“And if your skin is left, you tummy tuck and that's it!” he cut it short for me Bianca on a cold February evening. He had heard this excuse from my mouth hundreds of times and was already bored. It was the beginning of 2016, and we had gone for a few days to the detox center Atasagon from Brașov (in my opinion, the only true detox center in Romania). It was hard for us to get used to the raw vegan menu and the Tai Chi and Meditation classes, so every day from 18:00 we left the center and barricaded ourselves in our downtown penthouse to minimize any temptation to to run to Sergiana.
I had started the journey #MyBodyJourney for more than half a year, and the results I had achieved so far gave me great hope. Together with my coach Iulian Dinu I had already managed to lose almost 20kg and I felt very confident. In fact, I felt that this time it would be different, that this time I would be able to get rid of the extra pounds that affected my health and happiness. And precisely because I felt that now I would not give back, my old excuse was beginning to become a truth that had to be confronted.
I'm afraid of operations and hospitals. I'm not afraid of doctors, but I'm afraid of the procedures themselves. Because I was a good and quiet child who did not jump fences and climb trees, I never had a broken hand or leg, I did not stay in hospitals and I never got seriously ill. In fact, until the age of 30, when I cut myself on the leg in the case of a CD placed in the car door, I had no scars on my body (except for the appendicitis operation performed at the age of 10, which honestly I can barely remember her).
At the age of 26, when my father proposed to me to have a stomach reduction operation, I was very scared of the idea of surgery and I preferred to choose the heavier version with sports and healthy eating, just to nobody cuts me.
After two years of work, many hours spent in the gym, on the running track, visits to the nutritionist and even nutrition classes, I drew the line and saw that I had lost over 40 kg. With all my hormonal disorders and all the obstacles I encountered, I had succeeded. I looked much better and I felt much better. I had gone from size 52 to clothes to size 42-44. I had days when I could see my skin on my arms, legs and abdomen firmer and days when I felt everything hanging on me. That's how people are, it seems that we can't love each other unconditionally and continuously, but it's important not to be overwhelmed by negative emotions.
I had already begun to think intensely about abdominoplasty surgery. I followed many accounts and stories on Instagram of people who lost a lot of weight and then did all sorts of interventions to remove excess skin, I had read blogs, doctors' websites and stories on forums. But in Romania it seemed to me that I didn't have much to choose from. People don't talk much about such interventions, although many do. I read everything that exists on the internet in Romanian on this topic in search of the right doctor, the doctor to do this intervention for me. I could only find information on the websites of hospitals or plastic surgeons who performed such interventions, but that was not what I was looking for. I wanted to read the opinions of people who went through this experience because I wanted sincere opinions. And I did not find. At most, I found some impressions on some forums related to complications, and this discouraged me even more. I know only one other person who went through this intervention and who was very open with me and who encouraged me to do it (thank you very much, Rhodes!), but I didn't feel like choosing the same doctor.
How do you choose your doctor?
I don't know how you choose your doctor. You just feel like you can entrust your life to him. If you don't feel this, look no further and don't rush. I am now convinced that the doctor chose me, and I only attracted him to my life.
Between May 2015 and June 2017, I lost over 40 kg and I had time to think about abdominoplasty.
Why did I really want to do this operation? Because my biggest complex has always been related to the belly. Or burti - how I was caressing her lately as an exercise to be gentler with me and to accept this part of me that I didn't like, and that I don't want to define.
From a young age I began to notice that there was a difference between me and the other girls. My belly was completely different: they had almost flat bellies that took on a feminine roundness as I passed puberty, and my belly kept growing in volume, showing signs that it would soon hang out making it look masculine. Or so I saw my belly for most of my life: male.
So, since I was little, I wanted to have a flat abdomen and as feminine as possible. Now looking back I realize that I have been a bit tough with myself all these years, but on the other hand I am glad that I am a very pragmatic person and that in the end I succeeded (with great efforts ) to accept that part of me as well.
Since 2017 I started to think seriously about abdominoplasty surgery. Two years followed in which my weight fluctuated because I realized how difficult it is to maintain and how easy it is to regain weight if you relax completely and return to old habits. A year at the plateau discouraged me and made me gain 6-9kg.
In February 2018 (it seems that many good things happen in February) I met Dr. Oltjon Cobani. I had been invited to interview her (which you can read here) and I went because I was in a period in which I wanted to know as many plastic surgeons as possible, and in which I wanted to find out as much information as possible about the aesthetic procedures that directly interested me. In addition, Bianca had already had the opportunity to talk to him and she told me that she recommended me to go and meet him. I keep bringing Bianca back into the discussion because without intention, she is part of the story.
The information I found out during the interview and the spontaneous consultation that took place immediately after I shared my intentions with the doctor turned my (and so uncertain) plans upside down a bit, especially since I was not in the best shape.
I started watching Dr. Cobani online, although it is a fairly discreet presence considering that he spends more time in the operating room than online.
Then, unfortunately, following an uncertain diagnosis of the breasts (about which you can read more here) my friend Bianca entered the operating room. Fortunately, he joined Dr. Cobani who contributed to the success of this complex intervention. Autumn was approaching, Bianca was feeling very well and the idea of leaving myself in the hands of Dr. Oltjon Cobani was growing stronger and stronger in my mind.
That was also the moment when I started to get out of the state of the plateau I had been in for almost a year. At the beginning of January 2019, I drew the line and noticed that I had managed to lose almost 9 kg in the last 6 months and lose a measure and a half in my clothes. I was starting to feel strong and very good in my skin again, and one day in February (because magical things seem to happen in February) I made the decision to take action.
I was afraid and I didn't feel ready. Unfortunately, my body does not want to lose weight is 78kg, and 80kg is the weight at which I do not make superhuman efforts to maintain myself and at which I looked the best in the last four years. Four years of sports have shaped me beautifully. Even though I had managed to reach my 2017 weight again, I now looked thinner and bought clothes a little smaller than then.
Therefore, I decided that this is my stable and achievable weight to maintain in the long run, and that there is no point in lying to me that I will reach 65kg too soon, and that only then will I have the operation. I I wanted to improve the quality of life I live now and not the one I might be able to live at some point.
At the beginning of March, I called the Monza Medical Center in Tudor Ștefan Street and I made an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Oltjon Cobani. The consultation took place on March 8 and I asked the doctor to operate on me April 17, 2019 (according to my astrogram, April was favorable for surgery), after I finished the project with Gerovital Beauty from Cosmoworld.
consultation it didn't go as simply as it seems in this article because I went with some requirements and some expectations, and then I decided by mutual agreement (doctor and patient) which are the safest ways to intervene. I honestly confess that I would have liked a combined operation (because I know that Dr. Cobani also performs such interventions) liposuction + abdominoplasty, but to reduce the risks as much as possible, in my case I was recommended to do only the abdominoplasty operation . I went home happy that the date I wanted for the day of the intervention was free (good signs that this was the right time), but somehow bloated because what I wanted and what I saw on Instagram can not be done in my case. Or it could be done, but with unnecessary risks. At the moment I didn't like the doctor for that, but now I'm grateful to him with all my heart.
How do you prepare for surgery?
- You get a series of recommendations that you need to follow. These include quitting certain medications, smoking (if you are a smoker) and taking certain vitamins recommended by your surgeon and anesthesiologist.
- You get a list of blood tests you need to do. I made them at a Synevo center near my house and they cost around 800 lei. In the morning I went to harvest and until the evening I received the results by email.
- You also need to have a soft tissue abdominal ultrasound, which you can only do in certain medical centers. I did it at Medicover Victoriei and it cost around 300 lei.
- You have to do an EKG that I did at Monza Medical Center where I had surgery and which cost 80 lei.
After doing all the tests, you schedule a consultation with the anesthesiologist. Dr. Cobani collaborates with Dr. Alexandru Uleia, who after carefully analyzing my health described to me how things will go step by step on the day of the operation, which helped me a lot because I was afraid of the idea that I would do anesthesia general. I had heard enough stories about how bad you feel from anesthesia, including those myths that anesthesia takes you I don't know how many years of your life.
Dr. Uleia is very gentle, but firm. He was the first to oppose a combined operation because the more overweight you are, the higher the risks when you stay under anesthesia for longer. In addition, in my case there was no history to know how I react to anesthesia or how I recover after surgery.
In short, decisions were made on the principle of best results with minimal risk.
Also, the anesthesiologist recommended me to give up sports at least 4-5 days before the intervention so as not to have lactic acid in the muscles and to take Vitamins D and C. At the consultation I confessed that I had just run 10km with a day before thing that delighted him when he looked over my EKG.
In order not to have time to think too much about what I was going to do, I occupied the whole schedule in the days before. On April 15, I posed all day with the clothes from my #plussize collection with Lo Spaccio (clothes can be ordered by here) because for me it was important to have bellies in those photos, and the next day I went to the hairdresser, to the manicure, I saw my friends, I filmed something for a client and I went to the hospital to sign some documents and for Dr. Cobani to consult me once more. How he caught me in the hospital, how he consulted me a little more, even if I didn't have an appointment. Later I realized that he was actually making a mental map of the intervention he was going to perform.
Starting at 20:00 I was not allowed to eat anything, and at 05:00 in the morning I was able to drink water for the last time before the operation scheduled at 09:00.
It's just that I didn't go into surgery at the appointed time because I wasn't going to arrive.
Thank you for getting here, I know I wrote a lot, but I wanted to give you as much information as possible. In the next part I tell you how I lived the experience of the intervention and how the days spent in the hospital were. I also captured everything on video, so I'm sure you'll like it a lot!
Read the second part here.