah. Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: So that’s great that, that they did that. But you could have done that too. Anybody can.
Holly: Oh, I did. I did. But I just thought it was, kind of, funny because they wouldn’t show me pictures, but then they were still looking you up to make sure that you were okay. So I thought it was kind of funny.

08:45 HOW TO FIND A BOARD-CERTIFIED PLASTIC SURGEON

Dr. Barrett: That’s great. So you know what, we’ll put in our show notes, we’ll put in the American Board of Plastic Surgery website so that you can actually–all you listeners out there or viewers–you can actually look us up, look up a plastic surgeon that you…if you, you know, if you don’t want to come out here, you don’t wanna look me up. Trust me, I’m board-certified, you don’t have to look me up. But if you want, go ahead. But if there’s a, if there’s a plastic surgeon that you want to actually look up, then go to this website, we’ll put in the show notes, so that you can check it out yourself. Yeah, all right, so… you come out…wait no, we do a Skype consult.
Holly: Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: Okay.
Holly: Yeah.

09:14 IT STARTED WITH A SKYPE CONSULT

Dr. Barrett: So you talked to Rachel, we set up a Skype consult. And this is something where we can actually, I actually get photos.
Holly: Right.
Dr. Barrett: Which is really helpful. You took a lot of good photos from different angles. Did you take those yourself? Or did you have somebody…?
Holly: I did.
Dr. Barrett: Okay. So that’s pretty creative. Like, you have, somehow you had like a mirror there?
Holly: Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: And so, but I could see everything that we had.
Holly: Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: And then we brought out the photos during the Skype consult. We spent about 45 minutes doing that. Just to make sure that we were on the same page before you fly all the way out here and commit to this.
Holly: Right. Yes.
Dr. Barrett: So good. How did you feel at the end of the Skype consult?
Holly: I felt good. I felt like everything, you know, I was on the way to the right doctor. And I felt everything was, you know, pretty simple. And I didn’t have, like, a lot of fear on wow, did I just really make a mistake? Or, you know…
Dr. Barrett: Good.
Holly: Yeah, I felt comfortable. I felt really good about everything. I was, you know, and the girls, they’re so great, you have a really amazing staff. So…

10:10 DR. BARRETT’S STAFF IS HERE FOR YOU, THE PATIENT

Dr. Barrett: That’s great. I tell everybody, it’s like, you know, we’re really all here for the patients.
Holly: Right.
Dr. Barrett: That’s our number one…we had a team meeting this morning and we said, you know what, our number one goal is to make a better experience for each and every person. And each and every person, this is their first time, most of the time, first time getting surgery. Sometimes we get repeat people, and hopefully, that’ll be you, if you want additional stuff. But for the most time, this is our first time going through the surgery.
Holly: Right.
Dr. Barrett: And so you got to really, kind of, roll out the red carpet. This is a really scary thing. It takes literally very little to spook somebody away from, from considering plastic surgery.
Holly: Yes.
Dr. Barrett: And it’s my passion in life. I love it. I love making people feel better about their bodies and feel good. And, and we make sure we have the same mentality in our entire team. You know, that if we focus on this first, everything else will fall into place.
Holly: Yes.
Dr. Barrett: So I hope, I’m glad to hear that you, you got that same experience.
Holly: I did, they were, they were all amazing. And they made me so comfortable. ‘Cause I’m the type that if I don’t have to have surgery, I don’t want it.
Dr. Barrett: Right.
Holly: You know? And so I was, like…
Dr. Barrett: Nobody really wants to have surgery. It’s like, we’re, we’re, by the way, we’re in the operating room….
Holly: Yeah.
Dr. Barrett:…that you had your surgery in.
Holly: Oh, are we?
Dr. Barrett: Yes.
Holly: I think I was so nervous, I was, like…
Dr. Barrett: Welcome back.
Holly: Yes.

11:21 MOST PEOPLE ARE NERVOUS ABOUT SURGERY

Dr. Barrett: I know, most people are. They’re super nervous and they’re always nervous about anesthesia. Anesthesia’s safe. It’s routine, in some sense, for me. I get excited about each and individual, and individual person. Customize every operation based on the person. And I, I, kind of, get stoked the night before where I review the charts and get ready for the surgeries. But I do, it’s my job.
Holly: Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: And I, and I, and I try to put myself into your shoes and that’s why we have anesthesiologists that are really good.
Holly: Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: They, they really relax you. And how did you feel about the anesthesia?
Holly: Oh my God. He was amazing.
Dr. Barrett: Yeah.
Holly: I mean, he really…’cause I had, you know, some family history that made me a little bit more concerned and, you know, scared for the surgery. But he took the time to really go over my concerns of the health issues and everything and make sure…
Dr. Barrett: What were those health issues again?
Holly: My dad had passed away in March. And he had stem cell therapy. And he had, like, an embolism so it was…
Dr. Barrett: When was when he was having the stem cell therapy?
Holly: After. Yeah. Like three days after.
Dr. Barrett: Okay but he had, what was he getting the stem cell therapy for?
Holly: Somebody in, somebody from Seattle and that’s why it was so important. Because we’re finding out that they might not have been certified.
Dr. Barrett: But what, what was he trying to treat with the stem cells?
Holly: He had, he was diagnosed with ACL or ALS. Sorry.
Dr. Barrett: Okay. So it’s, like, Lou Gehrig’s disease. And it…
Holly: Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: Okay, that’s a, that’s a really difficult disease.
Holly: Disease. It is.
Dr. Barrett: How far was he along with that?
Holly: This would have been his second year. After diagnosis.
Dr. Barrett: Okay. So he was, he was seeing symptoms and stuff like that.
Holly: Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: Okay.
Holly: Already had seen symptoms. And that was one of the things that was really, kind of, okay, you know, terrifying for me. Because here he had this procedure done. And then three days later, you know, he was no longer here.
Dr. Barrett: Yeah. Gosh, so fast.
Holly: Yeah, it was, it was kind of terrifying to me. So I really talked to him about it. And, you know, I have some blood traits that, I guess, aren’t really important, but to me, I didn’t know, you know? So he really took the time to talk to me and see, you know, what my concerns were, make sure it wasn’t an issue. And, you know, it was just really, he was really great.
Dr. Barrett: Yeah.
Holly: So…
Dr. Barrett: Good.
Holly:…made me very comfortable.

13:38 A MOMMY MAKEOVER IS A BIG SURGERY

Dr. Barrett: Good. That’s, I mean, that’s exactly what we want. We, you know, we, we want the process to be easy–from your wait time to, you know, get, getting you exactly the results that you want, making it pain-free, making your recovery quick. I mean, the fact that you’re here sitting in a chair is, is just phenomenal. You know, you’ve, you’ve got, you’ve like, you navigated this like a boss. You know this is, like, a huge operation. Like, to…I’ll cut you in half.
Holly: Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: Cut you in half. And we, you know, we, like, we did the breast lift, the fat transfer, the lipo and you just look phenomenal. It’s great.
Holly: Thank you. Thank you. My family’s still can’t believe I actually did it.
Dr. Barrett: Really?
Holly: Yeah, they thought I wasn’t gonna get here. And, like, totally not do it. So you know…
Dr. Barrett: Well it’s kinda tough once you come all the way out here. It’s just, although there’s, there’s fun stuff to do in LA, Los Angeles. If you don’t want to do surgery, there’s plenty of fun stuff to do. But all right, so let’s, I want to get into some questions that we’ve, some of these are actually from some, some listeners and some of our, our social following. Where did you stay?

14:33 HOLLY STAYED A FEW DIFFERENT PLACES

Holly: So we’ve actually stayed at a few different places. But we’ve really just got apartments. And stayed…
Dr. Barrett: Okay. So you did, like, an Airbnb.
Holly: Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: Okay.
Holly: Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: And that worked out for you?
Holly: Yeah, it was amazing. Pretty easy.
Dr. Barrett: And who you travel with?
Holly: Delta.
Dr. Barrett: Okay, for, for your flight?
Holly: For our flight.
Dr. Barrett: But did you travel with anybody? Like, who is here with you?
Holly: Oh, family.
Dr. Barrett: Yeah.
Holly: So my husband came with me. And my daughter.
Dr. Barrett: Okay.
Holly: And then we’ve been here for three weeks.
Dr. Barrett: That’s fun.
Holly: Yeah. So…
Dr. Barrett: Did you guys have a good time while you’re out here?
Holly: For the most part. Yeah. Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: Doing anything fun?
Holly: I don’t know. Not yet ‘cause I’ve been recovering.
Dr. Barrett: I know. They didn’t, they didn’t, like, leave you, like, hey, we’re going to Disneyland.
Holly: My daughter did.
Dr. Barrett: She did?
Holly: She did.
Dr. Barrett: Okay.
Holly: She went to Disneyland. But she was only here, you know, with my son for, like, three days.
Dr. Barrett: Okay.
Holly: So I gave them a pass.
Dr. Barrett: Got it.
Holly: You know, but me and my husband are here now. For the, for our last week.
Dr. Barrett: Yeah.
Holly: And we’re gonna, hopefully, do some fun things. So I’ll let you know.
Dr. Barrett: Okay, so wait, so when are you leaving?

15:36 HOLLY PLANNED TO BE IN CALIFORNIA FOR THREE WEEKS

Holly: Friday.
Dr. Barrett: Friday of this week?
Holly: Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: Okay, so it’s Monday. So now you kinda, you’re, kind of, mobile, you can, kind of, go check out some stuff, you’ve got the week. And so you, for, overall, how long have you been out here for? Would you say?
Holly: Two weeks. Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: All right. You’ve been out here for two weeks and then, but you’ve got a few more days left. So you’d say, total time is about three weeks?
Holly: Yep.
Dr. Barrett: Okay. Was that enough time?
Holly: Oh, definitely.
Dr. Barrett: Okay.
Holly: Yeah, it was definitely, I mean, I think I overdid it. But you know, if I was gonna do it, I mean, I haven’t had a vacation in a while. So…

16:00 2-3 WEEKS IS TYPICALLY ENOUGH TIME TO RECOVER

Dr. Barrett: Right. You healed, you healed like a champ. And so some people do require more time. So giving yourself three weeks out here is totally fine. I think two weeks is a good, good amount of time for this big of an operation.
Holly: Right.
Dr. Barrett: So anytime you thinking about a tummy tuck, two weeks. If you think about breasts, I always tell people maybe about a week, you know? And then maybe come back, fly back for your, like, a second post-op visit if you, if you can, or we could do it on Skype. But the important thing from this point, you’re at your two weeks, all your stitches are out. Most of the major stuff is done but we’ve taught you some things to do at home. Right?
Holly: Right.
Dr. Barrett: Like, we taught you how to tape your incisions.
Holly: Yes.
Dr. Barrett: Okay, so you’re gonna do that for the next four weeks.
Holly: Right.
Dr. Barrett: Okay, we’re gonna check in four weeks. And make sure that you’re healing appropriately, make sure you don’t have any spitting sutures or anything like that. I always tell people to prepare, like, hey, there might be a chance that I still have to fly out for something that happens.
Holly: Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: Which can happen. Fortunately, a flight from Denver here is not so bad. But if you’re, like, in Thailand or if you were in Australia, coming out here, that’s a, that’s a big deal.
Holly: Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: So you, you know, so there’s some things you want to consider. But for, for your situation you, you’ve just been flawless. Everything’s been flawless for you. It’s great.
Holly: Thank you. Yeah, it has. It’s been pretty good.
Dr. Barrett: Okay, so what, what information do we provide to you about coming out here? Did we, did we give you anything? Did we give you a website link or, what, how…?

17:24 HOLLY GOT HOTEL OPTIONS FROM THE SURGICAL CENTER

Holly: Yep. You guys actually gave me hotel options. You gave me, I, you know, I was, kind of, above and beyond with questions. I, I swear, I was calling you guys every other day.
Dr. Barrett: Yeah.
Holly: Up until my surgery.
Dr. Barrett: Right.
Holly: With new questions, you know? But I wanted to be prepared and I wanted to make sure I had everything. Even my post-op stuff, you guys were giving me before because I was asking for it so…
Dr. Barrett: Good.
Holly: You know? Yeah, you guys gave me a lot of, you know, information, whatever I wanted, you guys provided for me. So it was pretty good.
Dr. Barrett: Okay. And in terms of your preparation, is there anything you did, in particular, to prepare?
Holly: Just the weight loss.
Dr. Barrett: Yeah.
Holly: You know, that was pretty much…
Dr. Barrett: The twice a day. Love it.
Holly: Yeah. Yeah, I know. I can’t wait to do that again because I’m, like, ugh…
Dr. Barrett: We’ll get you there.
Holly: Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: And it’s gonna look even better.
Holly: Yes.
Dr. Barrett: So day of the surgery arrives. How did you feel that morning?

18:23 HOLLY WAS UNUSUALLY CALM ON THE DAY OF SURGERY

Holly: You know, it was kind of weird. I felt really calm and I’m usually not that calm. You know, I’m usually real, I remember talking to you about anxiety and being nervous. And I was pretty calm and mellow and…
Dr. Barrett. You were.
Holly: I just remember saying, you guys tricked me, because I was talking…
Dr. Barrett: Yeah.
Holly:…and then all of a sudden I was, like, enough. So it was really great.

18:50 ANESTHESIA PROCESS

Dr. Barrett: Well, once you start, so when you, when they start an IV, there’s, there’s ways to induce people for anesthesia. When they start an IV, and then there’s, there’s gas. Normally we don’t induce with the gas. So the little mask is actually just oxygen. We, when we tell you it’s oxygen, but what’s probably going into your IV is a little bit of stuff that, just, relaxes you.
Holly: Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: And that’s what you’re probably, makes you kind of doze off. It’s really comfortable.
Holly: Yeah. It was really nice. It was, no anxious, no anything. I didn’t wake up anxious. But, just, you know, thirsty. But that was pretty much it. It was, it was really peaceful, actually.
Dr. Barrett: Now, I think, did you get the long-acting pain medication?
Holly: I did.
Dr. Barrett: Okay. So that’s called Exparel. That’s really important in terms of post-operative pain control. It lasts for three days. So tell us about your post-operative experience. You went somewhere, right?

19:35 HOLLY’S POST-OP EXPERIENCE

Holly: I did. I went to Serenity for three days. And it was pretty good. It was, you know, just I think, knowing that they could take care of me if anything happened, or if there was, you know, a medical emergency or whatever, was, you know, peace of mind, you know?
Dr. Barrett: Totally.
Holly: Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: They, these, these nurses are fantastic. The food is fantastic.
Holly: Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: The accommodations, you feel like you’re in a luxury hotel. I actually called a nurse that night. I don’t know if you know this.
Holly: No.

20:00 DR. BARRETT ALWAYS CALLS TO CHECK ON HIS PATIENTS

Dr. Barrett: Yeah, so I called in and she, she told me everything about you. And how much was coming out of your drains, and all this other stuff. So I always call and check on my patients there. I actually had another patient there the same time as you.
Holly: Oh, did you?
Dr. Barrett: Yeah so I was, it was, I was filling up the ward there. But that’s great. It’s really important to have, with this major of an operation, when I, when I say it’s more than one area, like tummy and breasts, Serenity aftercare…
Holly: Right.
Dr. Barrett: Right. If it’s just maybe one thing, maybe we can get away with a hotel or something like that. But you know, when you’re in a strange and new environment you, kind of, want to have that, that dedicated professional, kind of, keeping tabs on you, which I think is really important.
Holly: Yeah, I think it makes the, easier for you to just heal, you know, and worry about healing.
Dr. Barrett: Yeah. And you get all these tips, right? How do, I how do I milk my drains? How do I record the output? How am I supposed to shower?
Holly: Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: Like, where do I, what do I do with these drains when I’m showering? You know, all those things they, kind of, get you through it that first day, maybe the second day. You were there for two nights?
Holly: Three nights.
Dr. Barrett: Three nights. Luxury.
Holly: Yeah. I was gonna take it, take it all in.
Dr. Barrett: Yeah. They get you up, they walk around to prevent blood clots, all of that stuff, they give…did you give you legs squeezers too?
Holly: No, they didn’t do that.
Dr. Barrett: Probably, you weren’t at high risk for that. So that’s, that’s fine, for blood clots so… Okay, and then you come back in for your post-op, week one and then week two, which was today. So how did you feel week one versus today?

21:24 WEEK ONE VERSUS WEEK TWO

Holly: I feel great today. I mean, even week one, I mean, I still felt pretty good, but I was, you know, I had those drain bags. That was the worst out of this whole experience.
Dr. Barrett: Tell me about that.
Holly: God, I hate those things.
Dr. Barrett: Why? Because they’re just an inconvenience or are they painful?
Holly: Sometimes, if you move the wrong way, they’re a little painful because they can snag and then it, like, pulls, you know? But I think it’s just inconvenience. You know, having to carry these things that are visible to everyone, is kind of obnoxious. But, you know, I get why it’s there, you know. But if that’s the worst out of all of this, that’s okay.
Dr. Barrett: Yeah, that’s really a great way to look at it. ‘Cause there’s a lot of things that can happen with these operations.
Holly: Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: You can get infection, you can get wound breakdown. You get…
Holly: Yeah.
Dr. Barrett:…you know, skin necrosis. I’ve had a couple of those things happen. And it’s just really, you know, sort of challenging and so a lot of people forget that, you know, they, they’re like, oh these drains are such an, so annoying. But it’s like, if you really think about it, if that’s the only thing you have to complain about…
Holly: Okay.
Dr. Barrett:…you’re doing pretty good.
Holly: Yeah, we’re okay. You know, and the outcome of those two drains? I’m okay with it.
Dr. Barrett: Yeah.
Holly: So that’s all right.
Dr. Barrett: So tell me, if you could go back and do it all over again, would you do it?
Holly: Okay, so I’ve been asked that about 10 times in the last three days.
Dr. Barrett: Yeah. Oh, really?
Holly: Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: Who said, who asked you that?
Holly: My family.
Dr. Barrett: Yeah.
Holly: Everyone. And at work and my husband, like, every day.
Dr. Barrett: He says this?
Holly: He does, and I go, I’ll tell you in four months.
Dr. Barrett: Okay.
Holly: So, you know, but for the most part, I know my outcome of what I want and, you know, I, I mean, I didn’t want to be, like, superficial. Obviously I went as natural as I could on everything, you know? And…
Dr. Barrett: Yeah.
Holly:…but my main thing was when I work out, not being able to fill my stomach muscles has been, like, one of my biggest problems. So…
Dr. Barrett: Tell me about that.
Holly: You know, that’s really what started this…was, you know, I was working out like I said, you know, a lot and not feeling that core strength. You know, and that really bugged me.
Dr. Barrett: Yeah.
Holly: And that was like, okay. But if I’m going to do it, I might as well get, you know, this done too.
Dr. Barrett: Right.
Holly: Make it count, right?

23:35 HOLLY GOT A FAT TRANSFER RATHER THAN IMPLANTS

Dr. Barrett: Exactly. I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s a Mommy Makeover and, and dealing, doing the breasts. And the, the fact that we were able to do fat transfer to your breasts is really awesome. Because then we don’t have to deal with an implant. You know, I, I use implants all the time, but there’s a maintenance associated with it. You have to get them swapped out every 10 years. And you had really good breast tissue.
Holly: Right. Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: And you, you got that beautiful lift, and we did that fat transfer. We, we transferred approximately 500 cc’s per breast. A little more on the right, actually.
Holly: Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: And then little less on the, on the left. We took off about 1150 cc’s from each flank. 350 from the abdomen, 300 from each arm and 200 from the neck for total of 3400 cc’s.
Holly: Wow.
Dr. Barrett: Yeah. So that’s…
Holly: So I have more to give.
Dr. Barrett: Yeah, yeah, but, you know, then we took the best of the best of that fat and that’s what we used to transfer to the breast. And it’s, it’s, it’s one of my favorite things to do… take spare parts where you don’t want it and put it where you do want it.
Holly: Exactly.
Dr. Barrett: Yeah.
Holly: Yeah. You know, and that was one of the things I kept going back and forth. Did I want a fat transfer? Or did I want an implant? Did I want a fat transfer?
Dr. Barrett: Yeah.
Holly: You know, but, like I said, I wanted to be as natural as I could. I just wanted to get, you know, a little pick me up here and there. So…
Dr. Barrett: Well, you could, totally got a, a little pick me up.
Holly: Yes. So that was, you know, what I did.
Dr. Barrett: Good. What was your biggest fear throughout this whole pro…? I know you’re not fully done. Right? And you’re doing great. We’re gonna, you know, knock on wood. You’re doing great. But what was your biggest fear about coming all the way out here and getting this done?

25:03 HOLLY’S BIGGEST FEAR

Holly: It was really just going under.
Dr. Barrett: Under? Yeah. Okay.
Holly: Yeah, that was honestly, you know, the biggest concern obviously. Like I said, I just had, you know, that anxiety already, you know, built up. And…but even that was really minimal once I got here and talked to everyone and, you know, started, you know, really the countdown and kinda just became not really an issue.
Dr. Barrett: So one of the things that helped you, you said, was talking to everyone. Was there anything else that, that you did that, kind of, helped calm your nerves before you came out?
Holly: No, I, kind of, tried not to think about it, because I had already done all that.
Dr. Barrett: Yeah.
Holly: Before, you know, when I was doing my research and everything. And once I set my mind to it, and I was, like, okay, I’m doing it. So I, kind of, tried to not really think so much. ‘Cause I can overthink it too.
Dr. Barrett: Right.
Holly: You know, and I didn’t want to do that. So I just prepared as much as I could for the surgery. And, you know, that was pretty much it.

26:06 PREPARATION FOR SURGERY

Dr. Barrett: Let’s talk about preparation. Is there, is there anything…you know, these things are learning experiences, your first time, you know? Is there anything that you, kind of, learned? That you think is a really good tip for someone thinking about doing this? Coming out here? Or getting the surgery in general? That you’re like, oh, I didn’t know that was gonna happen or…
Holly: Compression socks. I learned how to put those on easier. But you know, really, how to get up off the bed, kinda.
Dr. Barrett: Okay.
Holly: ‘Cause that was kind of painful, I’m short.
Dr. Barrett: Yeah.
Holly: So the beds, being taller, and trying to move when you’re, like, split open was kind of painful for a little bit but…
Dr. Barrett: Just so you know, there’s four layers of sutures, so you’re not gonna open up. And Steri Strips.
Holly: Oh, you know, and I did that too. I was, like, all of a sudden, my husband’s funny to me. And I’m, you know, I’m always laughing and I feel like I’m gonna bust open my stitches.
Dr. Barrett: Laughing isn’t gonna bust open your stitches. Yeah.
Holly: Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: Yeah, but it hurts sometimes.
Holly: Yeah, it hurt a lot, so I was, like, stop.
Dr. Barrett: But when you do that, it’s almost, like, it makes you laugh more.
Holly: It does, right?
Dr. Barrett: Yeah. Which is horrible. Yeah. Wonderful. Any, you know, what, what other advice can you give to somebody who’s thinking about traveling? Because it’s like, it’s, you know, we have, we want to check in. There’s nothing like doing in-person check-ins, I love to do that. But it’s just, like, you know, if you can find a local person, but if people can’t find a local surgeon, like, what, which, what should they do? Like, what’s your advice to that person that is like, I went to this consult, I don’t feel great about it. Like, what do you do?

27:34 YOUR FIRST INSTINCT IS THE RIGHT ONE

Holly: Yeah, if you don’t feel great, or that connection, don’t do it. Because usually, your first instinct is the right one.
Dr. Barrett: Yeah.
Holly: You know, and, I mean, it would have been cheaper, a lot cheaper for me to do it in Colorado.
Dr. Barrett: Yeah.
Holly: You know, I mean, that’s obvious. But I just didn’t feel like they understood what I was wanting. ‘Cause I wanted to be, like I said, as natural as I could and do, you know, I didn’t want to come here looking like I came to Beverly Hills for plastic surgery, you know?
Dr. Barrett: Yeah.
Holly: But I also wanted to make sure that I didn’t have visible scars. That was so important to me. And just seeing your, you know, after…it just, I felt comfortable.
Dr. Barrett: Yeah, you’re, you’re healing really nicely. And, and for people who don’t know this, I close my breast incisions in five layers. I close the tummy incisions in four layers. Spend a lot of time on the belly button. We do taping, we do scar management. We got you in compression already?
Holly: Yeah, in compression today.
Dr. Barrett: Yep.
Holly: Yeah.

28:32 BELLY BUTTON HEALING

Dr. Barrett: And we’ll, we’ll keep an eye on your belly button. Sometimes we’ll, will start a belly button silicone sphere.
Holly: Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: I don’t think, I don’t think you needed that today. But when we check in at six weeks, we’ll, we’ll look at the belly button and see if, if it starts to get a little bit small, then we want to put that little silicone sphere in there.
Holly: Okay.
Dr. Barrett: But we can send that out to you if you need it. Really, you know, I use a product called Skinuva. I’ve talked about it on a previous podcast. I’m not sure what episode. We’ll put that in the, in the show notes, the Skinuva scar gel that I recommend for all my patients. It has silicone scar gel, it also has a bunch of growth factors in it and vitamin C and some other lightening agents that, kind of, help with the hyperpigmentation that happens with it. And I’ve done a lot of research on scar management and it’s, like, the best stuff. Like, if I was going to get an incision, what would I put? What would I do? And so these are all the things that I, that I’ve been able to come up with, with research and trying to get the best healing as possible. Because people really care about scars.
Holly: Oh yeah. Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: You know? It’s like, it’s amazing that there’s so many of…plastic surgeons and other surgeons, like orthopedic surgeons, that are using, like, not to knock them, there’s a lot of surgeons that use staples. I’m, like…
Holly: Really?
Dr. Barrett: Yeah…staples, come on? On, like, on a young woman’s knee. I’m, like, what are you, you know, what are you doing?
Holly: Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: That’s just, it’s gonna be a big scar there. So…
Holly: Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: That’s, that’s one of my, one of my goals. I don’t know if it’s a pet peeve or just a passion, because it’s just such a big deal. To minimize scars.
Holly: Yeah. Yeah. Believe me, those staple, or the stitches. Oh my god, those blue ones? Are friggin painful.
Dr. Barrett: Yes.
Holly: They are so painful, but…
Dr. Barrett: They’re ouch.
Holly: They’re out.
Dr. Barrett: They’re ouch.
Holly: And like I told her, I was like, if this is all I have to deal with, it’s okay.

30:09 PROLENE SUTURES COME OUT AFTER TWO WEEKS

Dr. Barrett: Yeah. But you know the theory behind why we use those blue PROLENE sutures. They held the strength for the two weeks, right? But then their job is done and you want them out of your body.
Holly: Right.
Dr. Barrett: Because If you were to use an absorbable suture in that situation, that, your body has to absorb that. Even though it’s no longer holding tension anymore…
Holly: Right.
Dr. Barrett:…your body has to absorb it and it creates inflammation to break that suture down. So that’s why in the skin, I use non-absorbable sutures.
Holly: But that’s okay.
Dr. Barrett: Yeah.
Holly: I really, I really like the fact that you do use so many layers because, like I said, all of a sudden I’m laughing when I really shouldn’t be. So I’d hate for everything to, like, fall apart, because I’m laughing.
Dr. Barrett: Exactly.
Holly: So it’s okay. They need to do their job and…
Dr. Barrett: I, you know, I had, I don’t know whether it was based on my training, or what, or just personal beliefs, but I remember I, I was, when I was back in USC doing general surgery training, there was this one patient who sneezed. And he had an abdominal operation and his op, his tummy opened up. It was not a tummy tuck, it was another type of bowel operation, and his tummy opened up. So I got a call from a nurse at two in the morning, hey Doc you should come take a look. I go by and he’s got…
Holly: Oh my God that’s awful.
Dr. Barrett: Intestine. Hanging out. So I’m just, like, we gotta do a better job.
Holly: That is awful.
Dr. Barrett: I know, it is awful. And he did okay, we brought him back to surgery at four o’clock in the morning. And we closed everything up. But I did not close his incision, I was just happened to be on call that night.
Holly: Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: And I, and I saw him and it’s just, I was, like, I’m never gonna have my, any of my incisions open up. So I close in so many layers. You know? So…
Holly: Right. Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: The plication in two layers on the inside and then your skin in four layers.
Holly: Yeah, see and that’s amazing. Like I told him, I was, like, just, I mean, it’s painful, but I can feel those muscles. And that’s really what I wanted. That’s what started this…
Dr. Barrett: Do you, do you feel it now?
Holly: Oh, yes.
Dr. Barrett: Yeah. That’s great.
Holly: Yes. And I love it. I am so excited for that.
Dr. Barrett: A lot of people don’t know that. Part of the tummy tuck is that plication to bring those muscles together. Makes tummy flat, brings in the waist and strengthens your core.
Holly: Yes.
Dr. Barrett: Which is awesome.
Holly: I’m so excited for that. I think that’s, like, I can’t wait till I go workout again.
Dr. Barrett: I feel like your posture is already better.
Holly: It is.
Dr. Barrett: Yeah, I mean, just, you just look so, like, tone and strong.
Holly: Thank you. Thank you.
Dr. Barrett: Good. Well, Holly, it was a pleasure having you on here. Any, anything else you want to share about your experience to potential, at least, now most of our listeners or people that are thinking about having surgery, or, or maybe have already had it. But mostly they’re thinking about, you know, maybe this could be a out of town person, or someone who’s considering a Mommy Makeover or fat transfer to breasts. Is there anything that you, else you want to share about your experience?
Holly: Just, if it’s something you really want to do, and it hasn’t gone away and you keep, well oh, maybe I do, maybe I don’t. You don’t have to be super artificial.
Dr. Barrett: Yeah.
Holly: You know, to get the results that you want. And go for it. Just do it.
Dr. Barrett: Do it.
Holly: Just do it.
Dr. Barrett: Love it. You only live once.
Holly: Yep. And you can find 100 reasons not to do it.
Dr. Barrett: Yeah.
Holly: So you just got to find those 10 to do it. And do it.
Dr. Barrett: Absolutely.
Holly: Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: So, Holly, we’re gonna check in. I want to check in, like, six months and I want to get the final recap from you. You know?
Holly: Okay.
Dr. Barrett: Yeah, we’ll have to, we’ll have to throw that in as, like, an update and be, like, how, how is Holly doing? I know you’re gonna do amazing. Because you’re such an incredible person.
Holly: Thank you, you too. I, I just love it. You guys have been great. And I’m, kind of, sad to go home ‘cause, you know, now I can’t come and tell you guys everything I’ve been doing.
Dr. Barrett: Sure you can, share it with us. Do you have social media?
Holly: I do.
Dr. Barrett: Okay, so tag us. Dr. Daniel Barrett and tag us. I, that, that’s my favorite thing to do, is, is I actually, I’ll pull up my social. I’ll check out people that have tagged me and, like, all the new stuff that you’re doing. How you’re looking. ‘Cause it’s gonna be a little while before the beach, the hol, you know, the beach season.
Holly: Yeah.
Dr. Barrett: But I, I want to see, I want to see how you’re doing. Because that, honestly is what lights my fire every day is seeing my post-op patients. And see you out enjoying your life and feeling better about your body.
Holly: Yeah, definitely and I already do. So. Thank you.
Dr. Barrett: You’re welcome, Holly. Thanks for being on the show today.
Holly: Thank you.
Dr. Barrett: Okay.

Thank you for tuning into our podcast. If you liked today’s podcast, don’t forget to share, rate, review and subscribe. Also, find out if plastic surgery is right for you by using our virtual consultation at DrDanielBarrett.com/virtual-consultation. See you soon.

Show Notes:
American Board of Plastic Surgery website
Past Podcasts that talk about Skinuva Scar Gel:
Podcast #9 Nicole Does it All! @ minute 22:27
Podcast #12 Influencer Nicol Concilio Gets a Breast Reduction! @ minute 37:15

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